November 2009 Archives
U.S. Moves to Seize 4 Mosques and Skyscraper 'Tied to Iran' --The assets include bank accounts; Islamic centers consisting of schools and mosques in New York City, Maryland, California and Houston; more than 100 acres in Virginia; and a 36-story glass office tower in New York. 12 Nov 2009 Federal prosecutors took steps Thursday to seize four U.S. mosques and a Fifth Avenue skyscraper owned by a nonprofit Muslim organization long suspected of being secretly controlled [?!?] by the Iranian government. In what could prove to be one of the biggest counterterrorism seizures in U.S. history, prosecutors filed a civil complaint in federal court against the Alavi Foundation, seeking the forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets. [Maybe other nations will return the favor and start seizing US assets, since the US is a key backer and perpetuator of international terrorism.]
KBR burned smallpox inoculations in Iraq, Afghan burn pits --Troops sue KBR over toxic waste 11 Nov 2009 Dozens of US military personnel have filed 34 lawsuits against US defense contractor KBR for allegedly incinerating toxic waste and releasing it into the atmosphere in Iraq and Afghanistan. Susan Burke, one of the lawyers bringing the suits, said they have been filed over the past year, 18 of them in recent days. One lawsuit filed in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee charged that they "ignored their contractual obligations and burned vast quantities of unsorted waste in enormous open air burn pits with no safety controls. This misconduct began in 2003 and continues unabated [thanks, Obusha!] to date," it alleges. "Every type of waste imaginable was and is burned on these pits, including trucks, tires, lithium battery, Styrofoam, paper, rubber, petroleum-oil-lubricant products, metals, hydraulic fluids, munitions boxes, medical waste, biohazard materials (including human corpses), medical supplies (including those used during smallpox inoculations), paints, solvents, asbestos insulation, items containing pesticides, polyvinyl chloride pipes, animal carcasses, dangerous chemicals and hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles," the lawsuit claims.
KBR improperly billed for security guards, senator says 11 Nov 2009 KBR, the largest contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan, improperly billed the Pentagon and was paid about $103 million for armed security guard services, a U.S. senator says. In a Nov. 6 letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who chairs a contracting oversight panel, wrote that the Pentagon has recovered $42 million of the payments. McCaskill said she was concerned the Defense Department "is not moving quickly enough to recover the remaining $61 million" and asked Gates for a status report by Dec. 1.
Iraq probes Blackwater bribes 12 Nov 2009 Iraq has ordered an investigation into whether the US security firm Blackwater paid bribes to officials following the fatal shootings of 17 people in 2007. Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani told CNN that he had asked the appropriate commanders to look into the matter. The decision came after former top Blackwater executives told the New York Times they had sent $1m to its office in Iraq in a bid to silence criticism [and illegally thwart investigations].
Blair faces Iraq probe next year 13 Nov 2009 Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is to be called to give evidence to the Iraq War inquiry early next year. He will be among senior Labour figures to be publicly grilled just months ahead of an expected general election. Mr Blair and the others may be quizzed again in more detail, but that will not happen until after the election, which must take place by June.
Ministry of Defence civil servants paid £47 million in bonuses --Civil servants at the Ministry of Defence have been paid £47 million in performance bonuses so far this year. 12 Nov 2009 The MoD said the bonuses were paid for "exceptional performance" but the disclosure came as the Government faced increasing pressure over the lack of equipment for troops serving in Afghanistan. There are 85,000 civil servants at the MoD -- one for every two active soldiers, the highest level among the Allied nations -- and about 50,000 will get a performance bonus this year. Troops serving in Afghanistan would be "aghast" at the payments, the Conservatives said last night.
Gates Condemns Leaks on U.S. Afghan Policy and Ft. Hood 13 Nov 2009 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is normally a mild-mannered man, at least in public, but he unleashed a torrent on Thursday about leaks during the investigation of the Foot Hood shootings and during President Obama’s deliberations on sending more American troops to Afghanistan. First, on the president’s meetings on Afghanistan: "I have been appalled by the amount of leaking that has been going on in this process," Mr. Gates told reporters... He added that he thought "a lot of different places are leaking" and that he was "confident that the Department of Defense is one of them." Then he made a threat: "And frankly if I found out with high confidence anybody who was leaking in the Department of Defense, who that was, that would probably be a career ender." [And, the first career we want to see ended is that of Robert Gates.]
US envoy warns against troop surge in Afghanistan --Memos from Eikenberry state extra troops 'not a good idea' until Karzai government tackles corruption, according to reports 12 Nov 2009 The US ambassador in Kabul has warned against plans to send tens of thousands more troops to Afghanistan, until President Hamid Karzai's government demonstrates that it is willing to tackle the corruption. Karl Eikenberry sent two classified cables to Washington in the past week expressing his concern over proposals to deploy as many as 40,000 extra troops while the Karzai government remains dogged by accusations of incompetence and corruption, according to reports from Washington. The existence of the memos was revealed as Barack Obama held a war council at the White House to discuss the final four options for deployment of extra US troops in an effort to stave off defeat at the hands of the Taliban.
McDonald's advertises for staff to work at Guantánamo Bay 12 Nov 2009 McDonald's is advertising for staff to work at Guantánamo Bay, in what might be the perfect opportunity for anyone looking to see out the recession in warmer climes. The burger chain is looking to hire an assistant manager for its outlet at the military base on Cuba where the US holds foreign terrorist suspects. The sole McDonald's branch on the island has featured in news reports about the controversial prison, with interrogators allegedly buying Big Macs and fries in an attempt to make captives more amenable.
Bomb destroys Pakistani security building: witnesses 12 Nov 2009 A bomb destroyed a Pakistani security agency office in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Friday, killing at least two people, witnesses said. Police said the blast was caused by a bomb. Militants have launched several big bomb attacks in Peshawar since the army began an offensive against Taliban militants on October 17.
Iran consulate official killed in Peshawar 12 Nov 2009 'Unknown' gunmen have shot dead a local official at Iran's consulate in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar. Abul Hassan Jafari, director of public relations at the consulate, was attacked by assailants on Thursday as he was on his way to work, police said. He died of severe injuries on the way to hospital. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. [Yeah, but we all know who it is.]
Obama extends Iran sanctions for another year 12 Nov 2009 US President Barack Obama has renewed longstanding US economic sanctions against Iran, despite his apparent overtures to the Islamic Republic. Obama notified Congress that he was extending existing US measures against Tehran for another year, the White House said on Thursday.
Israeli rabbi backs killing non-Jews 10 Nov 2009 An Israeli rabbi has supported the murder of non-Jewish babies who pose a threat to Israel in his recently released book The King's Torah. Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva religious school in the occupied West Bank, says Jews are allowed to murder even non-Jewish babies and children if they pose a threat to Israel, Haaretz reported. Shapiro said Jews are allowed to kill 'those who, by speech, weaken our sovereignty'.
Lack of health care killed 2,266 US veterans last year: study 11 Nov 2009 The number of US veterans who died in 2008 because they lacked health insurance was 14 times higher than the US military death toll in Afghanistan that year, according to a new study. The analysis produced by two Harvard medical researchers estimates that 2,266 US military veterans under the age of 65 died in 2008 because they lacked health coverage and had reduced access to medical care.
Italy: 17 Arrested in Terrorism Case 13 Nov 2009 Italy’s top security official said Thursday that authorities had broken up an international terrorist cell with the arrest in Italy and elsewhere in Europe of 17 Algerians suspected of raising money to finance terrorism. The official, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, called the cell "significant." The arrests stemmed from an antiterrorism investigation in Milan, and antiterrorist units from Algeria, Austria, Britain, France, Spain and Switzerland cooperated in the inquiry.
Neb. to test communication, terrorism response 11 Nov 2009 Next week, the state of Nebraska will be testing a communications tool as it checks its ability to handle a terrorist attack. This year's emergency-response test is called Terrex '09 and is scheduled for Nov. 18 and 20 in Lincoln, Scottsbluff and Grand Island. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency says Terrex '09 will check the state's response to terrorists' use of hazardous materials.
White House Sides With C.I.A. in Turf Battle 13 Nov 2009 After a months-long turf battle between America’s top spies, the White House has sided with the Central Intelligence Agency in the dispute over who has the power to appoint the top spy in each country overseas, according to intelligence officials. The decision is a blow to Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, who had used the issue as a litmus test of the power of his office, created in 2004 to enhance cooperation among intelligence agencies and put an end to persistent squabbling among American spies.
Government Will Pay $3 Million in Coffee Table Spying Suit 10 Nov 2009 The U.S. has agreed to pay $3 million to a former government worker who accused officials with the CIA and State Department of spying on him with a bugged coffee table. Rather than comply with a court order to provide lawyers in the case with what the U.S. government says is classified information, the government has agreed to settle to end the 15-year-old suit. A close review of the case suggests that the Justice Department also decided to pay off the plaintiff in order to quash the series of damaging legal rulings issued by the influential judge overseeing the case that would have forced them to disclose the classified information.
State to 'spy' on every phone call, email and web search --Every phone call, text message, email and website visit made by private citizens is to be stored for a year and will be available for monitoring by government bodies. 10 Nov 2009 All telecoms companies and internet service providers will be required by law to keep a record of every customer’s personal communications, showing who they have contacted, when and where, as well as the websites they have visited. Despite widespread opposition to the increasing amount of surveillance in Britain, 653 public bodies will be given access to the information, including police, local councils, the Financial Services Authority, the ambulance service, fire authorities and even prison governors. They will not require the permission of a judge or a magistrate to obtain the information, but simply the authorisation of a senior police officer or the equivalent of a deputy head of department at a local authority.
Obama orders base killings probe 12 Nov 2009 US President Barack Obama has ordered a review of the way intelligence agencies handled information over an army major suspected of killing 13 people. The measure comes after US intelligence authorities revealed they knew Maj Nidal Malik Hasan had been in contact with a cleric sympathetic to al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh].
Conflicting reports about who shot Hasan at Fort Hood 12 Nov 2009 Did Police Sgt. Kimberly Munley shoot Maj. Nidal Hasan last week at Fort Hood? Army officials have credited the wounded 34-year-old officer from Killeen, Texas, with ending the rampage that left 13 dead and dozens injured. But the officer who responded with her, Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, tells The New York Times that he shot Hasan after the gunman seriously wounded Munley. An eyewitness has backed Todd's version of events.
Hasan charged with premeditated murder, Army official says 12 Nov 2009 Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of opening fire on soldiers at Fort Hood last week, has been charged with premeditated murder in the deaths of 12 soldiers and a civilian and could face other charges, an Army official said Thursday. Christopher Grey, a spokesman for the Army's Criminal Investigation Division and for the joint task force investigating the crime, said Hasan "has been charged with 13 specifications of premeditated murder under Article 118 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice." He told a news conference that "additional charges may be preferred in the future."
Major Hasan: Soldier of Allah; Many Ties to Jihad Web Sites --Officials Say Accused Fort Hood Shooter Used Multiple Hotmail, AOL Accounts for Overseas Contacts 12 Nov 2009 United States Army Major Nidal Hasan proclaimed himself a "soldier of Allah" on private business cards he obtained over the Internet and kept in a box at his apartment near Fort Hood, Texas. The cards make no mention of his military affiliation, but underneath his name he listed himself as SoA (SWT). SoA is commonly used on jihadist Web sites as the acronym for Soldier of Allah, according to investigators and experts who have studied such sites. SWT is commonly used by Muslims as an acronym for Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, Glory to God.
Hasan did not formally ask to leave military, Army official says 11 Nov 2009 The Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people last week at Fort Hood, Tex., did not formally seek to leave the military as a conscientious objector or for any other reason, an Army official said. Any formal request by Maj. Nidal M. Hasan to separate early would have been submitted to the Department of the Army, according to the official, who saw Hasan's file before it was recently sealed by Army investigators. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly.
Walter Reed Officials Asked: Was Hasan Psychotic? 11 Nov 2009 Starting in the spring of 2008, key officials from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences held a series of meetings and conversations, in part about Maj. Nidal Hasan, the man accused of killing 13 people and wounding dozens of others last week during a shooting spree at Fort Hood. One of the questions they pondered: Was Hasan psychotic?
Lawyers say a fair trial for Hasan will be impossible 11 Nov 2009 Lawyers for US Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who is alleged to have shot 13 people dead at Fort Hood, Texas, say he will not get a fair trial on the base. Army officials have been overseeing the care of Major Hasan, after he was shot by a civilian police officer following his alleged shooting rampage at the Fort Hood installation. Hasan's lawyer, retired Colonel John Galligan, has said his client's condition in hospital is stable and he is aware charges will be laid.
has killed 3,900 Americans: CDC 12 Nov 2009 H1N1 swine flu killed
an estimated 3,900 Americans from April to October, including more than
500 children, U.S. health officials said on Thursday. Better data than
was previously available shows the flu pandemic has infected an estimated
22 million Americans and put 98,000 in the hospital, the U.S. Centers
Va. teen suffers rare illness after swine flu shot --Boy diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome 12 Nov 2009 A 14-year-old Virginia boy is weak and struggling to walk after coming down with a reported case of Guillain-Barre syndrome within hours after receiving the H1N1 vaccine for swine flu. Jordan McFarland, a high school athlete from Alexandria, Va., left Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children Tuesday night in a wheelchair nearly a week after developing severe headaches, muscle spasms and weakness in his legs following a swine flu shot. He will likely need the assistance of a walker for four to six weeks, plus extensive physical therapy.
Glaxo sees recurring pandemic flu business 12 Nov 2009 Sales of flu treatments due to the H1N1 swine flu pandemic may be sustainable beyond the current winter season, as governments around the world overhaul their long-term strategy on stockpiles. GlaxoSmithKline Plc Chief Executive Andrew Witty said on Thursday that pandemic stockpiling would be a recurrent business, rather than a simple one-off, with some 60 countries now running strategic reserves of both vaccines and antivirals.
Trucks With H1N1 Vaccine Will Be Escorted By Police --Truck Carrying Flu Vaccine Supply Is Stolen 07 Nov 2009 (Chicago) Someone in Milwaukee stole a refrigerated truck that was hauling 930 doses of the swine flu vaccine. The doses were being returned [H1N1 vaccine is unwanted, despite mainstream media assertions to the contrary] to Milwaukee's main storage facility on Thursday evening after a public vaccination clinic when one or more people drove away in the truck, which had been left idling and unattended only for moments, the authorities said. As prosecutors considered charges against a man suspected in the theft, there was other fallout: the department will no longer employ the transport company involved, said Bevan K. Baker, the city health commissioner, and trucks bearing H1N1 doses will now be escorted by a police squad car.
Ex-NYC top cop allowed out of jail for holidays 11 Nov 2009 Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner and one-time [Bush] candidate for Homeland Security chief, was freed from jail Tuesday for the holidays to await sentencing on federal crimes. Kerik, who pleaded guilty last week to eight felonies, was released on $1.5 million bond by federal Judge Stephen Robinson after the former top cop spent three weeks in jail.
Holy hypocrisy, Batman! RNC insurance plan covers abortion 12 Nov 2009 The Republican National Committee’s health insurance plan covers elective abortion - a procedure the party’s own platform calls "a fundamental assault on innocent human life." Federal Election Commission Records show the RNC purchases its insurance from Cigna. Two sales agents for the company said that the RNC’s policy covers elective abortion.
Advocacy Groups Claim Victory After Dobbs Leaves --Dobbs Released From Contract Early, Considering Number of Options 12 Nov 2009 CNN moved swiftly to replace Lou Dobbs in its nightly lineup with John King, who said Thursday that all views would be welcome on his politically-oriented talk show when it debuts early next year. Dobbs' abrupt exit prompted a victory lap by advocacy groups that had sought his ouster for outspokenness... But CNN President Jon Klein said their pressure had nothing to do with the decision.
Taliban Militants Seize Weapons and Ammunitions in Military Posts Evacuated By U.S. Forces in East Afghanistan --Al-Jazeera TV report on the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, which aired November 9, 2009. 10 Nov 2009 Large Quantities of American-Made Weapons and Ammunition Fall into Taliban Hands --Reporter: "The most important spoils of war, as far as the Taliban militants are concerned, may be the large quantities of American-made weapons and ammunition that fell into their hands, enabling them to continue their operations against the Afghan and foreign forces. This arsenal joins the old weapons in their possession. The Taliban commanders in Nuristan say that they have enough men, and they will send their weapons surplus to other places." Taliban Leader: "We Have Defeated The U.S. Forces…"; Government Signs in Kamdesh Have Been Replaced By Signs of The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan --Muhammad Othman, a Taliban leader in Kamdesh: "We have defeated the U.S. forces, with the help of God. All these regions are completely free of Americans. The most recent defeat they suffered was at Ormar. East Nuristan has become free of U.S. forces." Reporter: "The government signs in Kamdesh have been replaced by signs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and the Taliban flag has been hoisted on top of the government buildings, and the army and police posts. The U.S. forces have pinned their withdrawal on the onset of winter, which necessitated a new deployment in the region."
TV footage shows Afghan insurgents with US ammo 10 Nov 2009 Television footage broadcast Tuesday showed 'insurgents' handling what appears to be U.S. ammunition in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan that American forces left last month following a deadly firefight that killed eight troops. The U.S. military said the forces that left the area said they removed and accounted for their equipment. Al-Jazeera broadcast video showing insurgents handling weapons, including anti-personnel mines with U.S. markings on them. [See: The Obusha AfPak Money Pit WHY (besides protecting gas and opium pipelines) is the US is *still* in Afghanistan (and Pakistan)? --LRP]
Bush officials lead Iraq business push 09 Nov 2009 Senior Bush administration figures including Zalmay Khalilzad, former US ambassador to Baghdad, and Jay Garner, the retired general who led reconstruction efforts immediately after the war, are leading a new business push into Iraq. The two one-time senior officials are among a raft of former US soldiers and diplomats either leveraging their war experience helping foreign companies to enter the Iraqi market or starting businesses there themselves.
