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


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

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September 2008 Archives, Page Two

US steps up Pakistan raids to thwart al-Qaeda 'October surprise' plot 27 Sep 2008 US secret forces are intensifying their cross-border raids into Pakistani tribal areas because of fears of to ensure a high-profile al-Qaeda attack during the American election campaign, The Sunday Telegraph has learned. The Pentagon has ordered that raids on suspected terrorist targets within Pakistan be stepped up to pressurise al-Qaeda leaders and distract them from preparing attacks on American targets elsewhere.

EuCom deploys radar, troops to Israel --Deployment marks first permanent U.S. military presence on Israeli soil --Among U.S. personnel is at least one representative from Missile Defense Agency 27 Sep 2008 U.S. European Command has deployed to Israel a high-powered X-band radar and the supporting people and equipment needed for coordinated defense against Iranian missile attack, marking the first permanent U.S. military presence on Israeli soil. More than a dozen aircraft, including C-5s and C-17s, helped with the Sept. 21 delivery of the AN/TPY-2 Transportable Radar Surveillance/Forward Based X-band Transportable, its ancillary components and some 120 EuCom personnel to Israel’s Nevatim Air Base southeast of Beersheba, said sources here and in Stuttgart, Germany.

U.N. to Iran: Stop nuke enrichment --Security council unanimously passes resolution, imposes no new sanctions 27 Sep 2008 The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a compromise resolution Saturday demanding Iran stop nuclear enrichment but imposing no new sanctions. The resolution restricted itself to calling on Iran to comply with earlier resolutions requiring a halt to suspect nuclear activities and cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

Senate sends big spending bill to Bush to sign --Bill lifts offshore drilling ban, $70 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan 27 Sep 2008 Automakers gained $25 billion in taxpayer-subsidized loans and oil companies won elimination of a long-standing ban on drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as the Senate passed a sprawling spending bill Saturday. The 78-12 vote sent the $634 billion measure to President [sic] Bush, who was expected to sign it. The Pentagon is in line for a record budget. In addition to $70 billion approved this summer for [war] operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department would receive $488 billion, a six percent increase.

Ministers: U.S., Iraq close to security deal 28 Sep 2008 U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said here on Saturday that the two countries are close to a security deal. "We are very close. I have said many times that I think it is in the final stages and this would need the support of all the political leaders about this agreement," Zebari said before his meeting with Rice on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Bomb reportedly kills 17 in Syrian capital --Car laden with 440 pounds of explosives blows up in rare Damascus attack 27 Sep 2008 A car bomb on a street in the Syrian capital of Damascus killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others Saturday, Syrian television reported. The TV said a car packed with 440 pounds of explosives blew up on Mahlak Street, located in a southern neighborhood of the capital near the junction to the city's international airport.

Air Force Instructor Details Harsh Interrogations --Colonel Tells Senate Panel How U.S. Training Program Was Adapted for Use Against Iraqi Detainees 26 Sep 2008 The techniques themselves -- forced nudity, sleep deprivation, painful shackling -- had been used for years to prepare U.S. fighter pilots for possible capture by an enemy. But Col. Steven Kleinman, an Air Force instructor, said he was shocked in 2003 to see the same harsh methods used haphazardly on Iraqis in a U.S. prison camp. In dramatic testimony before a Senate panel yesterday, he gave a rare account of how the Pentagon adapted an Air Force training program to squeeze information from captured Iraqis. What Kleinman witnessed in Baghdad in September 2003 prompted him to order a stop to three interrogations, and to warn his superiors that the military's interrogation practices were abusive and, in his opinion, illegal. "I told the task force commander that the methods were unlawful and were in violation of the Geneva Conventions," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Former spy chief joins 42-day detention critics --First female boss of MI5 condemns Guantánamo --Peers expected to reject anti-terror legislation 27 Sep 2008 The government's 42 days counterterrorism legislation came under fresh fire last night when a former director general of MI5 said the provision to hold suspects for six weeks without charge was excessive. Dame Stella Rimington became the second former MI5 chief in three months to come out against the controversial measures.

President of Paraguay Turns Down Meeting with Sarah Palin By Steve Clemons 26 Sep 2008 Paraguay President Fernando Lugo, while attending both the United Nations General Assembly meetings and the Clinton Global Initiative, shared with friends over dinner some of the other meetings he had been having in New York. He met this head of state... but then the room went silent and then broke into subdued laughter when he confided that he was approached about meeting with GOP Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. President Lugo turned the meeting down.

Subpoenaed Palin aides could be found in contempt 27 Sep 2008 With state officials again defying legislative subpoenas in the investigation of whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power, the war between state lawmakers and Alaska's attorney general is escalating. The governor's chief of staff, Mike Nizich, and six other Palin aides didn't show up Friday to honor subpoenas ordering them to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee chairman, Anchorage Sen. Hollis French (D), said they could be found in contempt when the full Legislature convenes in January, a finding that carries potential jail time.

GOP concerns about Palin grow 27 Sep 2008 A growing number of Republicans are expressing concern about Sarah Palin’s uneven -- and sometimes downright awkward -- performances in her limited media appearances... There is no doubt many Republican insiders are worried she could blow next week’s debate, based on her unexpectedly weak and unsteady media appearances, and hurt the Republican ticket if she does.

'The alarm bells should be clanging and warning lights flashing.' Palin's Words Raise Red Flags By Bob Herbert 27 Sep 2008 The country is understandably focused on the financial crisis. But there is another serious issue in front of us that is not getting nearly enough attention, and that’s whether Sarah Palin is qualified to be vice president -- or, if the situation were to arise, president of the United States. ...Ms. Palin has given no indication yet that she is capable of handling the monumental responsibilities of the presidency if she were called upon to do so. In fact, the opposite is the case.

Palin Is Ready? Please. McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, that is simply not true. By Fareed Zakaria 27 Sep 2008 Will someone please put Sarah Palin out of her agony? Is it too much to ask that she come to realize that she wants, in that wonderful phrase in American politics, "to spend more time with her family"? Having stayed in purdah for weeks, she finally agreed to a third interview... Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president.

Send Sarah Home! Send Sarah Home! Posted by orlandorand 26 Sep 2008 Protesters shout "Send Sarah Home! Send Sarah Home!" at the Irish Pub at her appearance in Philadelphia, PA to watch the first Presidential debate. (video)

Round 1 in debates goes to Obama, poll says 27 Sep 2008 A national poll of people who watched the first presidential debate suggests that Barack Obama came out on top, but there was overwhelming agreement that both Obama and John McCain would be able to handle the job of president if elected. The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey is not a measurement of the views of all Americans, since only people who watched the debate were questioned and the audience included more Democrats than Republicans.

Poll Results Suggest More Uncommitted Voters Saw Obama As Debate Winner 26 Sep 2008 CBS News and Knowledge Networks conducted a nationally representative poll of approximately 500 uncommitted voters reacting to the debate in the minutes after it happened. Thirty-nine percent of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. Twenty-four percent thought John McCain won. Thirty-seven percent saw it as a draw.

Keating 5 ring a bell? McCain's past collides with the present Wall Street debacle. By Rosa Brooks 26 Sep 2008 Eventually, the government spent about $125 billion in taxpayer dollars to bail out hundreds of failed S&Ls that, like [Charles] Keating's, fell victim to a combination of private-sector greed and the "poor judgment" of politicians like [John] McCain. The $125 billion seems like small change compared to the $700-billion price tag for the Bush administration's proposed Wall Street bailout. But the root causes of both crises are the same: a lethal mix of deregulation and greed.

Economists say House GOP plan would be ineffective, costly 26 Sep 2008 House Republicans are rallying behind an alternative to the Bush regime's taxpayer rescue of Wall Street. That plan that may be good politics, but experts say it is bad economics. The lawmakers, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, are calling for a temporary elimination of the capital gains tax, a two-year tax holiday that allows U.S. companies to repatriate earnings from abroad, and an insurance program that would be a private-sector alternative to the $700 billion taxpayer rescue proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Support for Bailout Plan Now Down to 24% 27 Sep 2008 The more voters learn about the proposed $700-billion taxpayer-backed Wall Street rescue plan, the less they like it. Just 24% of U.S. voters now favor the plan first proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a week ago and the subject of very public negotiations on Capitol Hill ever since, according to a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken Friday night.

Law puts thousands of Florida voter IDs in question --Florida's controversial 'no-match' law has already called into question thousands of new voter registrations. 27 Sep 2008 About 3,200 new voters are in the cross-hairs of Florida's new and controversial ''no-match'' law, which could force them to cast provisional ballots on Election Day if officials can't confirm their identities. The law, designed to prevent potential election fraud and remove joke names from voter rolls [?] requires local elections officials to mail letters to anyone whose registration information doesn't match the state's driver's license or Social Security databases... Miami-Dade County has now issued about 1,200 no-match letters, Election Supervisor Lester Sola said.

Conn. Democrats delay plan to censure Lieberman 25 Sep 2008 Connecticut Democrats, angry that Sen. Joe Lieberman is campaigning for the Republican presidential candidate and criticizing his own party's nominee, agreed Wednesday to circulate a resolution to censure the veteran politician but won't consider acting on it until after Election Day. The resolution says Lieberman's actions are "extraordinary disloyalty to countless Connecticut Democrats without whom his career as an elected official would never have been possible" and calls on state Democrats to ask him to resign from the party.

Sen. Kennedy released from hospital 26 Sep 2008 Ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy, a liberal giant and patriarch of America's most storied political family, was examined and released from a Massachusetts hospital on Friday after suffering a mild seizure, officials said.

Greenhouse gas emissions shock scientists --Carbon dioxide output rose 3% from 2006 to 2007. 26 Sep 2008 The world pumped up emissions of the chief human-produced global warming gas last year, setting a course that could push beyond leading scientists' projected worst-case scenario, international researchers said Thursday. The new numbers, which some scientists called "scary," were a surprise because experts thought an economic downturn would slow energy use.

Kyle strengthens into hurricane off U.S. coast --Maine issues first hurricane watch in 17 years, weather officials say 27 Sep 2008 Tropical Storm Kyle strengthened into a hurricane Saturday in the Atlantic Ocean off the northeast U.S. coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Kyle, which formed as a tropical storm Thursday, had sustained winds near 75 mph as it moved on a path that would take its center near eastern New England or Canada's Maritime provinces late on Sunday.

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Palin should step down, conservative commentator says 26 Sep 2008 Prominent conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, an early supporter of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, said Friday recent interviews have shown the Alaska governor is "out of her league" and should leave the GOP presidential ticket for the good of the party. The criticism in Parker's Friday column is the latest in a recent string of negative assessments toward the McCain-Palin candidacy from prominent conservatives.

Palin to return donations from tainted politicians 26 Sep 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin swept into office as an avowed outsider, a claim that helped her land the GOP vice presidential nomination. The woman touted by Republican nominee John McCain as a reformer said late Thursday that she will donate to charity more than $1,000 in campaign contributions from two Alaska politicians implicated in a sprawling federal corruption probe. Palin is also giving back $1,000 from the wife of one of the men. The move came a few hours after The Associated Press reported that Palin had accepted the money during her successful 2006 run for governor.

McCain and Obama ready for debate 26 Sep 2008 Republican John McCain ended the suspense and agreed to attend the first of three debates with Democrat Barack Obama on Friday, setting up a showdown that could help decide a tight White House race.

McCain Internet Ad "McCain Wins Debate!" Posted While McCain Still Said He Would Not Debate [Posted 10:40 AM ET] by By Chris Cillizza 26 Sep 2008 Although the fate of tonight's presidential debate in Mississippi remains very much up in the air, John McCain has apparently already won it -- if you believe an Internet ad an astute reader spotted next to this piece in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal this morning. "McCain Wins Debate!" declares the ad which features a headshot of a smiling McCain with an American flag background. Another ad spotted by our eagle-eyed observer featured a quote from McCain campaign manager Rick Davis declaring: "McCain won the debate-- hands down."

McCain Campaign Declares: McCain Wins Debate. WHAT!? By Obama Soldier 26 Sep 2008 So, Remember, how until today 11 am ET, McCain was not going to Debate until the deal went through? Well, if you needed more proof of this blatant political stunt, McCain campaign has web ads out saying he has won the Debate...BEFORE the debate has even happened. So: 1.) McCain planned to attend the Debate all along. 2.) McCain pulled his stunt not only for Political Reasons but because his Campaign was going to the shitter. 3.) He took the MSM narrative away form the dreadful Palin-Couric interview and from the ties of Rick Davis (his campaign manager) to Fennie and Freddie Mac...

McCain reverses course, decides to debate tonight after all 26 Sep 2008 Republican John McCain will participate tonight in the first presidential debate after all, reversing his decision two days ago to suspend his campaign while Congress negotiates a proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. A statement released Friday morning by McCain's campaign said he was "optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement" and that "the McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the senator will travel to the debate this afternoon."

Contractor says immune from Iraq torture lawsuits 26 Sep 2008 Defense contractor CACI is claiming immunity from lawsuits alleging torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, saying it was doing the U.S. government's work [torture] as a supplier of interrogators. CACI International and a sister company, CACI Premier Technology, say in court documents that they'll employ that defense in a dismissal motion they plan to file next week in federal court in northern Virginia. Eleven U.S. soldiers were convicted of breaking military laws in the Abu Ghraib scandal.

Guantanamo ex-prosecutor seeks immunity 26 Sep 2008 A former U.S. military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay who accuses his superiors of suppressing evidence refused yesterday to testify in a war-crimes case unless he is granted immunity. Army Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld, who was called as a defence witness, revealed a day earlier that he quit over what he called ethical lapses by prosecutors. Defence attorneys asked the judge to give Lt. Col. Vandeveld immunity.

Rep. Murtha sued over remarks 26 Sep 2008 In May 2006, six months after 24 people were killed in a small Iraqi town, U.S. Rep. John Murtha made a startling accusation. American soldiers, he contended, had killed innocent civilians "in cold blood." Now, less than six weeks before the longtime Johnstown Democrat is up for re-election, a Marine involved in the now-infamous Haditha incident war crime is suing Murtha for slander. [Terrorist] Justin Sharratt of Canonsburg, Washington County, left the Marine Corps last year. But he claims Murtha’s statements have caused "permanent, irreversible damage to his reputation."

Pakistan warns U.S. after exchange of fire 26 Sep 2008 Pakistan warned U.S. troops not to intrude on its territory on Friday, a day after the two anti-terror allies traded fire along the volatile border with Afghanistan. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, tempered the warning by praising U.S. support for his country as a "blessing."

Turkish warplanes hit 16 Kurdish targets in Iraq 26 Sep 2008 Turkish warplanes successfully attacked 16 Kurdish rebel targets in a cross-border raid in northern Iraq, a military spokesman said Friday. The strikes late Thursday targeted rebel positions on Qandil mountain, Brig. Gen. Metin Gurak told reporters. The mountain on the Iranian-Iraqi border is where the rebel group's leaders are believed to be based.

Russia, Venezuela Sign Energy Pact 26 Sep 2008 Russia and Venezuela have signed two energy cooperation pacts that promote closer ties between Russia's state-run [as opposed to corporate-run] natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, and Venezuela's state oil firm (PDVSA). Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, attended the signing ceremony Friday in the Russian city of Orenburg.

Air Force, Army Discipline 17 For Improper Nuclear Fuse Shipment 26 Sep 2008 The Air Force yesterday announced disciplinary actions against 15 officers -- six generals and nine colonels -- in connection with the 'mistaken' shipment of four nuclear missile fuses to Taiwan in 2006, while the Army said it counseled two generals who had oversight of part of the faulty supply system. One of the most severe punishments was a letter of reprimand sent to Air Force Lt. Gen. Kevin J. Sullivan, Air Force deputy chief of staff for logistics, for his failure to act to correct "systemic issues in ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] logistics," according to an Air Force statement.

Anthrax suspect said he solved case 25 Sep 2008 Suspected Framed Washington anthrax killer Bruce Ivins claimed to have solved the case in an e-mail message to himself, newly released court documents say. "I finally know who mailed the anthrax letters in the fall of 2001. I should have been a private eye," Ivins said in a message sent last September. After learning that FBI scientists had traced the bacteria to his laboratory, Ivins, a government bioweapons researcher, suggested to agents several other scientists who he said might be guilty, the documents say.

Anthrax Links to 9-11 By Barbara Honegger 25 Sep 2008 Superweaponizing anthrax was one of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s top priorities. Two days before 9/11, on Sept. 9, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) held a rare press conference in which it revealed that on his first day as Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld ordered the DIA to take Project Jefferson, a secret and illegal anthrax weaponization program (probably using the Ames strain contained in the anthrax letters) to the next level of lethality and that it had achieved 'success' earlier that month in a classified field test. The mainstream press reported this event on Sept. 10.

Subpoena for Office of Legal Counsel Documents Authorized 26 Sep 2008 The Senate Judiciary Committee has authorized the issuance of a subpoena for a copy of opinions of the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). OLC opinions interpret the law for executive branch agencies. Controversially, they have been used to sanction official departures from existing legal norms in domestic surveillance, prisoner interrogation, and other areas. They have also frequently been withheld from most members of Congress (though they have reportedly been provided to the intelligence committees in many cases).

Internal DHS Documents Detail Expansion of Power to Read and Copy Travelers' Papers --Quiet Changes in Policy Allow For Searches Without Suspicion of Wrongdoing 23 Sep 2008 Recently obtained documents show that last year the Department of Homeland Security quietly reversed a two-decades-old policy that restricted customs agents from reading and copying the personal papers carried by travelers, including U.S. citizens. The documents were made public today by the Asian Law Caucus (ALC) and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which sued the government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain policies governing the searches and questioning of travelers at the nation’s borders.

Pharma-terrorists pushing deadly vaccines: Health officials urge more Americans than ever to get flu shots --Health Experts Urge More School-Age Children Get Vaccine 24 Sep 2008 More Americans than ever before are being urged to get their annual flu vaccination. A panel of [bought] leading health experts gathered Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C., to endorse the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest recommendation that all children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years receive a flu shot.

Bailout bill, once 3 pages, swells in length A week ago, it totaled just three pages -- the White House's request for $700 billion to rescue tottering financial institutions by buying their devalued mortgage-related assets. By Monday, after an intense weekend of negotiations, the draft of the bailout legislation before Congress had swelled to 42 pages.

John McCain 'undermining' bail-out to lift campaign --Democrats accuse candidate of meddling --Congressional consensus dissipates after summit 26 Sep 2008 John McCain last night was accused of sabotaging the Wall Street bail-out with theatrics that reduced America's credit crisis to a showcase for his presidential leadership capabilities. The furious words for the Republican candidate came from Democrats came after a contentious meeting at the White House between George Bush and congressional leaders meant to seal a deal on a $700bn 'rescue' package.

WaMu becomes biggest bank to fail in US history 26 Sep 2008 As the debate over a $700 billion bank bailout rages on in Washington, one of the nation's largest banks -- Washington Mutual Inc. -- has collapsed under the weight of its enormous bad bets on the mortgage market. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized WaMu on Thursday, and then sold the thrift's banking assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $1.9 billion.

Fed keeps banks afloat as money market crisis deepens 25 Sep 2008 U.S. banks and money managers borrowed a record amount from the Federal Reserve in the latest week, nearly $188 billion a day on average, showing the central bank went to extremes to keep the banking system afloat amid the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

61 Nobel laureates endorse Obama --"Instead of shutting scientific knowledge out of the White House, Senator Obama will engage top scientists." 25 Sep 2008 Barack Obama's campaign today laid out a detailed science policy, including a commitment to double funding for major science agencies over the next decade. The campaign also announced that 61 Nobel laureates are endorsing Obama. Calling the Bush Administration's science policy "disastrous," MIT professor and Nobel laureate Robert Horvitz joined a conference call to speak in support of Obama's science policy... In a letter of endorsement, the Nobel laureates wrote that visionary science and technology policy would be essential to maintain US competitiveness.

New voting glitches raise concerns in Florida --Palm Beach problems have officials worried about potential repeat of 2000 24 Sep 2008 With 41 days to go before the presidential election, election officials and political operatives in this heavily populated Florida county [Palm Beach] are worried about a repeat performance of the chaos that clouded the outcome of the 2000 presidential race GOP coup.

Sen. Kennedy taken to hospital from Cape Cod home 26 Sep 2008 Sen. Edward Kennedy, who is being treated for brain cancer, has been taken to a hospital near his Cape Cod vacation home after complaining of feeling ill. Barnstable police Sgt. Ben Baxter says a 911 call from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port came about 5 p.m. Friday. Baxter says Kennedy was taken by ambulance to Cape Cod Hospital.

Palin, polar bears, Shell Oil and The Nature Conservancy By Christine MacDonald 26 Sep 2008 What do Shell Oil, Sarah Palin and The Nature Conservancy have in common? They’ve all sold out the polar bear. Republican vice presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin staunchly opposed listing the polar bear as an endangered species, arguing that the federal designation could hurt drilling such as Shell’s plans to extract oil from the Chukchi Sea, where polar bears have lived for millennia. The Nature Conservancy... has taken millions of dollars from Shell. And, the environmental group has chosen to remain on the sidelines of the debate despite concerns that the offshore drilling will diminish the polar bear’s chances of survival.

