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

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

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March 2008 Archives, Page Two

US gave $300m arms contract to 22-year-old with criminal record --Old stock sent to Afghan forces battling Taliban --40-year-old ammunition had to be destroyed 28 Mar 2008 The Pentagon entrusted a 22-year-old previously arrested for domestic violence and having a forged driving licence to be the main supplier of ammunition to Afghan forces at the height of the battle against the Taliban, it was reported yesterday. AEY, essentially a one-man operation based in an unmarked office in Miami Beach, Florida, was awarded a contract worth $300m (£150m) to supply the Afghan army and police in January last year. The report on AEY was the latest instance of private firms securing lucrative defence contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan under the Bush regime's policy of privatising growing aspects of the military. "Operations like this pop up like mushrooms after the rain," said Milton Bearden, a former CIA official who in the 1980s was in charge of arming Afghan rebel groups fighting the former Soviet Union.

Army suspends munitions contractor 27 Mar 2008 The Army has suspended a Miami Beach company [AEY Inc.] from government contract work for reportedly providing Chinese-made ammunition to the Afghanistan army, in violation of its contract and U.S. law. [See: Supplier to U.S. Army Under Scrutiny on Aging Arms for Afghans 27 Mar 2008.]

Gates orders inventory of US nukes 27 Mar 2008 Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a full inventory of all nuclear weapons and related materials after the 'mistaken' delivery of ballistic missile fuses to Taiwan, the Pentagon said Thursday. [See also: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' 17 Sep 2007.]

U.S. picks new commander for Iraq, Afghanistan wars 28 Mar 2008 Martin Dempsey assumed the role of top U.S. commander overseeing both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars Friday, replacing William J. Fallon as the head of the U.S. Central Command (Centcom).

Basra crisis leaves British withdrawal in ruins 28 Mar 2008 Plans to bring home 1,600 troops from Iraq this spring are in disarray, Ministry of Defence officials said last night. The admission came as the Iraqi [and US] Government’s offensive against Shia militias in Basra appeared to be failing.

U.S. Seen Taking Lead In Fighting in Baghdad --U.S. Forces Battle Mahdi Army in Sadr City, Aircraft Target Basra 28 Mar 2008 U.S. forces in armored vehicles battled Mahdi Army fighters Thursday in Sadr City, and military officials said Friday that U.S. aircraft bombed militant positions in the southern city of Basra, as the American role in a campaign against party-backed militias appeared to expand.

U.S. forces drawn deeper into Iraq crackdown 28 Mar 2008 U.S. forces were drawn deeper into Iraq's four day-old crackdown on Shi'ite militants on Friday, launching air strikes in Basra for the first time and battling militants in Baghdad. Defense Minister Abdel Qader Jassim acknowledged at a news conference in Basra that Iraqi security forces had been caught off-guard by the strength of the opposition.

U.S. Planes Attack Militia Strongholds In Basra --9 Killed By U.S. Aircraft 29 Mar 2008 American warplanes struck targets in the southern port city of Basra late Thursday... according to British and American military officials. In Baghdad, the capital, American aircraft and Mahdi Army fighters exchanged fire in the Sadr City neighborhood. The Iraqi police said an American helicopter opened fire early Friday in Sadr City, killing five people. The Iraqi police also reported a second, later strike by a fixed-wing American aircraft that they said killed four people.

U.S. Armor Forces Join Offensive In Baghdad Against Sadr Militia --Americans Appear to Take the Lead As Iraqi Units Wait 28 Mar 2008 U.S. forces in armored vehicles battled Mahdi Army fighters Thursday in Sadr City. Iraqi army and police units appeared to be largely holding to the outskirts of the area as American troops took the lead in the fighting. Four U.S. Stryker armored vehicles were seen in Sadr City by a Washington Post correspondent, one of them engaging Mahdi Army militiamen with heavy fire. The din of American weapons... was heard through much of the day. U.S. helicopters and drones buzzed overhead.

US Embassy Personnel In Baghdad Told Not to Leave 'Reinforced Structures' Due to Incoming Insurgent Fire 27 Mar 2008 The State Department has instructed all personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad not to leave reinforced structures due to incoming insurgent rocket fire that has killed two American government workers this week. In a memo sent Thursday to embassy staff and obtained by The Associated Press, the department says employees are required to wear helmets, body armor and other protective gear if they must venture outside and strongly advises them to sleep in blast-resistant locations instead of the less secure trailers that most occupy.

Rockets and mortars hammer Green Zone 27 Mar 2008 Baghdad's Green zone is coming under more rocket and mortar fire today, and the U.S. Embassy says one American government employee has been killed. And the State Department is instructing all personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad not to leave reinforced structures due to the incoming insurgent fire.

Iraq MPs plan emergency session 28 Mar 2008 Iraq's parliament is due to hold an emergency session to try to end fighting between Shia militias and Iraqi security forces. More than 130 people have died in the southern city of Basra since a clampdown on Shia militias began there on Tuesday.

Baghdad placed under curfew 27 Mar 2008 Baghdad has been placed under curfew until Sunday morning. Iraqi authorities say they hope the curfew will prevent further confrontation [?] between security troops and Shiite militias.

Hello, Pot? This is Kettle. Bush defends Iraq, accuses Congress of hectoring 27 Mar 2008 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush defended the pace of political and economic reform in Iraq on Thursday and accused members of the U.S. Congress of "hectoring" Baghdad and threatening its leaders. Bush also praised Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for launching a "tough battle against militia fighters and criminals" in the oil city of Basra.

Hagel calls BS on Bush's rosy Iraq 28 Mar 2008 Senator Chuck Hagel on Thursday said President [sic] Bush's rosy and gleeful view of the war in Iraq is like he's living in "Alice in Wonderland." "Everything is not fine" Hagel said after three days of fighting in the southern region of Iraq have left more than 100 Iraqis dead and prompted thousands to demonstrate Thursday in Shiite neighborhoods of the capital against the crackdown launched by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Bush likely to delay planned withdrawal of troops from Iraq 28 Mar 2008 George Bush signalled yesterday that he was likely to suspend the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq this summer because of fears that the country might return to the levels of violence witnessed last year.

Iraq exit could lead to genocide: McCain 28 Mar 2008 In a wide-ranging foreign policy speech, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, refused to give ground on Iraq to his Democratic rivals. He said that the US's continued presence there was a "moral responsibility" and that a reckless withdrawal could lead to "genocide".

CLG's Lori Price appeared on the John Gibson Radio Show, Thursday, topic: U.S. Says Hussein Spy Agency and Iraqi-American Arranged '02 Trip by Lawmakers 27 Mar 2008 The Justice Department said Wednesday that Saddam Hussein’s principal foreign intelligence agency and an Iraqi-American man had organized and paid for a 2002 visit to Iraq by three House Democrats whose trip was harshly criticized by colleagues at the time. [See also: Halliburton Doing Business With the 'Axis of Evil' 03 Feb 2005 The award for oddest geopolitical couple of 2005 goes to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Houston-based Halliburton. The story began on Jan. 9 when the Iran News ran a Reuters story reporting that Halliburton "has won a tender to drill a huge Iranian gas field." The deal to develop two sections of Iran's South Pars gas field promises significant economic benefits.]

Case dropped against Haditha defendant --24 Iraqi civilians murdered by US soldiers in 2005 28 Mar 2008 The Marine Corps is dropping all charges against a lance corporal who was accused of involuntary manslaughter in a squad's killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha in 2005.

Top court questions Ottawa's motive on Khadr file --Justices pepper federal government on how and why it passed on sensitive information to U.S. prosecutors 27 Mar 2008 The federal government's motives in the Omar Khadr terrorism case came under sustained fire from the Supreme Court of Canada yesterday, as a government lawyer sought to justify its suppression of evidence. Several judges began to pepper Justice Department lawyer Robert Frater with questions as to how and why sensitive information was passed on to U.S. prosecutors. "Obviously it was shared for a purpose," Mr. Justice Ian Binnie pressed Mr. Frater. "You are the one who knew how it was shared, and whether there were restrictions."

North Korea Test-Launches Missiles 28 Mar 2008 North Korea test-fired a barrage of short-range missiles Friday, the nation's latest response to the new South Korean government's tougher stance on Pyongyang. South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that North Korea launched three ship-to-ship missiles at around 10:30 a.m. (9:30 p.m. EST Thursday), citing unidentified government officials.

Developer sues to recover 9/11 costs --'Lucky Larry' seeks $12.3 billion in damages 27 Mar 2008 The developer of the World Trade Center in New York is seeking $12.3 billion in damages from the airlines and other companies associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks, his spokesman said Thursday. Larry Silverstein, president and CEO of Silverstein Properties, has recovered $4.6 billion in insurance payments, spokesman Bud Perrone said.

Spy drones in demand by U.S. police departments; approval pending 27 Mar 2008 A small pilotless vehicle manufactured by Honeywell International, capable of hovering and "staring" using electro-optic or infrared sensors, is expected to be introduced soon in the skies over the Florida Everglades. If use of the drone wins U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval after tests, the Miami-Dade Police Department will start flying the 14 pound, or 6.35 kilogram, drone over urban areas for full-fledged crime fighting.

Woman says TSA forced piercings removal --Mandi Hamlin said she heard male TSA agents snickering as she took out the ring. 27 Mar 2008 A Texas woman who said she was forced to remove a nipple ring with pliers in order to board an airplane called Thursday for an apology by federal security agents and a civil rights investigation.

Move to block finger scans of kids OK'd --Senate bill, tentatively approved, keeps schools from taking prints 28 Mar 2008 State senators gave preliminary approval Thursday to blocking schools from collecting fingerprint data from their students. Sen. Karen Johnson, R-Mesa, who is pushing SB 1216, fears Arizona schools will be swept up in the nationwide push to force students to identify themselves with fingerprints.

Bush aide resigns for alleged wrongdoing 28 Mar 2008 An aide to President [sic] Bush has resigned because of his alleged misuse of grant money from the U.S. Agency for International Development when he worked for a Cuban 'democracy' organization. Felipe Sixto was promoted on March 1 as a special assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and stepped forward on March 20 to reveal his alleged wrongdoing and to resign, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Friday. He said Sixto took that step after learning that his former employer, the Center for a Free Cuba, was prepared to bring legal action against him.

Former Ala. governor to be freed on bond 27 Mar 2008 A federal appeals court approved the release of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on bond Thursday while he appeals his convictions in a corruption case. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the former governor had raised "substantial questions of fact and law" in challenging his conviction, which Siegelman claims was politically motivated [a Rove frame-up].

Siegelman Sought for Hill Testimony 27 Mar 2008 The House Judiciary Committee has asked the Justice Department to temporarily release former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman from prison to testify before Congress in early May about possible political influence over his prosecution. A spokeswoman for the committee said Thursday that Siegelman, who is serving more than seven years in a Louisiana prison, would travel to Washington under guard of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Clinton adviser faces Canadian interrogation 28 Mar 2008 A top adviser to Hillary Clinton arrived by plane in Ottawa to deliver a speech only to be subjected to intensive interrogation about who he was, what he was going to say and what group he was addressing, the American economist said yesterday. In a private lunch, Gene Sperling complained that he had been pulled aside by a Canadian border official and questioned in more detail than he had ever experienced in his numerous trips to Canada or dozens of other countries, according to those in attendance.

Dean urges superdelegates to choose between Clinton and Obama by July 1 28 Mar 2008 The chairman of the Democratic National Committee today tried to impose a deadline on the divisive nomination contest, urging the party's superdelegates to make their choice between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama by July 1.

Fed Offers $100 Billion More to Banks 28 Mar 2008 The Federal Reserve announced Friday it will auction another $100 billion in April to cash-strapped banks as it continues to combat the effects of a credit crisis. The central bank said it would make $50 billion available at each of two auctions, on April 7 and April 21.

Investment Firms Tap Fed for Billions 27 Mar 2008 Big Wall Street investment companies are taking advantage of the Federal Reserve's unprecedented offer to secure emergency loans. The central bank says those firms averaged $32.9 billion in daily borrowing over the past week from the Fed's new lending facility. The report Thursday does not identify the borrowers.

Banks Post Worst Earnings in 17 Years 27 Mar 2008 While some of the largest banks continued making significant quarterly writedowns of mortgage-related securities, the elevated reserving activity in the fourth quarter caused the industry to post its worst quarterly earnings performance since the fourth quarter of 1991.

Russian expert warns of bird flu pandemic 28 Mar 2008 A Russian scientist has said during an international bird flu conference that the virus would cause a global pandemic resulting in thousands of deaths, but did not say when it would happen. [Ask Bush's bioterror team at Fort Detrick - I'm sure they'll know.]

Switzerland detects first bird flu case 27 Mar 2008 Switzerland on Thursday reported its first case of bird flu in two years, after diagnosing a wild duck with the H5N1 virus, said the Swiss federal veterinary department.

Uranium Firms Eye New Mexico 28 Mar 2008 At least five companies are seeking state permits to mine uranium reserves in New Mexico, estimated at 500 million pounds or more. Uranium Resources Inc. (URI), a Texas-based company, wants to reopen a uranium mill in Ambrosia Lake.

Tell Calif. legislators to pass California's Cloned Food Labeling Act ( Do you want to eat meat and drink milk from cloned animals? If you want the power to say "no" to clones, support SB 1121. With very little data to go on, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared milk and meat from cloned animals safe to eat, with no labeling... If you want to know if the milk or meat in your supermarket comes from a cloned animal so you can choose for yourself, ask your state Senator to vote YES on SB 1121, which requires products from cloned animals to be labeled.

Arizona's temperatures rising more than the planet's average 28 Mar 2008 While the rest of the world has experienced a relatively moderate increase in temperature over the past five years, the American Southwest has begun to broil. ...Research released Thursday showed that although the globe warmed by an average of 1-degree Fahrenheit during that period, the West warmed by 1.7 degrees and Arizona by 2.2 degrees.


Pakistan's new leaders tell US: We are no longer your killing field --John Negroponte and Richard Boucher earn cold reception from coalition 27 Mar 2008 The Bush regime is scrambling to engage with Pakistan's new rulers as power flows from its strong ally, President Pervez Musharraf, to a powerful civilian government buoyed by anti-American sentiment. On Tuesday, senior coalition partner Nawaz Sharif gave the visiting Americans a public scolding for using Pakistan as a "killing field" and relying too much on Musharraf.

Another $300 million-dollar blow job for a Bush crony contractor: Supplier to U.S. Army Under Scrutiny on Aging Arms for Afghans 27 Mar 2008 The American military has relied since early last year on a fledgling company led by a 22-year-old man whose vice president was a licensed masseur. With the award last January of a federal contract worth as much as nearly $300 million, the company, AEY Inc., which operates out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach, became the main supplier of munitions to Afghanistan’s army and police forces. Since then, the company has provided ammunition that is more than 40 years old and in decomposing packaging, according to an examination of the munitions by The New York Times and interviews with American and Afghan officials. In purchasing munitions, the contractor has also worked with middlemen and a shell company on a federal list of entities suspected of illegal arms trafficking.

Total curfew imposed in Baghdad after clashes 27 Mar 2008 Iraqi authorities imposed a three-day curfew in Baghdad on Thursday to 'contain' clashes between Mehdi Army militants and Iraqi security forces that have threatened to spiral out of control.

Al-Sadr in trouble, Iraq headed for meltdown 27 Mar 2008 The fighting among Shiite militias and government troops in Basra is a glimpse of Iraq's future, and pivotal cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is in deep trouble, according to two CNN correspondents and a CNN military analyst.

Iraq implodes as Shia fights Shia --Another tragedy as the Shia majority turn on each other 27 Mar 2008 A new civil war is threatening to explode in Iraq as American-backed Iraqi government forces fight Shia militiamen for control of Basra and parts of Baghdad. Heavy fighting engulfed Iraq's two largest cities and spread to other towns yesterday as the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, gave fighters of the Mehdi Army, led by the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, 72 hours to surrender their weapons.

Shiite enclave back on edge 26 Mar 2008 The Associated Press toured Sadr City on Wednesday to observe its rapid swing from relative quiet to a return of the Mahdi Army swagger before the U.S. military troop buildup in Baghdad last year... "We are a different force than the one you saw in 2004," a senior Mahdi commander said at his Sadr City home. "We are now better organized, have better weapons, command centers and easy access to logistical and financial support," added the commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. Squatting on the floor next to two of his fighters, the commander sipped sweet black tea as a U.S. helicopter flew low overhead. A burst of gunfire rang out at one point. Another moment, he listened to the screech of a rocket. "That's going to the Green Zone," he said.

Moqtada al-Sadr orders Iraq PM out of Basra 26 Mar 2008 The Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has demanded that the country's prime minister leave Basra where he is overseeing a military operation to purge the southern city of its Shi'ite militiamen.

Iraqi spokesman kidnapped in Baghdad 27 Mar 2008 An Interior Ministry official says the civilian spokesman for the Baghdad security operation has been kidnapped and three bodyguards killed. Sunni Tahseen Sheikhly often appeared with U.S. military and embassy officials at news conferences to tout the successes of the crackdown that began in Baghdad and surrounding areas more than a year ago.

Injured US employee in Green Zone dies 27 Mar 2008 An American has died of wounds from a wave of rocket attacks this week against the Green Zone, which has injured 4 other US employees. US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Thursday that he believed the deceased American was under a US Army contract.

Oil prices surge past 107 dollars on Iraq pipeline attack 27 Mar 2008 Oil prices jumped above 107 dollars a barrel on Thursday when concern about tight supplies increased on news that saboteurs had blown up a major Iraqi export pipeline, traders said. New York's main oil contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, rose by 1.12 dollars to 107.02 dollars per barrel.

Gunmen blow up another oil pipeline in southern Iraq 27 Mar 2008 A bomb struck an oil pipeline Thursday in Iraq's southern city of Basra where Iraqi security forces have been clashing with Shiite militia fighters, an oil official said, the second such attack this week.

105 killed in battles in Shiite areas of Iraq 27 Mar 2008 Fighting rocked two Iraq cities on Thursday as security forces battled Shiite militiamen for a third day in clashes that left 105 people dead, while saboteurs blew up a key oil export pipeline. Samir al-Maksusi, spokesman for the Southern Oil Company, said the pipeline had been blown up with a bomb. "The blast directly affects the exports," he said.

Fighting spreads in Shiite areas of Iraq 27 Mar 2008 Iraqi security forces Thursday battled Shiite militiamen in the southern hub of Basra, where saboteurs blew up a key oil pipeline, as fierce fighting engulfed the Shiite city of Kut, police said. At least 105 people have died in clashes since Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered his troops to crack down on "lawless gangs" in Basra on Tuesday, according to official reports. Some sources have put the toll at double that.

Sadr followers march to demand downfall of Maliki 27 Mar 2008 Thousands of supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr marched in Baghdad on Thursday to protest against a three-day-old crackdown against his followers and call for the downfall of the U.S.-backed government. Mass demonstrations were held in the Sadr City, Kadhimiya and Shula districts. An Interior Ministry source said hundreds of thousands had taken to the streets... Saboteurs blew up one of Iraq's two main oil export pipelines from Basra, cutting off a third of the exports from the city which provides 80 percent of the government's revenue.

U.S. airstrike kills 60 gunmen in Hilla 27 Mar 2008 (VOI) More than 60 gunmen were killed on Wednesday evening as U.S. choppers fired rockets against buildings used by gunmen in central Hilla, 100 km south of Baghdad, Iraqi security source said.

Roadside bomb kills American soldier in Baghdad, military says 27 Mar 2008 The US military says an American soldier has been killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. The military says the attack occurred during a combat patrol by the Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in eastern Baghdad.

Two US soldiers killed in Baghdad 27 Mar 2008 Two more American soldiers have been killed in Baghdad during combat operations in the Iraqi capital, the US military has announced. One soldier died Wednesday of gunshot wounds sustained when he came under small-arms fire while on combat patrol in Baghdad, said the military. The second soldier was shot and killed later in eastern Baghdad.

Military tells Bush of troop strains 27 Mar 2008 Behind the Pentagon's closed doors, U.S. military leaders told President [sic] Bush they are worried about the Iraq war's mounting strain on troops and their families. But they indicated they'd go along with a brief halt in pulling out troops this summer.

SAS trooper shot dead in al-Qa'eda raid 26 Mar 2008 An SAS trooper has been killed during a raid on a high-level al-Qa'eda [al-CIAduh] leader in Iraq. The soldier, who under Ministry of Defence policy will never be named, died from a gunshot wound during a covert operation to detain a 'terrorist' in the Baghdad area.

Man charged as Iraqi agent over U.S Congress trip 26 Mar 2008 An Iraqi-American who helped organize a U.S. congressional trip to Baghdad in 2002 was charged on Wednesday with working for ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's government, which paid for the visit, the Justice Department said. The indictment against Muthanna al-Hanooti said Iraq's foreign intelligence service funneled $34,000 through the Islamic charity Life for Relief and Development to pay delegation expenses.

Iran threatens legal action over U.N. sanctions 26 Mar 2008 Iran has threatened legal action against Western states to seek compensation for losses it said it had suffered from U.N. Security Council sanctions over its nuclear program. The threat came in a 20-page letter from Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, obtained by Reuters on Wednesday. It rejects as illegal the latest sanctions resolution, passed on March 3, and says Tehran would not comply with it.

Experts: McCain is the same as Bush 25 Mar 2008 Arab experts say a win by US presidential hopeful John McCain brings no change to Bush's policies blamed for destabilizing the Mideast.

Obama proposes relief for homeowners 27 Mar 2008 Democrat Barack Obama said Thursday tougher government regulations that reflect the realities of modern finance are needed to get a grip on the economy before it gets even worse. "We do American business - and the American people - no favors when we turn a blind eye to excessive leverage and dangerous risks," Obama said.

Inquiry Assails Accounting Firm in Lender's Fall 27 Mar 2008 A sweeping five-month investigation into the collapse of one of the nation’s largest subprime lenders points a finger at a possible new culprit in the mortgage mess: the accountants. New Century Financial, whose failure just a year ago came at the start of the credit crisis, engaged in "significant improper and imprudent practices" that were condoned and enabled by auditors at the accounting firm KPMG, according to an independent report commissioned by the Justice Department.

Judge orders banks to fund Clear Channel deal --Pending buyout remains under a cloud as lenders vow to fight litigation 27 Mar 2008 A Texas district court judge sided with Clear Channel Communications Inc. and ruled Thursday that a group of six investment banks cannot walk away from funding the $19 billion private-equity buyout of the nation's largest radio-station owner.

300 flights canceled for inspections 27 Mar 2008 American Airlines canceled about 300 flights yesterday so its crews could inspect some wire bundles aboard its MD-80 aircraft. The need for the new inspections became known during an audit of American by a joint team of inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Fort Worth-based airline, spokesman Tim Wagner said.

U.S. may withhold names of retailers in all but 'greatest risk' meat recalls 26 Mar 2008 Under pressure from the food industry, the Agriculture Agribusiness Department is considering a proposal not to identify retailers where tainted meat went for sale except in cases of serious health risk, The Associated Press has learned. Had that been the rule in place last month, consumers would not have been told if their supermarkets sold meat from a Southern California slaughterhouse that triggered the biggest beef recall [143 million pounds] in U.S. history.