'Highlighting the neo-colonial nature of this operation, two former top American officials under the Bush administration are now facilitating corporate deals in Iraq.' The plunder of Iraq's oil (WSWS) 11 Nov 2009 The awarding of development rights over the huge West Qurna oilfield in southern Iraq to Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell last Thursday once again underscores the criminal character of the continuing US-led occupation. As the direct result of the Iraq war, major American and other transnational energy conglomerates are now gaining control over some the largest oilfields in the world.
US firm Blackwater in Iraq bribery scandal: report 10 Nov 2009 Executives at US security firm Blackwater approved secret payments of about one million dollars to Iraqi officials to "silence their criticism" after company guards killed 17 civilians in Baghdad in 2007, the New York Times has said. Citing interviews with four unnamed former Blackwater executives, the Times said the company's president at the time, Gary Jackson, approved the bribes.
Authorized $1M In Bribes to Iraqi Officials After Shootings
--Blackwater's buying off government officials is illegal under US law
11 Nov 2009 Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret
payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to
silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007
episode in which Blackwater
to Pick Courts for Guantanamo Inmates by Nov. 16 08 Nov 2009
The U.S. will decide by Nov. 16 whether to try Guantanamo
Yoo Withdrew: Amidst Growing Call for Criminal Investigation, Torture Memos Author John Yoo Withdraws from Federalist Society Panel Posted by Alliance for Justice 09 Nov 2009 Amidst a growing call for a criminal investigation of the DOJ lawyers who authorized torture, John Yoo, author of the most infamous of the "torture memos" withdrew as a speaker at the conservative Federalist Society Convention where Alliance for Justice and human rights supporters are scheduled to take action.
3 ND soldiers suing contractors --Similar lawsuits against the contractors have been filed in 33 other states. 10 Nov 2009 Three North Dakota men who were stationed with the military in Iraq are suing military contractors Halliburton Co. and KBR, Inc., alleging the companies exposed them to toxic fumes and ash from burn pits used for waste. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Fargo by Patrick Cassidy of Fargo, William Dutton of Bismarck and Christopher Kozel of the Minot Air Force Base. The lawsuit claims the contractors burned everything from human remains to dangerous chemicals and medical waste in the open-air pits.
Lockerbie: Human rights lawyer states Megrahi was framed By Steve James 11 Nov 2009 Leading British human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce has stated that, in her opinion Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi, the only man accused and convicted of the 1988 bombing of PanAm flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was framed. ...[F]ollowing the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991, Iran and Syria both assisted the US invasion of Iraq. It was at this time that the focus of the Lockerbie investigation was shifted. Vincent Cannistraro, the architect of the Reagan administration’s CIA campaign of destabilisation against the Libyan government of Colonel Muammar Gadhaffi, was brought out of retirement to head the new line of investigation.
The Framing of al-Megrahi By Gareth Peirce 24 Sep 2009 It is, of course, now all about oil. Only a simpleton could believe that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, convicted of responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing, was not recently returned to his home in Libya because it suited Britain... Extraordinarily, however, distinct from the Dumfries and Galloway police, scores of men, some wearing no insignia, some the insignia of the FBI and Pan Am (it was noted at the time that many of these men were clearly not Pan Am staff), invaded the area. Lockerbie residents reported seeing unmarked helicopters hovering overhead, carrying men with rifles whose telescopic sights were pointing directly at them.
Obama exploits Fort Hood massacre to promote US wars By Bill Van Auken 11 Nov 2009 President Barack Obama used his speech at Tuesday’s service for the 13 men and women killed last week at Fort Hood, Texas to promote the two ongoing US wars and his own plan to escalate the intervention in Afghanistan. The president delivered his remarks as his administration is finalizing plans to send tens of thousands more US troops to Afghanistan.
Military not told about Ft. Hood suspect's e-mails 11 Nov 2009 Two high-profile anti-terrorism task forces did not inform the Defense Department about contacts between a radical Islamic cleric and the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in last week's rampage at Ft. Hood, a senior Defense official said Tuesday. The FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Forces investigated e-mails that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan sent over the last year to Anwar al Awlaki, an imam in Yemen who espouses a radical Islamist ideology and who has ties to militants. However, officials said, task force members concluded that the communications posed no threat and had been undertaken as part of Hasan's research on Muslims, the military and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Senior Official: More Hasan Ties to People Under Investigation by FBI --Alleged Shooter Had 'Unexplained Connections' to Others Besides Jihadist Cleric Awlaki 10 Nov 2009 A senior government official tells ABC News that investigators have found that alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan had "more unexplained connections to people being tracked by the FBI" than just radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki. The official declined to name the individuals but Congressional sources said their names and countries of origin were likely to emerge soon. Questions already surround Major Hasan's contact with Awlaki, a radical cleric based in Yemen whom authorities consider a recruiter for al Qaeda [al-CIAduh].
FBI Agents Search Trash At Mosque Attended by Hasan --Agents Seen Pulling Material from Dumpster Outside Killeen Mosque 10 Nov 2009 FBI agents appeared to be carrying out a search warrant today at the Killeen, Texas mosque attended by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Islamic Community Center of Greater Killeen. Local police were called to cordon off the area and told ABC News they were acting on instructions from the FBI. Moments later, four agents, wearing blue gloves, began to search through a trash bin outside the mosque.
Fort Hood suspect to be tried in military court 10 Nov 2009 The army psychiatrist suspected in the killing of 13 people in a shooting at the Fort Hood Army post will be charged in a military court, U.S. government officials said on Monday. The official said there is no indication that the accused gunman, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, had been planning an attack.
FBI, military checked Hasan, saw no terror threat, officials say 10 Nov 2009 The FBI and the military investigated contacts between an Army psychiatrist accused of last week's deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood and a Yemen-based militant over the past year but concluded he didn't pose a terrorist threat, senior law enforcement and military officials said Monday.
Fort Hood Gunman Gave Signals Before His [Alleged] Rampage 09 Nov 2009 Major Hasan’s behavior in the months and weeks leading up to the shooting bespeaks a troubled man full of contradictions. He lived frugally in a run-down apartment, yet made a good salary and spent more than $1,100 on the pistol the authorities said he used in the shootings.
US Senate to probe whether base massacre was terrorism 10 Nov 2009 A Senate committee on homeland security will investigate the mass shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, to determine whether Major Nidal Malik Hasan's deadly shooting rampage was an act of terrorism. The chairman of the Senate committee on homeland security, Joseph Lieberman [I-Israel], told Fox News Sunday there had been ''strong warning signs'' that Major Hasan was an ''Islamist extremist''.
Ft. Hood: Official story full of holes By Gregory Patin 10 Nov 2009 The more information there is, the more inconsistencies that can be found. That does not make any topic a conspiracy theory, it just makes it what it is...questionable. A good example is what allegedly happened at Ft. Hood last week... A retired MP, Michael Martinez also said: "No way! That would be impossible. Even if he had two semi-auto pistols [according to reports he used a 9mm and a .357 revolver to gun down over 40 people] he would still have had to stop to reload and someone would have jumped his ass. Most people on base aren't carrying [weapons], but MPs are and they would have been there in a heartbeat." ...Lori Price, writing for Citizens for Legitimate Government, did an excellent job of compiling articles from the media that came out in the early moments and the aftermath of the shootings.
Fort Hood Shooting Oddities.... By vii 10 Nov 2009 Folks, there are problems with the delivered Fort Hood Massacre scenario. You will not hear about them in the controlled press. You will hear about them in the alternative, internet media. Which is why the globalist cabal is seeking to censor it. All under the guise of "fighting hate", of course.... (CLG item in telegraph.co.uk blog)
CLG Exclusive: Fort Hood: 'This story stinks to high heaven.' --SFC, who spent ten years at Fort Hood, comments on Ft. Hood events 09 Nov 2009 I spent 10 years at Ft Hood. There is no way this 'official' story is legitimate. No way would a room full of combat vets allow this one shooter to get off over 100 rounds! And, it is not normal for the outside security guards to be there. They are at the MP station, and at the main gates. This means the room full of soldiers processing must have been pinned down; multiple shooters is the only plausible scenario. This sounds like MAJ Hasan has been used, and perhaps is a patsy. --SFC Donald Buswell (Retired)
Subpoenas We Can Believe In: Justice Dept. Asked For News Site's Visitor Lists 10 Nov 2009 In a case that raises questions about online journalism and privacy rights, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a formal request to an independent news site ordering it to provide details of all reader visits on a certain day. The grand jury subpoena also required the Philadelphia-based Indymedia.us Web site "not to disclose the existence of this request" unless authorized by the Justice Department, a gag order that presents an unusual quandary for any news organization. The subpoena from U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis demanded "all IP traffic to and from www.indymedia.us" on June 25, 2008.
Flu suspect booted off plane: Woman says concerns over flu forced her off flight 11 Nov 2009 A woman says she was booted from a flight from Tampa to Hawaii because the flight crew aboard the aircraft suspected she had the flu. Mitra Mostoufi, 50, says she was humiliated when she was taken off the United Airlines flight on Monday morning. She says she doesn't "need to be treated like a disease." Mostoufi says she doesn't have the flu. She says medication for restless leg syndrome made her feel nauseous, so she asked for an air sickness bag. After she made the request, a United Airlines employee told her to leave the aircraft.
Mysterious flu in Ukraine continues to intensify --Nearly three quarters of the Ukrainian population have flu-like symptoms of the mysterious virus 10 Nov 2009 Digital Journal reported at the end of October that more than 40,000 Ukrainians contracted a serious virus but now more than three quarters (478,456) of Ukrainians have contracted the flu-like symptoms, according to Radio Netherlands... The mysterious flu strain has caused a variety of theories such as biological warfare. Jose Mosse, who is a former microbiologist for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, called into a radio talk show warning about a biological weapon that would occur in Ukraine by Baxter International. [See: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor 26 Apr 2009.]
Glaxo wins OK to sell H1N1 vaccine in U.S. 11 Nov 2009 London-based GlaxoSmithKline won U.S. approval to sell its vaccine to fight H1N1 influenza, also known as swine flu, after an eight-week delay. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the vaccine as a strain change to Glaxo's FluLaval seasonal flu vaccine, the drug maker said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement. The U.S. Health and Human Services Department has ordered 7.6 million doses of the swine flu vaccine as part of about 250 million doses secured from all manufacturers, the company said.
I'm doing 'God's work'. Meet Mr Goldman Sachs --The Sunday Times gains unprecedented access to the world's most powerful, and most secretive, investment bank 08 Nov 2009 Goldman Sachs, this pillar of the free market, breeder of super-citizens, object of envy and awe will go on raking it in, getting richer than God? An impish grin spreads across Blankfein’s face. Call him a fat cat who mocks the public. Call him wicked. Call him what you will. He is, he says, just a banker "doing God’s work"
Obama's Afghan Plan: About 40,000 More Troops --CBS: Sources Say Force Will Grow to 100,000 - Nearly Filling Gen. McChrystal's Request; Long-Term [Blackwater/KBR] Stay Planned 09 Nov 2009 Tonight, after months of conferences with top advisors, President Obama has settled on a new strategy for Afghanistan. CBS News reports that the president will send a lot more troops and plans to keep a large force there, long term. ...Informed sources tell CBS News he intends to give Gen. Stanley McChrystal most, if not all, the additional troops he is asking for. McChrystal wanted 40,000 and the president has tentatively decided to send four combat brigades plus thousands more support troops.
CIA Denies Report of Blocking Hasan Intel --Officials Tell CBS News Agency Isn't Withholding Information on Suspected Fort Hood Shooter 09 Nov 2009 Responding to a report that the Army psychiatrist suspected in last week's Fort Hood shootings had tried to contact people within al Qaeda - and that government intelligence agencies knew about it and are refusing to brief Congress on it - a U.S. intelligence official told CBS News that the CIA isn't withholding information from Congress. "There's no sign at this point that the CIA had collected information relevant to this case and then simply sat on it," the official told CBS News. ABC News published the report Monday morning with details that the CIA was refusing to brief the congressional committees charged with overseeing the intelligence agencies, a senior lawmaker told ABC.
Hasan Computer Reveals No Terror Ties 09 Nov 2009 A preliminary review of the computer of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused shooter in Thursday's rampage at Fort Hood in which 13 people were killed, has revealed no evidence of any connection to terror groups or conspirators, according to law enforcement officials. CBS News reports that an examination of the computer has revealed Hasan visited Web sites promoting radical Islamic views, but investigators have not found any e-mail communications with outside facilitators or known terrorists.
U.S. Monitored Fort Hood Suspect Before Shooting 10 Nov 2009 Intelligence agencies intercepted communications last year and this year between Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who is accused of shooting to death 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., and a radical cleric in Yemen known for his incendiary anti-American teachings. But federal authorities dropped an inquiry into the matter after deciding that the messages warranted no further action, government officials said on Monday. Major Hasan’s exchanges with the cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, once a spiritual leader at a mosque in suburban Virginia where Major Hasan worshipped, indicate that the authorities were aware of Major Hasan before last Thursday’s deadly rampage, but did nothing.
Officials: U.S. Aware of Hasan Efforts to Contact 'al Qaeda' --Army Major in Fort Hood Massacre Used 'Electronic Means' to Connect with Terrorists 09 Nov 2009 U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda [al-CIAduh], two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News. It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al Qaeda figures, the officials said.
Lawyer asks investigators not to question Hasan 09 Nov 2009 A lawyer for the Army psychiatrist accused in a deadly shooting spree at Fort Hood said Monday he asked investigators not to question his client and expressed doubt that the suspect would be able to get a fair trial, given the widespread attention to the case. Retired Col. John P. Galligan said he was contacted Monday by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's family and was headed to an Army hospital in San Antonio to meet Hasan. "Until I meet with him, it's best to say we're just going to protect all of his rights," Galligan said... Galligan questioned whether Hasan could get a fair trial in either criminal or military court, given President Barack Obama's planned visit to the base on Tuesday and public comments by the post commander, Lt. Gen. Robert Cone.
Hoekstra to launch investigation into Fort Hood shooting, dubs it 'homegrown jihadism' 09 Nov 2009 A key Republican lawmaker on Monday asked that the Obama administration keep documents relevant to the Fort Hood shooting available so Congress can continue its investigation into what he called an incident of "homegrown jihadism." Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Insane-Mich), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, sent a preservation order to the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair directing them to keep the documents as part of his committee's review of the attacks.
Soldier Found With 100 Pounds of C-4 Released From Jail --The ATF, FBI and Montgomery County Bomb Squad investigated the case, trying to determine whether the explosives came from Fort Campbell. 05 Nov 2009 An Army Special Forces soldier who admitted to police that he was stockpiling military-grade explosives outside his home near Fort Campbell was released from jail into the custody of his wife. U.S. Magistrate Judge Cliff Knowles gave the order releasing 25-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Ryan Richards during a detention hearing Thursday in federal court in Nashville. He was charged with possessing two unregistered automatic weapons but he has not yet entered a plea.
Soldier Arrested After C-4 Explosives, Unregistered Guns Found At Home --The explosives were found in crates. 02 Nov 2009 An Army Special Forces soldier has been arrested following the discovery of 100 pounds of explosives at his Tennessee home in Montgomery County. Timothy Ryan Richards appeared in federal court Monday in Nashville on charges of possessing two unregistered guns. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent Eric Kehn said he expects Richards will face more charges related to the discovery of the explosives... The house is located near the Fort Campbell, Ky., Army post where the solider is based.
US marine slain by fellow soldier at N Carolina base 09 Nov 2009 A US marine has been killed by a fellow soldier in Camp Lejeune, military investigators at the Marine base in North Carolina have found. Private Jonathan Law, 21, "is in the custody of military authorities... for the alleged homicide of Corporal Joshua E. Hartzell, 22, early Friday morning," said Captain Timothy Patrick, base public affairs officer on Monday, reported AFP.
British spies help prevent al Qaeda-inspired attack on New York subway 09 Nov 2009 British spies have foiled a terrorist plot by a suspected al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] operative to blow up the New York subway. The plan, which reportedly would have been the biggest attack on America since 9/11, was uncovered after Scotland Yard intercepted an email. The force alerted the FBI, who launched an operation which led to airport shuttle bus driver Najibullah Zazi, 24, being charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.
Ind. base hosts nuclear terrorist attack training --Over 4K military personnel taking part in training 09 Nov 2009 Thousands of military personnel, first responders and emergency workers are experiencing the ultimate test at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. They are participants in a joint exercise, called Vibrant Response, that simulates a terrorist nuclear attack in a US city. Over 4,000 military and civilian personnel from around the country are taking part in the exercise. Vibrant Response involves urban and aerial search-and-rescue missions, nuclear, biological and radiological decontamination, as well as airlift and medical training. General Victor Renuart, the four-star Air Force general in charge of NORAD, attended the training Monday.
Troops train for nuclear attack in southern Indiana 09 Nov 2009 Thousands of members of the military trained for a "ground zero" scenario in Indiana this week. The troops, from several branches of the military, worked together to simulate the aftermath of a nuclear attack. The exercise, underway at Muscatatuck Training Center, plays out the problem areas in a nuclear disaster, from search and rescue to decontamination. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities'.]
Two more from Fort Lewis confirmed killed in Afghanistan 09 Nov 2009 The Department of Defense confirmed today the death of two Fort Lewis soldiers who died Thursday in Jelewar, Afghanistan. Spc. Gary L. Gooch Jr., 22, of Ocala, Fla. and Spc. Aaron S. Aamot, 22, of Custer, Wash., died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
US helicopter pilots die in Iraq 09 Nov 2009 Two US army pilots have been killed in a helicopter crash in central Iraq, the US military has said. Their helicopter "experienced a hard landing" at a base in Salahuddin Province on Sunday, a statement said without giving further details. The incident was under investigation and there was no indication that enemy action had been involved, it added.