Tropical Storm Kyle heads towards northeastern US, Canada 26 Sep 2008 Tropical Storm Kyle could strike the northeastern US coast and Canada as a hurricane by Monday, according to National Hurricane Center forecasts on Friday. The storm packed winds of 95 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour), the Miami-based center said.

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Guantanamo Bay prosecutor quits over ethical issues 26 Sep 2008 A US military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay has resigned over ethical disputes with his superiors, claiming they suppressed evidence that could help clear a young Afghan prisoner of alleged war crimes. The prosecutor, Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld, described the disagreements in a statement supporting a defence plea to dismiss the charges against Mohammed Jawad. "Potentially exculpatory evidence has not been provided," Lieutenant Colonel Vandeveld wrote, citing failure by the "prosecutors and officers of the court". The disclosure triggered new attacks on the integrity of the US military tribunal system, which has faced accusations from other insiders of ethical breaches and political interference.

'The prosecutor's office withheld exculpatory evidence.' Report: Guantanamo prosecutor quits, alleging evidence withheld from detainee 24 Sep 2008 AP: A military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay has resigned because his office withheld exculpatory evidence against an Afghan detainee, the prisoner's lawyers say. The attorneys for Mohammed Jawad say the prosecutor, Army Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, backs their bid to get charges dismissed against Jawad, who is accused of throwing a grenade [when he was age 16 or 17] that injured two U.S. soldiers. Michael Berrigan, the tribunals' deputy chief defense counsel, said today that Vandeveld told them the prosecutor's office was refusing to hand over the evidence.

Israel asked US for green light to bomb nuclear sites in Iran --US president told Israeli prime minister he would not back attack on Iran, senior European diplomatic sources tell Guardian 25 Sep 2008 Israel gave serious thought this spring to launching a military strike on Iran's nuclear sites but was told by President [sic] George W Bush that he would not support it and did not expect to revise that view for the rest of his presidency, senior European diplomatic sources have told the Guardian. The then prime minister, Ehud Olmert, used the occasion of Bush's trip to Israel for the 60th anniversary of the state's founding to raise the issue in a one-on-one meeting on May 14, the sources said.

U.S. warns of punitive measures against Russia 25 Sep 2008 Russia will face a "very strong reaction" from Washington and others if it does not meet an October 10 deadline to withdraw troops from "security zones" around Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday. [October 10? Could be a candidate for the 'October Surprise' as Palin/McInsane continue to tank in the polls.]

Pakistan Fires at U.S. Helicopters on Afghan Border 25 Sep 2008 Pakistan fired warning shots on two U.S. helicopters that it said crossed into the country's airspace from Afghanistan, two weeks after the nation's army chief said cross-border incursions wouldn't be tolerated. The Pentagon and NATO denied the aircraft flew into Pakistan.

Iraq: Massacre North-East of Baghdad, 35 Dead 26 Sep 2008 The balance of yesterday's attack north-east of Baghdad has worsened, arriving at 35 dead. The attack was carried out by a group of fighters probably belonging to the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] reported Naif Abdullah, mayor of the village of al Doulamait, the location that served as theatre to the assault, one of the worst to have taken place against government forces.

US military detains 22 in Iraq 26 Sep 2008 US and Iraqi troops have detained 22 suspected 'insurgents' in a Sunni village in northern Iraq, the military says, two days after American soldiers accidentally killed the leader of a US-allied group in the area.

SAIC Awarded $49 Million Contract by U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory - Directed Energy Directorate --Company to Support High Energy Research and Applications for the High Power Microwave Division 25 Sep 2008 Science Applications International Corporation today announced it has been awarded a prime contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate, High Power Microwave (HPM) Division, to support high energy research and applications. This indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract has a six year period of performance and a total contract value of $49 million.

Alleged 9/11 architect: Terror trial an 'inquisition' 24 Sep 2008 Marine Corps judge declines to recuse himself from the 9/11 mass murder trial despite argument from alleged al Qaeda kingpin that Guantánamo military commissions are an 'inquisition.' 'Confessed' 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed called his military commission an "inquisition" Wednesday in a failed effort to get his Marine Corps judge to stop presiding at the 9/11 mass murder trial.

Tony Blair's friends were potential targets of terror cell, court hears 25 Sep 2008 An alleged 'al-Qaeda' terrorist cell with an invisible ink code book had researched targets including the former Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon and friends of ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair, a court has heard. Habib Ahmed had allegedly downloaded a document called "a study of assassination" and looked at grenades and how to manufacture homemade bombs.

Taser Use in Man's Death Broke Rules, Police Say 26 Sep 2008 The firing of a Taser stun gun that led a man to fall from a building ledge to his death on Wednesday in Brooklyn appeared to have violated departmental guidelines, the police said on Thursday. The department said in a statement issued by the chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, that according to policy, a Taser should not be used when a person could fall from an elevated surface.

McCain Suspends Campaign, Returns to DC Because "They Need a Senator Who Knows Nothing About the Economy to Fix the Financial Crisis" Satire by R J Shulman 25 Sep 2008 John McCain announced that he will not participate in Friday's scheduled debate with Barack Obama and that he is suspending his campaign until there is a fix to the financial crisis gripping Wall Street. "I'm putting my country first by going back to Washington to whip the economy back into shape," McCain said. "While Obama is being political and selfish by choosing to waste America's time with a frivolous debate about where the candidates stand on the issues, I will be in Washington with my sleeves rolled up, fighting the economy until we win, even if it takes one hundred years."

Palin may also suspend campaign 24 Sep 2008 John McCain's campaign has floated the possibility that Sarah Palin may also suspend her campaign, matching McCain’s announcement that he would cease campaigning for president to return to Washington to try to hammer out a fix for foment the nation’s financial meltdown. As the governor of Alaska, Palin cannot participate in the high-level federal government deliberations on the economy that McCain gave as his reason for suspending his campaign. Yet, after McCain’s dramatic announcement, his campaign chief Steve Schmidt suggested Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, would also suspend her campaign.

Obama camp: McCain's 'stunt' 25 Sep 2008 Obama's camp, after sniping at McCain's "suspension," dismisses it this evening as a stunt in a memo to the press: So make no mistake: John McCain did not "suspend" his campaign. He just turned a national crisis into an occasion to promote his campaign. It’s become just another political stunt, aimed more at shoring up the Senator’s political fortunes than the nation’s economy. And it does nothing to help advance this critical legislation to protect the American people during this time of economic crisis.

Bailout deal stalls as GOP lawmakers revolt 25 Sep 2008 A Republican revolt stalled urgent efforts to lash together a national economic rescue plan Thursday, a chaotic turnaround on a day that had seemed headed for a success that President [sic] Bush, both political parties and their presidential candidates could celebrate at an extraordinary White House meeting. Weary congressional negotiators worked into the night, joined by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in an effort to revive or rework the $700 billion proposal that President Bush said must be quickly approved by Congress to stave off potentially "a long and deep [Bush] recession."

Bailout Could Deepen Crisis, CBO Chief Says --Asset Sales May Lead to Write-Downs, Insolvencies, Orszag Tells Congress 25 Sep 2008 The director of the Congressional Budget Office said yesterday that the proposed Wall Street bailout could actually worsen the current financial crisis. During testimony before the House Budget Committee, Peter R. Orszag -- Congress's top bookkeeper -- said the bailout could expose the way companies are stowing toxic assets on their books, leading to greater problems. "Ironically, the intervention could even trigger additional failures of large institutions, because some institutions may be carrying troubled assets on their books at inflated values," Orszag said in his testimony. "Establishing clearer prices might reveal those institutions to be insolvent."

Paulson Seeks Mortgage Value That Eluded Bear, Lehman 24 Sep 2008 U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's bailout plan hinges on answering the question that has vexed global markets for more than a year and sunk two securities firms: What's a bad mortgage worth? Pay too much for hard-to-value mortgage debt held by banks and recouping taxpayers' $700 billion investment becomes less likely, Merrill Lynch & Co. analysts led by Akiva Dickstein wrote in a Sept. 22 report. Pay too little and the banks may either refuse to sell or be forced to hoard cash to make up for losses, the analysts said. "This pricing thing is the 800-pound gorilla, the absolute core of the whole plan,'' said Bert Ely, a banking industry consultant in Alexandria, Virginia.

Constituents Make Their Bailout Views Known 25 Sep 2008 Americans' anger is in full bloom, jumping off the screen in capital letters and exclamation points, in the e-mail in-boxes of elected representatives in the nation’s capital. "I am hoping Congress can find the backbone to stand on their feet and not their knees before BIG BUSINESS," one correspondent wrote to Representative Jim McDermott (D) of Washington. Around the country, Republican and Democratic voters are rising up in outright opposition to the White House plan or, at the very least, to express concern that it is being pushed through Congress in haste. [Rise higher.]

Republican government-bashers line up for federal aid By Helen Thomas 24 Sep 2008 What has happened to those conservative Republican leaders whose mantra was "government is the problem -- not the solution"? Tell that to the once-bloated financial giants now standing in line for whopping government handouts to the tune of $700 billion. And who can forget those who wanted to "get the government off our backs"? Their silence now is deafening.

McCain plummeting in the polls, so: President Issues Warning to Americans 25 Sep 2008 President [sic] Bush appealed to the nation Wednesday night to support a $700 billion plan to avert a widespread financial meltdown, and signaled that he is willing to accept tougher controls over how the money is spent. On Capitol Hill, delicate negotiations between Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Congressional leaders were complicated by resistance from rank-and-file lawmakers, who were fielding torrents of complaints from constituents furious that their tax money was going to be spent to clean up a mess created by high-paid financial executives.

Bush: 'Our Entire Economy Is in Danger' [Thanks to him.] 24 Sep 2008 President [sic] Bush urges nation to support proposed $700B [corporate] bailout explains how nation reached this point. [Um, we 'reached this point' the day Bush took (literally, *took*) office.]

Bush: U.S. in midst of serious financial crisis 24 Sep 2008 President [sic] George W. Bush on Wednesday said the United States was in a serious financial crisis as he tried to convince Americans to support a $700 billion financial [Wall Street] rescue plan. "We are in the midst of a serious financial crisis and the federal government is responding with decisive action," Bush said in a televised national address.

China banks told to halt lending to US banks-SCMP 24 Sep 2008 Chinese regulators have told domestic banks to stop interbank lending to U.S. financial institutions to prevent possible losses during the financial crisis, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday. The Hong Kong newspaper cited unidentified industry sources as saying the instruction from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) applied to interbank lending of all currencies to U.S. banks but not to banks from other countries.

Palin won't reveal her finances until after debate 25 Sep 2008 Sarah Palin requested and received an extension of the deadline for revealing her personal finances, until the day after her only debate with Democrat Joe Biden. The Republican vice presidential candidate received a four-day extension Thursday from the Federal Election Commission. The federal financial disclosure report was initially due next Monday. Now, Palin has until Oct. 3, the day after her debate in St. Louis with Biden.

Palin once blessed to be free from 'witchcraft' 25 Sep 2008 A YouTube video surfaced Wednesday showing Sarah Palin being blessed in her hometown church three years ago by a Kenyan pastor who prayed for protection from "witchcraft" as she prepared to seek higher office. The video shows Palin standing before Bishop Thomas Muthee in the pulpit of the Wasilla Assembly of God church, holding her hands open as he asked Jesus Christ to keep her safe from "every form of witchcraft."

Ex-Bush Aides Help Steer McCain's Campaign --A Lot of Old Bush Hands Have Joined Republican Nominee In Recent Months 22 Sep 2008 From Mark Wallace, a Bush appointee to the United Nations, to Tucker Eskew, who ran strategic communications for the Bush White House, to Greg Jenkins, who served as the deputy assistant to Bush in his first term and was executive director of the 2004 inauguration, Sarah Palin was surrounded on the trip home by operatives deeply rooted in the Bush administration. The clutch of Bush veterans helping to coach Palin reflects a larger reality about Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign: Far from being a group of outsiders to the Republican Party power structure, it is now run largely by skilled operatives who learned their crafts in successive Bush campaigns and various jobs across the Bush government over the past eight years.

McCain-Palin Campaign Increasingly Staffed by Bush Administration Officials 22 Sep 2008 Even as the McCain-Palin campaign seeks to distance itself from the Bush administration, at least half a dozen former Bush operatives are now advising McCain-Palin... One Republican said anonymously, "If the McCain campaign is trying to prop up Palin as its change agent, and its inoculation against the 'third Bush term' rap, then why on earth is she surrounded by a cast of Bush advisors?"

Prosecutors detail Stevens's 'scheme' to hide gifts 25 Sep 2008 Sen. Ted Stevens devised a meticulous scheme to hide from the public hundreds of thousands of dollars of gifts even though he knew he was violating the law, government prosecutors alleged in federal court Thursday. In the opening arguments of the Alaska Republican’s highly anticipated criminal case, Brenda Morris of the Justice Department detailed more than $250,000 of gifts that Stevens received from the oil-services firm Veco Corp., and said the senator "knowingly and willfully" refused to disclose them on the Senate’s annual financial disclosure forms.

Election officials telling college students they can't vote 24 Sep 2008 Colorado Democrats accused a Republican county clerk Wednesday of falsely informing Colorado College that students from outside the state could not register to vote if their parents claimed them as a dependent on their tax returns. At a news conference in Colorado Springs, Democrats also criticized Robert Balink, the El Paso County clerk and recorder, who was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, for taking other steps they said would dampen voting by college students, who are expected to heavily favor Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Was the 2004 Election Stolen? The Charts --Infographic by Kevin Hand

Scientists warn US Congress of cancer risk for mobile phone use 26 Sep 2008 The potential link between mobile telephones and brain cancer could be similar to the link between lung cancer and smoking -- something tobacco companies took 50 years to recognize, according to US scientists' warning. Scientists are currently split on the level of danger the biological effects of the magnetic field emitted by cellular telephones poses to humans.

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U.S. funds sent from Iraq to al-Qaeda - source [Right, our tax dollars go to either al-Qaeda or Bush's Wall Street CEOs - six of one, half-dozen of another.] 23 Sep 2008 A former Iraqi investigator said more then $US13 billion of the money allocated for reconstruction projects in Iraq was wasted or stolen, with some of it ending up in al-Qaeda’s coffers. Salam Adhoob, a former chief investigator for Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, which U.S. officials call Iraq’s equivalent of the FBI, reported to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. He said many of the projects funded by the U.S. 'were not needed, and many were never built' like an electricity project in Nineveh province that an oversight agency found 'existed only on paper', reports the Washington Post. Embezzlement schemes were widely used for arms procurement, according to Adhoob.

House clears huge defense bill, sends it to Senate 24 Sep 2008 Bowing to President [sic] Bush's demands, the House passed a mammoth package for the Pentagon on Wednesday that contains billions of dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a pay raise for troops. The 392-39 vote sent the $612 billion defense authorization bill to the Senate, which was expected to clear it this week.

20 killed in Iraq ambush 24 Sep 2008 At least 20 people have been killed in Iraq after a suspected al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] ambush in Diyala province. According to the AFP news agency the raid took place at 15:30 local time (13:30 BST) in the village of Dulaimat, close to the city of Baquba which is north-east of Baghdad.

Shell, Iraq seal $4 billion gas deal 23 Sep 2008 Royal Dutch Shell has formally signed a gas joint venture with an Iraqi state-owned company estimated to be worth four billion dollars, a top government oil official said on Tuesday. The Anglo-Dutch becomes the first Western major to enter Iraq through a deal with Baghdad after nearly four decades.

UK prosecutor: Man had terrorist contact book --Information on al-Qaida operatives written in invisible ink, jury told [LOL!] 24 Sep 2008 A man accused of being an al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] member had a book filled with terrorist contact information written in invisible ink, a British prosecutor said Wednesday. Rangzieb Ahmed, 33, is charged along 28-year-old Habib Ahmed with being members of al-Qaida. The men, who are not related, deny the charges.

Official: Attacks in Afghan capital kill 6 police --Taliban claims responsibility, saying it is focusing attacks on Kabul 24 Sep 2008 A land mine planted by Taliban 'insurgents' in a police post in the Afghan capital killed three policemen on Wednesday, a police official said. The blast occurred as a group of officers were investigating the killing of three other policemen at the post in an overnight Taliban attack, he told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

U.S. blocks NATO's activities - Russian envoy 24 Sep 2008 Russia regrets that a session of the Russia-NATO council scheduled for Wednesday was cancelled by a U.S. initiative. The country's envoy to the alliance, Dmitry Rogozin, accused the U.S. of foisting its views on other NATO members. The gathering should have been Russia's opportunity to air proposals on a new concept of Euro-Atlantic security.

North Korea to restart nuclear programme 24 Sep 2008 In a major blow to international efforts to contain its development of nuclear weapons, North Korea told the International Atomic Energy Agency it would restart the Yongbyon plant next week. The country has barred United Nations inspectors from the site had removed IAEA seals and surveillance equipment, a spokesman for the UN watchdog said.

8 generals disciplined in nuke mistake 24 Sep 2008 Eight generals, ranging in rank from one to three stars, have been disciplined as a result of the mistaken shipment of fuses for nuclear warheads to Taiwan, The Associated Press has learned. Defense officials said Wednesday that the six Air Force and two Army generals were given disciplinary letters that vary in seriousness.

Obama rejects McCain debate delay 25 Sep 2008 Barack Obama, the US Democratic presidential candidate, has rejected a call from John McCain, his Republican rival, to postpone Friday's presidential debate because of the global financial crisis. Obama said on Wednesday that Americans wanted to hear from the person "who in approximately 40 days will be responsible for dealing with this mess".

McCain seeks to postpone debate --McCoward plans to return to Washington Thursday to 'deal with' economic crisis [that he helped create] 24 Sep 2008 Republican John McCain says he's directing his staff to work with Barack Obama's campaign and the debate commission to delay Friday's debate because of the [GOP-engendered] economic crisis.

McCain camp to propose postponing VP debate 24 Sep 2008 McCoward supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis. In this scenario, the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined... Graham says the McCain camp is well aware of the position of the Obama campaign and the debate commission that the debate should go on as planned -- but both he and another senior McCain adviser insist the Republican nominee will not go to the debate Friday if there's no deal on the bailout.

CNN Quick Vote: John McCain's request to delay campaigning and this week's debate is: An effort to help the economy 24% 40105; A political gimmick 71% 117802; Something else 5% 8795 Total Votes: 166702 [Poll snapshot: 20:16 24 Sep 2008]

Letterman Mocks McCain Cancellation 24 Sep 2008 David Letterman tells audience that McCain called him today to tell him he had to rush back to DC to deal with the economy. Then, in the middle of the taping, Letterman got word that McCain was, in fact, just down the street being interviewed by Katie Couric. Earlier in the show, Dave kept saying, "You don't suspend your campaign. This doesn't smell right. This isn't the way a tested hero behaves." And he joked: "I think someone's putting something in his Metamucil."

Palin says another Great Depression is possible [The 'Great Depression' takes place after Palin forces McCoward to resign - or has him 'removed' - and becomes president following Coup 2008. --LRP] 24 Sep 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Wednesday that the United States could be headed for another Great Depression if Congress doesn't act on the financial crisis.

McCain aide's firm 'accepted fees from Freddie Mac' 24 Sep 2008 A consulting firm owned by John McCain's campaign manager accepted large fees from a mortgage company at the centre of the financial crisis ripping through Wall Street, according to reports today. A firm led by Rick Davis, a long-time McCain aide and chief of the Republican candidate's day-to-day campaign, received payments totalling $500,000 between the end of 2005 and last month from Freddie Mac, according to the New York Times and others this morning. The reports appear to directly contradict comments by McCain at the weekend.

FBI investigates four Wall Street firms over sub-prime meltdown 24 Sep 2008 The FBI is investigating four Wall Street institutions at the heart of the financial crisis over their role in the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, it emerged today. Reports said preliminary investigations into potential corporate fraud at the US mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the insurer American International Group and the investment bank Lehman Brothers had been opened.

Dems seek to slash bailout as Bush readies speech 24 Sep 2008 Democrats won a key concession from the White House on the financial bailout plan Wednesday and sought to drastically slash the $700 billion size of the rescue. President [sic] Bush readied a prime-time speech in a push to persuade resistant lawmakers to back his proposal to stave off a deepening economic crisis.

Paulson and Bernanke savaged over bailout plan 24 Sep 2008 The Bush administration's plan for a $700bn bailout of financial markets was savaged by lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who demanded more time to consider the potential costs to the taxpayer and said they would insist on additional measures to punish Wall Street for excesses that have taken the economy to the edge of disaster.

Poll: Economic Fears Give Obama a Clear Lead 24 Sep 2008 Turmoil in the financial industry and growing pessimism about the economy have altered the shape of the presidential race, giving Democratic nominee Barack Obama the first clear lead of the general-election campaign over Republican John McCain, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll.

Obama up nine on McCain in new poll 24 Sep 2008 Barack Obama capitalized on financial turmoil and surged to a nine point lead in a new national poll which Wednesday revealed new signs that the crisis was hurting his foe John McCain. The Democratic Senator also opened a 53 percent to 39 percent gap over McCain on who voters trust most to handle the economy in the ABC News/Washington Post survey.

Team Obama flies to the UK in pursuit of crucial votes 25 Sep 2008 Barack Obama is mounting an unprecedented push for the votes of tens of thousands of UK-based Americans, who his campaign believes could have a decisive impact on the US presidential election. The Democratic Party has been quietly deploying the full machinery of electioneering here, ranging from telephone canvassing to on-the-street campaigning by volunteers around the UK.

