September 2009 Archives
Joe Wilson Voted to Provide Taxpayer Money for Illegal Immigrants' Healthcare By Donny Shaw 11 Sep 2009 On Wednesday night, Rep. Joe Wilson [R, SC-2], shouted "You lie!" at President Obama when he said that the healthcare bill would not cover illegal immigrants. "The supporters of the government takeover of healthcare and liberals who want to give healthcare to illegals are using my opposition as an excuse to distract from the critical questions being raised about this poorly conceived plan," Wilson said the next day in a campaign fundraising video. However, in 2003 [under Bush], Wilson voted to provide federal funds for illegal immigrants' healthcare. The vote came on the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, which contained Sec. 1011 authorizing $250,000 annually between 2003 and 2008 for government reimbursements to hospitals who provide treatment for uninsured illegal immigrants. The program has been extended through 2009 and there is currently a bipartisan bill in Congress to make it permanent. [Wilson obviously has no problem funding undocumented workers' health care, as long as the 'president' is white. --LRP]
Afghanistan prisoners to be allowed to challenge their detention for first time 13 Sep 2009 Prisoners held in Afghanistan for years without trial in a notorious military prison and accused of being Taliban fighters or terrorists will for the first time be able to challenge their detention. More than 600 prisoners held at Bagram airbase will be given a chance to have their case reviewed under a new scheme disclosed by the Pentagon... The move was met cautiously by lawyers working with prisoners. Ramzi Kassem, a law professor at City University of New York acting for a Yemeni seized in Thailand in 2002 said it was "window dressing". "The whole thing was meant to pull the wool over the eyes of the judicial system. These changes don't come anywhere near an adequate substitute for a real review." The guidelines came to light as President Barack Obama's administration reviewed Bush-era detention policies. His government is currently in US court battles with lawyers seeking to gain full legal rights for Bagram detainees.
U.S. to Expand Review of Detainees in Afghan Prison --Some of the detainees have already been held at Bagram for as long as six years. 13 Sep 2009 The Obama administration soon plans to issue new guidelines aimed at giving the hundreds of prisoners at an American detention center in Afghanistan significantly more ability to challenge their custody, Pentagon officials and detainee advocates say. The new Pentagon guidelines would assign military-appointed representatives to each of the roughly 600 detainees at the American-run prison at the Bagram Air Base north of Kabul... Two prisoners [argue] that they were not enemy combatants and want a civilian judge to review the evidence against them and order their release, under the constitutional right of habeas corpus. The Obama administration, like the Bush administration, has rejected this argument... The new policy guidelines will bolster the government’s case, said the Defense Department official, who added, "We want to be able to go into court and say we have good review procedures." The Obama administration had sought to preserve Bagram as a haven where it could detain terrorism suspects beyond the reach of American courts, agreeing with the Bush regime’s view that courts had no jurisdiction over prisoners there.
'America's final goal is to create confrontation between Iran and Iraq.' US wants Iran-Iraq confrontation: Vahidi 12 Sep 2009 Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Saturday that Washington was aiming to trigger a confrontation between former archfoes turned allies Iran and Iraq. "America's final goal is to create confrontation between Iran and Iraq," Vahidi said in reaction to an interview by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates in which he urged Washington's Arab allies to strengthen their military capabilities in order to pressure Iran into halting its nuclear programme. "We advise US officials not to try to militarise the atmosphere in the region and to change their wrong strategy to make up for past mistakes," Vahidi was quoted as saying by Fars new agency.
U.S. soldier held in shooting death of KBR contractor on American base 13 Sep 2009 A U.S. soldier was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting today of a civilian contractor on an American military base in the northern Iraq city of Tikrit, the military said. The shooting occurred at 8:30 a.m. and the man died of his wounds later in the day. The Associated Press later reported that Houston-based KBR confirmed he was one of its employees, 27-year-old Lucas Vinson.
At least 3 killed in car bombing in northeast Baghdad 13 Sep 2009 At least three people were killed and 20 others injured in a car bomb explosion at a popular market in a town in the volatile Diyala province on Sunday, a provincial police source said. The incident took place in the afternoon in a busy marketplace in the town of Maqdadiyah, some 100 km northeast of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Back-to-back bombs at Shiite shrine in Iraq kill 4 12 Sep 2009 Two bombs exploded back to back near a Shiite shrine in central Baghdad where worshippers had gathered in prayer Saturday, killing four people and injuring 24, police and hospital officials said. The first bomb went off next to the tomb of a revered ninth century religious figure, Sheik Othman al-Omari. Then a car bomb exploded in a nearby parking lot as crowds were gathering. The blasts damaged the shrine and blew out the windows of neighboring buildings.
39 civilians, 5 U.S. troops die in Afghanistan 13 Sep 2009 Five Americans were killed Saturday amid a wave of bombings, ambushes and killings that swept across Afghanistan. At least 39 Afghan civilians and members of the Afghan security forces were also killed in attacks that struck the north, the south and the east on Friday and Saturday, Afghan officials said.
US not to channel aid to Pak through the government sector: official 13 Sep 2009 The United States has made it clear that it would not funnel its aid to Pakistan through the government sector unless it is convinced that the funds would be used effectively and efficiently and exactly for the purpose it is meant for. [And, what would that be?]
Total and Chevron accused of propping up junta 10 Sep 2009 Two reports by EarthRights International, a US-based rights advocacy group, allege that energy giants Total and Chevron are propping up Burma's junta with a gas project that has allowed the regime to stash billions of dollars. Energy giants Total and Chevron are propping up Myanmar's junta with a gas project that has allowed the regime to stash nearly five billion dollars in Singaporean banks, a rights group said Thursday. France's Total and US-based Chevron have also tried to whitewash alleged rights abuses by Myanmar troops guarding the pipeline, including forced labour and killings, two reports by US-based EarthRights International said.
Court temporarily halts CIA secrets case 13 Sep 2009 A federal appeals court has put a lawsuit against the CIA on hold temporarily, disagreeing with a lower court judge who claimed the agency was hiding behind dubious national security arguments to shield itself from potential embarrassment. The decision by a federal appeals panel on Thursday to grant an emergency stay will likely put off the questioning of a key witness in the case. The CIA has argued that allowing the case to proceed would divulge classified information.
Sonic Weapons Used in Iraq Positioned At Town Hall Meetings 11 Sep 2009 (CA) The device was stationed by San Diego County Sheriff deputies at a recent town hall forum hosted by Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) in Spring Valley and at a subsequent town hall with Congressman Darrell Issa (R-San Diego). A public records search conducted by East County Magazine has confirmed that the device is an LRAD 500-x manufactured by San Diego-based American Technology Corporation (ATC). Capable of use as an effective loudspeaker, the LRAD also has the ability to emit a deafening tone aimed at incapacitating and dispersing a crowd without use of lethal force.
Disaster Plans Being Revised For Swine Flu 13 Sep 2009 Even if swine flu remains a mild infection, the pandemic could be the tipping point for an emergency medical system teetering on the edge. Federal officials are asking hospitals to report more current details about how stressed or well-equipped they are so the officials can help coordinate care in a crisis. In a worst-case scenario, some states, such as Iowa and California, have mobile hospitals consisting of a series of connected tents that they could rush to any area and erect, for example, on a football field.
Govt sees early delivery of flu vaccine 13 Sep 2009 Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Sunday said the United States now expects to receive the first batch of [deadly] swine flu vaccine in early October, a few weeks earlier than expected. "We're on track to have an ample supply by October," Sebelius told ABC television "but we may have some early vaccine as early as the first full week in October."
Curiouser and curiouser: 2 flu strains in 1 pig led to new H1N1 --Swine flus merged, jumped to humans 13 Sep 2009 The new H1N1 strain is based primarily on an unusual virus that has been circulating widely in U.S. pigs since the 1990s. That "triple reassortant" flu is actually a combination of classic swine flu, a North American avian flu and a strain of human flu. Somehow [!?!], a single pig became simultaneously infected with that virus and a pure swine flu strain found in pigs in Europe and Asia. The two strains swapped genetic material to produce the new H1N1 strain, which then began to infect humans. How did strains mix? That remains a mystery, and scientists will probably never know. [Uh, I'd say, we *all* know! I saw this one marching down Broadway when Shock & Awe was just a twinkle in Rumsfeld's eye. See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 UK Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice. Animals exposed to this composite were dying within days of symptoms similar to those found in human victims of the 1918 pandemic. And, they are about to hit paydirt, w. this pandemic insanity. --LRP]
Key Blagojevich adviser Christopher Kelly dead 12 Sep 2009 The man federal prosecutors pressured to cooperate in the corruption probe of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich died of an apparent aspirin overdose on Saturday, law enforcement sources said. Christopher Kelly, 51, of Burr Ridge, was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital at 10:46 a.m. An autopsy is scheduled for today, a Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office spokeswoman said.
ABC News Was Misquoted on Crowd Size --ABC News Reported D.C. Rally Size in Tens of Thousands, Not 1M to 1.5M as Teabagger Said. 12 Sep 2009 Conservative activists, who organized a march on the U.S. Capitol today in protest of the Obama administration's health care agenda and government spending, erroneously attributed reports on the size of the crowds to ABC News. Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks [United Healthcare whore], the group that organized the event, said on stage at the rally that ABC News was reporting that 1 million to 1.5 million people were in attendance.
House may vote on formal rebuke for Rep. Wilson outburst 13 Sep 2009 The House of Representatives appears headed for a vote to formally rebuke Rep. Joe Wilson this week for heckling President Obama after the South Carolina Republican refused Sunday to apologize on the House floor. "The House likely will take up a resolution," Brendan Daly, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told USA TODAY. "He violated the decorum of the House; it has to be resolved in the House."
Lawmaker won't apologize to Obama in Congress 13 Sep 2009 South Carolina Republican Representative [racist] Joe Wilson, who faces possible censure in the U.S. House of Representatives for shouting "You lie!" during President Barack Obama's speech to Congress on healthcare reform, said on Sunday he would not apologize again. Calling his outburst on Wednesday evening "a town hall moment," Wilson told "Fox News Sunday" that since his apology to the president had already been accepted, he did not plan to apologize on the House floor as Democrats have demanded.
My question: If the outburst by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) was 'spontaneous,' as he claimed, how come -- and who -- photographed Wilson at the exact moment of his heckling of President Obama? --Lori Price
Insurance Industry to Write New Obama Health Care Compromise Bill --The universal health care provision will mandate that everyone buy a health care plan from a private insurance provider or be thrown into Guantanamo Bay prison as a traitor. By R J Shulman 13 Sep 2009 In a bold new move to push health care reform through Congress by the end of the year, President Barack Obama has asked the insurance industry to help draft a bill that can get the votes of so-called Blue Dog Democrats and some Republican support... The bill also makes it illegal for anyone, any government entity or business to negotiate for lower health care premium prices as that would be considered government interference with the free market. "We just can't have anyone trying to shove down limits down the throats of CEO bonuses as that is just anti-American," said Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT). (Satire)
Stiglitz Says Banking Problems Are Now Bigger Than Pre-Lehman 13 Sep 2009 Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize- winning economist, said the U.S. has failed to fix the underlying problems of its banking system after the credit crunch and the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. "In the U.S. and many other countries, the too-big-to-fail banks have become even bigger," Stiglitz said in an interview today in Paris. "The problems are worse than they were in 2007 before the crisis."
Charles Darwin film 'too controversial for religious America' 11 Sep 2009 A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer. Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin's "struggle between faith and reason" as he wrote On The Origin of Species. The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia. However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country [of morons] where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.
Putin warns against Iran attack --US and Israel have never ruled out the option of air strikes on Iran to stop it acquiring an atomic weapon 11 Sep 2009 Russian PM Vladimir Putin has warned against military action targeting Iran or imposing new sanctions to curb its nuclear programme. Iran's latest proposals on its nuclear ambitions have brought diverging views from the US and Russia. Earlier, a US official told the BBC that Washington was unhappy with the proposals, submitted on Wednesday. President Barack Obama has given Tehran until the end of September to respond to his friendlier overtures or face new sanctions. [So, that would be Obama's fourth war front: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. Good luck w. that.]
Russian report: Netanyahu may be planning attack --PM's rushed visit to Moscow under cloud of secrecy occupies Russian media. 10 Sep 2009 Israel News Russian media on Thursday continued to cover Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's mysterious visit to Moscow, that was leaked to the media from his office. Kommersant newspaper quoted "experts" as saying they believe a visit of this kind could have stemmed from urgent circumstances, "for example, in the event that Israel plans to attack Iran".
says U.S. must renew fight against al Qaeda 11 Sep 2009 President
US committee approves $128 billion war spending --Funding will allow President Obama's order to add 21,000 more troops to the Afghanistan contingent, to proceed. 10 Sep 2009 A powerful Senate committee in the US has approved President Barack Obama’s $128 billion request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. With little debate, it was decided to allow the request which will cater for $636 billion in funding for next year’s Pentagon budget. The funding will allow President Obama’s order from earlier this year, to add 21,000 more troops to the Afghanistan contingent, to go ahead.
'Taliban hold sway over in 97% of Afghanistan' 11 Sep 2009 A policy research group says the Taliban have a significant presence in almost every corner of Afghanistan, eight years after their overthrow by US-led forces. A security map by the London-based International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) showed a deepening security crisis with substantial Taliban activity in at least 97 percent of the war-ravaged country.
Senate Armed Services Chairman: No More U.S. Troops to Afghanistan 11 Sep 2009 The debate whether to send more combat troops to Afghanistan took a twist reminiscent of the Iraq conflict when the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Friday advised not sending any more U.S. combat troops to Afghanistan beyond those already approved by President Obama until more Afghan security forces are trained. Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., also called for a shift in U.S. efforts toward [a new money pit] more trainers, who could, in part, be supplied by NATO allies.
Iraq suicide truck bombing kills 22 people 11 Sep 2009 A suicide truck bomber triggered a massive blast in a Kurdish village in northern Iraq as residents slept early on Thursday, flattening homes and killing at least 22 people, officials said. The attack just after midnight in Wardak, southeast of Mosul, brought down a dozen houses built from clay and stone, damaged 60 others and left a massive crater, said an AFP reporter at the scene.
Gunmen kill five Iraqi soldiers in drive-by 11 Sep 2009 Gunmen drove two cars up to an Iraqi army checkpoint in northern Iraq and opened fire on Friday evening, killing five soldiers, police said. The drive-by shooting took place just before Iraqis broke their Ramadan fast in the village of Safara, about 200 km (125 miles) northwest of Baghdad.
Iraqi shoe thrower gets hero treatment 11 Sep 2009 The Iraqi TV journalist who threw his shoes at then-president [sic] George W. Bush will be showered with gifts including a four-bedroom house -- and at least one potential bride -- upon his imminent release from jail. Muntadhar al-Zeidi, 30, is scheduled to be freed Monday after spending nine months in prison for assault, according to Dhiya al-Saadi, his lawyer. Al-Zeidi hurled both shoes at Bush during a Baghdad news conference last December to protest the U.S. presence in Iraq.
Torture Case Against US Mercenaries Is Dismissed 12 Sep 2009 A federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit against two American mercenary firms by Iraqi victims of torture, saying the companies had immunity as 'government contractors.' The lawsuit was filed in 2004 on behalf of Iraqis who say they or their relatives had been tortured or mistreated at Abu Ghraib prison. The plaintiffs sued CACI International, which provided interrogators at Abu Ghraib, and L-3 Communications Holdings’ Titan unit, which provided interpreters to the military.
Met Police to investigate M16 torture claim --Scotland Yard is investigating an allegation that an MI6 officer was complicit in torture, after the Secret Intelligence Service referred the incident on its own initiative. 11 Sep 2009 Police are already looking into similar claims made against MI5 by the former Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed. This latest case emerged in a letter from the Foreign Secretary David Miliband to his Conservative counterpart William Hague - and it has prompted calls for a full independent inquiry into all such allegations. Scotland Yard said the attorney general, Baronness Scotland, asked the police to investigate "the conditions under which a non-Briton was held" and the "potential involvement of British personnel".
Biden Honors NYC 9/11 Victims as Obama Hosts Memorial 11 Sep 2009 Vice President Joe Biden led past and present area governors and mayors of New York City as well as relatives and friends honoring 2,752 people who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. New York’s eighth anniversary observance paid tribute to the volunteer spirit of hundreds of emergency responders and individuals who helped rescue thousands from the towers and then aided in the recovery of the dead from the burning ruins.
Fifty questions on 9/11 By Pepe Escobar 11 Sep 2009 It's September 11 all over again - eight years on. The George W Bush administration is out. The "global war on terror" is still on, renamed "overseas contingency operations" by the Barack Obama administration. Obama's "new strategy" - a war escalation - is in play in AfPak. Osama bin Laden may be dead or not. "Al-Qaeda" remains a catch-all ghost entity. September 11 - the neo-cons' "new Pearl Harbor" - remains the darkest jigsaw puzzle of the young 21st century. [See: CLG 9/11 Exposition Zone.]
FAA: Flights at Ronald Reagan Airport Halted for 20 Minutes After Reports of Shots 11 Sep 2009 The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to ABC News that flights departing from the Washington D.C. Ronald Reagan National Airport were stopped for 20 minutes as a precautionary measure after media reports of shots fired by the Coast Guard on the Potomac River. FAA officials say 17 outbound flights were affected but arrivals were not impacted. Departures stopped at around 10:08 a.m. and resumed at 10:29 a.m.
'No shots fired' in Washington river Coast Guard exercise 11 Sep 2009 The Coast Guard was conducting a training exercise in the Potomac River in Washington DC moments before US President Barack Obama and his motorcade crossed a nearby bridge today. Coast Guard Chief Keith Moore said no shots were fired as part of the exercise. Media reports suggested shots had been fired in the river. President Obama had travelled to the Pentagon for a ceremony commemorating the eighth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Coast Guard Exercise on Potomac River Raises Fears 11 Sep 2009 The U.S. Coast Guard sent gunboats to the Potomac River in Washington today as part of a training exercise on the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, prompting the FBI and other law enforcement agencies which hadn't received advance notice to race to the scene. The exercise [?!?] was conducted about the time President Barack Obama was at a Sept. 11 ceremony at the Pentagon, which required crossing the river on a nearby bridge.
Potomac River Scare: Coast Guard 'Shots' During 9/11 Memorial --Coast Guard Admits it Was Running Training Exercise -- Right Near Pentagon Ceremony 11 Sep 2009 Washington, D.C., residents mourning the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks this morning heard an eerie echo less than an hour later -- reports that a Coast Guard vessel had fired shots at a boat in the Potomac River near the Pentagon. But after half an hour of anxiety, the Coast Guard and local police said the whole thing was a training exercise, and no shots were fired at all. The exercise took place before mourners had left the memorial ceremony at the Pentagon where President Obama spoke, and while memorials in New York City and Shanksville, Pa., were still in progress.
Homeland security grants awarded in state after 9/11 marked by waste, lack of oversight 11 Sep 2009 ...The Marin County example is not an isolated one. Under the state's open-records laws, California Watch found scores of instances of wasteful spending, purchasing violations, error-prone accounting and shoddy oversight at agencies across the state during the years immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
to Get $78.3 Million to Enhance Security
11 Sep 2009 1:34 PM Metro will receive $78.3 million in grants from
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enhance the security of
the system, its riders and employees, the agency announced Thursday.