Schumer Calls for Review as Millions in Stimulus Funds Aid Foreign Firms 09 Nov 2009 Sen. Charles Schumer called for a "comprehensive" review on Monday of all renewable energy projects seeking funding from the economic stimulus package, following reports that $849 million in U.S. grants have gone to foreign wind companies in the past two months alone. The New York Democrat first intervened last week, writing a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu urging him to deny stimulus funding to a Texas wind farm that would rely on wind turbines made in China. The $1.5 billion project would create up to 3,000 jobs in China but only 330 jobs in the United States, most of which would be temporary, according to one report.
Report: $30B in Bonuses Doled on Wall St. 09 Nov 2009 Just a year after receiving a record-setting amount of government aid to rescue their failing companies, three of Wall Street's giants will pay the government's generosity forward, in the form of nearly $30 billion worth of executive bonuses, according a report in Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, which have all exited the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, are set to dole out $29.7 billion in bonus money. According to Bloomberg, "The money, split among 119,000 employees, equals $250,400 each, almost five times the $50,303 median household income in the U.S. last year."
Joblessness May Reach 13 Percent, Rosenberg Says 09 Nov 2009
The U.S. unemployment rate may rise to a post-World War II high of 13
percent in the aftermath of the
A Tea Party party registers in Florida 09 Nov 2009 A Florida conservative [Orlando lawyer Frederic O’Neal, the new party's chairman] has registered an official "Tea Party" with the office of the Secretary of State, and is promising to run candidates against Republicans and Democrats in state and national races. A spokeswoman for the Florida Secretary of State, Jennifer Davis, said the party had registered in August, and that its qualified candidates will appear on the ballot in the state.
Pro-Choice Caucus: Bill contains 'unprecedented' attack on abortion rights 09 Nov 2009 Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, today released the text of a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they are circulating on the abortion provision in the health care bill. USA TODAY's John Fritze says the House bill would prohibit people who receive government subsidies from getting insurance coverage for an abortion procedure even through a private health insurance plan. It also would prohibit the government-run insurance plan from offering abortions.
Lieberman on Fox News Sunday: "I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote" 09 Nov 2009 Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Israel) reitrerated his commitment to fillibuster any bill which contains the public option [that the hypocritical maggot advocated in the 2006 CT Democratic primary] in an interview with Chris Wallace.
Gov. Rell will not seek reelection 09 Nov 2009 Connecticut Gov. M Jodi Rell (R) announced Monday she will not seek reelection. The surprise announcement came during an early evening press conference, NBC Connecticut was first to report. The news comes with several Democrats considering a run for the state's top job.
Son of Lieutenant Governor Shot In Attempted Murder-Suicide 09 Nov 2009 A son of Lt. Gov. Brad Owen (D) was one of two people shot in what police said was an attempted murder-suicide at a business in Kent Monday afternoon, reported KIRO 7 Eyewitness News. The victim is Owen's oldest son, Mark. Kent police told KIRO the manager of Kent Body and Paint shot Owen and then turned the gun on himself.
News Corp Sites May Be Removed From Google 09 Nov 2009 News Corp chairman [sociopath] Rupert Murdoch has suggested the company's online newspaper pages will be invisible to Google users when it launches its new paid content strategy. He claimed that readers who randomly reach a page via an internet search hold little value to advertisers. When asked by Sky News Australia's political editor David Speers why News Corp has not stopped Google from finding its content, Mr Murdoch replied: "I think we will."
Radioactive waste to be put in £18bn hole --Each reactor will produce about 20 tonnes of highly radioactive spent fuel per year, which will remain lethal for up to 100,000 years. 09 Nov 2009 Radioactive waste from a new generation of British nuclear power stations will be buried deep underground in a storage facility that could cost up to £18 billion to build, under plans to be announced by the Government today. Ed Miliband, the Energy Secretary, will give the formal green light to a plan to construct a "deep geological repository" for permanent disposal of the 200 tonnes of high-level waste produced annually by the ten new reactors planned for Britain.
Chemicals in Our Food, and Bodies By Nicholas D. Kristof 08 Nov 2009 Your body is probably home to a chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA. It’s a synthetic estrogen that United States factories now use in everything from plastics to epoxies -- to the tune of six pounds per American per year... Now it turns out it’s in our food. Consumer Reports magazine tested an array of brand-name canned foods for a report in its December issue and found BPA in almost all of them. ...[More] than 200 other studies have shown links between low doses of BPA and adverse health effects, according to the Breast Cancer Fund, which is trying to ban the chemical from food and beverage containers.
Are you ready? Wait for it... it's good: Fort Hood shooting: Texas army killer linked to September 11 terrorists --Major Nidal Malik Hasan worshipped at a mosque led by a radical imam said to be a 'spiritual adviser' to three of the 'hijackers' who attacked America on Sept 11, 2001. 07 Nov 2009 Hasan, the sole suspect in the ['Manchurian Candidate'-style] massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations.
U.S. Army gunman's act "impossible" - grandfather 07 Nov 2009 The grandfather of a U.S. Army psychiatrist accused of shooting dead 13 people and wounding 30 others at a base in Texas said on Saturday he found it impossible to believe his grandson had committed the act. "He is a doctor and loves the U.S." Ismail Mustafa Hamad told Reuters in an interview at his home in the Palestinian town of al-Bireh. "America made him what he is."
Curiouser and curiouser: Fort Hood Shooting 'Oddities' --Video surfaces of alleged shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, at Homeland Security Task Force conference By Lori Price Updated 08 Nov 2009 Major Hasan's name appears on page 29 of The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute's 'Thinking Anew--Security Priorities for the Next Administration' --Proceedings Report of the HSPI Presidential Transition Task Force - April 2008 - January 2009. The report is dated 19 May 2009. Full updates here.]
Al Qaeda videos give an indication of new plots 08 Nov 2009 FBI agents in the US have recovered two highly inflammatory Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] videos. The videos have been recovered from the house of Pakistan-born Canadian, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who was arrested last month along with another accused, David Coleman Headley, a Pakistan-born American national. The new videos were taken from the house of Rana, who has been living in Chicago for nearly a decade.
Oops! Langley editors falling down on the job: Osama bin Laden videotape a repeat 07 Nov 2009 A videotape of Osama bin Laden released on Friday is a repeat of a tape released many months ago. IntelCenter, a U.S.-based terrorism monitoring company, says the latest videotape is the Pashto-language version of the previously released tape. Titled "To Our People in Pakistan," the original tape was released on July 12th in Arabic and Urdu, IntelCenter said Friday. Excerpts had already been screened by Al-Jazeera television (on June 3rd) IntelCenter added.
US Army Chief of Staff: More Troops Needed in Afghanistan 08 Nov 2009 The U.S. army's chief of staff says he believes more troops are 'needed' in Afghanistan. General George Casey said in a U.S. television interview - NBC's Meet the Press - Sunday additional forces are needed to cut the Taliban's successes and train Afghan security forces.
Obama leaning toward 34,000 more troops for Afghanistan 07 Nov 2009 President Barack Obama is nearing a decision to send more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan next year, but he may not announce it until after he consults with key allies and completes a trip to Asia later this month, administration and military officials have told McClatchy. Currently, the administration's plan calls for sending three Army brigades from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky. and the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. and a Marine brigade, for a total of as many as 23,000 additional combat and support troops. [Obusha does most of his bad news dumping on a Saturday, when people are typically taking a break from Change We Can Deceive In.]
Anti-Taliban mayor dies in Pakistan blast 08 Nov 2009 Twelve people have been killed in Pakistan's Peshawar after a suicide bomber exploded a [Blackwater?] bomb near the house of the one of the city mayors, Abdul Malik. Abdul Malik and a commander of the local anti-Taliban force were killed instantly. Malik, in the past, had raised a militia against Taliban rebels and was known as an anti-militant mayor.
Afghan insurgents learn to destroy key U.S. armored vehicle 07 Nov 2009 Taliban-led 'insurgents' in Afghanistan have devised ways to cripple and even destroy the expensive armored vehicles that offer U.S. forces the best protection against roadside bombs by using increasingly large explosive charges and rocket-propelled grenades, according to U.S. soldiers and defense officials. At least eight American troops have been killed this year in attacks on so-called Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, and 40 more have been wounded, said a senior U.S. military official who declined to be further identified because of the issue's sensitivity.
Mission accomplished! Iraq Minister Says Three Oilfields to Pump 6 Million Barrels 09 Nov 2009 Iraq expects three of its oilfields will together pump more than 6 million barrels a day once foreign companies complete development work they were awarded this year. BP Plc and other international oil companies have signed contracts for the Rumaila, Zubair and West Qurna fields, which were originally offered in Iraq’s first post-war licensing round in June.
4 Colo. vets sue Halliburton, KBR --Similar suits are pending in at least 11 other states 07 Nov 2009 Associated Press Four Colorado veterans are the latest to file "burn pit" lawsuits against military contractors accused of exposing soldiers to toxic fumes and ash. The veterans are suing Houston-based [terrorists] Halliburton Co. and KBR Inc., which have been accused in several lawsuits around the country of operating dangerous war-zone burn pits. [See: Sen. Dorgan: KBR Still Using Burn Pits 06 Nov 2009.]
Blackwater used 'child prostitutes in Iraq' 08 Aug 2009 New disturbing charges have emerged against XE, the infamous private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, whose operations came under spotlight after its 2007 carnage in Baghdad. According to a report by MSNBC and based on alleged sworn declarations by two Blackwater employees in federal court, the firm used child prostitutes at its compound in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone.
Iraq MPs pass election laws 09 Nov 2009 Iraq's parliament has finally passed a crucial law that could pave the way for a national 'election' in January, but there are still fears it could be delayed Iraq's politicians have been in dispute for weeks over new laws setting out the procedure for elections due by the end of January.
Hezbollah gears up for new war --Fighters rearm and reinforce positions in valleys amid fears that Israel is about to launch attack on Islamic group 08 Nov 2009 Hezbollah is rapidly rearming in preparation for a new conflict with Israel, fearing that Benjamin Netanyahu's government will attack Lebanon again prior to any assault on Iran's nuclear facilities... In dramatic further evidence of growing tensions, the Observer has learned that Hezbollah fighters have been busy reinforcing fixed defence positions north of the Litani river. Having lost many of its bunkers in the south, Hezbollah is preparing a new strategy to defend villages there.
Turkey PM: Israel war crimes worse than Sudan 08 Nov 2009 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday accused Israel of committing greater crimes against Palestinians during its war in the Gaza Strip than those for which Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir had been indicted. Erdogan said he would rather confront Bashir, indicted for orchestrating crimes against humanity in Darfur, than discuss state killings of civilians with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Eggs hurled at Israel's ambassador to Turkey --Local students in Turkish city of Trabzon chase ambassador Gabi Levy, try breaking into his car. Local police interfere, manage to restore order 04 Nov 2009 Israel News Israel's ambassador to Turkey, Gabi Levy, was attacked Wednesday in the Turkish city of Trabzon by local students who chased him, hurled eggs at his direction and tried to break into his vehicle. As Ynet learned, local police confronted the students, and the ambassador did not suffer any injuries.
'Students at the university intend to place the Israeli envoy under citizen's arrest.' Students bully Britain envoy --Ambassador Prosor requires heavy security in face of rowdy Anti-Israel protesters 05 Nov 2009 Protesters at the University of Nottingham prepared a rude welcome for Israel's Ambassador to England, Ron Prosor, welcoming him with anti-Israel signs and interrupting his speech. Hours before the visit, British police learned that students at the university intend to place the Israeli envoy under citizen's arrest. Prosor's lecture on Israel's peace efforts was delayed, as a heavy police guard escorted him into the lecture site through a back door.
Ni'lin demonstrators topple 8 meter tall concrete wall 06 Nov 2009 20 years to the fall of the Berlin wall: Demonstrators toppled 8 meters tall concrete wall in Ni’ilin Three protest marches were held today in the West Bank to mark the 20th anniversary to the fall of the Berlin wall, which has been declared an international day of action against Israel’s barrier. In Ni’lin, the 300 demonstrators managed to topple a part of the eight meters tall concrete wall that cuts through the village’s land. Following the direct action, the army fired scores of live rounds at the demonstrators.
U.S. House backs resolution to condemn Goldstone Gaza report 05 Nov 2009 The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday condemned a UN report that accuses Israeli forces and Palestinian militants of committing war crimes in Gaza early this year as irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy. With a 344-36 vote, the House passed a nonbinding resolution that urged President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to oppose unequivocally any endorsement of the report. Twenty-two representatives voted present.
CDC's H1N1 Air Travel Guidelines 06 Nov 2009 The CDC has issued some special instructions for flights into the United States. All cabin and crew members are required to understand and recognize flu symptoms. If a person on an aircraft becomes ill with flu-like symptoms, the pilot is instructed to inform the CDC Quarantine Station at the airport where the place is expected to land. The Quarantine Station will arrange for the patient to be brought from the plane in a manner that will cut down the risk of spreading the virus.
'I guess the police are here for crowd control, which is funny.' Low Turnout at City Clinics for Free Swine Flu Vaccine 09 Nov 2009 (NYC, NY) Perhaps it was fear of crowds that kept the crowds away on Sunday from the clinics offering free [squalene-laden, mercury-filled, Polysorbate 80-laced] swine flu vaccinations to schoolchildren. Or, maybe, as some of the few who did show up suggested, the small numbers could be attributed to wariness about the new vaccine or a lack of knowledge about the clinics.
Blackout: Military Personnel Banned From H1N1 Vaccine Sites By Allen McDuffee 05 Nov 2009 Shortly after the Pentagon announced that all Armed Services personnel would soon be facing a mandatory H1N1 vaccination program, I started receiving email from soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors because of a previous story I had written on the anthrax vaccine... What they found instead is that several websites and blogs with key information asking critical questions had been blocked from their viewing. Among those that were repeatedly mentioned as blocked sites are the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), the site for Gary Matsumoto's book, Vaccine-A, and vaccine expert Dr. Meryl Nass. NVIC is a national, non-profit founded in 1980s that, through public education, advocates "vaccine safety and informed consent protections in the mass vaccination system."
State defends withholding flu vaccine distribution info --The state says it's helping doctors and patients by withholding any information about where vaccine is going. 07 Nov 2009 Texas recently ordered a shipment of 22,600 doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine to be sent to a doctor in Dallas County. Another doctor got 14,036. Another got 6,780. Who are these doctors? The state won't say. Not even the Dallas County health department knows who is getting the big batches.
Infection of farmed animals with the pandemic virus --Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 briefing note 15 05 Nov 2009 Since the new H1N1 pandemic virus emerged, a small number of infections in swine herds have been reported... In addition, pandemic H1N1 infections have been reported in turkeys in Chile and Canada and in a few pet animals in the USA... Another concern is the continuing presence of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus in poultry in several countries, where the virus is endemic... Most recently, authorities in Denmark reported a novel H3N2 influenza virus in mink on several mink farms. Sequencing of the virus demonstrated a combination of human and swine genes that has not been identified previously in circulating influenza viruses.
Sweeping Health Care Plan Passes House 08 Nov 2009 Handing President Obama a hard-fought victory, the House narrowly approved a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system on Saturday night, advancing legislation that Democrats said could stand as their defining social policy achievement. After a daylong clash with Republicans over what has been a Democratic goal for decades, lawmakers voted 220 to 215 to approve a plan that would cost $1.1 trillion over 10 years. Democrats said the legislation would provide overdue relief to Americans struggling to buy or hold on to health insurance.
House Democrats pass health-care bill --One Republican votes for plan 08 Nov 2009 Hours after President Obama exhorted Democratic lawmakers to "answer the call of history," the House hit an unprecedented milestone on the path to health-care reform, approving a trillion-dollar package late Saturday... After months of acrimonious partisanship, Democrats closed ranks on a 220-215 vote that included 39 defections, mostly from the party's conservative ranks. But the bill attracted a surprise Republican convert: Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao of Louisiana, who represents the Democratic-leaning district of New Orleans and had been the target of a last-minute White House lobbying campaign.
Windfall Is Seen as Bank Bonuses Are Paid in Stock 08 Nov 2009 Even as Washington tries to rein in Wall Street pay [Really? I must have *missed* that one], bankers are likely to make unusually large gains on the stock grants and options they received after shares in their companies fell sharply during the financial meltdown. Within months, the financial system began to mend -- partly with the help of billions of dollars in government aid -- and that stock began surging in value. Some of it can be cashed in starting in just a few months... Goldman Sachs gave its general counsel 104,868 stock options and 14,117 shares in December, when the bank’s stock was around $78. Now the bank’s shares have more than doubled in value, making that stock and option award worth nearly $12 million, according to Equilar, an executive compensation research firm in Redwood Shores, Calif.
UCBH Holdings' Bank Is Seized, 120th U.S. Lender Shut This Year 07 Nov 2009 UCBH Holdings Inc.'s United Commercial Bank, a San Francisco-based lender with $11.2 billion in assets, was seized by regulators, becoming the 120th U.S. bank to fail this year. United Commercial was bought by East West Bancorp of Pasadena, California, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said. United Commercial was the fifth U.S. lender to be seized by regulators yesterday as banks fail at the fastest rate since 1992.
Britain and U.S. Clash at G-20 on Tax to Insure Against Crises --Gordon Brown told G-20 finance ministers that the world needed a system to force banks, not taxpayers, to cover future bailouts. 08 Nov 2009 The United States and Britain voiced disagreement Saturday over a proposal that would impose a new tax on financial transactions to support future bank rescues. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, leading a meeting here of finance ministers from the Group of 20 rich and developing countries, said such a tax on banks should be considered as a way to take the burden off taxpayers during periods of financial crisis. But the proposal was met with little enthusiasm by the United States Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, who told Sky News in an interview that he would not support a tax on everyday financial transactions.
Oil cos shut output in Gulf due to hurricane 08 Nov 2009 U.S. oil companies were shutting production on Sunday as they evacuated workers from the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Ida, which is forecast to roar across the offshore oil patch Monday before making landfall on Tuesday. BP Plc, one the Gulf's largest oil producers, said on Sunday some of its production was shut and nonessential workers were evacuated from Ida's forecast path. The company does not disclose amounts of shut production. [Right, that way the corporaterrorists can use the 'crisis' to send the price of oil skyrocketing.]