Likeness of Obama found hanging at Oregon university 24 Sep 2008 A likeness of Sen. Barack Obama was found hanging in the George Fox University quad early Tuesday along with graffiti aimed at minority recipients of a scholarship program, the university president told The Oregonian this morning. A custodian discovered the cutout of Obama about 7 a.m. Tuesday and removed it. The cutout was hung from a tree with fishing line near Minthorn Hall. He said the image of the African-American Democratic nominee for president was accompanied by the words, "Act Six reject."

Racist Fliers Litter New Jersey Town 23 Sep 2008 Residents in one New Jersey town are disturbed after receiving fliers over the weekend that question Barack Obama's candidacy on racial grounds. Roxbury resident Elizabeth Corsetto says a flier was left in her driveway asking, "Do You Want A Black President?" and showing a doctored photo of Obama with a long beard and turban.

Bill O'Reilly's web site hacked, attackers release personal details of users 24 Sep 2008 Bill O’Reilly’s BillOreilly.com has been compromised during the weekend, with personal details including passwords in plain text for 205 of the site’s members already leaking across Internet forums, as a response to his remarks regarding Wikileaks as a "one of those despicable, slimy, scummy websites" which recently published private information of Sarah Palin’s private email.

Sarah Palin Lover Revealed 24 Sep 2008 --The NATIONAL ENQUIRER names GOP VP Candidate Sarah Palin's secret lover! No less than three members of the man’s family including one by sworn affidavit have claimed that Sarah Palin engaged in an extramarital affair with husband Todd’s former business partner, Brad Hanson. These sources have named Hanson as Palin’s secret love, and say their affair nearly wrecked both their marriages. Hanson owned a snowmobile dealership with Palin’s husband, who immediately dissolved the partnership after he heard stories about the affair, which occurred around 1996, according to the sources. At the time, Palin was mayor of Wasilla.

Gore urges civil disobedience to stop coal plants 24 Sep 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmental crusader Al Gore urged young people on Wednesday to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction of coal plants without the ability to store carbon. The former U.S. president, whose climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Academy Award, told a philanthropic meeting in New York City that "the world has lost ground to the climate crisis."

Agency to Reconsider Taking Gray Wolves Off Endangered Species List 24 Sep 2008 The federal agency that removed the gray wolf from the endangered species list in March has changed its mind and is asking a federal judge to vacate the decision. The request, by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, follows a temporary order by Judge Donald Molloy of Federal District Court in Missoula, Mont., against the service’s decision in March to remove the wolf from the list.

Long Live the Gray Wolf (The New York Times) 24 Sep 2008 The federal Fish and Wildlife Service has rescinded an earlier decision to remove the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies from the endangered species list. The wolves need the protection, so this is wonderful news. It will be even better if it results in a secure, long-term future for the wolves instead of the threadbare state protections that have been in place since the wolf was delisted last winter... More than 100 wolves have already been needlessly killed since the ill-advised delisting.

Daily Mail publisher to innoculate staff against bird flu 24 Sep 2008 Daily Mail and General Trust is to offer staff medication as part of a group-wide plan to help them survive a devastating and potentially fatal global bird flu pandemic. Each member of staff across DMGT and their close friends and family are to be offered doses of Tamiflu, the [deadly] antiviral drug, as part of its Pandemic Influenza Management Scheme.

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Ambassador blames US for hotel bombing 23 Sep 2008 Pakistan's ambassador to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, has blamed recent US raids inside Pakistani territory for Saturday's hotel blast in Islamabad. He said 60 people in the hotel had died because US raids in Pakistan, which were aimed at eliminating suspected terrorists, had instead killed innocent civilians. He argued that the Bush administration's decision to allow cross-border incursions from Afghanistan into Pakistan had been counterproductive because they were not killing high-value targets, but instead were killing civilians.

Afghanistan Proposes Forming Border Control Force With Pakistan --Combined force should be "able to operate on both sides of the border" 23 Sep 2008 Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said his government proposed forming a border control force with Pakistan and the U.S.-led coalition to combat 'insurgents' crossing the frontier.

Rogue U.S. helicopters under fire 23 Sep 2008 Pakistani troops and tribesmen opened fire on two rogue U.S. helicopters that crossed into the country from neighboring Afghanistan, intelligence officials said Monday. The helicopters could not return fire and re-entered Afghan airspace without landing, the officials said.

'Grim' Afghanistan Report to Be Kept Secret by US --"No Plans to Declassify" New National Intelligence Estimate for White House 23 Sep 2008 US intelligence analysts are putting the final touches on a secret National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Afghanistan that reportedly describes the situation as "grim", but there are "no plans to declassify" any of it before the election, according to one US official familiar with the process.

'Threat to US greatest from Tribal Areas' 24 Sep 2008 The greatest threat of terrorism against the United States comes from the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday. "If you asked me today where the greatest threat to the homeland [puke] lies, I would tell you it’s in western Pakistan," Gates told a congressional panel.

Gates: No additional U.S. troops available for Afghanistan 24 Sep 2008 At present, the United States has no additional troops available to boost military presence in Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Tuesday. Testifying before a Senate panel, he said the earliest date for forces available for deployment to Afghanistan will be spring or summer of 2009.

Taliban Expected to Launch Offensive This Winter --Intelligence Shows Taliban Plans to Launch Offensive Amid Extreme Weather 23 Sep 2008 . U.S. military officials are warning that intelligence now indicates that the Taliban-led 'insurgency' in Afghanistan plans to launch major operations this winter. While those officials publicly claim they’re prepared for a winter offensive, it would place U.S. counterinsurgency efforts in unfamiliar territory, with little precedent to guide them.

Tucson infantryman killed by bomb in Afghanistan 23 Sep 2008 Joseph F. Gonzales, an 18-year-old Army private from Tucson, was killed in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan on Saturday by an improvised explosive device, according to the Department of Defense.

BA cancels Pakistan flights indefinitely 24 Sep 2008 The British High Commission (BHC) will not entertain any more visa application as its commercial partner Gerry’s International stopped its country wide operations citing security reasons. "Our commercial partner Gerry’s International took the decision to temporarily close down its visa application centres in Pakistan after the deadly Marriott Hotel blast on September 20," BHC spokeswoman Jennifer Wilkes told Daily Times on Tuesday.

Plusieurs centaines des Français sont manifestés contre la guerre en Afghanistan. Il n'y avait rien dans les journaux télévisés. [Several hundred Frenchmen demonstrated against war in Afghanistan. There was nothing in the newspapers.] Photos of the French demonstration in Paris against the war in Afghanistan By John Mitchell 20 Sep 2008 (Herblay, France) At 14h00 place de la République in Paris, a very large number of French were together to manifest against the war in Afghanistan and especially to manifest against the vote next week for the guerre against Afghanistan. The Franco Americans were at the end of the procession and are then in the last photos. The last time we were only about a hundred, but today there were many times more.

Drone maker can't keep pace with war needs, report says 23 Sep 2008 The Pentagon's plan to put more drones in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan as a critical weapon against insurgents civilians relies on a company that government investigators and military analysts say has not met the skyrocketing demand for the aircraft. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, maker of the unmanned Predator and Reaper planes, has shown it can't keep up with the workload for its contracts, according to a Government Accountability Office report released last month.

$13 Billion in Iraq Aid Wasted Or Stolen, Ex-Investigator Says 23 Sep 2008 former Iraqi official estimated yesterday that more than $13 billion meant for reconstruction projects in Iraq was wasted or stolen through elaborate fraud schemes. Salam Adhoob, a former chief investigator for Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, told the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, that an Iraqi auditing bureau "could not properly account for" the money.

'The Department of Defense is intimidating a state environmental agency into not pursing enforcement.' States Accuse Pentagon of Threats, Retaliation --Allegations Arise in Base Cleanup Hearing 19 Sep 2008 Environmental officials from several states that have tried to force the Pentagon to clean up polluted military sites say the Defense Department has retaliated by reducing or withholding federal oversight dollars due them. A group representing state environmental officials says California, Colorado, Alabama, Ohio and about a dozen other states have been pressured by the Pentagon to back off the oversight of cleanup at polluted military sites. "In the worst-case scenarios, the Department of Defense is intimidating a state environmental agency into not pursing enforcement," said Steve Brown, executive director of the Environmental Council of States.

EPA Won't Remove Rocket Fuel From Water --Perchlorate found in at least 395 sites in 35 states --Critics Say EPA Is Protecting The Pentagon From Liability 22 Sep 2008 The Environmental Protection Agency has decided there is no need to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has fouled public water supplies around the United States. EPA reached the conclusion in a draft regulatory document not yet made public but reviewed Monday by The Associated Press.

Iran: 'American empire' nearing collapse --Ahmadinejad says 'bullying powers' trying to end peaceful nuclear program 23 Sep 2008 Iran's president accused "a few bullying powers" of trying to thwart his country's peaceful nuclear program and declared in a speech Tuesday before the U.N. General Assembly that "the American empire" is nearing collapse. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sharply attacked the United States and NATO, accusing them of acting as aggressors in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of starting those wars "in order to win votes in elections." [Well said!]

LAF officer plays down massing of 10,000 Syrian troops on border --'Ordinary maneuver' tied to 'smuggling' or 'internal affairs' 23 Sep 2008 Thousands of Syrian troops have amassed along the Lebanese border in what Damascus says is an effort to combat smuggling, Lebanese military sources said on Monday, stoking speculation and concern in Lebanon. A source in the Lebanese Army confirmed that Syrian forces had deployed in the northern region of Abbudiya, but he told The Daily Star, "There is no need to worry."

Anti-war veterans unfurl 'Arrest Bush/Cheney' banner at National Archives 23 Sep 2008 At 7:30 a.m. this morning, they climbed a nine-foot fence to occupy a 35-foot-high ledge at the National Archives. And five members of the Veterans for Peace organization have been there ever since. They say they're veterans of Vietnam and Iraq, anti-war activists, and soldiers for a cause who plan to fast for 24 hours in protest of the Bush administration. Seeking the criminal prosecution of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the organization distributed "Citizens' Arrest Warrants" to tourists waiting in line to enter the archives, which houses the key documents of U.S. history: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

US judge 'reluctantly' delays Guantanamo appeals 23 Sep 2008 A US judge "reluctantly" agreed to request from Washington to delay appeals brought by some 250 Guantanamo prisoners challenging the legality of their detention. Monday's decision came as four accused 9/11 conspirators, including confessed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, appeared for a second preliminary hearing at the US Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Senate Hearing on Judge Nominees Collapses in Disarray Over DOJ 'Torture' Memos 22 Sep 2008 What was to be a Senate Judiciary Committee consensus approval of five district court judge nominees and the nominee for solicitor general collapsed in disarray Thursday in a fight for disclosure of interrogation memos from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. Committee chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., sought committee consent to seek subpoenas of purported torture memo material and opinions from the OLC, which provides legal advice to the White House and executive branch agencies. But when Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., objected and asked for the request to be put over a week, just one day before the Senate recesses, Leahy responded by also delaying for a week the vote on all five judicial nominees, as well as a vote on Gregory G. Garre as solicitor general.

Palin bans reporters from meetings with leaders 23 Sep 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has not held a press conference in nearly four weeks of campaigning, on Tuesday banned reporters from her first meetings with world leaders, allowing access only to photographers and a television crew. CNN, which was providing the television coverage for news organizations, decided to pull its TV crew, effectively denying Palin the high visibility she had sought.

Palin in the City By Michael Cooper 23 Sep 2008 Media Rebellion: Live from New York, it’s Gov. Sarah Palin’s top-secret foreign policy tutorial! But the McCain-Palin campaign's sharp limitations on coverage of the meetings have sparked a mini-revolt – and a threatened boycott -- among the press corps. The campaign plans to bar print reporters from the meetings, and to limit coverage to brief photo-ops for a still photographer and a television camera. The television stations, though, are objecting, noting that they have a policy of not sending cameras to cover events without a producer, who provided editorial guidance. A stand-off has ensued, with the networks threatening not to send cameras.

FBI probing bailout firms --Investigators start search for fraud at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG, sources say. 23 Sep 2008 The FBI is investigating four major U.S. financial institutions whose collapse helped trigger a $700 billion bailout plan by the Bush regime. Two law enforcement officials said Tuesday the FBI is looking at potential fraud by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and insurer American International Group Inc.

House GOP rises up against Cheney 23 Sep 2008 The vice president [sic] traveled to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to silence a chorus of GOP complaints about Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s $700 billion ] plan. But House Republicans who walked into a closed-door meeting with Cheney steaming over the plan walked out just as angry, and they described what happened in between as both "a bloodbath" and "an unmitigated disaster." Texas Rep. Joe Barton took the unusual step of telling reporters gathered outside the Cannon Caucus Room that he had confronted Cheney "respectfully" about his concerns -- a level of dissent Republicans once considered heresy under the Bush administration.

McCain Aide's Firm Was Paid by Freddie Mac 24 Sep 2008 One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement. The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years. Mr. Davis’s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the people said.

Loan Titans Paid McCain Adviser Nearly $2 Million 22 Sep 2008 Senator John McCain’s campaign manager [Rick Davis] was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say.

'We should not be rolled by our Wall Street exec who is masquerading as secretary of the Treasury.' Oregon Rep. DeFazio blasts Bush bailout plan 23 Sep 2008 Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio (D) blasted the Bush administration's plan for a $700 billion financial bailout Monday as a giveaway to Wall Street. DeFazio said the plan would benefit the same executives who created the financial mess in the first place. "If we pass this bill as they proposed it, we'll do an incredible disservice to the American people," DeFazio said in a fiery speech on the House floor. "What if it doesn't work? You have the execs come out whole and they scoot the money offshore. What's the next step?"

Congress Nears Historic Vote on $700 Billion Bailout Plan for Wall Street 22 Sep 2008 House Democrat Peter DeFazio of Oregon had harsh words for the rescue plan corporate welfare from the House floor, raising the specter of the 2002 election-eve vote on use of military force, which gave congressional approval for the war in Iraq. Talking about the unprecedented bailout, he called it "sort of an immediate authorization for use of financial force." DeFazio took a shot at Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. "He is of, by, for, and about Wall Street," the lawmaker said. DeFazio said in a single year, Wall Street bonuses exceeded $60 billion and added: "These people are out of control. They don't understand the real world. For them to talk about Main Street, and that they care about Main Street and student loans and homeowners' equity, is a bunch of B.S. We are the last bulwark here, the House of Representatives and the Senate," he concluded. "If this bill were to pass as proposed, we'll do an incredible disservice to the American people."

Newt Gingrich: Kill the Paulson Plan. Hard. By James Pethokoukis 23 Sep 2008 I just got back from a Newt Gingrich press conference where I had a nice back-and-forth dialogue with the former Speaker of the House about the Paulson Plan, which he totally hates. A few quotes and Gingrichian observations: 1) He called it a "stupid plan" that looks like it had been designed by autocrat Vladimir Putin. He also said it will be a "nightmare" to implement and full of corruption. 2) He said the Paulson Plan would be a "dead loser" on Election Day that will "break against anyone who votes for it."

Cash for Trash By Paul Krugman 22 Sep 2008 Some skeptics are calling Henry Paulson’s $700 billion rescue plan for the U.S. financial system "cash for trash." Others are calling the proposed legislation the Authorization for Use of Financial Force, after the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the infamous bill that gave the Bush administration the green light to invade Iraq.

Homeland Security Tests Security System That Reads Minds [Well, I guess they can't test it on Bush.] 23 Sep 2008 Homeland Security is now testing the next generation of security screening -- a body scanner that can read your mind. Most preventive screening looks for explosives or metals that pose a threat. But a new system called MALINTENT turns the old school approach on its head. This Orwellian-sounding machine detects the person -- not the device -- set to wreak havoc and terror. MALINTENT, the brainchild of the cutting-edge Human Factors division in Homeland Security's directorate for Science and Technology, searches your body for non-verbal cues that predict whether you mean harm to your fellow passengers.

FBI searches apartment in Palin hacking case 22 Sep 2008 The FBI searched the residence of the son of a Democratic state lawmaker in Tennessee over the weekend looking for evidence linking the young man to the hacking of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Monday. David Kernell, 20, has not returned repeated phone calls or e-mails from the AP since last week.

Democrats to Let Offshore Drilling Ban Expire 23 Sep 2008 House DemocRATs will allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week. Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey is telling reporters that language continuing the moratorium will be omitted this year from a spending bill to keep the government in operating funds after Congress recesses for the election.

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'We have entered an era of persistent conflict.' US generals planning for resource wars By Tom Clonan 22 Sep 2008 Under the auspices of the US department of defence and department of the army, the US military have just published a document entitled 2008 Army Modernization Strategy which makes for interesting reading against the current backdrop of deteriorating international fiscal, environmental, energy resource and security crises. The 2008 modernisation strategy, written by Lieut Gen Stephen Speakes, deputy chief of staff of the US army, contains the first explicit and official acknowledgement that the US military is dangerously overstretched internationally. It states simply: "The army is engaged in the third-longest war in our nation's history and . . . the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) has caused the army to become out of balance with the demand for forces exceeding the sustainable supply." Against this backdrop, the 90 page document sets out the future of international conflict for the next 30 to 40 years - as the US military sees it - and outlines the manner in which the military will sustain its current operations and prepare and "transform" itself for future "persistent" warfare. In its preamble, it predicts a post cold war future of "perpetual warfare".

Iraq, Royal Dutch Shell to ink gas deal 23 Sep 2008 Iraq and Royal Dutch Shell PLC on Monday will formally launch plans to invest in a joint venture to tap natural gas in southern Iraq, a government spokesman said. Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani will sign the deal with executives from the Anglo-Dutch company at the Cabinet’s offices in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, his spokesman said.

'We are ready to establish a presence.' Shell Sets Up First Iraq Office Since the 1970's 23 Sep 2008 Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, completed a multibillion-dollar natural gas deal with the Iraq government on Monday and quietly mentioned that it had established an office in Baghdad -- the first foreign petroleum giant to do so since this country’s oil industry was nationalized three decades ago.

No cut in Iraq troop levels expected, general says 22 Sep 2008 Violence is falling in Iraq's Anbar province, one of the top U.S. commanders in the country [Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin] said Monday, but that will not mean a significant reduction in U.S. troops any time soon.

Iraq: US soldier killed in Baghdad 22 Sep 2008 The U.S. military says an American soldier has been killed in an attack on his patrol in Baghdad. The military says in a statement that the attack happened at about 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Iraq blast kills five children 22 Sep 2008 A bomb blast near the main northern Iraqi city of Mosul killed five children and wounded three as they were playing near their homes on Monday, police and a doctor told AFP. The bombers struck at around 6:30 pm (1530 GMT) in the town of Hammam al-Ali, 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Mosul, police officer Mohammed Sadeeq said.

Court: US govt can't block detainee photos release 22 Sep 2008 The United States cannot conceal pictures of abusive treatment of prisoners by its soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan by saying their release might cause enemies to hurt someone, a federal appeals court said Monday in ordering the release of 21 photographs. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a 2006 ruling by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ordering the release of the pictures to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Iraqi detainees languish in clogged justice system 22 Sep 2008 Just five minutes. That's what Iraqi soldiers said they needed when they took Ahmed-Hussein Juma in for questioning in February 2007. "And now here we are, 1 1/2 years later," Juma said with a hopeless laugh last month as he stood in a holding cage, metal handcuffs on his wrists and a prison number stitched crookedly on his green jumpsuit. Dozens of other men sat on benches at Baghdad's Rusafa detention center, all waiting to visit a new U.S.-funded legal aid clinic that American officials hope will help clear the backlog of prisoners lost in Iraq's severely overloaded prison system.

Little-known Islamic group claims Pakistan attack 23 Sep 2008 A little known Islamic group [CIA] claimed responsibility for Saturday's suicide attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad which killed 53, Al Arabiya television reported on Monday. The group calling itself Fedayeen Islam (Partisans of Islam) demanded the closure of U.S. and NATO military bases in the region and the U.S. embassy in Pakistan, and an end to U.S. attacks against tribal areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistan leaders in narrow escape 23 Sep 2008 Pakistan's top political and military leadership, including the newly elected President and Prime Minister, came close to being killed in the al-Qa'ida suicide bomb attack on Islamabad's Marriott hotel. Interior Ministry boss Rehman Malik said last night that President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and army commander Ashfaq Kayani were scheduled to be at a dinner in the hotel when the 600kg bomb went off on Saturday night, killing at least 53 people. While Dr Rehman did not say why the Marriott dinner was cancelled, it is believed that intelligence services got wind of a possible terror strike and advised that the venue should be changed. [Right, they got a warning and changed their plans, just as the FBI advised John Ashcroft to 'stay off commercial aircraft' prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks--an even bigger inside job.]

JI links Marriott blast to Delhi bombings 22 Sep 2008 Jamaat-e-Islami has linked Saturday's suicide attack at the Marriott Hotel to the terror bombings in New Delhi exactly a week ago, saying there may be "one force" behind the attacks in both countries, reported Mid Day, an Indian newspaper. "There can be one force behind blasts in New Delhi and the blast in Islamabad," Jamaat-e-Islami deputy chief Liaqat Baloch told IANS, adding that a foreign hand cannot be ruled out. The Marriott blast took place in the high-security Red Zone of the federal capital and there must have been a very well organized group behind it [such as the one in Langley, Virginia], he maintained. Lashkar-e-Taiba denies role in India blasts: A Pakistan-based Islamist militant group said Sunday it was not involved in a series of orchestrated bombings across India, angrily denying allegations by investigators. [See: What Was Mysterious Activity In Marriott Hotel Islamabad by U. S. Marines? 21 Sep 2008.]

