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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May 2008 Archives, Page Two

US cluster bombs to be banned from UK 29 May 2008 The US will no longer be able to stockpile cluster bombs at its military bases in Britain under government proposals for an international ban on the controversial weapons, it emerged last night. The government has agreed to scrap the two types of cluster weapon in the armoury of British forces, but it will also ask the US to get rid of its cluster bombs based here. Both the M73, which is attached to Apache attack helicopters, and the M85 - an Israeli-designed artillery shell used by British forces during the 2003 invasion of southern Iraq - will now be scrapped as soon as possible.

Diplomats eyed for possible forced service in Iraq 28 May 2008 The State Department has begun to identify diplomats who could be forced to serve in Iraq next year unless enough volunteers come forward to fill about 300 positions, The Associated Press has learned. A department-wide notice issued Tuesday says officials have looked through the files of all foreign service officers who will be applying or "bidding" for new jobs in 2009 and compiled a roster of candidates who are "particularly well-qualified" to work at the American Embassy in Baghdad and in outlying provinces.

Ex-Press Aide Writes That Bush Misled U.S. on Iraq 28 May 2008 Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan writes in a new memoir that the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a sophisticated "political propaganda campaign" led by President [sic] Bush and aimed at "manipulating sources of public opinion" and "downplaying the major reason for going to war."

Bush was not "forthright" on Iraq - ex-spokesman 28 May 2008 Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan says in a new book that U.S. President [sic] Bush "veered terribly off course" and was not "open and forthright on Iraq," reported on Tuesday. In the memoir due out next week, McClellan also says Bush relied on "propaganda" to sell the war and says the Washington press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to it, according to the Web site.

McClellan Memoir: Rove Not Honest About CIA Leak 27 May 2008 Former White House spokesman Scott McClellan says Karl Rove and convicted Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby met in secret as the prosecutors circled in the CIA leak case. In his new book, McClellan suggests the two aides went behind closed doors int he West Wing to get their story straight. And McClellan finally opens up about that notorious news conference in which he misled the media by saying Rove and Libby hadn't peddled Valerie Plame's name. In fact, they had. McClellan says he was misled by the pair -- and sent into the White House briefing with a lie.

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder--Bush's Helter Skelter to Start War By blueridgewv 28 May 2008 A soon to be released book by Charles Manson prosecutor and Helter Skelter author Vincent Bugliosi outlining a legal case against George W. Bush. A Common Dreams article outlines the meat of the case of conspiracy and fraud to "fix the intelligence around the policy" to go to war, implicating also the CIA chief George Tenet (who won a Medal of Freedom award) for keeping silent while Bush contradicted the CIA's own National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq.

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder By Vincent Bugliosi 09 May 2008 There is direct evidence that President [sic] George W. Bush did not honorably lead this nation, but deliberately misled it into a war he wanted. Bush and his administration knowingly lied to Congress and to the American public -- lies that have cost the lives of more than 4,000 young American soldiers and close to $1 trillion.

There's a spate of bad publicity on Bush from his former spokesperson. So, a new 'al-Qaeda' video will be posted today! Al Qaeda Supporters' Tape to Call for Use of WMDs --Authorities: New Tape to Urge Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction on Civilians 27 May 2008 Intelligence and law enforcement sources tell ABC News they are expecting al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] supporters will post a new video on the Internet in the next 24 hours, calling for what one source said is "jihadists to use biological, chemical and nuclear weapons to attack the West." "There have been several reports that al Qaeda will release a new message calling for the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against civilians," FBI spokesman Richard Kolko told ABC News in an e-mail.

Former anti-terror czar Clarke: Staying in Iraq 'helps Al-Qaeda' 27 May 2008 Maintaining US combat troops in Iraq "helps Al-Qaeda" and Washington should pull them from the ravaged country if it wants to see progress in the war on terror, former US anti-terror czar Richard Clarke said Tuesday.

Who will succeed Osama? [McCain] 27 May 2008 "It will be really interesting to see how that plays out," CIA Director Michael Hayden said Tuesday in an Associated Press interview. "The [Al-Qaida] organization is a lot more networked than it is ruthlessly hierarchical," he said of the group behind the 9/11 attacks on the United States. "How do you pick the next overall leader?"

US federal courts best suited to try terrorism cases: rights group 28 May 2008 Terrorism cases should be tried in the US federal criminal court system, rather than by military tribunals or special terrorism [kangaroo] courts, according to a report released Wednesday by Human Rights First in conjunction with two former federal prosecutors. Consolidating materials from over 120 international terrorism cases, the report argues that federal courts are versatile and creative enough to deal with defendant's rights, national security, and other concerns that might arise when trying terrorism cases.

Ex-prosecutors embrace courts for terror cases 28 May 2008 A federal courtroom may be the proper place to dispense justice in the terrorism case of confessed Sept. 11 mastermind tortured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, two former federal prosecutors said Wednesday. Attorneys Richard Zabel and James Benjamin made the comments after examining 123 terrorism prosecutions and concluding that civilian courts are able to produce just, reliable results while protecting national security.

'We believe that Bush is illegitimate.' Protesters Voice Opposition at Graduation 28 May 2008 (Colorado Springs) It was not all pomp and circumstance at the Air Force Academy Wednesday morning... Protesters were there once again this year with President [sic] George W. Bush in town. Sign after sign lined the entrance to the Academy's north gate entrance. In all, about twenty protesters voiced their opposition to the Bush regime and the war in Iraq. "I just really don't like George Bush and the war that much," says Peter Rule, who was protesting with his grandmother. "We believe that Bush is illegitimate and we're here to show our opposition to that and to be a voice for peace and justice in a time when we still have a leader in power who is committed to the exact opposite," says Peter Haney, Director of the Peacemaking Program at the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission.

Gates to restate US commitment in Asia 28 May 2008 Defense Secretary Robert Gates will use a weeklong Asia trip to reinforce the United States' commitment to [imperialism in] the region, amid rocky relations with China, struggles with North Korea, and unease among the smaller allied nations.

Iran warns UN nuclear watchdog 28 May 2008 Iran's newly elected parliamentary speaker [Ali Larijani] has warned his country may revise its co-operation with the UN's nuclear watchdog after the agency released a report critical of Tehran's nuclear drive.

Marines: 500,000 Camp Lejeune residents may have been exposed to tainted water --Money dispute threatens toxic tap water study 28 May 2008 Continuation of a long-running government study on whether contaminated water harmed babies at Camp Lejeune, N.C., hinges on a half-million-dollar payment that is due Sunday. The money has been in dispute for months by military and federal health officials... The outcome could affect claims by more than 1,000 former residents of the Marine Corps base seeking nearly $10 billion in damages from the government over health problems they blame on exposure to contaminated water at the base through the mid-1980s. The Marines estimate that 500,000 Camp Lejeune residents may have been exposed to the tainted water, including thousands of Vietnam-bound Marines. Federal health investigators estimate the number is higher.

John Bolton escapes citizen's arrest at Hay Festival --Mr Monbiot was blocked by two heavily-built security guards at the end of the one-and-a-half hour appearance, before he could serve a "charge sheet" on him. 28 May 2008 John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, has escaped an attempted citizen's arrest as he appeared at the Hay Festival. Security guards blocked the path of columnist and activist George Monbiot, who tried to make the arrest as Mr Bolton left the stage. The former ambassador - a key advisor to President [sic] George W Bush who argued strongly in favour of invading Iraq - had been giving a talk on international relations at the literary festival.

John Bolton to be target of citizen's arrest at Hay Festival 28 May 2008 John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, faces a citizen's arrest when he addresses an audience at the Hay Festival in Wales this evening. George Monbiot, the journalist and activist, is planning the action because he believes Mr Bolton is a "war criminal". He said he was surprised that Mr Bolton would be allowed to "swim through the politest of polite soirees – which is of course Hay."

'The evidence against you is as follows.' John Bolton charge sheet: George Monbiot's list of accusations By George Monbiot 28 May 2008 We are conducting a citizen’s arrest for the crime of aggression, as established by customary international law and described by Nuremberg Principles VI and VII... The evidence against you is as follows... You helped to promote the false claim, through a State Department Fact Sheet, that Saddam Hussein had been seeking to procure uranium from Niger, as part of a common plan to prepare and initiate a war of aggression, in violation of international treaties.

Wasserman Schultz: Judiciary Committee Willing to Arrest Rove If He Doesn't Testify 28 May 2008 Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said that the House Judiciary Committee would be willing to arrest Karl Rove if the former White House official doesn't testify about his role in the firing of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006. Wasserman Schultz, in an interview on MSNBC Tuesday, echoed the demand of House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) that Rove would not be allowed to invoke executive privilege to avoid testifying... Asked by MSNBC host Dan Abrams if the committee would go far as having Rove arrested, Wasserman said it would.

Madden removed from air by ESPN 28 May 2008 Mark Madden has been permanently removed from the air by ESPN. His dismissal, which came down from ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., came five days after he made a scurrilous remark about U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on his 1250 ESPN talk show. At the opening of his show last Wednesday, Madden said this about Sen. Kennedy, who days earlier had been diagnosed with brain cancer: "I'm very disappointed to hear that Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts is near death because of a brain tumor. I always hoped Senator Kennedy would live long enough to be assassinated. I wonder if he got a card from the Kopechnes."

McCain economic policy shaped by lobbyist --Swiss bank paid McCain co-chair to push agenda on U.S. mortgage crisis 27 May 2008 Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain’s national campaign general co-chair was being paid by a Swiss bank to lobby Congress about the U.S. mortgage crisis at the same time he was advising McCain about his economic policy, federal records show. "Countdown" reported Tuesday that lobbying disclosure forms, filed by the giant Swiss bank UBS, list McCain’s campaign co-chair, former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, as a lobbyist dealing specifically with legislation regarding the mortgage crisis as recently as Dec. 31, 2007.

GOP strategists mull McCain 'blowout' 23 May 2008 It sounds crazy at first. Amid dire reports about the toxic political environment for Republican candidates and the challenges facing John McCain, many top GOP strategists believe he can defeat Barack Obama -- and by a margin exceeding President [sic] Bush’s Electoral College victory the GOP coup d'eat in 2004. At first blush, McCain’s recent rough patch and the considerable financial disadvantage confronting him make such predictions seem absurd... But the contours of the electoral map, combined with McCain’s unique strengths and the nature of Obama’s possible vulnerabilities, have led to a cautious and muted optimism that McCain could actually surpass Bush’s 35-electoral-vote victory stolen election in 2004. Though they expect he would finish far closer to Obama in the popular vote, the thinking is that he could win by as many 50 electoral votes. [Translation: The Reichwing media is psychologically preparing us for the *third* GOP coup d'etat.]

Clinton Backers Plan Rules and Bylaws Protest 28 May 2008 A group of high-profile Hillary Clinton supporters, Democratic fundraisers and Florida Democrats is planning to hold a day-long rally Saturday outside the Washington hotel where the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee Meeting will be considering the fate of votes cast in the Michigan and Florida primaries to call attention to what they say is the exclusion of women's voices from the democratic -- and Democratic -- process and the disenfranchisement of Michigan and Florida voters.

Florida Voter's Lawsuit Dismissed 28 May 2008 A federal judge in Tampa has again tossed out a lawsuit filed by a Florida political consultant angry that his vote in the state's Democratic primary will not count. Victor DiMaio's lawsuit contended that the Democratic National Committee is discriminating against Florida voters. Judge Richard A. Lazzara agreed with the DNC, which said that it its practices are not discriminatory and political parties have a constitutional right to determine how delegates are selected in their nominating process.

Democrats Are Advised to Seat Half of 2 States' Delegations 29 May 2008 Democratic Party lawyers have determined that no more than half the delegates from Florida and Michigan can be seated at the party’s August convention, dealing a blow to Senator Hillary Clinton’s efforts to seat the full delegations from those states.

Signs point to PMO in NAFTA leak --Controversial memo slipped to Republican, several sources say 27 May 2008 Fingers are pointing at Conservatives close to Stephen Harper for leaking a diplomatic memo that badly embarrassed Barack Obama and put Canada's vital cross-border interests at risk. Multiple sources say the Canadian note questioning the Democrat frontrunner's public promise to reopen NAFTA was leaked from the Prime Minister's Office to a Republican contact before it made American headline news. Contradicting Friday's inconclusive report, they claim the controversial memo was slipped to the son of Wisconsin Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner.

Some US farms outsourced to Mexico 27 May 2008 Antonio Martinez used to pay smugglers thousands of dollars each year to sneak him into the United States to manage farm crews. Now, the work comes to him. Supervising lettuce pickers in central Mexico, Martinez earns just half of the $1,100 a week he made in the U.S. But the job has its advantages, including working without fear of immigration raids.

FEMA trying to close its last trailer parks in Louisiana 28 May 2008 The Federal Emergency Management Agency is trying to close its last six [deadly] trailer parks from Hurricane Katrina by Sunday. Nearly 440 families are still occupying trailers at the six Louisiana group sites, and FEMA estimates that about 380 of them will still be in place Sunday.


Bush 'plans Iran air strike by August' 28 May 2008 The George W Bush administration plans to launch an air strike against Iran within the next two months, an informed source tells Asia Times Online, echoing other reports that have surfaced in the media in the United States recently. The source, a retired US career diplomat and former assistant secretary of state still active in the foreign affairs community, speaking anonymously, said last week that that the US plans an air strike against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Western powers pressure Iran over nuclear programme 27 May 2008 Germany said on Tuesday the international community must push for a faster response from Iran over its nuclear programme, while Washington said a new U.N. report suggested Tehran wanted to acquire nuclear weapons.

U.S. says Iran's refusal to answer IAEA questions "troubling" 28 May 2008 The United States said Tuesday Iran's refusal to answer questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on its nuclear program is "very troubling." "It is very troubling that the Iranian government refuses to answer questions about the military involvement in this program, which can raise a whole other set of issues about what were the activities vis-a-vis weaponizing or trying to weaponize a nuclear program," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Iraq's Sadr calls for protests against agreement with U.S. 28 May 2008 Iraq's anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr asked Tuesday his followers to hold weekly protests against an envisaged Iraq-U.S. agreement which would lead to a long-term U.S. military presence in the country. In a statement issued by his office, the cleric urged that "Iraqis across the country to hold demonstrations every week after Friday prayers until further notice or until the agreement is canceled."

Bush wants $600 million for Iraq police; but cuts aid to U.S. cops 27 May 2008 At the same time the Bush regime has been pushing for deep cuts in a popular crime-fighting program for states and cities, the White House has been fighting for approval of $603 million for the Iraqi police. The White House earlier this year proposed slashing the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, which helps local law enforcement officials deal with violent crime and serious offenders, to $200 million in the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

'It was a true massacre, a slaughter.' Blackwater Grand Jury Hears Iraqi Witnesses --In Interviews With ABC News Before Leaving Baghdad, the Men All Said the Blackwater Shootings Were Unprovoked 27 May 2008 The FBI has brought four Iraqi witnesses, including the father of a dead 9-year-old boy, to testify before a federal grand jury investigating Blackwater security guards accused of killing 17 innocent civilians last year at a Baghdad traffic square. The men were brought in over the weekend and seen today at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., where the Blackwater grand jury has been sitting since last November. In interviews with ABC News before leaving Baghdad, the men all said the Blackwater shootings were unprovoked. "It was a true massacre, a slaughter," said Mohammed Abdul Razak, whose son Ali was killed in the shootings.

U.S. soldier dies in Iraq 27 May 2008 An American soldier has died due to a 'non-combat related' cause, the U.S. military said on Tuesday. A soldier assigned to Multi-National Division - Baghdad died on Saturday, a military statement said without providing further details about the incident.

Wartime PTSD cases jumped roughly 50 pct. in 2007 27 May 2008 The number of troops with new cases of post-traumatic stress disorder jumped by roughly 50 percent in 2007 amid the military buildup in Iraq and increased violence there and in Afghanistan. Records show roughly 40,000 troops have been diagnosed with the illness, also known as PTSD, since 2003. Officials believe that many more are likely keeping their illness a secret.