Metro said it will use the money to hire additional police officers
and explosives-detecting dogs, install surveillance cameras on rail
cars and buses, and implement and enhance emergency training for employees.
It said $11 million will go toward creating 25 new positions for the
Metro Transit Police, including 20 additional officers for new
Police resources for homicide cases scarce as Detroit faces cash crisis 11 Sep 2009 As the city tries to stave off financial collapse, it also finds itself mired in controversy about its high murder rate and large number of unsolved murders. Murders are up more than 15 percent from this time a year ago, according to police, who patrol the city with the nation's highest murder rate. Add to that a Detroit News investigation that on Thursday revealed that, at minimum, seven in 10 people who committed murder in this city last year have gotten away with it.
Big Brother database to protect children against paedophiles has gone too far, says Soham report chief 12 Sep 2009 (UK) A massive vetting system set up to safeguard children and the elderly has come under fire from Sir Michael Bichard - the man whose report into the Soham murders led to its creation. One in four adults in Britain will have to be screened by the Independent Safeguarding Authority when it goes live next month, before they are allowed to work in any job involving access to children. It could even cover those who do no more than give neighbours' or friends' children lifts to sports or club events.
House plans to admonish Rep. Wilson over outburst --While not a formal censure or reprimand, the resolution, if passed as expected, would put Congress on record as condemning Wilson's conduct. 11 Sep 2009 Democratic leaders are planning a House vote early next week to admonish Republican Rep. Joe Wilson if he does not apologize on the House floor for yelling "You lie!" during President Barack Obama's health care address to Congress. National attention from the heckling episode has money pouring into Wilson's campaign treasury and that of his 2010 Democratic challenger. Democratic leaders decided at a meeting late Thursday that they probably will propose a resolution of disapproval early next week if Wilson doesn't apologize to Congress, said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Dem leaders renew push for Wilson censure 10 Sep 2009 Joe Wilson's flat refusal to apologize to the entire House for heckling President Obama has rekindled a push by top Democrats to introduce a censure resolution -- despite Speaker Nancy Pelosi's earlier refusal to consider the idea, sources tell me. Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) and Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) are once again considering the move after Wilson adamantly refused to offer a mea culpa in the well of the House -- after Clyburn buttonholed him on the floor.
Joe Wilson: 'I will not be muzzled' 11 Sep 2009 Rep. Joe Wilson (R-Racist-SC) released a fiery fundraising appeal late Thursday, calling himself a target of the left and vowing to push forward in his battle against President Obama’s health care reform effort. "…I will not be muzzled. I will speak up loudly against this risky plan," Wilson says in the video appeal on his campaign Web site.
"Joe the Heckler" Wilson Newest GOP Star By R J Shulman 12 Sep 2009 While not as snappy as "I have not yet begun to fight" or "give me liberty or give me death," the words "you lie," hurled at President Barack Obama by South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson, has catapulted the little-known congressman into the new Republican sensation. "With just two words, Joe was able to wrestle the spotlight away from Obama and his fascist communistic plans for a government takeover of health care, complete with death panels and doctor rationing," said Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa. (Satire)
Insurance company stock dividends we can believe in: Shares of U.S. health insurers rose after Obama's speech 10 Sep 2009 Shares of U.S. health insurers climbed on Thursday after analysts saw no "game changers" from President Barack Obama's highly anticipated speech on health reform. Following the speech, analysts predicted any changes to the system would be moderate, with Obama backing many initiatives put forth earlier this week by a leading Senate committee. The possibility a threatening public health plan would be enacted also now seemed doubtful, analysts said.
Pelosi joins President Obama on road to health care compromise
11 Sep 2009 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fell in line Thursday behind
President Obama's bid to water down liberal Democrats' health reform
demands and pave the way for
Insiders sell like there's no tomorrow --Corporate officers and directors were buying stock when the market hit bottom. What does it say that they're selling now? 11 Sep 2009 Can hundreds of stock-selling insiders be wrong? The stock market has mounted an historic rally since it hit a low in March. The S&P 500 is up 55%, as U.S. job losses have slowed and credit markets have stabilized. But against that improving backdrop, one indicator has turned distinctly bearish: Corporate officers and directors have been selling shares at a pace last seen just before the onset of the subprime malaise two years ago.
Corus, Minn. bank busts bring '09 failures to 91 11 Sep 2009 Regulators closed Chicago-based Corus Bank N.A. and Woodbury, Minn.-based Brickwell Community Bank on Friday, bringing the number of U.S. bank failures this year to 91. Corus had $7 billion in assets and $7 billion in deposits as of June 30, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a statement. Corus' deposits have been assumed by MB Financial Bank, the FDIC said. Brickwell Community Bank had $63 million in deposits as of July 24, the regulator said.
'I've never experienced anything like this. There has been a huge drop in the number of bears we see.' Grizzlies starve as salmon disappear 11 Sep 2009 First the salmon vanished, now the bears may be gone too. Reports from conservationists, salmon-stream walkers and ecotourism guides all along British Columbia's wild central coast indicate a collapse of salmon runs has triggered widespread death from starvation of black and grizzly bears. Those guides are on the front lines of what they say is an unfolding ecological disaster that is so new that it has not been documented by biologists.
Help Stop the International Polar Bear Trade 03 Sep 2009 In some countries, collectors can still buy polar bear skin rugs, claws, skulls and other parts of these animals -- even as these beloved bears struggle for survival in a warming world. The U.S. can strengthen protections for polar bears under international law by proposing to restrict trade in polar bear products -- a move that could save the lives of hundreds of polar bears each year. But officials need to hear from you. Take action now -- Urge the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to propose an international ban on the trade of polar bear products. Please take action: The deadline is today!
U.S. eyes military equipment in Iraq for Pakistan 09 Sep 2009 The Pentagon has proposed transferring U.S. military equipment from Iraq to Pakistani security forces to 'help' Islamabad step up its offensive against the Taliban, according to officials and government documents. The Pentagon request for the authority to "transfer articles no longer needed in Iraq" to the army of Pakistan received a cool reception in the U.S. Congress. [Gee, if the *equipment* goes, is it not logical to assume that the *people* (mercenaries, soldiers) who *operate* the equipment will soon follow?]
Why did you kill my son? Backlash against Afghan rescue operation grows 11 Sep 2009 The operation to free the journalist Stephen Farrell was enmeshed in controversy and recrimination last night as Gordon Brown appeared to distance himself from ordering the rescue bid which ended in British and Afghan deaths. Now the father of Sultan Munadi, the Afghan colleague of Mr Farrell who was killed in the raid, has demanded to know why ongoing negotiations, which he believes could have led to a peaceful outcome, were abandoned in favour of a military strike.
Negotiators shocked by special forces rescue raid on Taleban 10 Sep 2009 Hostage negotiators expressed shock and anger at Gordon Brown’s decision to approve a commando raid to free a kidnapped British journalist, saying that they were within days of securing his release through peaceful means. Stephen Farrell -- who was in Afghanistan for The New York Times -- was not harmed in the raid but his Afghan translator, Sultan Munadi, and a British soldier from the Special Forces Support Group were killed. The men were being held at a house in Kharudi in northern Afghanistan. Just after midnight on Tuesday US helicopters dropped British special forces and Afghan troops in the village... At least one civilian and scores of militants were killed.
Taliban presence seen across almost all Afghanistan --Substantial Taliban activity in at least 97 percent of the country 10 Sep 2009 The Taliban have a significant presence in almost every corner of Afghanistan, data from a policy think tank showed on Thursday. A security map by policy research group the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) however showed a deepening security crisis with substantial Taliban activity in at least 97 percent of the country. The ICOS data, obtained by Reuters before its release on Thursday, painted an even darker picture than an Afghan government map last month that showed almost half of Afghanistan at either a high risk of attack or under "enemy control".
Congress wary of more US Afghanistan troops-Pelosi 10 Sep 2009 There is little support in Congress for sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives said on Thursday, indicating possible trouble ahead for President Barack Obama. Obama may decide in the coming weeks whether to expand the size of the U.S. military force in Afghanistan... But U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said deploying more U.S. troops could be a tough sell.
Iraq: Car Bomb Kills 8 Family Members 10 Sep 2009 A car bomb killed eight members of a family on Wednesday in Kirkuk. Maj. Gen. Jamal Taher Bakr, Kirkuk’s police chief, said a displaced family from Diyala Province had been taking refuge in a house close to where the bomb exploded.
30 killed in Iraq attacks 10 Sep 2009 At least 30 people were killed and 99 injured in attacks that shook different parts of Iraq on Thursday, security sources said. In northern Iraq, 25 people died and 43 were injured in a truck bombing in eastern Mosul. The vehicle blew up early morning in Kurdish-dominated Wardak village, security sources said.
Senate panel votes to kill F-22 fighter 10 Sep 2009 The Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to kill Lockheed Martin Corp's F-22 fighter jet, the most advanced U.S. fighter, and largely backed other program cuts sought by President Barack Obama. By a 30 to 0 vote that took 15 minutes and featured no debate, the panel approved a $636.3 billion defense budget for fiscal 2010, which starts October 1.
Lithuania Parliament Rejects CIA Prison Probe 10 Sep 2009 Lithuania's parliament on Thursday rejected holding an inquiry into a U.S. report that the country hosted a secret CIA prison for 'al Qaeda' suspects. ABC News reported in August that Lithuania was the third European country after Poland and Romania to have provided the Central Intelligence Agency with facilities for detaining and, possibly, interrogating suspects.
FBI Informant Says Agents Missed Chance to Stop 9/11 Ringleader --Mohammed Atta Undercover Operative 'One Million Percent Positive' Attacks Could Have Been Prevented 10 Sep 2009 On the eve of the eight year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, an FBI informant who infiltrated alleged terrorist cells in the U.S. tells ABC News the FBI missed a chance to stop the al Qaeda [al CIAduh] plot because they focused more on undercover stings than on the man who would later become known as 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta. Former undercover operative Elie Assaad says he spotted and became suspicious of Atta in early 2001, when he was sent by the FBI to infiltrate a small mosque outside Miami.
Ground broken on $3.4 billion Homeland Security complex --Complex is biggest federal building project in D.C. area since Pentagon 68 years ago 09 Sep 2009 Washington notables broke ground on the future home of the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, symbolically starting construction on the biggest federal building project in the Washington area since the Pentagon 68 years ago. The project will bring together more than 15,000 employees now scattered in 35 offices in the region, placing them on a 176-acre campus strewn with historic buildings in a long-neglected corner of Washington, five miles from the Capitol building.
Biotech companies benefiting from flu outbreak --List of biotech companies whose shares may rise or fall depending on the course of the swine flu pandemic. 10 Sep 2009 Gilead Sciences Inc - Receives royalties on sales of the Tamiflu pill, which Roche Holding AG sells under license from Gilead. According to analysts at Barclays Capital, current projections for the second half of the year suggest combined seasonal and pandemic Tamiflu sales of $1 billion.
Most U.S. campuses already reporting flu-like sicknesses 09 Sep 2009 Almost three-quarters (73%) of American colleges and universities are reporting cases of influenza-like illnesses among students, with the highest rates in the Southeast and Midwest, the American College Health Association says. There were 4,045 new flu-like illness cases between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4 among 204 schools taking part in voluntary reporting, the new data show.
Beck Strikes Again [Obama Surrenders Again]; Yosi Sergant Reassigned at NEA 10 Sep 2009 The National Endowment for the Arts has reassigned former communications director Yosi Sergant, who had become the latest target of FOX News talk show host Glenn Beck. Acting NEA communications director Victoria Hutter said Thursday that Sergant had left the communications post. The move came after he had come under attack from Beck, a conservative commentator who accused Sergant of attempting to use taxpayer money to fund art to support the president's initiatives.
GOP lawmaker: 'One mistress wears skimpy underwear and likes to be spanked.' Disgraced California lawmaker denies affairs --The Republican is married with two children. 10 Sep 2009 A pro-family values California lawmaker who resigned after being caught on tape boasting about his sexual conquests denied Thursday that he had extramarital affairs, saying "my offense was engaging in inappropriate storytelling." Mike Duvall stepped down Wednesday after a videotape surfaced in which he was overheard telling a lawmaker about having sex with a lobbyist and another woman, including salacious details about how one mistress wears skimpy underwear and likes to be spanked.
House Democrats to Wilson: Apologize or Face Censure --House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (SC) asked Wilson to apologize on the House floor in front of his colleagues. 10 Sep 2009 On the House floor where President Obama spoke just a half-day earlier, two words shouted by a Republican congressman reverberated louder than the finer points of health care debate. House Democrats seized on House rules Thursday to demand South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson offer a high-profile apology to President Obama for shouting, "You lie," during the president's health care address. Democrats have threatened to censure Wilson absent such an apology.
Specter Calls for Censure of Wilson 10 Sep 2009 Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) called Thursday for the censure of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for shouting "You lie!" at President Obama as the president addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night. "There ought to be a reprimand or censure of Rep. Joe Wilson to discourage that kind of conduct in the future," he Tweeted. "Rep. Wilson apologized immediately afterward but I don't think that's adequate," he wrote just moments before.
Joe Wilson Foe, Rob Miller, Gets Windfall From 'You Lie' Comment By Frank James 10 Sep 2009 A major beneficiary of Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst towards President Barack Obama last night is the lawmaker's Democratic rival Rob Miller who is raising oodles of money. Miller, an Iraq War veteran, lost to Wilson 54 percent to 46 percent last November. But just since last night, he has raised $450,000 according to a CNN report.
Shimkus walked on Obama: 'Frustrated' 10 Sep 2009 Rep. Joe Wilson, the South Carolina Republican who yelled at President Barack Obama during his address to Congress this week, wasn't the only one unhappy with what he heard. Rep. John Shimkus, a Republican from Illinois, walked out.
Obama Keeps Up Health Care Push, Citing Uninsured 11 Sep 2009 President Obama, seeking to buttress his case for the kind of comprehensive health care overhaul that has eluded Washington for decades, said Thursday that the number of uninsured Americans rose by nearly 6 million as the recession intensified during the last 12 months. On the morning after his blunt address on health care to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Obama addressed a group of nurses on the White House campus -- and received the endorsement of their professional association, administration officials said.
More than 1 in 4 in Texas lack health insurance 10 Sep 2009 Once again, Texas has the nation's highest rate of people without health insurance. More than one of every four Texans -- 25.1 percent -- were uninsured in a two-year average ending last year, a Census Bureau report showed today. That's up from 24.1 percent for 2005 and 2006.
Fox News appeals ruling for U.S. Fed over bailout 10 Sep 2009 Fox News Network LLC on Wednesday appealed a U.S. judge's decision not to force the U.S. Federal Reserve to reveal the names of participants in its emergency lending programs. The news network, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. filed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to over turn a July 30 ruling by U.S. District Judge Hellerstein that denied the network's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of the U.S. central bank.
U.S. poverty rate hits 11-year high as recession bites 10 Sep 2009 The U.S. poverty rate hit its highest level in 11 years in 2008 as the worst recession since the Great Depression threw millions of Americans out of work, a government report showed on Thursday. The Census Bureau said the poverty rate -- the percentage of people living in poverty -- jumped to 13.2 percent, the highest level since 1997, from 12.5 percent in 2007.
Judge blocks release of names of R-71 signers 10 Sep 2009 A federal judge on Thursday blocked the release of names of people who signed Referendum 71, an effort to overturn the state's new "everything but marriage" same-sex domestic partner law. Gay rights activists want to post the names online... The group Protect Marriage Washington, which collected nearly 138,000 signatures to qualify R-71 for the November ballot, says those people could be harassed, amounting to an infringement on their free speech rights.
Polar bear, arctic fox, caribou hurt by climate change 10 Sep 2009 Polar bear cubs, the arctic fox and caribou herds are among the victims of dramatic changes in the Arctic due to climate change, a study published Thursday found. "Species on land and at sea are suffering adverse consequences of human behavior at latitudes thousands of miles away," said lead author and biologist Eric Post of Penn State University.
Obama Vows to 'Deliver on Health Care' -- President Urges, but Does Not Demand, Public Option 10 Sep 2009 President Obama sought to reframe the contentious debate over health care on Wednesday. "I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last," Mr. Obama told a joint session of Congress, adding, "Our collective failure to meet this challenge -- year after year, decade after decade -- has led us to a breaking point." ...The president placed a price tag on the plan of about $900 billion over 10 years, which he said was “less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars."
S. Carolina Republican Heckles President 10 Sep 2009 It was a rare breach of the protocol that governs ritualistic events in the Capitol. In an angry and very audible outburst, Representative Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, interrupted President Obama’s speech Wednesday night with a shouted "You lie." His eruption -- in response to Mr. Obama’s statement that Democratic health proposals would not cover illegal aliens -- stunned members of both parties in the House chamber. Democrats said it showed lack of respect for the office of the presidency and was reminiscent of Republican disruptions at August town meetings on health care.
'You lie': Rep. Wilson apologizes 09 Sep 2009 Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) apologized Wednesday night for heckling President Barack Obama as a liar during the president's speech to a joint session of Congress. Wilson shouted to the president "you lie" after Obama said illegal immigrants would not benefit from health insurance coverage from the reform bill. Obama glared disgustedly in the direction the remark came from, as did Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Vice President Joe Biden.
Obama's Health Care Speech to Congress --The prepared text of President Obama’s speech to Congress on the need to overhaul health care in the United States, as released by the White House. 10 Sep 2009 (Transcript)
Prosecutor eyeing war crimes in Afghanistan 09 Sep 2009 The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court said Wednesday he is collecting information on possible war crimes by NATO forces and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Luis Moreno Ocampo said he is also conducting preliminary inquiries on possible war crimes in Georgia, Colombia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, and by Israeli forces in Gaza. Asked whether any NATO soldier is now a potential target of the court if he or she commits a war crime in a country under the court's jurisdiction, he replied that NATO's legal adviser was at the court's headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands last week discussing this issue. In the training NATO is doing, Ocampo said, it is explaining to colonels that in the future they could end up before the court if they commit atrocities.
European Leaders Call for Conference to Assess Progress in Afghanistan --Letter clearly suggested that decisions should not be left solely to the United States 10 Sep 2009 The leaders of France, Britain and Germany have called for a high-level international conference on Afghanistan, saying it is time to "take stock of progress . . . and to evaluate the challenges that lie ahead." In a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the leaders said the conference, which they suggested take place outside Afghanistan under U.N. and Afghan sponsorship, would facilitate agreement on "new benchmarks and timelines" for gradually turning responsibility for the country over to Afghans.
Attack on NATO base kills two people 10 Sep 2009 A bomb attack in a NATO base in Afghanistan has reportedly killed at least two civilians and injured several foreign troops and local residents. The bomb went off outside a British NATO base in the southern province of Helmand late on Wednesday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.