Famed death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal to get new hearing 27 Mar 2008 A federal appeals court has ordered a new penalty hearing for celebrity death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says Abu-Jamal's conviction for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer should stand. But it says he should get a new sentencing hearing because of flawed jury instructions.

NOAA to Assess Whether Melting Ice Endangers Seals 27 Mar 2008 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced yesterday that it will evaluate whether four kinds of seals inhabiting Alaska's Bering Sea should be placed on the endangered species list because of melting sea ice.

Ice Seals Candidates for Endangered List 26 Mar 2008 A federal agency said Wednesday it will consider listing four species of ice seals as endangered, a move hailed by the environmental group that pushed for it as government recognition that Arctic marine life is threatened by global warming. The National Marine Fisheries Service accepted a petition seeking threatened or endangered status for ribbon seals, which have been losing habitat as sea ice recedes. The agency also expanded the status review to include ringed, spotted and bearded seals.

Climate change shatters huge ice shelf --A gigantic Antarctic ice shelf is collapsing and global warming is being blamed. 27 Mar 2008 An iceberg 41 kilometres long and 2.5km wide fell off the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula in late February. That triggered the disintegration of 405 square kilometres of ice. The entire ice shelf - the size of the Hawke's Bay region - is now in danger of disintegrating.

Addicted to love: Knut hogs limelight 26 Mar 2008 Germany's celebrity polar bear Knut has become so addicted to the limelight that he throws tantrums when he's denied an audience, one of his keepers says. Berlin Zoo's Markus Roebke has told British newspapers that Knut howls with anger when he feels like he's not getting enough attention.


Fever Named After Blackwater --Blackwater is literally 'the worst type of parasite.' 26 Mar 2008 Iraqi doctors in al-Anbar province warn of a new disease they call "Blackwater" that threatens the lives of thousands. The disease is named after Blackwater Worldwide, the U.S. mercenary company operating in Iraq. "This disease is a severe form of malarial infection caused by the parasite plasmodium falciparum, which is considered the worst type of malarial infection," Dr. Ali Hakki from Fallujah told IPS. "...Because of its frequent and severe complications, such as Blackwater fever, and its resistance to treatment, P. falciparum can cause death within 24 hours." What Iraqis now call Blackwater fever... has nothing to do with Blackwater Worldwide, but Iraqis in al-Anbar province have decided to make the connection between the disease and the company...

Iraqi forces battle for control of oil city --Sadr threatens national "civil revolt" --Fighting, curfews in southern towns 26 Mar 2008 Iraqi security forces battled fighters loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Basra on Tuesday in a drive to win control of the southern oil city, triggering a wave of violence in Baghdad and other cities. A hail of rockets and mortars hit U.S. military bases in Baghdad and the "Green Zone" government and diplomatic compound.

Up to 30 people killed in Iraq's Basra clashes 26 Mar 2008 Up to 30 people were killed and some 60 others wounded in the ongoing fierce clashes between Iraqi security forces and the Shiite Mahdi Army militia in the southern oil hub of Basra, medical and police sources said on Tuesday.

Iraq battles spread beyond Basra --Shia armed group demanded release of imprisoned members 25 Mar 2008 Clashes between US-backed Iraqi security forces and fighters from the Mahdi Army of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr have spread from Basra to a number of other cities, including the capital. At least 25 people were reported killed in the heavy fighting on Tuesday and salvoes of rockets were reportedly fired on Baghdad's Green Zone.

US top court hears case on Americans held in Iraq 25 Mar 2008 U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned on Tuesday whether federal judges in the United States can block U.S. military officials in Iraq from turning over Americans to Iraqi authorities for trial or punishment. Several justices appeared concerned about extending the reach of U.S. courts to Iraq in a case that could significantly affect the legal rights of American civilians who have been captured during the Iraq war.

US loses another soldier to Iraq violence 26 Mar 2008 An American soldier has been killed by enemy fire during a combat operation in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the US military says. The soldier was killed by enemy fire during the operation on Tuesday, a military statement said on Wednesday without providing additional details.

Saudi Shura council to discuss sudden radioactive hazards 23 Mar 2008 The Saudi Shura council will secretly discuss national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards following experts' warnings of possible attacks on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors, media reports said Saturday. The Saudi-based King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology has prepared a proposal that encapsulates the probabilities of leaking nuclear and radiation hazards in case of any unexpected [Cheney] nuclear attacks in Iran, the Okaz Saudi newspaper said.

Gee, let's hope the insurgents don't read *this* one, before Cheney's next visit to Baghdad! Pacemakers can be hijacked by radio 22 Mar 2008 It gives new meaning to the term "heart attack". Last week researchers led by William Maisel at Harvard University used a commercially available radio transmitter to hijack the software on a device that acts as both a heart pacemaker and defibrillator. The device was not implanted in anyone, but the experiment raises the prospect of hackers being able to disrupt a person's heartbeat or stealthily administer damaging shocks.

McCain: Troop pullout now 'dangerous' 26 Mar 2008 Sen. John McCain, R-Insane-Ariz., Wednesday restated his opposition to pulling U.S. troops from Iraq now, and criticized Democratic presidential hopefuls on the issue.

Crude Rises After 3-Day Decline Amid Clashes in Iraq Oil Region 25 Mar 2008 Crude oil rose, snapping a three- day decline, amid escalating violence near one of Iraq's main oil producing regions. Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr supporters threatened a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience.

Iraq seen as more stable than Afghanistan - report 25 Mar 2008 Iraq has emerged as a more stable country than Afghanistan, according to a report published on Tuesday. The report by the British-based Jane's Information Group ranked Afghanistan as the world's third most-unstable country after the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and Somalia.

Afghanistan: Terrified Civilians Flee NATO Bombings 26 Mar 2008 Jumakhan Said Muhammad was working on his land when he first heard the planes. "I looked up," the farmer from Musa Qala, in the southern Helmand province, says. "Suddenly a plane flew by and I saw smoke rising from my house, which was down the road." Muhammad ran towards his home, where dozens of villagers were shouting his name as they surrounded his house. "The house was split in half by the bomb," he recalls... Muhammad's sister and nephew are among a steady flow of civilian casualties caused by NATO bombardment, residents say.

Car bomb kills eight as Afghan violence mounts 26 Mar 2008 Eight civilians were killed by a car bomb near a crowded bazaar in troubled southern Afghanistan Wednesday, while eight others were killed in separate violence, officials said.

France proposes more troops for Afghanistan: Sarkozy 26 Mar 2008 President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday France would deploy more troops to Afghanistan to help fight the Taliban and al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] if certain conditions are met by NATO.

Wisconsin: National Guard PR unit to go to Guantanamo Bay 24 Mar 2008 Twenty members of the Madison-based Army National Guard's public affairs detachment are heading to Cuba next month, tasked with telling the world the story of the prison there.

Nuclear Parts Sent to Taiwan In Error 26 Mar 2008 The Defense Department mistakenly shipped secret nuclear missile fuses to Taiwan more than 18 months ago and did not learn that the items were missing until late last week, Pentagon officials acknowledged yesterday, deepening concerns about the security of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Pentagon admits mistake in arms shipment 25 Mar 2008 The U.S. military's mistaken delivery to Taiwan of electrical fuses for an intercontinental ballistic [nuclear] missile raised concerns Tuesday over U.S.-China relations and triggered a broad investigation into the security of Pentagon weapons.

US finger in unrest pie By Greg Barns 24 Mar 2008 The Bush administration has long been frightened of China's burgeoning rival superpower status, and US stoking of the Tibetan fires to provide maximum international embarrassment to China cannot be ruled out... So what evidence do we have of US involvement in this latest round of Tibetan violence? History suggests it might be the case... The Dalai Lama himself today supports some dubious causes. In 2000 he joined Pope John Paul, Margaret Thatcher and George Bush senior in pleading with the British government to let former serial human rights abuser and Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet go free.

AP: FEMA preps for 'Nuclear attacks, invasions and suicide bombings in the United States' in abandoned town 26 Mar 2008 A once-abandoned town in the middle of the New Mexico desert now is victim to "more bombings than Jerusalem ... more terrorist attacks that Baghdad," the Associated Press reports. A video report profiles Playas, NM, a full-scale training ground for Federal Emergency Management Agency classes that give law enforcement agencies experience dealing with all manners of disasters.

Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami 25 Mar 2008 Miami police could soon be the first in the United States to use cutting-edge, spy-in-the-sky anti-crime technology. A small pilotless drone manufactured by Honeywell International, capable of hovering and "staring" using electro-optic or infrared sensors, is expected to make its debut soon in the skies over the Florida Everglades.

DHS Begins Collecting 10 Fingerprints at JFK 25 Mar 2008 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it has begun collecting additional fingerprints from international visitors arriving at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Arizona man charged with TB exposure 25 Mar 2008 An Arizona man said his indictment for having tuberculosis is retaliation for a lawsuit he filed over his involuntary quarantine. Robert Daniels told the Arizona Republic that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio charged him with unlawfully exposing the public to a disease because Daniels had sued the county over his year-long quarantine in a Phoenix hospital.

To facilitate Bush's quarantines and to fill KBR's detention centers: STMicroelectronics introduces flu detection laboratory on a chip 25 Mar 2008 The top European maker of semiconductors, STMicroelectronics, on Monday introduced a portable chip to detect influenza viruses, including avian flu, in humans. The device, which functions as a mini-laboratory on a chip, can screen and identify - in a single diagnostic and in two hours - multiple classes of pathogens and genes.

Indonesia limits sharing of bird flu samples 24 Mar 2008 Indonesia will not fully share bird flu virus samples with the World Health Organization until a new global mechanism is in place, a senior official said on Monday.

'They homed in on a few individuals and contacted Mubin Shaikh to act as a police agent. Because Shaikh had military experience, he agreed to be an instructor at the terror camp.' Alleged Toronto terror plot detailed in court --Attack was to be bigger than London bombings, expected evidence shows 26 Mar 2008 The "shocking and sensational" inner workings of an alleged 'homegrown' terror cell were unveiled yesterday in a Brampton court – and included the plotting of an attack "much greater" in scale than the London 2005 bombings that killed 52 people. ...Police expanded their investigation. They contacted Mubin Shaikh to act as a police agent. A few days later, Shaikh and an adult drove to a park, where he [the police agent] laid out his plans to attack various targets, including the Parliament buildings. He said he needed to assemble a group and planned to organize an outdoor training camp. Because Shaikh had military experience, he agreed to be an instructor at the so-called camp.

Engineer society accused of cover-ups in Katrina, WTC probes 25 Mar 2008 The professional organization for engineers who build the nation's roads, dams and bridges has been accused by fellow engineers of covering up catastrophic design flaws while investigating national disasters. After the [Bush] 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and the levee failures caused by Hurricane Katrina [explosives] in 2005, the federal government paid the American Society of Civil Engineers to investigate what went wrong. Critics now accuse the group of covering up engineering mistakes, downplaying the need to alter building standards, and using the investigations to protect engineers and government agencies from lawsuits.

Government-Funded Investigators Accused of WTC Cover-Up --American Society of Civil Engineers lied about inability of skyscrapers to withstand airliner impacts By Paul Joseph Watson Mar 26 2008 The American Society of Civil Engineers - an organization that was funded by FEMA to investigate the collapse of the twin towers on 9/11 - has been accused of engaging in a cover-up to protect the government, with critics charging the organization falsified conclusions that skyscrapers could not withstand getting hit by airplanes.

If McCain vs. Obama, 28% of Clinton Backers Go for McCain 26 Mar 2008 A sizable proportion of Democrats would vote for Insane McCain next November if he is matched against the candidate they do not support for the Democratic nomination. This is particularly true for Hillary Clinton supporters, more than a quarter of whom currently say they would vote for McCain if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee.

250 sick in Colo. water contamination 25 Mar 2008 Crews started pumping chlorine through this southern Colorado city's water system Tuesday to rid it of salmonella bacteria that has sickened nearly 250 people.

Bush appeals ruling on mercury emissions 26 Mar 2008 The Bush regime has appealed a court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the federal Clean Air Act when it issued less stringent requirements to reduce mercury releases from power plants.

Crude oil prices jump on Wednesday 26 Mar 2008 U.S. crude oil inventories remained stable on the week, a government agency reported Wednesday, but prices jumped on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil prices gained $3.35 Wednesday to $105.95 per barrel.

How Things Work: FTC Chair to Join Procter & Gamble By Robert Weissman 26 Mar 2008 The chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Deborah Platt Majoras, is leaving her job. She's going to become vice president and general counsel for Procter & Gamble (P&G). Should it raise eyebrows for the head of the leading U.S. consumer protection agency to leave and take a job with the largest consumer products company? Not in Washington, D.C.

Mega barf alert! Missouri Officials Trying to Attract Chinese Freight Business 25 Mar 2008 St. Louis wants to become the "Gateway to the East", the Far East. FOX 2 explains why local movers and shakers are in China pitching an airport deal to the Chinese government involving making either Lambert or Mid-America Airport their U.S. hub for air freight. Critics say a deal would simply allow the Chinese to more easily sell us manufactured goods that used to be made here.

Court Strikes Down State Law Protecting Fliers 26 Mar 2008 A federal appellate court on Tuesday rejected New York State’s attempt to penalize airlines for not providing adequate services to passengers trapped on planes at airports for more than three hours.

Gotbaum family files $8 million claim 26 Mar 2008 A New York family today filed an $8 million claim against Phoenix, blaming police officers for the Sept. 28 death of Carol Gotbaum. Gotbaum, 45, died at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after she was arrested and placed in a holding cell.

Bush pardons 15 and commutes another 25 Mar 2008 President [sic] Bush pardoned 15 people Tuesday and commuted the prison sentence of another. Among those: Kenneth Charles Britt of White City, Kan., who was sentenced to three years probation in 1998 for conspiracy to violate fish and wildlife laws. Jerry Lynn Moldenhauer and Thomas Donald Moldenhauer of Colorado Springs, Colo., who each received three years probation in 1994 for selling migratory bird parts in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. [Sociopath Bush pardons animal killers and torturers --'people' like himself.]

South Carolina Troopers Caught Bowling for Brothers 24 Mar 2008 The feds are investigating videotapes of highway patrolmen running over Black men. Dashboard cameras in police cruisers, designed to back up police accounts of traffic stops, have exposed a shockingly ugly practice by some South Carolina troopers – using cars to mow down black men. Federal investigators said late last week that they are reviewing videos showing South Carolina Highway Patrol officers ramming their vehicles into fleeing suspects. "You better run nigger," then-Lance Cpl. Daniel C. Campbell is heard saying as he pursues a perp. "I'm fixin' to kill you!" For that episode of displaced anger, Campbell was given a two-day suspension and told to undergo anger-management and diversity training.

S&P: Metro home prices down a record 11.4% in Jan. 25 Mar 2008 Home prices across the USA continued their dizzying free fall, posting record drops in some of the largest metro areas... Single-family home prices in 10 major metropolitan areas were down 11.4% in January from a year ago -- steepest decline since such data was first collected in 1987, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller composite index, out Tuesday.

Ice chunk 7 times size of Manhattan collapses 25 Mar 2008 A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk, scientists said Tuesday. Satellite images show the runaway disintegration of a 160-square-mile chunk in western Antarctica, which started Feb. 28. It was the edge of the Wilkins ice shelf and has been there for hundreds, maybe 1,500 years. This is the result of global warming, said British Antarctic Survey scientist David Vaughan.

Knut Pining For His Lost Friends --Polar Bear Missing Human Contact 25 Mar 2008 Hand-reared celebrity bear Knut should leave Berlin Zoo, says one of his keepers -- he's had so much contact with humans that he doesn't realize he's a polar bear. The zoo star has been howling plaintively because his keepers are no longer allowed to play with him.


US 'deploys nuclear sub to Persian Gulf' 23 Mar 2008 An American nuclear submarine has crossed the Suez Canal to join the US fleet stationed in the Persian Gulf, Egyptian sources say. Egyptian officials reported that the nuclear submarine crossed the canal along with a destroyer on Friday and Egyptian forces were put on high alert when the navy convoy was passing through the canal. An American destroyer recently left the Persian Gulf, heading towards the Mediterranean Sea; earlier Thursday, a US Navy rescue ship crossed the canal to enter the Red Sea.

McCain: Petraeus, Osama agree on Iraq 25 Mar 2008 War enthusiast Senator John McCain says General David Petraeus and Osama Bin Laden are finally 'in agreement' about the battleground. In a bid to express his Iraq policy of a hundred year war, McCain said Monday that his democratic rivals are naïve and 'dead wrong' for wanting to withdraw troops. "For the first time, I have seen Osama bin Laden and General Petraeus [top US commander in Iraq] in agreement, and, that is, a central battleground in the battle against al-Qaeda is in Iraq today," said the Republican nominee-in-waiting. "And that's what bin Laden was saying and that's what General Petraeus is saying and that's what I'm saying, my friends," the Arizona senator continued. [Birds of a feather flock together.]

Sadr urges 'civil revolt' as battles erupt in Basra 25 Mar 2008 The Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr today called for "civil revolt" after a crackdown on Shia factions in Basra killed 22 people. Iraqi security forces in the southern Iraqi city encountered heavy resistance as battles with gunmen from Sadr's Mahdi Army militia broke out. A further 58 were wounded.

'If it explodes, it will crush their rotten heads.' Green Zone shelling mirrors militia ire 24 Mar 2008 Rocket attacks on the U.S.-protected Green Zone may carry a message with implications across Iraq: rising anger within the Mahdi Army militia. The latest rumblings in the Mahdi Army are provoked by the belief that the Americans and their Iraqi allies abused the cease-fire by conducting raids that have targeted hundreds of al-Sadr's backers and aides. Militia commanders told The Associated Press they viewed the arrests as a move by Shiite rivals to deny them a prominent political voice... The Mahdi Army commanders claimed many members of the "special groups" have been reintegrated into the militia in recent months after they swore allegiance again to al-Sadr. "They don't seem to realize that the Sadrist trend is like a volcano," Abdul-Hadi al-Mohammedawi told worshippers Friday in Kufa, referring to the Iraqi government and its U.S. backers. "If it explodes, it will crush their rotten heads."

Baghdad Green Zone hit again by rockets 25 Mar 2008 'Insurgents' on Tuesday slammed at least four rockets into the heavily-fortified Baghdad Green Zone, the seat of the Iraqi government and the US embassy, Iraqi and US officials said. At least four Katyusha rockets struck the Green Zone, an Iraqi security official said.

Iraq cleric's militia starts protest, shuts stores 24 Mar 2008 Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army militia ordered shops to close in some Baghdad neighborhoods on Monday in what they said was the start of a "civil disobedience campaign." The militia has [been paid by the US and so] kept a low profile since Sadr called a ceasefire last August and extended it last month.

Officials await IDs on 3 Iraq bodies 25 Mar 2008 Authorities are awaiting identification of the remains of three bodies in Iraq, a U.S. law enforcement official said Tuesday, a day after the remains of two kidnapped mercenaries were identified.

FBI recovers remains of two U.S. security contractors in Iraq 24 Mar 2008 The FBI said on Monday it had identified and recovered the remains of two kidnapped U.S. mercenaries in Iraq. They were identified as Ronald Withrow of Roaring Springs, Texas, who worked for JPI Worldwide when kidnapped on January 5, 2007, and John Roy Young of Kansas City, Missouri, who worked for Crescent Security Group when kidnapped on November 16, 2006.

US military passes 4,000 death toll in Iraq 24 Mar 2008 The number of US troops killed in Iraq has reached 4,000 with the deaths of four soldiers in southern Baghdad. The four soldiers were on patrol when their vehicle was struck yesterday at around 10pm local time (7pm GMT) by a roadside bomb.

Bush Given Iraq War Plan With a Steady Troop Level 25 Mar 2008 Troop levels in Iraq would remain nearly the same through 2008 as at any time during five years of war, under plans presented to President [sic] Bush on Monday by the senior American commander and the top American diplomat in Iraq, senior administration and military officials said.

US warship fires on Egyptian boat, one killed 25 Mar 2008 A US warship [Global Patriot] fired on a motor boat in the Gulf of Suez on Monday, killing one Egyptian and wounding two others, Egyptian security sources and witnesses said.

US cargo ship opens fire in Suez canal, 1 dead 25 Mar 2008 An Egyptian was shot dead and two others wounded in an incident involving a US-flagged cargo ship crossing the Suez Canal towards the Mediterranean Sea, reported security officials late Monday.

No extra troops for Afghanistan, minister insists 25 Mar 2008 (AU) The Defence Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon, says there is no argument "whatsoever" for Australia to increase its troop commitment in Afghanistan, even after it withdraws more than 500 soldiers from southern Iraq in the middle of the year.

Five members of mine-removal team are killed in Afghanistan 24 Mar 2008 In one of the bloodiest attacks in months on a nongovernmental organization in Afghanistan, gunmen killed five members of a mine-clearing team and wounded seven more in a relatively peaceful northern province, officials said Monday.

Soldier dies after accident in Afghanistan 24 Mar 2008 A soldier from Detroit has died of injuries he received while working on a vehicle in Afghanistan.

Musharraf approved US attacks on Qaida 24 Mar 2008 The Musharraf regime has indirectly approved the US Drone attacks on 'al-Qaida' targets in tribal areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. Since January, missiles have been fired from Central Intelligence Agency operated Predator drones and have hit at least three suspected hideouts of Islamic militants, including a strike on March 16 in Toog village in South Waziristan that left 20 dead. Sources said that the recent wave of Predator attacks are the result of Musharraf's understanding with the US officials and other top Pakistanis which gave Washington virtually unrestricted authority to hit targets in the border areas.

U.S. mistakenly sent nuclear missile fuses to Taiwan 25 Mar 2008 The U.S. military 'mistakenly' shipped four fuses for nuclear missiles to Taiwan in 2006, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. The military was supposed to ship helicopter batteries to Taiwan but instead sent fuses used as part of the trigger mechanism on missiles.

RCMP edits Taser reports, probe finds --Censored details include incident dates, injuries and whether individuals were armed 25 Mar 2008 The RCMP is stripping crucial details about Taser firings from public reports as use of the controversial stun guns skyrockets across the country. A joint investigation by The Canadian Press and CBC found the Mounties are now refusing to divulge key information that must be recorded each time they draw their electronic weapons.

Heads up! Market's First Lab-on-Chip for Rapid Molecular Flu Detection at Point of Need 24 Mar 2008 Following the success of the evaluation trials conducted at the prestigious National University Hospital of Singapore, Veredus Laboratories and STMicroelectronics today announced the commercial availability of VereFlu(TM), a portable lab-on-chip application for rapid detection of all major influenza types at the point of need. Unlike existing diagnostic methods, VereFlu is a breakthrough molecular diagnostic test that can detect infection with high accuracy and sensitivity, within two hours providing genetic information of the infection that traditionally would take days to weeks to learn. With its high level of automation, users outside the traditional lab environment can easily perform the tests at the point of need.

TB Patient Faces Felony Charges in Ariz. 25 Mar 2008 A man with a virulent form of tuberculosis who once was confined to a hospital jail ward for failing to wear a mask in public has been indicted on felony charges. Prosecutors said Monday there was no evidence that Robert Daniels had exposed anyone to his multiple drug-resistant TB before he was quarantined in 2006, but they still charged him with two counts of unlawful introduction of disease or parasite. County officials have been putting together a case to prove Daniels knowingly introduced a disease into the state, endangering others. "We took our time looking at the evidence to make sure the evidence fit the crime," said Sally Wells of the Maricopa County attorney's office. [LOL, just wait until Bush, Cheney, KBR and Blackwater host the bird flu pandemic party.]