Polar bear steals the torch's thunder 08 Nov 2009 The Olympic flame began its journey to the furthest point north in its history by stopping off first at a town known for the Arctic's most familiar icon - the polar bear. Unfortunately, the torch relay didn't venture near Wapusk National Park on the shores of Hudson Bay, just near here, where the polar bears congregate in the hundreds this time of year waiting for the ice to freeze so they can go seal hunting for a few months. The convoy with the Olympic flame was, however, briefly interrupted while driving in from the airport when a polar bear crossed the road.
Manitoba polar bears may woo Obama's daughters 06 Nov 2009 Businesses in Churchill, Man., say they’ll roll out the red carpet -- and the tundra buggy -- if the most famous kids in the world want to come and see the polar bears. "That would be kind of big," Belinda Fitzpatrick, co-owner of the Tundra Inn in Churchill said Thursday after U.S. President Barack Obama’s daughters, Sasha, 8, and Malia, 11, were invited to the polar bear capital of the world. On Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Gary Doer and his family met with Obama and invited his daughters to Manitoba to see Churchill’s polar bears.
Mission accomplished! ExxonMobil-led consortium nets 'supergiant' Iraq oil field 06 Nov 2009 An ExxonMobil-led consortium has beaten rival Russian, French and Chinese groups to bag initial rights to develop Iraq’s West Qurna field, the Oil Ministry said. With reserves of 8.7 billion barrels, West Qurna is among the prized Iraqi fields eyed by Western oil majors. "The consortium led by ExxonMobil, which includes Shell, won the contract to develop West Qurna Phase One oilfield," Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said. The initial deal was signed in Baghdad on Thursday but needs Cabinet approval before it can be finalized. The 20-year contract is part of a raft of deals Iraq is close to formalizing. [Will the real insurgency keep ExxonMobil, Shell, and other corporaterrorists from taking Iraq's oil?]
Sen. Dorgan: KBR Still Using Burn Pits 06 Nov 2009 According to Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), who chairs the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, military contractor [terrorists] Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR) is continuing to dispose of waste in Iraq using burn pits that reportedly give off toxic fumes. "The Army and the contractor in charge of this waste disposal Kellogg, Brown, and Root, made frequent and unnecessary use of these burn pits and exposed thousands of U.S. troops to toxic smoke-burn pits are still used at the Balad Airbase in Iraq, which is the largest U.S. base in that country."
UN sanctions Goldstone report on Gaza war 06 Nov 2009 The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a report, which accuses Israel of war crimes as well as crimes against humanity during the weeks-long onslaught on the Gaza Strip. 114 states endorsed a resolution supporting the report by a Human Rights Council panel led by the South African judge Richard Goldstone in Thursday's UN vote while only 18 states including the US objected to the report's adoption.
Palestinians take down parts of WB wall 06 Nov 2009 Palestinian youths have tipped over a part of Israel's separation wall in the occupied West Bank during a demonstration which marked the fall of the Berlin Wall. Some 300 Palestinians and left-wing activists attended the demonstration in the village of Naalin, Ynet reported on Friday. They held banners reading "No matter how tall, all walls fall." According to the demonstrators, a 6-meter (20-foot) high section of the wall was taken down.
Policeman who killed British troops 'is back with Taliban' --Gunman identified as policeman called Gulbadin greeted with flowers on return to Taliban protection, sources say 05 Nov 2009 The gunman who killed five British soldiers in an attack in Afghanistan's Helmand province was today back with Taliban fighters who greeted him with flowers, sources close to the Afghan security forces said. The killer - identified only as a policeman called Gulbadin - was back under Taliban protection, the source said. British and Afghan commanders were undertaking an urgent investigation into the circumstances of the attack.
Afghan National Police penetrated by Taliban at 'every level' 04 Nov 2009 The Afghan National Police have been penetrated by the Taliban "at every level" with officers poorly trained, corrupt and some addicted to drugs, a former Army officer has said. Capt Doug Beattie, who served two tours in Afghanistan working with the ANP, said many police officers are in the paid of 'insurgents' and were more loyal to their tribes than the Afghan government. British officers say that among low-ranking Afghan police, and particularly in more rural areas away from central control, there is widespread corruption and disloyalty.
25 troops injured in search for U.S. paratroopers missing in Afghanistan 06 Nov 2009 More than 25 international and Afghan troops were wounded Friday in western Afghanistan -- possibly by friendly fire -- during a search operation for two U.S. Army paratroopers who had gone missing, according to the military. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan initially said that the troops conducting the search had been injured by 'insurgents.' But a spokesman later said that officials were investigating the incident and had not ruled out the possibility of friendly fire.
Poland denies asking US troop deployment 06 Nov 2009 Warsaw has denied Russian media reports that Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski asked Washington to deploy US troops to protect Poland. On Thursday, the Russian Interfax news agency quoted Sikorski as saying Poland had requesting the United States and NATO to deploy troops in Central Europe.
Cheney blasts probe of CIA interrogations --'I find that absolutely abhorrent,' former vice president says 06 Nov 2009 Former Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney held back no criticism Thursday of President Barack Obama, strongly questioning the administration's policy in Afghanistan and its approach to combating terrorism. Cheney, speaking to the Economic Club of Southwest Michigan, was harshest when addressing a Department of Justice investigation into so-called "enhanced interrogations" [torture] used by the CIA and military on detained suspected terrorists. "I find that absolutely abhorrent," said Cheney, who served under George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009.
Senate Votes on Terrorism Trials 06 Nov 2009 The Democratic-controlled Senate turned back a Republican-led effort to bar Sept. 11 terrorists from being prosecuted in civilian federal courts. Instead, senators voted 54 to 45 to support a request by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to have the option of prosecuting those accused of terrorism in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in either federal courts or by military tribunals.
Guantanamo became a recruiting tool for terrorism: Napolitano 06 Nov 2009 Guantanamo Bay was used as a "recruiting tool" for terrorism more than anything else, US homeland security chief Janet Napolitano said Friday, during a visit to the European parliament. "Guantanamo has been used more as a recruiting tool than anything else," she told members of the European parliament's civil liberties committee in Brussels. Therefore "it needs to be closed and the individuals dealt with appropriately," she added.
Massachusetts: Terrorism Charges 06 Nov 2009 A Massachusetts man has been indicted on new charges involving a plot to kill two prominent politicians and shoot people at shopping malls. The man, Tarek Mehanna, of Sudbury, is accused of conspiring with two other men: Ahmad Abousamra, whom the authorities say is now in Syria, and an unnamed cooperating witness. Mr. Mehanna, was arrested Oct. 21 on a charge of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The 10-count indictment also charges Mr. Mehanna and Mr. Abousamra with conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, conspiracy to provide false information to law enforcement and making false statements to law enforcement.
Counter-terror plans will be revised to reflect Fort Hood and Afghan attacks [Wow, that was quick!] 05 Nov 2009 (UK) A soldier turning on his comrades at Fort Hood, an Afghan policeman killing the British soldiers who trained him - two uncannily similar events in two days, but incidents which, across the Western world, security authorities have been planning for and dreading. Since the Mumbai attacks counter-terrorism planning has seen a major shift. The shootings in Afghanistan and Fort Hood carry echoes of the attacks in India with the added danger that the enemy has come from within.
Orlando Shooting Suspect Had Money Woes --1 Confirmed Dead; 5 Others Hurt 06 Nov 2009 A man so broke that he said he didn't have the money to visit his son 30 minutes away opened fire Friday at the engineering firm that fired him two years ago, killing one person and wounding five, authorities said. As officers led a handcuffed Jason Rodriguez into a police station, a reporter asked the divorced 40-year-old why he had attacked his former colleagues. "Because they left me to rot," said Rodriguez, who recently told a bankruptcy judge he was making less than $30,000 a year... and owed nearly $90,000.
Orlando shooting suspect had recently filed for bankruptcy 06 Nov 2009 The suspect in Friday's shooting of six people in a downtown high-rise is a 40-year-old "man with economic woes that include a recent bankruptcy filing, federal records show. In his filing last May for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, under which he sought to have his assets liquidated and his debts discharged, Jason S. Rodriguez listed his assets at $4,675 and his liabilities at $89,873.31.
Report: NWA Flight Had No Contact for 3 Hours 05 Nov 2009 FOX News has learned Northwest Airlines Flight 188 that overshot Minneapolis by 150 miles in October was out of contact with air traffic controllers for approximately three hours, and NORAD was not informed until the last few minutes. Sources told FOX News there were three NORDO's -- or non-contacts -- the first one occurring shortly after the plane reached cruising altitude out of San Diego. The military was not notified until after the third NORDO -- which occurred as the plane approached Minneapolis.
Ebola-like virus poses new threat to Afghan troops
06 Nov 2009 U.S. military officials sent a medical team to a remote
outpost in southern Afghanistan this week to take blood samples from
members of an Army unit after a soldier in the unit died from an Ebola-like
virus. Dr. Jim Radike, an expert in internal medicine and infectious
diseases at the Role 3 Trauma Hospital at Kandahar Air Field, told The
Washington Times that Sgt. Robert David Gordon, 22, from River Falls,
Ala., died Sept. 16 from what turned out to be Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic
fever after he was bitten by a tick. The virus is transmitted by infected
blood and can be carried by ticks, according to the Centers for Disease
Dutch pull Pfizer vaccine batch after infants die --110,000 doses of anti-infection drug Prevenar quarantined after deaths 05 Nov 2009 Dutch authorities say they have banned use of a batch of Pfizer's Prevenar, or Prevnar, after three infants died within two weeks of receiving the anti-infection vaccination. Pfizer spokeswoman Gwen Fisher said the three infants also received two unrelated other [deadly] vaccines as part of routine immunizations.
Quebec woman dies from H1N1 virus after getting vaccine 04 Nov 2009 A 42-year-old Quebec woman has died from complications resulting from the H1N1 virus. It is the third death in the province since September. The woman, who worked at the Monteregie Health and Social Services Centre, died Tuesday night. She had also received the H1N1 vaccination on Oct. 29, two days before coming down with symptoms of the flu.
NYC Commissioner Defends Giving H1N1 Shots to Goldman 06 Nov 2009 New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said his department sent 6 percent of the city’s limited doses of swine flu vaccine to Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other large employers because they traditionally distribute shots in flu seasons.
At Supreme Court: Can prosecutors be sued for framing defendants? 03 Nov 2009 The US Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to consider an unusual question: Do Americans who have been framed by unscrupulous prosecutors for crimes they did not commit have a right to sue the prosecutors when the fraud is finally exposed? According to the Obama administration, the answer is no. Solicitor General Elena Kagan argues in a friend of the court brief that local, state, and federal prosecutors must enjoy absolute immunity from citizen lawsuits - even when they sent innocent men to prison for life by fabricating incriminating evidence and hiding exculpatory evidence.
U.S. Economy: Unemployment Rate Jumps to 26-Year High 06 Nov 2009 The unemployment rate in the U.S. jumped to 10.2 percent in October, the highest level since 1983, casting a pall over the prospects for a sustained recovery and risking further erosion of President Barack Obama’s popularity. Payrolls fell by 190,000 last month, more than forecast by economists, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.
Wall Street bonuses to rise by 40 percent By Patrick Martin 06 Nov 2009 The authors of the biggest financial catastrophe in world history--executives and traders at US investment and commercial banks--will see their year-end bonuses rise by an average of 40 percent compared to last year, according to a report issued Wednesday by Johnson Associates, a Wall Street-based compensation consulting firm. Traders in stocks, bonds and derivatives are likely to significantly exceed even that lofty average, with projected bonuses 60 percent higher than in 2008, the company said.
Fannie Mae seeks $15B more in government aid after 3Q loss 05 Nov 2009 Fannie Mae is asking for an additional $15 billion in government aid after posting another big loss in the third quarter as the taxpayer bill from the housing market bust keeps rising. The government-controlled company continued to see a dramatic surge of borrowers fall behind as the unemployment rate climbs.
More Delays? House Health Care Bill Vote May Not Come Until Sunday 06 Nov 2009 Members of the House of Representatives are poised to vote Saturday on health care legislation, but a top Democratic leader acknowledged today that the vote may get pushed back to Sunday or later if there is not enough support to pass the bill on the floor. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said today that he still expects the vote to take place on Saturday, but that Democrats may not have the 218 votes needed for the bill to pass.
Quick action: Protect Polar Bears and the Places They Live 06 Nov 2009 Rising temperatures are robbing polar bears of their homes and access to the food they need to survive. In response, the Interior Department has announced a proposal to designate more than 200,000 square miles of critical habitat for these struggling bears -- including the vital coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most important onshore denning habitats for America’s struggling polar bears. Please fill out the form to urge the Interior Department to adopt this proposal to help save America's polar bears.
'US officials offered me 500,000 dollars to set meeting with Taliban' US 'spending money to reach Taliban' --The US has already planned to allocate a specific budget from its annual 680 billion dollar defense bill to the Taliban. 05 Nov 2009 Washington is ready to spend a huge sum of money to start talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, a former Pakistani lawmaker says. Javed Ibrahim Paracha, a former member of Pakistan's National Assembly said that top US diplomats contacted him in 2005 and offered him a huge sum of money to broker the talks. "US officials had offered me 500,000 dollars in that meeting for mediating. I refused that offer and had asked US officials to first take permission from the government and corps commanders," The Daily Times quoted Paracha, as saying. Paracha is known for having contacts with the Taliban leadership.
UN to evacuate staff in Afghanistan --Some 600 non-essential staffers will be moved to more secure locations while the body works to find safer permanent housing 05 Nov 2009 The United Nations is temporarily relocating more than half its staff in Afghanistan following last week's deadly Taliban attack against UN workers. The UN mission is still reeling from a pre-dawn assault on a guesthouse in the capital last week that left five UN staffers dead. The Kabul attack was the most direct targeting of UN employees during the organisation's decades of work in the country.
Two Pakistanis killed in US drone attack 04 Nov 2009 Two people have been killed as a result of a US drone missile attack in the tribal region of North Waziristan bordering Afghanistan. Pakistani intelligence officials confirmed that there were casualties in early Thursday's strike that targeted a house in a village near the town of Miranshah.
Justice Department won't appeal order to free Guantanamo detainee 03 Nov 2009 A Kuwaiti Airways engineer who the U.S. military has accused of being a key aide to Osama bin Laden has been moved to the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center's minimum-security section that's reserved for prisoners slated to be released. Fouad al Rabiah, who the Pentagon says was bin Laden's logistics chief during the 2001 battle at Tora Bora in Afghanistan, was transferred to Camp Iguana after the Justice Department decided not to appeal a judge's order that he be released, his civilian lawyer, David Cynamon, said Tuesday.
Italian court finds CIA agents guilty of kidnapping terrorism suspect --First prosecution for US abduction of suspects to torture states --Italian court convicts Robert Lady and 23 others in absentia 04 Nov 2009 Twenty-three Americans were tonight convicted of kidnapping by an Italian court at the end of the first trial anywhere in the world involving the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" programme for abducting terrorist suspects. The former head of the CIA in Milan Robert Lady was given an eight-year jail sentence for his part in the seizure of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, who claimed that he was subsequently tortured in Egypt. Lady's superior, Jeff Castelli, the then head of the CIA in Italy, and two other Americans were acquitted on the grounds that they enjoyed diplomatic immunity. But another 21 alleged CIA operatives and a US air force officer were each sentenced to five years in jail. All were tried in absentia and those who were convicted will be regarded as fugitives under Italian law.
CIA agents guilty of Italy kidnap --22 Americans convicted were sentenced to five years in prison, in absentia 04 Nov 2009 An Italian judge has convicted 23 Americans - all but one of them CIA agents - and two Italian secret agents of the 2003 kidnap of a Muslim cleric. The agents were accused of abducting Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, known as Abu Omar, from Milan and sending him to Egypt, where he was allegedly tortured. The trial, which began in June 2007, is the first involving the CIA's so-called "extraordinary rendition" programme. Three Americans and five Italians were acquitted by the court in Milan. The Americans were all tried in their absence after the US refused to extradite them.
Venezuelan Authorities Seize 2 Tons of Cocaine [God, the CIA's got to be hopping mad about that one!] 04 Nov 2009 Venezuelan authorities seized 1,100 kilograms (2,402 lbs.) of cocaine in an area very close to the border with Colombia, the commander of Venezuelan’s National Guard announced Wednesday. The drug was found in the Buena Vista del Meta sector in Apure state "a few kilometers from the border with Colombia, in an area of medium vegetation near the end of a clandestine landing strip," Gen. Freddy Alonso Carrion told the official ABN news agency.
Government agrees to pay $3 million in CIA lawsuit --The CIA itself was a defendant in the lawsuit until early this year. 04 Nov 2009 The government has agreed to pay $3 million to a former agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration who sued CIA officers for illegal eavesdropping. The proposed settlement followed a ruling by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in July that CIA officials committed fraud to protect a former covert agent against the eavesdropping allegations. The lawsuit was brought by former DEA agent Richard Horn, who says his home in Rangoon, Burma, was illegally wiretapped by the CIA in 1993.
Iraq Fails to Agree on Election Law 04 Nov 2009 Iraqi lawmakers failed again to agree on national-election legislation on Wednesday, and the country's 'election' commission warned the vote—scheduled for January—would have to be delayed if the law doesn't pass this week. That ultimatum sets up Thursday's session as the last one in which Iraq's various blocs can hammer out a deal. Delaying the elections will likely require approval by a high court, because the Iraqi constitution requires the country to hold an election by the end of January.
Palestinians will prosecute Israel in ICC 04 Nov 2009 The Palestinians have warned that they will seek justice for the case of Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip through the International Criminal Court. Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN observer, urged the General Assembly on Wednesday to support a resolution that called on Israel and the Palestinians to carry out independent investigations into human rights violations during the Gaza war, AP reported.