Suicide bombers strike at Kabul airport gate 09 Sep 2009 Three Afghans were killed in a suicide bombing at Kabul's main airport that also injured four international soldiers. Three American soldiers and a Belgian soldier were injured in the attack yesterday, which happened at the main gate of the international military airport just east of Kabul. Six civilians were injured.
UK reporter freed in Afghanistan 09 Sep 2009 A UK journalist abducted in Afghanistan has been freed by Nato troops in a dramatic pre-dawn raid. New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was kidnapped on Saturday along with Afghan interpreter Sultan Munadi while investigating a Nato air strike. Mr Munadi - a father of two - was killed during the rescue operation.
Truck bomb in north Iraq Kurdish village kills 19 09 Sep 2009 A suicide bomber drove a truck packed with explosives into a Kurdish village in northern Iraq before dawn on Thursday, killing at least 19 villagers and wounding 13, police said. Police said the initial death toll from the blast in the village of Wardek, about 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, was likely to rise. Women and children were among the dead and many houses were completely destroyed.
Ban slams Israel's settlement work 09 Sep 2009 The UN Secretary General has denounced Israel's plan for building new settlements as "contrary to international law", calling on Tel Aviv to stop all settlement activities. In a statement issued on Wednesday to denounce the Israeli approval of the construction of 455 new houses in the West Bank, Ban Ki-moon called on Israel "to stop all settlement activity, including natural growth, and dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001 in the occupied Palestinian territory."
Bush White House Sought to Shield Those Running Secret CIA Prisons --U.S. Tried to Quietly Soften Treaty on Detainees 07 Sep 2009 From 2003 to 2006, the Bush regime quietly tried to relax the draft language of a treaty meant to bar and punish "enforced disappearances" so that those overseeing the CIA's secret prison system would not be criminally prosecuted under its provisions, according to former officials and hundreds of pages of documents recently declassified by the State Department... The documents suggest that initial U.S. support for the negotiations collided head-on with the then-undisclosed goal of seizing suspected terrorists anywhere in the world for questioning by CIA interrogators or indefinite detention by the U.S. military at foreign sites. ...The United States pressed in 2004 for a more limited prohibition on intentionally placing detainees outside legal protections for "a prolonged period of time."
wants to discuss his 9/11 theories with Obama 09 Sep 2009 Actor
Charlie Sheen has written a letter
to President Barack Obama requesting a meeting over Sheen's theories
about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Sheen has always been outspoken about
his views on the attacks, supporting a
Howard, Va. Tech Join U.S. Intelligence Program --21 colleges and universities are in DNI's Centers of Academic Excellence program, begun in 2004. 07 Sep 2009 Howard University and Virginia Tech have joined forces in a $2.5 million academic program funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence designed to teach undergraduates skills [for] the nation's intelligence agencies. The aim of the program receiving the five-year grant is to develop a pipeline of graduates "who will come to work for us," said Ronald Sanders, the chief human capital officer for the intelligence community.
Girl Scouts called to action in defense of homeland: DHS launches partnership campaign with US Girl Scouts 08 Sep 2009 The United States wants to enlist its 3.4 million Girl Scouts in the effort to combat hurricanes, pandemics, terror attacks and other disasters. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a campaign Tuesday to entice the blue, brown and green-clad multitudes to be even more prepared, with the promise of a new patch if they pitch in. The young scouts will be able to emblazon their sashes or vests with the patch if they undergo the training which readies them for an emergency. The unveiling of the patch marks a partnership between the scouts and Citizen Corps, a community-based initiative under the DHS's Federal Emergency Management Agency, which coordinates national response to disasters.
Banks, credit unions seek looser regulations due to H1N1 flu --Doctors, bankers and others told House Committee on Small Business they need 'regulatory changes' to handle H1N1 pandemic 09 Sep 2009 Doctors asked the government on Wednesday to pay them more for giving [deadly] vaccines and prescribing drugs on the telephone as the flu pandemic hits their communities. Meanwhile, small bankers said they should get relief from some regulatory requirements during the worst of the pandemic. They would include better Medicaid payments for giving flu vaccines -- some pediatricians may have to vaccinate some children four times this year [!] -- and looser regulations for banks and credit unions.
Most Germans don't want swine flu vaccinations --The German govt has ordered 18 million more vaccinations against swine flu. But two-thirds of Germans say they don't want to be immunized. 09 Sep 2009 A new study conducted by the Forsa Institute for DAK, one of Germany's largest health insurers, revealed that a surprising number of Germans do not plan to get immunized. In the study of 1,001 people aged between 18 and 60 years, 62 percent said they would "definitely not," or "almost definitely not" let themselves be vaccinated this in autumn when the first swine flu vaccines become available.
Group opposes Swine Flu quarantine bill 09 Sep 2009 The Liberty Preservation Association of Massachusetts, which has ties to Springfield, held a "lobby bomb" Wednesday at the State House to oppose a bill regarding Swine Flu. Bill S-2028, which recently passed the Massachusetts Senate, states that if there is a swine flu pandemic and you do not get the swine flu vaccine, you can be ordered into quarantine. If you refuse the quarantine, you can face a fine of $1,000 per day that you resist.
Forced Catheterization Used In DUI Case --Suit Claims Police, Hospital Acted Improperly --Attorney said client was shackled to gurney and had catheter inserted against his will 03 Sep 2009 An Indiana man has filed a lawsuit claiming that police forcibly withdrew blood and urine from his body during a drunken driving arrest, WLWT-TV reported. According to the suit, police arrested Jamie Lockard on suspicion of drunken driving in March. A Breathalyzer test showed he was under the legal limit, but Officer Brian Miller doubted the findings. Lockard and his attorney claim in the suit that police took him to Dearborn County Hospital and forced him to submit to a urine and blood test.
Hijacked AeroMexico plane lands at Mexico City, passengers freed 09 Sep 2009 An AeroMexico passenger plane was hijacked in the Mexican resort of Cancun on Wednesday and flown to Mexico City's international airport, where all of the passengers were released. Local newspaper websites said three men had seized control of the Boeing 737 plane and threatened to blow it up unless they were allowed to speak to President Felipe Calderon. Mexican radio said the plane was carrying 104 passengers.
Birthers Want to See Obama's Penis By Kay Steiger 25 Aug 2009 Birthers have now decided that what makes a person a true, blue, red-blooded American is not the color of your complexion but how much foreskin you have. Commenters (and circumcised Americans) over at Free Republic struck on a revelation yesterday: if Barack Obama has not been circumcised, then he must not have been born in the United States. [We all know Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are dying to see it, even if they weren't birthers.]
Assemblyman Mike Duvall resigns after his sex comments are broadcast --KCAL-TV in Los Angeles played a tape of the married Yorba Linda Republican speaking about sex with two women. He apparently did not realize a microphone was on during a legislative hearing. 09 Sep 2009 An Orange County lawmaker who inadvertently broadcast explicit remarks about his sexual conquests over an open microphone during a lull in a Sacramento hearing abruptly resigned from office this afternoon. Assemblyman Mike Duvall (R-Yorba Linda) stepped down after legislative leaders stripped him of his committee posts this morning and launched an ethics probe of his actions.
61 SC House Republicans call on governor to resign 09 Sep 2009 Sixty-one South Carolina House Republicans asked Gov. Mark Sanford to resign Wednesday, questioning his ability to lead the state since his unannounced summertime trip to see a mistress in Argentina and investigations of his state and private travel that followed. "Your decision to abandon our state for five days, with no defined order of succession and with no known way to contact you, is inexcusable," said a letter from the lawmakers signed by House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham.
Obama heckled by GOP during speech: 'You lie!' 09 Sep 2009 A Republican lawmaker from South Carolina apologized Wednesday after shouting "You lie" at President Barack Obama as he addressed Congress. In his speech in the House chamber, Obama was telling lawmakers that the Democratic plans for health care overhaul do not cover illegal immigrants. "You lie!" Republican Joe Wilson of South Carolina, shouted from his seat, jabbing a finger in the air.
Palin slams Obama healthcare 'death panels' 09 Sep 2009 Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has blasted the US president's healthcare proposal, as Barack Obama prepares to revamp the dysfunctional system. The one-time Republican vice presidential candidate wrote in [Murdoch rag] The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, "Common sense tells us that a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan will not improve the workings of a nationwide healthcare system that accounts for one-sixth of our economy."
Schwarzenegger's death panels: State HMOs deny 1 in 5 claims, analysis shows --A nurses group says state government data show that denial rates among the five largest insurers ranged up to 39.6% in the first half of 2009. 03 Sep 2009 California HMOs reject one out of five medical claims, according to an analysis by the California Nurses Assn. of data the companies submit to the state. The analysis -- the first of its kind based on state government-collected data -- concluded that from 2002 through June 30, 2009, five of the largest insurers in the state rejected 31.2 million claims for medical care, or 21% of all claims.
Taxpayers Unlikely to Recover $81 Billion GM, Chrysler Investment 09 Sep 2009 U.S. taxpayers are unlikely to recover their $81 billion investment in General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC and were "left in the dark" on specifics of a decision to aid automakers, a congressional panel said. The Treasury Department should consider placing its GM and Chrysler ownership stakes into an independent trust to prevent "political pressure and government interference," the Congressional Oversight Panel said in a report today.
France to use swine flu to gut laws: report --The Syndicat de la Magistrature called the measures "revolting" and said they would amount to "liberticide." 08 Sep 2009 In case of a swine flu pandemic the French government has a plan to introduce emergency measures that would gut legal protections for citizens, the daily Liberation reported Tuesday. According to documents provided to the daily by a judges' union, the plan would extend the period police can keep a suspect in detention without charge or a hearing before a judge to up to six months. Suspects would also not be able to contact a lawyer until after spending 24 hours in custody. Under the plan, children could be tried in adult courts and more trials held behind closed doors.
Maine governor proclaims civil emergency due to H1N1 --Schools and health care providers are protected against liability claims related to vaccine clinics 02 Sep 2009 Gov. John Baldacci (D) on Tuesday declared a statewide civil emergency because of the H1N1 influenza virus, paving the way for mass immunization of Maine schoolchildren and other residents. The emergency designation protects schools and health care providers against liability claims related to their participation in school-based vaccine clinics this fall for both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu.
Airline terror trial: US 'undermined British investigation' 08 Sep 2009 The police investigation into the al-Qaeda airline bomb plot was undermined after the US pressurised Pakistan to arrest the suspected ringleader Rashid Rauf, it has emerged.Officers were forced to cut short their surveillance operation – the largest in British anti-terrorist history – amid fears that Rauf's detention would spur the plotters to bring forward their strike. Three British Muslims were yesterday convicted of planning a series of co-ordinated bomb attacks on airlines flying from the UK to US, which could have killed up to 10,000 people.
Terror suspect 'was not prosecuted because of torture in Pakistan --'Rashid Rauf, alleged to have played key role in airline bomb plot, could not be extradited to UK, sources say 08 Sep 2009 Plans to prosecute a terrorism suspect who is said to have played a key role in the airline bombing plot were abandoned because of the severe torture he suffered after being detained in Pakistan, according to intelligence sources who have spoken to Human Rights Watch. In a report on Britain's involvement in torture in Pakistan - due to be published by the New York-based organisation later this month - intelligence officials from Pakistan and the UK are quoted as saying Rashid Rauf could not be extradited and put on trial because of the extent of the mistreatment he had suffered.
More plane terror plots 'likely' [Hmm. How do they know?] 08 Sep 2009 Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] is likely to try again to use aircraft to attack the West, Whitehall officials have told the BBC. Security correspondent Frank Gardner said they believed the airline bomb plot was part of al-Qaeda's "obsession" with using commercial airliners. The warning comes after three British men were convicted of plotting to blow up flights from London to North America using bombs disguised as soft drinks. Defence expert Michael Clarke agreed that al-Qaeda was "still plotting".
Speculation: US planning 'Guantanamo Bay' prison in Pakistan --According to an estimate, Washington is planning to spend a whopping one billion dollars for revamping its main embassy building in Islamabad and increase the strength of its staff. 08 Sep 2009 Speculations are rife that the United States is planning a Guantanamo Bay kind of prison inside Pakistan. While the media reports have been claiming that the US is planning a massive expansion of its Islamabad Embassy, the latest report regarding establishing of a prison similar to that of Guantanamo Bay has heightened tension in the country. It is also being reported that Washington is planning to takeover a bombed luxury hotel in Peshawar, capital of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Forbes.com reported. Sources said the US State Department is searching for a new site for a consulate in Peshawar, long believed to be a key hub for American spies, and are considering establishing the same in the Pearl Continental Hotel.
'The U.S. says it needs to expand mainly to disburse billions of dollars more in aid to Pakistan.' Plans to expand US embassy prompt rumors and concern amid anti-US sentiment in Pakistan 08 Sep 2009 America’s plans for a major expansion of its diplomatic presence in Pakistan, including the possible takeover of a bombed luxury hotel near the Taliban heartland, have heightened tensions and bred rumors in a population rife with anti-U.S. sentiment. One topic of discussion: 1,000 U.S. Marines will land in the capital, that Americans will set up a Guantanamo-style prison and that the infamous security contractor once called Blackwater will come in and wreak havoc. [We can't get health care here in the US but Obusha and the Congress can give *billions* to corpora-terrorists who 'pretend' to disburse the money in Pakistan?]
'Imperial' American presence: Anti-Americanism rises in Pakistan over U.S. motives 07 Sep 2009 For weeks now, the Pakistani media have portrayed America, its military and defense contractors in the darkest of lights, all part of an apparent campaign of anti-American vilification that is sweeping the country and, according to some, is putting American lives at risk. Pakistanis are reacting to what many here see as an "imperial" American presence, echoing Iraq and Afghanistan, with Washington dictating to the Pakistani military and the government. Polls show that Pakistanis regard the U.S., formally a close ally and the country's biggest donor, as a hostile power.
Spain: Judge Garzón revives Guantánamo case --Three ex- prisoners of Guantánamo add themselves to the Spanish complaint 06 Sep 2009 The District attorney's office labelled the complaint "fraudulent"; it troubles the Government and the Obama Administration does not want it. But the judge of the National Hearing, Baltasar Garzón, seems ready to open an explosive cause directed against the legal team of George W. Bush, which re-defined the concept of torture to use it in the "war on terrorism ", and that would affect also his secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. [Translated from: Garzón aviva la causa de Guantánamo (Público) 06 Sep 2009.]
FOIA does not shield images of detainee abuse, RCFP argues 08 Sep 2009 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press asked the U.S. Supreme Court Friday to decline review of an appeals court decision that found the Freedom of Information Act requires release of images of alleged abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan carried out by U.S. troops. In urging the court to allow the lower court rulings to stand, the friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Reporters Committee and 16 other news media organizations argued that FOIA was properly interpreted below and that the Supreme Court need not hear the case because the law is clear and settled.
Three killed, several injured as US drone strikes in N Waziristan 08 Sep 2009 Three persons were killed and several others injured when a U.S. drone fired missiles into North Waziristan region on Tuesday, the second such strike in as many days. The drone launched two missiles on a house of a tribesman named Ismail Khan.
Two foreigners among seven dead in NWA drone strikes 08 Sep 2009 Seven persons, including two foreign militants, were killed and same number of others injured in drone missile strikes by a CIA-operated US spy plane in Machikhel village in the Mirali subdivision of the North Waziristan Agency (NWA) on Monday evening. Official and tribal sources told The News from Mirali by telephone that a car, which was entering an alleged compound of foreign fighters, was hit by the drone in Machikhel village.
'Palin praised Obama's management of his management of Afghanistan and urging him to commit more troops there.' Palin Sides With Obama on Afghanistan 08 Sep 2009 On at least one of his major policies, President Obama is getting support, and a nudge, from an unlikely quarter – Sarah Palin. Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska and last year’s Republican vice presidential nominee, joined a group of conservatives signing a letter to Mr. Obama praising him for his management of Afghanistan and urging him to commit more troops there.
Karzai complains US is undermining him 07 Sep 2009 Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has complained the United States has been trying to undermine his position. In an interview with the "Le Figaro" daily, he said the US had been denouncing his friends and family to make him more of a "puppet." [But, he *is* a puppet! Karzai 's the Unocal/Poppy Pipeline Puppet of the US!]
Last orders for troops arriving for daily duty with hangovers 08 Sep 2009 After a Nato airstrike killed as many as 125 people last week, General Stanley McChrystal was keen to get the situation under control -- fast. When he tried to contact his underlings to find out what had happened, however, he found, to his fury, that many of them were either drunk or too hungover to respond. Complaining in his daily Commander’s Update that too many people had been "partying it up", General McChrystal, head of International Forces in Afghanistan (Isaf), banned alcohol at his headquarters yesterday... a few hours after the deadly attack.
Afghanistan children suffer in war 07 Sep 2009 The war in Afghanistan is taking a heavy toll on the nation’s children. More than 1,000 civilians have died this year; many of them children... Concern is rising among Afghans about civilian casualties after an incident last week when six civilians were among 54 people killed in a NATO air strike on the Taliban.
Four US soldiers killed in Afghanistan 08 Sep 2009 Four US soldiers have been killed in an attack in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, US army reports say. The soldiers were caught in a "complex attack", the Associated Press news agency quoted US army spokeswoman Capt Elizabeth Mathias as saying. A number of Afghan soldiers also died in the incident.
Iraq bombs kill four US soldiers 08 Sep 2009 Four US soldiers were killed on Tuesday in two separate bomb attacks while on patrol in Iraq, the military said, in one of the deadliest days for attacks on American troops in two months. In the first incident, military officials said a soldier was killed when a roadside bomb struck his convoy on Tuesday morning in southern Baghdad... Later, three US soldiers died after being wounded by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in northern Iraq.
Lord of the Manor: US foreign policy in Iraq & Afghanistan By Jane Stillwater 03 Sep 2009 Everyone knows that Iraq has oil -- but what the freak does Afghanistan have that has kept everyone in Washington so fascinated with the place? I couldn't figure this one out for a really long time. The pipeline? Well maybe.... I know! It's the poppies! There's a HUGE traffic in opium poppies coming out of Afghanistan. Somebody has to be making a profit on its opium sales and we know it isn't the Afghans or they wouldn't be living in such abject poverty... And the Taliban ain't getting the poppy money either. Those guys are living in CAVES. So who buys this stuff? And who profits? Europe and America. Ever since the U.S. lost most of its manufacturing, one of the biggest industries left to us appears to be illegal drugs.
Israel's war on Gaza killed 252 children, report claims 09 Sep 2009 The Israeli official figures seriously underestimated the civilian Palestinian death toll exacted during its onslaught in Gaza early this year, according to painstaking research to be published today. The first detailed casualty figures from an Israeli human rights organisation since the war ended puts the number of children under 16 killed in the offensive at 252 as opposed to the 89 cited by the military.
Israeli soldiers fire on Al Jazeera correspondent 04 Sep 2009 Israeli soldiers have fired tear gas on Palestinians protesting against the Israeli separation barrier which cuts through their West Bank village. The soldiers also fired tear gas at Jacky Rowland, Al Jazeera's correspondent who was covering the event live from near the village of Bilin.