Pakistani Troops Fire on Intruding U.S. Choppers 22 Sep 2008 Pakistani troops fired on two U.S. helicopters that intruded into invaded Pakistani territory on Sunday night, forcing them to turn back to Afghanistan, a senior Pakistani security official said on Monday. The helicopters violated the border in the area of Lowara Mandi, 80 km west of Miranshah at around 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Pakistan troops 'to stop US raids' 17 Sep 2008 Pakistan's army said its forces have orders to open fire if US troops launch another raid across the Afghan border, raising the stakes in a dispute over how to tackle militants hiding in Pakistan's wild border zone. "No country in the world can allow ground troops -- enemy or otherwise -- to come into its territory and carry out any unilateral action," said Ikram Sehgal, a Pakistani defence analyst. "The Americans have to back down on this." [Nope. Instead of "backing down," they blew up the Marriott to show Pakistan that the US is "needed" - which is akin to "needing" dengue fever. --LRP]

Russian navy ships head to maneuvers in Venezuela 22 Sep 2008 A Russian navy squadron set off for Venezuela Monday, an official said, in a deployment of Russian military power to the Western Hemisphere unprecedented since the Cold War. The Kremlin recently has moved to intensify contacts with Venezuela, Cuba and other Latin American nations amid increasingly strained relations with Washington after last month's war between Russia and Georgia.

Bimbo meets war criminal: Sarah Palin to meet with 7 world leaders at UN 22 Sep 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin may have little experience in foreign policy, but she's about to get a two-day crash course. The first-term Alaska governor plans to meet seven world leaders and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger [!] in New York City this week, where the U.N. General Assembly is convening.

Conservatives Try New Tack on Campuses 22 Sep 2008 Acknowledging that 20 years and millions of dollars spent loudly and bitterly attacking the liberal leanings of American campuses have failed to make much of a dent in the way undergraduates are educated, some conservatives have decided to try a new strategy. They are finding like-minded tenured professors and helping them establish academic beachheads for their 'ideas.' These initiatives... or a project at the University of Colorado here in Colorado Springs, to publish a book of classic texts, are mostly financed by conservative organizations and donors, run by conservative professors.

Constitutional battle brewing after telecom immunity invoked By Julian Sanchez 22 Sep 2008 The government has invoked the retroactive immunity provision of the recently-passed FISA Amendments Act in a motion to end the ongoing lawsuits against telecoms charged with complicity in the National Security Agency's controversial program of extrajudicial wiretapping. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is spearheading the litigation, promises to fight the immunity clause on constitutional grounds--and has given Ars Technica a sneak preview of the argument it plans to make.

Regulators review huge NYMEX oil price surge 22 Sep 2008 The U.S. regulator of futures markets said it was reviewing the historic jump in crude oil prices on Monday to assure the trading was valid. The U.S. crude oil expiring contract for October soared by $16.37 to settle at $120.92 a barrel. At one point, the contract was up by $25.45 a barrel, or 24 percent.

Oil scores biggest daily dollar price leap in history --October crude hits daily price-move limit, spurring brief halt to trading 22 Sep 2008 Crude-oil futures leaped more than $16 a barrel Monday to score their biggest one-day gain in dollar terms since 1984 -- when crude began trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude futures rallied Monday to a high of $130 a barrel -- their highest intraday level in two months -- buoyed by a steep drop in the U.S. dollar and speculation that the Bush administration's proposal to stabilize the financial sector might help revive economic growth.

Dow plunges on bailout plan fears 23 Sep 2008 A new sell-off in financial stocks sent the US stock market plunging last night, as traders fretted about the progress of the government's $700bn (£377bn) bailout plan, and badly damaged credit markets showed only a modest improvement. With numerous questions remaining over the details of the federal plan to buy troubled assets, and with continued chaotic trading among hedge funds affecting markets of all kinds, the Dow Jones plunged 3.3 per cent, erasing the gains from Friday's rally.

Big Financiers Start Lobbying for Wider Aid 22 Sep 2008 Even as policy makers worked on details of a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it. Financial firms were lobbying to have all manner of troubled investments covered, not just those related to mortgages. At the same time, investment firms were jockeying to oversee all the assets that Treasury plans to take off the books of financial institutions, a role that could earn them hundreds of millions of dollars a year in fees.

U.S. Treasury to Bail Out Foreign Banks 21 Sep 2008 In a change from the original proposal sent to Capitol Hill, foreign-based banks with big U.S. operations could qualify for the Treasury Department’s mortgage bailout, according to the fine print of an administration statement Saturday night. The theory, according to a participant in the negotiations, is that if the goal is to solve a liquidity crisis, it makes no sense to exclude banks that do a lot of lending in the United States. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson confirmed the change on ABC's "This Week," stating that coverage of foreign-based banks is "a distinction without a difference to the American people." [We need to show them a distinction with a difference. We need to show them *now.*]

Fury at $2.5bn bonus for Lehman's New York staff 22 Sep 2008 Up to 10,000 staff at the New York office of the bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers will share a bonus pool set aside for them that is worth $2.5bn (£1.4bn), Barclays Bank, which is buying the business, confirmed last night. The revelation sparked fury among the workers' former colleagues, Lehman's 5,000 staff based in London, who currently have no idea how long they will go on receiving even their basic salaries, let alone any bonus payments.

Goldman, Morgan to Become Bank Holding Companies 21 Sep 2008 In one of the biggest changes to Wall Street in decades, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the last two independent investment banks, will become bank holding companies, the Federal Reserve said Sunday night. The move fundamentally changes one of the mainstays of modern Wall Street.

Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama-Biden 22 Sep 2008 I’m proud to announce today that the HSLF board of directors--which is comprised of both Democrats and Republicans--has voted unanimously to endorse Barack Obama for President. The Obama-Biden ticket is the better choice on animal protection, and we urge all voters who care about the humane treatment of animals, no matter what their party affiliation, to vote for them. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has been a solid supporter of animal protection at both the state and federal levels... In his response to the HSLF questionnaire, he pledged support for nearly every animal protection bill currently pending in Congress, and said he will work with executive agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior to make their policies more humane.

The Presidential Files: Barack Obama and the Dog-acity of Hope 31 Dec 2007 Democratic Senator Barack Obama's 2006 book, "The Audacity of Hope," is a story about his dogged optimism in the future. But it's his other work of writing--this one in response to a Humane Society Legislative Fund questionnaire--that has given dogs and other animals hope in this country.

Palin's policies in Alaska weighted toward development --As the ice melts, fewer polar bears are able to survive at sea. 22 Sep 2008 Since Sarah Palin became governor in 2006, Alaska has sought to ramp up a program that encourages the shooting of wolves from aircraft in areas where they compete with human hunters for moose, caribou and deer. Federal law prohibits aerial hunting of wolves -- planes chasing wounded and terrified animals until they can't run anymore. But a loophole allows Alaska to impose "airborne predator management" across 60,000 square miles. Palin sought last year to significantly raise the number of wolves killed under the program by putting a $150 bounty on dead wolves, until a judge blocked the payments. [Will the wolves put a bounty on Sarah Palin? They could raise more than the $700 billion Bush seeks to bail out Wall Street.]

Sarah Palin: Alaska's Dead Wolf Pups Demand Justice! 22 Sep 2008 This summer, Alaska wildlife agency personnel staked out a known wolf denning site – a practice that is illegal under Alaska law – and, using helicopters, gunned down 14 adult wolves from the air. When they landed, they found 14 helpless pups in the nearby dens – infant wolves just weeks old – and methodically shot each one in the head. 28 wolves gunned down in all. This killing of 14 wolf pups disturbs even longtime hunters in Alaska. During her two years as governor, Sarah Palin proposed a $150 bounty for the severed foreleg of each killed wolf and introduced legislation to make it even easier to use aircraft to hunt wolves and bears. But it's time that Governor Palin call for a thorough investigation into the killing of these 14 wolf pups, and bring any Alaska employees who acted illegally to justice. [Sign petition!]

Hazel Blears attacks the 'horrendous' Sarah Palin 20 Sep 2008 Hazel Blears said that Sarah Palin's success in the US was due to the fact that she was seen as an "anti-politics" candidate. "Her politics are horrendous, but she's struck a chord with people - 'I'm a maverick, I'm not part of those powerful people' - and people identified with that." Gordon Brown irritated the John McCain campaign recently with the publication of an article that was interpreted as an endorsement of Barack Obama.

Dems seize on McCain's 13 cars 21 Sep 2008 Democrats eager to portray John McCain as out of touch with average Americans and as a flip-flopper seized on a report Sunday the Arizona senator and his wife, Cindy, own more than a dozen cars, including several foreign-made automobiles. A Newsweek article published on the magazine's Web Site Sunday said registration records show the McCains currently own 13 cars -- two of which are foreign-made: a Honda and a Volkswagen. That appears to contradict the Republican presidential nominee's past statements he only buys cars made in America.

Bill lets out-of-county bus firms pick up riders in Allegheny 22 Sep 2008 (PA) Port Authority of Allegheny County would run mass transit more efficiently if it faced competition from other public or private bus companies in neighboring counties, contend two Republican legislators from suburban Allegheny County.

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Bush administration seeks 'dictatorial power unreviewable by the third branch of government, the courts' 20 Sep 2008 The Bush administration asked Congress for unchecked power to buy $700 billion in bad mortgage investments from U.S. financial companies in what would be an unprecedented government intrusion into the markets. The bill would bar courts from reviewing actions taken under its authority. "It sounds like [Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson is asking to be a financial dictator, for a limited period of time,'' said historian John Steele Gordon, author... The Bush administration seeks "dictatorial power unreviewable by the third branch of government, the courts, to try to resolve the crisis,'' said Frank Razzano, a former assistant chief trial attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission now at Pepper Hamilton LLP in Washington. [See: Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1 for deployment during 'civil unrest,' 'horrific scenarios' 08 Sep 2008.]

Changes coming on nuclear training, inspection --Inspectors found several deficiencies in the nuclear security provided at the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., during a Nuclear Surety Inspection the base failed last year. 20 Sep 2008 Air Force leaders announced changes to the organization, training practices and inspection process of its nuclear enterprise following the service’s Nuclear Summit held on Sept. 18 at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. Officials reviewed the recommendations made by the Task Force on Nuclear Weapons Management on Sept. 12 in a report that ripped the Air Force’s current nuclear structure proposing the service realign all of its nuclear missions under Air Force Space Command and rename it Air Force Strategic Command.

What Was Mysterious Activity In Marriott Hotel Islamabad by U. S. Marines? 21 Sep 2008 After the Marriott Hotel blast, mysteriously, fire started at the fourth and fifth floors. It was said that this fire was the result of gas pipeline burst running through the hotel. The million dollar question is, was the gas pipeline not running through the other floors? Why did the fire erupt on the fourth and fifth floors? These questions perhaps hold the key to the mystery of why the hotel was targeted. Though it would never be confirmed, the fire on the fifth and fourth floor of the hotel broke out because those floors were housing mysterious steel boxes under the heavy guard of United States Marines and no one -- including the Pakistani security forces and the hotel security men -- were allowed to go near them. These boxes were shifted inside the hotel when Admiral Mike Mullen met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and others in Islamabad. It is said that one member of parliament, Mumtaz Alam who belongs to the PPP, the ruling party, witnessed the scene when the white truck of the US embassy arrived at the gate of Marriott Hotel and US marines unloaded the steel boxes from the trucks and shifted them to the fourth and fifth floors, without passing through them the scanners at the entrance of the hotel. When the truck was there, the entrance and exit passageways to the hotel were closed. The blast occurred at the Marriott, during that mysterious activity. [Note: Grammatical edits have been made to this summary of the Pakistan Daily article. --LRP]

Two US marines killed in Marriott blast: Pentagon 21 Sep 2008 The US Department of Defence at Pentagon has confirmed the deaths of its two marines in Marriott blast in Islamabad. According to GEO News, the Pentagon said that its two marines succumbed to injuries in the blast. The soldiers were deployed in US embassy in Islamabad.

Official: warning on terrorist attack in Islamabad received 3 days ago --Interior Advisor: Preliminary investigations showed that RDX and TNT of high intensity were used for the attack, which is used by the army --600 kg of explosives used for attack 21 Sep 2008 Pakistan's interior ministry said on Sunday that the authorities had information three days ago that terrorists would carry out a attack in the capital Islamabad. "We had information that terrorist can strike near the parliament or any other place in Islamabad," Interior Advisor to the prime minister Rehman Malik told reporters at a news conference.

Czech ambassador confirmed dead in blast 21 Sep 2008 The Czech Republic's ambassador to Pakistan [Ivo Zdarek] was killed in a deadly blast Saturday night at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, according to police.

Pakistan Bomb That Killed 53 Aimed to Destroy Hotel 21 Sep 2008 The truck bomb that killed 53 people in the Pakistani capital Islamabad yesterday tried to smash its way through the Marriott hotel's entry barricades in a bid to bring the building down, security camera footage showed.

Boxes at Marriott 'papers Cheney hasn't had time to shred' By CLG reader Patricia A. Corcoran, Dennis, MA 21 Sep 2008 I think the boxes at the Marriott Hotel were all the papers that Cheney hasn't had time to shred -- fast way to get rid of them. Fuck the courts -- everyone knows it was a liberal judge who's saying Cheney has to keep the records-- whoa -- I can hear the spinmasters now. It's comforting to know that John McCain says our economy is still strong!!! Asshole. And that statement about AIG from Palin was so unreadable -- hell my young cousins know more than that asshole. Still waiting to hear from Palin about the latest bailout. I still think these guys are going to get away with everything -- a blanket pardon by Bush on the morning of January 20, 2009, is the final 'fuck you, you stupid Americans' and now Sarah Palin is the new puppet. Fuck Todd Palin -- if I ignored a subpoena my fat ass would be in jail for contempt. I'm so sick of these people -- they make me vomit.

'They turned off the lights when they left.' Satellite images show ethnic cleanout in Iraq 19 Sep 2008 Satellite images taken at night show heavily Sunni Arab neighborhoods of Baghdad began emptying before a U.S. troop surge in 2007, graphic evidence of ethnic cleansing that preceded a drop in violence, according to a report published on Friday. "By the launch of the surge, many of the targets of conflict had either been killed or fled the country, and they turned off the lights when they left," geography professor John Agnew of the University of California Los Angeles, who led the study, said in a statement.

Iraqi brigadier, driver gunned down 21 Sep 2008 Unknown gunmen have killed an Interior Ministry brigadier in a drive-by shooting in west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, officials say. A police officer and a official said the brigadier and his driver were killed as they drove to work Sunday morning, APTN reported. Adel Abbas worked in the ministry's criminal investigation department.

Iraq gunmen kill important cleric 20 Sep 2008 Iraqi officials say gunmen have killed a cleric loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr in the southern city of Basra. Police say Sheik Oday Ali Abbas al-Ajrish was killed near his home. Al-Ajrish's brother, Mohammad al-Ajrish, is a member of the tribal council for southern Iraq.

At least eight killed in Iraq attacks 21 Sep 2008 'Insurgents' killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in a spate of attacks across Iraq on Sunday, including two suicide car bombings in two northern cities, security officials said. A bomber slammed his explosives-filled car into a checkpoint in the northern oil city of Kirkuk where a group of youngsters had gathered to be taken to a police recruitment centre, said local deputy police chief Major General Torhan Yussef.

US troops kill 8 Iraqi civilians in raid 20 Sep 2008 U.S. soldiers killed eight Iraqi civilians, including three women, during a raid Friday north of Baghdad, according to Iraqi officials and witnesses. But the U.S. military said soldiers were legitimately targeting 'al-Qaeda' in Iraq.

Gag me with a chainsaw! Republican VP candidate Palin to meet Afghanistan's Karzai 21 Sep 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate date Sarah Palin will meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai next week in New York, a McCain campaign spokesman said.

Olmert announces he will resign 21 Sep 2008 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert informed the cabinet on Sunday that he would be stepping down, just 33 months after taking office. He made no mention as to when he intends on meeting with President Shimon Peres, in order to give him his official notice of resignation. Olmert began Sunday's meeting by wishing newly-elected Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni the best of luck, and pledging her his support.

Olmert officially resigns as Israel PM 21 Sep 2008 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has announced his resignation at a weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. "I have decided to end my functions as Prime Minister of the Government of Israel," Mr Olmert told the meeting in Jerusalem, after having announced on July 30 that he would step down to battle graft allegations.

Elderly woman dies after being shoved by Israeli soldiers 21 Sep 2008 An elderly Palestinian woman has been killed during a raid at her home by the Israeli army. The army was conducting an arrest raid on Sunday and had entered the woman's home to search for students residing there. The woman, who was in her 60s, stood in their way, witnesses said. She was then shoved aside and hit her head on the pavement. The medical clinic where the woman was taken confirmed she was dead on arrival and had died of a fractured skull.

Iran launches major military parade 21 Sep 2008 The Iranian armed forces have staged a huge military parade displaying their latest defense capabilities, missiles and rocket launchers. The parade was held in the early hours of Sunday, the second day of the 'Sacred Defense Week.'

Cheney must keep records, judge orders --Judge: Bush administration's legal position "heightens the court's concern" that some records may not be preserved 20 Sep 2008 A federal judge on Saturday ordered Dick Cheney to preserve a wide range of the records from his time as vice president [sic]. The decision by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is a setback for the Bush regime in its effort to promote a narrow definition of materials that must be safeguarded under by the Presidential Records Act. The other defendants are the Executive Office of the President and the National Archives. The lawsuit stems from Cheney's position that his office is not part of the executive branch of government.

Tab for financial bailout: $700 billion --The White House submits a proposal to Congress seeking unprecedented authority with no oversight. 21 Sep 2008 Unveiling its plan to rescue the nation's financial system from near-paralysis, the Bush regime is asking Congress for the authority to spend $700 billion and for powers to intervene in the economy [he destroyed] so sweeping that they have virtually no precedent in U.S. history.

Almost Armageddon --Markets Were 500 Trades From a Meltdown 21 Sep 2008 The market was 500 trades away from Armageddon on Thursday, traders inside two large custodial banks tell The Post. Had the Treasury and Fed not quickly stepped into the fray that morning with a quick $105 billion injection of liquidity, the Dow could have collapsed to the 8,300-level - a 22 percent decline! - while the clang of the opening bell was still echoing around the cavernous exchange floor. According to traders, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, money market funds were inundated with $500 billion in sell orders prior to the opening.

In hard times, tent cities rise across the country --Since foreclosure mess, homeless advocates report rise in encampments 18 Sep 2008 From Seattle to Athens, Ga., homeless advocacy groups and city agencies are reporting the most visible rise in homeless encampments in a generation. Nearly 61 percent of local and state homeless coalitions say they've experienced a rise in homelessness since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007, according to a report by the National Coalition for the Homeless.

McCain Health-Care Article Fuels New Clash Over Economy 21 Sep 2008 The article, which appeared under John McCain's name, included a favorable reference to banking deregulation. The article was published in Contingencies magazine, which is produced under the auspices of the American Association of Actuaries. McCain wrote, "Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."

Truthiness Stages a Comeback By Frank Rich 21 Sep 2008 ...[John McCain] does have a long and relevant economic record that begins with the Keating Five scandal of 1989 and extends to this campaign, where his fiscal policies bear the fingerprints of Phil Gramm and Carly Fiorina. It’s not the résumé that a presidential candidate wants to advertise as America faces its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That’s why the main thrust of the McCain campaign has been to cover up his history of economic malpractice. McCain has largely pulled it off so far, under the guidance of Steve Schmidt, a Karl Rove protégé.

New Book Claims Palin Is Cheney In Drag By R J Shulman 21 Sep 2008 A new book claims that the Sarah Palin is nothing more than Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney all dolled up for the cameras. Scott V. DeLuca claims that the real Sara Palin has been hidden in an underground bunker near Bethel, Alaska, ever since her vice presidential nomination and that Dick Cheney has been masquerading as a "phony Sarah..." "The deeply held beliefs and the political views of Cheney and this new Palin are exactly the same - drilling, killing, hating Russia and shooting anyone in the face who gets in their way," DeLuca says. "I have a comment from a recently fired Alaska State Trooper who quotes Palin as saying that the caribou she shot was "in its final throes." "Now who does that sound like?" asked DeLuca. (Satire!)

Palin E-Mail Hacker Says It Was Easy 18 Sep 2008 A person claiming to be the hacker who obtained access to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's private Yahoo e-mail on Tuesday has posted a supposed first-person account of the hack, revealing the relatively simple steps he says he took to crack the private e-mail of the Republican vice-presidential candidate.

A third of electorate could vote before Nov. 4 21 Sep 2008 Election Day will be something of an afterthought for tens of millions of Americans -- they'll be voting well ahead of time. In fact, six weeks out from Election Day, some voters in Kentucky, South Carolina and Virginia already are done. Nationwide, about a third of the electorate is expected to vote early this year, thanks to expanded early voting provisions and fewer restrictions on absentee voting, researchers project.