Busy Day Four for Exercise Vigilant Guard 04 Nov 2009 The four-star general who heads the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Craig McKinley visited the Erie and Niagara counties on Wednesday, Nov. 4, as Vigilant Guard entered its forth day. Major General Joseph Taluto, the Adjutant General of New York, and commander of the New York National Guard, escorted McKinley to the exercise locations as well as the Erie County Emergency Operations Center in Cheektowaga, where he met with state, county and city emergency responders. Army and Air National Guard General's from a number of states were on hand to view the exercise and pick up lessons learned on Wednesday.
Ex-NY police chief Kerik guilty --In December 2004, George W. Bush nominated Kerik as Secretary of Homeland Security 05 Nov 2009 Former New York City police chief Bernard Kerik has pleaded guilty to lying to the White House and has also said he will admit tax crimes. Mr Kerik, who was police commissioner at the time of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, was facing a corruption trial. He had his bail revoked two weeks ago for passing on secret pre-trial documents and has been in prison since. He was charged with lying to the White House in 2004 while being considered for a job as homeland security chief.
Secret copyright treaty leaks. It's bad. Very bad. By Cory Doctorow 03 Nov 2009 The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama's administration refused to disclose due to "national security" concerns, has leaked. It's bad. It says that: *ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. *ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. *The whole world must adopt US-style "notice-and-takedown" rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is accused -- again, without evidence or trial -- of infringing copyright. This has proved a disaster in the US and other countries, where it provides an easy means of censoring material, just by accusing it of infringing copyright. *Mandatory prohibitions on breaking DRM, even if doing so for a lawful purpose...
Goldman Sachs Received H1N1 Vaccine Before Several Hospitals 05 Nov 2009 As noted on The Today Show this morning, several banks have been among the early recipients of H1N1 vaccine, allowing them to get ahead of hospitals in some instances. The story was originally broken by BusinessWeek this week. Goldman Sachs has received 200 doses in total -- the exact same as Lennox Hill hospital. Health officials say corporate partners are always part of the distribution of any vaccine. [Not to mention, the pandemic itself. --LRP]
World first as swine flu found in US cat 04 Nov 2009 Vets in the US state of Iowa said Wednesday that a household cat had tested positive for swine flu -- the first known case in the world of the new pandemic strain spreading to the feline population. The 13-year-old male domestic shorthair apparently caught A(H1N1) from its owners -- two of the three members of the family had previously contracted the virus.
Health Care Protesters Arrested at Lieberman's Office 05 Nov
2009 Protesters backing a universal health care system occupied Sen.
Joe LieberBush's office this morning. Protesters
were arrested, one by one, and dragged out of his office amid chants
of "Everyone in and no one out, universal healthcare now!" and "Represent
Connecticut, not AETNA!" The whole affair, from occupation to final
arrest, lasted 40 minutes. Lieberman, the
CLG: ABC Series 'V': Invading, Fascist Lizards Arrive With 'Universal Health Care' and 'Message of Hope' --ABC Network Portrays Aliens, Hell-bent on Destroying Planet Earth, as the Obama Administration By Lori Price 04 Nov 2009 The ABC television network has brought back the science fiction series, 'V,' in a remake of the 1980's classic by the same name... During the interview, interspersed with scenes from a meeting of a nascent resistance movement, Anna, the Visitors' leader, announces that the Visitors 'want to provide complete medical services for all.' The interviewer actually asks, 'You're talking about universal health care?' And Anna, the scourge of mankind, replies, 'Yes, I believe that's what you call it.' The implication by the ABC producers of 'V': An alien lizard fascist, trying to take control of earth and who must be destroyed at any cost, will provide universal health care as a cover to control all earthlings and to take over the planet.
House Votes to Expand Homebuyer Tax Credit 05 Nov 2009 Buying a home is about to get cheaper for a whole new crop of homebuyers -- $6,500 cheaper. First-time homebuyers have been getting tax credits of up to $8,000 since January as part of the economic stimulus package enacted earlier this year. But with the program scheduled to expire at the end of November, the House voted 403-12 Thursday to extend and expand the tax credit to include many buyers who already own homes. The Senate approved the measure Wednesday, and President Barack Obama is expected to sign it.
U.S. Senate approves unemployment extension 04 Nov 2009 The U.S. Senate voted unanimously tonight to extend unemployment benefits by as much as 14 weeks to out-of-work Americans, including about 100,000 Michiganders who have exhausted their jobless benefits or would do so by year’s end.
Prejean Sex Tape Triggers Settlement 04 Nov 2009 Carrie Prejean demanded more than a million dollars during her settlement negotiations with Miss California USA Pageant officials -- that is, until the lawyer for the Pageant showed Carrie a triple X home video of her handiwork. The video the lawyer showed Carrie is extremely graphic and has never been released publicly. We know that, because TMZ obtained the video months ago but decided not to post it because it was so racy... We're told it took about 15 seconds for Carrie to jettison her demand and essentially walk away with nothing.
Italian judge to reach verdict in CIA kidnap trial --25 CIA agents, US air force colonel tried in absentia in case 03 Nov 2009 An Italian judge was expected to reach a verdict Wednesday in the landmark trial of 26 US secret agents in the 2003 abduction of a terror suspect from a Milan street. The trial, which opened in June 2007, is the highest profile case involving the CIA's covert "extraordinary rendition" programme in which scores of terror suspects are thought to have been transferred to countries known to practise torture. Twenty-five 25 CIA agents and a US air force colonel were tried in absentia in the case, which also involved seven Italian secret service officials including the former head of military intelligence, Nicolo Pollari, who was forced to quit over the affair.
FBI knew of CIA torture, considered prosecution By Tom Eley 04 Nov 2009 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents witnessed the torture of inmates at secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) overseas prisons in 2002, according to documents partially declassified in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the advocacy group Judicial Watch. In September 2002, the FBI agents saw prisoners chained naked to chairs, "manacled to the ceiling and subjected to blaring music around the clock," and knew of written orders to CIA agents asking them to compare "How close is each [interrogation] technique to the 'rack and screw' " (an extreme method of torture). The Obama administration resisted release of the documents, and continues to withhold critical information, including a transcript of an interview between FBI Director Robert Mueller and investigators on the question of "terror suspect" interrogations.
US Offers Taliban 6 Provinces for 8 Bases 02 Nov 2009 The emboldened Taliban movement in Afghanistan turned down an American offer of power-sharing in exchange for accepting the presence of foreign troops, Afghan government sources confirmed. "US negotiators had offered the Taliban leadership through Mullah Wakil Ahmed Mutawakkil (former Taliban foreign minister) that if they accept the presence of NATO troops in Afghanistan, they would be given the governorship of six provinces in the south and northeast," a senior Afghan Foreign Ministry official told IslamOnline.net requesting anonymity for not being authorized to talk about the sensitive issue with the media. He said the talks, brokered by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, continued for weeks at different locations including the Afghan capital Kabul. [See: Persistent accounts: Western forces in Afghanistan using their helicopters to ferry Taleban fighters By Ahmad Kawoosh 26 Oct 2009.]
Former minister: British should leave Afghanistan 'sooner rather than later' 04 Nov 2009 British troops should withdraw from Afghanistan "sooner rather than later", former Labour minister Kim Howells has said. The former foreign office minister suggested that the money saved should be invested in protecting Britain from terrorist attacks instead. Mr Howells, who is now chairman of the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, said there was no evidence that spending more time in the country would result in significant gains, and accused the government in Kabul of "squandering" the help offered by other nations.
Five British soldiers shot dead by rogue Afghanistan policeman 04 Nov 2009 Five soldiers have been shot dead by a "rogue" Afghan policeman in an attack at a police checkpoint. Three Grenadier Guards and two Royal Military Police were attacked as they rested inside a compound. The soldiers, who had removed their body armour and helmets, were shot by an Afghan national policeman who then fled. The gunman is thought to go by the name Gulbuddin and is believed to have had an accomplice.
British medics in Afghanistan see more traumas than UK hospitals put together 03 Nov 2009 British medics in Afghanistan are seeing more major trauma cases every day than all the UK hospitals put together, the colonel in charge of the main field hospital in Helmand said. Many of the injured have lost limbs after being caught by roadside bombs or improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Colonel Peter Gilbert said.
Mission accomplished! Iraq Signs Contract to Develop Oil Field 04 Nov 2009 Iraq formally signed a contract with a consortium of foreign oil companies Tuesday to develop its largest oil field. A partnership of British Petroleum and the Chinese National Petroleum Company signed a 20-year deal to develop the Rumalia field in southern Iraq, which contains about 17.8 billion barrels of oil. The field currently produces about one million barrels per day, but the companies plan to increase production to 2.85 million barrels per day within six years.
Israel intercepts ship carrying weapons: military 04 Nov 2009 The Israeli navy intercepted a ship carrying weapons 100 nautical miles (185 kilometres) off its coastline overnight, a military spokeswoman said on Wednesday. "During the night a special marine force intercepted a ship that was supposed to be carrying cargo around 100 (nautical) miles from our shore," the spokeswoman said, adding that the vessel was sailing under an Antigua flag.
Peres to Join Military Exercise 04 Nov 2009 President Shimon Peres will participate in the joint Israel-U.S. Juniper Cobra military exercise on Wednesday. Joining Peres will be Israel Air Force commander Ido Nechushtan, chief of IDF Operations Tal Russo, and other senior officers.
Defense personnel to get H1N1 vaccine before Guantanamo detainees
03 Nov 2009 The Pentagon stressed Tuesday that
Inspections are top priority at Minot AFB 04 Nov 2009 The new commander of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base said his first priority is to make sure the wing is ready for inspections. Col. Douglas Cox began Monday as the top officer of the bomb wing. Cox replaced Col. Joel Westa, who, along with the commander of the base's 5th Operations Support Squadron, were relieved of duty... "Building that credibility is one of the biggest challenges that we are working on." [I'd say so. It would be much easier to clean the Augean stables in a single day.] "We actually are inspected all the time so every day we're either inspecting ourselves or we're expecting inspectors to come from outside of Minot Air Force Base," Cox said.
New Wing Commander at Minot AFB 03 Nov 2009 There's a new wing commander at Minot Air Force base. [This happens about once a week.] Col. Douglas Cox is the new commander of the 5th bomb Wing. Col. Cox took over the wing after Col. Joel Westa was relieved of command on Friday. Westa was removed due to the Air Force losing confidence in his ability to command. Col. Cox says he is ready to lead the 5th bomb wing knowing that perfection is the standard.
Terror plot case: In bid to deny bail, prosecutors allege suspect also tried to skirt immigration laws --Man passed tips to an associate of a terror group, prosecutors allege 04 Nov 2009 A Chicago businessman linked to a plot to attack a Danish newspaper that published controversial cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad passed on tips to an associate of a terror group on how to illegally enter the United States, prosecutors alleged Tuesday. The new allegations against Tahawwur Hussain Rana came as the government renewed its push to keep him in custody pending trial. The filing in federal court delayed a bond hearing for Rana until next week.
Government planning to impose quarantines in regions with growing number of flu patients 04 Nov 2009 The Ukrainian government is planning to impose quarantines in the Ukrainian regions in which the number of patients with flu and acute respiratory infections is growing, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has said. As reported, quarantines were imposed in nine Ukrainian regions on October 30 due to the epidemic of flu and acute respiratory infections.
Ukraine virus mystery deepens 03 Nov 2009 The mystery of the unidentified flu virus in the Ukraine, first reported by RNW on 29 October, has deepened... In August 2009, a man called Joseph Mosse, who claims to be a former microbiologist with the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, was arrested in Los Angeles, having made threats against the White House. Shortly after his arrest, there were reports that he had called into a radio show with a warning about a biological weapon being prepared in the Ukraine by a company called Baxter International. According to these reports, Mr Mosse said that the weapon would be spread via a flu vaccine. Credence is being given to these reports because Mr Mosse's qualifications as a microbiologist are confirmed by his research profile on this website. There is also a story doing the rounds that a light aircraft has been spotted spraying an unidentified substance over the capital, Kiev, but this has been denied by the country’s Office of Emergency Reponse. [See: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor By Lori Price 26 Apr 2009.]
Swine flu could raise constitutional issues --Most governors have the power to take drastic measures such as quarantining people, seizing medications, overturning laws and using martial police power. 03 Nov 2009 Civil liberties advocates caution that mandatory vaccinations, forced quarantines and restricted interstate travel would not only endanger individual rights but also would be unlikely to prevent disease in the event of a severe H1N1 outbreak. "These raise the highest constitutional problems," said Michael Greenberger, director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland, at a recent panel discussion. Greenberger said in the case of a pandemic, state and federal governments have extensive executive emergency powers. State laws give governors the authority to contravene any law that interferes with the governor's ability to deal with an emergency.
School District's H1N1 Flu Vaccine Ruined 03 Nov 2009 (PA) With a shortage of H1N1 flu vaccine all across the country thousands of doses in the Stroudsburg Area School District are being thrown out because the refrigerator storing the doses somehow ended up at the wrong temperature. Five thousand swine flu vaccinations, enough for every student in the district, were ruined because of a mechanical malfunction.
Republicans win Virginia and New Jersey elections in blow for Barack Obama 04 Nov 2009 American voters have delivered a sharp rebuke to Barack Obama by rejecting his allies in Virginia, the swing state that helped deliver him the White House almost exactly a year ago, and the Democratic stronghold of New Jersey. Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate, trounced his Democratic opponent Creigh Deeds, for whom Mr Obama had campaigned, by 17 points to become Virginia governor. Republicans also won the races in Virginia for lieutenant governor and attorney general. Governor Jon Corzine, the incumbent Democrat, was defeated by Chris Christie in New Jersey, where no Republican had won state-wide since 1997.
Democrat wins House seat in heavily GOP area in NY 04 Nov 2009 A Democrat running in a historically Republican stronghold won a closely watched special congressional election in northern New York on Tuesday, capitalizing on a split that emerged between moderates and conservatives for control of the GOP. Lawyer and retired Air Force Capt. Bill Owens defeated businessman Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, 49 percent to 45 percent, after a boost from unified labor efforts in the last days of the campaign and the withdrawal of the Republican candidate over the weekend.
Bloomberg Wins 3rd Term as Mayor in Unexpectedly Close Race 04 Nov 2009 Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pulled out a narrow re-election victory on Tuesday, as voters angry over his maneuver to undo the city’s term limits law and his extravagant campaign spending provided an unexpected lift to his vastly underfinanced challenger, William C. Thompson Jr. Unofficial returns showed Mr. Bloomberg with 51 percent and Mr. Thompson with 46 percent. The result will make Mr. Bloomberg only the fourth three-term mayor in the last century.
Maine voters overturn legal same-sex marriage 04 Nov 2009 Voters in Maine repealed a state law legalizing same sex marriage, which backers of the measure said shows "voters don't want to change what you call marriage." Advocates of same-sex marriage refused to concede defeat early Wednesday after supporters declared victory. Nearly 53 percent of voters backed the referendum of a law the state legislature approved in May and the governor signed.
The Halliburton Loophole (The New York Times) 03 Nov 2009 Among the many dubious provisions in the 2005 energy bill was one dubbed the Halliburton loophole, which was inserted at the behest of -- you guessed it -- then-Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, a former chief executive of Halliburton. It stripped the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate a drilling process called hydraulic fracturing. Invented by Halliburton in the 1940s, it involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals, some of them toxic, into underground rock formations to blast them open and release natural gas. Hydraulic fracturing has been implicated in a growing number of water pollution cases across the country. It has become especially controversial in New York, where regulators are eager to clear the way for drilling in the New York City watershed, potentially imperiling the city’s water supply. Thankfully, the main company involved has now decided not to go ahead.
California to withhold a bigger chunk of paychecks --The amount goes up 10% on Sunday as Sacramento borrows from taxpayers. 31 Oct 2009 Starting Sunday, cash-strapped California will dig deeper into the pocketbooks of wage earners -- holding back 10% more than it already does in state income taxes just as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks into gear. Technically, it's not a tax increase, even though it may feel like one when your next paycheck arrives. As part of a bundle of budget patches adopted in the summer, the state is taking more money now in withholding, even though workers' annual tax bills won't change.
US wages and salaries rise at record-low levels By Andre Damon 31 Oct 2009 Employment costs in the US rose at the lowest annual amount in at least 27 years, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. Stagnant wages and salaries are the outcome of government policies designed to lower the living standards of workers. Over the past 12 months, the Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index rose by 1.5 percent, marking the lowest wage and salary growth since these figures started to be collected in 1982.
Persistent accounts: Western forces in Afghanistan using their helicopters to ferry Taleban fighters --The local talk is of the insurgency being consciously moved north, with international troops ferrying fighters in from the volatile south, to create mayhem in a new location. By Ahmad Kawoosh 26 Oct 2009 Persistent accounts of western forces in Afghanistan using their helicopters to ferry Taleban fighters, strongly denied by the military, is feeding mistrust of the forces that are supposed to be bringing order to the country. One such tale came from a soldier from the 209th Shahin Corps of the Afghan National Army, fighting against the growing insurgency in Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan. Over several months, he had taken part in several pitched battles against the armed opposition. "Just when the police and army managed to surround the Taleban in a village of Qala-e-Zaal district, we saw helicopters land with support teams," he said... Dozens of people claim to have seen Taleban fighters disembark from foreign helicopters in several provinces. For months or even years, rumours have been circulating in Afghanistan that the Taleban are being financed or even directly supported militarily by the foreign forces.
Jet named in torture flight report is met by SAS at British airport --The Gulfstream, registration number N478GS, is owned by a company called L-3 Integrated Systems. 31 Oct 2009 A U.S. plane that featured in a European Parliament report into the 'extraordinary rendition' of terror suspects was met by two SAS helicopters in a secret operation at one of Britain's biggest airports. The Gulfstream jet landed at Birmingham International Airport on Friday, October 2, having flown in from an undisclosed location, and was seen by a member of staff being met minutes later by the Special Forces regiment aircraft. Records show that the jet is owned by a subsidiary of L-3 Communications, a multi-billion-dollar defence corporation based in New York, whose clients include several American government departments, among them the Department of Homeland Security.