Carter says Israel has atomic arsenal 28 May 2008 Former United States president Jimmy Carter says Israel has 150 nuclear weapons, something the Jewish state has never publicly acknowledged. Mr Carter made the comments while discussing Iran's nuclear program at an English literary festival. "The US has more than 12,000 nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union (Russia) has about the same, Great Britain and France have several hundred and Israel has 150 or more," he said.

CIA watching for al-Qaida 'succession crisis' [Yeah, they're watching for McCain to succeed Bush] 27 May 2008 The U.S. is making "a big and continual push" to capture or kill al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] leader Osama bin Laden [Just before the 2008 'elections'] but his demise won't end the organization's menace, CIA Director Michael Hayden said Tuesday in an Associated Press interview. The CIA is equally interested in those jockeying to replace bin Laden in what he predicted will be a "succession crisis."

New Al Qaeda Cell A Growing Threat to U.S. [The one in the White House is an even bigger threat] Officials Warn N. African-Based Militants Can Blend In Without Raising Suspicions In Europe, U.S. 26 May 2008 The new faces of terror are militants inside an emerging al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] cell, which U.S. officials warn presents a clear and growing threat to America. Based in [oil-rich] North Africa, the group calling itself "Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb" specializes in kidnappings and suicide attacks, reports CBS News.

Chertoff urges anti-terror fight in Pakistan 26 May 2008 The U.S. homeland security chief called on Pakistan's new government Monday to strike back against terrorism in its regions bordering Afghanistan or face more attacks of the kind that killed ex-premier Benazir Bhutto. Michael Chertoff's comments come as the Pakistani government is pursuing peace deals with militant groups.

Roadside blast kills 3 police, 1 civilian in E. Afghanistan 27 May 2008 A roadside bombing attack on a police vehicle left three policemen and one civilian passer-by dead Tuesday morning in Logar province of eastern Afghanistan, an official said.

Britain ready to sign cluster-bomb treaty 28 May 2008 Britain is ready to sign a treaty that will outlaw the use and stockpiling of cluster bombs and millions of pounds will have to be spent on destroying them, senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office sources said yesterday.

McClellan whacks Bush, White House 27 May 2008 Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan writes in a surprisingly scathing memoir to be published next week that President [sic] Bush "veered terribly off course," was not "open and forthright on Iraq," and took a "permanent campaign approach" to governing at the expense of candor and competence.

McCain's policy on fundraisers: Close them 27 May 2008 John McCain prides himself on being a remarkably transparent presidential candidate, with rolling news conferences on his "Straight Talk Express" campaign bus and an open-door policy when it comes to the media. Yet, the door closes tightly on the Republican's fundraisers.

Joseph Lieberman to Headline Upcoming Pastor Hagee Summit By Max Blumenthal 27 May 2008 Senator Joseph Lieberman is scheduled to headline Pastor John Hagee's 2008 Christians United For Israel Washington-Israel Summit this July 22. In accepting Hagee's invitation, Lieberman became the most senior elected representative confirmed to appear at the annual gala. Last year, when Lieberman spoke at Hagee's summit, he compared the Texas televangelist to the biblical prophet Moses, dubbing him "an Ish Elochim," or "a man of God."

Thomas asks state high court to stop ethics investigation 27 May 2008 Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas took to the Arizona Supreme Court Tuesday to stop the State Bar of Arizona from investigating him and attorneys associated with his office for purported ethical violations. The bar complaints started when Thomas sent private attorney Dennis Wilenchik to confront a judge last October over Proposition 100. There were more filed when Wilenchik ordered the arrest of two Phoenix New Times editors a month later, and still more...

NY judge: Dell engaged in fraud, false advertising 27 May 2008 A New York judge [State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Teresi] ruled against Dell Inc on Tuesday, saying the computer maker engaged in fraud, false advertising, deceptive business and abusive debt collection practices.

Justices Favor Workers in Cases of Bias Retaliation 27 May 2008 The Supreme Court on Tuesday adopted a broad reading of two federal civil rights laws to protect employees from retaliation when they complain about discrimination in the workplace.

Housing Prices Fall 14.1% in Sign of Continuing Slump 28 May 2008 America’s home-buying season, when for-sale signs sprout like dandelions, is shaping up to be even worse than expected this year, with prices falling, sales slowing and few signs of a turnaround emerging.

Foreclosures in Military Towns Surge at Four Times U.S. Rate 27 May 2008 In the midst of the worst surge in mortgage defaults in seven decades, foreclosures in U.S. towns where soldiers live are increasing at a pace almost four times the national average, according to data compiled by research firm RealtyTrac Inc. in Irvine, California.

Groups sue government over new smog rules 27 May 2008 Health and environmental organizations filed a lawsuit Tuesday arguing that the Bush administration failed to protect public health and the environment when it issued new smog requirements. The lawsuit maintains that the Environmental Protection Agency ignored the recommendation of a key advisory panel of scientists who had recommended more stringent smog standards.

Mild American Bird-Flu Strains Gained Ability to Attack Humans 26 May 2006 Mild bird flu strains circulating [created] in North America have gained some ability to infect human cells, and should be monitored for dangerous mutations, government researchers said. The virus family, called H7, is genetically different than the H5N1 strain that has killed millions of birds and hundreds of people, said Terrence Tumpey, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist in Atlanta.

Scientists warn of bird flu epidemic 27 May 2008 A strain of bird flu has moved a step closer to developing the traits required to create an epidemic of the disease in humans, scientists warned on Monday. Researchers who analysed samples of recent avian flu viruses found that a strain of the virus called H7N2 had adapted slightly better to living in mammals.

Iowa tornado rated state's strongest in 32 years 27 May 2008 The National Weather Service says a deadly tornado [ranked at EF5] that leveled half a town in northeast Iowa was the state's strongest twister in 32 years. The tornado tore through Parkersburg and nearby towns on Sunday, killing seven people and destroying neighborhoods with winds up to 205 mph.


'Individuals will be expected to report to the centre every day for an intensive training programme.' Tories plan boot camps for jobless youths --Automatic referrals if out of work for three months --Companies and voluntary groups to run centres 26 May 2008 A future Conservative government will bring in "boot camps" for unemployed young people aged between 18 and 21 who refuse to take a job, Chris Grayling, the party's welfare spokesman, will say tomorrow. Grayling plans to ask private sector companies and voluntary organisations to run the intensive training centres. Individuals will be expected to report to the centre every day for an intensive training programme. Grayling will say: "We plan to introduce much tougher rules for young people under the age of 21 claiming jobseeker's allowance. For this group, the welfare to work process will start much earlier. There will be employment 'boot camps' and community work programmes for those who don't find a job. Staying at home doing nothing will be a thing of the past." [Work camps - so corpora-terrorists get free slave labor?]

Jimmy Carter says Israel has 150 nuclear weapons 26 May 2008 Israel has 150 nuclear weapons in its arsenal, former President Jimmy Carter said yesterday, while arguing that the US should talk directly to Iran to persuade it to drop its nuclear ambitions. His remark, made at the Hay-on-Wye festival which promotes current affairs books and literature, is startling because Israel has never admitted having nuclear weapons, let alone how many, although the world assumes their existence. Nor do US officials deviate in public from that Israeli line.

Iraqi military detains 6 boys suspected as bombers 26 May 2008 Iraqi officials say six teenaged boys purportedly being trained as suicide bombers have been detained in the northern city of Mosul. Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf says the boys are between the ages of 14 and 16. He says initial investigations show they were being trained by a Saudi militant who has been killed.

Blasts kill 2 U.S. soldiers in Iraq --4 other soldiers are wounded in 2 roadside bombings over the weekend. 26 May 2008 Two U.S. soldiers were killed in a pair of roadside bombings over the weekend, the U.S. military announced today.

NATO soldier, 2 Afghans killed as protest over shooting Koran turns violent 23 May 2008 One soldier of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and two local Afghans were killed as a protest over a U.S. soldier's shooting Koran in Iraq turned violent in western Afghanistan Thursday, the ISAF said. One ISAF soldier, 10 Afghan National Police and seven local nationals were also wounded during the violent demonstration at an airfield in Chaghcharan town, the capital of Ghor province, the NATO-led military said in a statement.

UN watchdog accuses Iran of refusing to reveal nuclear aims 27 May 2008 Iran continues to withhold information needed to establish whether the country has attempted to build nuclear weapons, an allegation that remains a matter of "serious concern" the UN's nuclear watchdog reported last night. In a sternly-phrased report, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that Iran had failed to provide the documentation and other evidence required to examine apparent anomalies in its nuclear activities that raise questions about a possible covert military programme. [What about Israel?]

Mukasey defends author of so-called torture memos 23 May 2008 Attorney General Michael Mukasey is defending former government lawyers who drew up the legal basis of the Bush administration's use of harsh interrogation methods torture against terror suspects. Mukasey told Boston College Law School graduates Friday that lawyers doing their part to protect the country in the aftermath of the[ir] Sept. 11 attacks should not now be held liable or face criminal charges for doing so.

'We Are Stuck' With Guantanamo, Gates Says 26 May 2008 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who last year said he would look for ways to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison, has told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee that his inter-agency effort has been brought to a "standstill" by what he called "a serious not-in-my-back-yard problem."

Carter urges 'supine' Europe to break with US over Gaza blockade --Ex-president says EU is colluding in a human rights crime 26 May 2008 Britain and other European governments should break from the US over the international embargo on Gaza, former US president Jimmy Carter told the Guardian yesterday. Carter, visiting the Welsh border town of Hay for the Guardian literary festival, described the EU's position on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as "supine" and its failure to criticise the Israeli blockade of Gaza as "embarrassing". Referring to the possibility of Europe breaking with the US in an interview with the Guardian, he said: "Why not? They're not our vassals. They occupy an equal position with the US."

Activists see strong cluster bomb ban this week 26 May 2008 Progress has been made towards agreeing a wide-ranging global ban on cluster munitions this week, though three of the most controversial issues are still unresolved, campaigners said on Monday. Representatives of more than 100 nations are working on an agreement against the use of cluster munitions, although the United States, China and Russia are not participating.

Criminal investigation of Halliburton's Nigerian operation widens --Evidence of corruption during Cheney's tenure By Brian Smith 26 May 2008 Criminal investigations of former Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), for alleged bribery in the construction of Nigeria’s $10 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant on Bonny Island, have been widened to cover the past 20 years of Halliburton’s operations in Nigeria. Investigators will also probe accusations of embezzlement by senior executives, and Halliburton’s relations with other multinationals, including Royal Dutch Shell.

Mr. Bush and the G.I. Bill (The New York Times) 26 May 2008 President [sic] Bush opposes a new G.I. Bill of Rights... Having saddled the military with a botched, unwinnable war, having squandered soldiers’ lives and failed them in so many ways, the commander in chief now resists giving the troops a chance at better futures out of uniform. He does this on the ground that the bill is too generous and may discourage re-enlistment, further weakening the military he has done so much to break. So lavish with other people’s sacrifices, so reckless in pouring the national treasure into the sandy pit of Iraq, Mr. Bush remains as cheap as ever when it comes to helping people at home.

Veteran Wages War Against Pentagon Over Mandatory Anthrax Vaccine 26 May 2008 In more than five years of research, US Air Force Reserve Maj. Russell "Russ" E. Dingle and US Air Force Reserve Maj. Thomas "Buzz" Rempfer concluded the anthrax vaccine was improperly licensed and ineffective. They found it created thousands of adverse reactions and was unnecessary. The threat of a foreign anthrax attack is extremely remote, they discovered. And, if there ever is such an attack, those exposed can take antibiotics afterward, they confirmed. That would avoid six anthrax vaccinations over 18 months as well as annual booster shots.

Anthrax Vaccine Loses to Lobbying --Politically Connected Firm Knocked Out Bay Area Start Up for Choice Contracts By Arthur Allen 19 May 2008 Six-and-a-half years after someone mailed finely milled anthrax spores to the U.S. Capitol, the industry created to respond to that attack has received billions in cash but produced little protection. A little-noticed news item last week reveals the most dramatic failure of the $5.6 billion Bioshield program, which was supposed to provide drugs and vaccines against terror agents--its cornerstone being the creation of a safe, effective vaccine against anthrax.

Scientists identify second H7 strain of bird flu that could cause pandemic 27 May 2008 The H5N1 strain of bird flu that has killed 241 people is not the only one that could trigger a pandemic, according to research in America. A few H7 strains of the flu virus have started to evolve some of the traits they would need to infect people easily, scientists have discovered.

North American bird flu viruses becoming more adapted to humans: study 26 May 2008 North American avian flu viruses of the H7 subtype - like the H7N3 viruses responsible for British Columbia's massive poultry outbreak in 2004 - seem to have adapted to more easily invade the human respiratory tract, a new American study suggests.

Unmarked NYPD chopper patrols the city from high above 23 May 2008 On a cloudless spring day, the NYPD helicopter soars over the city, its sights set on the Statue of Liberty. The unmarked helicopter's corporate, silver-and-white motif belies what's inside: an arsenal of sophisticated surveillance and tracking equipment powerful enough to stealthily read license plates -- or even pedestrian's faces -- from high above. The decision to customize the helicopter at a cost of about $10 million reflects a new frontier in cutting-edge counterterrorism technology at the nation's largest police department.

270 Illegal Immigrants Sent to Prison in Federal Push 24 May 2008 (Waterloo, Iowa) In temporary courtrooms at a fairgrounds here, 270 illegal immigrants were sentenced this week to five months in prison for working at a meatpacking plant with false documents. The unusually swift proceedings, in which 297 immigrants pleaded guilty and were sentenced in four days, were criticized by criminal defense lawyers, who warned of violations of due process. [See: KBR awarded $385M Homeland Security contract for U.S. detention centers 24 Jan 2006.]

Alaska's Palin misrepresented state's polar bear findings 25 may 2008 A newly released e-mail from last fall shows that Alaska's own biologists were at odds with the administration of Gov. Sarah Palin (R), which has consistently opposed any new federal protections for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act. The state's in-house dispute seems to refute later statements by Gov. Sarah Palin that a "comprehensive review" of the federal science by state wildlife officials found no reason to support an endangered-species listing for the northern bears.

Bush in 2000: I'll bring down gas prices through 'sheer force of personality' --May 2008: Saudi Arabia's leaders made clear Friday they see no reason to increase oil production until customers demand it, apparently rebuffing President [sic] Bush amid soaring U.S. gasoline prices. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal thinks Bush 'was satisfied.' Compiled by Lori Price 25 May 2008 On the campaign trail in June 2000, Texas Governor George W. Bush told reporters that if he was president, he would bring down gasoline prices through sheer force of personality, by creating enough political good will with oil-producing nations that they would increase their supply of crude. ''I would work with our friends in OPEC to convince them to open up the spigot, to increase the supply,'' Mr. Bush, the presumptive Republican candidate for president, told reporters. Implicit in his comments was a criticism of the Clinton administration as failing to take advantage of the good will that the United States built with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

Fox News contributor, Liz Trotta, wants Obama 'knocked off' Video uploaded by llyasolo99 25 May 2008 "...[A]nd now we have what... uh...some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama - um, uh Obama - well, both if we could. (laughter)."

Clintons campaign in Puerto Rico; Obama in NM 26 May 2008 Hillary Clinton ended a three-day campaign swing across Puerto Rico the same way many Americans mark Memorial Day -- with family, friends and a salute to the sacrifices of military men and women. As Clinton wrapped up her Puerto Rican swing, Barack Obama marked Memorial Day in New Mexico, a battleground state in the general election.

Former Ga. Rep. Barr picked as Libertarian candidate 26 May 2008 The Libertarian Party on Sunday picked former Republican Rep. Bob Barr to be its presidential candidate after six rounds of balloting.

Tony Blair is barracked over Iraq by students at Yale University 26 May 2008 Tony Blair was left reeling last night after students disrupted his debut speech at Yale University to protest at his role in taking Britain and America to war in Iraq. The former Prime Minister faced an unexpected protest from anti-war protesters when he arrived to give his lecture at the Ivy League university.

Oil prices supported above $132 26 May 2008 Oil was supported above $132 a barrel Monday in Asia by ongoing worries about global petroleum supplies and the outlook this week for the U.S. dollar.

US dollar near one-month low 27 May 2008 The US dollar traded close to a one- month low against the euro on speculation US reports today will show a slump in home prices worsened and consumers are the most pessimistic in 15 years.