NZ bird flu 'could mutate into more serious form' 20 Sep 2008 An Australian researcher says it is theoretically possible that the low-grade bird flu virus detected in wild mallard ducks in New Zealand could mutate into a more serious form of the virus.

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Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1 for deployment during 'civil unrest,' 'horrific scenarios' [The 'horrific scenario' of the 2nd American Revolution after a third stolen 'election?'] 08 Sep 2008 The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle. Now they’re training for the same mission -- with a twist -- at home. Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manBushmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks. This new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom. They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

US raid 'kills Iraqi family' 19 Sep 2008 A US air raid has killed eight members of the same family near Tikrit, according to police and witnesses said. The pre-dawn helicopter raid on Friday occurred in the village of Al-Dawr. "Eight people, including five men and three women, were killed by a US air strike targeting their home. They are all members of the same family," Firaz al-Duri, first lieutenant of Al-Dawr police said.

U.S. troop agreement with Baghdad at risk 18 Sep 2008 An agreement to extend the U.S. military mandate occupation in Iraq beyond this year -- near completion only a month ago -- has stalled over objections by Iraqi leaders and could be in danger of unraveling, according to Iraqi and U.S. officials.

Officials say gunmen kill cleric in southern Iraq 20 Sep 2008 Iraqi officials say gunmen have killed a cleric loyal to U.S. foe Muqtada al-Sadr in the southern city of Basra. Police say Sheik Oday Ali Abbas al-Ajrish was killed Friday evening near his home.

Guantanamo Trials' Overseer Reassigned --Many Angry That He Remains at All 20 Sep 2008 The Pentagon transferred a controversial senior official involved in overseeing the war-crimes [show] trials at Guantanamo Bay into a new position yesterday, a move that was anticipated after military judges in three separate cases barred Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann from further participation in various aspects of the military commissions. Defense officials, who would discuss the reassignment only on the condition of anonymity, said Hartmann's position became untenable after judges ruled that he improperly influenced prosecutors by pressing them to move to trial quickly and, over their objections, used evidence obtained from interrogations that involved coercive techniques torture.

NATO, with eye on Russia, weighs rapid-reaction force 18 Sep 2008 Seeking to reassure countries grown fearful of Russia [?], Western defense ministers will consider the creation of a rapid-response force that could be sent into nations feeling threatened by possible aggression, a senior U.S. Defense official said Thursday.

Flying Air Force Drones: Pilots No Longer Required 18 Sep 2008 This week the Air Force is declaring that future drone drivers will not have to be pilots able to fly manned aircraft. In the first eight months of 2008, Air Force drones have logged more than 80,000 hours flying nearly 4,500 missions over Afghanistan and Iraq. While most were surveillance, many involved launching missiles at 'enemy targets.'

New Al Qaeda Tape Surfaces Despite US Efforts to Block It 19 Sep 2008 Al Qaeda's annual September 11 propaganda video surfaced today, delayed eight days by a concerted US effort to block it. Intelligence sources say the US has made major strides in infiltrating [owning] the al Qaeda internet distribution network and chose to use its knowledge this year to keep the 9/ll tape from coming out immediately. [Yeah, the GOP needs it to come out closer to November 4.]

Leahy: Suspect had help in anthrax attacks 17 Sep 2008 The chairman of the of Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday he does not believe that Dr. Bruce Ivins acted alone in the deadly 2001 [Cheney] anthrax attacks. Sen. Patrick Leahy was one of the targets of the lethal anthrax-laced letters that killed five and sickened 17 in fall 2001. At a hearing in front of his committee, the Vermont Democrat told FBI Director Robert Mueller that he thinks other people must have been involved.

Vermont candidate to prosecute Bush if she wins 19 Sep 2008 Charlotte Dennett, the Progressive Party's candidate for Vermont Attorney General, said Thursday she will prosecute President [sic] Bush for murder if she's elected Nov. 4. Dennett, an attorney and investigative journalist, says Bush must be held accountable for the deaths of [hundreds of] thousands of people in Iraq -- U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians.

Bush: I've Almost Mission Accomplished the Economy By R J Shulman 19 Sep 2008 President [sic] Bush told investors today not to worry about the economy, telling them that he had the whole "money thing in the bag and under control." Bush gave the short speech at the White House rose garden instead of the speech he had originally planned to make from an air craft carrier while dressed in a fighter pilot uniform. "My fellow Americans, I am here to speechicate to you today about the economy and to tell you the money surge is working." (Satire!)

Palin to Dump McCain From GOP Ticket By R J Shulman 20 Sep 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin announced today that she has asked top GOP officials to fire John McCain as the GOP presidential candidate. "He has served his country well," Palin told a cheering overflow crowd in this southwestern Indiana city, "but he is starting to drag down my numbers, so he'll have to go. To make sure he's gone," she said, "I'll offer one hundred and fifty dollars to the first person to shoot him and bring me his cut off right hand -- just kidding. I don't need to see the hand, a faxed picture will do." (Satire!)

ABC: New Doubts Over Palin's Troopergate Claims --Internal Government Document Contradicts Sarah Palin, Campaign 19 Sep 2008 An internal government document obtained by ABC News appears to contradict Sarah Palin's most recent explanation for why she fired her public safety chief, the move which prompted the now-contested state probe into "Troopergate." Fighting back against allegations she may have fired her then-Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, for refusing to go along with a personal vendetta, Palin on Monday argued in a legal filing that she fired Monegan because he had a "rogue mentality" and was bucking her administration's directives. "The last straw," her lawyer argued, came when he planned a trip to Washington, D.C., to seek federal funds for an aggressive anti-sexual-violence program. The McCain-Palin campaign echoed the charge in a press release it distributed Monday, concurrent with Palin's legal filing. "Mr. Monegan persisted in planning to make the unauthorized lobbying trip to D.C.," the release stated. But the governor's staff authorized the trip, according to an internal travel document from the Department of Public Safety, released Friday in response to an open records request.

Sarah Palin's wasteful ways --She poses as a fiscal watchdog, but when Palin was mayor, she grabbed city funds to give her office a pricey "bordello" makeover. By David Talbot 17 Sep 2008 Sarah Palin has been touting herself as fiscal watchdog throughout her political career. But Palin's tenure as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, was characterized by waste, cronyism and incompetence, according to government officials in the Matanuska Valley, where she began her fairy-tale political rise... But [Nick] Carney, Palin's estranged former mentor, and others in city hall were astounded when they found out about a lavish expenditure of Palin's own after her 1996 election. According to Carney, the newly elected mayor spent more than $50,000 in city funds to redecorate her office, without the council's authorization.

O'Reilly Hacked for Comments about Palin Hack 19 Sep 2008 A hacker claims to have cracked the web site of Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly and purloined a list of subscribers to the site, which includes their names, e-mail addresses, city and state, and the password they use for their registration to the site. The attack was retaliation for comments that O'Reilly made on the air this week about web sites that published e-mails obtained from the Yahoo account of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, according to a press release distributed by WikiLeaks late Friday.

Bill O'Reilly hacked 2008 (WikiLeaks) 18 Sep 2008 The file provides proof that the Fox News demagogue, Bill O'Reilly, has been hacked. Wikileaks has been informed the hack was a response to the pundit's recent scurrilous attacks over the Sarah Palin's email story--including those on Wikileaks and other members of the press. Hacktivists... took control of O'Reilly's main site, BillOReilly.com. According to our source, the security protecting O'Reilly's site and subscribers was "non-existent". Although Wikileaks has only released one page, it must be assumed that Bill O'Reilly's entire subscriber list is, as of now, in the public domain.

State rep confirms that son is subject of Palin e-mail chatter 18 Sep 2008 State Rep. Mike Kernell confirmed Thursday that his son, a University of Tennessee-Knoxville student, is at the center of heated Internet discussion into the hacking of the personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Kernell, a Memphis Democrat, confirmed that it is his 20-year-old son, David, who is being widely named on Internet blogs and chatrooms in connection with an unfolding story about Palin's hacked e-mail accounts.

Sarah Palin's Contacts From Hacked Email Account --Posted by LRP 18 Sep 2008

Dumbf*ck city: McCain on U.S. economy: from 'strong' to 'total crisis' in 36 hours 17 Sep 2008 Early this week, as the American financial system absorbed one of its biggest shocks in generations, Senator John McCain said, as he had many times before, that he believed the fundamentals of the economy were "strong." Hours later he backpedaled, explaining that he had meant that American workers, whom he described as the backbone of the economy, were productive and resilient. By Tuesday he was calling the economic situation "a total crisis" and denouncing "greed" on Wall Street and in Washington. Meantime, he moved from adamant opposition to resigned acceptance of the big government bailouts.

McCain defends retirement accounts amid stock dive 19 Sep 2008 Wall Street turmoil left John McCain scrambling to explain why the fundamentals of the U.S. economy remained strong. It also left him defending his support for privately investing Social Security money in the same markets that had tanked earlier in the week.

McCain loses ground as Palin bounce shrinks amid economic turmoil 19 Sep 2008 John McCain... was confronted with strong evidence that his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, has wiped out his postconvention bounce and regained the initiative. After a week of economic turmoil and his damaging remark on Monday that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" - spoken as Lehman Brothers was declaring bankruptcy - Mr McCain aggressively sought to regain his footing.

Judge Approves Lehman, Barclays Pact 20 Sep 2008 A U.S. bankruptcy judge approved a revised version of British bank Barclays Plc's deal to purchase the core U.S. business of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Ameribank folds, twelfth closure this year 19 Sep 2008 Northfork, West Virginia-based Ameribank Inc. has been closed, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said late Friday, marking the 12th bank closure so far this year.

FDIC Failed Bank List 19 Sep 2008 The FDIC is often appointed as receiver for failed banks. This page contains useful information for the customers and vendors of these banks. This includes information on the acquiring bank (if applicable), how your accounts and loans are affected, and how vendors can file claims against the receivership.

McCain Plays the Race Card By Karen Tumulty 18 Sep 2008 When politicians interject race into a campaign, they seldom do it directly. Consider McCain's new ad, which the campaign says it will be airing nationally. This is hardly subtle: Sinister images of two black men, followed by one of a vulnerable-looking elderly white woman.

And they thought Hurricane Ike was bad. Hello, Texas! --Oops! Libertarians fight to keep Obama, McCain off Texas ballot By Mark Yannone, R. G. Ratcliffe, and Richard Dunham 19 Sep 2008 One way or another, there's going to be a weenie roast in Texas. It seems that the Republican and Democrat parties missed their 70-day filing deadlines and failed to submit their presidential nominees' names to the Texas Secretary of State for certification by August 26, as required by state law.

Another GOPedophile to NOT bite the dust: Ex-Lawmaker Won't Face Charges in Page Case 20 Sep 2008 Nearly two years after a Florida congressman abruptly resigned over sexually explicit messages he sent to a teenage House page, law enforcement authorities here have concluded there is "insufficient evidence" to charge him with breaking Florida laws. Commissioner Gerald Bailey of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who was asked in September 2006 to look into the conduct of Representative Mark Foley (R-West Palm Beach), said Friday that investigators were hampered by Mr. Foley’s refusal and that of Congress to grant them access to Congressional computer files.

Photo Ticket Cameras to Track Drivers Nationwide --Vendors plan to add spy technology to existing red light camera and speed camera installations. 16 Sep 2008 Private companies in the US are hoping to use red light cameras and speed cameras as the basis for a nationwide surveillance network similar to one that will be active next year in the UK. Redflex and American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the top two photo enforcement providers in the US, are quietly shopping new motorist tracking options to prospective state and local government clients.

Wyden, Gregoire blast feds for 'premature and troubling' LNG approval --Oregon senator and Washington governor have strong words for FERC after 4-1 vote 19 Sep 2008 U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden has sharply criticized federal authorities for the Bradwood LNG approval Thursday He said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission "approved the Bradwood project despite the fact the state of Oregon, three federal agencies, and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission all concluded that the commission had not adequately addressed the environmental impact of the project on the Columbia River and endangered fish species."

Official: Why weren't managers charged in oil-sex scandal? 18 Sep 2008 The Interior Department's watchdog criticized the Justice Department on Thursday for declining to prosecute the managers of an oil- and gas-royalty program that's been tainted by allegations of illicit sex, drug use and taking favors worth thousands of dollars. The Justice Department prosecuted two employees from the Minerals Management Service, but Inspector General Earl Devaney said he didn't know why the department's lawyers didn't act on his recommendation to prosecute two high-ranking officials who've since retired.

Street Art project highlights shared fate of polar bears, humanity --Arctic Sea Ice reaches 2008 low (Greenpeace) 18 Sep 2008 We've unveiled a collaborative art project with well-known street artist Mark Jenkins. The project highlights the shared plight of polar bears and humans in the face of global warming. We hope these polar bear street art installations help people draw a deeper and more immediate connection to the reality of the crisis.

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Soldier detained after fragging incident in Iraq --Slain officer had said, "I'm not so afraid of the enemy. I'm afraid of our young guys over there." 17 Sep 2008 A soldier was detained in Iraq after he allegedly opened fire on a superior and another unit member, killing them both, the Army said Wednesday. The soldier was subdued by other troops, and medics tried unsuccessfully to save the wounded soldiers, said Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo, commanding general at Fort Stewart in southern Georgia, where the soldiers' unit is based... Maxine Mathis, stepmother of one of the slain soldiers, Staff Sgt. Darris J. Dawson, said he told her, "Momma, I'm not so afraid of the enemy. I'm afraid of our young guys over there, because they're so jumpy and so quick to shoot."

Soldier opens fire at performance review 18 Sep 2008 A US soldier in Iraq has been detained after allegedly shooting dead a superior and another soldier [Staff Sergeant Darris Dawson and Sergeant Wesley Durbin] during a performance review. The soldier, who was not named, was subdued by other troops as medics tried to save the men, the Associated Press reported. The shooting happened in Tunnis, Iraq, on Sunday, when the soldier was called in to discuss his leadership performance, the AP said.

Psychologists pass ban on aiding in torture 18 Sep 2008 Members of the nation's premier psychologists' association will be banned from participating in interrogations at Guantanamo Bay and other military sites where international laws against torture are being violated. The vote by the American Psychological Association means its members can work at such sites only for humanitarian purposes or with non-governmental groups.

Psychologists Vote to End Interrogation Consultations 17 Sep 2008 Members of the American Psychological Association have voted to prohibit consultation in the interrogations of prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, or so-called black sites operated by the Central Intelligence Agency overseas, the association said on Wednesday. The vote, 8,792 to 6,157 in a mail-in balloting concluded Monday, may help to settle a long debate within the profession over the ethics of such work.

Sources: Charges against Blackwater guards could be dropped 17 Sep 2008 Defense attorneys for Blackwater Worldwide employees are trying to head off Justice Department charges against the company's bodyguards mercenaries who were involved in the deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians exactly one year ago. In a meeting with prosecutors Tuesday, the Blackwater guards' legal team outlined legal and factual reasons the Justice Department would lose at trial if they are indicted, three people close to the investigation said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation. Prosecutors agreed to take Blackwater's argument into consideration but did not indicate whether they would continue to pursue charges or drop the case.

US soldier gets 7-month sentence in Iraq killings [!] 18 Sep 2008 A U.S. soldier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder and was sentenced to seven months in prison Thursday in the deaths of four Iraqis, saying he stood guard from a machine-gun turret while the bound men were shot. The relatively lenient sentence for Spc. Belmor Ramos was part of a deal that will see him testify against others alleged to have been involved in the killings last year.

7 U.S. soldiers killed in helicopter crash in Iraq 18 Sep 2008 An American Chinook helicopter crashed early Thursday as it was landing in southern Iraq, killing seven U.S. soldiers, the military said. The CH-47 Chinook was landing after midnight about 60 miles west of Basra at the time of the crash, the U.S. statement said.

US wants $20bn to fund Afghanistan effort --Thousands more soldiers will head for country 19 Sep 2008 The US is seeking $20bn from its allies to help [de]stabilise Afghanistan as it plans to send thousands more of its own troops to confront the growing 'insurgency' in the country, American officials disclosed yesterday. The message of Robert Gates, the American defence secretary, was clear - the US expected countries which did not contribute troops to Afghanistan to contribute money instead. [Yeah, gotta protect those opium routes and gas pipelines.]

Ex-Cheney aide: Bush won't hit Iran 17 Sep 2008 US President [sic] George W. Bush will not attack Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program before his term ends in January, David Wurmser, a key national security adviser to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney up until last year, has told The Jerusalem Post.

Palin disinvited from Iran rally 18 Sep 2008 Sarah Palin is being disinvited from the Jewish-sponsored Iran rally, sources told JTA. The move follows two days of controversy for organizers of next Monday’s rally to protest Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations. The controversy erupted after JTA reported that Palin had accepted an invitation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to speak at the event. The news of Palin’s participation prompted Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), who had pledged several weeks earlier to speak at the rally, to announce she was withdrawing from the event.

Audit shows many missing weapons at U.S. agency 17 Sep 2008 The Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had 76 weapons and 418 laptop computers lost, stolen or go missing in a five-year period through 2007, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Big Brother and Big Bird 18 Sep 2008 When it comes to securing the homeland [puke], who better to help you sleep at night than various characters from the popular children’s show, "Sesame Street" ... ?!? Seriously. In a move that will make Bush administration detractors bring back those duct tape jokes again, the Department of Homeland Security has partnered up with the famous children’s show.

Election Day Could Be a Mess 18 Sep 2008 Faced with a surge in voter registrations leading up to Nov. 4, election officials across the country are bracing for long lines, equipment failures and confusion over polling procedures that could cost thousands the chance to cast a ballot. [I already call bullsh*t. Heads up! We're not putting up with a psychotic, dangerous, delusional predator (John McCain) and the bimbo he wants-to-screw-but-can't-so-he-made-her-his-VP (Sarah Palin). We are not tolerating a *third* GOP coup d'etat. --LRP]

McCain: Country *last.* 75 percent said they thought Mr. McCain had picked Ms. Palin more to help him win the election than because he thought that she was well qualified to be president. McCain Seen as Less Likely to Bring Change, Poll Finds --Latest poll indicates 'the Palin effect' was a limited burst of interest 18 Sep 2008 Despite an intense effort to distance himself from the way his party has done business in Washington, Senator John McCain is seen by voters as far less likely to bring change to Washington than Senator Barack Obama. He is widely viewed as a "typical Republican" who would continue or expand President [sic] Bush’s policies, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Lawyer: Todd Palin won't testify in 'Troopergate,' despite subpoena 18 Sep 2008 Todd Palin is refusing to testify in an abuse-of-power investigation into his wife, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Palin had been subpoenaed to appear Friday before Alaska lawmakers to testify as to whether Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan was fired because he refused to dismiss a state trooper who had gone through a bitter divorce with Sarah Palin's sister.

FBI on the trail of hackers after Palin's emails made public --Photos, messages and address book made public --Claims that candidate broke transparency rules 19 Sep 2008 FBI officials and secret service investigators were trying yesterday to track down hackers who broke into an email account belonging to US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Information from the account, including her emails, digital photos and online address book, was posted on the internet on Tuesday, after an unidentified individual guessed the password to the Alaska governor's personal email account. Screenshots and information were made available on the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, which defended its decision saying the hack proved Palin was violating rules on keeping public records by sending official emails through her private Yahoo account.

Web proxy firm working with FBI to trace Palin e-mail hacker --Webmaster of Ga. company says he's been asked to save server logs 18 Sep 2008 The webmaster of a proxy service called Ctunnel.com, which may have been used by a hacker to illegally access the e-mail account of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is working with law enforcement authorities to track down the person behind the break-in. Gabriel Ramuglia, the Athens, Ga.-based webmaster of Ctunnel, said today that URLs in screenshots of Palin's e-mail suggested that whoever accessed her Yahoo Mail account had used his proxy service.

AP refuses Secret Service request in Palin email leak 17 Sep 2008 Hackers broke into the Yahoo! e-mail account that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin used for official business as Alaska's governor, revealing as evidence a few inconsequential personal messages she has received since John McCain selected her as his running mate. "This is a shocking invasion of the governor's privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them," the McCain campaign said in a statement. The Secret Service contacted The Associated Press on Wednesday and asked for copies of the leaked e-mails, which circulated widely on the Internet. The AP did not comply.

Senate panel's GOP staff pried on Democrats for a year --Infiltration of files seen as extensive 22 Jan 2004 Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media, Senate officials told The Globe. From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password. The office of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle has already launched an investigation into how excerpts from 15 Democratic memos showed up in the pages of the conservative-leaning newspapers and were posted to a website last November.

GOP senator: A 'stretch' to say Palin is qualified 18 Sep 2008 Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel said his party's vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, lacks foreign policy experience and called it a "stretch" to say she's qualified to be president. "She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials," Hagel said in an interview published Thursday by the Omaha World-Herald. "You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don't know what you can say. You can't say anything." Could Palin lead the country if John McCain could not? "I think it's a stretch to, in any way, to say that she's got the experience to be president of the United States," Hagel said.

US thinktank names Palin as enemy of the environment --Centre for Biological Diversity condemned Alaska governor as a 'global warming denier' 17 Sep 2008 The Centre for Biological Diversity awarded Sarah Palin its Rubber Dodo award for her insistence - despite scientific evidence to the contrary - that the polar bear population was rising across the Arctic. The Arizona thinktank condemned the Alaska governor as a "global warming denier". "Governor Palin has waged a deceptive, dangerous, and costly battle against the polar bear," Kieran Suckling, the centre's director, said in a statement. "Her position on global warming is so extreme, she makes Dick Cheney look like an Al Gore devotee."