Canadian sent to Syria can't sue U.S. over torture --In a 7-4 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed with a lower court that Arar could not sue U.S. officials. 02 Nov 2009 A Canadian man who was detained at a New York airport and then moved to Syria, where he says he was tortured, cannot sue the United States, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday. Maher Arar, a Syrian-born software engineer, was arrested by U.S. officials during a 2002 stopover in New York while on his way home to Canada and then deported to Syria because of suspected links to al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. Arar says he was imprisoned in Syria for a year and tortured and has sued top U.S. government officials, claiming his civil liberties were violated.
U.S. court denies Maher Arar's appeal 02 Nov 2009 Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar has again been denied the right to sue the United States over his deportation to Syria, where he was tortured. During a September 2002 stopover in New York, while returning to Canada from a vacation in Tunisia, Arar was detained by U.S authorities, who were acting on information from Canadian security officials. Based on the erroneous Canadian information that Arar had links to al-Qaeda, the U.S. deported him to Syria, even though he was carrying a Canadian passport.
Suicide bomber kills 35 near Pakistan's capital --No group claimed responsibility for the bombing [Yeah, but we can all take a guess.] 02 Nov 2009 A suicide bomb killed 35 people near Pakistan's military headquarters Monday while a second blast wounded several police, continuing a wave of terrorism that prompted the United Nations to suspend long-term development work near the Afghan border. The rash of attacks by Islamist militants has killed at least 300 people across Pakistan over the past month -- including 11 U.N. workers -- and threatened to destabilize the nuclear-armed nation.
'Obama hasn't visited Pakistan. He's the unmanned drone at home.' Pakistanis challenge Clinton over drone attacks, US bullying By Keith Jones 02 Nov 2009 During a three-day visit to Pakistan last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Pakistan’s government and military to do even more to support the US drive to subjugate Afghanistan and secure a strategic foothold in oil-rich Central Asia. [Not to mention, all those poppy fields under CIA management.] Specifically, she urged Islamabad to extend the current military offensive against Taliban-aligned militias beyond South Waziristan, a Pashtun-speaking tribal agency bordering Afghanistan. Under heavy pressure from Washington, Pakistan since October 17 has been mounting a three-pronged assault on South Waziristan involving 30,000 troops, helicopter gunships and F-16 jets. [I guess the difference is that in losing, Clinton's the one who has to face the people we are bombing with unmanned drones. Obama hasn't visited Pakistan. He's the unmanned drone at home. --MDR]
Bomb expert killed on last day of tour 03 Nov 2009 A senior British explosives expert was killed while trying to defuse a bomb on the last day of his tour in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid, 30, of the Royal Logistic Corps, died near Sangin in central Helmand Province on Saturday.
Afghan election farce ends, escalation to begin By Bill Van Auken 03 Nov 2009 President Barack Obama called [Hamid] Karzai to congratulate him. Admitting that the election had been "messy," Obama said he had told Karzai this was the "time in which we begin to write a new chapter..." The "new chapter" or "new phase" in Afghanistan is being prepared in the form of a major military escalation, in which tens of thousands of additional American troops will be deployed in an attempt to quell armed resistance to the US-led occupation that has grown and spread to 80 percent of the country. The only purpose of the election was to lend "legitimacy" to this escalation of Washington’s colonial-style war.
Civilian deaths in Iraq jump higher in October 02 Nov 2009 The number of civilians killed by violence in Iraq jumped higher in October after two huge suicide bombings in Baghdad while the two U.S. soldiers killed in combat in October was the lowest monthly number this year, data showed. Security sources said 343 civilians were killed, almost half of them in the Oct. 25 attacks on the justice ministry and Baghdad governorate building, which dealt a blow to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as he seeks 're-election' in January.
Iraqi MPs delay election law vote 01 Nov 2009 Iraqi MPs say they are not yet ready to pass an election law that needs to be approved urgently if polls are to be held on schedule in January. The UN had warned that it could not guarantee to endorse the polls if the bill was not approved on Sunday. MPs have told the BBC that the 'vote' might not be held for several days as several sticking points remain.
KBR faulted for ineffective drawdown in Iraq 02 Nov 2009 Houston-based KBR Inc could save the government at least $193 million by reducing its workforce in Iraq more quickly, in line with the drawdown of U.S. troops, the Pentagon's chief auditor said on Monday. "In October 2009, we issued a report concluding that KBR's drawdown was ineffective and KBR could save the government at least $193 million by improving the staff management and aligning their labor drawdown with the military drawdown," April Stephenson, director of the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), said at a hearing on wartime contracting.
Blackwater facility accepting civilians 01 Nov 2009 The massive Blackwater training center in Moyock, Va., is opening its doors to civilians, the company's ads indicate. An advertisement in The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot indicated the Blackwater facility, owned by Xe Services LLC of McLean, Va., has changed its name to the U.S. Training Center and is offering gun training courses to civilians as well as to military personnel and police officers, the newspaper reported Sunday.
Netanyahu savours victory after US drops settlement demand 01 Nov 2009 Israel's premier savoured a victory on Sunday after Washington hailed his "unprecedented" stand on settlements and backed his call for peace talks to resume without the construction freeze sought by the Palestinians. "There is no question that the United States are our staunchest friends and that Israel's firm stance on its positions pays off," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon happily told public radio. Speaking before the weekly cabinet meeting, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz said: "The US administration understands what we have always said -- that the real obstacle to negotiations are the Palestinians." [The 'real obstacle to negotiations' are mayhap the people who dumped white phosphorous on the Palestinians' heads, stole their water and shot up their chicken farms (yes, I realize those hens could have been suicide bombers --and their eggs, weapons of mass destruction) during Operation Cast Lead. --LRP]
Israeli man arrested in Tel Aviv for killing Palestinians 02 Nov 2009 Police in Israel have arrested a Jewish settler on suspicion of murder and carrying out bomb attacks. Yaakov Teitel, an immigrant from the United States, is alleged to have been involved in the murder of two Palestinians in 1997. He has also been accused of carrying out four bomb attacks since 2006.
Cheney FBI interview: 72 instances of can't recall 02 Nov 2009 Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald famously declared in the Valerie Plame affair that "there is a cloud over the vice president." Last week's release of an FBI interview summary of Dick Cheney's answers in the criminal investigation underscores why Fitzgerald felt that way. On 72 occasions, according to the 28-page FBI summary, Cheney equivocated to the FBI during his lengthy May 2004 interview, saying he could not be certain in his answers to questions about matters large and small in the Plame controversy.
More Olympic security exercises this week --In the air, and in 'mock disaster' scenarios on the ground 02 Nov 2009 The skies above Metro Vancouver could be filled with the roar of fighter jets this week. Today through Friday, pilots with NORAD will be doing test flights above the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. It's all part of "Exercise Gold"--the final round of security rehearsals for the 2010 Games. Part of the full-scale test includes events simulating chemical, biological, nuclear or explosive incidents in Richmond and Vancouver -- complete with mock casualties.
'This is the big question: Who sent them in? And don't give me some lame excuse that it was a low-level officer.' Officers accused of inciting violence to testify before police ethics panel 31 Oct 2009 Three undercover officers accused of inciting protesters to attack riot police at the 2007 North American leaders summit in Montebello are being summoned to testify before Quebec's independent police ethics committee. The decision from the committee released this week overrules an independent review that exonerated the officers. It also comes more than two years after the black-clad trio were first exposed on YouTube. Dave Coles, the union leader who confronted the men at the time and filed a complaint against the police, said a public inquiry is needed to determine whether they were acting on orders from federal officials.
Chicago reviewing who made G-20 detainee kneel for photo 16 Oct 2009 Chicago police are investigating more than a dozen officers for their involvement in a "trophy" style photo taken with a university student arrested during the G-20 protests last month, an episode caught on tape and flashed across the Internet. The tape shows roughly 15 officers in riot helmets around University of Pittsburgh student Kyle Kramer, who is then made to kneel while what appears to be a supervisor in a white shirt snaps a photo.
Doctors May 'Fire' Parents Who Don't Vaccinate Children 23 Oct 2009 An anti-vaccination movement is growing online, from parent to parent, and through activist celebrities, such as actress Jenny McCarthy. Now, more and more doctors are feeling compelled to say "no" back to these parents. The issue was raised Wednesday at the annual American Academy of Pediatrics meeting in Washington, D.C. Dr. Gary Marshall, a presenter at the meeting, said there are some cases when it's ethical and legal to refuse to continue to see, or treat, a child.
Another city student gets flu vaccine by mistake: Dept. of Ed. officials 01 Nov 2009 Officials admitted on Friday that a third student was 'mistakenly' given the swine flu vaccine - an error the school nurses union blamed on the city. "Nurses are not getting the support they need," said Judith Arroyo, president of Local 436, District Council 37, adding that the union had warned of problems.
Pharmaterrorists are making a *killing* on their pandemic: Kids will 'need' two doses of H1N1 flu vaccine 02 Oct 2009 Up to 30 million doses of [squalene-laden, mercury-filled, Polysorbate 80-laced] vaccine against the pandemic H1N1 flu have been delivered to the U.S. government and production is now picking up, officials said on Monday. But they said more studies confirm that children under the age of 9 will need two doses to be fully protected.
Connecticut probes seasonal flu vaccine pricing 02 Nov 2009 The state of Connecticut's top prosecutor said on Monday he is investigating complaints of price fixing by companies that make and distribute the seasonal flu vaccine. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said his office has received reports that the seasonal flu vaccine is being offered at many times the normal price, and of distributors and manufacturers reneging on previously negotiated agreements.
RBS and Lloyds agree to bonus clampdown as taxpayer injects billions more --Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group have agreed to a clamp down on bonuses in exchange for the UK taxpayer pumping more money into the banks. 03 Nov 2009 The banks will not to pay cash bonuses to any staff earning over £39,000 this year as part of a wide-ranging plan that will see the Government inject a further £5.7bn into Lloyds as part of the bank's own cash call and another £25.5bn into RBS. The move comes as the European Union forces the two troubled institutions to sell off a range of businesses that the Government claims will inject more competition into high street banking.
Tory MP apologises for 'gas chambers' expenses email 03 Nov 2009 A Conservative MP was ordered to apologise by David Cameron after he likened the plight of politicians over expenses to the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany. David Wilshire's remarks, on the eve of tomorrow's publication of wide-ranging plans to overhaul the expenses system, provoked anger and embarrassment in the Tory leadership. In an email to constituents, Mr Wilshire protested that the "witch-hunt" against politicians would "undermine democracy". He added: "Branding a whole group of people as undesirables led to Hitler's gas chambers." Mr Wilshire later apologised, saying he had been responding to some "very unpleasant emails".
GOP Rep: Health reform scarier than terrorism 02 Nov 2009 A Republican congresswoman said Monday that people have more to fear from Democratic health care legislation than from terrorists. Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina made the comments in a speech on the House floor Monday. "I believe that the greatest fear that we all should have ... to our freedom comes from this room, this very room, and what may happen later this week in terms of a tax increase bill masquerading as a health care bill," she said. "I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country."
Limbaugh, Palin urge right wing to step up efforts to purge moderates from Republican Party 02 Nov 2009 Right wing purists egged on by Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin fought to capture an upstate House seat today and electrify their drive to purge moderates from the Republican Party. With Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman jumping to the lead in a new poll, the hard-core right smelled [it usually does] a chance to remold the GOP in the image of raucous town hall protests and "tea party" rallies of the summer.
Last-minute NY 23rd poll: Conservative Doug Hoffman surges, but ... 02 Nov 2009 A last-minute poll of New York's suddenly significant 23rd District interim House race shows that with less than 12 hours before voting begins, the Conservative/Republican candidate Doug Hoffman has built a 5-point lead over Democrat Bill Owens. But, the undecided voters there have doubled to nearly 1 in 5, making the final hours volatile.
Climate change will melt snows of Kilimanjaro 'within 20 years' --Ice on Africa's highest peak is vanishing at fastest rate for 100 years 03 Nov 2009 The snows of Mount Kilimanjaro - the highest mountain in Africa - may soon be falling on bare ground following a study showing that its ice cap is destined to disappear entirely within 20 years, due largely to climate change. The vast ice fields of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania are melting at a faster pace than at any time over the past 100 years and at this rate they will be gone completely within two decades or even earlier according to one of the world's leading glaciologists.
'Journalists risk detention.' Iraq restricts movement by TV journalists, bans live broadcasts --The orders have no time-limit and it is not clear for how long the authorities want to have them in place. 30 Oct 2009 The government has banned movement by press vehicles with equipment to broadcast live. The measure, which will prevent live coverage of events particularly inside Baghdad, has been harshly criticized by Iraqi journalists. The order has been issued by the military command of Baghdad operations which specifically denies television broadcasters the right of live coverage. Such coverage, the military orders say, will only take place after applying for permission from the military authorities. Without permission, the orders add, the journalists risk detention. The request of permission before driving in Baghdad essentially blocks all live coverage of events. Previous experience shows that journalists or media outlets that happened to be at the scene just before such large-scale bombing take place have been suspected of collaborating with the attackers. Numerous Iraqi journalists have been imprisoned on such suspicions. [By now it should be obvious to every Iraqi, save those directly benefiting from US corporaterrorists, that Saddam Hussein was the *better deal.*]
Occupiers involved in drug trade: Afghan minister --Drug production in Afghanistan has increased dramatically since the US-led invasion eight years ago. 01 Nov 2009 The Afghan minister of counter narcotics says foreign troops are earning money from drug production in Afghanistan. General Khodaidad Khodaidad said the majority of drugs are stockpiled in two provinces controlled by troops from the US, the UK, and Canada, IRNA reported on Satruday. He went on to say that NATO forces are taxing the production of opium in the regions under their control.
British nuclear expert's 17th floor UN death plunge 'was not suicide' --Under a year ago, an American died at the IAEA in strikingly similar circumstances, his body being found at the bottom of a stairwell. 01 Nov 2009 A British nuclear expert who fell from the 17th floor of a United Nations building did not commit suicide and may have been hurled to his death, says a doctor who carried out a second post-mortem examination. Timothy Hampton, a scientist involved in monitoring nuclear activity, was found dead last week at the bottom of a stairwell in Vienna. An initial autopsy concluded that there were 'no suspicious circumstances'. But.. a doctor who undertook a second post-mortem examination on behalf of the family believes she has found evidence that Mr Hampton did not die by his own hands. Professor Kathrin Yen, of the Ludwig Institute in Graz, Austria, which specialises in traumatology research, said... one possible theory was that Mr Hampton was carried to the 17th floor from his workplace on the sixth floor and thrown to his death.
Iraq bombing suspect kills officer 01 Nov 2009 A man being questioned in connection with a massive bomb attack in Baghdad has killed his interrogator before being shot himself, Iraq's interior ministry said. The man, who was not identified, snatched a gun from a guard, wounding the guard, and killed the investigating officer, a statement on the ministry's website said on Saturday.
Bicycle and bus bombs kill 8 in Iraq 01 Nov 2009 A bicycle loaded with explosives killed five people and wounded 37 at a market in Mussayab, south of Baghdad, on Sunday and a bomb on a bus killed at least three more further south in Kerbala, police and health officials said. The explosives in the first attack were stored in a water cooler attached to the bicycle, and women and children were among the dead and wounded, police said. Fifteen people were wounded in the second incident, hospital officials in the city of Kerbala said.
Detail Conditions Found at Secret C.I.A. Jails: "How
close is each technique to the 'rack and screw?' " 01 Nov
2009 F.B.I. agents who arrived at a secret C.I.A. jail overseas in September
2002 found prisoners "manacled to the ceiling and subjected to
blaring music around the clock," and a C.I.A. official wrote a
list of questions for interrogators including "How close is each
technique to the 'rack and screw,' " according to hundreds of pages
of partly declassified documents released Friday by the Justice Department.
Newly disclosed passages from a 2008 report by the Justice Department
inspector general describe what agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
saw at the C.I.A. jail where Ramzi bin al-Shibh,
Guantanamo detainees set to receive swine flu vaccine 01 Nov 2009 Terrorism suspects held at the Guantanamo Bay naval base will soon get swine flu vaccines, despite complaints that American civilians should have priority, a military spokesman said Sunday. Army Maj. James Crabtree, a spokesman for the U.S. jail facility in southeast Cuba, said the doses should start arriving this month, with guards and then inmates scheduled for inoculations. [See: 9yr-old boy tortured, says former Guantanamo detainee --'I was interrogated hundreds of times by the FBI, CIA and even MI5, beaten, and subjected to continuous torture, sexual degradation, forced drugging and religious persecution.' 30 Oct 2009.]
Detainees prefer Guantánamo over US prisons, say officials 01 Nov 2009 As President Barack Obama's deadline to close Guantánamo looms, some occupants of the notorious detention centre would rather prolong their stay than be sent to maximum security prisons on the US mainland, according to camp officials. Despite its reputation, the regime at the Pentagon facility on Cuba's southern coast offers privileges that would not be enjoyed at the federal "supermax" prison at Florence, Colorado, the likely alternative for the most dangerous 'al-Qaeda' suspects.
Iraq: US military contractor burns recyclables, violating contract --KBR was contracted to recycle cafeteria waste at Forward Operating Base Warhorse; an Oct. 30 report reveals transactions worth $10.7 billion are being audited. 30 Oct 2009 As soldiers exit the dining facility, run by KBR and its subcontractor Najlaa International Catering Services Iraq, they see signs along the emerald walkway urging those who "like to recycle" to follow the path and "Think Green." Soldiers sort aluminum cans and plastic silverware into separate bins. But there's one problem: The recyclable goods are thrown into a pit with the rest of the trash and burned. [This] is a breach of the government's contract with KBR to run the dining facility on FOB Warhorse, according to the US government's Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA)... A report issued Oct. 30 by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) said that audits of $6.4 billion worth of contracts revealed "internal weaknesses," including inadequate oversight of invoices and excessive change orders. The report also noted evidence of duplicate payments and payments sent to fictitious addresses and unapproved contractors.