Laser gun to be used against Somali pirates 08 Sep 2009 A laser gun that can be used to dazzle pirates, leaving them incapacitated, is just one of the hi-tech sea security gadgets being unveiled at a defence exhibition in London. The device [Laser Dazzle System] is powerful enough to incapacitate pirates up to 1,000 yards away, while leaving them physically unscathed.
Secret US spontaneous human combustion beam tested --Silent deathray in first blast from the skies 02 Sep 2009 American death-tech goliath Boeing has announced a long-delayed in-flight firing for the smaller of its two aeroplane raygun-cannon prototypes, the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL). The ATL blaster, mounted in a Hercules transport aircraft, apparently "defeated" an unoccupied stationary vehicle.
More 9/11 Rubbish: This time from National Geographic, no less By Jim Fetzer 07 Sep 2009 Another study intended to suppress and distort objective evidence that refutes the official account of 9/11, ironically entitled, "9/11: Science and Conspiracy", has now appeared on The National Geographic Channel, one more in an ongoing series of propagandistic documentaries posing as "news". This pseudo-documentary was broadcast on August 31, 2009. The abuse of the good name of "National Geographic" has its precursor in the take-over of Popular Mechanics to abuse its good name for the same purpose, exposed by David Ray Griffin in DEBUNKING 9/11 DEBUNKING (2007). My purpose is to perform a similar critique of this misleading program.
SC speaker wants Sanford to resign 08 Sep 2009 Bobby Harrell, the Republican speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, has become the latest state GOP officeholder to call for embattled Gov. Mark Sanford (R) resign from office. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who would succeed Sanford in office, also has asked for the governor's resignation.
Controversy over Obama's school speech fizzles --Uproar over possible indoctrination of students widely dismissed 08 Sep 2009 Controversy over Barack Obama's back-to-school speech fizzled Tuesday as the president stuck to pre-released talking points on the importance of education, personal responsibility and hard work. ...All the uproar over Obama using classrooms to push socialism or a hidden policy agenda seemed overblown.
Prepared text of Obama's speech to school students 07 Sep 2009 19 hours ago The prepared text of President Barack Obama's back-to-school address scheduled for Tuesdays, as released in advance by the White House:
Shy Polar Bears Face Fight For Survival 09 Sep 2009 A magnificent polar bear seems to show off for the camera, posing against the background of her icy wilderness. This image is also a picture of hope. It was taken on Norway's remote Svalbard islands, and despite experts predicting a grim future for the species as the sea ice around them melts, this population could be INCREASING. It is a rare success story for the creature so often used as a symbol of environmental disaster.
First gray wolf legally killed in U.S. after nearly 40-year ban 02 Sep 2009 This summer, hunters in Idaho have snapped up nearly 11,000 tags that confer permission to hunt the 850 or so gray wolves that now live in the state thanks to a reintroduction program in the region started in 1995. Idaho--whose governor [terrorist] "Butch" Otter once vowed to be first in line for the permits--will allow 220 wolves to be killed for the bargain basement price of just $11.75; neighboring Montana will permit 75 starting September 15. [Too bad the wolves don't *shoot first.*]
US troops 'stormed through Afghan hospital' --US troops kicked in doors, tied up four hospital employees and two family members of patients, and forced patients out of beds during their search. 07 Sep 2009 A Swedish charity accused American troops today of storming through a hospital in central Afghanistan, breaking down doors and tying up staff in a search for militants. The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan said the US Army's 10th Mountain Division entered the charity's hospital without permission to look for 'insurgents' in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, according to the charity's country director, Anders Fange. "This is simply not acceptable," he said.
Canada to stage mock Afghan IED attack in Washington --'The highlight will be the explosive blasts, simulating the powerful improvised explosive devices wreaking havoc in Afghanistan, to be staged twice a day.' California company that claims to bring 'magic of Hollywood' to hyper-realistic training, will provide pyrotechnics for IED explosions. 05 Sep 2009 The Taliban will attack an Afghan village set up in the heart of Washington courtesy of the Canadian Forces, who will send in a medic in a dramatic effort to save a civilian crippled by the explosion. Between scheduled IED attacks at noon and 2 p.m. on Sept. 23, the first day of the conference, there will be an Afghan luncheon hosted by Kabul's envoy to Washington, Ambassador Said Jawad. Embassy officials say they have a green light from the Secret Service, the State Department and the D.C. fire marshal.
Gordon Brown faces Labour motion to pull out troops from Afghanistan --Conference activists say war in Afghanistan 'is unwinnable' 06 Sep 2009 Gordon Brown faces fresh questions over the war in Afghanistan at this month's Labour party conference, with grassroots activists circulating a motion demanding that troops be withdrawn. The "contemporary issues motion", which lets grassroots members trigger debates at conference, concludes that "a majority of the public believe the war is unwinnable" and suggests Britain's involvement has fuelled the risk of terrorist attack.
US drone kills seven in NW Pakistan 07 Sep 2009 A US drone has fired missiles on two houses in the tribal area of North Waziristan in Pakistan, killing seven people and injures five others. Local security officials and residents said that the US drone fired two missiles on Monday evening killing two Uzbeks, two from eastern Punjab Province and three tribesmen of North Waziristan, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Suicide bombings kill at least 17 outside Baghdad 07 Sep 2009 Suicide attackers struck near a Shiite mosque north of Baghdad and a checkpoint west of the capital on Monday as bombings killed at least 17 people nationwide. A series of deadly bombings have raised concerns about a resurgence of violence as the U.S. military scales back its presence [and mercenaries increase theirs], with a full withdrawal planned by the end of 2011.
offers Yemen help in "fight against terrorism" 07 Sep 2009 The
United States has offered to help Yemen in its "fight against terrorism"
and assist the country with its reforms, the Yemeni state news agency
Saba said late on Sunday. U.S. President Barack Obama said in a letter
delivered by his
US leads world in weapons sales 07 Sep 2009 The United States snatched the lion share of the global arms sales in 2008 which amounted to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, a government report says. According to the report, Washington inked arms deals valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global weapons market, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion last year, New York Times reported.
Airline terror trial: The bomb plot to kill 10,000 people --Three British Muslims have been convicted of planning a series of co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks on transatlantic airliners, which could have killed up to 10,000 people. 07 Sep 2009 The 'al-Qaeda' cell plotted to cause mass murder by detonating home-made liquid explosives on board at least seven passenger flights bound for the US and Canada. The plot had the potential to be three times as deadly as the 9/11 attacks of 2001. The convictions followed Britain’s largest counter-terrorism operation and two criminal trials which, in total, cost an estimated £60million... Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar, and Tanvir Hussain were found guilty of conspiracy to murder by detonating bombs on airliners at the end of a six-month trial at Woolwich Crown Court in London. A jury at their previous trial had failed to reach verdicts on whether such a plot existed.
Airline bombings were just days away - UK police 07 Sep 2009 Just how close were the three Britons, found guilty on Monday of plotting to kill thousands by blowing up transatlantic airliners, to putting their deadly plan into action? Two of the men were waiting for new passports, no viable bomb or explosives had been made, no tickets had been bought and there was little to indicate that an attack was imminent... But British police, who carried out the biggest surveillance operation in their history requiring the back-up support of 220 officers from all over the country, are in no doubt the plotters were ready to strike.
Domestic Terrorism In the Post-9/11 Era 07 Sep 2009 (fbi.gov) Nothing before or since has come close to the terror attacks of 9/11 in terms of lives lost, scope, and impact. And we know that al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] led and inspired operatives still seek to strike our homeland--including with weapons of mass destruction. Which is why globally-fueled terrorism continues to occupy much of our time and attention these days... Today’s domestic terror threats run the gamut, from hate-filled white supremacists…to highly destructive eco-terrorists…to violence-prone anti-government extremists…to radical separatist groups. [...to Illinois-based bioterrorists sending live avian flu samples through the mail. (They forgot that one.)]
Administration Seeks to Keep Terror Watch-List Data Secret --As of last Sept., the list included 1.1 million names and aliases corresponding to 400,000 individuals. 06 Sep 2009 The Obama administration wants to maintain the secrecy of terrorist watch-list information it routinely shares with federal, state and local agencies. Intelligence officials in the administration are pressing for legislation that would exempt "terrorist identity information" from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Such information -- which includes names, aliases, fingerprints and other biometric identifiers -- is widely shared with law enforcement agencies and intelligence "fusion centers," which combine state and federal counterterrorism resources. A consolidated government watch list was created in 2004 and is housed at the Terrorist Screening Center.
CLG: Un site surveillé de Mike4freedom le 14 Aoû 2009 Citizens for a Legitimate Government (CLG) est un site qui regroupe des articles de plusieurs sources différentes sur des sujets variées. La personne en charge de ce site est une femme très sympathique nommé Lori Price. Depuis maintenant plusieurs années elle compile des articles sur le 11 septembre 2001, la guerre en Afghanistan et en Irak, les bombardements au Pakistan, l'OTAN, la torture, la grippe et encore beaucoup plus... Cette liste est plutôt impressionnante, il est assez clair que le gouvernement américain porte une attention particulière au travail de Lori Price sur le site Citizens for a Legitimate Government.
Pandemic Action alert: 9-12 Rally to Impeach MA Sen. Richard Moore Over Forced Vax --Sep. 12 Mass. Rally to Impeach Sen. Richard T. Moore (D) Over Forced Vaccination Bill S2028 --The Impeachment rally will be held Sept 12, 2009 at 123 Main St, Uxbridge, Mass., 12-5 pm By Ken Adachi [See: Proposed bill would allow state authorities to forcefully quarantine people during pandemic 04 Sep 2009 (MA) A new proposed bill designed to combat the threat of the H1N1 virus would allow the state to forcefully quarantine people in the event of a pandemic. Anyone who refuses to comply with the quarantine order could face jail time or a $1000 per day fine. The "Pandemic Response Bill" would also force health providers to vaccinate people, authorize forcible entry into private homes, and impose fines or prison sentences on anyone not complying with isolation or quarantine orders.]
A few questioning benefits, safety of swine flu vaccine 06 Sep 2009 While many people fear a more vicious strain of novel swine flu this fall, others are panicking about the vaccine itself. An action letter posted on the Internet and signed by 57 people, including religious leaders and holistic medical practitioners, says the swine flu vaccines have been insufficiently tested and could have dangerous consequences on public health.
Ecuador security chief dies from H1N1 flu 07 Sep 2009 The head of Ecuador’s presidential security has died of H1N1 flu, the government announced. Lt. Col. John Merino died Sunday night after being hospitalized for 28 days, President Rafael Correa announced on his web page. The cause of death was given as cardiopulmonary arrest.
2,000 Washington State Students Report Signs of Swine Flu 06 Sep 2009 At least 2,000 students at Washington State University have reported symptoms of the H1N1 flu virus, university and local health officials said, in what appeared to be one of the largest outbreaks of the virus on a college campus. The university, based in Pullman, in eastern Washington near the Idaho border, has about 19,000 students at its main campus.
Barack Obama aide resigns over claim that 9/11 was a pretext for war --Van Jones, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, has resigned after it emerged that he had signed a petition stating that the Bush administration may have allowed the September 11 attacks to happen as a pretext to go to war. The ousting of Van Jones, a Left-wing [?] activist appointed by Mr Obama as his "special adviser for green jobs", is a victory for Republicans and a sign of growing weakness within the White House. It was a major scalp for the Fox News host Glenn Beck, who brought Mr Jones's past to prominence and for weeks has been citing his presence in the Obama administration as evidence that the president is guided by a cadre of radical lieutenants. [LOL.] Mr Jones was reported to have signed a petition saying that Mr Bush "may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war". [Or, as 9 million pounds of evidence indicates and as writers could reveal in the first 44 minutes of a script for an episode of 'NCIS:' 9/11 was an inside job. --LRP]
Van Jones decries 'lies and distortions,'quits as Obama's environmental advisor 06 Sep 2009 Responding to a firestorm that raged almost entirely on conservative talk shows and websites, the White House today announced [surrended again] the resignation of a top environmental advisor who had made fiery remarks about Republicans and signed a petition questioning whether the U.S. government had any role in planning the Sept. 11 attacks. Van Jones, a prominent Oakland community activist, issued a statement decrying "lies and distortions" and a "smear campaign" that had been waged against him by the right... White House officials never rose to his defense, and took pains over the weekend to distance themselves from Jones' statements and decisions about his employment status.
'Make no mistake, these hate-broadcast terrorists want to undo the results of the 2008 election.' Van Jones, Victim of Hate-broadcast Terrorism (Black Star News) 07 Sep 2009 So we see the Witch hunt escalating. This is just the beginning. Van Jones, the White House environmental adviser resigned last night following a smear campaign launched by Glenn Beck and other Republicans. Jones, who is Black, was criticized as a "radical" whose views are out of the mainstream... Jones is a brilliant graduate of Yale and is respected globally as an expert on "green" jobs and the environment. So, without giving Jones the opportunity to address or rebut any of his attackers, cyber terrorists started spreading the allegations over the Internet and over hate-broadcast news shows such as Glenn Beck's. Glenn Beck is the same verbal terrorist who, on national television, lost his mind a few weeks ago and accused President Obama --whose mother was White and was raised by White grandparents-- of being a "racist" who was against "the White culture." Several major corporate advertisers withdrew their ads from Glenn Beck's show; in retaliation, he went after Van Jones.
Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama Back to School Event Arlington, Virginia September 8, 2009 (whitehouse.gov)
GOP: How Dare Obama Speak At All? By R J Shulman 06 Sep 2009 After a week of expressing outrage that President Barack Obama planned to speak to American school children, in an attempt to build an Obama Youth Corp in the model of Hitler Youth, Republicans have expanded this campaign to stop Obama's speeches altogether. "No American should have to listen socialized fascist propaganda if they don't want to," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "Of course, it's too late for the traitorous liberal Democrat socialists, but what about the true patriot who is in a car when his dial breaks and he is forced to listen to that Communist Nazi?" (Satire)
Executives at financial firms who received bailout funds get big salaries, report says 01 Sep 2009 Chief executives of the top 20 financial firms that received taxpayer bailout funds averaged $13.78 million in personal compensation last year, according to a report released today. The annual "Executive Excess" study, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies, this year looked at bank recipients of Troubled Asset Relief Program funds. Those 20 firms, which eliminated more than 160,000 jobs since Jan. 1, 2008, awarded a combined total of $3.2 billion -- including bonuses -- to their top five executives.
Big banks grow more powerful under Obama By Andre Damon 05 Sep 2009 The Washington Post carried an article last week outlining the immense consolidation that has taken place in the US banking system as a result of the policies of the Bush and Obama administrations in response to the financial crisis. The article, entitled "Banks 'Too Big to Fail' Have Grown Even Bigger," reports how the largest banks have consolidated control over a greater share of financial markets and are using their monopolistic position to increase their profits by raising fees and interest on consumers and small businesses.
Study: 2 out of 5 working-age Californians jobless 06 Sep 2009 On this Labor Day weekend, many Californians find themselves more in need of work than a holiday. A report released Sunday says two of five working-age Californians do not have a job, underscoring the challenges in one of the toughest job markets in decades. A new study has found that the last time employment levels among this group were this low was February 1977.
"Capitalism is evil," says new Michael Moore film 06 Sep 2009 Capitalism is evil. That is the conclusion U.S. documentary maker Michael Moore comes to in his latest movie "Capitalism: A Love Story," which premieres at the Venice film festival Sunday. Blending his trademark humor with tragic individual stories, archive footage and publicity stunts, Moore launches an all out attack on the capitalist system, arguing that it benefits the rich and condemns millions to poverty.
Uranium cake from Niger, redux: Iran says U.S. using forged documents to support nuclear claims 05 Sep 2009 Tehran claims the U.S. is using forged documents and fabricated intelligence to convince the world Iran is building a nuclear weapon. Iran has written an 8-page letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) condemning the U.S. allegations against Iran as fabricated, baseless and false. The allegations in Iran's letter to the IAEA are serious as the United States been previously accused of fabricating intelligence, and using forged documents, to justify an invasion of Iraq.
Iran: US feeding forged intelligence to U.N. nuclear watchdog 05 Sep 2009 A senior Iranian official has accused the United States of feeding "forged" intelligence to the U.N. nuclear watchdog that says Iran had studied ways to make atomic bombs... Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh told the IAEA in a letter seen by Reuters that the agency had not provided genuine documents on the alleged studies and the matter was "closed." "The government of the United States has not handed over original documents to the agency since it does not in fact have any authenticated document and all it has are forged documents," Soltanieh wrote in a letter to IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei.
Chalabi aide: I went from White House to secret U.S. prisoner --'His bizarre tale appears to be another example of how the Bush administration turned to Shiite Iraqi exiles, including Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, for intelligence on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and ties to terrorism, most of which turned out to be false or exaggerated, then later accused them of collaborating with Iran against the U.S. presence.' 04 Sep 2009 U.S. authorities detained a top aide to former Iraqi exile leader and Bush administration ally Ahmad Chalabi last year and accused him of helping Iranian-backed militants kidnap and kill American and British soldiers and contractors. The aide, Ali Feisal al Lami, said he was quizzed about Iranian agents, senior Shiite Muslim politicians and deadly bombings. Then, Lami said, he asked his American interrogator: Have you ever been to the White House? "He said, 'No,' " Lami told McClatchy. "I told him, 'Well, I have.' "
Outrageous Behavior: Bogus Bluster From Bigwigs Hides Lockerbie Truth By Chris Floyd 05 Sep 2009 As soon as he [Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi] was freed, we heard howls of outrage from Washington: how could such a heinous killer be allowed to walk free? ...You can bet that every single official trumpeting their moral outrage at al-Megrahi's release knew the truth of the matter: he was not released because he was dying, but because the slow-turning wheels of his appeals process was about to force the release of hundreds of pages of damning documents that would confirm, yet again, that he had been, as the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission put it, the victim of a "miscarriage of justice" -- a frame job by the US and UK governments which has been covered up, in admirable bipartisan fashion, for years.
Islamabad: No Blackwater in Pakistan 05 Sep 2009 Islamabad has rejected reports that the US Blackwater security contractor, which has gained ill-fame in Iraq, has now expanded its activities to Pakistan. "Blackwater is not operating in Pakistan, we have our own system, rules and regulations and will not allow any body to operate from here," Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday, Press TV's correspondent reported from Islamabad. Malik's comments came after sources from among the Pakistani intelligence agencies, citizens and political parties reported that Blackwater USA was present in the country.
Nato fireball in Afghanistan burns 90 people alive --Nato officials have conceded [after their initial lie] a large number of those killed were civilians 04 Sep 2009 A Nato air strike in Afghanistan has killed dozens of people. Nato officials have conceded a large number of those killed were civilians. As at Saturday the death toll was at least 90. President Hamid Karzai has set up a panel to investigate the attack, saying the targeting of civilians is unacceptable to Afghanistan.
Consumed by fireball, the Afghan village devastated by Nato strike 04 Sep 2009 The two fuel tankers would have looked out of place, stuck by a river bank outside a small Afghan village. Local people came out to take a look and help carry makeshift containers with siphoned fuel inside from the stricken vehicles. That is when the Nato missiles struck, wiping out much of the village of Omar Kheil.