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Wins 2008 Rubber Dodo Award --Palin Has Sought to Remove Endangered Species Act Protection for the Polar Bear, Suppressed and Lied About State Global Warming Studies, and Denied That Global Warming Is Caused by Greenhouse Gas Emissions 17 Sep 2008 The Center for Biological Diversity today awarded Alaska Governor Sarah Palin the 2008 Rubber Dodo Award. Last year’s award, which inaugurated the prize, went to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne for setting a new record in refusing to add imperiled plants and animals to the endangered species list. This year’s award goes to Governor Palin for fighting Kempthorne’s designation of the polar bear as a threatened species.

Obama mocks McCain's call to fire SEC chair --'This is not a time for fear,' says Democratic candidate 18 Sep 2008 Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama promised new ideas Thursday to calm America's financial meltdown and help struggling families avoid mortgage foreclosure, saying "this is not a time for fear and it's not a time for panic." Obama heaped criticism and sarcasm on John McCain, his Republican rival, and mocked his call to fire the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

U.S. House passes oil anti-speculation bill 18 Sep 2008 With financial markets in turmoil, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday intended to prevent excessive speculation in oil and other futures trading despite a White House veto threat. The bill requires the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to set position limits on major oil and agricultural futures contracts and to monitor look-alike contracts traded over the counter.

Regulators, industry giants seek to curb short selling 18 Sep 2008 Gathering anger over short selling of vulnerable financial stocks exploded into the open Thursday as top market regulators and industry giants took steps to limit the practice and begin investigation into possible abuses. Britain's stock market regulator on Thursday banned short selling in financial companies and said it might extend the ban to other sectors. The move followed the Securities and Exchange Commission's curbs on the practice that went into effect Thursday morning.

Bailouts Will Push US into Depression: Manager 11 Sep 2008 The end result of the global economic slowdown may be the U.S. announcing national bankruptcy as the government cannot afford the bailouts that it promised and the market will not bail out the government, Martin Hennecke, senior manager of private clients at Tyche, told CNBC on Thursday. "We expect a depression in the United States. We expect a depression, very possibly, also in Europe," Hennecke said on "Worldwide Exchange."

Hurricane Ike destroys 49 oil platforms in Gulf 18 Sep 2008 At least 49 offshore oil platforms, all with production of less than 1,000 barrels a day, were destroyed by Hurricane Ike as it raced across the Gulf of Mexico, and some may not be rebuilt, the Interior Department said Thursday.

Mega barf alerrt! FDA Will Not Label Genetically Engineered Animals 18 Sep 2008 The prospect of foods and other products from so-called genetically engineered animals moved a step closer to reality Thursday... Consumers Union said it was deeply troubled that the FDA said it would only review genetically engineered animals for their safety as food and would not require any labeling.

FDA will not require labeling of genetically engineered animals that are sold as food (Consumers Union) 18 Sep 2008 Consumers Union finds it "incomprehensible" that the FDA will not require labeling of genetically engineered animals that are sold as food. Genetically engineered animals may contain genetic material from entirely different species. For example mouse genes have been put into pigs to help them metabolize phosphorous more efficiently, and spider genes have been put into goats so that they produce spider silk in their milk. FDA proposed today that they will only review genetically engineered animals for their safety as food, and will not require any labeling.

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US 'may plot assassination of Al Maliki' 12 Sep 2008 Americans, increasingly resenting recent moves by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, could seek to topple or even assassinate him, says a secret report by a Kurdish political party, which is part of the national government. The report, which Gulf News has seen, says Al Maliki does not want to see any US soldier in Iraq after 2011 and he preferred strong political, economic and military relations with the Americans but not the presence and influence of the US military in his country.

US troops face Iraq premeditated murder charge 17 Sep 2008 Three US soldiers have been charged with murder over the deaths of four Iraqis in Baghdad, the US army says. The victims were blindfolded, shot and dumped in a canal in April 2007. Sgt John Hatley, Sgt 1st Class Joseph Mayo, and Sgt Michael Leahy Jr have been charged with premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and obstruction of justice.

UK Defence Ministry admits soldiers unlawfully abused Iraqi detainees 16 Sep 2008 The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has admitted the unlawful abuse of nine Iraqi detainees, solicitors for the prisoners announced Tuesday. As part of the settlement, the prisoners are to receive damages of as much as £1 million (US $1.79 million). While acknowledging that the detainees' treatment was unlawful, the MOD did not admit to specific conduct. It also denied that the UK Human Rights Act or the European Convention on Human Rights applied to "Camp Breadbasket," the humanitarian aid distribution center near Basra where the abuse occurred.

Not enough troops for victory in Afghanistan, top US general says 18 Sep 2008 Even after an extra US Army brigade joins the fight against Afghan insurgents next January, three times as many reinforcements will be needed soon after, the highest-ranking US general in Afghanistan has said. Commander of NATO-led international forces in the country General David McKiernan told reporters travelling with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates that the war was being fought with insufficient resources.

Civilian casualties up 40 percent in Afghanistan 17 Sep 2008 The United Nations says the number of Afghan civilians killed in 'insurgent' attacks and air strikes by foreign troops has risen almost 40% this year. The UN said the Taliban [no, the US] were responsible for 800 or some 55% of the 1,445 Afghan civilian deaths reported through the end of August. U.S., NATO and Afghan forces are responsible for the other 645 civilian deaths, or 45%.

4 US coalition troops killed in Afghanistan 17 Sep 2008 A roadside blast Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan killed four U.S. coalition soldiers and an Afghan, the coalition said. It did not identify the nationalities of all the victims, but the majority of troops in eastern Afghanistan are American.

US missile strike kills 6 Pakistani people 17 Sep 2008 A suspected US missile strike hit a compound used by militants near the Afghan border on Wednesday, killing at least six people, Pakistani intelligence officials said. The reported attack came hours after the top US military officer told Pakistani leaders that America respects Pakistan's sovereignty amid a mounting furor over cross-border strikes.

16 dead in car bomb, ambush at US Embassy in Yemen 17 Sep 2008 Attackers armed with automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and at least one suicide car bomb assaulted the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni capital on Wednesday. Sixteen people were killed, including six assailants, officials said.

Khadr war-crimes trial now slated for Nov. 10 at Guantanamo Bay 16 Sep 2008 The much delayed war-crimes [show] trial of Canadian Omar Khadr is now slated to go ahead in November at Guantanamo Bay, more than a month after it was originally scheduled. Col. Patrick Parrish, the military judge presiding over the case, has set Nov. 10 for the start but Khadr's Pentagon-appointed lawyer said Tuesday further delays are likely.

Exit polls: Livni clear winner in Israeli primary 17 Sep 2008 Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni won a clear victory in the Kadima Party's primary election Wednesday, TV exit polls showed, placing her in a good position to become Israel's first female leader in 34 years and sending a message that peace talks with the Palestinians will proceed.

Senate Judiciary Committee explores limits of presidential powers 17 Sep 2008 Witnesses before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday presented testimony discussing the Rule of Law and criticizing the White House for exceeding the limits of constitutional authority during George Bush's presidency [sic]. At a Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing, subcommittee chairman Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) opened the hearing.

Opening Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold --Hearing on "Restoring the Rule of Law" Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution As Prepared For Delivery 16 Sep 2008 "Tomorrow, September 17, is the 221st anniversary of the day in 1787 when 39 members of the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in Philadelphia. It is a sad fact as we approach that anniversary that for the past seven and a half years, and especially since 9/11, the Bush Administration has treated the Constitution and the rule of law with a disrespect never before seen in the history of this country. By now, the public can be excused for being almost numb to new revelations of government wrongdoing and overreaching. The catalogue is breathtaking, even when immensely complicated and far reaching programs and events are reduced to simple catch phrases: torture, Guantanamo, ignoring the Geneva Conventions, warrantless wiretapping, data mining, destruction of emails, U.S. Attorney firings, stonewalling of congressional oversight, abuse of the state secrets doctrine and executive privilege, secret abrogation of executive orders, signing statements. This is a shameful legacy that will haunt our country for years to come.

Palin Nomination Gives Hope to the Chronically Unqualified By R J Shulman 17 Sep 2008 The stunning public acceptance of Sarah Palin as Senator John McCain's choice for his vice presidential running mate has been nothing short of a shining beacon of hope for Americans whose dreams of holding important positions have died because they were clearly not qualified. "The Palin pick is just one example of a maverick genius," said Rick Davis of the McCain campaign. (Satire!)

Alaska AG: State employees won't honor subpoenas 17 Sep 2008 Alaska's investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power, a potentially damaging distraction for John McCain's presidential campaign, ran into intensified resistance Tuesday when the attorney general said state employees would refuse to honor subpoenas in the case.

Source: Sex Assault Program Cited in Monegan Firing Targeted Child Abusers By Zachary Roth 16 Sep 2008 So Sarah Palin's latest explanation for why she fired Walt Monegan is that he had gone over her head in seeking federal money for an initiative to combat sexual assault crimes, before she had approved the program... According to Peggy Brown, who heads the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Monegan wanted to use the federal money to hire retired troopers and law enforcement officials, and assign them to investigate the most egregious cases of sexual assault -- including those against children. In other words, if Palin's new story is true, she fired Monegan for being too aggressive in going after child molesters.

Critics Question Palin's Record on "Epidemic" Rape, Domestic Violence in Alaska --Effort to Tackle Sex Violence Stalled by Palin's Office, Sources Say 15 Sep 2008 Evangelicals and social conservatives have embraced McCain's vice presidential pick for what they call her "pro-family," "pro-woman" values. But in Alaska, critics say Gov. Sarah Palin has not addressed the rampant sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence and murder that make her state one of the most dangerous places in the country for women and children.

Group Posts E-Mail Hacked From Palin Account 17 Sep 2008 Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's private Yahoo e-mail account was hacked, and some of its contents posted on the internet Wednesday. The internet griefers known as Anonymous took credit for the intrusion, and screenshots of e-mail messages and photos belonging to the Alaska governor have been published by WikiLeaks. "This is a shocking invasion of the Governor's privacy and a violation of law," said Rick Davis, campaign manager for the McCain-Palin campaign, in a statement. "The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them. [LOL! I don't take orders from simpering little GOP troll, Rick Davis.] We will have no further comment." An FBI spokesman said, "The FBI is aware of the alleged hacking incident involving Governor Sarah Palin, and is coordinating with the U.S. Secret Service on the matter." [ROFL! Click here to read GOPedophile Palin's emails and to view screenshots of same. --LRP]

Sarah Palin Yahoo account 2008 (Wikileaks) 16 Sep 2008 Circa midnight Tuesday the 16th of September (EST) activists loosely affiliated with the group 'anonymous' gained access to U.S. Republican Party Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's Yahoo email account gov.palin@yahoo.com and passed information to Wikileaks. Governor Palin has come under criticism for using private email accounts to conduct government business and in the process avoid transparency laws. The zip archive made available by Wikileaks contains screen shots of Palin's inbox, two example emails, address book and a couple of family photos. [See: sarah-palin-hack-2008.zip (click to view full file) sarah-palin-hack-2008.zip (alternative address).]

Sarah Palin may not support bridge to nowhere, but she likes $600 million bridge to hometown 16 Sep 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin may eventually have said "no thanks" to a federally funded Bridge to Nowhere. But a bridge to her hometown of Wasilla, that's a different story. A $600 million bridge and highway project to link Alaska's largest city to Palin's town of 7,000 residents is moving full speed ahead, despite concerns the bridge could worsen some commuting and threaten a population of beluga whales.

Has the Worm Turned? The Palin bounce fades for McCain By Mark Murray 17 Sep 2008 After the news of the crisis on Wall Street, McCain's "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" stumble on Monday, the slip-ups yesterday by McCain's two biggest economic surrogates=, and four days of sustained TV ad and email blasts by the Obama campaign and the DNC, the political worm seems to have turned a tad since the Palin bounce.

Voter Database Glitches Could Disenfranchise Thousands By Kim Zetter 16 Sep 2008 Electronic voting machines have been the focus of much controversy the last few years. But another election technology has received little scrutiny yet could create numerous problems and disenfranchise thousands of voters in November, election experts say. This year marks the first time that new, statewide, centralized voter-registration databases will be used in a federal election in a number of states.

Bailout Fails to Stem Global Stock Slump 18 Sep 2008 The Dow Jones industrial average fell almost 450 points on Wednesday as one of the most stunning government bailouts in American history failed to stem the runaway fears engulfing the global financial system. Stocks around the world plummeted. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 150 points in the final 15 minutes of trading alone.

Another nightmare on Wall Street: Dow down 450 17 Sep 2008 The stock market took another nosedive Wednesday as the American banking system appeared even shakier and investors worried that the financial crisis is spinning so far out of control that even government rescues can't stop it. The Dow Jones industrial average, which only two days earlier had suffered its steepest drop since the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, lost another 450 points. About $700 billion in investments vanished.

Federal bank insurance fund dwindling 16 Sep 2008 Banks are not the only ones struggling in the growing financial crisis. The fund established to insure their deposits is also feeling the pinch, and the taxpayer may be the lender of last resort.

More corporate welfare on the way for Bush's corpora-terrorist cronies; DemocRATs roll over and surrender, again: Big Three execs to meet with Pelosi 17 Sep 2008 The Big Three’s chief executive officers will meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday afternoon to press for her support for $25 billion in direct loans for the auto industry. Congress authorized the loans in last year's energy bill.

Pelosi orders wide Wall Street probe 16 Sep 2008 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered a broad, swift investigation of Wall Street and will demand testimony from Bush administration officials and captains of finance, congressional officials said. House Democrats plan to aggressively look at the administration’s role in the meltdown over the weekend and to explore further regulation and government structures that would be taken up under the new president.

Lehman hires Jeb Bush as private equity advisor 30 Aug 2007 Lehman Brothers has hired Jeb Bush, brother of the President of the United States, as an advisor to its private equity business, a source familiar with the situation said. Lehman hired another relative of U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush last year--George Walker, a second cousin, who heads up the bank's asset management business.

Government Mandates HPV Vaccine For New US Residents ---New rule, outlined in the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) revised Technical Instructions to Civil Surgeons for Vaccination Requirements, stipulates "age-appropriate" groups must show proof of the vaccinations or they will not be granted legal permanent resident status in the U.S. 17 Sep 2008 Despite growing reports of serious and even fatal reactions to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that people from other countries who want to become legal permanent residents of the US are required to have the HPV vaccination to 'protect against' cervical cancer. This marks another enormous marketing success for the drug giant Merck & Co., maker of the HPV vaccine, Gardasil Gardakill.

Cancer jab linked to pancreas disease 17 Aug 2008 The cervical cancer vaccine is under fresh scrutiny after three women were struck down with pancreatitis soon after receiving the injection. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is investigating whether the shot of Gardasil Gardakill caused the sudden inflammation of the pancreas in the three patients, or whether it was just a coincidence.

DemoRATs: Absof*ckinglutely useless: Bill allows for offshore drilling in US 17 Sep 2008 A new bill, passed in the US House of Representatives, seeks to overturn a decades-old ban on offshore drilling. The bill, which was put forward by the majority DemocRATs, was approved by 236 votes to 189.

Nigeria Battles New Bird Flu Strain 13 Aug 2008 Animal health specialists warn a new strain of highly pathogenic bird flu in Nigeria - which has previously not been recorded in sub-Saharan Africa - increases the risk of avian influenza spreading to other countries in West Africa. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]

Arctic ice shrinks to record second smallest size, scientists say 16 Sep 2008 As the Arctic summer comes to an end, scientists have determined that the sea ice has shrunk to the second smallest size on record, continuing the disturbing trend associated with a warming planet.

Polar bear aware - Canon/WWF tracker project celebrates 10th anniversary 17 Sep 2008 Anthony Pickles talks to Doug Allan and Sue Flood, wildlife filmmakers and photographers, about their involvement with the Canon/WWF polar bear tracker project and the upcoming lecture marking its 10th anniversary.

AP: Video shows workers abusing pigs 17 Sep 2008 An Iowa sheriff said Wednesday he has launched an investigation into a videotape showing abuse of pigs at a farm. The video, shot by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, shows farm workers [sociopaths] hitting sows with metal rods, slamming piglets on a concrete floor and bragging about jamming rods into sows' hindquarters. Greene County Sheriff Tom Heater told The Associated Press that he had met with PETA representatives on Tuesday.

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'The unsavoury prospect of having to take a crack at its one-time ally has surfaced most starkly in the skies over the Afghan-Pakistan border.' US faces the F-16s it supplied Pakistan 14 Sep 2008 The United States is suddenly faced with the uncomfortable scenario of confronting the very same weapons and military hardware, including F-16 fighter jets, it has armed Pakistan with for decades. The unsavoury prospect of having to take a crack at its one-time ally has surfaced most starkly in the skies over the Afghan-Pakistan border this weekend after the Pakistan Air Force deployed its US-supplied F-16s to challenge the violation of its airspace by US drones, and in one case, an airborne assault that landed US Navy Seals inside Pakistani territory.

US drones prowl as Pakistan Army bombs Taliban positions --10 killed as helicopter gunships, fighter jets fire shells in Bajaur 17 Sep 2008 Ten Taliban were killed and several others injured on Tuesday as Pakistan Army helicopter gunships and fighter jets fired shells at militant hideouts in Bajaur Agency as United States’ drones prowled the sky over another Taliban sanctuary on the Afghan border.

General: far more US troops needed in Afghanistan 16 Sep 008 The senior U.S. general in Afghanistan said Tuesday he is fighting the war with too few ground troops, and that even the reinforcements President [sic] Bush announced last week are insufficient. He said the shortage compels him to use more air power, at the cost of higher civilian casualties.

Iran gives full powers to hard-line Guards in Gulf 16 Sep 2008 Iran announced Tuesday that it has put the elite Revolutionary Guards in charge of defending the country's territorial Persian Gulf waters in what appeared to be a hardening of its stance in the vital oil route. Iran has warned repeatedly that it will close the narrow Hormuz Strait at the mouth of the Gulf if the United States or Israel attacks it amid tensions over Iran's nuclear program.

Arrests of Sunni tribal leaders risk giving al-Qaida a way back, says Iraqi vice-president --Growing anger at PM's apparent change of heart 16 Sep 2008 The Iraqi government is in danger of pushing Sunni tribal leaders back into the arms of al-Qaida and re-igniting major violence across Iraq if it fails to take more Sunnis into the security forces, the country's leading Sunni politician has warned. Many tribal leaders who opposed the US occupation switched sides on promises of jobs in the previously Shia-dominated army and police.

Blast kills Iraqi police --Suicide bomber targets official's home 16 Sep 2008 A suicide bomber blew herself up yesterday among police officers who were celebrating the release of a comrade from U.S. custody, killing at least 22 people, Iraqi officials said. Other bombings in Iraq killed 13 people.

Explosives-rigged bicycle kills 2 outside Baghdad 16 Sep 2008 An explosives-rigged bicycle parked near a military truck killed two civilians at a market outside Baghdad on Tuesday, and a member of a Sunni group allied with U.S. forces was killed in the capital by a bomb concealed on his car.

Two U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq 16 Sep 2008 A North Texan is one of two soldiers killed in what the Defense Department is calling only a "non-hostile incident" in Iraq. The Pentagon identifies the two dead soldiers as Sgt. Wesley R. Durbin of Hurst and Staff Sgt. Darris J. Dawson of Pensacola, Fla. They died Sunday in Tunnis, Iraq.

Canadian won't be tried at Guantanamo until after election 16 Sep 2008 The Pentagon Tuesday announced a Nov. 10 war crimes [show] trial date for alleged Canadian teen terrorist Omar Khadr, meaning the terror murder trial will follow both the U.S. and Canada's 'elections' and likely straddle American Thanksgiving. Khadr, 21, is accused of throwing a grenade in a July 2002 firefight near Khost, Afghanistan, that killed a U.S. commando. Conviction could carry a life sentence.

DHS Awards New York City $29 Million Under 'Securing the Cities' Initiative 16 Sep 2008 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced approximately $29 million in grants to prevent a radiological/nuclear attack in the New York City (NYC) metropolitan area by enhancing regional capabilities to detect and interdict illicit radioactive materials.

Emory Begins Testing Vaccines Against Pandemic Influenza Threat 16 Sep 2008 Emory University and its physician/scientists will play a leading national role in evaluating promising new vaccines against [sic] an "H5" avian flu virus thought to be a possible pandemic threat in the future. The Emory Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) will conduct a clinical trial of a new bird flu vaccine along with collaborators at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Togo: Recent bird flu outbreak is deadly H5N1 15 Sep 2008 Tests performed after the first ever outbreak of bird flu in the West African nation of Togo have confirmed the presence of the virulent H5N1 strain of the virus, state media said Monday.

Doctors remove benign lesion from Bush's forehead 16 Sep 2008 President [sic] Bush underwent treatment for a benign lesion over the weekend, leaving a noticeable scab on his forehead as he went about his business on Tuesday. Bush had a common skin lesion, known as a seborrheic keratosis, that looked like a brown spot on his forehead.

More corporate welfare is on the way for Bush's corpora-terrorist cronies: Fed nears a deal to take over ailing AIG --Extraordinary move would give central bank 80% stake in insurance giant 16 Sep 2008 The Federal Reserve is close to a deal to take an 80 percent stake in American International Group in exchange for an $85 billion loan, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. AIG’s failure could open the ugliest chapter yet of the financial meltdown.