TB patient indicted on charges of exposing public to disease 24 Mar 2008 A tuberculosis patient who was involuntarily quarantined for a year in a Phoenix hospital jail ward has been indicted on charges that he unlawfully exposed the public to a disease. Robert Daniels, a Russian-born man with dual U.S. citizenship, fled to Moscow last year to escape possible prosecution and incarceration by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Algerian accused of training 9/11 pilots can claim millions in damages 14 Feb 2008 An Algerian man who was wrongly accused of training five of the 9/11 'hijackers' today won the right to claim millions of pounds in compensation. Lotfi Raissi, who lives in Chiswick, was held in jail for four and a half months shortly after the New York attacks as the US authorities tried to extradite him for questioning over his alleged terrorist links. He was freed after a judge ruled there was no evidence to support the allegations, despite objections from prosecutors acting on behalf of the American government.

Passport case raises outsourcing concern "Have we gone too far in recent years by perhaps relying too much on contractors?" --Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Tex. 24 Mar 2008 The practice of outsourcing by the State Department allowed hired hands to snoop around in presidential candidates' files. And now it's pointing to questions about whether outside contractors should have access to such sensitive information about any citizen. The government routinely relies on private firms to do sensitive work -- from managing weapons systems to protecting traveling diplomats to helping maintain records that contain private information on U.S. citizens.

Roger Stone: I tipped off FBI about Eliot Spitzer sex scandal 24 Mar 2008 A political rival has admitted that he tipped off the FBI about the former New York Governor’s use of prostitutes, effectively ending Elliot Spitzer’s career in public office to score a victory in a bitter feud. Roger Stone, a controversial Republican operative, alerted authorities four months before the Democratic governor was forced to step down in a sex scandal. Mr Stone told the FBI, through a letter from his lawyer, that Mr Spitzer "used the services of high-priced call girls"while in Florida. Stone helped to orchestrate the so-called Brooks Brothers riot in Miami, when angry Republicans in pinstriped suits shut down the 2000 presidential 'election' recount in Dade County, Florida... Mr Stone held a $20,000-a-month post last year as a political consultant to Joseph Bruno, the state senate majority leader and Mr Spitzer’s main rival in the New York legislature. [See: Spitzer's Sex Life Is Weapon of Mass Distraction for Bunch of Bad News for Bush.]

Bush vendettas: Clearing the way to attack Iran? By Jim Fetzer 25 Mar 2008 The outing of Eliot Spitzer might exemplify the pattern of outing Valerie Plame and deposing Admiral Fallon if there were a precipitating cause, as in these other instances. Although we have been told that Spiter’s transgressions were discovered as the result of a "routine tax inquiry", an article he authored – which appeared in The Washington Post a month earlier – hints otherwise. There appears to be a pattern here, where the Fallon case may be the most serious.

Detroit's Democratic mayor indicted in sex scandal 24 Mar 2008 Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and official misconduct on Monday stemming from a sex scandal and the prominent Democrat's handling of an $8.4 million settlement of a whistle-blower lawsuit against the city. [And, for killing one million-plus Iraqis and over 4000 US soldiers due to lies, what happens to Bush and Cheney Halliburton?]

Don't discount Gore-led ticket 24 Mar 2008 If neither Sen. Hillary Clinton nor Sen. Barack Obama has clinched the nomination by August, U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.) says we may see a brokered convention, meaning the nominee could emerge from a negotiated settlement. "If it (the nomination process) goes into the convention, don’t be surprised if someone different is at the top of the ticket," Mahoney said. A compromise candidate could be someone such as former vice president Al Gore, Mahoney said last week during a meeting with this news organization’s editorial board. If either Clinton or Obama suggested to a deadlocked convention a ticket of Gore-Clinton or Gore-Obama, the Democratic Party would accept it, Mahoney said.

Obama campaign posts his tax returns on Web 25 Mar 2008 The campaign of Sen. Barack Obama today posted his tax returns on its website, a move designed to pressure Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to release her financial information.

The Gore-ing of Hillary Clinton 'She has to fess up in a way that's a bit charming.' Misogynist MSNBC analyst/senior NewsWEAK editor Jonathan Alter on 'Countdown,' explaining exactly what Senator Hillary Clinton 'needs to do' regarding her 'exaggerations' detailing a 1996 trip to Bosnia. --Lori Price 24 Mar 2008

Appeals court overturns law requiring airline passenger rights 25 Mar 2008 A federal appeals court has rejected a law requiring airlines to provide food, water, clean toilets and fresh air to passengers trapped in a plane delayed on the ground. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that New York's new state law interferes with federal law governing the price, route or service of an air carrier.

Supreme Court rules against Bush in death row case 25 Mar 2008 President [sic] Bush overstepped his authority when he ordered a Texas court to reopen the case of a Mexican on death row for rape and murder, the Supreme Court said Tuesday. In a case that mixes presidential power, international relations and the death penalty, the court sided with Texas 6-3.

US, Bahrain sign nuclear energy deal 25 Mar 2008 The US and Bahrain have signed a deal to cooperate in the development and sharing of nuclear energy, the US State Department says.

Consumer Confidence Plunges in March 25 Mar 2008 Consumer confidence sank to a five-year low in March as tight credit markets, rising prices and worsening job prospects deepened worries that the economy has fallen into recession.

Nineteen indicted in huge foreclosure case 24 Mar 2008 Federal officials announced the indictment of 19 people Monday in what they call the largest "foreclosure rescue" scam in the nation, one that allegedly took in more than $12 million and affected more than 100 homes.

1 in 10 Ohioans: Food stamps double since '01 --But price of food means they don't go as far now 24 Mar 2008 Nearly one in 10 Ohioans now receives food stamps, the highest number in the state's history. Caseloads have almost doubled just since 2001, with 1.1 million residents now collecting benefits, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Wall Street Firms Cut 34,000 Jobs, Most Since 2001 Dot-Com Bust 24 Mar 2008 Wall Street banks hit by mortgage losses and writedowns have cut more than 34,000 jobs in the past nine months, the most since the dot-com boom fizzled in 2001.

Bears face new toxic threat --Family of industrial chemicals called perfluoroalkyl contaminants (PFCs) have been increasing between 19 and 27 per cent annually since 2000 24 Mar 2008 The iconic polar bear, already a marauding warehouse of toxic substances, is facing a new chemical assault that could trigger serious health problems in the bear population within the decade. The damage may include higher risk of cancers and impaired reproduction, say Danish environmental scientists in a study to be published shortly.

Bush's corpora-terrorists killing off *another* species: Bats Perish, and No One Knows Why --Researchers want to know whether recently introduced pesticides may be contributing to the problem, either through a toxin or by greatly reducing the bat's food source. 25 Mar 2008 In what is one of the worst calamities to hit bat populations in the United States, on average 90 percent of the hibernating bats in four caves and mines in New York have died since last winter. Wildlife biologists fear a significant die-off in about 15 caves and mines in New York, as well as at sites in Massachusetts and Vermont. Whatever is killing the bats leaves them unusually thin and, in some cases, dotted with a white fungus. Bat experts fear that what they call White Nose Syndrome may spell doom for several species that keep insect pests under control.

Western Antarctic ice chunk collapses 25 Mar 2008 A chunk of Antarctic ice nine times the size of Manhattan has suddenly collapsed, putting an even larger glacial area at risk. Satellite images show the runaway disintegration of a 220-square-mile chunk in western Antarctica. British scientist David Vaughan says it's the result of global warming.


U.S. death toll in Iraq reaches 4,000 --Grim milestone reached when IED kills 4 U.S. soldiers in Baghdad 23 Mar 2008 Four U.S. soldiers were killed by a bomb blast in southern Baghdad late Sunday, raising the death toll for American forces since start of the war to 4,000, according to the Pentagon.

US army deaths in Iraq hit 4,000 24 Mar 2008 The number of United States military personnel killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion five years ago has passed the 4,000 mark. The latest to die were four soldiers whose patrol vehicle was blown up by a bomb in southern Baghdad on Sunday. The deaths bring the total to 4,000, according to the US military and independent monitoring groups.

British pull-out from Basra delayed after rise in rocket attacks --Plan to reduce forces to 2,500 by next month put off indefinitely as Iraqi troops prepare to take on militias. 23 Mar 2008 Further British troop withdrawals from Iraq have been delayed indefinitely amid renewed rocket attacks on British forces in Basra, and a looming showdown between Iraqi government forces and Shia militias.

20 Mortar Shells Fired at the Green Zone 23 Mar 2008 As many as 20 mortar shells were fired Sunday at the heavily fortified Green Zone, one of the fiercest and most sustained attacks on the area in the last year. The shelling sent thick plumes of dark gray smoke over central Baghdad and ignited a spectacular fire on the banks of the Tigris River. It ushered in a day of violence that claimed the lives of four American soldiers and at least 58 Iraqis around the country.

Barrages hit Green Zone, gunmen kill 17 23 Mar 2008 Baghdad's fortified "Green Zone" came under repeated rocket or mortar attack on Sunday, and police said up to 17 people had been killed by rockets falling short outside the government and diplomatic compound.

US air strike kills 'Iraq allies' 23 Mar 2008 Six people have been killed in a US air strike near the Iraqi town of Samarra, with some reports suggesting they were US-allied anti-al-Qaeda Sunni fighters. The US denied claims by a police source and a militia member that those killed at the checkpoint were members of an Awakening Council.

Iraq Invites Bids to Develop Akkaz Gas Field --Iraq negotiating with four major oil companies to increase production in five producing oil fields; Amman negotiations with Royal Dutch Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, and Chevron. 23 Mar 2008 Iraq's Oil Ministry has invited international companies to bid for the development of the Akkaz natural gas field, which has estimated reserves of more than 2.15 trillion cubic feet, the ministry said on its Web site. The ministry said the aim of the project is to export gas from the field, which is in the western province of Anbar near the Syrian border.

Iraq Plans Oil, Gas Development Projects --Ministry negotiating with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to conduct output tests for Akkas field, with five wells ready to be interconnected 23 Mar 2008 Iraq's Oil Ministry said Sunday that it has invited local and international oil companies to bid for contracts including one to develop a natural gas field in the western part of the country. The ministry has set a deadline of April 24 for companies to submit detailed plans to help develop the Akkas gas field, located in the Anbar province, the ministry said on its Web site.

Swiss brush aside criticism over gas contract with Iran 24 Mar 2008 A multibillion-euro Swiss contract to buy natural gas from Iran has provoked threats from [the hypocritical whackjobs in] Washington, protests from Jewish groups and fuelled mounting concern about Europe's energy security. [F*ck 'em. Bush's puppet regime in Iraq can give away all their oil and gas to Cheney's corpora-terrorists, but Iran can't trade with Switzerland?]

Venezuelans burn Exxon 'Judas' in Easter ritual 23 Mar 2008 In a political take on a popular Easter ritual, hundreds of Venezuelans cheered at the burning of an "Judas" effigy symbolizing oil giant Exxon Mobil, which last week lost a battle with the South American nation. Pinned to the effigy's gasoline-soaked two piece suit a sign read "Mister Exxon." [Awesome!]

Fuel Trucks for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan Destroyed 24 Mar 2008 Twenty-five trucks carrying fuel to American-led forces in Afghanistan were destroyed Sunday in a possible bombing on the Pakistani border, local government officials said. Dozens of people were injured, they said.

Bomb kills 2 U.S. coalition troops in Afghanistan 23 Mar 2008 A roadside bomb killed two soldiers from the U.S.-led 'coalition' in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, a U.S. military statement said.

Belgian police arrest 500 at NATO headquarters 22 Mar 2008 Belgian police arrested nearly 500 demonstrators Saturday at NATO headquarters in Brussels as peace activists from 17 countries had tried to enter the grounds. Organizers and police put the total number of demonstrators at around 1,000.

Qaida No. 2 Urges Attacks on Israel, US 24 Mar 2008 Al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims in a new audiotape released Monday to strike Jewish and American targets in revenge for Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier this month. The authenticity of the 4 minute, 44-second audiotape could not be independently confirmed.

Jordan charges man with 'terrorism' in German tourist stabbing 23 Mar 2008 Jordan's military court charged a Jordanian man Sunday for committing a "terrorist act" by stabbing a German tourist in the capital city earlier this month, said a judicial official.

Montana Governor: DHS 'Blinks' on Real ID By Ryan Singel 21 Mar 2008 Montana governor Brian Schweitzer declared victory Friday after the Department of Homeland Security sent his state an extension to the Real ID act, despite his insistence Montana will never comply with a mandate he describes as a "boondoggle." "If I were writing the headline, it would be 'DHS Blinks," Schweitzer, a Democrat, told THREAT LEVEL by phone late Friday.

Chertoff warns holdout states to comply with ID rules 21 Mar 2008 Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is calling on four states to get in line [!] with new rules for driver's licenses, or their residents could be standing in long lines at airports. If extensions aren't requested by the end of the month, air travelers from the four states won't be able to use their licenses to board an aircraft, or enter federal buildings. They'll need a passport, or be subjected to secondary screening. [Screen *this.*]

'This roadblock to listing under the Bush administration is criminal.' Since '01, Guarding Species Is Harder --Endangered Listings Drop Under Bush 23 Mar 2008 With little-noticed procedural and policy moves over several years, Bush regime officials have made it substantially more difficult to designate domestic animals and plants for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The advocacy group WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking a court order to protect 681 Western species all at once, on the grounds that further delay would violate the law.

Interior secretary declines to explain polar bear delay 22 Mar 2008 Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has declined an invitation to explain to a U.S. Senate committee why no decision has been made on additional protections for polar bears. The deadline for a decision on listing polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act was Jan. 9. Conservation groups more than three years ago petitioned to list polar bears as threatened because their habitat, sea ice, is shrinking from global warming.

Feds miss deadline on ribbon seals' protection; conservation groups plan to sue 21 Mar 2008 A second federal agency has been put on notice it will be sued for missing a deadline on listing a northern marine mammal as threatened or endangered due to global warming. The Center for Biological Diversity on Friday gave formal notice of its intent to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service because the agency did not complete within 90 an initial review of a petition to list ribbon seals.

White House: Computer Hard Drives Destroyed 21 Mar 2008 White House computer hard drives have been destroyed, the White House disclosed to a federal court Friday in a controversy over millions of possibly missing e-mails from 2003 to 2005. The White House revealed new information about how it handles its computers in an effort to persuade a federal magistrate it would be fruitless to undertake an e-mail recovery plan that the court proposed.

Stolen Laptop Stored NIH Patients' Personal Data 24 Mar 2008 A government laptop computer containing sensitive medical information on 2,500 patients enrolled in a National Institutes of Health study was stolen in February, potentially exposing seven years' worth of clinical trial data, including names, medical diagnoses and details of the patients' heart scans. The information was not encrypted, in violation of the government's data-security policy.

Will votes in N.J. get counted correctly? 23 Mar 2008 For three years running, New Jersey's 'voting'-machine saga has showcased the state Attorney General's Office, several college professors who enjoy dismantling computers, a manufacturer [Sequoia Voting Systems] fiercely protective of its software and a Rutgers legal scholar who says democracy is at risk. In Superior Court on Tuesday, Penny Venetis -- the Rutgers University law professor who has sued the state over concerns about the systems' integrity -- will ask a judge to declare the touch-screen models unconstitutional.

Telecom lobbyists tied to McCain 24 Mar 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain has condemned the influence of "special interest lobbyists," yet dozens of lobbyists have political and financial ties to his presidential campaign -- particularly from telecommunications companies, an industry he helps oversee in the Senate. Of the 66 current or former lobbyists working for the Arizona senator or raising money for his presidential campaign, 23 have lobbied for telecommunications companies in the past decade, Senate lobbying disclosures show. McCain has netted about $765,000 in political donations from those telecom lobbyists, their spouses, colleagues at their firms and their telecom clients during the past decade, a USA TODAY analysis of campaign-finance records shows. [Vicki Iseman?]

The Republican Resurrection By Frank Rich 23 Mar 2008 For Republicans, the prospect of marathon Democratic trench warfare is an Easter miracle. Saddled with the legacy of both Iraq and a cratering economy, the G.O.P. can only rejoice at its opponents’ talent for self-destruction. The Republicans can also count on the help of a political press that, whatever its supposed tilt toward Mr. Obama, remains most benevolent toward John McCain. This was strikingly apparent last week, when Mr. McCain’s calamitous behavior was relegated to sideshow status by many, if not most, news media. At a time of serious peril for America, the G.O.P.’s presumptive presidential nominee revealed himself to be alarmingly out of touch on both of the most pressing issues roiling the country.

What's Wrong with Rev. Wright? By Jim Fetzer 23 Mar 2008 [Rev. Jeremiah] Wright’s claim #9: "We started the AIDS virus . . ." Accuracy: Mixed... According to Wikipedia ("AIDS conspiracy theories"), Jakob Segal, a biology professor at Humboldt University, has proposes that HIV was engineered at a military laboratory at Fort Detrick [Yeah, now they're all busy little bees, trying to get the bird flu pandemic party started], by splicing together two other viruses; TIME magazine reports that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai has theorized that the biological agent causing AIDS is not natural; and Dr. Alan Cantwell, author of AIDS and the Doctors of Death (1992) and of Queer Blood: The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot (1993), alleges that HIV is a genetically modified organism developed by U.S. Government scientists. Similar theories have been advanced by other experts...

Gas prices hit record $3.26, diesel at $4.06 23 Mar 2008 The average price of a gallon of gas in the United States has risen to a record $3.26, and the cost of diesel fuel has soared to a record $4.06 a gallon, adding to pressure on consumers and the companies that deliver their goods.

Staying in school just to stay insured 23 Mar 2008 There are the usual reasons to be in college, and then there is the one that dumbfounds Julian Gallegos, a business instructor at Community College of Allegheny County, Pa. Every so often, he says, he'll hear from a student who has missed so many classes, or sunk so low in grades that he'll suggest that the student withdraw from the course. The student pleads to remain, but not out of any love of the subject or any desire for a degree. Rather, it's because dropping the course would sink him below full-time student status, making him ineligible for coverage under his family's medical plan. "Usually, they don't want to be there," Mr. Gallegos said. "They're there strictly for insurance."

Gap in Life Expectancy Widens for the Nation 23 Mar 2008 New government research has found "large and growing" disparities in life expectancy for richer and poorer Americans, paralleling the growth of income inequality in the last two decades.

Turkey quarantines village after bird flu confirmed 22 Mar 2008 Turkish authorities quarantined a village in northwestern Turkey and began culling poultry after test results showed that chicken deaths there had been caused by bird flu, state run Anatolian said on Saturday. The report did not specify the strain of the bird flu virus.


GOP political operative told FBI of alleged Spitzer sexscapades --Roger Stone, who shut down the 2000 presidential 'election' recount effort in Miami-Dade County, is longtime Spitzer nemesis. 21 Mar 2008 Almost four months before Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a sex scandal, a lawyer for Republican political operative Roger Stone sent a letter to the FBI alleging that Spitzer ''used the services of high-priced call girls'' while in Florida. The letter, dated Nov. 19, said Miami Beach resident Stone learned the information from "a social contact [i.e., his own hooker] in an adult-themed club." ...''It is also my client's understanding from the same source that Governor Spitzer did not remove his mid-calf length black socks during the sex act. Perhaps you can use this detail to corroborate Mr. Stone's information,'' the letter said, signed by attorney Paul Rolf Jensen of Costa Mesa, Calif.

Top Diplomat Says U.S. Pressured Allies on Iraq --Ambassador says White House threatened reprisals on nations who withheld war support, spied on allies prior to Iraq invasion. 22 Mar 2008 In the months leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration threatened trade reprisals against friendly countries who withheld their support, spied on its allies, and pressed for the recall of U.N. envoys that resisted U.S. pressure to endorse the war, according to an upcoming book by a top Chilean diplomat [Heraldo Muñoz].

Pentagon Urges Delay in U.S. Troop Reductions in Iraq 22 Mar 2008 Senior military commanders have presented the Bush regime with proposals to put off any plans for further reductions of troops in Iraq at least until the end of summer.

Pentagon will not send Adm. Fallon to Congress on Iraq 21 Mar 2008 Adm. William Fallon, who is resigning after a magazine reported he was challenging the White House over Iran, will not appear before Congress to discuss the war in Iraq, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Baghdad's Green Zone hit by barrage of blasts 22 Mar 2008 Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone was hit by a sustained barrage of rocket or mortar bomb fire early on Sunday and emergency sirens could be heard in the Iraqi capital's government and diplomatic compound.

Four U.S. troops killed in Iraq --The death toll nears 4,000 as a roadside bomb kills 3 today while indirect fire claimed a soldier on Friday. 22 Mar 2008 The number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq edged closer to the milestone figure of 4,000 dead today as a roadside bomb claimed the lives of three soldiers.

US air strike kills six in Iraq 22 Mar 2008 A US helicopter gunship fired on and killed six Iraqis near the central Iraq city of Samarra on Saturday, an anti-Qaeda leader and the American military said. Abu Faruq, leader of an anti-Qaeda "Awakening" front in Samarra, said those killed were members of his group who had been manning a checkpoint when they came under attack. Two others were wounded. The US military also reported Saturday that a woman and two children were injured in a US air strike in Diyala province that was targeting a "high value" insurgent blah, blah, blah.

Over 100 anti-war protesters arrested at NATO HQ 22 Mar 2008 Around 100 anti-war protesters were arrested trying to force their way into NATO's headquarters in Belgium on Saturday, police said. Police in riot gear and on horses clashed with over 500 activists from across Europe -- opposed to military action in Iraq and Afghanistan and the use of nuclear weapons -- outside NATO's Brussels hub.

Thousands rally against Iraq war in New York 22 Mar 2008 Thousands of peace activists rallied in downtown New York Saturday to mark five years since the US-led invasion of Iraq and to call for an immediate withdrawal of US troops.

Dick Cheney's Error --It's Government By the People By Mickey Edwards 22 Mar 2008 For at least six years, as I've become increasingly frustrated by the Bush administration's repeated betrayal of constitutional -- and conservative -- principles, I have defended Vice President [sic] Cheney, a man I've known for decades and with whom I served and made common cause in Congress. No longer. I do not blame Dick Cheney for George W. Bush's transgressions; the president [sic] needs no prompting to wrap himself in the cloak of a modern-day king... What, then, is the straw that causes me to finally consign a man I served with in the House Republican leadership to the category of "those about whom we should be greatly concerned"? It is Cheney's all-too-revealing conversation this week with ABC News... On Wednesday, reminded of the public's disapproval of the war in Iraq, now five years old, the vice president shrugged off that fact (and thus, the people themselves) with a one-word answer: "So?"

Talk of a Troop Surge for Afghanistan 21 Mar 2008 Talk is increasingly turning to a troop surge for Afghanistan. The conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank, which was instrumental in designing the current surge strategy in Iraq, in January convened an "Afghanistan Planning Group" that will shortly announce recommendations for an influx of troops into Afghanistan as well.