Gates Assails News Agency for Publishing Photo of Marine Killed in Afghanistan 05 Sep 2009 A furious Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has upbraided The Associated Press for its decision to go against the wishes of a young Marine’s family and publish a photograph of him taken after he was mortally wounded in Afghanistan. In a scathing letter to Tom Curley, president and chief executive of The A.P., Mr. Gates said that the news agency’s decision was "appalling" and that the issue was one not of constitutionality but of "judgment and common decency." The A.P. defended the decision, which editors said they made only after careful review and sharing the pictures with the family. In an explanation of its deliberations, The A.P. said it decided "to make public an image that conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it."
AP photo of dying Marine draws fire from Pentagon 04 Sep 2009 Defense Secretary Robert Gates has condemned the Associated Press decision to release a photograph of a US Marine wounded during a battle in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan. The Marine, Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland, Maine, was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush on Aug. 14. He later died of his wounds. The caption, titled "Afghanistan Death of a Marine," identifies the location as the village of Dahaneh.
Brown rocked as aide quits over war --Former army officer resigns from Government with savage attack on conduct of conflict in Afghanistan 04 Sep 2009 The British Government's strategy in Afghanistan was thrown into crisis last night after the Defence Secretary's right-hand man resigned in protest about the handling of the war. Eric Joyce, a former major in the Black Watch, announced that he was standing down as the parliamentary private secretary to Bob Ainsworth... Mr Joyce, who had been regarded as an ultra-loyalist Labour MP, said he could no longer justify the growing death toll in Afghanistan by arguing that the war would prevent terrorism in Britain.
mercenary pool parties we can believe in: Naked
Pool Parties, Alleged Sex Acts at Kabul U.S. Embassy Force Out 10 Guards
--POGO: Contractor forced out suspected whistleblower
04 Sep 2009 Following the release of shocking photos showing barely
clothed and naked
Reliving the Past By Bob Herbert 05 Sep 2009 The president should listen to Joe Biden. Mr. Biden has been a voice of reason, warning the administration of the dangers of increasing our military involvement in Afghanistan. President Obama has not been inclined to heed his advice, which is worse than a shame. It’s tragic. Watching the American escalation of the war in Afghanistan is like watching helplessly as someone you love climbs into a car while intoxicated and drives off toward a busy highway. No good can come of it. The war, hopelessly botched by the Bush crowd, has now lasted nearly eight long years, longer than our involvement in World Wars I and II combined... We're fighting on behalf of an incompetent and hopelessly corrupt government in Afghanistan. [Yeah, but KBR, Fluor, ArmorGroup, Blackwater/Xe, and DynCorp are getting their Obusha b***jobs -- that's why we're there. That's change we can deceive in. --LRP]
asks Justice to probe leaks of secrets 04 Sep 2009 The CIA has
asked the Justice Department to examine what it regards as the criminal
disclosure of a secret [illegal] program to
Resists Disclosure of Records on Detention
02 Sep 2009 The Central Intelligence Agency is refusing to make public
hundreds of pages of internal documents about the agency's defunct detention
and interrogation program, saying such disclosures would jeopardize
national security by revealing classified intelligence sources and operations.
The C.I.A.’s argument to withhold the material, laid out Monday in a
declaration to a federal court in New York, comes a week after the Obama
administration declassified documents about abuses in the C.I.A.’s secret
overseas prisons and the Justice Department began investigating the
actions of C.I.A. operatives.
Proposed bill would allow state authorities to forcefully quarantine people during pandemic 04 Sep 2009 (MA) A new proposed bill designed to combat the threat of the H1N1 virus would allow the state to forcefully quarantine people in the event of a pandemic. Anyone who refuses to comply with the quarantine order could face jail time or a $1000 per day fine. The "Pandemic Response Bill" would also force health providers to vaccinate people, authorize forcible entry into private homes, and impose fines or prison sentences on anyone not complying with isolation or quarantine orders.
Vaccination Hubs Are Part of D.C. Swine Flu Plan 05 Sep 2009
District officials said Friday that they are working to set up mass
vaccination centers, potentially at city recreation centers, as part
of a broad push to minimize the number of people sickened by swine flu
this fall and beyond. A network of doctor offices, schools, clinics
and hospitals is also being put together for the vaccinations. The city
will update its flu Web site with case counts and recommendations from
the Centers for Disease
Some 2,000 reported sick with swine flu at WSU 05 Sep 2009 Swine flu has sickened some 2,000 people in and around Washington State University in Pullman following an outbreak that apparently started almost as soon as the university reopened for the fall term.
'The exercise will last three days with Soldiers and Fort Lee Police going over all aspects of protecting of the military installation, whether its protesters or terrorists.' Fort Lee Soldiers and Police Stage Anti-terror Drill With Mock Protesters 01 Sep 2009 (NJ) Some of the soldiers meeting today's tough military standards put their skills to the test this morning at Fort Lee. It's part of a three day long anti-terrorism drill. The Army post staged a fake protest to show how well soldiers and Fort Lee Police are equipped handle the situation. Fort Lee Chief of Police Joe Metzger says in times of emergency's everyone has to work together "We forget one's wearing blue, one's wearing a uniform. We all come together for the same cause." Private Tiffany Saunders was another solider who participated. "I learned over here we also have missions back in the U-S to protect our families and friends and this is a part of doing so."
Tennessee cops shoot 59 rounds to kill one man --Killer cops have since returned to work. 19 Aug 2009 Alonzo Heyward carried a rifle around his low-rent Chattanooga neighborhood one day last month, ranting about suicide and ignoring the pleas of friends for hours before six city police officers surrounded him on his front porch and decided it had to end. Police, who tried unsuccessfully to disarm Heyward, fired 59 rounds to kill him on July 18... As questions continue to surround the shooting, Heyward's family and civil rights leaders take issue with the police response. Heyward, a moving company employee, was black. The six officers are white. They were temporarily placed on administrative leave but have since returned to work
Bush's attorney general might face trial 05 Sep 2009 A US court has paved the way for the indictment of former President [sic] George W. Bush's Attorney General, John Ashcroft, over his 'wrongful' judgments. The three-member legal panel of the 9th federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a statement on Friday, which holds the former Attorney General liable for the illegal detention of suspects captured in the wake of the September 11 incident in which a number of US government and financial centers came under attack.
Court Says 9/11 Witnesses Can Sue Ashcroft --Material witness laws used detain former student for two weeks 04 Sep 2009 A federal appeals court has ruled that former Attorney General John Ashcroft may be held liable for people who were wrongfully detained as material witnesses after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In a harshly worded ruling handed down Friday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called the government's use of material witnesses after Sept. 11 "repugnant to the Constitution and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history." The court found that [U.S. citizen] Abdullah Al-Kidd who was detained as a witness in a federal terrorism case can sue Ashcroft for allegedly violating his constitutional rights.
call for Obama boycott 04 Sep 2009 N.C. Republican Party chairman
Tom Fetzer is blasting the White House for a speech President Obama
is scheduled to make to school students across the country on Tuesday.
The President's address will be shown live on the White House Web site
and on C-SPAN at noon EDT, a time when classrooms across the country
will be able to tune in. While Fetzer did not call for parents to keep
their kids home from school, some
Job Losses in U.S. Slow as Unemployment Climbs to 26-Year High 05 Sep 2009 The U.S. economy lost fewer jobs in August as unemployment climbed to a 26-year high, indicating the recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s will be slow to gain speed. Companies cut payrolls by 216,000 workers, less than forecast, after a 276,000 drop in July, Labor Department data showed yesterday in Washington. The jobless rate rose to 9.7 percent, higher than anticipated, from 9.4 percent.
Pictured: Haunting face crying a river of tears as glacier melts into the sea 03 Sep 2009 At first glimpse it looks like any other glacier you might find in the freezing Arctic wastes of Norway. But on closer inspection an eerie face is depicted in the melting ice wall that appears to be crying a river of tears. The forlorn-looking 'Mother Nature' figure appeared to locals during a thaw, with the melting ice and snow falling towards the sea below. [A must-see]
US probes USAID funds in Afghanistan --US funding contractors who pay Taliban 03 Sep 2009 The State Department said Thursday that an investigation has begun into whether U.S. development funding for Afghanistan is being diverted to local warlords and extremists following allegations that road and bridge contractors were paying "protection" money to the Taliban. Spokesman P.J. Crowley said the U.S. Agency for International Development is looking into reports that some funds may be going to the Taliban and others as part of a larger probe into other diversions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in Afghanistan.
Is the Taliban on the U.S. Gov. Payroll? --Source: Taliban takes as much as 20% of development aid awarded to contractors 03 Sep 2009 A portion of American taxpayer dollars slated for development projects in Afghanistan is alleged to end up in the hands of the Taliban, the GlobalPost reports. The United States Agency for International Development is investigating if its funds are being used by contractors to pay the Taliban for protection – from itself. GlobalPost reporter Jean MacKenzie writes, "the Taliban allegedly receives kickbacks from almost every major contract that comes into the country. The arrangements are at times highly formalized and, as GlobalPost spelled out, the Taliban actually keeps an office in Kabul to review major deals, determine percentages and conduct negotiations."
outraged by guards' sexual misconduct
03 Sep 2009 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is "genuinely
offended" by reports of misconduct by
Gates Open to Troop Increase --Meanwhile, Army Will Extend Tours In Afghanistan 04 Sep 2009 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates indicated Thursday that he is open to increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, voicing a shift in his position as the administration ponders a military assessment expected to lead to a formal request for additional forces. Gates, in a briefing at the Pentagon, also defended the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, rebutting suggestions that it is time to pull out. His remarks came just hours before the Army announced that it will extend the tours of about 3,000 soldiers in Afghanistan for between two weeks and two months amid an intensifying Taliban 'insurgency.'
Obama Urged to Rally Support for War 04 Sep 2009 The White House is facing mounting pressure from lawmakers to work harder to rally flagging public support for the war in Afghanistan. With casualties rising, the administration is struggling to persuade voters that the war can be won or is worth the human and financial costs. Afghanistan is President Barack Obama's top foreign-policy priority, but recent polls show that a majority of voters oppose the war for the first time since the conflict began eight years ago.
NATO air raid kills '100 civilians' in Afghanistan 04 Sep 2009 More than one hundred people, mostly civilians, have reportedly been killed and scores of others injured after US-led warplanes targeted fuel tankers in an area of northern Afghanistan The NATO alliance on Friday confirmed the lethal incident in Kunduz province, hinting that the air raid had targeted two fuel tankers allegedly hijacked by 'Taliban linked militants.'
UK soldier killed in Afghanistan 03 Sep 2009 A soldier from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment has been killed in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. The soldier, operating with The Light Dragoons Battle Group, died as a result of a gunshot wound on Thursday. He was shot while on a foot patrol in the Babaji district, Helmand province.
'The magnitude of these crimes demands that they be addressed immediately by the international community.' Iraq PM asks for UN inquiry into Baghdad bombings 03 Sep 2009 Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has formally asked the U.N. Security Council to launch an inquiry into a series of [Xe?] explosions that killed 95 people in Baghdad last month. More than 1,000 people were also wounded on Aug. 19, Iraq's bloodiest day this year, when at least six blasts struck near government ministries and other targets. In an Aug. 30 letter forwarded to the Security Council on Thursday by the office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Maliki asked for an independent international commission of inquiry to be set up.
Two U.S. soldiers die in vehicle accident in Iraq 03 Sep 2009 Two U.S. soldiers died and five injured in a vehicle accident in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said on Thursday. The two soldiers, assigned to Multi-National Division-North, were killed on Wednesday in a vehicle roll-over accident in the province of Diyala, a military statement said without giving further details.
Israeli tanks invade Gaza, meet resistance 03 Sep 2009 Israeli tanks and bulldozers have invaded the eastern border areas of the Gaza Strip, destroying cultivated agricultural Palestinian land. Palestinian fighters retaliated by firing home-made shells at the invading forces. No injuries were reported from either side in the Thursday attack, the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) reported.
Hold on to your hats! Minot AFB Activates B52 Squadron 03 Sep 2009 This will make the most powerful base in the world, stronger. That's how the commander of a new squadron of B-52 bombers describes Minot Air Force Base. Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Notari made the comments today as he assumed command of the newly-reactivated 69th Bomb Squadron at Minot's base. The addition of the 69th gives Minot Air Force Base two active B-52 squadrons. The commander of the 8th Air Force says having four B-52 squadrons - two in Minot and two at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana - gives him more flexibility in carrying out the bombers' mission. And it will keep the bomber active for decades.
Obama to spend another $2.7 bln to fight H1N1 02 Sep 2009 The Obama administration will spend an additional $2.7 billion to buy swine flu drugs and vaccines, just days after White House science advisers called the pandemic "a serious threat to our nation." The money is on top of $1.8 billion the administration earmarked in July for tackling the virus. Obama said the $2.7 billion would go toward buying new vaccines, antiviral drugs and preparing for a vaccination [propaganda] campaign. [The 'serious threat to our nation' is the bioterrorists who synthesized the virus and the pharma-terrorists (one and the same) who are profiting from it. --LRP]
UI Health Care makes flu shots mandatory 02 Sep 2009 (IA) Flu shots are no longer optional for anyone associated with UI Health Care: It is a condition of employment. "People who do not comply will not be eligible to continue their positions at UI Health Care," said UI spokesman Tom Moore. Staff members were notified about the policy change in an e-mail sent early Tuesday morning.
Swine Flu Vaccinations May Be Delayed by U.S. Ingredient Choice 03 Sep 2009 The U.S. decision to use a swine flu vaccine without an ingredient that boosts response may mean shots will require two doses instead of one to grant immunity, health officials said. A two-dose vaccine is more likely to be required by a vaccine that doesn’t include adjuvant, an ingredient added to some shots to boost the immune response, said Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease 'Control and Prevention' in a conference call in Atlanta.
Md. Gov. Calls Seasonal Flu Shots a 'Patriotic Duty' --Health Sec'y likened Maryland's share of upcoming mass swine-flu vaccination campaign to a 'military operation' 02 Sep 2009 Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-Insane) on Wednesday said it was residents' "patriotic duty" to get seasonal flu shots in coming weeks to make it easier for health officials to determine if outbreaks are related to H1N1, or swine flu. "You'll be doing your patriotic duty to get your seasonal flu shot this year," O'Malley said. John M. Colmers, secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene, likened Maryland's share of the upcoming mass swine-flu vaccination campaign to a "military operation," and said much remains unknown about exactly how the state will carry it out.
H1N1 flu hits State Fair; 120 kids sent home 03 Sep 2009 The H1N1 flu has hit the Minnesota State Fair, prompting 4-H officials to send about 120 children home after four tested positive for the disease. The four cases were detected "during the past 40 hours," prompting program officials to call parents this morning telling them to pick up their kids, said 4-H superintendent Brad Rugg.
Training Officers On Counter-Terrorism --100 officers from Eastern District of Arkansas expected to attend 03 Sep 2009 The Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council is sponsoring a training for law enforcement personnel on Defending Our Homeland: Defeating the Global Jihad Threat. David Harel, from the security consulting company, ASERO, will conduct the presentation at the Jacksonville Community Center Thursday. Harel has over 23 years of worldwide operational counter-terrorism and protective security experience with the Israeli Security Agency and Israeli Defense Force.
Pay cuts we can believe in: Obama cuts pay raise for federal workers By Tom Eley 03 Sep 2009 Invoking the state of "national emergency" declared soon after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Barack Obama on Monday issued a letter to congress reducing statutory 2010 pay increases for 1.3 million workers employed by the federal government. Obama reduced scheduled pay increases to 2 percent across-the-board from a contractually-required minimum increase of 2.4 percent... Adding gratuitous insult to injury, Obama copied, virtually verbatim, an order issued in the name of George W. Bush in 2007 blocking pay increases for federal workers in 2008.
Planned Obama speech to students sparks protest 04 Sep 2009 Some schools won't show President Obama's online speech to the nation's students Tuesday because of the objections of [racist] administrators and parents. Independence, Mo., School District Superintendent Jim Hinson says he's gotten "more calls than we've ever had on an issue," some from parents who will keep their children home Tuesday.
Broun warns of dictatorship 03 Sep 2009 (GA) U.S. Rep. Paul Broun is again raising the specter of Democrats turning the United States into a totalitarian state. Broun, [R-Fascist]Athens, apparently has not changed his belief that President Obama may be a fascist since he made similar remarks in Augusta in November and then in an Associated Press interview. He told a meeting of the Morgan County Republicans on Wednesday night that Obama already has or will have the three things he needs to make himself a dictator: a national police force, gun control and control over the press.
Inhofe blasts Obama at Grove town hall 02 Sep 2009 Right-thinking Americans can only hope the country will survive the next 16 months of the Obama administration until Republicans can regain control of Congress, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe [R-Racist] said Wednesday. "I never dreamed I would see an administration try to disavow all the things that have made this country different from all others," Inhofe told more than 300 people at a town hall meeting in the Grove Community Center. "I have never seen so many things happening at one time so disheartening to America."
Tempe pastor reiterates wish for President Obama's death 01 Sep 2009 The United State Secret Service is speaking out about an East Valley pastor who is praying for President Barack Obama's death. Spokesperson Darrin Blackford said Monday, "We are aware of Pastor Anderson's comments and an appropriate follow up will be conducted." Parishioners leaving the Faithful Word Baptist Church Sunday carried not just their Bibles, but guns as well. On August 16th, Pastor Steven Anderson delivered a sermon titled "Why I Hate Barack Obama."
The Secret's Over and Out: Bush Chemical Exposure Rule Killed By Mike Hall 02 Sep 2009 The Bush administration’s clandestine move to loosen the rules on how much toxin or dangerous chemicals to which workers can be exposed--and to make it more difficult to issue new worker protection rules--is now officially dead. The U.S. Department of Labor announced this week that the proposed rule was unnecessary and withdrew it. The rule came to be known as the secret rule because of the Bush administration’s attempt to keep it off the public’s and media’s radar screen last year.
Fall colors fade in U.S. west as aspen trees die 03 Sep 2009 The American West is losing its autumn colors as global warming begins to bite and there is far more at stake than iconic scenery. Aspen, the white-barked trees with golden leaves that gave their name to the famed Colorado ski resort, have been dying off across the Rocky Mountain states. The die-off is puzzling but some foresters point to climate change.
CIA in human experimentation row --Watchdog says US interrogation doctors may have committed unlawful experimentation 02 Sep 2009 Doctors and psychologists the CIA employed to monitor its "enhanced interrogation" of terror suspects came close to, and may even have committed, unlawful human experimentation, a medical ethics watchdog has alleged. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a not-for-profit group that has investigated the role of medical personnel in alleged incidents of torture at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and other US detention sites, accuses doctors of being far more involved than hitherto understood. PHR says health professionals participated at every stage in the development, implementation and legal justification of what it calls the CIA's secret "torture programme".