Report: Buffet sees US in recession 25 May 2008 Warren Buffett, whose business and investment acumen has made him one of the world's wealthiest men, was quoted in an interview published Sunday as saying the U.S. economy is already in a recession. Asked by Germany's Der Spiegel weekly whether he thinks the U.S. could still avoid a recession, he said that as far as the average person is concerned, it is already here.

Monsanto's Harvest of Fear --Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination. By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele May 2008

Violent storms kill 8 in Iowa and Minnesota 26 May 2008 Powerful storms packing large hail, heavy rain and tornadoes made for a deadly Memorial Day weekend across the nation's midsection, killing at least seven people in Iowa and a 2-year-old child in Minnesota. At least 50 injuries were reported.

Why fix I-279 now? PennDOT says repairs to Parkway North, which start next week, are preventive measure [!] 26 May 2008 Dan Cessna, head of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation District 11, has received some negative feedback [LOL!] as word spread that Interstate 279/Parkway North will undergo construction this summer.


Iran 'paid Iraq insurgents to kill UK soldiers' 25 May 2008 Iran has secretly paid Iraqi insurgents hundreds of thousands of American dollars to kill British soldiers, according to a leaked government document obtained by The Telegraph. The allegations are contained in a confidential "field report" written by a British officer who served in Basra during one of the most dangerous periods of the conflict. [See: Billions in U.S. Tax Dollars Likely Financing Iraq Insurgent Groups: Official 23 May 2008.]

Iran mosque blast plotters admit Israeli, US links: report 23 May 2008 Iran's chief prosecutor said bombers who caused a deadly blast at a mosque in Shiraz had confessed of links to Israel and the United States, the ISNA student news agency reported on Friday. They also admitted carrying out "one or two minor operations," the agency said. Earlier Friday, senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami said people had also plotted attacks in the holy city of Qom, 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Tehran, and at a book fair held in the capital.

Baghdad to launch probe into attack on Iranian diplomats 24 May 2008 Iraq has formed a special committee to investigate a recent assassination attempt on Iranian diplomats in Iraq, embassy spokesman Manouchehr Taslimi said on Friday. Four Iranian embassy staff and their Iraqi driver were wounded on May 15 when their convoy was shot in Baghdad.

US drops plans to raid Sadr City after Iraqi forces make a deal with Moqtada al-Sadr 24 May 2008 America has shelved plans to raid Baghdad's Sadr City after Iraqi forces negotiated a ceasefire with Shia militia. The ceasefire is the third negotiated with Sadr and scuppers US plans for an assault on his stronghold.

U.S. and Iraq forces raided Shiite areas during prayers 24 May 2008 U.S. and Iraqi forces detained nearly 200 people during operations that targeted two predominantly Shiite Muslim neighborhoods during Friday prayer services, the U.S. military said Saturday. The searches occurred between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the Muslim sabbath in the Bayaa and Amal sectors of Baghdad. U.S. and Iraqi forces stormed a prayer service that was being held in an office belonging to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr and detained several of the participants.

Bush: early Iraq withdrawal would be 'catastrophic' [Bush breathing another hour is 'catastrophic.'] 23 May 2008 President [sic] George W. Bush warned Thursday that a premature US military withdrawal from Iraq would be "catastrophic for our country", strengthen Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and embolden Iran's nuclear ambitions. Bush said security had improved enough in Iraq to justify an ongoing drawdown that would see troop levels reduced by 25 percent from last year, but he gave no indication whether he supported even further troop reductions as General David Petraeus has indicated could take place.

Gov't to redistribute gas masks 25 May 2008 The Israeli cabinet decided to redistribute gas masks to the public beginning in 2009. In 2006, the Defense Ministry began collecting the masks from the public’s homes. The Defense Ministry decided that it will establish distribution centers such as shopping malls where people can come and pick up their gas masks.

Many Afghans outraged by U.S. decision to not charge Marines 24 May 2008 Afghan officials expressed outrage Saturday at a decision by the U.S. military not to charge U.S. Marines involved in a shooting spree that left 19 Afghan civilians dead in 2007.

No charges for 2 Marines accused in Afghan deaths 23 May 2008 A Marine Corps general has decided not to bring criminal changes against two officers whose unit was accused of killing as many as 19 Afghan civilians in 2007.

US Marines will not be charged in 2007 Afghan civilian shooting 23 May 2008 A Marine Corps General Friday declined to press charges against two US Marines involved in a March 2007 incident in which 30 US Marines opened fire on civilians alongside a road in Nangahar province, Afghanistan, [allegedly] after a suicide bomber drove a vehicle carrying explosives into their convoy.

Iraq War Vets Return With Lung Disease 22 May 2008 Some U.S. soldiers returning from the war in Iraq are bringing lung disease home with them. A new study shows a large group of Iraq War veterans has been diagnosed with bronchiolitis, a type of lung disease that affects the small airways of the lung. It causes shortness of breath and/or rapid and labored breathing. Researchers say these results suggest that exposure to toxins during the Iraq War may also need to be considered as a risk factor for unexplained breathing problems.

Private psychiatrists offer free service to troops 25 May 2008 Thousands of private counselors are offering free services to troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental health problems, jumping in to help because the military is short on therapists. The government has been in beg-borrow-and-steal mode [oh, but not for KBR and Blackwater], trying to hire psychiatrists and other professionals, recruit them with incentives or borrow them from other agencies.

Sudanese terror suspect charged at Guantanamo Bay 23 May 2008 Military prosecutors filed charges Friday against a Sudanese detainee at Guantanamo Bay who is accused of running a training camp for terrorists in Afghanistan in the late 1990s [when the camp was closed]. Noor Uthman Muhammed is charged with conspiracy and providing support to terrorists.

Cuban sting shows US diplomat handing over cash to dissidents 24 May 2008 Cuba has accused Washington of illegally funding opposition groups on the island after conducting an elaborate sting on a dissident who met a US diplomat. The government published emails, letters, videos and audio tapes which purportedly showed a political activist, Martha Beatriz Roque, receiving monthly payments from Michael Parmly, the head of the US interests section in Havana.

Israel denies entry to high-profile critic Norman Finkelstein 24 May 2008 The Shin Bet security service detained and deported an American Jewish professor who is a prominent critic of the Israeli occupation when he landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Friday. Professor Norman Finkelstein was interrogated for several hours and held in an airport cell before being put on a plane back to Amsterdam, his point of departure. Finkelstein said he was told he could not return to Israel for 10 years.

BBC placed on dirty list for 'propping up' Burma junta 25 May 2008 The BBC is to be named in a "dirty list" of companies accused of helping to prop up Burma’s military rulers. BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s commercial arm, will be criticised for promoting tourism to the country, despite pleas from Burma’s pro-democracy movement for holidaymakers to stay away.

US residents in military prisons? Govt says it's war 24 May 2008 Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is a U.S. resident being held in a South Carolina military brig; he is the only enemy combatant held on U.S. soil. Al-Marri was captured six years ago. To justify holding him, the government claimed a broad interpretation of the president's wartime powers, one that goes beyond warrantless wiretapping or monitoring banking transactions. Government lawyers told federal judges that the president can send the military into any U.S. neighborhood, capture a citizen and hold him in prison without charge, indefinitely. Courts have gone back and forth on al-Marri's case as it worked its way through the system. If enemy combatants can be detained in the U.S., how long can they be held without charge? Without lawyers? Without access to the outside world? Forever? One judge questioned why there was such anxiety over the policy. After all, there have been no mass roundups of citizens [yet] and no indications the White House is coming for innocent Americans next. [See: KBR awarded $385M Homeland Security contract for U.S. detention centers 24 Jan 2006. See: DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack 11 May 2007.]

'Draconian' Home Office fast-tracks Algerian's deportation --He printed an al-Qa'ida training manual which had been downloaded from a US government website. [LOL! Where else would one be able to find an al-CIAduh training manual?] 25 May 2008 The Home Office was accused last night of rushing to deport a university administrator to conceal official blunders after he was arrested on terrorism charges only to be released without charge. A Labour MP criticised the decision, claiming there was no reason for it "other than to cover the embarrassment of the police and intelligence services". In a statement last night, Hicham Yezza said: "The Home Office operates with a Gestapo mentality. They have no respect for human dignity and human life. They treat foreign nationals as disposable goods – their recklessness and cavalier approach belongs to a cavalier state."

'Someone then alerted police, who swooped in and arrested them both.' Terrorism arrests at British university raise questions over academic freedom 25 May 2008 Academics at a university in central England say a Muslim student and staffer were detained for nearly a week under British terrorism laws for attempting to print an al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] manual as part of the student's dissertation research. The arrest of 22-year-old Nottingham University master's student Rizwaan Sabir and staff member Hicham Yezza has riled professors and raised questions about how closely authorities should be policing university work. Sabir's supporters say he downloaded and sent the al-Qaida training document to Yezza, an acquaintance, because he didn't want to pay the printing fee. Someone then alerted police, who swooped in and arrested them both on May 14.

MI5 fears jihadis will use mentally ill as suicide bombers 25 May 2008 Islamic terrorists may be targeting mentally disturbed or disabled people in Britain in a bid to form a new "brigade" of home-grown suicide bombers, security officials fear. MI5 and police say the case of Nicky Reilly, who is being held over a nailbomb attack last week in Exeter, may indicate a new [US] strategy of targeting vulnerable people with mental health problems to carry out attacks.

Brown in retreat on terror law 25 May 2008 Gordon Brown may be forced into a U-turn over his plans to detain terror suspects for 42 days without trial in a bid to stave off a Commons defeat which could spell the end of his premiership. A phone round of MPs will be made by No 10 this week to establish the level of opposition in the party. If the vote cannot be won, sources say Brown will back down and accept the current limit of 28 days, despite his claim last month that he was going to try to "win the argument" with MPs, no matter the result.

Border officials may seize iPods under trade deal --International regulator could police copyright 24 May 2008 The federal government is secretly negotiating a copyright agreement that could make some information on Canadian iPods, laptop computers or other personal electronic devices illegal. Called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the new plan would see Canada join other countries, including the United States and members of the European Union, to form an international coalition against copyright infringement.

Heads up! Bush bin Laden is poised to privatize the water supply - under the pretext of 'protecting' it - so we have to pay KBR and Blackwater more for water than we do for gas. EPA tests plans to protect water from terrorists 24 May 2008 Water utilities would get earlier warning of viruses, bacteria or chemicals that could be introduced into drinking water systems by [Bush's] terrorists under a test monitoring program set for expansion beyond Cincinnati. The pilot program ordered by the Department of Homeland Security in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks uses continuous monitoring of public water for contaminants that could sicken or kill millions of people. [That's Bush's goal. Look how well the blown New Orleans levies worked out for KBR and Blackwater? Halliburton's KBR unit gets contract to repair Gulf Coast facilities 06 Sep 2005 Halliburton Co.'s Kellogg Brown & Root subsidiary has begun work on a $500 million U.S. Navy contract for emergency 'repairs' at Gulf Coast naval and marine facilities that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina, according to an Associated Press report. See: AP: Leaky New Orleans levee alarms experts 21 May 2008 Despite more than $22 million in 'repairs,' a levee that 'broke' with catastrophic effect during Hurricane Katrina is leaking again.]

Bush scales back McCain events 24 May 2008 President [sic] Bush is scaling back next week’s fundraising swings for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the request of the campaign, which wants the events closed to the press, POLITICO has learned. The change -- in both Arizona and Utah -- is part of McCain’s delicate effort to find the balance between embracing an unpopular president and taking advantage of his huge continuing draw with well-heeled Republicans.

Poor ticket sales, expected protests scuttle Bush-McCain fundraiser at Phoenix Convention Center 23 May 2008 A Tuesday fundraiser headlined by President [sic] Bush for U.S. Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign is being moved out of the Phoenix Convention Center. Sources familiar with the situation said the Bush-McCain event was not selling enough tickets to fill the Convention Center space, and that there were concerns about more anti-war protesters showing up outside the venue than attending the fundraiser inside.

Obama's Lobbyist Connection 02 Jun 2008 When Illinois utility Commonwealth Edison wanted state lawmakers to back a hefty rate hike two years ago, it took a creative lobbying approach, concocting a new outfit that seemed devoted to the public interest: Consumers Organized for Reliable Electricity, or CORE. CORE ran TV ads warning of a "California-style energy crisis" if the rate increase wasn't approved--but without disclosing the commercials were funded by Commonwealth Edison. The ad campaign provoked a brief uproar when its ties to the utility, which is owned by Exelon Corp., became known. What got scant notice then is that CORE was the brainchild of ASK Public Strategies, a consulting firm whose senior partner is David Axelrod, now chief strategist for Barack Obama.

Obama accepts Clinton's explanation for RFK comment --Democratic rivals turn to Puerto Rico 24 May 2008 Barack Obama said Saturday that he accepted rival Hillary Clinton's explanation that she made an innocent gaffe in citing Robert F. Kennedy's June 1968 assassination as a justification for continuing her long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination into June.

Hillary: It's too early to throw in the towel --There's still plenty of time for an assassination, she explains. Robert Kennedy was killed in June, for example. By Mark Yannone 24 May 2008

37 protesters detained at illegal rally in South Korea against US beef imports 25 May 2008 South Korean police detained 37 protesters for holding an illegal rally against a beef imports agreement with the United States, a police officer said Sunday. Thousands of South Koreans have taken part in candlelight vigils in recent weeks urging the government to scrap a recent deal to resume imports of U.S. beef. The protesters have cited lingering mad cow disease concerns.

Radiation leaks detected in Chinese earthquake zone 23 May 2008 Chinese environment authorities say they have found fifty hazardous sources of radiation since this month’s earthquake. Senior environment official, Wu Xiaoqing has said the situation is returning to normal after the discovery of thirty five of the radiation sources. The other fifteen had been also been pinpointed but not yet dealt with.

Pesticides: Germany bans chemicals linked to honeybee devastation 23 May 2008 Germany has banned a family of pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees. The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) has suspended the registration for eight pesticide seed treatment products used in rapeseed oil and sweetcorn. The move follows reports from German beekeepers in the Baden-Württemberg region that two thirds of their bees died earlier this month following the application of a pesticide called clothianidin. "It's a real bee emergency," said Manfred Hederer, president of the German Professional Beekeepers' Association.


Billions in U.S. Tax Dollars Likely Financing Iraq Insurgent Groups: Official 23 May 2008 Two Democratic senators have asked the Treasury Department to investigate allegations that Iraqi leaders have embezzled or misspent billions of U.S. tax dollars intended for the country's relief and reconstruction. In a May 20 letter to Stuart Levey, the department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sens. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island called the scope of corruption within the Iraqi government staggering. According to Arthur Brennan, a former State Department official, it's likely some of that money is financing insurgent groups such as the Mahdi army, the militia loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. "In our estimation, the theft, conversion or other misappropriation of U.S.-provided funds and supplies by Iraqi government officials severely undermines our troops' mission in Iraq," Dorgan and Whitehouse wrote. "It is even more outrageous when these resources are diverted to our enemies and help finance, arm and equip attacks against American soldiers."

Audit: Pentagon Unable to Track $15 Billion Spent In Iraq 23 May 2008 The inspector general for the Defense Department said yesterday that the Pentagon cannot account for almost $15 billion worth of goods and services ranging from trucks, bottled water and mattresses to rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns that were bought from contractors in the Iraq reconstruction effort. The Pentagon did not have the proper documentation, including receipts, vouchers, signatures, invoices or other paperwork, for $7.8 billion that American and Iraqi contractors were paid for phones, folders, paint, blankets, Nissan trucks, laundry services and other items, according to a 69-page audit released to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

15 bln dlrs in US Iraq spending unaccounted for: reports 23 May 2008 The Pentagon cannot account for nearly 15 billion dollars in payments for goods and services in Iraq, according to an internal audit which members of Congress blasted Friday as a "shocking" accountability failure. Of 8.2 billion dollars in US taxpayer-funded defense contracts reviewed by the defense department's inspector general, the Pentagon could not properly account for more than 7.7 billion dollars.