Nicolas Sarkozy to bolster force in Afghanistan with 1,000 extra troops 22 Mar 2008 President Sarkozy of France will tell Gordon Brown next week that France plans to send an extra 1,000 soldiers to Afghanistan to bolster the battle against the Taleban. Senior ministers have told The Times that Mr Sarkozy wants to underline his commitment to the alliance during his state visit to Britain.

Blast kills soldier from NATO force in Afghanistan 21 Mar 2008 An explosion killed a soldier from NATO-led forces in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said in a statement on Friday.

Cheney vows 'unshakable' commitment to Israel 22 Mar 2008 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney arrived Saturday night in Israel, where he pledged America's "enduring and unshakable" commitment to the security of the country as it approaches its 60th anniversary.

Steer clear of Iran's central bank, says US 22 Mar 2008 Washington has called on international financial institutions to steer clear of doing business with Iran's central bank, in the US's most wide-ranging attempt yet to isolate Tehran financially. The Treasury department has issued a warning of the risks of doing business with 51 state-owned and seven privately held Iranian banks - in effect the whole of Iran's banking sector.

Water will be source of war unless world acts now, warns minister 22 Mar 2008 The world faces a future of "water wars", unless action is taken to prevent international water shortages and sanitation issues escalating into conflicts, according to Gareth Thomas, the International Development minister.

CLG exclusively broke the news of Stanley's possible involvement early this morning and afternoon. By Lori Price 21 Mar 2008 The Bush Administration uses contractors instead of government employees to carry out GOP dirty tricks, so that the US government isn't obliged to investigate the misdeeds. The 'bad' contract workers get punished by their employer - no questions asked - and the matter is put to rest. With a passport services contract - one of two-hundred contracts with forty federal agencies - worth $570-million, Stanley has every impetus to sweep the whole sordid affair under the rug.

2 Fired in Passport Case With Va. Firm 21 Mar 2008 The Associated Press has learned [CLG reported it first] that the two contractors fired for snooping into Barack Obama's passport records worked for a Virginia-based company called Stanley Inc. Earlier this week, the 3,500-person company won a five-year, $570-million contract to support passport services at the State Department.

Stanley Awarded $570 Million Contract to Continue Support of Passport Program --Over 15-Year History of Providing Passport Services Continues 17 Mar 2008 Stanley, Inc., a leading provider of systems integration and professional services to the U.S. federal government, today announced that it was awarded a five-year, $570 million contract to continue support of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs/Passport Services Directorate. Services include production, operational and business process support training, procurement, administration and evaluation of critical supplies, and facilities management support at the four Passport Centers and 14 Passport Agencies nationwide along with the Headquarters' support offices.

Passports probe focuses on worker 22 Mar 2008 The State Department investigation of improper computer access to passport records of three presidential candidates is focusing on one remaining employee -- a contract worker with a company [The Analysis Corporation (TAC)] headed by an adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama.

Chief of firm involved in breach is Obama adviser 22 Mar 2008 The CEO of a company whose employee is accused of improperly looking at the passport files of presidential candidates is a consultant to the Barack Obama campaign, a source said Saturday. John O. Brennan, president and CEO of the Analysis Corp., advises the Illinois Democrat on foreign policy and intelligence issues, the source said.

Clinton finances are better for general election 22 Mar 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has more money at her disposal for a general election -- which she may or may not be able to use -- than for the current contests against rival Barack Obama, records show.

Obama Foreign Policy Adviser Likens Clinton Remarks to McCarthy 21 Mar 2008 A top foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama compared former President Bill Clinton's remarks seeming to question Obama's patriotism to those made by Joseph McCarthy. "It sounds more like McCarthy," retired four-star General Merrill "Tony" McPeak, who also is a campaign co-chair, said after a rally today in Salem, Oregon.

Chertoff: ID must comply to fly 22 Mar 2008 Homeland security officials on Friday hinted at a possible face-saving deal to end their standoff with a handful of states over new driver's license rules -- a dispute that, left unresolved, could cause big air travel headaches [thanks to Bush].

NYPD's secret vault finally approved to curb terrorism 22 Mar 2008 It took nearly six years, but the New York Police Department finally has received FBI approval to install a special vault for storing secret information related to terrorist threats to the city, according to a published report. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly requested the vault, known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF, in the spring of 2002, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Chicago links school cameras to 911 center --Mayor announces system, says program will provide 'comprehensive' security 07 Mar 2008 More than 4,500 cameras in Chicago public schools are being connected to police headquarters and the city's 911 center in a technological upgrade designed to improve safety the police state, officials said Thursday. In an 'emergency,' arriving officers also will be able to view real-time images from the cameras on screens in their squad cars.

NYC DA: Immigration Agent Demanded Sex "I want sex," he said on the recording, according to the New York Tiimes. "One or two times. That's all. You get your green card." 21 Mar 2008 A federal immigration official who was recorded demanding sex from a young Colombian woman in exchange for a green card was arrested on corruption charges, prosecutors said Friday. Queens prosecutors said Isaac R. Baichu, an adjudication officer at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Garden City, threatened to hold up the woman's application and even deport her relatives if she didn't acquiesce.

Police review dispute deepens --Chief's remarks at public meeting on civilian complaints spark anger 15 Mar 2008 The Albany Police Department's long-standing practice of withholding certain civilian complaints from an independent review board may have violated a city law, several lawmakers said this week. The issue, which has triggered a fierce debate among city leaders, surfaced after a March 2 Times Union report about a Ravena woman who said she was dissuaded by an internal affairs commander from bringing her case before the review board.

Albany police accused again --Another woman says she was improperly searched, forced to undergo a cavity exam 11 Mar 2008 Another woman has publicly accused the Albany police of conducting an improper cavity search. On Monday, a 22-year-old Troy woman who said she was unlawfully strip-searched by members of the Albany Police Department and then forced to undergo a pelvic cavity search at Albany Medical Center Hospital on Jan. 28 filed a notice of claim against the city. That legal filing comes a little more than a week after police leaders defended their internal investigation into a complaint by a Ravena woman who said she was subjected to a cavity search on a public street during a traffic stop on Dec. 22.

Outcry after cop abuse claim --Albany officials call for probe after allegations of illegal search surface 05 Mar 2008 The city's legislative leaders have called for an outside agency to examine the Albany Police Department's handling of a woman's claim she was subjected to a cavity search on a public street two months ago, according to several members of the city's Common Council.

Police: 'You fit the profile' --'You fit the profile,' the officer said, according to Shutter. 'You're a white girl in a rental car.' 02 Mar 2008 (Albany, NY) Police records show [22 Dec.] the officers called out a "Signal 38" to alert a dispatcher they were onto something suspicious and about to pull someone over. They would later write in a report that they had pulled her over for "failure to signal," although no ticket was issued, according to police records shared with the Times Union. The actions of police in the minutes that followed would leave Lisa Shutter, a 28-year-old single mother from Ravena, shaken and angry after one of the officers allegedly inserted his finger into Shutter's vagina on a public street during an apparent search for drugs.

Democrats want HUD chief to resign 22 Mar 2008 Two Democratic senators [Patty Murray, WA and Christopher Dodd, CT] said Friday that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, buffeted by allegations of cronyism and favoritism, should resign.

Corpora-terrorists poison us; taxpayers pay for cleanup; National Guard alerted. Colo. City's Water Is Bacteria Source 22 Mar 2008 It could be three more weeks before residents of a southern Colorado town can drink water straight from the tap after dozens of cases of salmonella poisoning were linked to municipal water, putting seven people in the hospital. An analysis indicates the municipal water system in Alamosa is the source of the bacterial outbreak, as suspected, said Ned Calonge, chief medical officer for the state health department. Gov. Bill Ritter (D) declared an emergency Friday in Alamosa County, activating the National Guard and providing as much as $300,000 for response efforts.

FDA Issues Warning on Cantaloupes 22 Mar 2008 People should throw away cantaloupes from a Honduran manufacturer believed to be linked to a salmonella outbreak, the government said Saturday. The Food and Drug Administration issued the alert for the melons from Agropecuaria Montelibano.

Greek farms near Turkey on bird flu alert - report 21 Mar 2008 Authorities in northeastern Greece have been placed on alert after bird flu was detected among chickens in a Turkish border village, the Athens News Agency reported.

Starbucks Ordered to Pay Baristas $106 Million in Back Tips, Interest 22 Mar 2008 A Superior Court judge has ordered Starbucks to pay its California baristas more than $100 million in back tips and interest that the coffee chain paid to shift supervisors.

Marine, Iraq dog reunited in San Diego 22 A San Diego-based Marine major was reunited on Saturday with one of his closest war buddies -- a 2-year-old dog named Nubs. Nubs greeted Maj. Brian Dennis at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station when the fighter pilot returned from Iraq. Dennis, of St. Pete Beach, Fla., had spotted the mongrel dog while on patrol in Anbar province and later nursed the animal back to health after finding him stabbed with a screwdriver. He named the dog Nubs after learning someone a sociopath cut the ears off believing it would make the dog more aggressive and alert.


State Dept. refuses to release name of passport contractor --Why? Just like Bush's other protected species, the telecoms, the State Department's passport contractor(s) are protected at all costs. Any of their potential illegal activities are shielded by Bush-run agencies and 'investigative' arms. By Lori Price 21 Mar 2008 Citizens for Legitimate Government ( is digging to find the contractor used by the Bureau of Public Affairs to learn which contractor's employees were fired and disciplined in the Barack Obama passport security breach. Two contractors that produce and issue passports for the US State Department are Stanley and Citigroup, but CLG is NOT stating that the employees of either of these two contractors were involved in the breach of the Obama passport security.

Passport scandal leads to Virginia contractors 22 Mar 2008 Two of the government contractors who accessed Sen. Barack Obama's passport records worked for an Arlington, Virginia-based firm called Stanley, Inc., the company said in a statement. A third contractor who looked at passport information... worked for a company called The Analysis Corporation, the State Department said. The State Department awarded Stanley a contract for $164 million in 2006, to print and mail millions of new U.S. passports. Stanley announced on Monday that it was awarded an additional $570 million contract to "continue support of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs/Passport Services Directorate."

What does Stanley do for the Government? ( All of Stanley’s revenue (sales) comes from contracting with various agencies within the federal government. As of March 31, 2007, Stanley had two-hundred contracts with forty federal agencies, including Defense, State, Homeland Security, Health & Human Services, Treasury, NASA, and Justice. The Department of Defense is Stanley’s largest customer overall, but its single biggest contract is with the State Department for the provision of passport processing and support services.

Democrat Wants Answers on Obama Passport Breach --Senior House Dem Gives Monday Deadline to Know Identity of Firm Involved in Peeking at Obama's Passport Records 21 Mar 2008 A senior House Democrat wants to know the name of the as-yet-unnamed State Department contracting firm involved in illicitly peeking at Barack Obama's passport records. "I...believe this information should be made publicly available," wrote House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., in a letter today to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Waxman also asked Rice to identify the workers involved in the snooping.

Congress gets involved in passport breaches 21 Mar 2008 The revelation that the passport files of all three of the leading presidential candidates have been breached is prompting Congress to consider whether to examine the State Department’s oversight of sensitive personal information, according to congressional aides.

3 candidates' passport files breached 21 Mar 2008 The passport files of the three presidential candidates -- Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain -- have been breached, the State Department said Friday. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the breaches of McCain and Clinton's passport files were not 'discovered' until Friday, after officials were made aware of the privacy violation regarding Obama's records and a separate search was conducted.

Claims of dirty tricks after security breach on Obama passport details 21 Mar 2008 A major security breach has occurred involving Barack Obama's confidential passport details. Two State Department employees have been fired and another suspended following an investigation, which began after it was learned that his computer file had been accessed. The security breach has echoes of other Republican dirty tricks operations.

Obama passport records breached; IT system flagged violation 20 Mar 2008 Private contract employees working for the U.S. Department of State have repeatedly accessed U.S. Senator Barack Obama's passport records over the past three months -- a breach flagged by the State Department's in-house computer system but subsequently downplayed by the supervisors of the offices in which the breaches occurred.

Obama's passport records improperly accessed 20 Mar 2008 Three U.S. State Department contract employees improperly accessed Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's passport records, a U.S. official said on Thursday. The official said two had been fired and the third disciplined. A spokesman for Obama called it "an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years." The U.S. official said that on January 9, February 21 and March 14 of this year, "three different contract workers all individually accessed the passport records for Obama."

Dick Cheney tour sparks Iran war rumours 21 Mar 2008 Dick Cheney, the US vice-president [sic], has triggered speculation that he has been using a tour of the Middle East to prepare Iran's neighbours for a possible war with Tehran. Mr Cheney, whose nine-day tour has included stops in Turkey, the Gulf and Afghanistan, insisted that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

Blackwater 'Blood Money' Angers Iraqis --Several Iraqi families have filed lawsuits against Blackwater in U.S. courts, alleging security guards were guilty of "war crimes." 20 Mar 2008 At least two Iraqi families of victims killed by Blackwater security guards mercenaries in September tell ABC News they have refused compensation offered by the company. While a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. investigates the deaths, Blackwater has been operating behind the scenes in Iraq to offer condolence payments to survivors and families of the dead.

Guantanamo lawyer accuses U.S. soldiers of war crimes 20 Mar 2008 The military lawyer for an alleged 'al-Qaeda' fighter [15-year-old Omar Khadr] at Guantanamo Bay said Thursday that accounts of the firefight in which he was captured indicate some U.S. soldiers -- and not his client -- should be charged for war crimes.

Guantanamo inmate wins hearing at top Canada court 20 Mar 2008 Canada's Supreme Court gave a young Canadian prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay the chance on Thursday to try to force Ottawa to release secret documents that could help show his innocence. Lawyers for Omar Khadr, who is charged with murdering a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in a firefight when he was 15, will argue before the court next week that his detention violated international law. Khadr, now 21, was taken prisoner in 2002. He said in an affidavit that U.S. interrogators repeatedly threatened to rape him and Canadian government officials told him they were powerless to do anything. Defense lawyers say interrogations of Khadr in Guantanamo, carried out by members of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, had violated Canada's charter of rights.

Yemeni describes 3-year torture in US hands 15 Mar 2008 A Yemeni national has revealed details of the US government's worldwide network of secret detention facilities, known as "black sites", and accused the superpower of torture following his release.

Refusal Keeps Terrorism Convict in Prison --Former Professor Fights Attempts to Force His Testimony Against Muslim Charities 22 Mar 2008 Former university professor Sami al-Arian wants to finish serving his prison sentence for a terrorism-related crime next month so that he can be deported to the Palestinian territories. But the Bush regime is threatening to keep him behind bars until he does something he has steadfastly refused to do: testify before a grand jury investigating allegations that Muslim charities aided terrorism organizations.

Three die in clashes between Iraq police and Mehdi army 20 Mar 2008 Three people were killed in clashes between Iraqi police and Mehdi Army militia members in the southern city of Kut on Thursday, the fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, hospital and police sources said.

US soldiers kill three Iraqi policemen --Iraqi police responding to request for assistance shot by US soldiers during operation in Kirkuk. 19 Mar 2008 US soldiers killed three Iraqi policemen and wounded another on Wednesday in the northern oil hub of Kirkuk, the US military said.

Kempthorne declines to explain delay in polar bear decision 21 Mar 2008 Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has declined an invitation to explain to a U.S. Senate committee why no decision has been made on additional protections for polar bears. The deadline for a decision on listing polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act was Jan. 9. Conservation groups more than three year ago petitioned to list polar bears as threatened because their habitat, sea ice, is shrinking from global warming.

Senate panel seeks explanation for delay on polar bear listing 20 Mar 2008 A Senate committee will ask Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to explain why, nearly three months after his deadline, he still hasn't announced whether polar bears will be listed as a threatened species. Kempthorne "must explain to the American people why his department has failed to follow the law and why they still haven't issued a final decision to protect the polar bear," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Spitzer got snagged by the fine print of the Patriot Act 24 Mar 2008 The fine print of the Patriot Act had provisions that gave the Treasury Department authority to demand more information from banks about their customers' financial transactions. Treasury issued stringent new regulations that required banks themselves to look for unusual transactions and submit SARs--Suspicious Activity Reports--to the government. Facing potentially stiff penalties if they didn't comply, banks and other financial institutions installed sophisticated software to detect anomalies among millions of daily transactions. One of those leads led to Spitzer. [No, the Bush regime targeted Spitzer because he 'had the goods' on the Bush regime's criminal lending practices.]

McCain aide suspended in video row 21 Mar 2008 The Republican presidential hopeful, John McCain, suffered a severe embarrassment yesterday when one of his aides was caught circulating a propaganda video questioning Barack Obama's patriotism. McCain, who repeatedly claims to want to fight a clean campaign, suspended the aide, Soren Dayton.

Pennsylvania's Murtha endorses Clinton for president 19 Mar 2008 Rep. John Murtha, a former Marine and Vietnam War veteran who has become one of Congress' most outspoken critics of the Iraq war, on Tuesday endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for president, saying she is "the candidate that will forge a consensus on health care, education, the economy and the war in Iraq."

Richardson Endorses Obama for Presidential Nomination 21 Mar 2008 New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson endorsed Senator Barack Obama's presidential bid, saying he is a "once- in-a-lifetime leader" who can unite the country. Richardson made the announcement today at a campaign rally in Portland, Oregon.

Obama blames Iraq war for U.S. current economic woes 21 Mar 2008 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama delivered a major speech on Thursday, linking U.S. slipping economy with the ballooning defense budget on the Iraq war.

Investment Firms Tap Fed for Billions --Investment Houses Borrow Billions From Fed's Emergency Lending Program 20 Mar 2008 Big Wall Street investment companies are taking advantage of the Federal Reserve's unprecedented offer to secure emergency loans, the central bank reported Thursday. Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley said Wednesday they had begun to test the new lending mechanism. On Wednesday alone, lending reached $28.8 billion, according to the Fed report.

US blocks Venezuelan purchase of food 19 Mar 2008 "The war with the US has already begun and they are blocking our purchases of food", Venezuelan Minister Ramón Rodríguez Chacín told viewers on Venezuelan TV on March 12. His statement came at a time when the US is threatening to add Venezuela to its list of "terror-sponsoring" states and some Senators are calling for a full blockade of the country.

Kansas Governor Vetoes Bill to Revive 2 Coal-Fired Plants 22 Mar 2008 Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) of Kansas vetoed a measure on Friday that would have forced the state to approve two coal-fired power plants producing large amounts of carbon dioxide.

Minn. Bridge Similar to I-35W Closed 21 Mar 2008 A bridge over the Mississippi River northwest of the Twin Cities was shut down Thursday because of problems found in the same sort of steel plates said to have played a key role in last summer's deadly bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

Inspector Is Charged With Filing False Report Before Crane Collapse 21 Mar 2008 A buildings inspector has been arrested and charged with faking a report that he visited a towering construction crane on the East Side of Manhattan on March 4 in response to a complaint. The inspector, the authorities said, never visited the crane, which toppled and killed seven people 11 days later.

Hospital confirms first UK case of extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis --Glasgow officials tracing man's contacts 21 Mar 2008 Doctors have diagnosed the first ever UK case of a virtually untreatable strain of tuberculosis, marking a further step in the disease's fightback against the antibiotics that once kept it in check. A Somali man in his 30s is in isolation at a hospital in Glasgow and is being treated with a cocktail of antibiotics in an effort to control the extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), the Guardian has learnt.

Leak could have been 'catastrophic' --Spilled acid pumped into Mississippi River 19 Mar 2008 A highly corrosive acid that leaked from a storage facility at a Braithwaite chemical plant on Monday could have eaten through adjacent storage tanks to cause a "catastrophic" mix of toxic chemicals, a state Department of Environmental Quality official said Tuesday.

Warming scenario sees flooded airport 21 Mar 2008 The Bush administration has set aside its skepticism about global warming to begin planning for the possibility that major Washington-area infrastructure, including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, could be inundated by rising seawaters. The U.S. Capitol and Lincoln Memorial also could be flooded frequently in a global-warming scenario described in a new study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Spring keeps coming earlier for birds, bees, trees 21 Mar 2008 The fingerprints of man-made climate change are evident in seasonal timing changes for thousands of species on Earth, according to dozens of studies and last year's authoritative report by the Nobel Prize-winning international climate scientists. More than 30 scientists told The Associated Press how global warming is affecting plants and animals at springtime across the country, in nearly every state.

Knut zoo accused of selling its animals 21 Mar 2008 Not all the animals in Berlin zoo receive the star treatment lavished on Knut the polar bear. As visitors snapped the once-cuddly celebrity yesterday, the zoo came under fire for allegedly dispatching three elderly black Himalayan bears and a hippo to the slaughterhouse to make the most out of their skins and meat.


Iraqi journalists forced into exile 19 Mar 2008 Hundreds of Iraqi journalists have been forced into exile since the war started five years ago, Reporters without Borders announced in a report released Wednesday. Most fled to Jordan or Syria after receiving threats or surviving murder attempts, according to the Paris-based advocacy group. The report found that Iraqi journalists face the unique danger of being targeted by multiple groups -- Sunni and Shiite militias, 'al-Qaida' in Iraq, the [US-funded] police and other authorities and U.S.-led forces.

Lawmakers want probe of KBR role in accidental electrocutions in Iraq --Details sought about electrocutions of military and contract workers in Iraq and about KBR's role in making electrical repairs. 19 Mar 2008 At least a dozen soldiers and Marines have been electrocuted in Iraq over the five years of the war, and investigators now are trying to learn what role improper grounding of electrical wires played in those deaths. And Houston-based KBR -- which builds bases and maintains housing for U.S. troops in Iraq -- is at the center of the probe, with questions being raised about its responsibility to repair known wiring problems. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter today to Defense Secretary Robert Gates seeking details about electrocutions of military and contract workers in Iraq and about KBR's role in making electrical repairs.

Soldiers Dying From KBR Electrocution --A Dozen Soldiers Have Died From Accidental Electrocution in Iraq, Says Congressman 20 Mar 2008 Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Maseth's parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in a Pennsylvania state court against Kellogg Brown Root, the contractor hired to maintain and repair the electrical infrastructure at the Radwaniyah Palace complex in Baghdad, where Maseth lived. His mother, Cheryl A. Harris, claims that KBR had been aware of the problems with the electrical system at the complex since February 2007, citing reports from the contractor and the Army's Criminal Investigation Division she was shown during meetings with Army personnel.

Iraq to pay $2.5 billion to Exxon Mobil, BP, other top oil firms 19 Mar 2008 The Iraqi government is expected to pay up to $2.5 billion to five top oil companies to increase the country's oil output by nearly a quarter, a government adviser told Reuters on Wednesday. In what would be the biggest foreign involvement for decades, Baghdad is close to signing technical support contracts with BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total... The ongoing talks have also given the five major oil companies a head start in efforts to bid for future oil contracts. [I am without speech. The Bush f*ckers are sticking it to us, by announcing this corpora-terrorist giveaway exactly five years after shock & awe.]

Forbidden fields: Oil groups circle the prize of Iraq's vast reserves 19 Mar 2008 Royal Dutch Shell has been quietly working with Iraq's oil ministry over the past two years, advising it on how to increase the production of two oilfields. Under an agreement struck after the 2003 invasion, no one from the company, Europe’s largest oil group, has set foot in the troubled country; instead, monthly face-to-face meetings with the oil ministry have been held in Amman, the Jordanian capital, and weekly contact has been maintained by video-link... Shell is one of several international oil companies – including BP and the US groups ExxonMobil and Chevron – that have been tapping into Iraq's oil industry by remote control.