Aiding Torture: Health Professionals' Ethics and Human Rights Violations Demonstrated in the May 2004 CIA Inspector General's Report (PHR) 31 Aug 2009 This 6-page white paper, published August 31, 2009, after the new release of the May 2004 CIA Inspector General's report, shows that the extent to which American doctors and psychologists violated human rights and betrayed the ethical standards of their professions by designing, implementing, and legitimizing a worldwide torture program is worse than previously known. A team of PHR doctors authored the white paper, which details how the CIA relied on medical expertise to rationalize and carry out abusive and unlawful interrogations. It also refers to aggregate collection of data on detainees’ reaction to interrogation methods. Physicians for Human Rights is concerned that this data collection and analysis may amount to human experimentation and calls for more investigation on this point. If confirmed, the development of a research protocol to assess and refine the use of the waterboard or other techniques would likely constitute a new, previously unknown category of ethical violations committed by CIA physicians and psychologists.
CIA refuses to release torture documents 03 Sep 2009 The CIA has refused to release further documents related to its controversial rendition, detention and interrogation of terror suspects. In a 33-page court statement made public on Tuesday, the Central Intelligence Agency said the documents contained sensitive information "that implicates intelligence activities, sources and methods, and information relating to the foreign relations and activities of the United States." Last month the Department of Justice revealed details of a report by a CIA inspector-general that outlined methods used during interrogation of "al-Qaeda suspects" in the midst of George W. Bush's term, including threats of rape of detainees' family members.
we can believe in: Obama
to increase use of mercenaries in Afghanistan --Support units will
be replaced by up to 14,000 'trigger-pullers,' and noncombat posts will
be contracted out, Defense officials say. 02 Sep 2009 U.S. officials
are planning to add as many as 14,000 combat troops to the American
force in Afghanistan by sending home support units and replacing them
with "trigger-pullers," Defense officials say. Many of the noncombat
jobs are likely be filled by private
Government extends work by Blackwater successor in Iraq 02 Sep 2009 The State Department said on Wednesday it has asked the company formerly known as Blackwater to continue providing security services to U.S. diplomats in Iraq because the company hired to replace it was not ready to take over. Xe Services, formerly known as Blackwater, earlier this year learned its State Department contract in Iraq would not be renewed after some of its mercenaries were accused of killing Iraqi civilians while protecting U.S. diplomats in Baghdad.
U.S. Embassy Guard: Sexual Deviancy Required for Promotion --Whistleblower
Says Bosses Required Sex Acts for Guards Seeking Best shift, Promotion
02 Sep 2009
Private guards at US embassy 'running rampant' 03 Sep 2009 The US State Department is set to investigate allegations of a breakdown in discipline among privately-contracted mercenaries at the American embassy in Afghanistan that created a "Lord of the Flies" environment of humiliation and coercion. The working culture featured lurid locker room-style hazing, semi-naked, vodka-fuelled parties and the humiliation or even firing of those who refused to join in. A charitable government oversight group described the alleged violations in a report delivered to the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The Project on Government Oversight also handed over emails, videos, photographs and other testimony from other guards.
G.O.P. May Be Vital to Obama on Afghan War 03 Sep 2009 As President Obama prepares to decide whether to send additional troops to Afghanistan, the political climate appears increasingly challenging for him, leaving him in the awkward position of relying on the Republican Party, and not his own, for support. The simple political narrative of the Afghanistan war — that this was the good war, in which the United States would [pretend to] hunt down the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks [they were in the White House] -- has faded over time, with popular support ebbing, American casualties rising and confidence in the Afghan government declining. In addition, Afghanistan’s disputed 'election,' and the attendant fraud charges that have been lodged against President Hamid Karzai, are contributing further to the erosion of public support.
Top Afghan security official killed in blast 02 Sep 2009 A strong car bomb explosion has targeted mourners at a funeral in eastern Afghanistan and killed 25 people, including civilians and a senior security official. The explosion took place on Wednesday when a bomber blew himself up outside the main mosque in Mihtarlam, the provincial capital of eastern Laghman province.
Four sentenced to die for deadly Iraq bank robbery 02 Sep 2009 A court sentenced four Iraqi security force members to death on Wednesday for Iraq's bloodiest ever bank robbery, in which eight police guards were shot dead and millions of dollars stolen. The robbers seized 3.8 million dollars (2.7 million euros) in a pre-dawn raid on a branch of the Al-Rafidain bank on July 28. The cash was later recovered and a trail of clues implicated two former guards of Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi.
Minot AFB Cleans Up After Accident 02 Sep 2009 A semi-trailer truck used to carry intercontinental missiles overturned into a ditch last night. The incident occured in north-central North Dakota. Air Force officials say the truck was not carrying nuclear material, but they were initially concerned that some rocket fuel might leak because of the accident. Colonel Chris Ayers says the truck, called a payload transport, was carrying parts for a Minuteman Three missile when it overturned.
D.C. Area Officials Use Post-Sept. 11 Response to Coordinate Flu Fight 02 Sep 2009 Top officials from Maryland, Virginia and the District met Tuesday to coordinate plans for fighting the swine flu, taking advantage of a structure set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to try to sharpen the region's response to outbreaks expected this fall. The governors of Maryland and Virginia joined D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on a day when President Obama said "every American has a role to play in responding to this virus." [Do you trust Obama in a (USAMRIID-created) flu pandemic? Obama has followed in Bush's footsteps in nearly every single action -- or inaction -- he has taken since the election. See petition, Refuse and Resist Mandatory Flu Vaccines and CLG Pandemic Action Alerts. CLG has a Flu 'Oddities' RSS feed for breaking Flu news (as well as a main news RSS feed).]
MA Pandemic Bill Allows Police to Eenter Homes, Detain Without Warrant 02 Sep 2009 A pandemic response bill currently making its way through the Massachusetts state legislature would allow authorities to forcefully quarantine citizens in the event of a health emergency, compel health providers to vaccinate citizens, authorize forceful entry into private dwellings and destruction of citizen property and impose fines on citizens for noncompliance. If citizens refuse to comply with isolation or quarantine orders in the event of a health emergency, they may be imprisoned for up to 30 days and fined $1,000 per day that the violation continues. Massachusetts' 'Pandemic Response Bill' 2028 was passed by the Massachusetts state Senate on April 28 and is now awaiting approval in the House.
Defense Department to Start Mandatory H1N1 Flu Vaccinations 01 Sep 2009 All military personnel will be vaccinated against the H1N1 flu virus, and the vaccine will be available to all military family members who want it, a Defense Department health affairs official said today. The H1N1 vaccination program will begin in early October, said Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Wayne Hachey, director of preventive medicine for Defense Department health affairs. The vaccine, which has been licensed [!] by the Food and Drug Administration, will be mandatory for uniformed personnel, the colonel said. "What we want to do is target those people who are at highest risk for transmission," he said.
Homeland Security Sec'y: New infections expected 02 Sep 2009 Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says people should expect "a big influx" of swine flu cases this fall and brace for it as best they can. Napolitano also said in a nationally broadcast interview Wednesday that many cases are likely to surface before a [deadly] vaccine for H1N1 is available, probably no earlier than mid-October.
1 in 1,000 Ind. residents has had H1N1 01 Sep 2009 State Health Commissioner Dr. Judy Monroe said about one of every 1,000 Indiana residents has contracted the H1N1 flu virus so far -- and possibly several times that rate. Monroe told a General Assembly panel on Tuesday that the Indiana State Department of Health estimates at least 6,000 people – and possibly as many as 23,000 -- have contracted the H1N1 virus in the state. The department has stopped counting cases.
urged to watch for rare swine flu vaccine side-effect 01 Sep
2009 The last time the United States had a swine flu scare, mass vaccinations
led to an even bigger worry that the injections might have caused a
few dozen cases of a rare disease called Guillain-Barre syndrome. As
the nation prepares for another round of 2009 H1N1 flu shots this fall,
the federal government is urging neurologists to keep an eye out for
new cases of Guillain-Barre. The U.S. Centers for Disease
Preparing for a riot --Area agencies receive crowd-control training 28 Aug 2009 (TX) Like "Star Wars" stormtroopers, police officers and sheriff's deputies wielding batons and face-shielded helmets on order march tightly bunched together up the steps to the bleachers at Round Rock ISD Athletic Complex Thursday. With boots, protective vests and shin guards, the group might be viewed by some as an intimidating force, akin to an experienced varsity football squad entering the stadium.
Sarah Palin's presidential hopes crushed as Levi Johnston claims she can't even shoot a gun [The dim-witted bimbo is a complete fraud:] Despite describing herself as a "hockey mom with lipstick" - a line which delighted Republicans at her forceful national convention debut last year - Mrs Palin rarely attended her son Track's hockey games, claimed Mr Johnston. 02 Sep 2009 Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska who built her reputation on her rugged application of motherhood, does not actually fish and has no idea how to use her own gun, according to her daughter's former boyfriend. Levi Johnston, the teenager who Mrs Palin embraced as part of her family last year when it emerged during the presidential campaign that he had impregnated her 17-year-old daughter, turned against the family in an interview with Vanity Fair, painting the former governor as a selfish woman who took little interest in her children.
Mount Vernon to award Glenn Beck key to city --Protesters called it "totally inappropriate" to give a man who labeled President Barack Obama a "racist" a key to the city. 01 Sep 2009 The mayor of Mount Vernon has made it official. Mayor Bud Norris says he will give the key to his city to conservative talk show host [sociopath] Glenn Beck on September 26. Norris says Beck will deliver a short talk that night and become the first person to receive a key to the city in the six years Norris has been mayor. Protesters from the Skagit County Young Democrats walked outside city hall Tuesday with protest signs, one reading "Change the locks!"
Obama to Address Congress About Health Care 02 Sep 2009 President Obama will address a joint session of Congress next Wednesday about the nation's health-care system, Democratic officials said Wednesday. Under pressure to seize the initiative on the biggest legislative proposal of his young administration, Obama is expected to add more detail to his vision for health-care reform when he speaks to lawmakers upon their return from an August recess.
GOP calls VA pamphlet a 'death book.' Experts say it isn't 02 Sep 2009 While Republicans are calling a Department of Veterans Affairs health planning booklet a "death book" that encourages veterans to kill themselves or forgo care, ethicists and legal and medical experts say it's a reasonable attempt to help America's veterans plan for the end of their lives.
Pfizer Pays $2.3 Billion to Settle Marketing Case 03 Sep 2009 The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer agreed to pay $2.3 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations that it had illegally marketed its now-withdrawn painkiller, Bextra. It was the largest health care fraud settlement and the largest criminal fine of any kind ever. It was Pfizer’s fourth settlement over illegal marketing activities since 2002.
Obamas captured in Kennedy-like Oval Office photo 02 Sep 2009 An unusual and yet strangely familiar image of life intruding into the Oval Office has been captured by a White House photographer. As Barack Obama looks through papers, his eight-year-old daughter, Sasha, spies on him from behind a sofa. The photograph, released by the White House, was taken by Peter Souza, whose brief is to document the Obama presidency.
Controversial Blackwater Security Firm Gets Iraq Contract Extended by State Dept --Company Banned From Operating by Iraqi Government Earlier This Year 01 Sep 2009 The State Department has extended a contract with controversial private security firm Blackwater, ABC News has learned. The contract was due to expire this month. Sources say the department has agreed to temporarily continue using the subsidiary known as Presidential Airways to provide helicopter transport for embassy employees around Iraq until a new contract with another security company, DynCorp International, is fully implemented. Presidential Airways is an arm of U.S. Training Center, which is a subsidiary of the company Xe, formerly and still commonly known as Blackwater. [OH GREAT. The child rapists of DynCorp are going to 'eventually' replace the murderers, rapists, sociopaths, arsonists, bombers, thieves and all-around-terrorists from Blackwater/Xe. See: DynCorp Disgrace By Kelly Patricia O'Meara 14 Jan 2002 Middle-aged men having sex with 12- to 15-year-olds was too much for Ben Johnston, a hulking 6-foot-5-inch Texan, and more than a year ago he blew the whistle on his employer, DynCorp, a U.S. contracting company doing business in Bosnia.]
Phrase 'War on Terror' Returns to White House Lexicon [It - like Bush himself - never really left.] 01 Sep 2009 Press Secretary Robert Gibbs may have returned the United States to the "War on Terror" -- or at least returned the term "War on Terror" to the White House glossary -- when he used the abandoned phrase Monday in response to a question about the current situation in Afghanistan. "You can't under-resource the most important part of our War on Terror, you can't under-resource that for five or six or seven years... and hope to snap your fingers and have that turn around in just a few months," Gibbs said during the daily briefing to reporters.
CIA: No more interrogation secrets to be disclosed 01 Sep 2009 The CIA says it cannot turn over more details of its interrogations of terror suspects without spilling classified government secrets. A long-secret report released last week shed new light on alleged CIA [torture and] abuses. The spy agency faced a Monday court deadline to turn over more papers, but the agency responded by telling the federal judge in the case that dozens of remaining documents must stay secret.
Doctors' role in CIA abuse 'approaches unlawful human experimentation' - rights group --Doctors had 'central role' in CIA abuse 31 Aug 2009 A US-based medical rights advocacy group on Monday blasted health experts for playing a "central role" in advising and implementing the CIA's abusive interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) issued its six-page white paper after shocking details about the range of techniques used by interrogators, including waterboarding, came to light one week ago with release of a 2004 CIA inspector general's report. "Health professionals played a central role in developing, implementing and providing justification for torture," PHR said in its report... PHR warned that such spy agency techniques -- and monitoring by doctors to gauge their effectiveness -- "approaches unlawful experimentation" on human subjects. The report's lead author, PHR medical advisor Scott Allen, said in a statement on the organization's website, "medical doctors and psychologists colluded with the CIA to keep observational records about waterboarding, which approaches unethical and unlawful human experimentation."
CIA's black sites, illuminated --The facilities were never meant to be 'ordinary prisons,' recently released documents reveal in meticulous detail. 31 Aug 2009 Their transformations took place in a sensory cocoon: aboard a CIA aircraft, shackled in place, deprived of sight and sound by blindfolds, headsets and hoods. They emerged into an existence that was hidden for most of the last eight years, but now is possible to glimpse through dozens of declassified files released by the Obama administration last week... They were stripped, shaved and shoved against walls the moment they arrived. What came next was an escalating menu of interrogation options, culminating in a method used in the Inquisition -- waterboarding -- to make them think they would drown.
judge says Kuwaiti's detention in Guantanamo justified
01 Sep 2009 A US federal judge has ruled the detention of Kuwaiti Fawzi
al-Odah justified, saying it was more likely than not he had been a
member of the Taliban, in a ruling AFP obtained Tuesday. Now 32, Odah
was one of the first Guantanamo
Federal judge denies Al Odah Guantanamo habeas petition 01 Sep 2009 Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the US District Court for the District of Columbia denied the habeas corpus petition of Guantanamo Bay detainee Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad Al Odah in a partially redacted opinion made public Monday. Kollar-Kelly denied Al Odah's habeas petition last week, finding that the government had shown that it was more likely than not that he "became part of Taliban and al Qaeda forces" after traveling to Afghanistan and attending a terrorist training camp.
August death toll in Iraq is the highest in more than a year 02 Sep 2009 Insurgent attacks produced the highest monthly death toll among Iraqis in 13 months, according to Iraqi government figures obtained by The Times on Tuesday, with August marred by suicide bombings in the north and a high-profile assault on government ministries in Baghdad. A total of 456 Iraqi civilians and security personnel were killed in attacks in August, the Iraqi government figures show. It was the deadliest month since July 2008, when 465 Iraqis died violently...
US Proposes Sending Troops to Disputed Area of Northern Iraq 01 Sep 2009 Recently, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq [General Ray Odierno] said he wants to send American troops to a disputed strip of territory in northern Iraq - for a limited time - to defuse growing tensions between Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish militia. [Yeah, that will help.] The disputed area includes Ninevah Province, which has experienced a string of bloody bombings recently, including in Mosul, one of Iraq's largest cities.
August deadliest month for foreign troops in Afghanistan 02 Sep 2009 Foreign troops fighting in Afghanistan endured their deadliest month since the 2001 invasion in August when 77 soldiers died, an independent website tracking military casualties said Tuesday. Icasualties.org said the 77 deaths came after the 76 who perished in July, which was previously the bloodiest month for foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Bomb kills US service member in Afghanistan 01 Sep 2009 NATO says a U.S. service member has died in Afghanistan from wounds suffered in an explosion. The service member died Tuesday after a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan on Monday.
Embassy Guards Accused of Misconduct in Afghanistan 01 Sep 2009
Animal House in Afghanistan By Daniel Schulman 01 Sep 2009 Drunken brawls, prostitutes, hazing and humiliation, taking vodka shots out of buttcracks-- no, the perpetrators of these Animal House-like antics aren't some depraved frat brothers. They are the private security contractors guarding Camp Sullivan, otherwise known as the US Embassy in Kabul. These allegations, and many more, are contained in a letter sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday by the Project on Government Oversight, which has been investigating the embassy security contract held by ArmorGroup North America (a subsidiary of Wackenhut, which is in turn owned by the security behemoth G4S)... Nevertheless, the government opted to extend the company's 5-year, $189 million contract for another year.
Oops! Semi-trailer carrying Minot AFB missile parts overturns in ND --The oveturned semi-trailer carried rocket engine parts for intercontinental ballistic missiles and two 14-gallon tanks of liquid rocket fuel. --It was the second crash of an Air Force vehicle from the Minot AFB in a year. 01 Sep 2009 Military officials said Tuesday a semi-trailer carrying intercontinental ballistic missile parts from the Minot Air Force Base overturned, and it could take a week to clear the site in north central North Dakota. Air Force spokeswoman Laurie A. Arellano said the semi-trailer overturned Monday afternoon on a gravel road. The cause of the crash is under investigation, she said.
Flu fascism alert: Minnesota: Post police car outside infected person's home 01 Sep 2009 As state epidemiologist [Minnesota Department of Health], Dr. Ruth Lynfield's job is to reveal the possibilities for the next wave of swine flu, including the worst-case scenario. For months, Lynfield has been tracking the swine flu outbreak in Minnesota and refining contingency plans... What about an infected person -- could the state force him to stay home? "If they're quarantined, yes," Lynfield tells colleagues at one planning session. "That's the point of quarantine." What if the patient doesn't cooperate? Well, she replies, they could post a police car outside his home.
Iowa officials say no quarantine for swine flu 31 Aug 2009 Iowa public health officials are trying to alert the public that there is no truth to an Internet rumor that the state has instituted a quarantine for the H1N1 flu is untrue. Polly Carver-Kimm, spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Public Health, said a reporter from Kentucky called the department Monday, asking about something called the "facility quarantine order." [And, here is the nonexistent document: Iowa Department of Public Health - Center for Acute Disease Epidemiology, 'Local Board of Health Quarantine Isolation Rules:' Facility Quarantine Order. '6. Violations of order. If you fail to comply with this Quarantine Order you may be ordered to be quarantined in a more restrictive facility. In addition, failure to comply with this order is a simple misdemeanor for which you may be arrested, fined, and imprisoned. [This document has been saved on the CLG server.]