KBR's Iraq Work Is Split Up --KBR, Fluor, and DynCorp to share 10-year, $150 billion deal that stretches far beyond final days of Bush regime 24 May 2008 For the first time since the war began, the largest single Pentagon contract in Iraq is being divided among three companies, ending the monopoly held by KBR, the Houston-based corporation that has been accused of wasteful spending and mismanagement and of exploiting its political ties to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney. Yet even as the Pentagon begins to pull apart the enormous KBR contract, critics warn that the new three-company deal could actually result in higher costs for American taxpayers and weak oversight by the military. In fact, under the new deal, KBR and the two other companies could actually make more than three times as much as KBR has been paid each year since the war began.

[US] Gunfire takes the lives of two more Iraqi journalists --Watchdog group blames U.S. military sniper for journalist's death 22 May 2008 Two Iraqi journalists [Wisam Ali Ouda and Haider Hisham al Hasseni] were killed in separate incidents in Baghdad and in the restive Diyala province, a Baghdad watchdog group for journalists said Thursday. This brings the number of media employees killed since the beginning of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to 237. Of those, 215 were Iraqi.

Iraqi cleric: Armed resistance against U.S.-led foreign troops permissible 23 May 2008 Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric [Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani] has been quietly issuing religious edicts declaring that armed resistance against U.S.-led foreign troops is permissible -- a potentially significant shift by a key supporter of the Washington-backed government in Baghdad. "(Al-Sistani) rejects the American presence," he told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment to media. "He believes they (the Americans) will at the end pay a heavy price for the damage they inflicted on Iraq."

Iraq bomb injures 6 Marines 24 May 2008 Six U.S. Marines were injured and their Iraqi interpreter was killed Friday when a roadside bomb struck their patrol near Fallouja, the military said. There was at least one other explosion in the city during the day.

US soldier killed by roadside bomb in Iraq 23 May 2008 The U.S. military says an American soldier has been killed by roadside bomb southwest of Baghdad. The military says in a statement that the soldier died on Thursday in the attack 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of the capital.

Iran accuses US of supporting terror group 22 May 2008 Iran has lodged a protest through the Swiss embassy against the US for allegedly supporting a terrorist group. Iran's foreign ministry claimed the bombing of a mosque in Shiraz last month that killed 14 people and injured some 200, was carried out by a terror group in the US. According to the statement through the Swiss embassy, the group inside the US 'is using media and internet facilities to attract terrorists, supply them financial resources, train and dispatch them into Iran'.

Attacks surge in Afghanistan 23 May 2008 The number of attacks on U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan has increased significantly in April and May, causing many here to worry that local peace deals with militants in neighboring Pakistan are allowing them to regroup and focus on fighting across the border in Afghanistan.

British coroner investigating deadly 2006 military crash in Afghanistan says Nimrod spyplanes were never airworthy 23 May 2008 A British coroner investigating the deaths of 14 military personnel in a 2006 plane crash in Afghanistan said Friday that the Nimrod spy planes were never airworthy. Fourteen servicemen died when a Nimrod MR2 on an intelligence-gathering mission exploded following air-to-air refueling near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in September 2006.

Senate Republicans rebuke Bush on Iraq veterans 23 May 2008 Republicans in the US Senate on Thursday rebuked President [sic] George W. Bush and joined majority Democrats to pass a bill offering a fully-paid college education for Iraq and Afghan war veterans.

Pentagon: 16th Guantanamo detainee charged 24 May 2008 A Sudanese national held at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as an enemy combatant has been charged with material support for terrorism.. Noor Uthman Muhammed is alleged to have been a weapons instructor and deputy chief of a militant training camp in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2000, when the camp was closed [!?!], according to the charge sheet.

Supreme Court ruling a partial win for Omar Khadr 23 May 2008 Omar Khadr won a limited victory in the Supreme Court of Canada Friday, but his lawyer had hoped for more. In a 9-0 ruling, the SCC said that Khadr has a constitutional right to material related to interviews conducted by Canadian officials in 2003 at Guantanamo Bay.

Military judge denies motions to delay arraignment of 9-11 suspects 22 May 2008 A military judge on Thursday denied motions to delay the arraignments of five Guantanamo prisoners suspected of mounting the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Military lawyers had sought to postpone the first pretrial hearings for men charged with the 2001 attacks, saying the government has made it impossible to defend them.

Compromise may help Brown avoid 42-day defeat 23 May 2008 A compromise has emerged which may allow Gordon Brown to avoid a humiliating Commons defeat over plans to detain terror suspects for up to 42 days. Ministers and Labour backbenchers are discussing new safeguards to restrict the use of a "reserve power" to extend the current 28-day limit in the Counter Terrorism Bill now before Parliament. The power would be implemented only after the Government asked Parliament to approve it and would require a "yes" vote in both the Commons and Lords.

Bus drivers take saliva samples 23 May 2008 Bus drivers have been given "spit kits" to help prosecute passengers who spit at them. London bus drivers will use swabs to take samples of the saliva, which will be DNA-tested by a new police unit set up to combat attacks on bus drivers. The kits are already used by Tube staff... "Spit kits" are already used by bus drivers in areas including Nottingham, Cardiff, South Yorkshire and Glasgow.

Agent says the FBI is not prepared --The bureau is 'ill-equipped to handle the terrorist threat we are facing,' he tells a House panel. 22 May 2008 Breaking ranks, a career FBI agent told members of Congress on Wednesday that the bureau lacked the experience and sophistication to deal with Middle Eastern terrorists and prevent another catastrophic attack. Agent Bassem Youssef said that counter-terrorism agents and managers at FBI headquarters often lack basic knowledge about Middle Eastern culture, language and terrorists' ideology. Compounding matters, he said, is the fact that the FBI has continued to name supervisors to anti-terrorism positions who have little or no experience outside traditional law enforcement.

Texas officials plan to ask court block ruling in sect case 23 May 2008 Texas child welfare authorities are planning to appeal a ruling that found they had no right to seize more than 440 children from a polygamist sect's ranch. Osler McCarthy, a spokesman for the Texas Supreme Court, says Child Protective Services notified the court Friday that "they will file something today."

Ex-Bush adviser Rove must testify in case that could shame White House 23 May 2008 Karl Rove, the former trusted adviser to President [sic] George Bush, will be compelled to testify on Capitol Hill in a high-profile investigation of alleged political meddling by the White House in decisions made by the US Justice Department. John Conyers, the chairman of the House judiciary committee, yesterday took the unusual step of issuing a subpoena compelling Mr Rove to testify in a case that threatens to disgrace the Bush government.

Bush begins raising money for McCain 23 May 2008 President [sic] Bush starts raising money for Insane McCain's campaign next week, but the three fundraisers are closed, so there will be no news media cameras photographing the outgoing and incoming Republican party leaders together nor reporters observing their joint appearances.

McCain picks former Reagan official to head VP search 23 May 2008 Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has tapped a former Reagan administration official to head his campaign’s search for a vice presidential nominee. Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (TN) told The Hill that Arthur Culvahouse, who was Reagan’s White House counsel from March 1987 to January 1989, will be helping McCain vet candidates and develop a list.

Cindy McCain releases 2006 taxes, made $6 million 23 May 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain's wife, Cindy, released her 2006 tax return under pressure on Friday, showing she paid $1.7 million in taxes on about $6 million in income.

Hillary Clinton apologises for assassination gaffe 24 May 2008 Senator Hillary Clinton has apologized after referring to the assassination of Robert Kennedy in the 1968 Democratic campaign as a reason she should continue to campaign despite increasingly long odds.

Clinton, Discussing Nomination Battle, Invokes R.F.K. Assassination 23 May 2008 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton defended staying in the Democratic nominating contests Friday by saying that her husband did not wrap up the nomination until June 1992 and that, "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California." Her remarks set off a torrent of criticism, and within hours of making them Mrs. Clinton expressed regrets.

Transcript of discussion 23 May 2008 During an interview with the Argus Leader's Editorial Board today, Sen. Hillary Clinton mentioned the assassination of Sen. Bobby Kennedy. Her remarks triggered a storm of attention nationwide.

Clinton Supporter Invokes JFK Killing 08 Jan 2008 In yet another reference to Democratic Party icon John F. Kennedy -- we've heard several in recent days -- Clinton supporter Francine Torge, a retired educator from Durham, mentioned his assassination in her introduction of the senator on Monday. "If you look back, some people have been comparing one of the other candidates to JFK, and he was a wonderful leader," she said. "He gave us a lot of hope. But he was assassinated, and Lyndon Baines Johnson actually did all of his work and got both the Republicans and Democrats to pass those measures."

Here're the savings from Arctic drilling -- 75 cents a barrel 22 May 2008 If Congress were to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, crude oil prices would probably drop by an average of only 75 cents a barrel, according to Department of Energy projections issued Thursday.

Vast cracks appear in Arctic ice 23 Apr 2008 Dramatic evidence of the break-up of the Arctic ice-cap has emerged from research during an expedition by the Canadian military. Scientists travelling with the troops found major new fractures during an assessment of the state of giant ice shelves in Canada's far north. The team found a network of cracks that stretched for more than 10 miles (16km) on Ward Hunt, the area's largest shelf.

Bangladesh toddler 'has bird flu' 22 May 2008 The Bangladeshi health ministry says that a 16-month-old boy has been confirmed as the country's first human case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu. It said that the boy, who lives in the capital Dhaka, had recovered after treatment.


Snakes and Superdelegates --The US media is using the election itself as a distraction for war crimes that are being carried out in our name, every day. By Lori Price 21 May 2008 While the US media obsesses on delegates, superdelegates and whether or not Hillary Clinton is using math formulae hallowed by MSNBC, we learn that US interrogators used snakes to torture prisoners (that's right, PentaPost --torture, not 'interrogate' and prisoners, not 'detainees') at Guantanamo Bay - while the FBI watched.

Vichy Democrats appease Hitler: U.S. Senate approves $165 billion in new war money 22 May 2008 The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved an additional $165 billion to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan for another year after lawmakers blocked proposed timetables for withdrawing American troops from Iraq.

Iraqi TV station says U.S. troops killed cameraman 22 May 2008 An Iraqi television station accused U.S. troops on Thursday of shooting dead one of its cameramen as he walked to his Baghdad home. The body of a second journalist, Haidar Hashim al-Husseini, a reporter for al-Sharq newspaper, was found dumped in a field with nine other corpses in Diyala province, police and colleagues said.

2 Children Among Dead Following US Strike in Iraq 22 May 2008 Iraqi police say a U.S. military strike killed eight people, including two children, north of Baghdad. The police officials say the helicopter strike targeted at least one vehicle near the town of Baiji Wednesday.

US helicopter strike kills eight in Iraq 22 May 2008 US helicopters... attacked two cars near a town northwest of Baghdad and killed eight civilians, including two children, local police said on Thursday. The strafing by two US helicopters occurred near the town of Baiji on Wednesday evening, a police official said, adding that the bodies of six people were mutilated beyond recognition.

Petraeus terms military action in Iran "last resort" [i.e., McCain down in the polls as the 'election' approaches] 22 May 2008 The United States should increase diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran to counter its rising influence, while retaining possible military action as a "last resort," a top U.S. military officer [Gen. David Betrayus] said on Thursday.

Rice warns of more sanctions on Iran 22 May 2008 The United States will aggressively impose more sanctions on Iran as long as it refuses to give up sensitive nuclear work and uses the world's financial system for "terrorism," U.S. Secretary of State [war criminal] Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday.

Medvedev warns over US missile defence plans 22 May 2008 Russia's new president, Dmitry Medvedev, warned on Thursday of "an adequate response" to US missile defence plans in Europe but said Moscow was still ready to negotiate with Washington.

U.S. Iraq deserter loses bid to stay --Faces deportation after assessment found no risk of unusual punishment, treatment 22 May 2008 After a 22-month battle to earn a home in Toronto, a former American soldier [Corey Glass] was told yesterday he will become the first Iraq War resister to be deported from Canadian soil after his application to stay in the country was rejected.

Pelosi denies Olmert proposed U.S. blockade of Iran 22 May 2008 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not propose a U.S. naval blockade of Iran during talks with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat's office said on Thursday.

Global Peace Index: Israel hits rock bottom --Economist Intelligence Unit ranks Israel 136th out of 140 countries, alongside Afghanistan, Chad 20 May 2008 Iceland is the world's most peaceful nation while Israel ranked 136th out of 140 nations, according to the "Global Peace Index," compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The study ranked the United States 97th out of 140 countries according to how peaceful they were domestically and how they interacted with the outside world.

Investigators to confront Olmert with new evidence --Police team to arrive at prime minister's Jerusalem residence Friday morning for questioning session 23 May 2008 Police investigators are scheduled to arrive at Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Jerusalem residence at 10 am Friday for yet another question session in connection with the bribery probe against the PM. Investigators are expected to confront the prime minister with new evidence accumulated during the recent interrogations of Olmert's close associate Uri Messer and businessman Moshe (Morris) Talansky.

House Clears Military Tax Bill Closing Contractor Loophole 20 May 2008 The House of Representatives Tuesday passed unanimously legislation that would force Pentagon mercenaries to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for certain of their employees operating in Iraq and elsewhere overseas. The payroll tax loophole has been used by Iraq contractors including KBR, Inc., (KBR) and MPRI, a unit of L-3 Communications (LLL).

Every $10 oil rise ups US Air Force costs $610 mln 22 May 2008 The U.S. Air Force operates the "world's largest airline" and every $10-per-barrel increase in crude oil boosts its annual operating costs by $610 million, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said on Thursday. The Air Force's bill for aviation fuel was about $6 billion in fiscal 2007, Wynne told a defense industry group.

FBI terrorism units badly run, understaffed: agent 21 May 2008 FBI counterterrorism units are dangerously ill-equipped and barely 60 percent of the supervisory positions in the division that tracks al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] were filled as of March, a bureau agent told Congress on Wednesday. Last year the bureau assigned 12 staffers with no counterterrorism experience to work as international terrorism supervisors, agent Bassem Youssef said.

Moles Wanted --In preparation for the Republican National Convention, the FBI is soliciting informants to keep tabs on local protest groups 21 May 2008 ...The University of Minnesota sophomore said the FBI agent and police officer were looking for an informant--someone to show up at "vegan potlucks" throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement.

Dangers of mainland DHS disease lab debated at hearing 22 May 2008 One of the nation's oldest farm groups said Thursday a proposed foot-and-mouth disease research laboratory on the U.S. mainland, near livestock, could be an inviting target for terrorists. Commercial livestock representatives and the Bush regime insisted it would be safe to move an island lab to sites near animals. Such work now is confined to the 840-acre Plum Island, N.Y., off the northeastern tip of Long Island. Foot-and-mouth disease has been classified as a national security issue at least since 2003, when the Homeland Security Department took control of the island from the Agriculture Department, which had run it since the mid-1950s.

Alaska to sue to block polar bear listing 22 May 2008 The state of Alaska will sue the U.S. government to stop the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species, arguing the designation will slow development in the state, Gov. Sarah Palin said on Wednesday. Palin said the state will file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington challenging U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne's decision to grant Endangered Species Act protections to the polar bear.

More political meddling found in species decisions in California 21 May 2008 The Bush administration politically tinkered with more endangered species decisions in California than previously admitted, federal investigators revealed Wednesday. Decisions concerning the California tiger salamander, Sacramento splittail and other species exemplified a pattern of interference by former Interior Department official Julie MacDonald, investigators told a House panel. MacDonald invariably moved to restrict species protections. "Her fingerprints have been all over countless decisions," said Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Former Bush aide Rove again subpoenaed in probe --Rove to again refuse to testiLIE, citing 'executive privilege' 22 May 2008 Karl Rove, who had been one of President [sic] George W. Bush's top aides, was subpoenaed on Thursday for a second time to testiLIE in a congressional probe of the administration's firing of federal prosecutors. The former deputy White House chief of staff quickly indicated through his attorney he would again refuse, citing executive privilege that protects conversations between a president and his staff.

RNC Hiring Rove Protege to Dig Oppo Research On Obama By Greg Sargent 22 May 2008 The Republican National Committee is hiring one of the party's toughest oppo-researchers -- former Karl Rove protege Tim Griffin, who was also at the center of the U.S. Attorney scandal -- to dig into Barack Obama's past and unearth info to damage his general election candidacy, a senior Republican operative confirms to me.