US Company Given $85M to Help Expand Iraqi Refinery 19 Mar 2008 Iraq's Oil Ministry has signed a contract with the Colorado Industrial Construction Services Co. to help expand a refinery in Najaf, south of Baghdad, an official said Wednesday. The $85 million contract is designed to increase the refinery's current capacity of 20,000 barrels of oil per day by roughly 10,000 barrels per day, a senior ministry official said.

'We live in a nightmare. Death and carnage is everywhere' Ali, Baghdad resident 20 Mar 2008 In Baghdad, survival stories can be found on every street corner. Ali is a painter and a student at the academy of art in north Baghdad... In a shy, soft voice Ali tells me how he had been standing with a friend in Karrada when a bomb went off at the side of the road. "I heard an explosion very close by," he says. "I saw smoke and chaos and people screaming. I saw my friend Hassan, who was running and carrying a child who had lost an arm. I saw a nice-looking girl - the Karrada girls, you know how beautiful they are. She was dead. And I saw a girl who had only one eye."

Canadian says U.S. interrogators threatened rape 19 Mar 2008 A young Canadian prisoner [Omar Khadr] held at Guantanamo said in legal documents that U.S. interrogators repeatedly threatened to rape him and Canadian government visitors told him they were powerless to do anything.

Officer nearly ordered Khadr's execution: witness 19 Mar 2008 A U.S. Army officer was going to have Canadian Omar Khadr executed after a July 2002 firefight in Afghanistan but was stopped at the last moment by Special Forces troops, according to a diary account.

'Canadians called me a liar': Khadr --Guantanamo prisoner says he was denied help despite his reports of torture by Americans 19 Mar 2008 Canadian officials refused to help a sobbing Omar Khadr when they visited him in Guantanamo Bay, despite allegations of torture at the hands of Americans who had captured him after a firefight in Afghanistan, according to Khadr. "I showed them my injuries," recalled Khadr in an affidavit filed with a U.S. military war crimes court. "I said that I told the Americans whatever they wanted me to say because they would torture me. The Canadians called me a liar and I began to sob. They screamed at me and told me that they could not do anything for me," said Khadr, recalling one of six visits in 2003 and 2004 by Canadians to the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Cheney Doesn't Care What You Think By Dan Froomkin 20 Mar 2008 It's never exactly been a secret that Vice President [sic] Cheney operates by his own rules and thinks he knows better than the American public. But yesterday, he made it official. Talking to ABC News's Martha Raddatz, in the piano lounge of the Shangri-La resort and spa in Oman, Cheney said he isn't the least bit concerned that the public overwhelmingly opposes the war in Iraq.

Over 200 arrested in U.S. antiwar protests 20 Mar 2008 More than 200 people were arrested across the United States on Wednesday as protesters marking the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq obstructed downtown traffic and tried to block access to government offices.

A day of protest across Bay Area 20 Mar 2008 War protesters converged in San Francisco Wednesday for the five-year anniversary of the war in Iraq and, from early morning to late evening, rallied, marched, shouted, sang, danced and committed acts of civil disobedience to demonstrate their opposition.

Anti-War Protest Blocks Lake Shore Drive 20 Mar 2008 (Chicago) About a dozen anti-war protesters blocked northbound Lake Shore Drive Thursday morning causing traffic to slow to a crawl in either direction.

Bush Vows to Prevent Iran From Acquiring Nuclear Arms --President Says Tehran Wants to 'Destroy People;' [in psychology, this is called projection] Cannot Be Trusted to Enrich Uranium 20 Mar 2008 President [sic] Bush said the Iranian government has "declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people" and vowed that the United States would be "firm" in preventing Tehran's acquisition of such arms.

Longer Afghan missions eyed --MacKay says extending 6-month stints possible as manpower shortages hamper 'Afghan mission' 20 Mar 2008 Longer deployments for Canadian troops in Kandahar – perhaps as long as a year – are being considered as the military struggles to meet the manpower demands of a 'mission' that has been extended by two years. Defence Minister Peter MacKay said yesterday from Kandahar he is not ruling it out, but added the decision rests with senior commanders. [Besides boosting US opium smuggling, what exactly *is* the 'Afghan mission?']

British troops kill Afghan policeman 20 Mar 2008 British troops shot dead one Afghan policeman and wounded another in southern Afghanistan, the officials said on Thursday. NATO forces opened fire on an Afghan National Police (ANP) checkpoint in the provincial capital of Helmand overnight, the Afghan Interior Ministry said.

Cheney: 'Haven't seen' Osama bin Laden's latest 20 Mar 2008 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney... was asked about the situation in Pakistan and about his reaction to the latest tape released this week by Osama bin Laden – "I haven’t seen the statement" he said of the al Qaeda leader’s latest communique. [Right, he's only involved in the pre-production meetings.]

New 'Bin Laden tape' threatens EU 20 Mar 2008 In a new audio message purportedly from Osama Bin Laden, the al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader threatens the EU over the re-printing of a cartoon offensive to Muslims.

Bin Laden to release new message: monitor 19 Mar 2008 Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader Osama bin Laden is expected to release a new message within the next two days, the U.S.-based 'terrorism monitoring service' SITE Institute said on Wednesday. The message is entitled, "The Response Will Be What You See, Not What You Hear," SITE said in a release. [Hmm, I wonder which Osama nose and beard will appear this time?]

Counter-terrorism building blueprints found in trash 20 Mar 2008 Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day says he is waiting for details on how the blueprints for the Canadian Armed Forces new counter-terrorism building to be based in Trenton, Ont., ended up in a garbage can in downtown Ottawa.

Exxon Mobil spent $16.9M lobbying federal government 19 Mar 2008 Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. oil company, spent more than $16.9 million to lobby the federal government in 2007, according to a disclosure form. Besides Congress, Exxon Mobil lobbied the White House, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Trade Representative's office, the departments of Energy, Defense, Interior, State, Commerce, Homeland Security and more. [Uh, why is Exxon Mobil lobbying the *Defense* Department and *Homeland Security?* I know Exxon is lobbying the Interior Department so they can kill off the rest of the polar bears, but is anyone besides me wondering why an oil company is lobbying the Defense Department and Homeland Security? --LRP]

Terrorists' dream given go-ahead: Federal Regulators Approve Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal --NY officials have yet to decide on issuing permits for project; Conn. officials warned will fight in court if project is approved by federal regulators, New York. 20 Mar 2008 Federal regulators have approved a liquefied natural gas terminal proposed for Long Island Sound. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday approved the $700 million terminal proposal by Broadwater Energy. It would be located nine miles from Long Island and 10 miles from the Connecticut shoreline. Environmentalists and many elected officials oppose the project, saying it could imperil the fragile ecosystem in Long Island Sound and that a terrorist attack on the facility could result in catastrophe. [Yeah, but think of all the Democrats living in those two blue states Bush could kill in one fell swoop --even more than in New Orleans! LieberBush and Bloomberg would approve the KBR and Blackwater 'rebuilding' contracts, no questions asked. --LRP]

Montréal 9/11 Truth Présente: Montreal, The Next Terror Target? (L’equipe Montreal 9/11 Truth Team) 20 Mar 2008 Montreal 9/11 Truth has just produced a documentary film exposing a networked video surveillance contract that the Montreal Transit System (STM) has signed involving a company with an alleged shady history and very close ties to American and Israeli intelligence services.

Israel's airport security questioned 19 Mar 2008 A civil rights group is challenging Israeli airport security practices. The group says Israel singles out Arabs for closer inspection, and that's racism. But experts say the practice, which is known as profiling, is vital to security and saves lives.

'They made third world nations laboratories. They want us to be ill while at the same time selling the vaccines.' Indonesia accuses U.S. of abusing bird flu virus 20 Mar 2008 Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadhilah Supari has accused the United States of abusing Indonesian bird flu virus for commercial purposes, Antara news agency reported on Thursday. "We sent the virus (to them) for the sake of humanity but they have turned it into vaccines sold everywhere on the pretext of keeping watch for pandemic," Antara news agency Thursday quoted the minister as saying in Surabaya. On the pretext of keeping watch for pandemic, she said the U.S. and WHO had produced vaccines and sold them to third world countries for millions of dollars. "They made third world nations laboratories. They want us to be ill while at the same time selling the vaccines. Don't let this continue," she said. [See: Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu 31 Oct 2005 Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing. See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]

Rio registers 1,100 cases of dengue fever in single day 20 Mar 2008 The city of Rio de Janeiro registered 1,100 new cases of dengue fever between March 17 and 18, Brazilian media reported Wednesday.

'When a member of the Bar is convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, disbarment is mandatory.' Former Cheney Aide Libby Disbarred --Bush Commuted Libby's Prison Sentence Last Year 20 Mar 2008 A Washington, D.C., radio station reports that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, has been disbarred. A three-judge panel on the D.C. Court of Appeals stripped Libby of his ability to practice law after he was found guilty last year of obstructing the investigation in the CIA leak investigation, WTOP radio reported.

Cheney Ex-Aide 'Scooter' Libby Disbarred --Vice President's Former Chief of Staff Convicted of Lying to Investigators in Plame Case 20 Mar 2008 Vice President [sic] Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was disbarred today by a District of Columbia court which ruled that his convictions last year for perjury and obstructing justice in a White House leak investigation disqualify him from practicing law.

Obama eyes active role in oil markets 20 Mar 2008 Democrat Barack Obama would take an active role in U.S. oil markets as president, tackling concerns about the dominance of large oil companies and eyeing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a potential weapon to combat high prices, his top energy adviser said.

Mich. re-vote plan dies in state Senate 20 Mar 2008 Chances for a June 3 do-over of the Democratic presidential primary in Michigan evaporated Thursday afternoon when the state Senate adjourned for two weeks without taking action.

HBOS crash prompts market abuse probe 20 Mar 2008 City regulators accused market speculators yesterday of deliberately planting false rumours about failing banks in order to earn huge profits from the febrile atmosphere on world markets. The Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority made extraordinary interventions to stamp on gossip about a banking collapse as shares of HBOS were sent plunging.

60% of CNMI homeowners face foreclosures 20 Mar 2008 Many people in the community may have to move to smaller houses or even leave the islands, senators learned yesterday. According to the Marianas Public Land Trust and the Northern Marianas Housing Corp., 60 percent of CNMI [Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands] homeowners are delinquent borrowers and are facing foreclosures.

Con Ed Wins Approval for a Big One-Time Increase in Rates for Electric Service 20 Mar 2008 Residents of New York City will see the biggest one-time increase in their bills for electric service next month, after state regulators approved a $425 million increase in rates for Consolidated Edison on Wednesday.

Fears mount on jobless, factory data 20 Mar 2008 Evidence of U.S. recession mounted on Thursday with reports showing Mid-Atlantic factory activity in its worst slump since the start of the Iraq war and more workers claiming jobless benefits.

Jobless benefit rolls hit 3-1/2 year high 20 Mar 2008 The number of U.S. workers filing initial claims for unemployment aid climbed 22,000 last week, while the overall number on the benefit rolls hit a 3-1/2 year high a week earlier, the government said on Thursday.

How the blurring of the seasons is a harbinger of climate calamity 20 Mar 2008 Spring, which officially starts today, is starting to dissolve as a distinct season as climate change takes hold. According to documented observations throughout 2007 and 2008, events in the natural world that used to be key spring indicators, from the blooming of flowers to the appearance of insects, are now increasingly happening in what used to be thought of as mid-winter, as Britain's temperatures steadily rise.


What is the real death toll in Iraq? The Americans learned one lesson from Vietnam: don't count the civilian dead. As a result, no one knows how many Iraqis have been killed in the five years since the invasion. Estimates put the toll at between 100,000 and one million. 19 Mar 2008 The British polling firm Opinion Research Business (ORB) asked 1,720 Iraqi adults last summer if they had lost family members by violence since 2003; 16% had lost one, and 5% two. Using the 2005 census total of 4,050,597 households in Iraq, this suggests 1,220,580 deaths since the invasion.

Estimates of Iraq War Cost Were Not Close to Ballpark 19 Mar 2008 At the outset of the Iraq war, the Bush administration predicted that it would cost $50 billion to $60 billion... Five years in, the Pentagon tags the cost of the Iraq war at roughly $600 billion and counting. Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and critic of the war, pegs the long-term cost at more than $4 trillion.

After five years of U.S. occupation, Iraq is destroyed as a country By Patrick Cockburn 18 Mar 2008 Five years of occupation have destroyed Iraq as a country. Baghdad is today a collection of hostile Sunni and Shiite ghettoes divided by high concrete walls. Different districts even have different national flags... The Iraqi government tries to give the impression that normality is returning. Iraqi journalists are told not to mention the continuing violence. When a bomb exploded in Karada district near my hotel, killing 70 people, the police beat and drove away a television cameraman trying to take pictures of the devastation.

Our legacy is a dark and forbidding place of militias By Kim Sengupta 19 Mar 2008 The siren for an impending attack went off three times in three hours yesterday, with anti-missile guns roaring in response while soldiers dived for cover... Five years after the start of the war, the beginning of the end comes with little fanfare. The legacy Britain leaves behind however, will long remain a matter of dispute. British officials claim their tenure has seen nothing like the bloodshed seen under US control. But for many Iraqis, Basra is now a dark and forbidding place of militias.

Bush rejects Iraq troop pullout 19 Mar 2008 Five years after launching the invasion of Iraq, President [sic] George Bush has strongly signalled that he will not order US troop withdrawals beyond those already planned. Bush said he refuses to "jeopardise the hard-fought [oil, opium smuggling] gains" of the past year.

Gordon Brown accused of breaking Iraq promise 19 Mar 2008 Gordon Brown has been accused of breaking his promises on Iraq as troops were told a force of 4,000 would need to stay in the country until the end of the year. The disclosure came on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the invasion.

British Govt. to Delay Withdrawal of Military Troops From Iraq 19 Mar 2008 The British government revealed on Wednesday that it's delaying earlier plans to withdraw thousands of military troops from Iraq. The decision came following the non-stop attacks on the military camp in Basra airport, where British troops are based.

Five years on, Bush still chasing victory 20 Mar 2008 US President [sic] George Bush has defended his decision to go to war against Iraq five years ago, vowing no retreat as he promised the battle would end in victory. But as he spoke scores of protesters gathered just a few blocks away in Washington to call for an end to the war in which nearly 4000 US soldiers have died along with tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

After five years in Iraq, Bush hails 'strategic victory' 19 Mar 2008 President [sic] George Bush showed no sign of regret today when he marked the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by declaring that the costs in terms of lives and upheaval had been worth it and that retreat would threaten both security and the world economy. He claimed his strategy adopted last year of increasing the number of US troops in Iraq had been a triumph. [See: US Nears 4,000 Dead in Iraq 16 Mar 2008.]

Cheney again links Iraq invasion to 9/11 attacks 18 Mar 2008 Amid tears and wails, mourners in the southern city of Najaf on Tuesday began burying victims from a suicide bombing that killed nearly 50 worshipers and injured dozens of others just before evening prayers Monday in nearby Karbala... But Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney gave an upbeat view of conditions in Iraq. Cheney also defended the toppling of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as part of the struggle against terrorism following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

AP president: US arrests journalist in Iraq to 'control' information 19 Mar 2008 Associated Press president Tom Curley says his news organization does not buy the government's argument that one of its photographers arrested in Iraq was working on behalf of the enemy, and he alleged the US is rounding up journalists in an attempt to control information.

Bush's war, five years and counting: 1,220,580 deaths and 4 trillion dollars. By Lori Price 19 Mar 2008 Remember when Ralph Nader said there was no difference between Bush and Gore? Yup. A million-plus dead Iraqis might disagree. Nader's running - once again - to the delight of Bush's corpora-terrorists. Already, the GOP-owned media polls declare that Nader has five or six percent of the vote (Yeah, right!). Wake up and smell the French Roast! Ralph Nader - as well as the phony race issue and super delegate 'outrage' - is going to provide the media cover for Coup 2008. As to Iraq under Nader's begotten McCain: we'll just be replacing the q with an n.

Cheney: Iran May Have Resumed Weapon Program 19 Mar 2008 Retaining his tough stance against Iran, Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney said Wednesday that Tehran may have restarted the nuclear weaponization program that a U.S. intelligence report said was halted in 2003.

McCain sees Iraq success as key to all Middle East issues 18 Mar 2008 Arizona Sen. John McCain tours the Middle East this week as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and his support of the Iraq war is well known. Less well known is how the war fits into his overall view of the region: He sees it as the linchpin to almost everything.

Senator Webb criticizes Bush's long-term plan for Iraq 20 Mar 2008 One of the US Senate's harshest critics of the Iraq war, Jim Webb (D) of Virginia, is warning that the strategic agreement the Bush administration is negotiating with the Iraqi government will hamstring the next president's ability to change course on the war.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidates lambaste Iraq war 20 Mar 2008 The U.S. Democratic presidential candidates turned their campaign rallies into an anti-war forum as the country marked the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war on Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Murtha endorses Clinton for president 18 Mar 2008 U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a leading congressional opponent of the war in Iraq, on Tuesday endorsed Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, saying her position on the war made her the best candidate to take over the White House.

Khadr accuses U.S. interrogators of abuse --One interrogator court-martialled after an Afghan prisoner was beaten to death 18 Mar 2008 Canadian terror suspect Omar Khadr says he was terribly abused by U.S. interrogators who dropped him, repeatedly pushed his masked face into a wall until he passed out and threatened him with rape.

CIA kidnapping trial resumes in Italy 19 Mar 2008 A Milan court on Wednesday resumed the "CIA-gate" trial of 26 US citizens accused in the February 2003 CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian imam in the northern city, a court-appointed lawyer said.

Anti-war protesters demonstrate across the country 19 Mar 2008 Demonstrators have targeted federal buildings, defense contractors, oil industry groups and military bases across the country today to mark the fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. The protests are being held in large cities, from Miami to San Francisco, and small towns from New England to the Midwest.

Protests and vigils planned to mark anniversary of Iraq war 19 Mar 2008 Commuters in San Francisco and other Bay Area cities may face delays during rush hour as demonstrators turn out to protest the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq. One anti-war group plans a protest Wednesday morning in downtown San Francisco, while another plans a rally and march during the evening commute at the Civic Center.

Thirty-two arrested in Washington antiwar protest 19 Mar 2008 Thirty-two people were arrested on Wednesday when they tried to block entrances to the Internal Revenue Service in protests marking the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, police said.

Five Arrested In Iraq War Protest 19 Mar 2008 (CT) A protest Wednesday by roughly 200 clergy members, religious activists and citizens marking the five-year anniversary of the United States invasion of Iraq started with prayer and song and ended with the arrest of five protesters in Hartford.

Iraq War Protesters Take to the Streets 19 Mar 2008 Hundreds of antiwar demonstrators this morning tried to stop workers from entering federal government buildings, sat down in busy streets to block traffic, and staged a "March of the Dead" parade from Arlington National Cemetery into the District to protest five years of fighting in Iraq.

US Marines back-up arrive in Afghanistan: army 18 Mar 2008 Hundreds of the 3,600 US Marines due in southern Afghanistan to reinforce international efforts against extremists are on the ground and preparing for their mission, their unit said Tuesday.

Yup, hated in Yemen, too: US: mortar shells targeted US Embassy 18 Mar 2008 The State Department says U.S. officials have concluded that the American Embassy in Yemen was targeted by three mortar rounds that crashed into a nearby high school, apparently killing a Yemeni security guard.

Military to boost cyber-protections 18 Mar 2008 The military is beefing up efforts to gather intelligence, fend off cyber-attacks... as part of a strategy for keeping the U.S. safe while fighting two wars, according to a Pentagon document. "The most important component in the 'long war' is not the fighting we do ourselves, but how well we help our [bribed] partners defend and govern themselves," Gates said in the plan. The term 'long war' refers to the global war against [of] terrorism.

Boeing confident of winning back tanker deal 18 Mar 2008 Boeing Co's program manager for tanker aircraft voiced great confidence on Tuesday about winning back a $35 billion aerial-refueling deal from a team that includes European archrival Airbus.

'Dads' Army' to protect against security threats --Official: Force likely to be "a variation" of the ARP [air raid precaution wardens] who patrolled Britain's streets during the Blitz 19 Mar 008 Gordon Brown wants tens of thousands of Britons to join a new Dads’ Army-style volunteer force to help the Government tackle threats to national security. The new force, called a new Civil Protection Network, will be based on the local Neighbourhood Watch schemes. The Government also wants students at schools and universities to play their part in protecting Britain’s security by reporting any suspicious activity.

Brown unveils civil defence plan 19 Mar 2008 Members of the public will be able to join a new form of civil defence network to protect Britain 'against' natural disasters and terrorism. The organisations - likened to a new breed of "air raid precautions" or "ARP" wardens from the Second World War - will team up to build the country's resilience in a catastrophe. As part of a new National Security Strategy, Prime Minister Gordon Brown also revealed that the Government will publish for the first time a list of the risks faced by Britain... For example, it said the highest threat currently faced is an influenza-type pandemic which the Government believes could kill up to 750,000 people in the UK.

Flu pandemic is biggest threat to security, strategy says 19 Mar 2008 The biggest threat to Britain at the present time is a flu pandemic. An outbreak could cause the deaths of up to 750,000 people, according to the strategy. Officials had carried a modelling exercise last Autumn, called Operation Winter Willow, to gauge the effects of such a pandemic. Officials were applying the lessons from the Government's approach to terrorism, the strategy says.

Toronto bird flu lockdown misreported 19 Mar 2008 A Toronto hospital denied media reports Wednesday an elderly couple had been quarantined amid fears they had returned from Asia with avian flu. CITY-TV reported an elderly couple who had just returned from Bangladesh were admitted to Toronto East General Hospital Tuesday night, and workers were taking "extra steps to be safe including wearing masks and gloves." Soon after, the hospital issued a statement saying it "has no reason to speculate that any patients in the hospital have avian flu."

Couple Isolated At Toronto Hospital Over Bird Flu Fears 19 Mar 2008 When an elderly couple who had just returned from Bangladesh showed up at Toronto East General Hospital suffering from bad flu-like symptoms, officials there took no chances. The patients were immediately isolated, staff members wore gowns, gloves and masks and no visitors were allowed in to the secure area. But on Wednesday, the hospital took great pains to assure there was no reason to fear the disease had made its way to Canada.

UN warns bird flu fight failing in Indonesia 19 Mar 2008 Efforts to contain bird flu are failing, increasing the possibility that the virus may mutate into a deadlier form, the leading UN veterinary health body has warned.

UK security threat from cyber crime 19 Mar 2008 Britain is at risk of a "state-sponsored cyber" attack from computer hackers who want to steal political, economic and military secrets, the strategy warns.

Another GOPedophile bites the dust: Homeland Security Worker Convicted of Child Sex Abuse 18 Mar 2008 (VT) A jury has convicted a Homeland Security of numerous child sex charges. After a week long trial, 30-year-old Jason Beauharnois of Plattsburgh was convicted of predatory sexual assault against a child, along with other charges. Police say he abused a boy, who is now 12, over the course of several years. At the time of his arrest he was working as a Transportation Security Administration worker at the Burlington Airport.