IDPH Issues Statement On Internet Quarantine Rumor 31 Aug 2009 The Iowa Department of Public Health issued a statement Monday on an Internet rumor circulating about an H1N1 quarantine document. IDPH officials said it's unknown who accessed a copy of the document [? Um, I did - for one] called Iowa’s "Facility Quarantine Order" that is now being shared on the Internet on some rumor Web sites and by e-mail. Department official said "IDPH wants to make it clear that Iowa has not issued any isolation and quarantine orders for novel influenza A (H1N1), and has no plans to issue any this fall." Officials said it is common for document templates to be prepared in case they are needed, but they said isolation and quarantine orders are "only rarely used in very specific situations." [Yup, it's the classic non-denial denial. IDPH: It's being 'shared on the Internet' because you uploaded it *to* the Internet. --LRP]
'We definitely reserve the right to take a look at someone, we can definitely take them off the plane.' 01 Sep 2009 Airlines say they're preparing for the return of swine flu this fall.. Rather than impose special measures to deal with the H1N1 virus, several U.S. carriers emphasize they'll follow long-standing policies that permit them to keep an ill person from flying, whatever the sickness. "We do definitely reserve that right to take a look at someone, and if they exhibit signs of having a communicable disease and flying is not in their best interest, we can definitely take them off and get them the medical care that they need," says Paul Flaningan, a Southwest spokesman.
schools plan to track real-time attendance for the first time to identify
York, L.A., Boston Set Up Swine Flu Vaccination Centers 01 Sep
2009 New York, Los Angeles and Boston are setting up swine flu centers
to administer vaccinations as part of a plan to
Swine flu vaccine trial seeks volunteers 01 Sep 2009 Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine are looking for healthy adults to test a new swine flu vaccine mixed with an ingredient that could boost people's immune response. Adding such a chemical adjuvant to the vaccine could help stretch limited supplies by making a single dose more potent, researchers believe. [Why don't the pharma-terrorists test it on *themselves?*]
Cheney in 2012? Now there's a real September surprise 01 Sep 2009 ... James Taranto, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, who is suggesting that [Dick] Cheney would be a terrific presidential candidate in 2012. If national security emerges as the key issue in the election, he argues, "Republicans would be wise to nominate someone with both toughness and experience. Under such circumstances, it’s hard to think of a better candidate -- assuming, of course, that he could be persuaded to run -- than Richard B. Cheney." The calculus: If the Afghanistan war worsens, it will become Obama’s war. And if terrorists attack this country again, a fierce voice on national security might have a chance.
US pastor prays for Obama's death in 'spiritual warfare' 01 Sep 2009 A pastor has caused outrage among church-goers in Phoenix, Arizona after praying for the death of the African-American US President Barack Obama. In his August 16 sermon entitled "Why I Hate Barack Obama," the Phoenix-area pastor, Steven Anderson, asked his parishioners to join him in prayer for Obama's death. "I hope that God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy and I hope it happens today," he told 'MyFOXPhoenix,' a local broadcasting affiliate of the right-wing FOXNews network.
'Yet again, the banks are putting profit over people.' RBS Protesters Glue Hands to Trading Floor 01 Sep 2009 Environmental campaigners have glued their hands to the trading floor of RBS in the City of London, Sky sources say. The protesters disguised themselves as construction workers to get into the company's Bishopgate HQ. They unfurled banners which read "RBS: under new ownership" and "Ethical renovation in progress". The activists said they were protesting against the bank's investments in fossil fuel projects, especially funding for the coal industry and tar sands extraction in Canada.
Ban Ki-moon 'alarmed' by melting glaciers on visit to Arctic 01 Sep 2009 The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday he was "alarmed" by the rate at which the Arctic's glaciers were retreating as he visited the region ahead of key climate talks in December. Mr Ban said world leaders had a "moral political responsibility" to safeguard the future of the planet. "I am very much alarmed and surprised to have seen these glaciers all worn," he told journalists as he visited the Ny-Aalesund climate change research station in the Svalbard archipelago, located 745 miles from the North Pole.
Fierce California fires tear into tattered budget 01 Sep 2009 California's wildfires are burning through state cash at an alarming rate, with the government spending more than half its annual firefighting budget just two months into the fiscal year -- even before the traditional fire season began on Tuesday. The state's ballooning budget deficit and sharp drop in revenues resulting from the recession have forced delays in replacing aging firefighting equipment, including 40-year-old bulldozers.
Iraq ministry bombers 'recently freed by US' --The suicide bombers who killed 95 people in devastating attacks at Iraqi government ministries on August 19 had recently been released from US custody, a senior interior ministry official said on Sunday. 31 Aug 2009 The bombings in Baghdad also wounded 600 people in what was the worst day of violence to hit the country for 18 months. "The suicide bomber who blew himself up at the ministry of foreign affairs was released three months ago from Camp Bucca," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to the US jail near Basra. "The suicide bomber who blew himself up outside the ministry of finance was also released a few months ago from the same jail." [As the CLG has asserted from the get-go: Probe any major attack of terror and likely find: A) CIA B) Blackwater/Xe C) MI5 D) Mossad E) All of the Above.]
No end to Iraq 'torture and deaths' 31 Aug 2009 More than 1,000 prisoners in Iraq are facing the death penalty, Amnesty International said. The human rights organisation called for an "immediate moratorium" on all executions and said hundreds of people were still facing "a grisly death at the end of a rope". Amnesty said the Iraqi government had widened both the scope and application of the death penalty since it was restored [by the US-installed dictatorship] in August 2004, and the punishment could now be used for "a wide range of offences", from murder to the membership and support of armed groups.
West faces losing battle over Afghan poll fraud 01 Sep 2009 Widespread and systematic fraud during the Afghan presidential elections has tarnished the legitimacy of any future government and undermined the Nato campaign there, Western and Afghan officials have admitted. Two more British soldiers were killed yesterday and the commander of the Nato forces in Afghanistan warned President Obama that the eight-year war was in a "serious" state and that big changes were needed if victory was to be achieved.
Groundwork Is Laid for New Troops in Afghanistan --Revised strategy by McChrystal would invest US more extensively in Afghanistan than it has since American forces helped topple Taliban government following attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 01 Sep 2009 A new report by the top commander in Afghanistan detailing the deteriorating situation there confronts President Obama with the politically perilous decision of whether to deepen American involvement in the eight-year-old war amid shrinking public support at home. The classified assessment submitted Monday by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who took over American and NATO forces in Afghanistan in June, did not request additional American troops, American officials said, but they added that it effectively lay the groundwork for such a request in coming weeks.
Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan 31 Aug 2009 Two more British soldiers have died in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said today, bringing the total number of deaths of UK personnel since operations began in 2001 to 210. The soldiers from the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, were killed in an explosion while on foot patrol north of Lashkar Gah district, southern Helmand, this morning.
officials cancel contract to profile reporters
31 Aug 2009 U.S. military authorities in Afghanistan have terminated
a contract with a
US Hummers Enter Pakistan, Undercover American Soldiers In Islamabad By Ahmed Quraishi 01 Sep 2009 Undercover armed Americans are swarming the Pakistani capital in the latest sign that the elected government has allowed Washington to dispatch what is believed to be a large number of American special operations agents and contractual security guards, including the infamous Blackwater private militia... The latest evidence of the growing American military presence in the Pakistani capital is the arrest of four Americans carrying automatic weapons in a part of the Pakistani capital that foreigners seldom visit. The four were arrested in Sector G-9 of Islamabad in the evening of Saturday, Aug. 29.
Nato tankers blown up in Pakistan 31 Aug 2009 Suspected militants have blown up more than 20 vehicles carrying Nato supplies from Pakistan's Karachi port to Kandahar in Afghanistan, police said. Two people have been injured in the attack, they said. No one has claimed responsibility for the [Xe?] attack.
Tapped Foreigners on Secret CIA Program --Nearly a dozen Blackwater
'surrogates' were recruited to join the Blackwater-CIA death squad program.
30 Aug 2009 When the CIA revived a plan to kill or capture terrorists
in 2004, the agency turned to the well-connected
'The detainee is 'in the complete control of Americans.'' New CIA Docs Detail Brutal "Extraordinary Rendition" Process By Scott Horton 28 Aug 2009 Deep among the documents released to the ACLU on Monday afternoon was a curious memo dated 30 December 2004 and directed to Dan Levin, then acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel... The name of the sender, based at the CIA, has been obliterated. The document provides a step-by-step manual for extraordinary renditions. The process starts with "capture shock..." During the flight, the detainee is securely shackled, and is deprived of sight and sound through the use of blindfolds, earmuffs and hoods. The detainee is "in the complete control of Americans." ...A medical officer and a psychologist play key roles in the process (though their professional ethics rules would prohibit such conduct.) All of these practices are carefully engineered to facilitate the interrogation process.
The Secret History of Hurricane Katrina By James Ridgeway 28 Aug 2009 The Blackwater operators described their mission in New Orleans as "securing neighborhoods," as if they were talking about Sadr City. When National Guard troops descended on the city, the Army Times described their role as fighting "the insurgency in the city." Brigadier Gen. Gary Jones, who commanded the Louisiana National Guard's Joint Task Force, told the paper, "This place is going to look like Little Somalia. We're going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control." ...And while the government couldn't seem to keep people from dying on rooftops or abandoned highways, it wasted no time building a temporary jail in New Orleans.
NORAD to assist security efforts at Vancouver Olympics 21 Aug 2009 In hopes of preventing terrorist attacks, 2010 Olympic organizers will deploy 8,000 security personnel, spend as much as $1 billion in Canadian government funds and elicit help from the North American Aerospace Defense Command. NORAD leaders are finalizing plans with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to provide fighter jets and radar support in Vancouver, where 5,500 athletes from 80-plus countries will converge in February.
Over 400 immigrant kids in UK detention 31 Aug 2009 Britain is once again under fire for abusing children by locking up hundreds of minors in immigration detention centers. According to a Home Office report, 470 children --mostly under the age of 5 --were held unnecessarily in detention facilities along with their families in the first half of 2009.
500 groups urge Obama to halt immigration police program 31 Aug 2009 A coalition of advocacy groups sent a letter to President Obama last week demanding that the administration end a program that allows local police to enforce federal immigration law. The program, known as 287(g), deputizes police to turn over suspects or criminals to immigration authorities for possible deportation. Immigrant rights groups said the program has led to civil rights violations and racial profiling.
White House to Brief Obama on H1N1 Flu 31 Aug 2009 The White House is expected to hold a special briefing for President Barack Obama Tuesday on U.S. government preparations to combat H1N1 swine flu, a senior administration official confirmed.
Colombia president Uribe infected with swine flu 31 Aug 2009 Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe has contracted swine flu during a summit of Latin American leaders, a Colombian minister says. Social Protection Minister Diego Palacio said on Sunday that the 57-year-old leader began showing symptoms of the A(H1N1) virus on Friday, upon returning from a meeting of South American presidents in Bariloche, Argentina.
New flu hit estimated 10 percent of New Yorkers 30 Aug 2009 The new H1N1 swine flu is estimated to have infected about 800,000 people in New York City in the spring, a top U.S. health official said on Sunday, citing a study due to be released later this week.
Flu shot or get fired --About 25,000 Capital Region hospital workers 'need' the state-mandated shield, and the area's top sites say comply or quit 29 Aug 2009 (Albany, NY) Workers at Capital Region hospitals are going to have to get a flu shot this year or face losing their jobs. The hospital, which will pay for the vaccine, is insisting that almost all of its 7,000 employees get the shots, even those who work at off-site buildings such as the finance center in Delmar.
Hartsfield clinic to add kiosks for flu shots 30 Aug 2009 The medical clinic at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport plans to open seven kiosks offering seasonal flu shots starting Sept. 15. The clinic dispensed about 10,000 flu shots last year, and the company that runs it is expanding the service this year because it expects heavier demand, said Rosemary Kelly, chief marketing officer of the AeroClinic.
Missouri veteran injured by vaccine ineligible for benefit 30 Aug 2009 It wasn’t a bullet or roadside bomb that felled Lance Cpl. Josef Lopez three years ago, after just nine days in Iraq. It was an injection into his arm before his Marine Corps unit left the United States. It left Lopez in a coma, paralyzed and unable for a time to breathe on his own. He can walk now, but with a limp... Yet the Springfield, Mo., man does not qualify for a special GI benefit of up to $100,000 for troops who suffer traumatic injuries.
U.S. Meetings With Lobbyists Go Unreported 31 Aug 2009 Since the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in February, federal agencies have reported 197 contacts with lobbyists about stimulus grants. In August, the entire government reported only eight such lobbying contacts. The Pentagon, which controls about $7.4 billion in stimulus spending, reported just one lobbying contact so far this year. The Homeland Security Department, with at least $3 billion to spend, reported none.
Massachusetts governor backs naming Kennedy successor 31 Aug 2009 Democrats pushed Monday to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Edward Kennedy, with the Massachusetts governor throwing his support behind a proposal to name an interim successor and help Democrats retain a critical margin in the chamber. Massachusetts lawmakers said they would hold a public hearing on September 9 to discuss changing state law so the Democratic governor could make a temporary appointment to the Senate.
'Polar bears are facing so many threats right now - from global warming to poaching, trophy hunting and commercial trade - that scientists say they could vanish from the United States by the middle of the century.' Wildlife Groups Seek Halt to Polar Bear Trade 31 Aug 2009 The International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society International, and Defenders of Wildlife have urged the United States to lead the way to end international commercial trade in polar bears, including hides, trophies, rugs and other polar bear parts. The United States has an opportunity to submit a proposal to stop the trade at next year's meeting of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The meeting is set for 13-25 March in Doha, Qatar.
California wildfire more than doubles on sixth day 31 Aug 2009 A massive wildfire roaring through mountains north of Los Angeles forced some firefighters to retreat on Monday as it menaced foothill homes and Mount Wilson, a broadcasting hub and site of an historic observatory. The so-called Station Fire more than doubled in size as it burned out of control for a sixth day, charring 105,000 acres (42,500 hectares), up from 42,000 acres (17,000 hectares) late on Sunday, and sending up towering plumes of smoke that fouled the air for miles (km) around.
Satire: GOP Town Hall Handbook Revealed --Excerpts from the book entitled "Taking My Country Back from Those People" By R J Shulman 31 Aug 2009 Chapter One: Fail to the Chief - As you know, job one for the true patriot is to do whatever is necessary to make Barack Obama fail. Whatever he is in favor of you know is just his sick subversive plan to take away your guns, have illegal aliens take over your house, and grant abortions on demand to legally married gays. (You will notice we don't call him 'President' because as you all know, he imported dozens of thugs from Kenya where he was born a Muslim, to rig the last election which he stole from our real president, Sarah Palin.) ...Ignore all the America-hating liberals who tell lies that there is anything wrong with our health care system. Remember, if you don't have health care or your health insurance plan has just said they won't pay for your illness, it's only because you haven't been praying enough. (Satire)
'I'll Reveal True Identity of Bomber' --Sources close to Megrahi believe he may actually have been a double agent working for the FBI or the CIA. 23 Aug 2009 An American citizen is to be named by the Lockerbie bomber as the man who really carried out the terrorist attack on Pan Am Flight 103. Lawyers for the bomber were to argue that an "elusive" terrorist codenamed Abu Elias planted the bomb in December 1988, causing the deaths of 270 innocent people. Megrahi is now expected to identify the man behind this alias. The Scottish Sunday Express tracked this man down to his home in the US, and he strongly denied having anything to do with the atrocity. However, we can reveal that he has connections to at least two international terrorists and a Palestinian terror group, as well as links to the US intelligence services. The man, who works as a schools engineer for the US government, was to become the central figure in Megrahi’s aborted appeal. [What's interesting about all of this is that if it's proven that a CIA agent carried out oh-but-another terrorist attack, the US media will stop referring to him as a terrorist and start referring to him as an 'activist,' 'militant' or 'rebel,' just like they do with abortion clinic bombers and Luis Posada Carriles. Carriles, another CIA-backed terrorist is wanted in Venezuela for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed all 73 people on board. They're busy little bees at the CIA. When they're not drilling or waterboarding people, they're blowing up airplanes. --LRP]
Lockerbie bomber: Megrahi's lawyer to release dossier 'proving' his innocence --The lawyer acting for the freed Lockerbie bomber is flying to Libya to prepare for the release of a dossier of evidence 'proving' his client's innocence. 29 Aug 2009 Tony Kelly, a Scottish solicitor, said that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, who returned to his homeland ten days ago after being released from prison on compassionate grounds, remains determined to show his guilty verdict was unjust... The disclosure... raises the likelihood of further embarrassment for Scotland over the handling of the original trial and it could lead to fresh questions over whether Megrahi was innocent and, if so, who was really behind the bombing.
Megrahi fights on to clear his name 31 Aug 2009 The Scottish lawyer acting for the freed Lockerbie bomber is to fly to Libya to prepare a dossier of evidence ''proving'' his client's innocence. Tony Kelly said Abdel Basset al-Megrahi remains determined to show the guilty verdict at his trial in 2001 was unjust. Megrahi was freed and returned to Libya two days after he withdrew his second appeal against his conviction.
says cooperation with CIA probe "will depend" [OMG --just arrest
his ass!] McCain concerned about effect on 'CIA
morale' [Yes, we wouldn't want to keep a good waterboarder down.]
30 Aug 2009 Former Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney said he might refuse
to speak with a prosecutor investigating suspected CIA prisoner abuses,
a probe he branded as political and bad for national security. Cheney
has been one of the fiercest critics of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's
decision last week to name a new special prosecutor to look deeper into
'They were war crimes.' Blackwater
Founder Accused in Court of Intent to Kill
29 Aug 2009 The founder of Blackwater USA deliberately caused the deaths
of innocent civilians in a series of shootings in Iraq, attorneys for
Iraqis suing the
Contractor Accused of Death Threats 28 Aug 2009 A military contractor under investigation on allegations he overbilled and did faulty repair work on Navy and Army aircraft has been charged with threatening to kill witnesses in the case, according to a complaint unsealed Thursday. Keith E. Shaw, owner of Shaw Aero in Louisville, traveled to Tennessee to buy explosives as part of a plot to blow up his former business partner's plane, according to an affidavit filed in federal court by an investigator for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Contractor to pay $15 million to settle lawsuit Staff report 28 Aug 2009 An Air Force contractor has agreed to pay $15 million plus interest to settle a false claims lawsuit involving computer equipment sold to Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., the Air Force announced Thursday. The U.S. Attorney General’s Office had accused Dynamics Research Corporation, known as DRC, of selling computer chips and other equipment that failed to meet Air Force specifications to the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom.
Guantánamo guard held at Heathrow --Outspoken critic of US policy told the Observer that he had been detained and questioned by US airport officials on Thursday 30 Aug 2009 A former Guantánamo guard who had flown to the UK to address a support group for inmates of the camp is to be deported back to the US this morning after being denied entry on arrival at Heathrow airport yesterday. Terry Holdbrooks, who has been an outspoken critic of the US government over the treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo, said that immigration officials told him he was being refused entry because he was unemployed and living in rented accommodation in the US, raising suspicions he would not leave the UK.