Clinton may take delegate fight to convention 21 May 2008 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has raised the possibility she might carry her fight to the Democratic convention floor. In an interview with The Associated Press, Clinton said she is willing to take her fight to seat Florida and Michigan delegates to the convention if the two states want to go that far.

Clinton stronger in swing states, polls say 22 May 2008 For a campaign struggling against the inexorable tide of numbers, some new poll numbers out today could provide a lifeline. Quinnipiac University surveys of key fall swing states shows Hillary Clinton with sizable leads over Republican John McCain in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, while Barack Obama, who is on the verge of clinching the Democratic nomination, trails McCain in two of the three.

Polls: Registered Dems Still Prefer Clinton By Daniel Nichanian 22 May 2008 A lot of presidential polls to digest today, as SUSA, Rasmussen and two other polling groups released new match-ups for a total of 8 states with some surprises and some expected results... In North Carolina, SUSA finds surprising results: Hillary Clinton is leading McCain 49% to 43%, while Obama is trailing 51% to 43%.

Reuters/Zogby: Mood of Americans Turns Dour --Survey shows job approval for President [sic] Bush hits all-time low of 23%; Congress slumps back to record-low mark of 11% 21 May 2008 The job approval rating for the President have hit an all-time low, and now stand at just 23%, down from 27% in April and surpassing his previous record-low approval of 25% in October of 2007.

Oil pulls back after hitting record above $135 22 May 2008 Oil prices pulled back sharply from a record above $135 a barrel on Thursday as dealers took profits from a dazzling rally and a recovering U.S. dollar dampened commodities markets. U.S. crude settled down $2.36 at $130.81 a barrel after jumping earlier in the session to a record $135.09.

Big Oil defends profits before irate senators --Five oil companies earned $36 billion during the first three months of 2008. 21 May 2008 On a day oil prices leaped to unheard-of highs, senators lined up Big Oil's biggest executives and pummeled them with complaints that they're pretending to be "hapless victims" while raking in record profits.

Uranium Producer Warns of Lake Ontario Pollution 22 May 2008 Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer, has told the Canadian nuclear regulator that its refinery might have leaked uranium, arsenic and fluorides into Lake Ontario. The plant at Port Hope, Ontario, across the lake from Rochester and down the shore from Toronto, first refined uranium for the Manhattan Project during World War II. It has been temporarily closed since July to remove contaminated soil. A spokesman for Cameco, Lyle Krahn, said Wednesday that a computer model created for the cleanup, which is several months behind schedule, indicated that the radioactive and toxic materials have been polluting a harbor adjacent to the factory. The harbor leads directly to the lake.

Tempe firm to pay $130K for hazardous waste violations 22 May 2008 A Tempe firm [IMC Magnetics] will pay $130,000 for violating Arizona hazardous waste statutes in a settlement announced Thursday by Attorney General Terry Goddard and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens.

Italy wants to bring back nuclear power 22 May 2008 Italy's industry minister says the new government plans to [insanely] restart the country's nuclear power program. Claudio Scajola told a business lobby group Thursday that the government has scheduled the start of construction of the first new nuclear-powered plant by 2013.

AP: Leaky New Orleans levee alarms experts 21 May 2008 Despite more than $22 million in 'repairs,' a levee that broke was exploded with catastrophic effect during Hurricane Katrina is leaking again because of the mushy ground on which New Orleans was built, raising serious questions about the reliability of the city's flood defenses. The Army Corps of Engineers has spent about $4 billion so far of the $14 billion set aside by Congress to repair and upgrade the metropolitan area's hundreds of miles of levees by 2011.

Halliburton's KBR unit gets contract to repair Gulf Coast facilities 06 Sep 2005 Halliburton Co.'s Kellogg Brown & Root subsidiary has begun work on a $500 million U.S. Navy contract for emergency repairs at Gulf Coast naval and marine facilities that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina, according to an Associated Press report.

Bush bin Laden is giving away US infrastructure so that his corpora-terrorist cronies can build (at taxpayer expense) the Trans-Texas Corridor. Two groups bid for Pa. Turnpike lease: WSJ 11 May 2008 At least two [foreign] groups submitted undisclosed cash offers for the 75-year lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. One group is led by Spanish toll-road operator Abertis Infraestructuras SA, while the second group includes Spain's Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructura de Transporte SA and Australia's Macquarie Infrastructure Group, the newspaper said in a report on its website.

Toll Road Giant Buys Newspapers to Silence Critics --Critics charge that the Macquarie purchase of American Consolidated Media is designed to silence critics of a Texas toll road project. 26 Jan 2007 Australian toll road giant Macquarie agreed Wednesday to purchase forty local newspapers, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, for $80 million. Macquarie Bank is Australia's largest capital raising firm and has invested billions in purchasing roads in the US, Canada and UK. Most recently the company joined with Cintra Concesiones of Spain in a controversial 75-year lease of the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road. Sal Costello, head of the Texas Toll Party, says the move is directly related to a 4000-mile toll road project known as the Trans-Texas Corridor.

Appeals Court Rules Against Texas in Polygamy Case 22 May 2008 A Texas appeals court ruled Thursday that state authorities and a lower court judge abused their authority by illegally seizing up to 468 children from their homes at a polygamist ranch in West Texas last month.

Lost parrot tells veterinarian his address 21 May 2008 When Yosuke the parrot flew out of his cage and got lost, he did exactly what he had been taught -- recite his name and address to a stranger willing to help. Police rescued the African grey parrot two weeks ago from a neighbor's roof in the city of Nagareyama, near Tokyo. After spending a night at the station, he was transferred to a nearby veterinary hospital while police searched for clues, local policeman Shinjiro Uemura said. He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet. "I'm Mr. Yosuke Nakamura," the bird told the veterinarian, according to Uemura. The parrot also provided his full home address, down to the street number.


Former Clinton Whitehouse aide: We're in for a "cataclysmic" Bush endgame --Sidney Blumenthal says Bush feels "unconstrained." 20 May 2008 Sidney Blumenthal, journalist, former Clinton White House aide and senior advisor to Hillary Clinton, today spoke at Third Way... He said that the US faces a "cataclysmic" final few months of the Bush term, and that Bush is determined to leave a lasting mark on the world regardless of who is elected the next president. "Bush feels unconstrained right now, and a sense of urgency," Blumenthal said, later referring to a Jerusalem Post story that warns Bush plans to attack Iran before his term ends in January.

Israel PM calls for naval blockade of Iran 21 May 2008 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has urged the United States to impose a naval blockade on Iran [an act of war] to pressure it to stop its controversial nuclear programme, the Haaretz daily reported on Wednesday. Rafi Eitan, a member of Olmert's security cabinet, said he also favoured air travel restrictions against Iran. "A blockade of maritime and air routes against Iran is a good possibility," Eitan, the minister in charge of pensioners' affairs, told public radio. "There are voices we hear in Washington that indicate the military option remains open," he added.

Olmert to U.S.: Impose naval blockade on Iran 21 May 2008 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has proposed in discussions with the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, that a naval blockade be imposed on Iran as one of several ways to pressure Iran into stopping its uranium enrichment program. Although the White House denied a published report that U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term in January, the Bush regime is said not to have ruled out entirely the possibility of an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Israel and Syria admit the start of formal peace talks in Istanbul --Olmert's move criticised as 'sell-out' or 'smokescreen' 21 May 2008 Israel and Syria announced today they have begun indirect talks to reach a "comprehensive peace" in the first formal negotiations between the two mutual enemies for eight years. Israeli and Syrian officials have been in Istanbul since Monday, holding meetings with Turkish officials who have shuttled between both sides.

Olmert confirms peace talks with Syria 21 May 2008 Israel and Syria are holding indirect peace talks, with Turkey acting as a mediator, a spokesman for Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, confirmed for the first time today. Both countries have "indicated they want to lead these negotiations in a serious spirit so as to reach a comprehensive peace agreement", Olmert's spokesman said.

U.S. shoots 11 in Iraq 21 May 2008 The U.S. military said its troops shot dead 11 militants in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday, but police and several residents said at least some of the dead were civilians killed by U.S. snipers. An official at police headquarters in eastern Baghdad said 11 bodies had been removed from Obaidi, including three elderly men, two street cleaners and three Mehdi Army fighters.

Miliband backs tribal talks to halt Taliban --'No military solution' to spread of extremism --Foreign secretary will irk US by urging conciliation 21 May 2008 David Miliband will today argue there is "no military solution" to the spread of extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal areas, and back the pursuit of political reconciliation in both countries. US officials have privately expressed growing alarm at the talks.

Attacks on Khyber trucking threaten US supply line 20 May 2008 Thieves [Blackwater], feuding tribesmen and Taliban militants are creating chaos along the main Pakistan-Afghanistan highway, threatening a vital supply line for U.S. and NATO forces. Many of the trucks carry fuel and other material for foreign troops based in Afghanistan. U.S. and NATO officials play down their losses in these arid mountains of northwestern Pakistan -- even though the local arms bazaar offers U.S.-made assault rifles and Beretta pistols, and the alliance is negotiating to open routes through other countries.

Explosion Kills 2 NATO Soldiers, Interpreter in Afghanistan 21 May 2008 NATO says an explosion in Afghanistan's eastern province of Ghazni has killed two soldiers and a civilian interpreter. In a statement released Wednesday, NATO officials say the soldiers and the interpreter were on patrol Tuesday when they were hit by the blast. NATO says a third soldier was wounded.

Negroponte to equip, train special operations units of Pakistan Army 21 May 2008 The US Deputy Secretary of State [terrorist], John Negroponte has said the country is working hard to help Pakistan acquire the tools [death squads] to conduct aggressive and sustained counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations. Mr Negroponte said the Pentagon would equip and train special operations units of the Pakistan Army for the purpose.

Pakistan signs deal with Taliban militants 21 May 2008 The Pakistani government has agreed to withdraw troops and introduce Sharia law in the conflict-ravaged Swat valley in exchange for a halt to Taliban suicide bombings and attacks on government buildings. The breakthrough is a coup for the government, which is eager to end militant violence, but will be warily regarded by the US [LOL!], which advocates a strong hand against the Taliban.

FBI watched Guantanamo abuse - report 21 May 2008 An FBI agent watched Australian prisoner [former Sydney taxi driver] Mamdouh Habib repeatedly vomit during a marathon interrogation session at Guantanamo Bay in 2004, according to a long-awaited US Justice Department report released today. Details about Mr Habib's confinement at Guantanamo, including an alleged assault inflicted by a private-contract interrogator with Lockheed Martin, were included in the 370-page report that took the Department of Justice more than three years to compile.

Report: CIA Pushed Torture Envelope --Justice Department Says FBI Warned Spy Agency, Military, That Their Tactics Were "Borderline Torture" 20 May 2008 CIA and military interrogators bucked repeated warnings from the FBI that methods used to question terror suspects were in some cases "borderline torture" and potentially illegal, the Justice Department's internal watchdog reported Tuesday. Agents repeatedly asked FBI headquarters for guidance, but didn't get it, as prisoners at Guantanamo were threatened with growling dogs, had their thumbs twisted back and heads wrapped in duct tape.

Report: U.S. Soldiers Did 'Dirty Work' for Chinese Interrogators --Alleges Guantanamo Personnel Softened Up [Tortured] Detainees at Request of Chinese Intelligence 20 May 2008 U.S. military personnel at Guantanamo Bay allegedly softened up prisoners at the request of Chinese intelligence officials who had come to the island facility to interrogate the men -- or they allowed the Chinese to dole out the treatment themselves, according to claims in a new government report. Buried in a Department of Justice report released Tuesday are new allegations about a 2002 arrangement between the United States and China, which allowed Chinese intelligence to visit Guantanamo and interrogate Chinese Uighurs held there.

Excerpts from Justice terror interrogations audit (AP) Excerpts from the Justice Department audit of terror interrogations at overseas military bases 20 May 2008 'The range of permissible DOD (Defense Department) techniques was expanded after the September 11 attacks and was modified over time. These military policies permitted techniques that were inconsistent with the FBI's long-standing approach towards witness interrogations.'

Mubarak snubs Bush at World Economic Forum --Egyptian leader walks out after Bush misses his keynote 19 May 2008 The presidents of Egypt and the United States appeared to snub each other at the opening of the World Economic Forum in the Red Sea city of Sharm al-Sheikh yesterday, press reports said, aggravating tensions between Washington and Cairo. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak inaugurated the meeting with a keynote speech, attended by some 14 heads of state and government, but not U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush, Egyptian daily Al-Masry al-Youm reported on Monday. As Mubarak spoke, the seats of the American delegation remained empty. According to Al-Masry al-Youm, Mubarak deliberately left the Forum's main hall after delivering his speech and did not wait to hear Bush's address.

Interpol Notes Improper Initial Handling of FARC Laptops 15 May 2008 Interpol reported Thursday that the files found on computers that Colombia seized from a FARC guerrilla camp in March were not tampered with and did belong to the rebel group. But it also said the handling of the laptops and hard drives in the first 48 hours after they were discovered "may complicate validating this evidence for purposes of its introduction in a judicial proceeding".

Sanders: Blackwater must go through public review process 20 May 2008 Amid growing controversy, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said this week that he won't allow Blackwater Worldwide to open its Navy training facility in Otay Mesa until the plan goes through the city's public review process. The company has leased a 61,600-square-foot warehouse in a business park three blocks from the U.S.-Mexico border near Brown Field.

George W Bush Authorized 911 Attacks, Says Government Insider 20 May 2008 Stanley Hilton was a senior advisor to Sen. Bob Dole (R) and has personally known Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz for decades. The following is from his latest visit to Alex Jones' radio show. "This (9/11) was all planned. This was a government-ordered operation. Bush personally signed the order. He personally authorized the attacks. He is guilty of treason and mass murder." --Stanley Hilton - Alex Jones interview of Stanley Hilton, attorney for 911 taxpayers' lawsuit.

Plan to record all calls and emails alarms watchdog 21 May 2008 Internet companies and security experts have reacted angrily to the prospect of a government database that could keep a record of every telephone call, email and website visit made in Britain. Proposals in the forthcoming data communications bill show how the Home Office is planning to create a database that would allow officials to monitor all communications traffic. The bill would force internet and telephone companies to keep full details of every movement made by customers, with government agencies across Europe potentially able to access the information.

Oil surges near $134 on supply woes, weak dollar 21 May 2008 Oil prices surged nearly $5 to a record near $134 a barrel on Wednesday after a U.S. government report showed a surprise drop [?] in crude stockpiles, reinvigorating fears of a supply crunch. The gains bring oil up more than 33 percent so far this year in a rally that has raised alarm bells in consumer countries like the United States, already hard-hit by a housing slump and credit crisis. [See: Exxon Mobil's Profit in 2007 Tops $40 Billion 02 Feb 2008.]

Shortage fears push oil futures near $140 21 May 2008 Fears of a shortage within five years propelled long-term oil futures prices to almost $140 a barrel, further stoking inflationary pressures in the global economy. The spot price of Nymex West Texas Intermediate hit a record $130.30 a barrel on Wednesday. On Tuesday investors had rushed to buy oil futures contracts as far forward as December 2016, pushing their prices as high as $139.50 a barrel, up more than $9.50 on the day.

House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices, Bush threatens veto 20 May 2008 The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved (324-84) legislation on Tuesday allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices, but the White House threatened to veto the measure. The bill would subject OPEC oil producers to the same antitrust laws that U.S. companies must follow.

Barack Obama juggernaut 'will crush John McCain' 21 May 2008 Senator Barack Obama has established a battle-tested 50-state grassroots organisation and fundraising "juggernaut" that will crush John McCain in November, according to his senior advisers.

Obama Says Nomination 'Within Reach' 21 May 2008 Senator Barack Obama took a big step toward becoming the Democratic presidential nominee on Tuesday, amassing enough additional delegates to claim an all but insurmountable advantage in his race against Senator Hillary Clinton. "We have returned to Iowa with a majority of delegates elected by the American people, and you have put us within reach of the Democratic nomination for president of the United States of America," Mr. Obama said in an address on Tuesday night, standing in front of a moonlit Capitol in Des Moines.