Bush Picks New Homeland Security Adviser 19 Mar 2008 President [sic] Bush on Wednesday named a veteran prosecutor, Ken Wainstein, as his homeland security adviser. Wainstein now heads the Justice Department's anti-terrorism efforts. He was the chief federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia and the top lawyer at the FBI.

White House E-Mail Battle Heats Up --Judge: White House Has Three Days to Explain Why It Shouldn't Have to Copy Its Computer Hard Drives 18 Mar 2008 The White House has three days to explain why it shouldn't be required to copy its computer hard drives to ensure no further e-mails are lost, a federal judge ordered Tuesday. Already, e-mails between March and October 2003 appear to have been lost destroyed, Judge John M. Facciola noted, because they were improperly archived and no backup copies exist. That period includes the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Reforms Failed to Curb FBI Spying 18 Mar 2008 One of the nation's most respected counterterrorism experts [Mike German] is predicting that Congress will take action to rein in the 'unchecked power' of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to spy on U.S. citizens without court approval -- and then forbid them from publicly protesting the violation of their civil liberties.

AP president says US public, media should press presidential candidates on open government 18 Mar 2008 At a time of continued government secrecy, the news media should press the presidential candidates on whether their administration would enforce "the spirit as well as the letter of the law" protecting the public's right to know, Associated Press President and CEO Tom Curley said Tuesday.

Judiciary Chair 'Struggling' With Decision to Impeach Bush 19 Mar 2008 At a gathering of liberal activists in Washington on Tuesday, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) was asked if he would commit to holding the Bush administration accountable once a Democrat is in the White House and illegal acts have been pinned on President Bush. "Yes, you have my word on that," Conyers replied.

Plan for voting machine probe dropped after lawsuit threat --Sequoia: Voting machine software is Sequoia 'trade secret' 17 Mar 2008 (NJ) Union County has backed off a plan to let a Princeton University computer scientist [Edward Felten] examine voting machines where errors occurred in the presidential primary tallies, after the manufacturer of the machines threatened to sue, officials said today.

US Nobel economist calls financial crisis worst since Depression 18 Mar 2008 The current financial crisis is the worst the world has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s and the US Federal Reserve move to cut interest rates will not make much difference, the Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Wednesday.

As Bear Stearns Implodes, Spector Keeps $382 Million 19 Mar 2008 Warren Spector, forced out as president of Bear Stearns Cos. last August, may have outdone his former mentor James "Jimmy" Cayne as the 85-year-old brokerage firm imploded.

EPA wants documents from lawmakers 19 Mar 2008 The Environmental Protection Agency, peppered with requests from lawmakers for documents, is returning fire with an unusual request for confidential papers. In the tug of war between Congress and the executive branch, that's tantamount to man biting dog.

Biotech Executive Indicted for Off-Label Claims 19 Mar 2008 A grand jury has indicted Scott Harkonen, former CEO of the Brisbane, Calif.-based biotech firm InterMune Inc., Tuesday for fraudulently marketing the company's drug Actimmune. The decision marks a rare instance in which the Justice Department has gone criminal against an individual executive for off-label marketing abuses, rather than just reaching a deferred-prosecution agreement with the drug company.

Perennial Arctic Ice Cover Diminishing, Officials Say 19 Mar 2008 The amount of long-lasting sea ice in the Arctic -- thick enough to survive for as much as a decade -- declined sharply in the past year... federal officials said yesterday. Using new data from NASA's ICESat satellite, researchers over the past year detected the steepest yearly decline in "perennial" ice on record.

Deadly central U.S. floods force hundreds to flee 19 Mar 2008 Flooding forced hundreds of people to flee their homes and closed scores of roads Wednesday across the nation's midsection as a storm system linked to nine deaths poured as much as a foot of rain on the region.


15-year-old Guantanamo prisoner says interrogators threatened him with rape 18 Mar 2008 In a fresh document from the Guantánamo war court files, Canadian captive Omar Khadr alleges that he was repeatedly threatened with rape as an interrogation technique in Afghanistan and at U.S. Navy base in Cuba. Much of the partially censored nine-page affidavit, signed by Khadr on Feb. 22, covers old ground already investigated, including allegations of abuse at Guantánamo that emerged in 2005, prompting a Navy criminal investigation. But the document includes never-before revealed allegations, such as the rape threats. He was 15. [Uh, instead of talking about Spitzer's hookers and Obama's Reverend, we should be talking about burning Bush's 'war court' to the ground.]

Gitmo captive: I was threatened with rape --In March 2003 guards splashed his prison camp uniform with Pine Sol and dragged him around an interrogation booth, like a human mop, because he had urinated on himself during a bout of shackled isolation. 18 Mar 2008 In a fresh document from the Guantánamo war court files, Canadian captive Omar Khadr alleges that he was repeatedly threatened with rape as an interrogation technique in Afghanistan and at U.S. Navy base in Cuba. The affidavit, a 63-item statement by the Canadian who grew up between Toronto, South Asia and U.S. detention, offers Khadr's most comprehensive account of his alleged treatment. The document is riddled with threats of rape wielded by the United States and its allies. ''On several occasions at Bagram, interrogators threatened to have me raped or sent to other countries like Egypt, Syria, Jordan or Israel to be raped,'' he alleges in Item 23. By Item 55, he has been transferred to Guantánamo, and he is taken to interrogation with an Afghan man, who ''told me that I would be sent to Afghanistan and raped.'' In Item 56, he says, an interrogator pulled his hair, spit in his face and threatened to bring in an Egyptian "to rape me.''

United States censors Guantanamo prisoner's sketch of force-feeding --Detainee is cameraman for Al-Jazeera 17 Mar 2008 The United States has censored a gruesome drawing by a Guantanamo Bay prisoner [Sami al-Haj] depicting him as a skeleton being force-fed at the military prison, the man's lawyers said Monday as they released a recreation of the sketch.

'Are these prosecutors going to be allowed to be cowboys, doing whatever they want?' Guantanamo lawyers ask court to keep prosecutors from contacting prisoners 17 Mar 2008 Lawyers for four Kuwaiti men held at Guantanamo Bay have asked a court to block U.S. military prosecutors from contacting the prisoners without their consent, accusing the government Monday of violating legal ethics. The emergency petition, filed last week in a Washington appeals court, raises concerns about a recent assertion by Guantanamo's chief prosecutor that he does not need the lawyers' permission because they do not represent the prisoners before the war-crimes tribunal system.

Taxpayers to Fully Fund Legal Needs for CIA's Murderers, Torturers and Kidnappers 17 Mar 2008 The CIA announced Monday that it will now pay the full cost of legal liability insurance for about two-thirds of the agency workforce. The insurance costs about $300 a year. Until now the CIA has paid just half of the premium annually. A change in administrations could make it more likely lawsuits will be filed against CIA interrogators for a controversial program approved by the Bush White House -- the use of harsh interrogation techniques torture and the secret movement of prisoners, known as extraordinary rendition kidnapping.

NATO air strikes leave 50 dead in S Afghanistan 18 Mar 2008 NATO's air raids against Taliban 'insurgents' in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province claimed the lives of 50 persons including 18 rebels, a parliamentarian from the restive province said Tuesday. "It was Monday afternoon when villagers were busy in playing local game the stone throwing in Marmal village of Sangin district, suddenly the aircraft of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) appeared and dropped bombs, killing 50 on the spot," Hajji Dad Mohammada told Xinhua. [Hmm, sounds like a US war crime to me.]

Iraq invasion was "successful endeavour" - Cheney 17 Mar 2008 U.S. Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney on Monday declared the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq a "successful endeavour" during a visit to Baghdad, on the same day a woman suicide bomber killed 40 people. [Gee, too bad Cheney didn't personally experience some of the day's success.]

Cheney says U.S. will complete 'mission' in Iraq [What, exactly, *is* the mission in Iraq?] 18 Mar 2008 The United States intends to complete its 'mission' in Iraq and will not allow the country to become a staging ground for attacks on Americans, U.S. Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney said on Tuesday.

Sunnis Boycott Iraq Reconciliation Event 18 Mar 2008 Iraq's main Sunni bloc boycotted a conference Tuesday aimed at reconciling the nation's sectarian groups, a sign of the deep schisms still facing this country. Members of the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front said they would not participate in the conference until Shiite lawmakers address their political demands.

Iraq bomb blasts kill 7 19 Mar 2008 'Insurgents' have killed at least seven people in attacks across Iraq, including two policemen in Baghdad, security officials said. The latest attacks came as US Vice-President [sic] Dick Cheney ended a surprise two-day visit to Iraq. Two policemen and a civilian were killed and seven others wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in Baghdad's north-eastern neighbourhood of Al-Binuk, a security official said.

Coroners face gagging over troop deaths 18 Mar 2008 Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, is trying to prevent coroners from being highly critical of the Ministry of Defence over the deaths of British troops killed in action. In a highly unusual move, Mr Browne began legal moves yesterday to prevent coroners from using language prejudicial to the MoD when issuing verdicts on the deaths of troops who die on active service. Lawyers for Mr Browne went to the High Court to challenge comments made by a coroner in Oxfordshire after an inquest of a Territorial Army soldier in Iraq.

Intelligence chiefs must give evidence in public under security strategy 19 Mar 2008 Intelligence chiefs will have to give evidence on key issues in public under Gordon Brown’s proposals for a new national security strategy to be published today. The Prime Minister wants MI6, MI5 and GCHQ, the signals intelligence centre, to be more transparent and open to scrutiny.

Britain to get US-style security council 17 Mar 2008 A United States-style national security council will be given responsibility for protecting Britain from threats, ranging from terrorism to climate change, Gordon Brown will disclose this week.

Dems seize on McCain's Iran gaffe --McCain corrects himself after Lieberman whispers in his ear 18 Mar 2008 John McCain's apparent gaffe occurred during a news conference in Jordan earlier Tuesday, when the presumptive Republican presidential nominee repeatedly said Iran was supplying al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. Iran is predominately a Shiite country and is not aiding the Sunni dominated Al-Qaeda. McCain ultimately corrected himself after Sen. Joe LieberBush whispered in his ear. [*puke*] "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al Qaeda. I am sorry, I am sorry," the Arizona senator said. [LieberBush whispering in McCain's ear --that might even be more disgusting than the Guantanamo tortures.]

German Chancellor vows to commit to Israel's security, citing threats from Iran 19 Mar 2008 Visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel said here Tuesday in a special address to Israel's Knesset (parliament) that Germany will always be committed to Israel's security, particularly in light of growing threats from Iran.

Israeli warship enters Lebanon's waters: army 18 Mar 2008 The Lebanese army says that an Israeli warship has entered Lebanese territorial waters. The army says Monday's incident was discovered when an Italian ship working with the United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon spotted the Israeli vessel.

Israel to hold largest-ever emergency drill 17 Mar 2008 In the face of a possible escalation with Syria and Iran's [alleged] efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, parts of the country will shut down next month in what security officials say will be the largest emergency exercise in Israel's history. The drill, which is being organized by the newly-established National Emergency Authority, will take place over five days starting on Sunday, April 6.

Foreign journalists expelled from Tibet 18 Mar 2008 China has expelled journalists from Lhasa in Tibet and suspended permits for foreigners to travel to the region.

Pelosi challenger promises Bush impeachment 17 Mar 2008 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has an additional anti-war primary challenger for her congressional seat in California's 8th District. She's Shirley Golub, who has worked on Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaigns this year and in 2004. The most prominent plank in her platform: impeachment of President [sic] Bush.

Anti-War Grannies Arrested Trying to Enlist 17 Mar 2008 As part of actions across the United States to mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, 10 "Grandmothers for Peace" were arrested Monday while trying to enlist in the United States Army.

Bomb siege: man in wheelchair shot 18 Mar 2008 Police have shot a man in a wheelchair at a Colorado hospital after a five-hour stand-off during which he claimed his oxygen tank had a detonator. Boulder police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said Terrance Baughman was in surgery after being shot in the chest. Huntley said officers have not been able to deactivate a device on Baughman's oxygen tank.

Airlines blast plan to fingerprint foreign fliers 17 Mar 2008 Airlines are protesting a government plan that would require them to take fingerprints of foreign travelers as they fly out of the USA, saying it could create massive lines at airport check-in counters. Congress has required that the 33 million foreigners a year coming into U.S. airports be fingerprinted when they arrive and leave the country but did not specify who should take the prints. [No worries. Industry need not fear. The US taxpaying sheep will roll over and pay for any privatized Homeland Suckyourity bl*wjob, no questions asked. --LRP]

FAA to check safety compliance at all U.S. airlines 18 Mar 2008 U.S. aviation inspectors were ordered on Tuesday to review maintenance records at all domestic airlines to ensure carriers have complied with safety orders and other directives.

Report urges LAPD to change SWAT unit 18 Mar 2008 A panel of law enforcement experts convened by Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton to examine the department's elite SWAT unit concluded in an undisclosed report that the rigorous testing to get into the unit should be changed to make it more open to women, called for tighter supervision and criticized officers for relying too heavily on force over negotiations.

Plan for new Michigan Democratic primary falters 18 Mar 2008 Michigan Democratic Party leaders on Tuesday said a proposal to re-run the state's contested presidential primary in June, which could potentially benefit the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, was stalled and unlikely to be approved before a deadline this week.

Out of Iraq Caucus Members Step Up to Defend Clinton 18 Mar 2008 Sixteen Democratic members of the Out of Iraq Caucus stepped up to defend Hillary Clinton’s record on the Iraq war, issuing an open letter Tuesday asserting Clinton is the ideal candidate to bring the war to a "responsible" end... The New York senator followed that up with a "bringing our troops home" campaign event Tuesday, where she was flanked by Bush regime critic Joseph Wilson and his wife, outed CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Clinton says voters can count on Hillary 18 Mar 2008 Touting her as "the best prepared to lead this country," Bill Clinton this afternoon kicked of his wife's presidential campaign in Indiana. The former president said his argument for why Sen. Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for president is three-fold: She is better prepared to turn around the economy, best-qualified to serve as commander in chief and the most likely to defeat Sen. John McCain in the November election.

Obama Delivers Sweeping Speech on Race --'What Barack Obama did was give a gift to this country' 18 Mar 2008 Addressing inflammatory statements by a pastor, Barack Obama spoke broadly about America's racial divide in a speech in Philadelphia on Tuesday. [Prepared text of the speech]

A More Perfect Union --Watch Barack's speech on race in America and building a more perfect union. ( 18 Mar 2008

Congregation Defends Obama's Ex-Pastor --Criticism Seen as Attempt to Silence Voice of Black Church 18 Mar 2008 The Rev. Jeremiah Wright spent 36 years teaching this congregation how to recognize injustice, and his parishioners sense it all around them now. On Sunday, more than 3,000 of them filled Trinity United Church of Christ on the city's South Side to pray for their former pastor. They read a handout that described Wright's newfound infamy as a "modern-day lynching."

Exxon's $12 Billion Venezuela Asset Freeze Overturned [Awesome!] 18 Mar 2008 Exxon Mobil Corp.'s freeze on $12 billion of Venezuelan oil assets was overturned by a U.K. court in a setback for the world's largest energy company in its dispute with President Hugo Chavez.

Bernanke May Cut Benchmark Rate by Most Since Volcker 18 Mar 2008 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may be readying the deepest interest-rate cut in a generation as the central bank struggles to prevent a meltdown in financial markets and a recession.

Fed slashes interest rates as it fights meltdown 18 Mar 2008 The Federal Reserve has slashed America’s key interest rate by 0.75 percentage points as the central bank steps up its fight against a possible meltdown in financial markets.

Greenspan warns of worst crisis since 1945 17 Mar 2008 The current crisis rocking the markets and global economy could turn out to be the worst since World War II, former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said in remarks published Monday. "The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the Second World War," Greenspan said in a Financial Times commentary.

A financial crisis unmatched since the Great Depression, say analysts 18 Mar 2008 A century after John Pierpont Morgan rescued the New York stockmarket from a 50% sell off in share prices, his blue-blooded Wall Street bank was yesterday once again at the heart of attempts to contain the deepening global financial crisis. In an echo of the "bankers' panic" of 1907, JP Morgan responded to what is being billed as a meltdown of historic proportions by agreeing to buy its stricken rival, Bear Stearns.

Which bank is going to follow the Bear? 15 Mar 2008 So who is next? As advisers to Bear Stearns struggle to find a buyer or funding in the next 28 days, Wall Street, the City and the financial district in Tokyo were scrabbling to find out who is the most exposed to Bear Stearns, either through loans or trading positions.

Critics say Bush is out of touch on the economy 18 Mar 2008 "He has no idea what's going on. Even by his standards, he's wrong," said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who said he had been trying to get the president [sic] to pay more attention to the economy for more than a year. "All these years of deregulation by the Republicans and the absence of regulation as these new financial instruments have grown have allowed them to take a large chunk of the economy hostage," Frank said. "And we have to pay ransom, like it or not."

My Goat Ate the Economy By Marty Kaplan 16 Mar 2008 If the now five-year-old Iraq war was the inevitable, tragic consequence of the neoconservatives' Project for the New American Century, then the subprime mortgage quagmire, the Bear Stearns bailout, and the foreclosure fiasco are the foreordained outcome of the Republican ideology which holds that regulation of corporate financial behavior is the domestic equivalent of Islamofascism. The economic meltdown is the new 9/11, and it's George W. Bush's fault -- his, and the fundamentalist free-marketeers who have been living high on the hog, feeding at the public trough, intimidating Democrats, and getting away with capitalist murder ever since Ronald Reagan made "government" a dirty word.

As the Economy Falters, So Do State Budgets 17 Mar 2008 About half of the state legislatures nationwide are scrambling to plug gaps in their budgets, shot through by rapid declines in corporate and sales tax revenue, distressed housing markets and a national economy on the verge of a recession.

Hannaford Bros Supermarkets Hit By Big Data Breach 17 Mar 2008 A security breach at an East Coast supermarket chain exposed 4.2 million credit and debit card numbers and led to 1,800 cases of fraud, the Hannaford Bros. grocery chain announced Monday.

Florida Democrats Won't Hold Re-Do Primary 17 Mar 2008 Florida Democrats won't go forward with a plan to redo the presidential primary with a mostly mail-in vote, the state party chairwoman said Monday in a letter citing lack of support for the idea. A solution to the problem is now in the hands of the Democratic National Committee, which stripped the state of its delegates because Florida held an early primary, Chairwoman Karen Thurman said.

Chinook Salmon Vanish Without a Trace --$150 million fishery almost certain to remain closed this year from northern Oregon to Mexican border 17 Mar 2008 Where did they go? The Chinook salmon that swim upstream to spawn in the fall, the most robust run in the Sacramento River, have disappeared. The almost complete collapse of the richest and most dependable source of Chinook salmon south of Alaska left gloomy fisheries experts struggling for reliable explanations -- and coming up dry.

Bears and canaries: Feds should recognize global warming threat (The Salt Lake Tribune) 17 Mar 2008 Polar bears in the Arctic are sending us the same message today that canaries sent coal miners of the past: When they die, it signals a lethal situation for humans. The difference is that the coal miners paid attention... A U.S. Geological Survey report estimated that all polar bears in the two Alaska bear groups would be gone by 2050 if the current trend of ice melt continues.

Four, Up to 14 Twisters Hit Metro Atlanta, N. Georgia 17 Mar 2008 The storms that hit metro Atlanta and north Georgia were even worse than most people thought. There were four and possibly as many 14 tornadoes spawned over the weekend, officials at the National Weather Service said Monday afternoon.

101-degree temperature breaks record 14 Mar 2008 (TX) Temperatures here rose to record levels Friday, and meteorologist say the heat will continue this weekend. The temperature reached 101 degrees at 3 p.m. in McAllen - 2 degrees hotter than the forecasted high for the day.


U.S. denies producing biological weapons from bird flu samples --Media: U.S. denies Indonesia's allegation on bird flu virus 17 Mar 2008 The United States has flatly denied allegations it was producing biological weapons from bird flu samples sent by Indonesia to the World Health Organization, the English daily The Jakarta Post reported Monday. Michael H. Anderson, counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, [has issued the denial]. However, Indonesian senior biodefense researcher Isro Samihardjo said the U.S. could use bird flu virus samples from Indonesia to develop weapons at the Los Alamos Laboratory. Isro was speaking at a meeting about Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari's newly released book here Saturday. In her book "It's Time for the World to Change, Divine Hands behind Bird Flu," Siti writes of her suspicions about a conspiracy between the U.S. and the WHO. [See: Flu 'Oddities'.]

5 years after Iraq's 'liberation,' there are worms in the water 16 Mar 2008 Iraq's most prominent clerics have ruled that using a water pump on one's own pipes is akin to stealing resources from a neighbor, so what does a person do when it takes half an hour to fill a cooking pot with water from the tap? To them, the real crime is that five years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, they still swelter in the summer and freeze in the winter because of a lack of electricity.

Cheney makes surprise visit to Iraq 17 Mar 2008 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney has made an unannounced visit to Iraq. Cheney landed at Baghdad International Airport, then flew by helicopter into the heavily secured Green Zone... It is his third vice presidential trip to Iraq where the U.S. death toll is nearing 4,000. [Why is it the 'insurgents' always seem to disappear whenever these a**holes do a photo-op in Baghdad? I guess Blackwater backs off, on such occasions.]

Iraq bomb blasts kill 38 as Cheney, McCain underscore war successes 17 Mar 2008 A female suicide bomber killed 36 people and a roadside bomb claimed the lives of two U.S. soldiers today as U.S. Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney and Republican Sen. John [Insane] McCain sought to draw attention to successes in Iraq on separate visits to the country. A woman detonated her explosives in the early evening on a busy street in the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, killing 36 people and wounding 50 others, said Karbala province spokesman Abdul Ameer Hamoon.

Bomb attack kills more than 40 near Iraq Shiite shrine 17 Mar 2008 A bomb blast near a Shiite shrine in the central Iraq city of Karbala killed at least 43 people on Monday, the city's police chief said.

Army campaign to boost public support 17 Mar 2008 The Army has launched a publicity campaign costing an estimated £2m to encourage public support for UK soldiers.

Tories in new Iraq inquiry call 17 Mar 2008 The Tories will call a Commons debate demanding a full inquiry into the Iraq war, William Hague has said. The shadow foreign secretary told the BBC it would become "progressively harder to conduct a meaningful inquiry" unless it was held soon.

There will be a public inquiry into Iraq, says Brown 17 Mar 2008 Gordon Brown has promised that the Government will hold a full-scale inquiry into the mistakes made in Iraq before and since the invasion five years ago. His concession marks a significant break from his predecessor, Tony Blair, who steadfastly refused to hold a wide-ranging inquiry into the war.

Suicide bomb kills seven in southern Afghanistan 17 Mar 2008 A suicide car bomber killed two Danish and one Czech NATO soldiers, an interpreter and three civilians in southern Afghanistan on Monday, officials said.

Three die in Afghan suicide blast 17 Mar 2008 A suicide bomber has attacked a Nato military convoy in southern Afghanistan, killing three Afghan civilians, police said. Police said another seven civilians were wounded when the car bomb went off near the convoy in Helmand province.

Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan 16 Mar 2008 A Canadian soldier was killed by an explosive device during a foot patrol several hours after nightfall on Sunday.

Pakistani capital on high alert after bomb attack --Embassies review security measures 17 Mar 2008 Pakistan's capital was on high alert yesterday and embassies reviewed security measures after a bomb struck a restaurant crowded with foreigners, killing a Turkish aid worker and wounding at least 12 others, including four FBI personnel.