Iraq Blasts 'An Inside Job' 23 Aug 2009 Iraq’s foreign minister admitted yesterday the country’s own security forces may have colluded in the massive truck bombings in which nearly 100 people died. Hoshiyar Zebari also criticised Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki for removing blast walls from Baghdad’s streets, saying it was one cause of Wednesday’s two blasts at the foreign and finance ministries. "According to our information, there has even been collaboration between security officers and the murderers and killers," said Zebari.
Who Threw Shoes at Bush to Be Released Early 29 Aug 2009 An
Iraqi journalist imprisoned for hurling his shoes at former President
[sic] George W. Bush will be released next month after his sentence
was reduced for good behavior, his lawyer said Saturday. Muntadhar al-Zeidi's
act of protest during Bush's last visit to Iraq as president turned
the 30-year-old reporter into a folk hero across the
Masked Israeli soldiers round up demonstrators --Israel Security Agency agents hold lists of persons suspected of involvement in demonstrations 29 Aug 2009 Israeli army forces are entering the Palestinian village of Bil'in at night and arresting residents. The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem says the soldiers arrive at the village, which lies west of Ramallah, with Israel Security Agency agents holding lists of persons suspected of involvement in weekly demonstrations held in the village against the construction of the Israeli Separation Barrier more commonly known as the Wall.
Olmert indicted in three corruption affairs --Ex-PM charged over cash envelopes, double-billing trips and cronyism 30 Aug 2009 Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was indicted Sunday in three corruption affairs, concluding months of investigations into cases allegedly conducted during his tenure as Jerusalem mayor and trade minister. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz had announced earlier this month that Olmert would be charged in the Rishon Tours, cash envelopes and Investment Center affairs.
Two thirds want British troops home from Afghanistan 29 Aug 2009 Almost two-thirds of people oppose Britain’s continued deployment of troops in Afghanistan, a new poll shows. The public’s growing opposition to the conflict comes after the number of British deaths in Afghanistan rose above 200 earlier this month. A Daily Telegraph/YouGov poll showed 62 per cent of people opposed British troops staying in Afghanistan, while 26 per cent were in favour.
I feel so much safer already: 69th Bomb Squadron Soon Activated 29 Aug 2009 After months of anticipation and preparation [not to mention, endless f*ckups, 'missing' nukes, etc. ], the Minot Air Force Base is ready to officially activate its newly formed 69th Bomb Squadron. The new unit will be the fourth operational B-52 squadron in the Air Force. The Minot base is home to the 23rd Bomb Squadron and Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana has two operational B-52 units.
Navy Removes Top Nuke Weapons Officer 22 Aug 2009 The Navy dismissed the commanding officer of a Washington state-based nuclear weapons facility Friday, citing a loss of confidence in his ability to lead, the Pentagon said. Capt. Timothy J. Block, who headed the Navy's Bangor operation arming Trident submarines with nuclear warheads, was relieved of duty on by Rear Adm. Stephen E. Johnson, the Navy's director of strategic systems programs, according to the Kitsap Sun.
Candidate for Idaho governor repeats 'joke' about hunting Obama 28 Aug 2009 U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson and former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt condemned Republican gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell on Friday after he amplified his "joke" about wanting to buy a license to hunt President Barack Obama. Rammell continued to press his "joke," originally made Tuesday in the context of Idaho issuing its first hunting tags for wolves this fall. [See: Guns OK Outside Obama Town Hall; Kerry Pins Brought Arrest At Bush Rally By Lori Price 12 Aug 2009.]
Search and seizure we can believe in: Like Bush, Obama to search laptops 28 Aug 2009 Obama follows Bush's footsteps [EVERY F*CKING SECOND OF EVERY F*CKING DAY] by upholding a controversial law that allows the government to examine the contents of digital devices travelers carry, crossing the US border. According to the law that was first devised by the former US president [sic] George W. Bush, government authorities can search and even seize travelers' laptops, iPods, cameras and other digital devices, something that civil liberty advocates oppose. ['Search' comment by MDR]
'A mandatory flu vaccine policy like CAMC's is rare for U.S. hospitals, but it may soon become more common.' WVa hospital among few requiring flu vaccines 29 Aug 2009 As flu season approaches, West Virginia's largest hospital has given its employees a choice: Get a flu vaccine or find another job. Charleston Area Medical Center wants to get roughly 6,000 workers immunized 'against' seasonal flu to protect patients from the ailment. A mandatory flu vaccine policy like CAMC's is rare for U.S. hospitals, but it may soon become more common. A New York state law takes effect this month requiring hospitals to provide records showing all their workers have seasonal flu vaccinations or face fines, and the impending arrival of a [deadly] swine flu vaccine has policymakers looking for ways to get it to large numbers of people in a short amount of time.
National Guard drill at high school to prepare for possible H1N1 riot 13 Aug 2009 (ME) Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School will be the site of a National Guard riot control drill Thursday morning to prepare in the event of a panic over distribution of serum to treat the swine flu. The school on Route 26 at the Paris-Norway town line has been designated by state officials as a distribution site for the H1N1 flu vaccine. The drill is to prepare for a worst-case scenario should the serum have to be transported from Augusta and people rush to get [away from] it.
New Swine Flu Mutation 'Far More Deadly' 30 Aug 2009 Swine flu has been discovered in birds, prompting fears that a more dangerous and easily transmitted strain will emerge. Health experts last night confirmed that the H1N1 pig flu virus has infected turkeys. It is the first case of H1N1 in birds. Scientists warned the outbreak in poultry could lead to a deadly flu outbreak if it mixes with lethal avian flu.
A/H1N1 flu spreads at "unbelievable" speed: WHO 29 Aug 2009 A/H1N1 flu is spreading at an "unbelievable" speed, with "a very severe form of disease" attacking the lungs of healthy young people, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned in an interview published by French daily Le Monde on Saturday. "Sixty percent of the deaths cover those who have underlying health problems," Director-general of the WHO Margaret Chan said, adding that the remaining 40 percent of the deaths are young adults in good health, "who die of a vital fever in five to seven days."
Doctors Question WHO's Severe Swine Flu Warning --Some Say While Severe Swine Flu Exists, Warnings May Be Overblown 29 Aug 2009 The World Health Organization warned Friday that doctors around the world are now reporting a severe form of swine flu that goes straight to the lungs of otherwise healthy young people -- but some infectious disease experts said the alarm could be unwarranted.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy laid to rest near brothers --After a Boston funeral Mass attended by dignitaries and stars, his extended family says goodbye to its patriarch at Arlington National Cemetery. 30 Aug 2009 As a soft twilight fell over the nation's capital, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was laid to his final rest Saturday in a ceremony on a sloping site in Arlington National Cemetery. Kennedy's burial brings America's most famous band of brothers together again. His grave sits 100 feet south of his brother Robert's, and 200 feet from the eternal flame that burns for John, the former president.
Many in presidential line of succession attend funeral 30 Aug 2009 Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s funeral Mass in Mission Hill was one of those rare public occasions - like State of the Union addresses and inaugurations - in which many of the senior-most American officials in the direct line of succession to the presidency were in the same location. In addition to President Obama, in attendance at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Hope were Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
U.S. District judge sets hearing for wolf hunt challenge --Animal-rights group calls for Idaho potato boycott 24 Aug 2009 U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy has granted wolf advocates a hearing on their request for an injunction to stop wolf hunting in Idaho and Montana. Meanwhile a national animal rights groups has called for a boycott of Idaho potatoes to protest the hunt. Molloy scheduled the hearing for Aug. 31, the day before hunting was scheduled to begin in Idaho.
Protect Idaho's Wolves (Friends of Animals) 20 Aug 2009 Please don't buy potatoes grown in Idaho until this state's violence against wolves stops. Contact: Gov. Butch Otter or call Gov. Otter at 208-334-2100 to sound off.
10,000 homes are threatened --Across the burning foothills, 1,000 are ordered to flee. 30 Aug 2009 (CA) The unstoppable Angeles National Forest fire threatened 10,000 homes Saturday night as it more than tripled in size and chewed through a rapidly widening swath of the Crescenta Valley, where flames closed in on backyards and at least 1,000 homes were ordered evacuated. Sending an ominous plume of smoke above the Los Angeles Basin, the fire was fueled by unrelenting hot weather and dense brush that has not burned in 60 years.
US wants 20,000 more troops to fight Taliban --British and American soldiers to shoulder brunt of surge's next phase 29 Aug 2009 The commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan will ask for 20,000 more international troops as part of his new strategic plan for the alliance's war against a resurgent Taliban, The Independent has learned. The demand from General Stanley McChrystal will almost certainly lead to more British soldiers being sent to the increasingly treacherous battlegrounds of Helmand, the Taliban heartland, despite growing opposition to the war.
US general: In a year, only 50,000 troops in Iraq [And seven million mercenaries.] The U.S. Army chief of staff says he expects the number of American troops in Iraq to go 'down' to around 50,000 by this time next year. Gen. George Casey spoke during a brief visit Friday to Kuwait's Shuaiba port which will be playing a key role in the withdrawal of American forces from neighboring Iraq.
'The big prize:' Iraq violence threatens oil deals 27 Aug 2009 Recent events in Iraq have cast a pall over the government's plans to have a November auction for potentially lucrative oil contracts. The surge in violence of the last few weeks, political uncertainty caused by this week's breakup of the ruling Shiite coalition and Iraqis' refusal to give Big Oil the terms it wants are likely to drive off the international companies that see the country's untapped reserves as the big prize.
Military Reporter Profiles 'Like Perusing the Diary of Your Stalker' By David Axe 28 Aug 2009 On Monday, Stars & Stripes broke the news that U.S. military media handlers in Afghanistan have been rating embedded reporters according to their sympathy towards U.S. war aims. Turns out this was an open secret among veterans of the Kabul beat. P.J. Tobia got his hands on his profile months ago, according to his piece in True/Slant. "Rating the coverage that reporters give the military... seems a bit silly and slightly Orwellian, but if thousands of reporters were covering my organization, I would want a simple shorthand to identify them as well," Tobia wrote. "I do think the reports are creepy though. These guys have read almost everything I’ve written in the last few years, even interviews I’ve given to local news blogs. Reading this report is like perusing the diary of your stalker."
CBS radio correspondent is wounded in Afghanistan 28 Aug 2009 A CBS spokeswoman says a CBS Radio News correspondent has been seriously injured by a bomb in Afghanistan. Cami McCormick was wounded when the Army vehicle she was riding in struck a bomb south of Kabul on Friday. She was treated at a field hospital, where she was in stable condition after surgery.
Afghanistan: Seven years after CIA abduction, prisoner still held without charge 28 Aug 2009 Seven years after being abducted from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, by the CIA and shipped to the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, Haji Pacha Wazir was hoping he would finally be free. The Afghan government had cleared him for release, and a recent court ruling allowed him to petition his case in a U.S. federal court. But Wazir's petition was dismissed based on "lack of jurisdiction," despite the fact that Wazir, an Afghan national, has been in the sole custody of the U.S. government since his arrest, according to the nonprofit organization representing him.
Will Cover Legal Fees --Policy [US Taxpayers] Will Help Officers
Ensnared in Interrogation Probe 28 Aug 2009 CIA Director Leon Panetta
decided Thursday that the agency will ensure legal representation for
case officers who become caught up in investigations of alleged
Cheney condemns Obama's probe of CIA interrogations 28 Aug 2009 CIA interrogators were justified in exceeding even the broad authorizations the Justice Department gave them to handle terrorist suspects, former Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney said in an interview for broadcast Sunday, suggesting that any aggressive tactic was justified in the goal of 'preventing' another terrorist attack. A CIA inspector general's report released Monday documented how interrogators menaced "high-value" detainees with a gun and a power drill, threatened their families and used other methods that went beyond even the permissive interrogation rules set by the Bush regime's Justice Department.
Cindy Sheehan Protests Obama's Vacation 28 Aug 2009 Anti-War protestor Cindy Sheehan, the so-called "Peace Mom" who rose to fame several years ago when she protested against the Iraq War outside former President [sic] Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch, was back at it again this week. But this time she was protesting President Obama's vacation in Martha's Vineyard.
Bill Would Give President Emergency Control of Internet By Declan McCullagh 28 Aug 2009 Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet. They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.
Homeland Security Says Laptop Border Searches Will Continue By Declan McCullagh 28 Aug 2009 On Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced new guidelines for searching and seizing electronic devices at the border. In a press release, DHS claimed that they would "enhance and clarify oversight for searches of computers and other electronic media at U.S. ports of entry." Rhetoric aside, in reality, not much has changed. Laptops and electronic gear can still be seized and held indefinitely; there's no requirement that they be returned to their owners after even six months or a year has passed, though supervisory approval is required if they're held for more than 15 days. The complete contents of a hard drive or memory card can be perused at length for evidence of lawbreaking of any kind...
Michigan Security Network Formed to Accelerate Growth of Homeland Security Business In State 25 Aug 2009 Sixteen leading Michigan companies, universities and other groups have joined forces to create the Michigan Security Network as a platform to accelerate technology development, investment and jobs for the state in the fast-growing homeland security sector. The Michigan Security Network has identified three key areas offering the greatest potential within homeland security: cyber security, border security and biodefense.
Police may be issued with new high-power Taser 23 Aug 2009 A new Taser that fires wireless electric shock projectiles up to 30 metres is being considered for use by UK police forces, the Home Office has confirmed. The eXtended Range Electronic Projectile (XREP), which went on sale in the US last month, attaches itself to its target with a series of barbed electrodes and delivers a 20-second, 500 volt shock. If the subject tries to grab the device to pull it off, "reflex engagement electrodes" activate to complete a circuit that sends the shock through the subject's body out to their hand.
Tarrant County medical examiner rules young man's Taser death a homicide 27 Aug 2009 (TX) The Tarrant County medical examiner ruled Thursday that the death of a mentally ill man in April who was shocked twice by a Taser stun gun wielded by a Fort Worth police officer was a homicide. It was the fourth time that a person shocked by a Taser has died in Fort Worth police custody since the department started using the devices in 2001, according to the Police Department. But the death of Michael Patrick Jacobs Jr., 24, is the first that Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani has ruled to be a homicide.
Utah Gets Tough With Texting Drivers 28 Aug 2009 After a crash here that killed two scientists -- and prompted a dogged investigation by a police officer and local victim’s advocate -- Utah passed the nation’s toughest law to crack down on texting behind the wheel. Offenders now face up to 15 years in prison. The new law, which took effect in May, penalizes a texting driver who causes a fatality as harshly as a drunken driver who kills someone.
Independent Investigation Into Pentagon Attack Yields Alarming Information 30 Aug 2009 A three year independent investigation into the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon has yielded new eyewitness evidence [an 81-minute video presentation entitled National Security Alert] which, according to the Southern California-based researchers who conducted the investigation, "conclusively (and unfortunately) establishes as a historical fact that the violence which took place in Arlington that day was not the result of a surprise attack by suicide hijackers, but rather a military black operation involving a carefully planned and skillfully executed deception."
UN warns over swine flu in birds 27 Aug 2009 The discovery of swine flu in birds in Chile raises concerns about the spread of the virus, the UN warns. Last week the H1N1 virus was found in turkeys on farms in Chile. The UN now says poultry farms elsewhere in the world could also become infected. Scientists are worried that the virus could theoretically mix with more dangerous strains.
WHO warns of severe form of swine flu 28 Aug 2009 Doctors are reporting a severe form of swine flu that goes straight to the lungs, causing severe illness in otherwise healthy young people and requiring expensive hospital treatment, the World Health Organization said on Friday. WHO said it was advising countries in the Northern Hemisphere to prepare for a second wave of pandemic spread. [Well, knock me over with a feather! Due to the fact that health-care workers do not want mercury-laden, squalene-filled, Polysorbate 80 cancer sticks, manufactured (along with the pandemic itself) with legal immunity granted on 17 July, the World Homicide Organization and the White House are kicking the swine flu threat propaganda dissemination into high gear. --LRP]
H1N1 Vaccine to Be Offered At Airport Kiosks 28 Aug 2009 Atlanta-based AeroClinic announced it will start offering the H1N1 flu shot to travellers at a series of concourse based kiosks at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. AeroClinic will have seven locations set-up to offer the vaccine as soon as it becomes available. Starting September 15, the privately held company will begin offering the seasonal flu vaccine.
in Vancouver to Stop H1N1 vaccine --'WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT!'
--The Vaccine Resistance Movement in Canada will hold a Nationwide
Informational Demonstration and Political Protest, August 28th, 29th
and 30th, 2009.
Fed urges secrecy on banks in bailout programs --Fed urges judge not to enforce order pending appeal --Banks say disclosure could cause loss of confidence 27 Aug 2009 The U.S. Federal Reserve asked a federal judge not to enforce her order that it reveal the names of the banks that have participated in its emergency lending programs and the sums they received, saying such disclosure would threaten the companies and the economy. The central bank filed its request on Wednesday, two days after Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan ruled in favor of Bloomberg News, which had sought information under the federal Freedom of Information Act. Preska said the Fed failed to show that revealing the names would stigmatize the banks and result in "imminent competitive harm."
2009 bank-failure tally climbs to 84 --Three more banks were closed by regulators Friday, bringing the 2009 toll to 84. 28 Aug 2009 The largest of Friday's three closures announced by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was Affinity Bank, based in Ventura, Calif. Affinity, which had total assets of $1 billion, deposits of $922 million and 10 branches in Northern and Southern California as of July 10, will be taken over by San Diego-based Pacific Western Bank, the FDIC announced. Earlier Friday, regulars closed Baltimore-based Bradford Bank and Forest Lake, Minn.-based Mainstreet Bank.
Fundraising letter hints GOP health care at risk 28 Aug 2009 The national Republican Party has mailed a fundraising appeal suggesting Democrats might use an overhaul of the health care system to deny medical treatment to Republicans. A questionnaire accompanying the appeal says the government could check voting registration records, "prompting fears that GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed [?] health care rationing system." [Good idea, since the GOP apparently already suffers from a grammar rationing system.]
SarahPAC blames illegal political donations on software error --'We fouled up there.' 28 Aug 2009 Former Gov. Sarah Palin's political action committee gave excessive contributions to two well-known Republicans and also is facing demands from the federal government for more detailed financial information on a number of fronts. The deficiencies are highlighted in a five-page letter sent Aug. 19 by a Federal Elections Commission staffer to SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford. The FEC wants answers by Sept. 24.
Glenn Beckoming unhinged: Beck's "questions" about Obama spell "OLIGARH" [sic] 27 Aug 2009 From the August 27th edition of Fox News' 'Glenn Beck.' (Media Matters video)
In Boston, Bidding Kennedy Farewell --Mourners Reflect Senator's Legacy 29 Aug 2009 They came by the thousands and stood quietly and patiently in line. Young and old, every color and background and ethnic origin. And together they reflected the tapestry of modern America that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy touched during his half-century in public life.
American Civil Liberties Union Mourns Senator Edward Kennedy 26 Aug 2009 The American Civil Liberties Union today mourned the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) who succumbed to brain cancer Tuesday night. Senator Kennedy was a stalwart champion and defender of civil liberties with a record of public service marked by unending compassion and progress... Senator Kennedy’s leadership, courage, and compassion will echo throughout the halls of Congress for generations to come.
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