Obama wins Oregon, moves to brink of nomination 21 May 2008 Barack Obama stepped to the brink of victory in the Democratic presidential race Tuesday night, defeating Hillary Clinton in the Oregon primary and moving within 100 delegates of the total he needs to claim the prize at the party convention this summer.

Clinton win turns up heat on superdelegates 21 May 2008 Kentucky voters overwhelmingly picked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as their choice for the Democratic presidential nomination, but it wasn’t immediately clear if Gov. Steve Beshear and two other uncommitted superdelegates [Kentucky Democratic Party leaders Jennifer Moore and Nathan Smith] will follow their lead.

Clinton Beats Obama in Kentucky 20 May 2008 Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) claimed an easy and expected victory tonight in Kentucky's Democratic presidential primary, while voters continued to cast ballots in Oregon where Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) was leading in the polls. With complete returns from Kentucky, Clinton trounced Obama, 65 percent to 30 percent.

Clinton wins Kentucky Democratic primary 20 May 2008 Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) has won the Kentucky primary over rival Sen. Barack Obama (IL). Campaigning with his wife in Kentucky, former President Clinton dismissed Obama's inevitable claim on pledged delegates. "There won't be tonight, unless you decapitate Michigan and Florida, which violates our values and is dumb politics," Bill Clinton said.

Clinton's Claim By Nicholas Wapshott 21 May 2008 Although Mr. Obama has won more states and more elected delegates by far, the system by which he won is deeply flawed. The system of caucuses not only discriminates against those who cannot afford to spend hours engaging in internecine arguments, such as working class voters, shift workers, mothers, and old people -- the very voters that have overwhelmingly backed Mrs. Clinton -- but caucus states award delegates out of proportion to the numbers who voted. In addition, closed primaries which only allow registered Democrats to vote have, except for Illinois, voted for Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Obama has tended to win states that allow independents and Republicans to vote for the Democratic nominee.

Kennedy Leaves Hospital in Boston 22 May 2008 One day after learning that he has a malignant brain tumor, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the longtime Massachusetts Democrat and patriarch of the Kennedy family, walked out of a hospital to a crowd of well wishers on Wednesday, appearing strong and cheerful.

Gov. Paterson Undergoes Successful Procedure 20 May 2008 Gov. David Paterson is recovering at home Tuesday afternoon after undergoing a procedure to relieve pressure in his left eye due to acute glaucoma. Paterson, who is legally blind, underwent an iridotomy - a routine, outpatient laser procedure. A hospital spokesperson told CBS 2, the governor's procedure went well, and he is expected to make a complete recovery.

NY police charge seven officers in groom shooting 20 May 2008 Seven New York police officers involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man on his wedding night are facing internal disciplinary action, a police spokesman said on Tuesday. All seven men are due to face hearings, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said.

Critics: Polar bear plan must fight global warming 20 May 2008 Conservation groups returned to court to challenge Bush administration efforts to help save the polar bear, saying federal officials' refusal to include steps against global warming violates the Endangered Species Act. In court documents filed late Friday, the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups asked a federal judge to reject Interior Department actions that were announced last week.

Senate panel votes to overturn EPA on Calif. waiver 21 May 2008 A Senate panel voted narrowly Wednesday to overturn EPA's decision blocking California and more than a dozen other states from limiting greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. The bill by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, passed her committee 10 to 9.

Senate bill targets ship pollution 21 May 2008 Domestic and foreign ships traveling to U.S. ports would be required to use cleaner fuel under legislation that passed a Senate committee Wednesday. Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California says emissions from ship engines are a major cause of air-quality problems at the nation's ports.

Razing urged for waste site --US says buildings are contaminated 15 May 2008 (MA) Federal environmental officials are recommending that all buildings at the Starmet Corp. hazardous waste site in Concord be demolished because they are highly contaminated and could pose a safety threat. The buildings are contaminated inside and out with depleted uranium, a radioactive and toxic material, and other hazardous substances, the officials say.


White House denies imminent plans to attack Iran --Report: President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney believe military action needed 20 May 2008 The White House on Tuesday dismissed an Israeli media report that President [sic] Bush intends to attack Iran before his term ends in January. The Jerusalem Post article cited an Israeli Army Radio report that quoted a "senior official in Jerusalem" saying a "senior member of the president's entourage" claimed Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney thought military action was called for against Tehran.

White House denies Army Radio report on plan to attack Iran 20 May 2008 The White House on Tuesday flatly denied an Army Radio report that claimed US President [sic] George W. Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term. Army Radio had quoted a top official in Jerusalem claiming that a senior member in the entourage of President Bush, who visited Israel last week, had said in a closed meeting here that Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney were of the opinion that military action against Iran was called for.

Military officer: Iran jeopardizing 'peace' in Iraq 20 May 2008 The top uniformed U.S. military officer told Congress Tuesday that Iran is directly jeopardizing any potential for peace in Iraq, prompting fresh calls from senators that the U.S. pursue diplomatic talks with Tehran. Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that "irresponsible actions" by Iran's Revolutionary Guard "directly jeopardize" 'peace' in Iraq. [*What* peace in Iraq?]

Oil close to $130 after buying surge 20 May 2008 The cost of oil was today poised to break through the $130-a-barrel barrier for the first time after supply shortages and forecasts of high prices for years to come led to a surge in buying on the world's energy markets. Rumours from Israel denied by the White House, that president [sic] Bush is planning a military strike on Iran, added to the frenzied mood [and Exxon Mobil's coffers].

W. House ignored FBI concerns on prisoner 'borderline torture' 20 May 2008 Top Bush administration security officials ignored FBI concerns over abusive treatment of terrorism suspects, which one agent called "borderline torture," a four-year Justice Department probe found. The FBI, alarmed by interrogation techniques such as the use of snarling dogs, sexual provocation and forced nudity, clashed with the Defense Department and CIA over their use, said the 370-page report, released on Tuesday by the Justice Department's inspector general.

Report: FBI Slow in Reporting Detainee Abuse 20 May 2008 FBI officials should have moved more quickly to sound alarms about abusive interrogation practices torture its agents witnessed in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report by an agency watchdog released this morning. The lengthy study by the Justice Department's inspector general clears the FBI of engaging in coercive questioning of terrorism suspects, concluding that "the vast majority of FBI agents deployed in the military zones" adhered to bureau policies and balked at more aggressive tactics used by Defense Department and CIA employees and contractors mercenaries.

Lawyer: Terror suspect at Guantanamo attempted suicide 20 May 2008 The alleged "20th hijacker" in the Sept. 11 attacks tried to kill himself at Guantanamo last month, his lawyer disclosed Tuesday, saying the Saudi prisoner was distraught over a possible death sentence for charges later dropped by the Pentagon. Mohammed al-Qahtani cut himself at least three times and had to be hospitalized at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba, attorney Gitanjali Gutierrez said.

Efforts to close Guantanamo at standstill: Gates 20 May 2008 Efforts to explore ways of closing the military-run prison at Guantanamo Bay have reached a standstill due to legal and practical problems, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday. Human rights groups and many governments, including allies of the United States, have called on the Bush dictatorship to close the prison, saying it violates international legal standards and harms America's standing in the world.

Reuters seeks new inquiry into Iraq hotel deaths 20 May 2008 Reuters News said on Tuesday it was seeking a fresh inquiry into the 2003 killing of two journalists in Baghdad [Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk and Jose Couso, a cameraman with Telecinco] by a U.S. tank crew after a report raised new questions about their deaths. On May 15, Democracy Now posted an interview with a former U.S. army sergeant in military intelligence who said that prior to the invasion she had been given a list of targets for potential attack that included the Palestine Hotel. The sergeant, Adrienne Kinne, said she had also been ordered to eavesdrop on the telephone conversations of journalists who were staying at the hotel.

New Troops in Iraq Will Keep Number at 140,000 20 May 2008 Seven active-duty Army brigades have been scheduled to deploy to Iraq later this year, the Defense Department announced yesterday, a plan that would allow U.S. commanders to keep troop levels at about 140,000 through the end of the Bush regime and into the next president's term.

2 NATO soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan 19 May 2008 Two NATO soldiers were killed in separate incidents in southern Afghanistan on Monday, the alliance said. "One soldier was killed by enemy hostile action and another was killed in an improvised explosive device blast while supporting an Afghan National Police operation," the statement said.

Venezuela denounces U.S. after airspace violation 20 May 2008 (Caracas) The defense minister said Monday that an American fighter plane violated Venezuelan airspace over the weekend, prompting the government here to summon the United States ambassador to explain the incident and other recent statements about Venezuela by senior American officials.

Japan pays Australian rape victim $30,000 as US sailor walks free 20 May 2008 Japan will pay compensation of three million yen ($30,000) to an Australian woman who was raped in 2002 by a US sailor who never faced prosecution. But the victim, who uses the pseudonym of Jane, says it means little because the rapist is still free.

Home Office plans to create 'Big brother' database for phones calls, emails and web use --The Government wants to create the system to 'fight' terrorism and crime. 20 May 2008 The Home Office will create a database to store the details of every phone call made, every email sent and every web page visited by British citizens in the previous year under plans currently under discussion, it has emerged. Telecom firms and internet service providers (ISPs) have already been approached by the Home Office, which would be given customer records if the plans were realised.

Discrimination against military to become crime 20 May 2008 (UK) The Government is to bring in new laws making it a criminal offence to discriminate against people in military uniform and impose extra penalties on those convicted of assault or harassment of service personnel. The new legislation will be among 40 recommendations in a report adopted by the Government, including an Armed Forces Day bank holiday and a drive to enrol state school pupils into cadet forces.

In Presidential Memo, A New Designation for Classifying Information 19 May 2008 A new Bush memorandum, signed on the eve of his daughter Jenna's wedding, introduced "Controlled Unclassified Information" as a new government category that will replace "Sensitive but Unclassified." Such information -- though it does not merit the well-known national security classifications "confidential," "secret" or "top secret" -- is nonetheless "pertinent" to U.S. "national interests" or to "important interests of entities outside the federal government," the memo says. The information could be, for example, the steps taken to protect power plants from terrorists [hiring Blackwater mercenaries], or which pipelines are most vulnerable to attack.

Lieberman Calls on Google to Take Down 'Terrorist' Content 19 May 2008 Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, R-Israel, Monday called on Google to remove Internet video content produced by terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. In a letter sent to Dr. Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, Inc., LieberBush wrote: "Today, Islamist terrorist organizations rely extensively on the Internet to attract supporters and advance their cause... Islamist terrorist organizations use YouTube to disseminate their propaganda, enlist followers, and provide weapons training – activities that are all essential to terrorist activity."

YouTube refuses Lieberman request --LieberBush told to go f*ck himself 19 May 2008 The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today [Joe LieberBush] asked Google, the parent company of the popular online video-sharing site, YouTube, to "immediately remove content produced by Islamist terrorist organizations" from YouTube and prevent similar content from reappearing. However, the company immediately refused to comply with his request. "While we respect and understand his views, YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view," the company said.

US Rep Waxman Threatens to Throw Rep Issa Out of Hearing 20 May 2008 The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee threatened to remove one of the panel's top [bottom-feeding] Republicans from a hearing as a dispute escalated over the refusal of the nation's top environmental regulator to say whether he had spoken with President [sic] George W. Bush before deciding on a host of environmental policies. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., banged his gavel six times in an effort to silence Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., before shouting "I will have you physically removed from this meeting if you don't stop."

Sen. Kennedy has malignant brain tumor 20 May 2008 Senator Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor, according to a statement from his doctor. "Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe,'' said Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy's primary care physician, in a statement.

Senator Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor 20 May 2008 Senator Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant tumor in his brain, his doctors said Tuesday. Tests performed over the weekend at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston indicted that Mr. Kennedy, 76, has a type of cancer known as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe, the upper left portion of his brain.

NY Gov. Paterson in hospital for migraine symptoms 20 May 2008 Gov. David Paterson (D) was taken to a hospital in Manhattan on Tuesday after experiencing migraine-like symptoms. Preliminary tests were normal and he was to undergo more tests later in the day, his office said in a statement. Paterson's health has been a concern in recent years, and he has been hospitalized at least twice before. Under the state constitution, New York was left without a lieutenant governor when Paterson, a Democrat, succeeded Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in March amid a prostitution scandal. Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, a Republican, is next in the line of succession.

Gov. Paterson In Hospital With Migraine 20 May 2008 New York Gov. David Paterson has been diagnosed with acute glaucoma in his left eye and is undergoing an outpatient laser procedure. Paterson admitted himself to Manhattan's Mount Sinai Medical Center earlier today after experiencing "migraine-like symptoms."

Sebelius vetoes bill requiring voters to show photo ID 19 May 2008 A bill requiring Kansas voters to show photo identification in 2010 elections was vetoed today by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D). The measure -- HB 2019 -- was similar to a measure she threatened to veto during last year’s legislative session. Last year’s measure failed, but this year’s version passed through the efforts of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate. In her veto message, the governor said the bill created a roadblock that prevents citizens from voting.

Karl Rove's sly deal with Fox --The GOP mastermind is billed as a top campaign analyst for the cable news network. But he has his fingerprints all over John McCain's White House bid. By Amanda Terkel and Matt Corley 20 May 2008 Fox News hosts routinely introduce Rove as a "former senior advisor to President [sic] Bush," "the architect," a "political wizard" and a "famed political consultant." But never has he been introduced as he should be -- as an informal advisor and maxed-out donor to John McCain's presidential campaign.

Obama to reach delegate milestone today 20 May 2008 Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) will reach a significant milestone Tuesday as he marches toward the Democratic nomination for president -- a majority of pledged delegates at stake in all the primaries and caucuses.

Democrats Vote in Kentucky, Oregon 20 May 2008 Democrats in Kentucky and Oregon added their choices today to the presidential nominating contest between Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), a race the Obama campaign says is practically won but that Clinton's supporters insist is not yet over.

Cancer survivor Lester throws no-hitter vs Royals 19 May 2008 Jon Lester can now add pitching a no-hitter to his already amazing list of accomplishments. The 24-year-old lefty, who survived cancer to pitch the World Series clincher for the Boston Red Sox last fall, shut down Kansas City 7-0 Monday night for the first no-hitter in the majors this season.


CIA death squads killing with "impunity" in Afghanistan By Joe Kay 19 May 2008 A United Nations investigator [Philip Alston] released a preliminary report last week citing widespread civilian deaths in Afghanistan, often at the hands of unaccountable units led by the CIA or other foreign intelligence agencies... In 2005, US media reported on the operations of US-backed deaths squads in Iraq, deployed to kill suspected opponents of the US occupation. Yasser Salihee, a special correspondent for news agency Knight Ridder who was investigating the death squads, was killed with a bullet to the head in June of that year. Separate reports related how the US military had modeled Iraqi units on the death squads deployed in Central America during the 1980s to eliminate left-wing opposition to US policies.

US attack on Baghdad media hotel no accident: rights group 19 May 2008 A media rights group called for a full probe into a 2003 US shelling that killed two foreign journalists at a Baghdad hotel, claiming that new evidence showed the incident was not an accident. The International Federation of Journalists said the United States should "tell the whole truth" about the incident at the Palestine Hotel on April 8, 2003, just a day before Baghdad fell to US invading forces.

US says detains 500 juveniles in Iraq, 10 in Afghanistan --Civil liberties groups denounce detentions as abhorrent, and a violation of U.S. treaty obligations. 19 May 2008 The U.S. military is holding about 500 juveniles suspected of being "unlawful enemy combatants" in detention centers in Iraq and has about 10 detained at the U.S. base at Bagram, Afghanistan, the United States has told the United Nations. A total of 2,500 youths under the age of 18 have been imprisoned, almost all in Iraq, for periods up to a year or more in President [sic] George W. Bush's anti-terrorism campaign since 2002, the United States reported last week to the U.N.'s Committee on the Rights of the Child.

'This heinous crime shows the hatred the leaders and the members of the occupying force have against the Koran and the Muslim people.' US troops use Koran for target practice 19 May 2008 The top American forces commander in Baghdad has apologised to Muslims after a soldier shot a Koran several times in target practice. The bullet-holed and graffiti-scrawled copy of Islam's holy book was discovered by Iraqi police last week. The staff sergeant responsible has now been sent home in disgrace.