AIG 'has under 24 hours to raise $80bn and avoid collapse' 16 Sep 2008 The world’s largest insurance company has less than 24 hours to raise $80bn (£45bn) or face collapse, a leading US politician has warned. The dire diagnosis for American International Group (AIG), made by New York State Governor David Paterson, came amid another day of continued turbulence on the global stock markets.

Fed Keeps Rate at 2%, Rebuffing Call for Reduction 16 Sep 2008 The Federal Reserve left its main interest rate at 2 percent, rebuffing calls by some investors for an immediate cut after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s bankruptcy shook markets worldwide.

Fed Adds Most Reserves Since 9/11 as Banks Hoard Cash 15 Sep 2008 The Federal Reserve added $70 billion in reserves to the banking system, the most since the September 2001 terrorist attacks, to reverse a surge in borrowing costs sparked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Wall Street in Worst Loss Since 2001 16 Sep 2008 In another unnerving day for Wall Street, investors suffered their worst losses since the terrorist attacks of 2001, and government officials raced to prevent the financial crisis from spreading.

Top Economist: Americans Should Worry About Bank Deposits if Congress Doesn't Act 15 Sep 2008 With the "financial storm of the century" hitting financial institutions, many Americans are worried about the safety of their bank deposits. While the FDIC insures individual accounts up to $100,000, the reaction to IndyMac's failure this summer -- lines outside retail branches -- shows Americans have limited faith in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which guarantees individual accounts up to $100,000.

McCain: Economy Still 'Strong' 15 Sep 2008 Addressing today’s news of upheaval in America’s financial markets, John McInsane said this morning that, despite fears over the "turmoil" on Wall Street, "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." The Obama campaign seized on the statement, contrasting it with McCain's new ad -- "Crisis" -- which paints a more foreboding picture of the American economy.

GOP lawmakers sue to stop Palin investigation 16 Sep 2008 Five Republican state lawmakers filed suit Tuesday to end the bipartisan investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of the public safety commissioner even though the vice presidential candidate once said she welcomed the probe into allegations of abuse of power.

Palin won't meet with 'Troopergate' investigator 15 Sep 2008 A campaign spokesman says Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin won't speak with an investigator hired by lawmakers to look into the firing of her public safety commissioner. McCain campaign spokesman Ed O'Callaghan told a news conference Monday that the governor, the Republican nominee for vice president, will not cooperate as long as the investigation "remains tainted."

Fired Official: Governor Sarah Palin Did Not Tell the Truth to ABC --Walt Monegan Says He Was Called to Gov.'s Office Over a "Private Family Matter" 15 Sep 2008 "She's not telling the truth when she told ABC neither she nor her husband pressured me to fire Trooper Wooten," said Walt Monegan, the Alaskan official whose dismissal by Sarah Palin is the focus of a state investigation known as "Troopergate". "And she's not telling the truth to the media about her reasons for firing me."

Palin's Project List Totals $453 Million 15 Sep 2008 Last week, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, hadn't sought earmarks or special-interest spending from Congress, presenting her as a fiscal conservative. But state records show Gov. Palin has asked U.S. taxpayers to fund $453 million in specific Alaska projects over the past two years.

Palin's Favorability Ratings Begin to Falter 16 Sep 2008 Since Sept. 13, Sarah Palin's unfavorables have climbed from 30 percent to 36 percent. Meanwhile, her favorables have slipped from 52 percent to 48 percent. That's a three-day net swing of -10 points, and it leaves her in the Sept. 15 Diageo/Hotline tracking poll tied for the smallest favorability split (+12) of any of the Final Four. Over the course of a single weekend, in other words, Palin went from being the most popular White House hopeful to the least.

Radio host suspended for airing anti-Palin protesters' numbers 15 Sep 2008 Anchorage AM radio host Eddie Burke has been suspended for a week for broadcasting the phone number of women involved in organizing a protest against Sarah Palin. The women later received threatening phone calls. In a statement, KBYR-AM 700 station manager Justin McDonald said broadcasting the numbers last week was "breaking station policy."

Money Pours In After 'Brutal' Anti-Palin Ad 15 Sep 2008 Since the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund began airing "Brutal" on Friday -- a TV spot that skewers VP nominee Sarah Palin for her support of aerial hunting -- donations have been pouring into the environmental advocacy group. Senior Director Will Lutz said "hundreds of thousands" of dollars in contributions over the weekend will bankroll a wider ad campaign beyond the initial buy in the Toledo and Dayton, Ohio, and Tampa, Fla., markets. The advocacy fund is hoping to start running "Brutal" in Colorado, Michigan and Minnesota -- perhaps as early as today.

McCain's Radical Agenda By Bob Herbert 16 Sep 2008 Has anyone bothered to notice the radical changes that John McCain and Sarah Palin are planning for the nation’s health insurance system? These are changes that will set in motion nothing less than the dismantling of the employer-based coverage that protects most American families. A study coming out Tuesday from scholars at Columbia, Harvard, Purdue and Michigan projects that 20 million Americans who have employment-based health insurance would lose it under the McCain plan.

Mich. Dems file suit against GOP in Ohio 16 Sep 2008 A lawsuit has been filed to challenge what Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign says is an attempt to keep people facing foreclosure from voting. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal district court in Detroit by Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several Macomb County voters. [See: Lose your house, lose your vote --Michigan Republicans plan to foreclose African American voters By Eartha Jane Melzer 10 Sep 2008.]

House move toward vote on offshore drilling 16 Sep 2008 The House moved toward a vote Tuesday on whether to allow oil drilling off the nation's Atlantic and Pacific coastlines -- but only 50 or more miles out. House The bill... also funnels billions of dollars collected from new taxes and royalties on large oil companies to promote alternative fuels and energy efficiency in an attempt to move the country away from fossil fuels.

Schwarzenegger says he will veto Calif. budget 16 Sep 2008 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Tuesday rejected the budget passed hours earlier by the Legislature, pledging to veto it for failing to meet his reform demands and solve California's persistent fiscal problems. It set in motion a historic showdown with the Democratically controlled Legislature, which has said it is prepared to override the pending veto.

Scientists, FDA face off over safety of BPA in consumer plastics 16 Sep 2008 A hormone-like chemical should be taken out of food packaging, especially baby bottles, infant formula cans and other products used by children and pregnant women, university researchers and consumer advocates told a Food and Drug Administration subcommittee Tuesday. The FDA has said that the chemical, bisphenol A, or BPA, doesn't pose a risk at the levels to which people are commonly exposed. But critics questioned why the FDA based that ruling on three studies funded by the chemical industry, all of which found BPA to be safe at current exposure levels. Hundreds of independent studies in animals and cells suggest the estrogen-like chemical poses serious risks.

'That is unprecedented and quite honestly not appropriate because it’s our job to inform people. Why can't we go to Bolivar and West End?' Media restricted from covering Hurricane Ike's devastation. By Amanda 15 Sep 2008 Yesterday in a local report on KTRK-TV in Houston, TX, reporter Wayne Dolcefino revealed that media have been blocked from covering Hurricane Ike’s devastation. In a press conference, Dolcefino pressed Gov. Rick Perry on why media aren’t even allowed to fly over parts of Galveston Island, noting that media access was far better in Mississippi and Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Perry tried to brush off Dolcefino’s concerns, but eventually passed blame to federal officials.

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Pakistani tribal chiefs threaten to join Taliban --US warned of uprising if armed incursions continue --New counter-terror policy backfires on Washington 15 Sep 2008 A controversial new US tactic to mount counter-terrorist operations inside Pakistan has met with fresh hostility, it emerged yesterday, as Pakistani tribesmen representing half a million people vowed to switch sides and join the Taliban if Washington does not stop cross-border attacks by its forces from Afghanistan.

Tribesmen say they are with army, warn US --Elders: Eight million tribesmen vow to fight US 14 Sep 2008 Tribal elders in North Waziristan on Saturday vowed to defend the country’s frontiers by fighting alongside security forces against any 'possible American attack'. The elders welcomed Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani’s statement, adding that it was the voice of eight million tribesmen. They said that their tribal brethren living on the Afghan side would also join the fight, as the foreign troops were subjecting them to gross injustices.

Pakistan order to kill US invaders 13 Sep 2008 Key corps commanders of Pakistan's 600,000-strong army issued orders last night to retaliate against "invading" US forces that enter the country to attack militant targets. The move has plunged relations between Islamabad and Washington into deep crisis over how to deal with al-Qa'ida [al-CIAduh] and the Taliban What amounts to a dramatic order to "kill the invaders", as one senior officer put it last night, was disclosed after the commanders - who control the army's deployments at divisional level - met at their headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi under the chairmanship of army chief and former ISI spy agency boss Ashfaq Kayani.

'UK campaign in Afghanistan aids Al Qaeda' 15 Sep 2008 The presence of British forces in Afghanistan is providing oxygen for Al Qaeda, the head of United Nations' Al Qaeda Monitoring Unit has said. According to the Observer, Richard Barrett, who reports directly to the UN Security Council, said the deployments of foreign troops in the country was acting as the 'glue' with which Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] network was bonding support in the region.

Iraq: Al-Qaida intensifies its stranglehold in the world's most dangerous city 15 Sep 2008 Mosul - the de facto capital of northern Iraq - should have been as safe as Basra and Baghdad if a massive military offensive by Iraqi and US forces, which was launched in May, had succeeded. But most al-Qaida 'insurgents' slipped away before it began - and they are now slipping back. In the past month, dozens of people have been killed in violence ranging from roadside bombs to random shootings, car bombs and attacks targeted at specific individuals.

Bombs kill at least 35, Iraqis say 15 Sep 2008 A suicide bomber blew herself up Monday among police officers who were celebrating the release of a comrade from U.S. custody, killing at least 22 people, Iraqi officials said. Separate bombings in Iraq killed 13 other people.

Sunni Proponent of Reconciliation Is Killed 14 Sep 2008 A Sunni Arab leader of a citizen patrol group in Baghdad who had been a proponent of reconciliation in his neighborhood was assassinated over the weekend. The killing of the leader, Fouad Ali Hussein al-Douri, a Sunni mosque imam, is the latest in a string of attacks on members of the so-called Awakening Councils.

Terrorists murder a television crew 14 Sep 2008 The Iraqi TV crew brought the gifts that had come to be the trademark of their reality show: some basic household appliances and a delicious supper to break the Ramadan fast for a family of little means. They'd done it many times before. But this episode didn't get made. Gunmen [Blackwater?] seized four of them from their vehicles, hauled them down the street and executed them.

Iraqi government could purchase F-16s 06 Sep 2008 The Iraqi government is considering a multimillion-dollar purchase of Lockheed Martin F-16s as it moves toward strengthening its military and rebuilding its anemic air force to prepare for an eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Pakistan troops fire shots to warn off Americans 15 Sep 2008 Pakistani troops have fired shots to warn US troops not to cross into the South Waziristan region of Pakistan. Reports from the border say seven US helicopters landed on the Afghan side of the line before US troops attempted to cross the border. The incident has come amid growing anger in Pakistan over US attacks along the border region.

Bombs kill 2 doctors, 6 children in Afghanistan 15 Sep 2008 A suicide bomber struck a United Nations convoy Sunday in southern Afghanistan, killing two Afghan doctors and their driver on their way to provide give polio vaccinations to children. Separately, at least six children were killed while playing with what Afghan authorities said was a roadside bomb planted by the Taliban and aimed at foreign troops.

The Army's Totally Serious Mind-Control Project 14 Sep 2008 Soldiers barking orders at each other is so 20th Century. That's why the U.S. Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing "thought helmets" that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will "lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone."

Fears over privacy as police expand surveillance project --Database to hold details of millions of journeys for five years 15 Sep 2008 The police are to expand a car surveillance operation that will allow them to record and store details of millions of daily journeys for up to five years, the Guardian has learned. A national network of roadside cameras will be able to "read" 50m licence plates a day, enabling officers to reconstruct the journeys of motorists. Police have been encouraged to "fully and strategically exploit" the database, which is already recording the whereabouts of 10 million drivers a day, during investigations ranging from counter-terrorism to low-level crime.

Minorities to boycott UK Police 13 Sep 2008 Protesting the treatment of police officers of ethnic minorities, a major association representing Asian and black officers in Britain is threatening to launch a public campaign to boycott the Metropolitan police, the Guardian reported on Saturday. The National Black Police Association (NBPA) is planning a public campaign to urge young would-be officers from ethnic minorities not to join the Met.

Who was involved in 9/11? 11 Sep 2008 Documentary reveals shocking facts On the anniversary of 9/11, an Italian-produced documentary called ZERO, investigating the tragedy, is opening in Russia. The authors believe that the U.S. official version of events surrounding the attacks can't be true.

Group With Big Pharma Ties Wants to Shut Down Vaccine "Conspiracy Theories" --Kingpins of Military-Industrial complex say they will "brand" websites they consider "trustworthy and reliable sources of information" By Steve Watson 15 Sep 2008 A foundation populated by the giants of business, banking, government and military wants to "vet" websites and limit the spread of information that it says creates "conspiracy theories". The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), fronted by Internet creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee, says it is worried about the way the web has been "used to spread disinformation". Speaking to the BBC, Berners-Lee said that there needed to be a new system that would give websites a "label for trustworthiness" once they had been proved reliable sources. [Trust *this,* Sir Douchebag.]

Cheney Shielded Bush From Crisis --Adapted from "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency," to be published Tuesday 15 Sep 2008 Vice President [sic] Cheney convened a meeting in the Situation Room at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10, 2004, with just one day left before the warrantless domestic surveillance program was set to expire. Around him were National Security Agency Director Michael V. Hayden, White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and the Gang of Eight... Even now, three months into a legal rebellion at the Justice Department, President Bush was nowhere in the picture. He was stumping in the battleground state of Ohio, talking up the economy.

Wiretap Cases a Go Despite FISA Change 15 Sep 2008 Though Congress put a damper this summer on legal efforts to prove the Bush administration unlawfully spied on Americans' phone calls and e-mails, flagship litigation in the Northern District of California will still proceed. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker laid out a briefing schedule at a hearing Friday for In re National Security Agency Telecommunications Records Litigation, MDL 06-1791 -- the consolidated suits against the government and numerous telecommunications giants like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 protection 15 Sep 2008 Lehman Brothers, a 158-year-old investment bank choked by the credit crisis and falling real estate values, filed for Chapter 11 protection in the biggest bankruptcy filing ever on Monday and said it was trying to sell off key business units. [Lehman Brothers, a 158-year-old banking institution survives the Industrial Revolution and two world wars... but not Bush.]

Dow falls 500 points in worst day since 2001 --Investors react to Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch sale 15 Sep 2008 A dramatic makeover of Wall Street sent stocks falling precipitously Monday, with the Dow Jones industrials sliding 500 points in their worst point drop since the September 2001 terrorist attacks. Investors reacted badly to a shakeup of the financial industry that took out two storied names: Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co.

WaMu Rating Lowered to Junk by S&P on Mortgage Losses 15 Sep 2008 Washington Mutual Inc., the biggest U.S. savings and loan, had its credit rating cut to junk by Standard & Poor's because of the deteriorating housing market. S&P reduced its rating on Seattle-based WaMu to BB- from BBB-, leaving it three levels below investment grade, the ratings firm said today in a statement.

Bank of America to Acquire Merrill as Crisis Deepens 15 Sep 2008 Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. consumer bank, agreed to acquire Merrill Lynch & Co. for about $50 billion as the credit crisis claimed another of America's oldest financial companies.

A.I.G. Seeks $40 Billion in Fed Aid to Survive 14 Sep 2008 The American International Group is seeking a $40 billion bridge loan [corporate welfare] from the Federal Reserve, as it faces a potential downgrade from credit ratings agencies that could spell its doom, a person briefed on the matter said Sunday night.

Wilbur Ross: Possibly a Thousand Banks Will Close 15 Sep 2008 In an exclusive interview with CNBC.com, Wilbur Ross, chairman and CEO of WL Ross & Co., says he sees possibly as many as a thousand bank closures in the coming months. And this will create opportunities for investors.

US in 'once-in-a-century' financial crisis : Greenspan 14 Sep 2008 The United States is mired in a "once-in-a century" financial crisis which is now more than likely to spark a recession, former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan said Sunday. The talismanic ex-central banker said that the crisis was the worst he had seen in his career, still had a long way to go and would continue to effect home prices in the United States.

Even before VP nomination, Palin's e-mail use questioned 14 Sep 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin routinely uses a private Yahoo e-mail account to conduct state business. Others in the governor's office sometimes use personal e-mail accounts, too. Even before the McCain campaign plucked Palin from Alaska, a controversy was brewing over e-mails in the governor's office. Was the administration trying to get around the public records law through broad exemptions or private e-mail accounts? Activists, still fighting to obtain hundreds of e-mails that were withheld from public records requests earlier this year, say that's what it looks like.

Lindsay Lohan Lashes Out at Sarah Palin 14 Sep 2008 Lindsay Lohan isn't happy with Republican vice presidential candidate John McCain's choice of running mate, Sarah Palin. "I really cannot bite my tongue anymore when it comes to Sarah Palin," the actress, 22, wrote on her MySpace blog Sunday... The star believes that Palin isn't ready to run the country. She said, "I find it quite interesting that a woman who now is running to be second in command of the United States, only 4 years ago had aspirations to be a television anchor, which is probably all she is qualified to be."

Empty Seats Greet McCain at Fla. Rally 15 Sep 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain held his first rally without running mate Sarah Palin today, and let's just say there were seats available... There were almost no supporters in any of the cavernous arena's 24 upper-level seating sections, and only eight of the 21 sections downstairs held fans. Only four of those were filled, though some supporters crowded around the stage on the arena floor.

Ike victims search streets for food, water, gas --60 survivors found on isolated peninsula; death toll at 34 in 9 states 15 Sep 2008 A humanitarian crisis unfolded Monday along the Texas coast as thousands of Hurricane Ike victims clamored for food, water, electricity and gasoline -- and found nothing much to go home to except streets littered with piles of debris, spewing sewage, and floodwaters crawling with snakes and alligators.

Hurricane Ike: More than 1M without power in Ohio Valley 15 Sep 2008 More than 1 million households and businesses in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio are without power because of strong winds associated with the storm formerly known as Ike, according to local power companies.

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U.S. to sell Israel Air Force 1,000 bunker-buster bombs 14 Sep 2008 Despite 'reservations' in Washington regarding a possible Israeli strike on Iran, the American administration will supply Israel with sophisticated weapons for heavily fortified targets, the U.S. administration announced. The U.S. Department of Defense announced it would sell the Israel Air Force 1,000 new smart bombs, rumored to significantly enhance the IAF's military capabilities.

Congress notified of bunker buster sale to Israel 14 Sep 2008 The US Department of Defense has notified Congress of a potential sale to Israel of 1,000 smart bombs capable of penetrating underground bunkers, which would likely be used in the event of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. The notification to Congress was made over the weekend by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the branch of the Pentagon responsible for evaluating foreign military sales. The deal is valued at $77 million and the principal contractor would be Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.

Medvedev: Attack on Iran will endanger entire world 14 Sep 2008 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday, "We know that certain players are planning an attack against Iran. But we oppose any unilateral step and military solution to the nuclear crisis," he added.

With White House Push, U.S. Arms Sales Jump 14 Sep 2008 The Bush regime is pushing through a broad array of foreign weapons deals as it seeks to rearm Iraq and Afghanistan [you can't make this sh*t up], contain North Korea and Iran, and solidify ties with onetime Russian allies. From tanks, helicopters and fighter jets to missiles, remotely piloted aircraft and even warships, the Department of Defense has agreed so far this fiscal year to sell or transfer more than $32 billion in weapons and other military equipment to foreign governments, compared with $12 billion in 2005.

UK could suffer retaliation because of US actions 14 Sep 2008 Pakistan's high commissioner to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, has reportedly said that American raids on the Taliban and 'Al-Qaeda' targets in Pakistan could provoke terror attacks in London. Mr Hasan said the US bombings had killed hundreds of civilians, but had failed to eliminate any Al-Qaeda leader.

Petraeus: more than troops needed in Afghanistan 14 Sep 2008 U.S. Gen. David Petraeus said Sunday that experience in Iraq shows it will take political and economic progress as well as military action to tackle increased violence in Afghanistan. "You don't kill or capture your way out of an industrial strength insurgency," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. [An 'industrial strength insurgency' means you've LOST, moron.]

Obama calls for US military mobilization By Patrick Martin 13 Sep 2008 In remarks that clearly pointed toward the restoration of the military draft under an Obama administration, the Democratic candidate said Thursday night [National service forum at Columbia University] that his job as president would include demanding that the American people recognize an "obligation" for military service. "If we are going into war, then all of us go, not just some," Senator Barack Obama declared.