Bush Sends Putin Missile Defense Offer 18 Mar 2008 President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia disclosed Monday that he had received "a very serious document" from President [sic] Bush that proposed an agenda for reaching agreements on a broad range of issues that have troubled the two nations, including missile defense, arms control, nonproliferation and counterterrorism.

China seals off Tibetan capital 17 Mar 2008 The Chinese authorities have sealed off Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, to visitors, deploying a large military and armed police presence before a "surrender deadline" of midnight tonight. The government has also tightened control over information coming from the Himalayan region, blocking internet sites, including YouTube, which could be used to upload video content of the past week's protests.

Iran conservatives win parliament majority: state TV 17 Mar 2008 Conservatives won a majority in Iran's parliamentary vote, state television said on Sunday, but the new assembly may still give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a tougher time ahead of next year's presidential election.

Liberal MP calls for independent reviewer of terrorism laws 18 Mar 2008 (AU) Federal Liberal MP Petro Georgiou has introduced a private member's bill to Parliament to address what he says are draconian aspects of the nation's counterterrorism laws. Mr Georgiou says more than 30 terrorism laws have been introduced since the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York. His bill calls for an independent person to be given the power to continuously review them.

Audit: FBI watchlist data unreliable 17 Mar 2008 The FBI gave outdated, incomplete and inaccurate information about terror suspects to be added to the government's watchlist for nearly three years despite steps taken to prevent errors, a Justice Department audit concludes.

Boulder police shoot man in hospital standoff 17 Mar 2008 The man threatening to detonate a bomb inside Boulder Community Hospital this morning has been shot once in the chest by a member of the Boulder SWAT team... Police are now using a bomb squad robot to move the device from the hospital to North Boulder Park where they will attempt to detonate it. The man, identified by police as Terrance Baughman of Boulder is being treated at the hospital for life-threatening injuries.

Police shoot man who threatened to blow up Boulder hospital 17 Mar 2008 A Boulder hospital is locked down and police reportedly have shot a wheel-chair bound man [Terrance Baughman] who claimed to have a bomb, according to the Boulder Daily Camera. Boulder police received a report shortly before 9 a.m. that a man was telling those who passed him in the lobby of Boulder Community Hospital that he had a detonator attached to an oxygen tank. "We got a bomb squad and SWAT team out here," said Boulder police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley. Police also dispatched snipers to North Boulder Park, according to officials.

Banks face "new world order," consolidation: report 17 Mar 2008 Financial firms face a "new world order" after a weekend fire sale of Bear Stearns and the Federal Reserve's first emergency weekend meeting since 1979, research firm CreditSights said in a report on Monday.

JPMorgan Surges After Capturing Bear Stearns for $240 Million 17 Mar 2008 JPMorgan Chase & Co. surged in New York trading after striking a deal backed by the Federal Reserve to buy Bear Stearns Cos. for $2 a share, 90 percent less than the 85-year old firm's market value last week.

Fed acts Sunday to prevent global bank run Monday 16 Mar 2008 Acting quickly to prevent a run on major global financial firms, the Federal Reserve cut its discount rate by a quarter percentage point to 3.25% and offered to lend money to a longer list of firms than ever before.

Wall Street fears for next Great Depression 16 Mar 2008 Wall Street is bracing itself for another week of roller-coaster trading after more than $300bn (£150bn) was wiped off the US equity markets on Friday following the emergency funding package put together by the Federal Reserve and JPMorgan Chase to rescue Bear Stearns.

Major Stock Markets in Asia Tumble 17 Mar 2008 Major Asian stock markets fell sharply in early trading on Monday as pessimism continued to spread despite the Fed’s dramatic moves over the weekend, sending Tokyo’s benchmark index to a three-year low.

GOP Gags Witnesses on Credit Card Woes --Partisan Maneuver Blocked Testimony on Fee Hikes By Mike Lillis 14 Mar 2008 They came to the nation’s capital this week from as far away as Denver, Chicago and Niagara Falls--five people who’d had tough experiences with their credit cards and were asked to share those tales with a House panel. Instead, they ran headfirst into the buzz-saw of Washington politics when the panel’s Republicans insisted the visitors allow their lenders to discuss their financial histories publicly--in any forum, at any time. For four of the five, it was a deal-breaker. Instead of signing the waivers allowing them to testify Thursday, they all sat silently in the audience.

U.S. to start tax rebate payments May 2 17 Mar 2008 The U.S. Internal Revenue Service said on Monday it would begin sending the first of more than 130 million 'economic stimulus' payments on May 2 and expects to complete the first round of payments by early July.

Spitzer's Sex Life Is Weapon of Mass Distraction for Bunch of Bad News for Bush By Lori Price Updated 17 Mar 2008

Sex diverts our attention --There were more important things than the Spitzer spectacle going on last week By Eric Margolis 16 Mar 2008 [Eliot] Spitzer's downfall this week unfortunately obscured two far more important events. First, the White House refused to release an exhaustive Pentagon review of 600,000 Iraqi documents that found no evidence that Saddam Hussein had any links with al-Qaida... Spitzer's pillorying also masked another profoundly shameful act. On Tuesday, 188 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to uphold President [sic] George Bush's veto of a Democratic-sponsored bill to ban the CIA from using torture to interrogate enemy detainees... Republicans now have become the party of torture.

Mega barf alert! Senator's Supporters Are Invited to Lunch With a Lord 15 Mar 2008 Sen. John McCain plans at least one campaign event on his week-long congressional trip to photo-op in Europe and the Middle East: a March 20 fundraiser in London. An invitation sent out by the campaign says the luncheon will be held at Spencer House, St. James's Place, "by kind permission of Lord Rothschild OM GBE and the Hon Nathaniel Rothschild." Tickets to the invitation-only event cost $1,000 to $2,300.

Many voting for Clinton to boost GOP Seek to prolong bitter battle 17 Mar 2008 About 100,000 GOP loyalists voted for Senator Hillary Clinton in Ohio, 119,000 in Texas, and about 38,000 in Mississippi, exit polls show. Since Senator John McCain effectively sewed up the GOP nomination last month, Republicans have begun participating in Democratic primaries specifically to vote for Clinton, a tactic that some voters and local Republican activists think will help their party in November.

Court Will Examine Profanity Rules 17 Mar 2008 The Supreme Court on Monday stepped into a legal fight over the use of curse words on the airwaves, the high court's first major case on broadcast indecency in 30 years. The case concerns a Federal Communications Commission policy that allows for fines against broadcasters for so-called "fleeting expletives," one-time uses of the F-word or its close cousins.

Bird flu covers 11 provinces 17 Mar 2008 At present, there are 11 provinces and localities with bird flu: Ninh Binh, Vinh Long, Phu Tho, Ha Nam, Tuyen Quang, Hanoi, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Lao Cai, Quang Binh and Ha Nam.

State media reports outbreak of bird flu in China 16 Mar 2008 Bird flu has broken out in the south of China, killing more than 100 poultry, state media reported on Sunday, citing the agriculture ministry. The outbreak occurred in a market in Guangzhou, in Guangdong province on Thursday, and was a ''highly pathogenic'' subtype of the H5N1 influenza virus, which can be deadly to humans, the report said.


US Nears 4,000 Dead in Iraq 16 Mar 2008 Sometime soon, the U.S. military will suffer the 4000th casualty of the war in Iraq... The 4000th death will come with the war [pushed by the GOP-owned media] further out of the public eye, and replaced by other topics on the front burner of the U.S. presidential campaigns. [Yeah, you can be sure the announcement of Bush's 4,000th casualty in Iraq will take place late afternoon on a Friday, when Bush typically buries all his bad environmental news, to minimize media coverage. --LRP]

John McCain in Iraq 16 Mar 2008 U.S. Republican presidential candidate Insane McCain arrived in Iraq on Sunday to assess the 'success' of a U.S. troop build-up [and waste *millions* in taxpayer dollar$ to protect these nutballs] that he has strongly backed, part of a week-long trip to the Middle East and Europe. McCain, who will be the Republican choice in November's presidential election, and Senate allies Joe LieberBush of Connecticut and South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham will also visit Israel, Britain and France. [Why is it the 'insurgents' always seem to disappear whenever these a**holes do a photo-op in Baghdad? I guess Blackwater backs off, on such occasions.]

Police arrest dozens after clashes in Iraqi city 15 Mar 2008 Iraqi police arrested dozens of members of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army militia on Saturday, hours after two policemen were killed in gunbattles in the southern city of Kut, police said.

Iraq Insurgency Runs on Stolen Oil Profits --'We'd all be hanged' if the refinery had operated this way under Mr. Hussein's government, one senior refinery official said. 16 Mar 2008 On a good day, 500 [KBR] tanker trucks will leave the Baiji refinery filled with fuel with a street value of $10 million. At least one-third, and possibly much more, of the fuel from Iraq’s largest refinery here is diverted to the [US] black market, according to American military officials. Tankers are hijacked, drivers are bribed, papers are forged and meters are manipulated -- and some of the earnings go to insurgents who are still killing more than 100 Iraqis a week.

Protest against oil profits and war at Chevron's gate 16 Mar 2008 More than 300 people marched from downtown Point Richmond to the Chevron refinery Saturday to protest the company they say is profiting from the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The protesters were marching against the war in Iraq as well as a proposal to upgrade the refinery's processing capability. They accused Chevron of profiteering from the oil obtained by the U.S. invasion, which has cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

Another year, another $300 billion By Linda Bilmes 16 Mar 2008 Every week more "hidden" costs come to light: for example, the Globe reported recently that the largest private contractor in Iraq, KBR, has dodged paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes by employing its workers through a shell company in the Cayman Islands... Taken together, the budgetary costs to the federal government are likely to mount to nearly $3 trillion in today's money, (assuming the United States remains in Iraq in reduced capacity through 2017)... Apart from the oil companies and a handful of defense contractors, the war has not stimulated the economy. This is because so much of what we spend in Iraq every month ends up in the pockets of Filipino and Nepali subcontractors in Iraq, and on fuel, laundry, and local housing costs - which have almost no benefit to the US economy.

Anti-war protests in Canada demand troops back from Afghanistan 16 Mar 2008 Anti-war protesters held rallies in20 cities across Canada Saturday against the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. About 1,000 protesters showed up at the rally in Toronto, the biggest city. They shouted "End it, don't extend it," in reference to Canada's military mission in war-torn Afghanistan.

Afghanistan challenge romantic - Bush 14 Mar 2008 US President [sic] George W Bush says he would fight in Afghanistan if he was younger. Bush spoke of his dream to work on the frontline in Afghanistan during a video conference with US military and civilian personnel in the war-torn country. "I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed. It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks," Bush said. [OMG, send the f*cker to the frontlines, please!]

War Stories Echo an Earlier Winter 15 Mar 2008 Grim-faced and sorrowful, former soldiers and Marines sat before an audience of several hundred yesterday in Silver Spring and shared their recollections of their service in Iraq. The four-day event, "Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan -- Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations," is sponsored by Iraq Veterans Against the War and is expected to draw more than 200 veterans of the two wars through tomorrow.

Reprise of Winter Soldier anti-war conference held near D.C. 15 Mar 2008 Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are meeting this weekend at an anti-war conference modeled after a well-known 1971 gathering at which Vietnam veterans spoke out against that conflict.

Survivors reflect 40 years after My Lai 16 Mar 2008 Forty years after rampaging American soldiers slaughtered her family, Do Thi Tuyet returned to the place where her childhood was shattered. "Everyone in my family was killed in the My Lai massacre -- my mother, my father, my brother and three sisters," said Tuyet, who was 8 years old at the time. "They threw me into a ditch full of dead bodies. I was covered with blood and brains."

Khadr's lawyers granted access to more information --Ruling allows Canadian's defence team to interview U.S. officer who altered key military report on 2002 firefight in Afghanistan 15 Mar 2008 Omar Khadr's defence team has been granted permission to interview the U.S. commander who made changes to a key military report that rendered it supportive of the government's murder case against the young Canadian. In a ruling issued yesterday at the U.S. military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Army Colonel Peter Brownback sided with the defence on five motions, granting Mr. Khadr's lawyers more access to a variety of information the prosecution had until now refused to hand over.

Army judge in Guantánamo Bay rebukes government --An Army judge ordered the Pentagon to give lawyers interrogation records to help them prepare their defense case for Guantánamo Bay captive Omar Khadr. 15 Mar 2008 In a rebuke to the government, an Army judge Friday issued five successive orders instructing the Pentagon to do more to help lawyers for Canadian captive Omar Khadr build a defense case. The judge ordered prosecutors to give Khadr's lawyers the list of all American personnel who interrogated the Canadian as well as access to their handwritten notes, made both in Afghanistan and at the prison camp here. He postponed a May 5 trial date to allow for more hearings on acceptable evidence, but set no date. And he ordered that an on-scene commander expected to testify against Khadr at the trial submit to questioning by the Canadian's defense lawyers.

Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans Speak Out 15 Mar 2008 Hundreds of veterans are testifying against war crimes this weekend in Washington, DC. Nina Berman shares their stories. (Photo essay)

ACLU to appeal rendition lawsuit --Firm Accused In CIA 'Torture Flights' 15 Mar 2008 The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday decided to appeal a San Jose federal judge's recent decision dismissing a lawsuit brought against a local company accused of participating in the CIA's so-called "torture flights."

ACLU Appeals Dismissal of Extraordinary Rendition Lawsuit Against Boeing Subsidiary --Victims of CIA "Torture Flights" Deserve Their Day In Court 14 Mar 2008 The American Civil Liberties Union today announced it will appeal a federal court decision to throw out a lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan for its role in the CIA’s "extraordinary rendition" program. Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen, filed by the ACLU on behalf of five victims of the rendition program, was dismissed in February after the government intervened, once again misusing the "state secrets" privilege to avoid legal scrutiny of an unlawful program.

Missile strike in Pakistan kills 20 16 Mar 2008 At least 20 people were killed and several others injured on Sunday in a missile strike on a home in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal area... At least seven missiles hit the residential compound at Shahnawaz Kot village, located about two kilometres from Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan. State-run PTV said 20 people were killed in the attack. Local residents said the missiles might have been fired from neighbouring Afghanistan or from a pilotless drone. They also said they had heard an aircraft flying over the area when the missile strike occurred.

Mole in Pakistan? Blast Hurt 4 FBI Agents --Officials investigating whether the bombers had inside information. Top agent in the country was among the wounded 16 Mar 2008 At least four FBI agents were wounded -- none critically -- in a bomb attack on a popular Italian restaurant in Islamabad this weekend. Multiple sources said that the attack was under investigation to see whether it was based on the fighters having learned in advance of the agents' presence.

232 arrested after blast in Pakistani capital 16 Mar 2008 The Islamabad police have rounded up as many as 232 people, most of them students of religious seminaries, following the bomb explosion at an Italian restaurant in Islamabad, a senior police officer said Sunday.

Scores of civilians and US military staff feared dead as huge Albanian arms dump explodes 16 Mar 2008 Scores of people, including US military staff, are feared to have died after a Soviet-era munitions dump exploded at an Albanian army base yesterday. The blast injured more than 240 people, including many children – and the country's Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, said he believed the death toll could be considerable.

MI5 seeks powers to trawl records in new terror hunt --Counter-terrorism experts call it a 'force multiplier': an attack combining slaughter and electronic chaos. Now Britain's security services want total access to commuters' travel records to help them meet the threat 16 Mar 2008 Millions of commuters could have their private movements around cities secretly monitored under new counter-terrorism powers being sought by the security services. Records of journeys made by people using smart cards that allow 17 million Britons to travel by underground, bus and train with a single swipe at the ticket barrier are among a welter of private information held by the state to which MI5 and police counter-terrorism officers want access in order to help identify patterns of suspicious behaviour.

Put young children on DNA list, urge police --'We must target potential offenders' --Teachers' fury over 'dangerous' plan 16 Mar 2008 Primary school children should be eligible for the DNA database if they exhibit behaviour indicating they may become criminals in later life, according to Britain's most senior police forensics expert. Gary Pugh, director of forensic sciences at Scotland Yard and the new DNA spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said a debate was needed on how far Britain should go in identifying potential offenders, given that some experts believe it is possible to identify future offending traits in children as young as five.

Idaho House Shoots Down Real ID 14 Mar 2008 The Idaho House passed unanimously yesterday a bill directing the Idaho Department of Transportation not to implement the federal REAL ID Act. If passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Butch Otter, Idaho will join more than 30 states in their opposition to the unfunded Congressional mandate.

Story behind the 2004 lockdown --Even amid [phony] terror warnings, secret count was 'wrong move' 16 Mar 2008 In a key county in Southwest Ohio -- amid vague references to "homeland security" -- officials locked everyone else out of the board of elections as they counted punch-card ballots. President [sic] Bush emerged with more than 72 percent of the votes in Warren County, helping him narrowly win Ohio -- and a second term. To this day, the lockdown is cited as evidence of an election stolen from Sen. John Kerry and the Democrats. In a federal lawsuit and subsequent books, Richard Hayes Phillips, a scientist from Canton, N.Y., and Columbus attorneys Cliff Arnebeck and Robert J. Fitrakis, among others, documented what they described as abnormalities in the county’s punch-card ballot counts... They contend the anomalies indicate ballots were mishandled, miscounted or tampered with, and that the Warren County "lockdown" allowed this to happen undetected.

Bush vendettas By Jim Fetzer 25 Mar 2008 The outing of Eliot Spitzer might exemplify the pattern of outing Valerie Plame and deposing Admiral Fallon if there were a precipitating cause, as in these other instances. Although we have been told that Spiter’s transgressions were discovered as the result of a "routine tax inquiry", an article he authored – which appeared in The Washington Post a month earlier – hints otherwise. There appears to be a pattern here.

JPMorgan to buy Bear Stearns for $2 a share --Sides wanted deal done before Asian stock markets open 16 Mar 2008 JPMorgan Chase says it will acquire rival Bear Stearns for $2 a share in a move aimed at averting spreading panic in the financial markets over tightening credit. JP Morgan says the all-stock deal has received the required approvals from the federal government and the Federal Reserve.

Obama's church accuses media of character assassination 16 Mar 2008 The Chicago church attended by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) issued a statement Sunday contending that coverage of his pastor’s inflammatory remarks amounted to character assassination and "an attack on … the history of the African American church."

Obama expands delegate lead over Clinton 15 Mar 2008 Democrat Barack Obama expanded his fragile lead in delegates over rival Hillary Clinton on Saturday, picking up at least seven delegates as Iowa activists took the next step in picking delegates to the national convention.

Tornadoes Tear Through Downtown Atlanta 16 Mar 2008 A powerful tornado struck directly at the commercial center of downtown Atlanta on Friday night, blowing windows out of dozens of high-rise buildings, tossing trees and cars, and severely damaging many of the city’s landmarks, including the CNN Center, the Georgia Dome and the convention center.

Two people killed as Atlanta struck by tornado 15 Mar 2008 Atlanta remains in a state of emergency after a tornado struck late Friday night, leaving rubble all over the city and thousands of people without power. The twister came through the city at speeds of up to 200 kmh, and tore through 10 km of the dowtown core.


McCain says al Qaeda might try to tip U.S. election 14 Mar 2008 Republican presidential candidate Insane McCain said on Friday he fears that 'al Qaeda' or another extremist group might attempt spectacular attacks in Iraq to try to tilt the U.S. election 'against' him.

Pentagon: $520 Million for Space Weapons Research By Noah Shachtman 13 Mar 2008 Over the years, the gang at the Center for Defense Information has... just released their survey of the Pentagon's 2009 budget, highlighting research that could lead to arms in space. By the absolute most conservative estimate, we're talking $520 million dollars in next year's budget. The real number is likely several multiples of that.

Thousands protest over Iraq, Afghanistan in London, Glasgow 15 Mar 2008 Thousands of protesters gathered in London and Glasgow Saturday ahead of the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, calling for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the capital, activists rallied at Trafalgar Square before marching the short distance to parliament while in Glasgow, demonstrators walked from the city centre to the Glasgow Green park on the banks of the River Clyde.

Thousands in anti-war protest march 15 Mar 2008 Thousands of anti-war protesters joined marches in Britain on Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. They took to the streets in London and the Scottish city of Glasgow demanding that British troops pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

NATO to offer 1,000 new troops for Afghanistan: Danish minister 14 Mar 2008 Danish Defense Minister Soren Gade said Friday that NATO members could offer more than 1,000 new troops for Afghanistan at the alliance's April 2-4 summit in Bucharest.

Bomb Attack in Afghanistan Kills Child 15 Mar 2008 A suicide car bomb attack near a convoy of international troops Saturday killed a 13-year-old Afghan child and wounded a soldier, officials said. The bomber attacked a four-vehicle convoy of troops in the eastern province of Khost, NATO and Khost provincial police chief Gen. Mohammad Ayub said.

Suicide attack targets NATO convoy in E. Afghanistan 15 Mar 2008 A suicide car blast Saturday targeted a convoy of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in eastern Afghanistan's Khost province, injuring a civilian and an ISAF soldier, the NATO-led military said.

Militants burns down school in Afghanistan's Kandahar 14 Mar 2008 Unknown militants [Blackwater] Friday set on fire a school for around 1,200 students in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar city and burned the furniture and facilities of the school, a provincial education official said.

Taliban warn Afghan refugees against spying 15 Mar 2008 A top Taliban commander on Friday warned Afghan refugees against "spying" on militants for the Kabul regime or the US forces in Afghanistan, witnesses said. Maulvi Faqir Muhammad also produced five "Afghan spies" at a large gathering of refugees at Sui in Mamoond tehsil of Bajaur.

US commanders: Al-Qaida in Iraq to stay 15 Mar 2008 Al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] is in Iraq to stay. It's not a conclusion the White House talks about much when denouncing the shadowy group, known as al-Qaida in Iraq, that used the U.S. invasion five years ago to develop into a major killer.

Two People Killed in Coalition Raids in Southern Iraq 15 Mar 2008 Two people were killed Saturday in the southern Iraqi city of Kut during gunbattles between police and Shi'ite militia. Authorities say the clash occurred when police, aided by U.S. troops, raided two neighborhoods... At least one of the dead was a policeman.

Soldier killed by small-arms fire in Iraq 15 Mar 2008 A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier was killed at approximately 3:30 p.m. March 15 after being attacked by small-arms fire in southwestern Baghdad in combat operations.

Rules of Engagement "Thrown Out the Window" By Dahr Jamail 15 Mar 2008 Garret Reppenhagen received integral training about the Geneva Conventions and the Rules of Engagement during his deployment in Kosovo. But in Iraq, "Much of this was thrown out the window," he says. "The men I served with are professionals," Reppenhagen told the audience at a panel of U.S. veterans speaking of their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, "They went to Iraq to defend the U.S. But we found rapidly we were killing Iraqis in horrible ways. But we had to in order to remain safe ourselves. The war is the atrocity."

C.I.A. Secretly Held Qaeda Suspect, Officials Say 15 Mar 2008 The Central Intelligence Agency secretly detained a suspected member of 'Al Qaeda' for at least six months beginning last summer as part of a program in which C.I.A. officers have been authorized by President [sic] Bush to use harsh interrogation techniques torture, American officials said Friday. The suspect, Muhammad Rahim, is the first Qaeda prisoner in nearly a year who intelligence officials have acknowledged has been in C.I.A. detention.