U.S. soldier aims at Quran at Iraqi police shooting range --Picture of Quran show multiple bullet holes, expletive scrawled on page 18 May 2008 A U.S. soldier used the Quran -- Islam's holy book -- for target practice. The soldier, whose name was not released, shot at a Quran on May 9, villagers said. A tribal leader said "the criminal act by U.S. forces" took place at a shooting range at the Radhwaniya police station. After the shooters left, an Iraqi policeman found a target marked in the middle of the bullet-riddled Quran. Copies of the pictures of the Quran obtained by CNN show multiple bullet holes and an expletive scrawled on one of its pages. The chief U.S. commander in Baghdad issued a formal apology on Saturday.

Iraqi and U.S. forces arrest 'upward of 1,250 individuals' 19 May 2008 Iraqi and U.S. forces have arrested about 100 suspects thought to be crucial to the operations of militant groups in 'al Qaeda's' last haven of north Iraq, the commander of U.S. forces in the area said on Monday. "They have arrested upward of about 1,250 individuals, of which about 100 are critical targets," Major-General Mark Hertling told Reuters in a telephone interview from Mosul.

Pentagon announces Iraq, Afghanistan troop deployments 19 May 2008 The Pentagon on Monday announced upcoming deployments of more than 42,000 troops, including 25,000 active duty Army soldiers who would be sent to Iraq beginning in the fall to replace troops scheduled to come home by year's end. The deployments would maintain a level of 15 brigades in Iraq, or roughly 140,000 troops -- the number military leaders expect will remain on the warfront at the end of July.

Secret operation launched to secure Britons' release 19 May 2008 British and American Special Forces have started a secret operation inside the Shiite Sadr City of Baghdad searching for five British hostages, taking advantage of the recently-signed agreement between the Sadr trend and the Shiite ruling regime, which came into effect last Friday, senior military sources said.

Iran busts CIA terror network 18 May 2008 The Intelligence Ministry on Saturday released details of the detection and dismantling of a terrorist network affiliated to the United States. In a coordinated operation on May 7, Iranian intelligence agents arrested the terrorist network’s members, who were identified in Fars, Khuzestan, Gilan, West Azerbaijan, and Tehran provinces, the Intelligence Ministry announcement said. The group’s plans were devised in the U.S., according to the announcement, which added that they had planned to carry out a number of acts such as bombing scientific, educational, and religious centers, shooting people, and making public places in various cities insecure. [Note: This is a CLG link to the item, as some readers were unable to access tehrantimes.]

Pelosi: More must be done to stop Iran 18 May 2008 Washington must assert to the rest of the world that if they want to be friends with America, they need to do more to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, visiting US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Sunday in an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post. Pelosi said the US needed to be more "proactive" in saying to the countries of the world - including Russia, China and the Muslim countries in Asia - that "one of the pillars of US foreign policy is to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to anyone."

Bush visit to Israel revives talk of a strike on Iran 16 May 2008 President [sic] Bush's historic speech to the Israeli parliament... reawakened lingering hopes among hawks in Israel or the United States for a U.S. military strike to thwart Iran's nuclear program. Israel's Army Radio reported Friday that the possibility of an American strike on Iran was raised in private discussions during Bush's visit. And Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said that the Israeli prime minister and American president were "on the same page" on the issue of Iran.

Bush An "Appeaser," Says Egyptian Press 18 May 2008 Egypt's state-owned press opened fire Saturday on U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush as he arrived for talks with regional leaders at the conclusion of a five-day Mideast tour. The newspapers criticized Mr. Bush's speech Thursday in front of the Israeli Knesset for being overly supportive of the Israelis and not mentioning the Palestinians' plight. "The Torah-inspired speech of Bush raised question marks over the credibility of the U.S. role in the Middle East," wrote Mursi Atallah, the publisher of Al-Ahram, the flagship daily of the state-owned press. "Bush aims to do nothing but appeasing Israel."

Insurgents hit NATO helicopter carrying Afghan governor 17 May 2008 'Insurgents' fired a rocket that hit a NATO helicopter carrying the governor of a key southern Afghan province Saturday, but no one was injured. Helmand Gov. Ghulab Mangal and a delegation of British officials were about to land in the provincial town of Musa Qala when an insurgent rocket-propelled grenade struck the CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

Bazaar bomb kills four 19 May 2008 A suicide attacker blew himself up in a busy bazaar in the key southern Afghan town of Musa Qala today, killing four civilians and wounding about eight people, police said. The attacker ran at a police vehicle patrolling the town, which was seized from Taliban control in December, and exploded on impact, Helmand province police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal said.

Solider killed in Afghan blast 19 May 2008 A British soldier died in an explosion in southern Afghanistan today. The soldier was on foot patrol in Musa Qaleh in Helmand province when he was caught in the blast.

Afghans free foreign contractors 18 May 2008 Afghan security forces have rescued two foreign contractors mercenaries who were kidnapped near the western city of Herat almost a month ago, officials have said. The Indian and Nepalese men, who worked for a US security company, are well.

Bush and Pakistan's premier agree to fight 'terrorism' 18 May 2008 US President [sic] George W. Bush and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday pledged at their first meeting to combat "terrorism", but gave no public indication of a future joint policy. Washington has been concerned by the change in policy since the Pakistani coalition government was formed six weeks ago and began talks with the Taliban, whom US and NATO troops are fighting in neighbouring Afghanistan.

AP: Thousands Killed in 1950 by US's Korean Ally --At least 100,000 said executed by US's Korean ally in 1950 summer of terror 19 May 2008 Grave by mass grave, South Korea is unearthing the skeletons and buried truths of a cold-blooded slaughter from early in the Korean War, when this nation's U.S.-backed regime killed untold thousands of leftists and hapless peasants in a summer of terror in 1950. With U.S. military officers sometimes present, and as North Korean invaders pushed down the peninsula, the southern army and police emptied South Korean prisons, lined up detainees and shot them in the head [as in Iraq], dumping the bodies into hastily dug trenches. Others were thrown into abandoned mines or into the sea. Women and children were among those killed. Many victims never faced charges or trial. The mass executions -- intended to keep possible southern leftists from reinforcing the northerners -- were carried out over mere weeks and were largely hidden from history for a half-century [like the truth about 9/11].

Britain obstructs global ban on use of cluster bombs 19 May 2008 The British Government is accused of being the chief obstacle to the signing of a treaty to ban cluster bombs, which have maimed and killed thousands of civilians worldwide. Countries that have suffered the impact of the bombs, humanitarian groups and former commanders of British forces have called for the UK to drop its insistence on retaining cluster munitions, a stance, they say, that is likely to scupper hopes of securing an agreement at an international conference starting in Dublin today.

Olmert suspected of taking envelopes full of cash 19 May 2008 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is suspected of having taken envelopes full of cash from a U.S. businessman [Morris Talansky], the chief prosecutor said on Monday in his most graphic public account of a corruption case against Olmert.

BAE chief subpoenaed in US over Saudi arms deal 18 May 2008 U.S. officials investigating alleged bribes in a Saudi arms deal subpoenaed the chief executive of BAE Systems, Britain's biggest military contractor, on his arrival in the United States last week, BAE officials said on Sunday. A subpoena was served on CEO Mike Turner at George Bush International Airport in Houston on May 12, said Greg Caires, a BAE spokesman in Washington.

Guns missing from Houston police room 18 May 2008 For months, maybe years, people with criminal backgrounds had access to secure areas of the police station, including a property room from which 30 guns disappeared within six months, according to internal police documents. The documents, obtained by the Houston Chronicle, indicated that lax security created an environment ripe for theft.

A Fifth Top Aide to McCain Resigns --Finance Co-Chairman's Lobbying Ties Are Cited 19 May 2008 Tom Loeffler, the national finance co-chairman for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, resigned yesterday because of his lobbying ties, a campaign adviser said. He is the fifth person to sever ties with the campaign amid a growing concern over whether lobbyists have too great an influence over the Republican nominee.

Rival Camps Plan Inevitable Merger --Clinton, Obama Supporters Discuss Combined Effort to Win in November 18 May 2008 Top fundraisers for Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have begun private talks aimed at merging the two candidates' teams, not waiting for the Democratic nominating process to end before they start preparations for a hard-fought fall campaign.

Clinton: 'This Is Nowhere Near Over' 19 May 2008 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Monday that she had not only won more popular votes than Senator Barack Obama, she had won states totaling far more electoral votes. "The states that I’ve won total 300 electoral votes," she told about 300 people in a high school gymnasium in Maysville, KY. "Right now, more people have voted for me than have voted for my opponent," Mrs. Clinton said.

Obama tells Tenn.'s GOP: 'Lay off my wife' 19 May 2008 Democrat Barack Obama has a message for Tennessee's Republican Party: "Lay off my wife." Obama, his party's presidential front-runner, and his wife, Michelle, were asked in an interview aired Monday on ABC about an online video last week by the state's GOP taking her to task for a comment some considered unpatriotic.

Record Obama Crowd, the Size of a City 18 May 2008 (OR) Sen. Barack Obama has seen his share of large crowds over the last 15 months, but his campaign said they have not approached the numbers gathered along the waterfront here right now. The campaign, citing figures from Duane Bray, battalion chief of Portland Fire & Rescue, estimated that 75,000 people are watching him speak.

Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause 13 May 2008 For all the hope and excitement Obama's candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed -- and unreported -- this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They've been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they've endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can't fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.

Sen. Kennedy Awaits Tests After Seizure 19 May 2008 Sen. Edward M. Kennedy remained in the hospital Sunday, awaiting test results that could explain why he had a seizure a day earlier. Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital said tests would not be complete before Monday, and the hospital and Kennedy's office released no new information about his condition on Sunday.

Glaxo Wins Approval to Sell Pre-Pandemic Flu Vaccine 19 May 2008 GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Europe's largest drugmaker, won European Union permission to sell its pre-pandemic [!?!] flu vaccine, the first approval in the region of a shot to prevent foment an outbreak sparked by the deadly bird flu virus. The vaccine, called Prepandrix, was cleared for sale in 29 countries to protect people against the virus before or at the beginning of a pandemic, London-based Glaxo said today in an e- mailed statement.

Bird Flu Not Forgotten By GlaxoSmithKline [Oh, I am sure it's not.] 19 May 2008 The media pandemic may have died down, but GlaxoSmithKline is betting that the threat of an actual bird flu pandemic is still real enough for governments across Europe. The pharmaceutical company said on Monday it had secured European approval for the first pre-pandemic vaccine against the dreaded H5N1 virus, more commonly known as bird flu, which began to gain notoriety five years ago. A spokesperson for GlaxoSmithKline said that the company believed an eventual pandemic would involve a strain in the H5N1 family, and that a pre-pandemic treatment would save the four-to-six-month delay of having to react to an official pandemic announcement. "The U.K. government could buy it tomorrow and vaccinate us tomorrow," she said. [Hopefully, 'insurgents' will find the production sites before Bush's pharma-terrorists kill us all for fun and profit.]

SKorea mobilises troops for bird flu fight 18 May 2008 South Korea on Sunday mobilised army soldiers for the second time to help battle an outbreak of bird flu, which has already led to the culling of more than seven million poultry, officials said. About 200 soldiers helped kill more than 310,000 chickens and other poultry in the southeastern city of Yangsan hit by the H5N1 virus, the agriculture ministry said.

World food price crisis 'here to stay' --High food prices are here to stay and the world needs a "green revolution" to feed its rising population, the senior humanitarian official at the United Nations has told The Telegraph. 19 May 2008 Sir John Holmes, Britain's former ambassador to Paris who now serves as the UN's under-secretary for humanitarian affairs, said structural changes in the global economy are the cause of the sudden rise in food prices. [Bush's corpora-terrorists created the phony food shortage, since everyone rolled over for Exxon Mobil. Start reading.]

U.S. gasoline prices hit record $3.79/gallon: survey 18 May 2008 The average retail price of a gallon of regular grade gasoline in the U.S. rose to a new record high as the cost of a barrel of crude oil price continued its ascent, an industry analyst said on Sunday.

Mega barf alert! E. coli scare prompts beef recall in 11 states --U.S. Department of Agribusiness says unsure how much meat is being recalled 18 May 2008 A Chicago-based company is recalling beef products distributed in 11 states because of possible E. coli contamination, federal officials say. The U.S. Department of Agribusiness said Friday that no illnesses have been reported from the meat, produced by JSM Meat Holdings Co. The agency was uncertain how much meat is being recalled.

14 tons of spilled Oreo cookies snarl Ill. traffic 19 May 2008 Got milk? Police say a trailer loaded with 14 tons of double-stuffed Oreos has overturned, spilling the cookies still in their plastic sleeves into the median and roadway. Illinois State Police Sgt. Brian Mahoney says the truck's driver was traveling from Chicago to Morris on Interstate 80 around 4 a.m. Monday when he fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into the median.


Iran says intercepted terrorist attack on Russian consulate 14 May 2008 Iran has arrested a terrorist group that planned to blow up the Russian consulate building in the town of Rasht near the Caspian Sea, the Iranian intelligence and security minister said on Wednesday. "This terrorist network, with links to the U.S., planned an explosion at the Russian consulate in Rasht, aiming to create a rift between Iran and its neighbors," Qolam Hosein Mohseni-Ejei was quoted by Fars news agency as saying.

Iran says mosque bombers also planned Russia attack 14 May 2008 Iran's intelligence minister said on Wednesday those behind a bomb blast in a mosque that killed 14 people last month also planned to target a Russian consulate in the Islamic state, an Iranian news agency reported. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the United States, Israel and Britain on Tuesday of being responsible for the blast in the southern city of Shiraz that also wounded 200 people.

Iran holds U.S. responsible for terror attack on diplomats in Baghdad 17 May 2008 Iran has denounced a "terror attack" on its embassy staff in Baghdad and held the United States responsible for violating diplomatic immunity in Iraq, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki made the remarks, while strongly condemning the terror attack, said IRNA.

Iran blames US after diplomats are shot in Baghdad 18 May 2008 Iran angrily blamed the US on Friday after at least three of its diplomats were wounded in a Baghdad shooting, saying the US was encouraging attacks on Iranians in Iraq. The shooting, which may have been by Iraqi soldiers during an argument at a checkpoint, comes amid unprecedented strains between Iran and the Iraqi government, which has long been close to Tehran.

Pentagon Propagandist General Calls for US to Sponsor Terrorism Against Iran By Bill W. 16 May 2008 Last month on Fox News, Ret. Gen. Thomas McInerney, one of the Pentagon’s propaganda team of military analysts exposed by David Barstow in the NYT, openly called for the US to begin committing "tit-for-tat" terrorist attacks by proxy inside Iran: "Here’s what I would suggest to you. Number one, we take the National Council for Resistance to Iran off the terrorist list that the Clinton Administration put them on as well as the Mujahedin-e Khalq at the Camp Ashraf in Iraq. Then I would start a tit-for-tat strategy which I wrote up in the Wall Street Journal a year ago: For every EFP that goes off and kills Americans, two go off in Iran. No questions asked. People don’t have to know how it was done. It's a covert action. They become the most unlucky country in the world..." Media Matters’ exhaustive research into the NYT story shows that McInerney appeared on Fox News 144 times since Jan 2002, and according to this bio from last year’s "Intelligence Summit," McInerney is on the Board of Directors for several companies with defense-related contracts that would seem to benefit from his pro-war propaganda.

Gordon Brown on collision course with George W Bush over Iraq cluster bombs 18 May 2008 British soldiers fighting alongside American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq would face criminal prosecution if the government goes ahead with plans to sign a treaty limiting the use of cluster bombs, senior US diplomats have warned. Gordon Brown’s government is on another collision course with the Bush regime because American officials are concerned that the UK may trade expose British troops to possible legal action, to placate critics of cluster bombs. Under the terms of the so-called Oslo process, any member of the military fighting alongside a country like the US, which refused to join the treaty, must face "criminal penalties".