Task force re-inspecting U.S. facilities in Iraq for KBR's faulty wiring 01 Nov 2009 An Army task force re-inspecting thousands of potentially unsafe U.S. facilities in Iraq for faulty electrical wiring says a contractor [terrorists] KBR previously ordered to conduct inspections of its own work placed 5,600 facilities on a "deferred" list -- meaning they were low priority or there were no plans to inspect them. Officials with the Defense Department’s 135-member Task Force SAFE said many of the buildings on KBR’s deferred list were still being used by soldiers. As a result, the task force moved these facilities to the top of its inspection list, according to a Sept. 8 internal memo. Sixteen U.S. troops and two contractors were electrocuted -- and hundreds more incurred shock-related injuries -- in Iraq over a span of four years, prompting the Defense Department to create the task force last year to physically inspect every military facility in the country, the majority of which were provided by KBR.
Audit warns KBR to cut number of employees in Iraq 01 Nov 2009 Pentagon auditors are warning the Army's primary support contractor in Iraq, responsible for everything from mail and laundry to housing and meals, to cut its work force there or face nearly $200 million in penalties for keeping thousands too many on the payroll. According to an internal Defense Department audit, Houston-based KBR Inc. has increased employee levels while U.S. troops steadily leave the country after more than six years of war. As a result, the U.S. government is paying far more in labor costs in Iraq than it should as military resources are shifted to Afghanistan.
Cheney was hazy on role in CIA leak, FBI notes from '04 show 31 Oct 2009 Former vice president [sic] Richard B. Cheney told a special prosecutor in 2004 that he was unable to recall [!?!] his role in most of the pivotal events that led to the uncloaking of a clandestine CIA officer in the run-up to the Iraq war, according to newly released FBI records. A question-by-question summary of Cheney's May 8, 2004, interview with Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, made public under court order after years of legal maneuvering to keep it secret, portrays a vice president in command of few clear memories about a case that led to great embarrassment for the White House and felony convictions for his chief of staff. [Why not waterboard him until he *can* remember?]
US backs Israel on preconditions 01 Nov 2009 The US has called for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as possible and without preconditions, an apparent climbdown on earlier demands for Israel to halt settlement building. The settlement issue should be considered as part of peace negotiations, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said at a news conference in Jerusalem late on Saturday.
US drops demand for Israeli settlement freeze --US credibility in the Arab world has suffered a serious setback after Hillary Clinton dropped demands for a halt to Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank. 01 Nov 2009 Signalling an end to the brief flirtation with the Palestinian cause, the US secretary of state flew to Jerusalem to voice full American support for Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. In an effort to repair badly strained US-Israeli relations, she heaped praise on Mr Netanyahu, lauding his offer to limit settlement construction -- even though it falls well short of President Obama's original demands.
Palestinians accuse U.S. of killing peace prospects 01 Nov 2009 Pointing an accusing finger at the United States, the Palestinians on Sunday said Washington's backing for Israeli refusal to halt Jewish settlement expansion had killed any hope of reviving peace negotiations soon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, buoyed by new-found support from the Obama administration, urged the Palestinians to "get a grip" and drop their settlement freeze precondition for restarting talks suspended since December.
Petition: Support the Goldstone Report --War crimes during the attack on Gaza must be investigated. The UN Goldstone report is a well-researched, fair-minded report. Israel and Hamas must conduct credible, independent investigations on war crimes and possible crimes against humanity or face the International Criminal Court. We demand accountability for all victims, respect for the rule of law, international law and human rights.
Abdullah pulls out of Afghan vote 01 Nov 2009 President Hamid Karzai's rival in the second round of the Afghan presidential 'election' has announced in Kabul that he is withdrawing from the poll. "I will not participate in the election," Dr Abdullah told supporters, saying his demands for ensuring a fraud-free election had not been met.
1,600 are suggested daily for FBI's list --The ever-churning list is said to contain more than 400,000 unique names and over 1 million entries. 01 Nov 2009 Newly released FBI data offer evidence of the broad scope and complexity of the nation's terrorist watch list, documenting a daily flood of names nominated for inclusion to the controversial list. During a 12-month period ended in March this year, for example, the U.S. intelligence community suggested on a daily basis that 1,600 people qualified for the list because they presented a "reasonable suspicion," according to data provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the FBI in September and made public last week. Nine percent of those on the terrorism list, the FBI said, are also on the government's "no fly" list.
Obama administration: Toss wiretap lawsuit 31 Oct 2009 Attorney General Eric Holder says a lawsuit in San Francisco over warrantless wiretapping threatens to expose ongoing intelligence work and must be thrown out. In making the argument, the Obama administration agreed with the Bush administration's position on the case but insists it came to the decision differently. Holder's effort to stop the lawsuit marks the first time the administration has tried to invoke the state secrets privilege under a new policy it launched last month designed to make such a legal argument more difficult. Under the state secrets privilege, the government can have a lawsuit dismissed if hearing the case would jeopardize national security. "The Obama administration has essentially adopted the position of the Bush administration in these cases, even though candidate Obama was incredibly critical of both the warrantless wiretapping program and the Bush administration's abuse of the state secrets privilege," said Kevin Bankston, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Smaller-Scale Terrorism Plots Pose New and Worrisome Threats, Officials Say 01 Nov 2009 After disrupting two recent [alleged] terrorism plots, American intelligence officials are increasingly concerned that extremist groups in Pakistan linked to 'Al Qaeda' are planning smaller operations in the United States that are harder to detect but more likely to succeed than the spectacular attacks they once emphasized, senior counterterrorism officials say. The two cases are among the most serious in years, the officials said.
Terror On BA Flight 01 Nov 2009 Passengers were quarantined on a British Airways jet at Heathrow Airport yesterday after six people collapsed during a flight from America. Fire fighters in anti-contamination suits checked Flight BA184 from Newark for radiation and toxic fumes. After being given the all-clear, the Boeing 777 was boarded by medics who treated the six people -- out of 216 passengers and crew -- who were affected. The alert was the biggest at Heathrow since anti-terror measures were put in place and involved 11 fire engines, paramedics and police.
US clinic denies Muslim doctor right to wear hijab 01 Nov 2009 A medical clinic in Dallas, Texas has sparked controversy after saying a Muslim doctor applying for a job cannot wear her headscarf if hired. Dr. Hena Zaki of Plano, Texas said Friday that she was shocked to find a no-hat policy at the CareNow clinic extended to her hijab. The 29-year-old doctor has called for an apology and a change in CareNow's policy. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has criticized the no-hijab policy, calling it "a blatant violation" of federal law.
NY-23: Scozzafava Endorses Owens 01 Nov 2009 State Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R), who dropped from the special election in Upstate New York yesterday, has now thrown her support to Democrat Bill Owens. "It's not in the cards for me to be your representative, but I strongly believe Bill is the only candidate who can build upon John McHugh's lasting legacy in the U.S. Congress," said Scozzafava in a statement released Sunday.
Hoffman Calls Scozzafava a 'Turncoat' --Lifelong Republican throws support to Democrat Owens 01 Nov 2009 Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., was among those who urged Dierdre K. Scozzafava to endorse Democratic congressional candidate William L. Owens, the senator's spokesman said Saturday. The spokesman, Maxwell Young, said the senator called a number of north country political leaders after Ms. Scozzafava suspended her campaign and had more than one conversation with the Republican candidate ahead of her announcement. Mr. Owens said he was "honored" by the endorsement.
CIT files for 5th largest U.S. bankruptcy --Small business lender seeks court approval for a debt reorganization that has approval of bondholders. 01 Nov 2009 CIT Group Inc., one of the nation's leading funders of small and medium-sized businesses, filed for the fifth largest bankruptcy by assets in U.S. history Sunday as part of a reorganization plan that has the support of an overwhelming majority of debtholders. In a statement, the company said it is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for a quick approval of the prepackaged plan.
White House a special stop for treats 01 Nov 2009 President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama yesterday distributed presidential M&Ms and dried fruit mixes to more than 2,000 trick-or-treaters, marking their Halloween at a White House event partly aimed at honoring military families. Dressed as superheroes, pirates, fairies, and skeletons, the children came in with their parents from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, lining up at the orange lit White House. A big, stuffed, black spider dangled in a web of string from the top of the portico, and pumpkins had sprouted up around the columns.
Blackwater/Xe in Pakistan: 'Blackwater behind Peshawar blast' --Mehsud: US security firm Blackwater, in collaboration with local agencies, was involved in attack 30 Oct 2009 Pakistan's pro-Taliban militants blame private US security firm Blackwater for a Wednesday bomb blast in Peshawar which killed over 100 people. Hakimullah Mehsud, head of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, said Blackwater and some Pakistani agencies were involved in the bomb explosion at a crowded market in Peshawar... Mehsud said the US security firm Blackwater, in collaboration with some local agencies, were involved in the attack. On Sunday, about 200 supporters of the Tehrik-e-Taliban party held an anti-US demonstration in Dera Ismail Khan, denouncing Blackwater and chanting anti-US slogans.
Larijani: US behind terrorist attack in Iran 30 Oct 2009 In the wake of a terrorist attack in southeastern Iran, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has accused the United States of helping terrorist carry out acts of violence in Iran. "Reliable evidence shows the US played a role in the recent move," Larijani said referring to the recent bomb blast in Sistan-Baluchistan Province. At least 41 people, including seven senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), were killed in the bombing on October 18 during a unity gathering of Shia and Sunni tribal leaders in the town of Pishin on the Iran-Pakistan border. The Jundallah terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. Abdulhamid Rigi, the apprehended brother of the Jundallah point man, told Press TV in a recent interview that Abdulmalek had held several "confidential" meetings with FBI and CIA agents in Karachi and Islamabad.
Iran Speaker says U.S. involved in attack on revolutionary guards 31 Oct 2009 Iran says it has evidence the U.S. was involved in an attack last week that killed 42 people including top Revolutionary Guard commanders. Iran's Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani made the claim on Friday. Larijani was speaking at a public ceremony in the city of Qom. "Currently the attack continues and there are evidences that Americans were involved in the terrorist attack," the Iranian labors new agency reported Larijani as saying.
Abdullah Will Quit Afghan Election, Officials Say 01 Nov 2009 Abdullah Abdullah, the chief rival to President Hamid Karzai, plans to announce on Sunday his decision to withdraw from the Nov. 7 Afghan runoff election, handing a new five-year term to Mr. Karzai but potentially damaging the government’s credibility, according to Western diplomats here and people close to Mr. Abdullah. [Here's the reason for the US furor over the alleged *second* stolen Afghan election --when no one said a word about the *first* stolen Afghan election: Abdullah supports troop increase, but within a broader plan 25 Oct 2009 Afghan opposition candidate Abdullah Abdullah said he supports Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's strategy assessment that more troops are needed to stablize Afghanistan, though he believes the more important broader plan must focus on how healthy Afghanistan's government is, and how security will improve. --That's why the US prefers Abdullah over Karzai, who, albeit corrupt, often spoke out against US (illegal) killer drone attacks and the murder of Afghan civilians. --LRP]
Bomb kills seven Pakistani soldiers: officials 31 Oct 2009 A bomb killed seven Pakistani soldiers and wounded 11 others Saturday in the country's northwestern tribal area, officials said. "Seven paramilitary soldiers were killed and 11 were wounded in the remote-control bomb attack," Shafirullah Khan, the top administrative official of Khyber tribal district, told AFP by telephone.
Clinton can't understand why bin Laden is still missing [Ask his bosses --the previous US regime --where he is.] 30 Oct 2009 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has questioned why Pakistan has not been able to keep tabs on al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leaders. Speaking to journalists in Lahore, she said she found it "hard to believe" nobody in the Pakistan government knew where they were.
Lebanon says Israel is planning to attack it 31 Oct 2009 Lebanon believes the Israeli army has it in its sights, and is preparing a major attack on its soil. Lebanon's ambassador to the United Nations has told the international body Israel is exhibiting signs of an imminent attack on his country. The claim was published by the Lebanese newspaper Al-Hayyat on Friday.
of Honduras to be returned to power 31 Oct 2009 The
Minot Air Force base commander fired 30 Oct 2009 The military says the commander at the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota has been relieved of his command. The Air Force told The Associated Press on Friday it lost confidence in Col. Joel Westa's ability to command the base. Westa has been the base commander since October 2007. Westa was ousted a little more than two weeks after the base's missile wing commander was relieved of his duties following a series of mishaps including two crashes of vehicles carrying missile parts in a little more than a year. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities'.]
Cheney told FBI he had no idea who leaked Plame ID --In the FBI interview, the vice president's memory of key events appeared hazy. 30 Oct 2009 Former Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney told the FBI in 2004 he had no idea who leaked to the news media that Valerie Plame, wife of a Bush regime critic, worked for the CIA. A summary of the FBI's interview with the then-vice president reflects that he had deep concern about Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador in Africa who said the administration had twisted prewar intelligence on Iraq.
CREW Lawsuit Results In Release of Notes of Cheney's FBI Interview In Wilson Leak Case (CREW) 30 Oct 2009 Today, after successfully winning a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, under court order, CREW received documents related to former Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney’s interview with the FBI in the investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson’s covert CIA identity. The transcript reveals that Mr. Cheney -- generally credited with razor sharp intellect and recall -- demonstrated an astonishing inability to recollect even simple facts much less the numerous conversations others have testified to regarding his involvement in the administration’s efforts to discredit former Ambassador Joe Wilson. The transcript does indicate however, that Mr. Cheney held Mr. Wilson in low regard and called the CIA’s decision to send Mr. Wilson to Niger "amateur-hour." [Leak investigation notes here and here.]
FBI agents assassinate Michigan Islamic leader By Abayomi Azikiwe 29 Oct 2009 A well-known African-American Islamic leader in Detroit was shot to death by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on Oct. 28 at a warehouse in Dearborn. Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, who headed the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque on the city’s west side, was killed during a series of raids by both federal agents and local police departments that resulted in the arrest of 11 people.
9yr-old boy tortured, says former Guantanamo detainee --'I was interrogated hundreds of times by the FBI, CIA and even MI5, beaten, and subjected to continuous torture, sexual degradation, forced drugging and religious persecution.' 30 Oct 2009 A British Muslim detained for three years at the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison manned by the United States, revealed that the youngest detainee he knew of was a nine-year-old boy who was also tortured like the rest. Ruhal Ahmed’s story was among more accounts of atrocities committed against the detainees at Guantanamo, told before an open commission hearing which began Friday on the sidelines of an international conference to criminalise war. The testimonies before the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission Hearings will be submitted to a tribunal in conjunction with the Criminalise War Conference and War Crimes Tribunal 2009 spearheaded by former Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Dr Mahathir said that the tribunal’s decision would be forwarded to the United Nations for further action.
H1N1 vaccinations to be 'offered' to Guantanamo Bay detainees 30 Oct 2009 The Pentagon will 'offer' the H1N1 vaccination to prisoners at the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, officials there said Friday. The Pentagon made the decision based on U.S. government assessments that people held in detention facilities are at high risk for the pandemic, said Maj. Diana R. Haynie, a spokeswoman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, which is in charge of holding the suspected terrorists.
Pence to Pentagon: Rethink decision to offer H1N1 vaccine to Gitmo detainees 31 Oct 2009 The Pentagon's announcement Friday that it would provide H1N1 vaccinations to Guantanamo Bay prisoners who ask for it is a "terrible decision," one House Republican stressed Friday. The White House should immediately cancel the program to ensure Americans are able to receive those vaccinations first, added Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.).
Administration Eyeing Navy Brig in South Carolina for Gitmo Detainees,
Sources Say 30 Oct 2009 Sources tell Fox News that one scenario
is that a "handful" of
US Homeland Security officials open $9-million operations center to combat cyber attacks 31 Oct 2009 US Homeland Security officials Friday opened a $9 million operations center, with 61 computer stations spread across it. The center will unite the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team and the National Coordinating Center for Telecommunications, so as to strengthen the fight against the cyber-criminals.
NSA to Build $1.5 Billion Cybersecurity Data Center --The massive complex, comprising up to 1.5 million square feet of building space, will provide intelligence and warnings related to cybersecurity threats across government. 29 Oct 2009 The National Security Agency will soon break ground on a data center in Utah that's budgeted to cost $1.5 billion. The NSA is building the facility to provide intelligence and warnings related to cybersecurity threats, cybersecurity support to defense and civilian agency networks, and technical assistance to the Department of Homeland Security, according to a transcript of remarks by Glenn Gaffney, deputy director of national intelligence for collection, who is responsible for oversight of cyber intelligence activities in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Lieberman Wants Senate-Confirmed Cyber Coordinator 30 Oct 2009 n a speech this morning at the Chamber of Commerce, Sen. Joe Lieberman (R-Israel), the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, will outline legislation that includes the step of making president's cyber coordinator a Senate confirmed position. The White House, which has not named its cyber coordinator, wants the position to be accountable only to the National Security Adviser.
FBI: Suspects Planned to Attack Newspaper 30 Oct 2009 Two Chicago men who were schoolmates in Pakistan plotted terrorist attacks against a Danish newspaper that triggered widespread protests by printing cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, federal prosecutors said Tuesday in announcing charges against the men. David Coleman Headley traveled to Denmark in January and July to conduct surveillance on possible targets, including the Copenhagen and Aarhus offices of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, prosecutors said in criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Tahawwur Hussain Ranahelped arrange Headley's travel, prosecutors said.
40,000 contract serious virus in Ukraine, kills 30 --Virus is not H1N1 flu 30 Oct 2009 A viral infection in Ukraine has taken the lives of 30 people and at first it seemed like an ordinary flu but after a week the symptoms became worse. Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports 40,000 Ukrainians have contracted the disease and at least 100 are in the hospital. Tests are currently being conducted and all is known is that it is not the H1N1 flu.