Osama's associate in US military custody: Pentagon 15 Mar 2008 The Pentagon said on Friday it had taken custody from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of an Afghan national who helped arrange Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader Osama Bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora in 2001. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman would not say when or where Muhammad Rahim was captured or how long he was held [hired] by the CIA, but said he was transferred to US military custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba earlier this week.

A sickening truth at Guantánamo --A gravely ill detainee I represent, never charged with a crime, has been neglected by military doctors. Will he be the next to die inside the notorious prison? By H. Candace Gorman 14 Mar 2008 The U.S. government has long insisted that it provides quality medical treatment to all suspected terrorists imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba... But it is time to set the record straight. Five prisoners are now known to have died inside the secretive prison -- at least one under dubious circumstances -- and others are gravely ill. And in the case of one very ill man, there is evidence of extraordinary medical neglect on the part of military physicians.

Chavez says US can 'shove' terror list 14 Mar 2008 President Hugo Chavez dared the U.S. on Friday to put Venezuela on a list of countries accused of supporting terrorism, calling it one more attempt by Washington to undermine him for political reasons. Chavez said the "threat to include us on the terrorist list" is Washington's response to his government's successes in the region. "Let them make that list and shove it in their pocket," Chavez said in a televised speech. "We shouldn't forget for an instant that we're in a battle against North American imperialism," Chavez said.

The Deployment of US Troops inside Canada By Michel Chossudovsky 13 Mar 2008 On February 14th, Canada and the US signed an agreement which allows for the deployment of US troops inside Canada. There was no official announcement nor was there a formal decision at the governmental level. In fact the agreement was barely mentioned by the Canadian media. The agreement, which raises farreaching issues of national sovereignty, was not between the two governments. It was signed by military commanding officers.

Beijing sends in tanks as Tibet erupts --Protesters claim that more than 100 have been killed as violence spreads and international protests mount 16 Mar 2008 China brought tanks and troops on to the streets of Lhasa, witnesses said yesterday, as the international community urged an end to the bloodshed in Tibet that has already claimed at least 10 - possibly dozens more - lives.

President weakens espionage oversight --Board created by Ford loses most of its power 14 Mar 2008 Almost 32 years to the day after President Ford created an independent Intelligence Oversight Board made up of private citizens with top-level clearances to ferret out illegal spying activities, President [sic] Bush issued an executive order that stripped the board of much of its authority. The White House did not say why it was necessary to change the rules governing the board when it issued Bush's order late last month.

FBI Tried to Cover Patriot Act Abuses With Flawed, Retroactive Subpoenas, Audit Finds By Ryan Singel 13 Mar 2008 FBI headquarters officials sought to cover their informal and possibly illegal acquisition of phone records on thousands of Americans from 2003 to 2005 by issuing 11 improper, retroactive "blanket" administrative subpoenas in 2006 to three phone companies that are under contract to the FBI, according to an audit released Thursday.

Lawmaker: U.S. security agency faltering --Federal Protective Service understaffed and underfunded, GAO says 14 Mar 2008 A series of embarrassing incidents on federal property across the country, including the theft of a trailer of surveillance equipment from an FBI parking deck, is being blamed on budget cuts at the agency charged with securing federal grounds.

Media Shield Law Remains in Doubt 15 Mar 2008 As federal judges order more reporters to disclose their confidential sources, news organizations are pinning their hopes on congressional passage of a media shield bill the Bush regime opposes as a threat to national security. The legislation being considered in the Senate offers only modest shelter for reporters wanting to protect the identity of confidential sources. In many cases, it would leave the fate of journalists -- and their sources -- to the discretion of judges who increasingly have been willing to jail or fine them.

Officials Seek People Possibly Exposed to Girl With Measles 15 Mar 2008 A Northern Virginia toddler caught measles on a family trip to India, and health officials are trying to find people in this area [!] who might have been exposed to her.

SWAT teams disperse crowd of hundreds awaiting housing applications 12 Mar 2008 (Boca Raton, FL) Police in riot gear intervened Wednesday when hundreds of people seeking a chance at subsidized housing grew frustrated after officials ran out of applications.

PUCO Uses New License Plate Scanner to Look For Law Breakers 12 Mar 2008 (AR) The Pulaski County Sheriff's Department is using a new system that scans license plates of passing cars, checking up to 800 vehicles per hour to see if any are stolen or if the owners are subjects of warrants.

N.Y. Gov. Spitzer in sex scandal; pimp said to hold Israel passport 11 Mar 2008 New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer found his political career on the brink of collapse Monday after he was accused of paying for a romp with a high-priced call girl, in a prostitution ring allegedly led by a man found with an Israeli passport at his home. The Associated Press reported that U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael H. Dolinger ordered Mark Brener, of Cliffside Park, N.J., to be held without bail after the passport and $600,000 in cash were found in his apartment.

Forget Spitzer, fire Bernanke By Chan Akya 15 Mar 2008 This week's events involving the governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, may however have helped to hide a more egregious misuse of authority, namely that of Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke and his central banking cohorts around the world. In another one of those nice coincidences that seem to happen whenever Wall Street is down and out, the unpopular governor of New York was found consorting with prostitutes through a Federal investigation that has all the hallmarks of a "hit job" ordered from the very top.

Most FCC investigations go nowhere: report 14 Mar 2008 If the Federal Communications Commission were a cop on the beat, congressional watchdogs contend, it would have a lousy conviction record. They find that most of the government agency's investigations fail to result in any enforcement. According to a report released on Thursday by the General Accountability Office, only about 9% of the completed investigations resulted in enforcement action, while 83% resulted in no enforcement.

Clinton says Obama voted for oil firm tax breaks 14 Mar 2008 Sen. Hillary Clinton on Friday renewed her attack on oil company profits and accused Sen. Barack Obama, her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, of supporting tax breaks for oil companies.

Mega barf alert! McCain's London Fund-Raiser 14 Mar 2008 Senator John McCain has been averaging a fund-raiser a day in America’s pockets of affluence – hotel ballrooms in New York, Atlanta, Chicago – but now he will expand his pursuit of campaign donations at a $1,000-a-plate lunch at the 18th century Spencer House in London.

IMF tells states to plan for the worst 13 Mar 2008 Governments might have to intervene with taxpayers' money to shore up the financial system and prevent a "downward credit spiral" from taking hold, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday. John Lipsky, the IMF's first deputy managing director, said: "We must keep all options on the table, including the potential use of public funds to safeguard the financial system."

Run on Big Wall St. Bank Spurs Rescue Backed by U.S. 15 Mar 2008 Just three days ago, the head of Bear Stearns, the beleaguered investment bank, sought to assure Wall Street that his firm was safe. But those assurances were blown away in what amounted to a bank run at Bear Stearns, prompting JPMorgan Chase and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to step in on Friday with a financial rescue package intended to keep the firm afloat.

JPMorgan and Fed Move to Bail Out Bear Stearns 14 Mar 2008 Bear Stearns, facing a grave liquidity crisis, reached out to JPMorgan on Friday for a short-term financial lifeline and now faces the prospect of the end of its 85-year run as an independent investment bank. With the support of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, JPMorgan said in a statement that it had "agreed to provide secured funding to Bear Stearns, as necessary, for an initial period of up to 28 days."

Most Stunning View in Town Is the One at the Pump 12 Mar 2008 (CA) Amerigo Gas Station, on the Central Coast of California, is serving up what may be the costliest gas in the land. On Tuesday morning, as crude oil flirted with $110 a barrel and petrol prices set records nationwide, a gallon of regular at Amerigo was going for $5.20. Premium was fetching an eye-popping $5.40 a gallon, though James Willman said that included a free copy of a local newspaper. (The newspaper was free anyway.)

Costs Surge for Stocking the Pantry 15 Mar 2008 Government figures released Friday showed that grocery costs had jumped 5.1 percent in 12 months, the latest in a string of increases. In fact, the nation is undergoing its worst grocery inflation since the early 1990s. With a few exceptions, nearly every grocery category measured by the Labor Department, which compiles the official inflation numbers, has increased in the last year.

Ozone case shows Bush meddling in science: watchdogs 15 Mar 2008 President [sic] George W. Bush's decision to intervene in setting air pollution standards is part of a longstanding administration pattern of meddling in environmental science, watchdog groups said on Friday.

3 groups sue U.S. for missing polar bear deadline 13 Mar 2008 Three conservation groups sued the U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday for missing a deadline on a decision to list polar bears as threatened because of the loss of Arctic sea ice.

Atlanta Mayor, Governor Declare States of Emergency 15 Mar 2008 Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin and Gov. Sonny Perdue have declared states of emergency after Friday's tornado.

Tornado trashes Atlanta --Tornado rips path 6 miles long, 200 yards wide in Atlanta 15 Mar 2008 A trail of uprooted and broken trees, downed utility lines, peeled-off roofs and collapsed brick walls marked the path of a tornado that tore through downtown Atlanta. The National Weather Service confirmed late Saturday morning that an EF-2 tornado with winds up to 130 mph struck the city Friday night.

Storm forces SEC tournament move, unusual twinbill 15 Mar 2008 The SEC will take the unprecedented step of having a team play twice in one day in order to conclude the storm-delayed conference tournament in Atlanta before the NCAA tournament selection announcement at 6 p.m. Sunday.


Another One: Top Federal Judge Linked to Prostitution Ring --Officials: Bush I appointee Edward Nottingham 'implicated as a customer' in police investigation of alleged prostitution operation 14 Mar 2008 One of the country's top federal judges has been linked to an investigation of a Denver-based prostitution ring, according to federal officials. Edward Nottingham, the chief federal judge in Denver, Colo., was "implicated as a customer" in an ongoing IRS and Denver police investigation of an alleged prostitution operation called Denver Sugar/Denver Players, according to officials. According to published reports, Judge Nottingham, appointed to the federal bench in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush, paid $300 to $400 for "all-inclusive" sex with prostitutes working for the Denver Sugar/Denver Players service.

Homeland Security worker in sex bust 13 Mar 2008 A Homeland Security staffer was busted for promising to help an applicant get her immigration papers in exchange for sexual favors, prosecutors said Wednesday. Isaac Baichu of the Bronx allegedly forced a female applicant to perform oral sex on him in his car in Queens some time in December 2007, telling her, "Trust me, because I'm the one who can help you," prosecutors said. [Oops! MSNBC forgot to cover this one.]

Israeli at center of Spitzer scandal 10 Mar 2008 The alleged procurer in the prostitution scandal surrounding New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has an Israeli passport. A federal magistrate in New York ordered Mark "Michael" Brener held without bail after his arrest March 6 related to allegations that he headed the Emperors VIP Club, described by police as a high-priced prostitution ring. The Associated Press reported that $600,000 in cash and an Israeli passport were elements in denying bail to Brener. Spitzer, whose office conducted serious investigations of at least two Jewish organizations when he was state attorney general, made a brief statement to the media Monday admitting he had let down his family and the public.

Eliot's Mess --The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked By Greg Palast 14 Mar 2008 While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort’ $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators. Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there’s a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush’s man Bernanke was using ours.This week, Bernanke’s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks’ mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.

CLG exclusive: 'It is the latest hunting ground.' 'DC Madam' comments on Spitzer scandal 12 Mar 2008 Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called DC Madam, shared her thoughts on the Spitzer scandal with CLG's Lori Price on Wednesday. Ms. Palfrey said, "Without question in my mind, escort and adult service businesses – which cater to high-powered and influential clients – are being used as the new weapon of choice in American politics. It is the latest hunting ground."

NRCC Says Ex-Treasurer Diverted Up to $1 Million 14 Mar 2008 The former treasurer for the National Republican Congressional Committee diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and possibly as much as $1 million -- of the organization's funds into his personal accounts, GOP officials said yesterday, describing an alleged scheme that could become one of the largest political frauds in recent history.

Abramoff Firm Indicted on Theft, Conspiracy --Abramoff, His Firm and Guam Official Indicted on Nine Felony Counts 13 Mar 2008 Jack Abramoff's old lobby firm has been slapped with its first indictment stemming from his misdeeds. The attorney general for Guam issued an indictment Monday against the Greenberg Traurig firm, Abramoff and a former Guam government official on nine felony counts of theft, conspiracy and misconduct.

Guantanamo prisoner gets reprieve 14 Mar 2008 A federal appeals court with a history of ruling against Guantanamo Bay prisoners handed one of them a reprieve Friday in his fight against the Bush regime's effort to return him to Algeria, where he says he probably would be tortured.

US Accused of Altering Guantanamo Evidence 13 Mar 2008 A U.S. military commander altered a report on a firefight in Afghanistan to cast blame for the death of a Delta Force commando on a Canadian youth who was captured after the shooting stopped, a defense attorney said Thursday. The attorney, Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, made the allegation at a pretrial hearing as he argued for access to the officer, identified only as "Col. W," as well as details about interrogations that he said might help clear his client of 'war-crimes' charges.

'We now know that... the government manufactured evidence to make it look like Omar was guilty.' U.S. falsely implicates Guantanamo prisoner: lawyer 13 Mar 2008 A U.S. military report on a battle in which a U.S. soldier died in Afghanistan was altered after the fact to falsely blame a young Canadian prisoner [15-year-old Omar Khadr], his lawyer said on Thursday.

US likely subjected Khadr to torture --Canadian's interrogator court-martialed after abusing prisoners 13 Mar 2008 The likelihood the United States subjected Omar Khadr to harsh interrogations some would call torture increased Thursday after it emerged one of his early interrogators had been court-martialled for abusing prisoners and had also been involved in an interrogation of a prisoner who died. Legal arguments before the U.S. 'war crimes' commission in Guantanamo Bay indicated Sgt. Joshua Claus of military intelligence participated in many, maybe all, of the interrogations of the Canadian terror suspect after U.S. forces delivered him to the Bagram detention centre in Afghanistan in July 2002.

Yemeni describes CIA secret jails, torture 14 Mar 2008 A Yemeni man has described being held for nearly three years in secret CIA prisons, or "black sites", around the world and accused the US of torture. Khaled al-Maqtari told Amnesty International he was held in isolation for more than 28 months without charge or access to any legal representation.

Yemeni man describes torture in CIA custody: rights group 13 Mar 2008 A Yemeni national [Khaled Abdu Ahmed Saleh al-Maqtari] accused American secret agents of subjecting him to various forms of torture during nearly three years of CIA detention, in a statement released by Amnesty International Friday.

Iraq: teachers told to rewrite history --MoD accused of sending propaganda to schools 14 Mar 2008 Britain's biggest teachers' union has accused the Ministry of Defence of breaking the law over a lesson plan drawn up to teach pupils about the Iraq war. Teachers will threaten to boycott military involvement in schools at the union's annual conference next weekend, claiming the lesson plan is a "propaganda" exercise and makes no mention of any civilian casualties as a result of the war.

John McCain: Early US pull-out from Iraq will cause 'genocide' 14 Mar 2008 On the eve of his first overseas visit since becoming the Republican nominee, Insane McCain has warned that an early withdrawal of US troops from Iraq would lead to "chaos and genocide across the region".

U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq By Y.T. Beigi 15 Mar 2008 The U.S. Congress' approval in December of $70 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan mean the twin conflicts are now more costly to American taxpayers than the war in Vietnam. According to a study by the Washington-based Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Congress has now approved nearly $700 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

UK commitment to Iraq 'absolute' 13 Mar 2008 UK Defence Secretary Des Browne has said in Baghdad that the UK commitment to Iraq remains "absolute". But he said at a press conference in the Iraqi capital that the nature of that commitment was changing, with more focus on 'economic development.'

Blast in central Baghdad kills 9, adds to worries of rising violence 13 Mar 2008 An explosion tore through a men's garment district Thursday afternoon in central Baghdad, killing at least nine people, wounding 50 more. Since Monday, 12 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq in a string of suicide bombings, improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and rocket fire.

US veterans urge soldiers to speak out against Iraq war 13 Mar 2008 US veterans and active-duty soldiers on Thursday kicked off an event in Washington to protest the war in Iraq, urging other members of the military to join them in speaking out against the conflict. "There's an upswell of disgust and disapproval for the Iraq war in the military," intelligence sergeant Selena Coppa told AFP at the launch of the four-day "Winter Soldier" event.

Pentagon: Top al-Qaida figure in custody --Detainee reportedly aided bin Laden escape from Afghanistan 14 Mar 2008 After secret interrogations, the CIA transferred to U.S. military custody a(nother) high-level al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] figure who helped Osama bin Laden escape from Afghanistan in 2001, the Pentagon announced Friday. Mohammad Rahim was detained last summer, CIA Director Michael Hayden said, but the intelligence official didn’t reveal where or by whom.

Canada to extend Afghan mission to 2011 14 Mar 2008 Canada's parliament easily passed a government motion on Thursday to extend its Afghan 'mission' to 2011, provided that NATO allies provide necessary reinforcement to the military operations in southern Afghanistan.

Warriors welcome Fallon's resignation 13 Mar 2008 Current and former military officials welcomed the resignation of Navy Adm. William J. Fallon, the top U.S. military commander in the Middle East, saying he failed to prevent foreign fighters and munitions from entering Iraq... Others said Adm. Fallon was pushed to resign.

6 Signs the U.S. May Be Headed for War in Iran 11 Mar 2008 Is the United States moving toward military action with Iran? The resignation of the top U.S. military commander for the Middle East is setting off alarms that the Bush administration is intent on using military force to stop Iran's moves toward gaining nuclear weapons... Here are six developments that may have Iran as a common thread.

Third of Military Women Claim Harassment 14 Mar 2008 One-third of women in the military and 6 percent of men said they were sexually harassed, according to the latest Pentagon survey on the issue.

US firm, CEO admit weapon, nuclear-linked export violations 13 Mar 2008 A US company and the Indian head of an international firm have admitted to violating laws on export of weapons technology and nuclear power testing equipment to India, the US Justice Department said Thursday.

Rice: U.S. concerned by terrorism in Latin America 13 Mar 2008 U.S. Secretary of State [war criminal] Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday that Washington was concerned about terrorism in Latin America but she declined to comment on the chances that it might add Venezuela to a U.S. terrorism blacklist.

FBI disregarded secret court on private records 13 Mar 2008 The FBI twice disregarded a secret court's constitutional objections and obtained private records for national-security probes, a U.S. inspector reported on Thursday.

Bush Vows Veto of House-Passed Spying Bill --Bill Passes 213-197 14 Mar 2008 The House on Friday narrowly approved a Democratic bill that would set rules for the government's eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails inside the United States.

US House passes spy bill, rejects phone immunity 14 Mar 2008 The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives defied President [sic] George W. Bush on Friday and passed an anti-terrorism spy bill that permits lawsuits against phone companies. But the 213-197 vote was far short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a promised veto by Bush.

House doors closed for security sweep before secret session to debate surveillance bill 14 Mar 2008 House doors were locked Thursday night as lawmakers prepared for their first closed session in 25 years to debate surveillance legislation. Republicans had requested the privacy secrecy.

House agrees to rare secret session on spy bill 13 Mar 2008 The House of Representatives abruptly postponed a vote on a spy bill on Thursday after Democrats agreed to a Republican request to hold a rare secret session to discuss classified 'security' matters. The vote was reset for Friday.

Bush calls for tighter cybersecurity 14 Mar 2008 A sudden spike in the number of successful attacks against federal government information systems and databases has led President [sic] Bush to propose a multibillion-dollar response [bl*w job for his corpora-terrorist cronies].

Plan to Spray Toxic Biological Chemicals Over San Francisco Announced By Rami Nagel 11 Mar 2008 People of the world, the US Government is planning to poison more than two million people, in California, using an untested biological "pesticide" this summer. The chemical to be sprayed is classified by the EPA as a "pesticide" and the plan is to douse cities with this chemical designed to stick on everything for 90 days or longer. This application is not a one time event, but will continue every 1-3 months for as long as five years.

Tests Show State Capitol Letter Was Not Hazardous 14 Mar 2008 Final tests show the letter that made a governor's staffer sick this week did not contain any hazardous substances. Capitol Police Chief Michael J. Fallon said in an e-mail to lawmakers and staff that it's unknown what caused the unnamed male employee's reaction.

Nanotech Exposed in Grocery Store Aisles --Report finds Miller Light, Cadbury and other brands have toxic risks (Friends of the Earth) 11 Mar 2008 Untested nanotechnology is being used in more than 100 food products, food packaging and contact materials currently on the shelf, without warning or new FDA testing, according to a report released today by Friends of the Earth.

Do Nanoparticles in Food Pose a Health Risk? A new study reveals that nanoparticles are being used in everything from beer to baby drinks despite a lack of safety information By David Biello 13 Mar 2008 Plastic imbued with clay nanoparticles helps make Miller Brewing Co. beer bottles less likely to break as well as improves how long the brew lasts in storage... And a wide range of cooking and cleaning items now employ nanosize silver particles to kill microbes. Yet, the Washington, D.C.–based environmental group Friends of the Earth (FoE) reports that none of the more than 100 food or food-related products it identified that contain nanoparticles--puny particles between 100 and one nanometers--bears a warning label or has undergone safety testing by government agencies.

Michigan Dems agree on June 3 do-over 14 Mar 2008 Michigan Democrats agreed Friday to push a do-over primary in early June to give them a say in the close presidential race between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Obama says Rezko played a bigger fundraising role 14 Mar 2008 Indicted Chicago businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko was a more significant fundraiser for presidential candidate Barack Obama's earlier political campaigns than previously known. Rezko raised as much as $250,000 for the first three offices Obama sought, the senator told the Tribune on Friday.

Controversial Chicago minister leaves Obama campaign 14 Mar 2008 Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign announced Friday that his former pastor [Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.] had left the campaign’s spiritual advisory committee after the pastor’s inflammatory sermons ignited fierce debate in [Reichwing] news accounts and political blogs.

U.S. Stocks Fall, Led by Banks; Bear Stearns Drops Most Ever 14 Mar 2008 U.S. stocks plunged for the third day this week after Bear Stearns Cos. required a bailout from the Federal Reserve and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to avoid collapse.

$11M to be restored to Enron fund 14 Mar 2008 More than $11 million will be restored to the settlement fund for former Enron Corp. employees who lost their retirement fund during the company's collapse, the Labor Department says.

Gas bills ate your rebate --Rising pump prices means a big chunk of your check could end up stimulating an economy far from America's. 14 Mar 2008 OK, so maybe not all your tax rebate, but a big chunk of it. Rising gasoline prices means that up to a third of your stimulus rebate check - designed to boost the U.S. economy through spending at stores, restaurants and other businesses - could be spent buying gasoline, most of which is imported from abroad.

Alaska senators make another push for oil drilling in ANWR 13 Mar 2008 Hoping to capitalize on consumer concern about gasoline prices, Alaska's two Republican senators introduced legislation Thursday that would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if the price of oil hits $125 a barrel.

W.R. Grace to Pay $250 Million for Libby Cleanup 12 Mar 2008 In the largest Superfund cleanup settlement ever, W.R. Grace has agreed to pay $250 million to cover government investigation and cleanup costs associated with the asbestos-laden ore the company mined in Libby, Montana.

Blair to lead campaign on climate change --Act urgently or global warming will be irreversible, former PM warns 14 Mar 2008 Tony Blair is to lead a new international team to tackle the intractable problem of securing a global deal on climate change which would have the backing of China and America.


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