Honduras in diplomatic snub to U.S. over Bolivia 12 Sep 2008 Honduras, a former U.S. ally in Central America now run by a leftist government, told a U.S. envoy not to present his credentials as ambassador on Friday in a diplomatic snub in support of Bolivia. Bolivia and anti-U.S. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are in a fight with Washington over what they see as is U.S. support for violent protests against Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Intelligence officer claims CIA was complicit in torture in Uzbekistan --Officer also claims British UN official was killed by order of Uzbek president Karimov By Neil Mackay 14 Sep 2008 The CIA sent its agents into Uzbekistan torture chambers to observe the abuse of alleged Islamic terrorists, according to a dissident member of the Uzbek security services who is now seeking political asylum in the UK after fleeing Tashkent. Ikrom Yakubov, a former major in the National Security Service (SNB), accused the CIA of involvement in torture sessions in the central Asian republic in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Herald, during which he made a series of startling claims. These include claims that Britain's Richard Conroy, the UN's co-ordinator in Uzbekistan, was assassinated on the orders of Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan... Karimov's regime routinely framed innocent Muslims on charges of involvement in Islamist terror and invented bogus terror threats to maintain his grip on the country, and the CIA used a secret detention facility in Uzbekistan where suspects in the "war on terror" were taken from around the world to be tortured by SNB interrogators.

Evidence of Karimov's Crimes - and CIA Participation By Ambassador Craig Murray 14 Sep 2008 Ikram Yakubov, the Uzbek security service defector, has given his first UK media interview to the first class journalist Neil Mackay of the Sunday Herald. Ikram's testimony is very important, particularly that he personally witnessed a CIA officer present at the torture of Islamic suspects. Remember, the official position of the UK government remains that I was making it all up. They still officially deny the CIA was involved in torture in Uzbekistan, or that we knew about extraordinary rendition... It is also worth remembering that the Tashkent bombings - which as Ambassador I investigated in detail and reported that the Uzbek government story was fake - were used by British ministers in parliament in justification of their anti-terror legislation.

Conflict Over Spying Led White House to Brink --Adapted from "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency," to be published Tuesday 14 Sep 2008 A burst of ferocity stunned the room into silence. No other word for it: The vice president's attorney was shouting. "The president doesn't want this! You are not going to see the opinions. You are out . . . of . . . your . . . lane!" Five government lawyers had gathered around a small conference table in the Justice Department command center. Four were expected. David S. Addington, counsel to Vice President [sic] Cheney, got wind of the meeting and invited himself. If Addington smelled revolt, he was not far wrong. Unwelcome questions about warrantless domestic surveillance had begun to find their voice. Cheney and his counsel would struggle for months to quash the legal insurgency. By the time President [sic] Bush became aware of it, his No. 2 had stoked dissent into flat-out rebellion. The president would face a dilemma, and the presidency itself a historic test. Cheney would come close to leading them off a cliff, man and office both.

Heckova job, Sarah! Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes 14 Sep 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin lives by the maxim that all politics is local, not to mention personal. So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency. Ms. Havemeister was one of at least five schoolmates Ms. Palin hired, often at salaries far exceeding their private sector wages... Last summer, Mayor Mark Begich of Anchorage, a Democrat, pressed Ms. Palin to meet with him because the state had failed to deliver money needed to operate city traffic lights. At one point, records show, state officials told him to just turn off a dozen of them.

As Mayor of Wasilla, Palin Cut Own Duties, Left Trail of Bad Blood 14 Sep 2008 Sarah Palin took office as [Wasilla] mayor in October 1996 with a show of force... Palin also differed with the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons. The Frontiersman reported at the time that Palin asked Emmons three times in her first weeks in office whether she would agree to remove controversial books. The librarian said she would not. Palin also fired Emmons on Jan. 30 but reinstated her after an uproar. Although the town had a $4 million surplus, Palin cut the museum budget by $32,000, and the three older women who worked there quit instead of deciding which would have to go. But Palin dipped into the budget to create the deputy administrator slot, which some council members complained was at odds with her small-government stance. She told city officials not to talk to reporters. ['Palin cut the museum budget by $32,000.' As with all Nazis, culture is the first casualty. Remember the US invasion of Iraq in 2003? The first thing Bush's barbarians did (after Shock & Awe and having Blackwater guard the Oil Ministry) was to loot Baghdad's museums of its antiquities. --LRP]

Palin's aides admit she did not visit Iraq 15 Sep 2008 Barack Obama's presidential campaign has seized on reports that Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin never made it into Iraq last year, despite her campaign staff previously saying she travelled there.

Report: Aides Incorrectly Claimed Palin Traveled Into Iraq 13 Sep 2008 Aides incorrectly claimed Sarah Palin traveled into Iraq in 2007 and have since clarified that she stopped short at the Kuwait border, The Boston Globe reported Saturday. The newspaper reported that campaign aides initially claimed the Alaska governor went into Iraq during her overseas trip to visit members of the Alaska National Guard. But the Globe quoted a campaign spokeswoman clarifying that she visited a military outpost on the Iraq border with Kuwait, but did not have permission was too afraid to go further.

Gov. Palin's Worldview (The New York Times) 13 Sep 2008 As we watched Sarah Palin on TV the last couple of days, we kept wondering what on earth John McCain was thinking. If he seriously thought this first-term governor -- with less than two years in office -- was qualified to be president, if necessary, at such a dangerous time, it raises profound questions about his judgment. If the choice was, as we suspect, a tactical move, then it was shockingly irresponsible.

Bering Straight Talk By Maurenn Dowd 14 Sep 2008 If Sarah had been reading about the world she feels so confident about leading rather than just parroting by rote what Randy Scheunemann and the neocons around McCain drilled into her last week -- Drill, baby, drill! -- she might have realized that as heinous as Russia’s behavior toward Georgia was, it was not completely unprovoked... The really scary part of the Palin interview was how much she seemed like W. in 2000, and not just the way she pronounced nu-cue-lar.

Anti-Palin activists stage their own rally --Hundreds show up when word spreads over Internet. 14 Sep 2008 A crowd of anti-Sarah Palin protesters gathered in Midtown Anchorage soon after the Republican nominee for vice president left Alaska to resume campaigning in the Lower 48. The Saturday protest in front of the Loussac Library appeared bigger than any Anchorage has seen in recent memory.

McCain-Palin Crowd-Size Estimates Not Backed by Officials 13 Sep 2008 Officials say they can't substantiate the crowd figures McCain's aides are claiming. McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal. Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events. In a story on Sept. 11 about Palin's attraction for some Virginia women voters, Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign.

Hillary Clinton tells Ohio supporters: 'No Palin' 14 Sep 2008 Campaigning for Barack Obama in battleground Ohio, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton targeted Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Sunday by using a slightly revised applause-line delivered at last month's Democratic convention. Clinton told a crowd of 1,200 supporters that Palin and Republican presidential nominee John McCain would only continue the failed policies of President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney. "No way, no how, no McCain and no Palin," she said as the audience erupted in cheers.

The First Sarah Palin Game 12 Sep 2008 And it's a flash game. A UK-based dev is behind Polar Palin, which has players take on the role of a polar bear who's out to blow up oil rigs and campaign military tanks. [Go bears!]

Obama raises record $66 million in August 14 Sep 2008 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama raised a record $66 million in August, a campaign spokesman said on Sunday. The latest figures may bolster expectations of a money advantage that Obama could have over Republican candidate John McCain in the final two months before the November 4 election.

Group With Swift Boat Alumni Readies Ads Attacking Obama 14 Sep A new group financed by a Texas billionaire and organized by some of the same political operatives and donors behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against Sen. John F. Kerry in 2004 plans to begin running television ads attacking Barack Obama, a signal that outside groups may play a larger role than anticipated in the closing days of the presidential race.

Conservative forum sells 'Obama Waffles' with racial stereotype 13 Sep 2008 Activists at a conservative political forum snapped up boxes of waffle mix depicting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as a racial stereotype on its front and wearing Arab-like headdress on its top flap. The socially conservative public policy groups American Values and Focus on the Family Action co-sponsored the Values Voter Summit.

Greenspan: No McCain tax cuts without reduction 14 Sep 2008 Alan Greenspan says the country can't afford tax cuts of the magnitude proposed by Republican presidential contender John McCain -- at least not without a corresponding reduction in government spending.

Bailouts Will Push US into Depression: Manager 11 Sep 2008 The end result of the global economic slowdown may be the U.S. announcing national bankruptcy as the government cannot afford the bailouts that it promised and the market will not bail out the government, Martin Hennecke, senior manager of private clients at Tyche, told CNBC on Thursday. "We expect a depression in the United States. We expect a depression, very possibly, also in Europe," Hennecke said on "Worldwide Exchange."

Chicago seeks aid after worst rain in at least 137 years 14 Sep 2008 Chicago authorities asked Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to issue a disaster declaration after rainfall Saturday in the Windy City broke a single-day record that had stood for more than two decades.

*****

"Help the polar bears fight back by using dynamite to blow up the oil wells". Sarah Palin's environment record targeted by polar bears in computer game PolarPalin 12 Sep 2008 Players of PolarPalin must help a polar bear to navigate its way across Alaska to blow up oil wells, all the while avoiding [sociopath] Sarah Palin, the governor of the state, in her campaign tank. "This game is funny, but it has a very serious message," said Sadia Chishti, managing director of T-Enterprise, the Scottish company behind the game. "The US recently classified the Alaskan polar bear as a threatened species. It is predicted that the population of bears could be reduced by two-thirds by the year 2050. Yet the state of Alaska, led by Sarah Palin, is going to sue the government to reverse the decision.They are worried it will hold back oil and gas developments." In the game, which can be played online at www.t-enterprise.co.uk/polarpalin, players are urged to "help the polar bears fight back by using dynamite to blow up the oil wells".

Go bears!

McCain Vows to Shake Up Government Even If He Has to Travel All the Way to Washington From His Office In Washington By R J Shulman 13 Sep 2008 This week, Senator John McCain has gone full steam ahead with his claims that he is the political outsider, the maverick that will shake up Washington with new and bold ideas. "I’m going to rid the government of the worst blood sucking lobbyists who do not have the interest of the American people in mind," McCain said. "just as soon as these lobbyists, most of whom are on my staff, help get me elected. I know all about getting rid of corruption in government," McCain said, "because after being one of the Keating Five, I now have the judgment not to do that again." (Satire!)

Pakistan army ordered to hit back at U.S. forces 13 Sep 2008 The Pakistani Army has been given orders to retaliate against any unilateral strike by the Afghanistan-based U.S. troops inside the country. Army Spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas confirmed the orders in a brief interview with Geo News on late Thursday night. The decision was made on the first day of the two-day meeting of Pakistan's top military commanders to discuss the U.S. coalition's ground and air assault in Waziristan region which killed dozens of civilians.

US officials evade queries on Bush's approval to Pakistan raids 13 Sep 2008 Amid strong reactions from Pakistan to US-led coalition forces' raids against militants on its soil, the Bush administration has refused to comment on the issue, evading queries on the reported go-ahead given to American special forces by President [sic] George Bush. Asked whether the forces operating in Afghanistan had the powers to launch cross-border attacks, Defence Secretary Robert Gates refused to address the issue but said the commanders had the authority to protect their troops in Afghanistan.

CIA steps up bin Laden missions [Yeah, hiring him for more of them (for November).] 11 Sep 2008 The CIA is intensifying the use of unmanned Predator drone aircraft over Pakistan's border area with Afghanistan. The number of Predator strikes in the area this year already stands at 11, against three in 2007.

US security firm ambushed in Afghanistan, 23 killed 13 Sep 2008 At least 23 people were killed when Taliban ambushed a United States security firm mercenary convoy in southwestern Afghanistan on Friday. Provincial officials said it was the second attack on the firm in recent days. Provincial Police Chief Khalilullah Rahmani said US Protection and Investigations, a firm involved in escorting supplies for coalition forces, also suffered casualties, but gave no details.

Bomb disposal expert killed in Helmand 13 Sep 2008 The first British bomb disposal expert to be killed in Afghanistan [Warrant officer Class 2 Gary O'Donnell] has raised the total number of British fatalities in the conflict to 118.

Strip of Iraq 'on the Verge of Exploding' 13 Sep 2008 Kurdish leaders have expanded their authority over a roughly 300-mile-long swath of territory beyond the borders of their autonomous region in northern Iraq, stationing thousands of soldiers in ethnically mixed areas in what Iraqi Arabs see as an encroachment on their homelands.

At least 18 killed in bombings, shootings in Iraq 13 Sep 2008 Gunmen on Saturday abducted and killed four employees of an Iraqi television station who were filming a program about the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, one of a series of attacks in Iraq that left at least 18 people dead.

Gunmen kill 4 Iraqi TV staff in Mosul --Committee to Protect Journalists: Around 130 reporters and 50 media assistants have been killed since the U.S.-led invasion. Iraq has the worst record for failing to solve murders of journalists, with around 80 unsolved killings. 13 Sep 2008 Gunmen kidnapped and shot dead three Iraqi journalists from Iraq's Sharqiya TV station along with their driver in the northern city of Mosul on Saturday, the station and police said. It was one of the single deadliest militant US attacks on journalists in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Bomb kills 4 at Baghdad security checkpoint 13 Sep 2008 Iraqi authorities say a bomb has killed four people and wounded nine others at a security checkpoint in eastern Baghdad. Police and medics say the dead include three Iraqi police commandos and a member of an armed Sunni group that has turned against 'al-Qaida' in Iraq.

Bombs kill as many as 34 in Iraq 13 Sep 2008 Two bombings, one of which killed as many as 32 people, tore through crowds Friday north of the capital, where Iraqi and U.S. officials say the insurgent threat is the most severe.

Palin backs Israeli right to strike Iran 12 Sep 2008 The US must ensure that Teheran does not obtain weapons of mass destruction and should not second guess an Israeli decision to carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) said Thursday night in an interview with ABC News that focused almost exclusively on foreign policy issues.

Medvedev describes Georgia attack as Russia's 9/11 --President says US backed assault on South Ossetia 13 Sep 2008 Georgia's attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia was unnecessary and unprovoked and was encouraged by the United States, Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, said in an interview yesterday. "For Russia, August 8 was like September 11 for the United States," he told a group of foreign journalists and academics. "I would like to see major lessons from it for the world."

Putin warns West against starting arms race 11 Sep 2008 Vladimir Putin warned the West today against starting an arms race in Europe by stationing a US missile defence shield near Russia's borders and said there was no basis for a new Cold War. Putin, who has taken a robust stance on Russia's conflict with Georgia over the region of South Ossetia, blamed Washington rather than Moscow for resurrecting Soviet-style rhetoric.

Coup Plot Against Chavez Disclosed on Venezuelan TV 11 Sep 2008 On Wednesday night Mario Silva, on the program "La Hojilla" (The Razorblade) showed a recording from an unidentified source in which various military personnel, some retired and some active, were planning a coup against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. The coup plan aimed to take the Miraflores Palace, the headquarters of the government and the president's office.

Advisors back consolidation of nuclear weapons control 12 Sep 2008 A Pentagon advisory group recommends the Air Force consolidate management of its nuclear responsibilities. The panel calls for the Air Force to convert its existing Air Force Space Command into an organization called Air Force Strategic Command. It currently has responsibility for the service's land-based nuclear missiles but not other nuclear weapons.

Terror Plan Would Give F.B.I. More Power --The plan is the latest in a series of steps by the Bush administration to extend key aspects of its counterterrorism strategy beyond the end of President [sic] Bush's tenure. 13 Sep 2008 The Justice Department made public on Friday a plan to expand the tools the Federal Bureau of Investigation can use to investigate suspicions of terrorism inside the United States, even without any direct evidence of wrongdoing. Justice Department officials said the plan, which is likely to be completed by the end of the month despite criticism from civil rights advocates, is intended to allow F.B.I. agents to be more aggressive and pre-emptive in assessing possible threats to national security.

Proposed new FBI rules draw civil liberties worries 12 Sep 2008 The U.S. Justice Department unveiled proposed new rules on Friday for FBI investigations, changes a civil liberties group criticized for giving agents powers to investigate Americans without proper suspicion... The American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern the rewritten rules had been drafted in a way to allow the FBI to begin surveillance without factual evidence to back it up. It said that under the new guidelines, a person's race or ethnic background could be used as a factor in opening an investigation, a move the ACLU believes will institute racial profiling as a matter of policy.

Homeland Security lacking 'open source' intelligence 12 Sep 2008 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has not met requirements to provide "open source" intelligence--that is, publicly available information--for state and local law enforcement, a new report shows. The House Committee on Homeland Security released a report Friday criticizing the department after interviewing more than 350 state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials about the DHS's open source intelligence efforts.

Palin confused on Social Security, other issues 12 Sep 2008 Sarah Palin, talking about domestic policy with ABC's Charles Gibson in his second day of exclusive access on Friday, seemed confused about entitlement programs -- and unaware that Congress has little say in significantly reducing the costs of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

Alaska probe seeks subpoenas as Palin halts cooperation 13 Sep 2008 A few months ago, before she was selected as the Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin promised complete cooperation in the legislature's investigation into whether she improperly fired her public safety director. How things have changed. A joint legislative committee Friday voted to subpoena Palin's husband, Todd Palin, and a dozen others as part of its probe into whether the Alaska governor used her office to settle a personal score. Lawmakers took that step because several members of Palin's administration in recent days canceled interviews with the legislature's investigator, former prosecutor Stephen Branchflower.

Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund Endorses Obama-Biden --Group simultaneously releases first TV ad on Palin's environmental record 12 Sep 2008 Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund today endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) for President and Vice President of the United States. From the organization's president, Rodger Schlickeisen: "John McCain's choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate confirmed that the only candidates we can truly count on to protect our air, land and water are Senators Obama and Biden, and we are proud to today offer our endorsement of the Obama-Biden ticket."

Brutal --Posted by defendersactionfund 12 Sep 2008 Sarah Palin's record on the brutal practice of aerial hunting exposed. (Video)

Sarah Palin Supports Shooting Wolves and Bears From Airplanes --Governor is Strong Proponent of Controversial Alaska Program 03 Sep 2008 Alaska Governor and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is a strong promoter of the aerial hunting of wolves and bears, a practice that has been condemned by conservationists, scientists and many hunters alike. It involves shooting wolves and bears from the air or chasing them to exhaustion and then landing and shooting them point blank. The animals, shot with a shotgun, usually die a painful death. The hunters involved in the program keep and sell the animals' pelts.

'John McCain, who is shameless about promoting himself as America's ultimate patriot, put the best interests of the nation aside in making his incredibly reckless choice of a running mate.' She's Not Ready By Bob Herbert 13 Sep 2008 While watching the Sarah Palin interview with Charlie Gibson Thursday night, and the coverage of the Palin phenomenon in general, I’ve gotten the scary feeling, for the first time in my life, that dimwittedness is not just on the march in the U.S., but that it might actually prevail. How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket?... You can’t imagine that John McCain or Barack Obama or Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or Joe Lieberman would not know what the Bush doctrine is. But Sarah Palin? Absolutely clueless.

Obama Implies McCain Puts Other Countries First 12 Sep 2008 A pretty scathing charge from Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., this morning as he spoke to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and assailed Sen. John McCain's, R-Ariz., position on free trade. "Just ask the machinists in Pennsylvania who build Harley-Davidsons," Obama said of McCain's record. "Because John McCain didn’t just oppose the requirement that the government buy American-made motorcycles, he called Buy American provisions 'disgraceful.' Just ask the workers across this country who have seen their jobs outsourced. The very companies that shipped their jobs overseas have been rewarded with billions of dollars in tax breaks that John McCain supports and plans to continue. "So, when American workers hear John McCain talking about putting 'Country First,'" Obama said, "it’s fair to ask –- which country?" [Exactly!]

Cleared: Jury decides that threat of global warming justifies breaking the law 11 Sep 2008 The threat of global warming is so great that campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, a jury decided yesterday. In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage.

Britain's worst polluters set for windfall of millions --A flagship European scheme designed to fight global warming is set to benefit companies in almost all sectors of the British economy, a Guardian investigation has revealed 12 Sep 2008 A flagship European scheme designed to fight global warming is set to hand hundreds of millions of pounds to some of Britain's most polluting companies, with little or no benefit to the environment, an investigation by the Guardian has revealed. Dozens of multinational firms stand to benefit from the windfall, which comes from the over-allocation of carbon permits under the European emissions trading scheme.

U.S. Gives Banks Urgent Warning to Solve Crisis 13 Sep 2008 As Lehman Brothers teetered Friday evening, Federal Reserve officials summoned the heads of major Wall Street firms to a meeting in Lower Manhattan and insisted they rescue the stricken investment bank and develop plans to stabilize the financial markets. Timothy F. Geithner, the president of the New York Federal Reserve, called a 6 p.m. meeting so that bank officials could review their financial exposures to Lehman Brothers and work out contingency plans over the possibility that the government would need to orchestrate an orderly liquidation of the firm on Monday, according to people briefed on the meeting.

Huge Storm Slams Into Coast of Texas 13 Sep 2008 Even as the center of Hurricane Ike moved north of Houston, Texas' largest metropolitan region continued to huddle from the sprawling storm that has left at least three million customers without power and streets under water... At 1 p.m. Central time, the National Hurricane Center downgraded Ike to a tropical storm and put the storm’s center near Palestine, Tex. The storm system continues to pound parts of Texas is expected to move into western Arkansas by tonight.

Zookeepers Treat Ailing Polar Bear to Cupcakes 12 Sep 2008 She looks a little rough, but the Assiniboine Park Zoo's polar bear Debby, famous for being the oldest living polar bear in the world, is dealing better than expected with health issues that threatened her life earlier this year, zoo officials said Thursday. [Keep polar bear-killing terrorist, Sarah Palin, far away from special polar bear, Debby.]

*****

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