Unknown virus kills in the west of Ukraine 30 Oct 2009 The inhabitants of the western regions of Ukraine reached on an unknown disease, whose symptoms are diagnosed as pneumonia. However, health professionals say the unusual and very rapid course of illness has already led to confirmed deaths of 40 patients. The media has been informed of 40 fatal cases in the Lviv, Ternopil, Chernivtsi and other zachodniukrainskich cities. Most of the fatal cases have been reported in Ternopil. Hospitals reported to be held on 23-29 October 9.5 thousand people. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine has created a special headquarters in connection with the increase in the number of cases. Doctors examine the relationship of the earlier detection of two new cases of swine flu disease in the west of Ukraine (infected recently returned from Moscow) with a new virus.
White House releases visitor logs 30 Oct 2009 In a move it is hailing as "transparency like you've never seen before," the White House on Friday released nearly 500 visitor records of individuals visiting the executive mansion between Inauguration Day and the end of July. [See: White House Visitor Logs --Inauguration Day through 31 July 2009 Posted by CLG 30 Oct 2009.]
9 more U.S. banks fail; $2.5 billion hit for FDIC fund 30 Oct 2009 Nine more U.S. banks, all owned by the same Illinois holding company, were closed Friday by regulators, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said U.S. Bank of Minneapolis would assume their deposits. The closings brought the 2009 total to 115 in 2009 -- the first year since 1992 that more than 100 banks have gone under... The deposit insurance fund will take an estimated $2.5 billion hit, the FDIC said. All nine banks were subsidiaries of FBOP Corp., a holding company based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Ill., according to the FDIC.
fire from own party, N.Y. Republican quits House race 31 Oct
2009 Under fire from prominent members of her own party who said she
Lieberman Marching Further Right in 2010 [How much farther right can he go? He's already a Nazi.] 30 Oct 2009 Sen. Joe LieberBush (I-Israel) tells ABC News he will campaign for some Republican candidates during the 2010 midterm elections and may not seek the Democratic Senate nomination when he runs for re-election in 2012. "I probably will support some Republican candidates for Congress or Senate in the election in 2010," Lieberman said in an ABC News interview aboard the U.S. Capitol Subway System. Lieberman infuriated fellow Democrats in 2008 by supporting Republican presidential nominee John McCain [and Sarah Palin] as well as congressional candidates Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. [See: Silence On the Senator --The Lieberman Lie Pie is growing, and Connecticut's largest newspaper is ignoring it. By Lori Price 28 Oct 2009.]
ABC News Investigation: The Blueberry Children --Children as Young as 5 and 6 Working in the Fields of Large Blueberry Grower Featured by Walmart 30 Oct 2009 Walmart and the Kroger supermarket chain have severed ties with one of the country's major blueberry growers after an ABC News investigation found children, including one as young as five-years-old, working in its fields. The children were discovered at the Adkin Blue Ribbon Packing Company, in South Haven, Michigan, this summer by graduate school students working with ABC News as fellows with the Carnegie Corporation. The owner of the company, Randy Adkin, was once featured on a Walmart billboard advertising his "locally produced and locally sold" blueberries.
Polar bear patrol keeps Churchill's trick-or-treaters safe 30 Oct 2009 Some trick-or-treaters in the northern Manitoba town of Churchill will be going out under police escort this year. That's because it's prime polar bear season in the seaport community, located on the shores of Hudson Bay, about 1,050 kilometres north of Winnipeg. The bears wander through Churchill making their way north up the coast of Hudson Bay to hunt for seals. That's where the polar bear patrol comes in. It is comprised of RCMP members, representatives from Parks Canada and Manitoba Conservation officers. Every Halloween, they fan out around town to watch for the bears while kids are trick-or-treating.
U.S. Quietly Speeds Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Military Aid to Pakistan --The number of American Special Forces soldiers and support personnel who are training and 'advising' Pakistani Army and paramilitary troops has doubled in the past eight months to 150 29 Oct 2009 The United States has quietly rushed hundreds of millions of dollars in arms, equipment and sophisticated sensors to Pakistani forces in recent months, said senior American and Pakistani officials. During preparations this spring for the Pakistani campaigns in Swat and South Waziristan, President Obama personally intervened at the request of Pakistan’s top army general to speed the delivery of 10 Mi-17 troop transport helicopters... American military surveillance drones are feeding video images and target information to Pakistani ground commanders, and the Pentagon has quietly provided the Pakistani Air Force with high-resolution, infrared sensors for F-16 warplanes, which Pakistan is using to guide bomb attacks on militants’ strongholds in South Waziristan.
Taliban and Al-Qaeda refuse blame on Pakistan blast 29 Oct 2009 The Taliban and al-Qaeda have said they did not explode the bombs that caused 105 deaths in Peshawar on Wednesday. Pakistani paper The News has quoted an al-Qaeda source as saying the group was not involved in the killing of innocent women and children. The sources instead placed the blame on "elements who want to defame jihad." The banned Taliban group, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, in an e-mail sent to the media, also denied its involvement in the blast. [Right, it was likely the terrorist group Blackwater/Xe, which *is* involved in the killing of innocent women and children. See: Blackwater running covert recruitment drive in Pak through its website 16 Sep 2009 The controversial US private security company, Blackwater, is reportedly running a covert recruitment drive through its website in Pakistan. See: Blackwater Recruiting Agents Fluent In Urdu and Punjabi For Pakistan --Report suggests Pakistani envoy in Washington issued 360 visas to Americans in one month without consulting Islamabad By Ahmed Quraishi 15 Sep 2009.]
Peshawar blast death toll rises to 111 30 Oct 2009 The death toll from Wednesday’s blast in Peshawar has now risen to 111, while many of the injured remain in critical condition. On Wednesday, a huge explosion shook the city’s Meena bazaar, a marketplace frequented by women.
Passports linked to 9/11 found along Afghan border [LOLOLOL! Good one.] 29 Oct 2009 Pakistani soldiers battling their way into a Taliban stronghold along the Afghan border have seized passports that may be linked to '9/11 suspects.' Soldiers displayed passports seized in the operation, among them a German document belonging to a man named Said Bahaji. That matches the name of a man thought to have been a member of the Hamburg cell that conceived the 9/11 attacks. The passport included a tourist visa for Pakistan and a stamp indicating he'd arrived in the southern city of Karachi on Sept. 4, 2001.
Iraq arrests security officials over Baghdad blast 29 Oct 2009 Iraq announced the arrests of dozens of military and security personnel on Thursday over Baghdad suicide bombings that killed 155 people. Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, a military spokesman for the Iraqi capital, told The Associated Press that 11 army officers and 50 security officials have been taken into custody over Sunday's bombings. The massive blasts at the Justice Ministry and the Baghdad Provincial Administration angered many Iraqis, who questioned how the suicide bombers could have gotten their explosives-laden vehicles through a downtown dotted with checkpoints and security personnel.
US military suffers another GI loss in Iraq 30 Oct 2009 The United States military has lost another soldier to a non-combat incident at Camp Adder, located outside Nasiriyah, in south central Iraq. "A US soldier of the 13th Reconnaissance Command was killed on Wednesday at Iraq's Camp Adder in a non-combat incident," according to a US army statement.
Obama honors war dead in predawn visit to Dover air base --Greets cargo plane carrying 18 killed in Afghanistan 30 Oct 2009 Hours after a personal encounter with the grim cost of war, President Obama said yesterday that the sight of 18 flag-covered cases holding the remains of Americans killed this week in Afghanistan cannot help but influence his thinking about sending more troops there.
War crimes arrest awaiting Olmert's UK visit 30 Oct 2009 Former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert would probably face arrest on war crime charges if he visited Britain, a leading British newspapers has quoted a lawyer as saying. "Neither Olmert nor Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister during the Cast Lead offensive, and a member of Israel's war cabinet, would enjoy immunity from prosecution for alleged breaches of the Geneva conventions," the Middle East editor of The Guardian, Ian Black, quoted Daniel Machover as saying.
Israeli spy in US wanted $2 million for his secrets 29 Oct 2009 The celebrated American scientist charged with spying for Israel had asked for $2 million for his secrets, federal prosecutors has revealed. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Stewart D. Nozette on Oct. 19 as he attempted to deliver state secrets to an undercover FBI agent, disguised as an Israeli intelligence operative.
Iran Rejects Deal to Ship Out Uranium, Officials Report 30 Oct 2009 Iran told the United Nations nuclear watchdog on Thursday that it would not accept a plan its negotiators agreed to last week to send its stockpile of uranium out of the country, according to diplomats in Europe and American officials briefed on Iran’s response. The apparent rejection of the deal could unwind President Obama’s effort to buy time to resolve the nuclear standoff.
Ousted Minot AFB commander won't retire 20 Oct 2009 Col. Christopher Ayres, the former 91st Missile Wing commander at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., who was fired on Oct. 14, will accept an assignment to Air Force Space Command headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Col., and not retire. The 24-year missile officer was fired after 20th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Roger Burg "lost confidence in his ability to command." Burg also fired two maintenance commanders formerly under Ayres’ command -- Col. Lyman Faith, 91st Maintenance Group commander, and Lt. Col. Andrew Healy, 91st Missile Maintenance Squadron commander. The firings followed the Oct. 9 release of an investigative report that blamed a "large insect" for an Aug. 31 crash involving a truck carrying rocket engine parts for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Obama signs bills for record Pentagon, Homeland Security spending By Patrick Martin 30 Oct 2009 In a ceremony Wednesday, US President Barack Obama signed legislation authorizing the largest ever military budget, a gargantuan $680 billion for the Pentagon, including $130 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Thursday, he signed a spending bill funneling another $44 billion into the Department of Homeland Security, to strengthen the apparatus of state repression within the United States.
The manual's details have alarmed privacy advocates. Loosening of F.B.I. Rules Stirs Privacy Concerns 29 Oct 2009 ...The operation unfolded as the Bush administration was relaxing some domestic intelligence-gathering rules. The F.B.I.’s interpretation of those rules was recently made public when it released, in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit, its "Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide." The disclosure of the manual has opened the widest window yet onto how agents have been given greater power in the post-Sept. 11 era. In seeking the revised rules, the bureau said it needed greater flexibility to hunt for would-be terrorists inside the United States. But the manual’s details have alarmed privacy advocates.
The New Operations Manual from the F.B.I. 29 Oct 2009 In September 2008, the Bush administration changed domestic intelligence-gathering rules. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's interpretation of those rules was recently made public when the bureau released a redacted copy of its "Domestic Investigations and Operation Guide" in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit. The new rules have given F.B.I. agents the most power in national security matters that they have had since the post-Watergate era.
Al Qaeda sleeper agent gets 8 years, not 15 as prosecutors had sought --Ali Marri gets a lighter sentence in consideration of 'very severe' conditions under which he was kept during the almost six years he was held without charges in a U.S. Navy brig in South Carolina. 30 Oct 2009 A federal judge [U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm] sentenced an Al Qaeda "sleeper" agent to eight years in prison Thursday -- about half the time prosecutors had requested -- because the agent received what the judge called "unacceptable" treatment in a U.S. Navy brig. Those conditions included sensory deprivation, lengthy interrogations, long periods of isolation and threats to harm his family.
U.S. prosecutors add terrorism charge to Canadian living in Chicago 28 Oct 2009 U.S prosecutors on Wednesday laid an additional charge against a Canadian arrested in Chicago for allegedly helping to plot a terrorist attack against a Danish newspaper that published controversial cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad. Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Pakistani-born Canadian, has been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorism conspiracy for his role in what the FBI says was a plot against the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen.
Dozens in Congress under ethics inquiry --Document was found on file-sharing network 30 Oct 2009 House ethics investigators have been scrutinizing the activities of more than 30 lawmakers and several aides in inquiries about issues including defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, according to a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July. The report appears to have been inadvertently placed on a publicly accessible computer network, and it was provided to The Washington Post by a source not connected to the congressional investigations.
7 on defense panel scrutinized --Separate probes focus on ties to lobbying firm founded by Hill aide 30 Oct 2009 Nearly half the members of a powerful House subcommittee in control of Pentagon spending are under scrutiny by ethics investigators in Congress, who have trained their lens on the relationships between seven panel members and an influential lobbying firm founded by a former Capitol Hill aide. The investigations by two separate ethics offices include an examination of the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on defense, John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), as well as others who helped steer federal funds to clients of the PMA Group. The lawmakers received campaign contributions from the firm and its clients. A document obtained by The Washington Post shows that the subcommittee members under scrutiny also include Peter J. Visclosky (D-Ind.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) , C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.).
NY Gov. Declares State of Emergency Over H1N1 Flu --The order is needed to suspend provisions of state law. 29 Oct 2009 Gov. David Paterson declared a state of emergency, saying a recent rise in swine flu cases has created a "disaster" and that certain provisions of state law needed to be set aside to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible. The executive order Thursday means that far more health care professionals -- including dentists, dental hygienists, podiatrists, pharmacists, midwives and physicians assistants -- will be permitted to administer swine flu and seasonal flu vaccines with only brief training. [See: New York City Parents Opting Out of Swine Flu Vaccine --Officials used Wednesday's event to implore more parents to sign up 29 Oct 2009.]
Ohio Boy Given H1N1 Vaccine Against Mom's Wishes 29 Oct 2009 A furious Ohio mother says her 7-year-old son, who has had problems with medications, was vaccinated for swine flu at school against her wishes. Kim Lutheran works as a nurse and says her son, Matthew, has had bad reactions to medicine. So, she says she signed for "no consent" on a vaccination form and then circled her intentions with a black marker to make things clear to the boy's public school in the Toledo suburb of Oregon. Lutheran says she learned Matthew still received a shot on Monday. She says the local health department must be held accountable. [Have the pharma-terrorist trolls arrested for attempted murder, then sue.]
Swine Flu Hit Millions in Spring, Agency Says 30 Oct 2009 There were 1.8 million to 5.7 million cases of swine flu in the country during the epidemic’s first spring wave, according to a new estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday. From 9,000 to 21,000 people were hospitalized as a result, and up to 800 died from April to July, when it largely faded out, according to the estimates, which were conducted by the C.D.C. and the Harvard School of Public Health and published online in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. The agency has previously refused to be more specific than to say there were "more than a million" cases.
Swine Flu Cases Overestimated? CBS News: Study of State Results Finds H1N1 Not As Prevalent As Feared 21 Oct 2009 In late July, the CDC abruptly advised states to stop testing for H1N1 flu, and stopped counting individual cases. CBS News learned that the decision to stop counting H1N1 flu cases was made so hastily that states weren't given the opportunity to provide input. We asked all 50 states for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July. The vast majority of cases were negative for H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, despite the fact that many states were specifically testing patients deemed to be most likely to have H1N1 flu. It's unknown what patients who tested negative for flu were actually afflicted with since the illness was not otherwise determined.
New York City Parents Opting Out of Swine Flu Vaccine --Officials used Wednesday's event to implore more parents to sign up 29 Oct 2009 Fewer than half of New York City parents with children in elementary school have given permission for their children to receive the swine flu vaccine at school, reflecting some ambivalence about the need for the vaccine or concern about its effects. 5 percent to 50 percent of parents had given consent for their children to receive the vaccine at schools that had it. At Public School 157 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where health officials opened the school vaccination effort on Wednesday, only a third of students had permission to receive it.
Harvard: Disease Researchers Were Poisoned 25 Oct 2009 Harvard University says six researchers who became sick in August apparently were poisoned. The Boston Herald says a memo released Friday says the group drank from a coffee machine on Aug. 26 that later tested positive for sodium azide, a common preservative used in labs. The six reported symptoms ranging from dizziness to ear ringing, and one passed out. They were treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and later released. The researchers all work in the Harvard Medical School's pathology department using mice to investigate how diseases interact with the immune system. [See: List of Dead Scientists By Steve Quayle. Updated with #90, 12 October 2009.]
Poisoning at Harvard --6 lab workers sickened by coffee 25 Oct 2009 Harvard University Medical School is locking down its New Research Building, installing new surveillance cameras and imposing tighter security after researchers in the pathology department of the Boston building drank poisoned coffee and were hospitalized. The six victims - a group of scientists and students at Harvard Medical School - used a communal, single-serve coffee machine on the eighth floor near their pathology lab Aug. 26, according to an internal memo.
GMAC seeking third bailout - report --U.S. Treasury likely to inject another $2.8 billion to $5.6 billion in troubled lender, Wall Street Journal says. The U.S. has already injected $13.4 billion in the lender since Dec 2008. 28 Oct 2009 GMAC Financial Services is seeking a third round of bailout funds from the U.S. Treasury Department, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Talks over a fresh lifeline are at an advanced stage and the U.S. government could provide an additional $2.8 billion to $5.6 billion to the lender, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Health care: Most wouldn't have public option 29 Oct 2009 ...Lost amid the ideological battle for or against a public option is a key overlooked fact: The vast majority of Americans would have no access to a public option even under its most expansive versions. House and Senate bills limit the option to the smallest businesses and to individuals who cannot get insurance, or whose health care costs exceed 12.5 percent of their income. Even seven years into an overhaul, an estimated 90 percent of Americans, including nearly everyone who has employer-based coverage now, would be shut out of a public option.
CLG: Silence On the Senator --The Lieberman Lie Pie is growing, and Connecticut's largest newspaper is ignoring it. By Lori Price 28 Oct 2009 When Senator Chris Dodd (D) sneezes, the state of Connecticut knows it. We know it, because the Hartford Courant tells us... and tells us and tells us. On the flip side, one can (jokingly) observe that one would have to revert to the Hartford Courant's founding date -- 1764 -- to find positive coverage of Dodd or any other Democrat. The Courant, mindful that reporting Joe Lieberman's actual actions would drag his approval ratings down lower than the Marianas Trench, avoids the topic of Joe(no)mentum altogether.
BP Faces Record Fine for '05 Refinery Explosion 30 Oct 2009 The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will announce the largest fine in its history on Friday, $87 million in penalties against the oil giant BP for failing to correct safety problems identified after a 2005 explosion that killed 15 workers at its Texas City, Tex. refinery, federal officials said Thursday. The fine is more than four times the size of any previous OSHA sanction.
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