'Local law and court rulings do not apply.' Iraqi court rulings stop at U.S. detention sites 18 May 2008 Thousands of Iraqis since 2003 who have been freed by their nation's courts but remained in U.S. custody. "I don't know why the U.S. army brought him to an Iraqi court, if they intend to keep him for an unlimited time," said Yahya Ali Humadi's lawyer, Samiya al-Baghdadi. Camp Bucca Commanders say the current international mandate in Iraq, as well as general codes of war, allow them to hold any prisoner until the detainee is no longer considered a threat to U.S. forces. Local law and court rulings do not apply, they add. These dual realities -- freedom granted by Iraqi courts but continued detention by the Americans -- have been faced by about 3,000 Iraqis since 2003 and stand as a sharp contrast between U.S. policies on the battlefield and Washington's appeals for Iraqis to build credible civic institutions.

Iraqi forces detain 1,068 suspected insurgents in Mosul 17 May 2008 Iraqi security forces detained 1,068 suspected 'insurgents' in a major offensive targeting 'al-Qaida' militants in Mosul in northern Iraq, a military source said on Saturday. "A total of 1,068 suspected insurgents have been arrested so far," with large amount of weapons and ammunition confiscated, said Lieut. Gen. Riyadh Jalal Tawfiq, head of the military operation.

Report faults FBI handling of agents' Guantanamo complaints 17 May 2008 A new Justice Department report praises FBI agents for refusing to join in the U.S. military's abusive questioning of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan, but faults the bureau's for responding slowly to complaints from its own agents about the tactics, The New York Times reported on Saturday. Citing people with knowledge of the still-secret report, the Times reported that the department's inspector general's office is said to have concluded that no FBI agents participated in the rough interrogations by the military.

US Military Lawyers Want Charges Dropped Against Guantanamo Detainees 17 May 2008 U.S. military lawyers want charges dropped against [five] alleged conspirators in the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, saying their cases were improperly influenced by a Pentagon adviser. In documents released Friday, defense attorneys argue that Air Force adviser Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann failed to provide fair and objective legal advice, and instead pushed prosecutors to take up "sexy" high-profile cases.

Judge delays Guantanamo trial for Supreme Court 17 May 2008 A military tribunals judge Friday postponed the scheduled 'trial' of Salim Ahmed Hamdan until after the U.S. Supreme Court has decided another key detainee case. Navy Capt. Keith Allred said delaying the start of Salim Hamdan's trial until July 21 ''avoids the potential embarrassment, waste of resources and prejudice to the accused that would'' result were the Bush administration to lose the Supreme Court case.

Torture protests at UC law school ceremonies 17 May 2008 Some 50 protesters, clad in orange jumpsuits and black hoods to emulate the infamous photos of prisoners in Iraq, picketed UC Berkeley's law school graduation ceremony Saturday, demanding that the university fire Professor John Yoo for his authorship of the Bush regime's policies on torture.

U.S. mulls building new detention camp in Afghanistan 18 May 2008 The United States is planning to build a new detention camp at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan for locking up more alleged extremists and terrorists, a Pentagon official said Saturday. "I can confirm there are indeed plans to build a new detention facility at Bagram airfield," local mass media quoted Lieutenant Colonel Mark Wright, a spokesman for the Defense Department, as reporting.

Australian soldier hurt in roadside bomb blast 18 May 2008 An Australian soldier wounded in a roadside attack in southern Iraq yesterday morning is reported to be in a serious but stable condition, with shrapnel wounds to his upper body.

Police arrest 10 men in three countries in Europe in terror investigation 16 May 2008 Ten men of Turkish origin were arrested Friday in three European countries as part of a French investigation into what a judge said was a financial-support network tied to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a terrorist group with links to Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. Eight men were detained in France and one each in Germany and the Netherlands.

Britain is focal point for terrorism, warns Europe's police force --Bleak report portrays EU under siege, with terror plots soaring and the UK fertile ground for jihadist recruiters 18 May 2008 Britain is the focal point for 'Islamic terrorism' across Europe, and its controversial military campaigns overseas are putting the entire continent at risk, a disturbing new report has warned. An analysis of the terrorist threat by Europol, the European Police Office, has concluded that the dangers posed by militant groups rose to unprecedented proportions in 2007, with steep increases in the number of arrests, plots and attacks.

Disaster training exercise set at airport 17 May 2008 (PA) Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity will be the site of an emergency response training exercise. "Operation Terminal Stinger" is scheduled for June 6 and 7 at the facility near Latrobe. The exercise is required by the Federal Aviation Administration and will feature a scenario in which a terrorist cell will down an aircraft with a shoulder-fired missile. The drill will involve various equipment and about 150 volunteers from more than 40 local, county, state and federal aviation, emergency response and law enforcement agencies. [Let's hope the f*ckers don't 'go live.']

NCL to pay $485K in '9/11 backlash' case --NCL settles with EEOC in '9/11 backlash' case 16 May 2008 NCL America has agreed to pay $485,000 to settle a lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in what the agency is calling the first "9/11 backlash" case in Hawaii. The crew members, seven men of Arab or Muslim origin, were allegedly singled out because of a perceived threat, and forced off the Pride of Aloha in the middle of the night while the ship was docked at Maui.

'The government unit's business surged after the post-Sept. 11 boom in government spending.' Booz Allen Units to Part Ways --McLean Consulting Firm's Government Division Being Sold to Carlyle Group 17 May 2008 The consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton said yesterday it is splitting up, selling its U.S. government business to private-equity firm Carlyle Group for $2.54 billion and spinning off its commercial business into a separate company. Booz Allen, based in McLean, has 13,000 local employees and is one of the government's largest providers of services. Carlyle, based in the District, has $81.1 billion under management and is one of the largest private-equity firms in the world.

Michican students subjected to 'open-ended' lockdown 17 May 2008 Some Michigan high school students say they feel untrusted after intense safety rules were put in place in response to the assault of a teacher. Northern and Pontiac Central high school students have been subjected to an open-ended lockdown, consisting of several strict regulations introduced after science and robotics teacher Mark Taylor was attacked and beaten by two students March 18, The Detroit News reported.

Kennedy Is Hospitalized After Seizure 18 May 2008 Edward M. Kennedy, a liberal Democratic icon of the Senate and the surviving patriarch of American political royalty, suffered a seizure at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., yesterday and was rushed by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, hospital officials said.

Ted Kennedy hospitalized after suffering seizures 17 May 2008 Senator Edward M. Kennedy was rushed from his Hyannisport home to Massachusetts General Hospital this morning after an apparent seizure. One government official said the 76-year-old senator suffered a second seizure aboard a helicopter transport flight from the Cape to Boston.

Obama blames Fox News, e-mail for likely loss in Kentucky 16 May 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, facing a likely defeat in next Tuesday's primary election, won't travel to Kentucky before the voting, but said he hopes to have much more time to win over Kentucky voters before the November general election. He blamed Fox News for disseminating "rumors" about him and said that that and e-mails filled with misinformation that have been "systematically" dispersed have hurt him in Kentucky.

Clinton Takes on 'Those People on TV' 17 May 2008 In Loretto, Ky., today, Sen. Hillary Clinton vented some frustration with the pundits who keep saying the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is over and that she should quit. "And you know all those people on TV who keep telling you and everybody else that this race is over and I should just be graceful and say ‘Oh, it's over,’ even though I’ve won more votes," she said. "Those are all people who have a job. Those are all people who have health care. Those are all people who can afford to send their kids to college. Those are all people who can pay whatever is charged at the gas pump. They're not the people I’m running to be a champion for."

Silent tsunami --Is there more than meets the eye in the sudden flurry of talk about a world food crisis? By Eric Walberg 15 May 2008 In fact there has been a food crisis ever since imperialism really got underway three centuries ago... Back then, it was more obvious: burn, rape, dispossess, enslave, create monopolies for trade and production (plantations), talk about "darkest Africa". Now it is the WTO, WB, IMF, emergency loans, privatisation, GMO crops, just possibly, the gathering "food crisis". Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez perhaps said it best: "It is a massacre of the world's poor. The problem is not the production of food. It is the economic, social and political model of the world. The capitalist model is in crisis."

Two cars leak hydrochloric acid after six derail in Louisiana --3,000 evacuated after train cars leak acid and toxic fumes rise above site 17 May 2008 More than 3,000 people were evacuated in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Saturday after two of six derailed train cars containing highly corrosive hydrochloric acid began leaking, authorities said Saturday. The cars jumped the track about 2:30 a.m. CT.

China on alert for nuclear accidents after quake 17 May 2008 China's nuclear safety agency had ordered staffers to be prepared for an environmental emergency the day after a massive earthquake jolted a region that includes several key atomic sites. France's nuclear watchdog has said some of China's nuclear facilities sustained minor damage in Monday's magnitude 7.9 earthquake.

Not Much Help for the Polar Bear (The New York Times) 18 May 2008 Boxed into a corner by the courts and its own scientists, the Bush administration agreed last week to place the polar bear under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. The decision was the clearest official acknowledgment that the bear, its hunting grounds diminished by shrinking summer ice, is seriously at risk... It is not clear that the decision is much of a victory for the bears... It does nothing to address the gravest threats to the bears’ survival: oil and gas drilling and global warming.

Policeman chats with polar bears 16 May 2008 A policeman speaks to activists of the Alaska Wilderness League as U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announces the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act at the Interior Department in Washington, DC, on May 14. (photo)


U.S. Planning Big New Prison in Afghanistan --Pentagon planning to use $60 million in emergency construction funds to build detention center to hold 600 prisoners - or as many as 1,100 in a surge 17 May 2008 The Pentagon is moving forward with plans to build a new, [KBR?] 40-acre detention complex on the main American military base in Afghanistan, officials said, in a stark acknowledgment that the United States is likely to continue to hold prisoners overseas for years to come. The proposed detention center would replace the cavernous, makeshift American prison on the Bagram military base north of Kabul, which is now typically packed with about 630 prisoners, compared with the 270 held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

U.S. Has Detained 2,500 Juveniles as Enemy Combatants 16 May 2008 The United States has imprisoned approximately 2,500 people younger than 18 as illegal enemy combatants in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay since 2002, according to a report filed by the Bush regime with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. 2,400 of the juveniles were captured in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003; 500 are still held in detention facilities in that country. As of last month, 10 juveniles were still being held in Bagram, Afghanistan.

U.S. cuts off Chalabi for fourth time 15 May 2008 U.S. military and diplomatic officials in Baghdad have cut off contact with controversial Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi, a former Pentagon favorite, because of his increasingly strained relationship with U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington told McClatchy. "That's it. He's out," one senior military official said. The U.S. decision is the fourth time that the U.S. has ended an alliance with Chalabi, whom officials in the Pentagon and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's office once touted as a successor to [former CIA asset] Saddam Hussein. [I think Chalabi is paid either way, whether Bush is f*cking him at the time or not. --LRP]

Amnesty offered to Iraq insurgents 17 May 2008 Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki, leading an offensive against 'Al Qaeda' in the north, last night offered cash and freedom from prosecution to fighters who give up their weapons within 10 days. Maliki made the amnesty offer in the Mosul city, where he has been supervising a US-backed campaign aimed at delivering a fatal blow to Al Qaeda [LOL!] in the city and surrounding Nineveh province.

Iraqi police beat photographer, officials say --Reuters photographer in stable condition after Iraqi police beat him with rifles 16 May 2008 An Iraqi photographer working for Reuters was hospitalized Friday after police beat him at the scene of a bombing, officials told CNN. The unnamed still photographer was in stable condition after five Iraqi policemen struck him on the head with AK-47 rifles, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said. A police official said the photographer was filming the aftermath of a 'suicide' bombing in Fallujah when police approached him and asked him to stay back for his own safety.

US soldier refuses to serve in 'illegal Iraq war' 16 May 2008 Sergeant Matthis Chiroux... has served in Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, and the Philippines before he was honorably discharged and placed in the reserves. As a reservist, he was due to be deployed next month in Iraq. On Thursday, he refused to go. "I stand before you today with the strength and clarity and resolve to declare to the military, my government and the world that this soldier will not be deploying to Iraq," Chiroux said in the sun-filled rotunda of a congressional building in Washington. "My decision is based on my desire to no longer continue violating my core values to support an illegal and unconstitutional occupation... I refuse to participate in the Iraq occupation," he said, as a dozen veterans of the five-year-old Iraq war looked on.

Tucson soldier has been killed in Iraq 15 May 2008 The Department of Defense has announced the death of an Arizona soldier. Army Sgt. Victor M. Cota, 33, of Tucson died Wednesday in Baghdad of wounds suffered Tuesday when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device in Kadamiyah, Iraq.

U.S. House sets Iraq troop pullout goal for end 2009 15 May 2008 The U.S. House of Representatives defied President [sic] George W. Bush by passing legislation on Thursday that would set the end of 2009 as the goal for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. By a vote of 227-196, the Democrat-controlled House approved the measure that would start the pullout of U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 30 days of enactment.

U.S. sees need for "tangible action" on Iran: Israel 15 May 2008 The United States and Israel agree on the need for "tangible action" to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman said after a visit by U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush. "We are on the same page. We both see the threat ... And we both understand that tangible action is required to prevent the Iranians from moving forward on a nuclear weapon," Olmert spokesman Mark Regev said on Friday. Asked about the option of using military force, Regev said: "Leaders of many countries have talked about many options being on the table and, of course, Israel agrees with that."

Tehran accuses West of waging war on its turf 16 May 2008 Iran is stepping up its own allegations that the U.S. and Britain were behind a recent attack on a mosque in southern Iran. This week judiciary spokesman Ali-Reza Jamshidi announced that Iran planned to file international lawsuits against the U.S. and Britain for backing insurgents terrorists allegedly involved in the bombing of the mosque that killed 13 people during a religious ceremony. So far authorities have arrested 15 people allegedly involved in the plot.

'Shiraz bombers were promised $100,000' --Iran has accused the US, UK, and Israel of funding suspects and providing them with necessary expertise to make bombs 15 May 2008 Six suspects among the 15 people detained over the explosion in Shiraz are linked to a German-based monarchist weblog, a report says. The six agents, two of them chemistry students, were in contact with a blogger, belonging to the German-based Rahe Azadi (Way of Freedom) weblog, via email, JAHAN reported. Earlier, they had detonated bombs in Fars Province sabotaging the Sivand and another Dam in return for a sum of over $20,000 from the blogger. The blogger then requested the 'facilitators' to target two public places, promising each bomber a $100,000 reward. A crowded mosque in Shiraz was the site of the first blast, which left 14 people killed and some 200 others injured on April 12.

Iran condemns attack on diplomats in Iraq 17 May 2008 Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini has condemned the attack on an Iranian Embassy vehicle that took place in Baghdad on Thursday. [US] Gunmen opened fire on a car carrying Iranian diplomats on the way to the Kazemain district of Baghdad Thursday afternoon. Those wounded, including two Iranian diplomats, another Iranian citizen, and an Iraqi administrative employee, are in stable condition, AP reported.

Iranian embassy employees shot in Baghdad 15 May 2008 Three employees of the Iranian embassy and their Iraqi driver were shot and wounded as they traveled Thursday to the Shiite Kadhemiyah Shrine in northern Baghdad. As the Iranian men pulled into a Shiite area in Baghdad on the way to the shrine, two men on a motorbike pulled up to the vehicle and riddled their car with bullets, Iranian and Iraqi officials said. "We don't know who did this," [Blackwater] said the spokesman, Manoucher Taslimi.

Obama strikes back: You're a fear-monger, Mr. President 16 May 2008 Possible Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama yesterday pummeled President [sic] Bush, who dissed the candidate as a delusional fool before Israel's Knesset on Thursday. And he smacked around presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain, who parroted Bush's broadside. "Both Bush and McCain represent the failed foreign policy and fear mongering of the past," a fired-up Obama declared while campaigning in South Dakota. "I believe the American people are ready to reject this approach and to choose the future." Obama declared the Republicans' ambush "dishonest, divisive attacks."

Obama says Bush policies strengthened Iran, Hamas 16 May 2008 Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama said on Friday President [sic] George W. Bush's "failed policies" had strengthened U.S. enemies like Iran and Hamas. Responding to Bush's comment on Thursday that those who want to talk to Iran were like Nazi [aka Bush] appeasers before the Second World War, Obama accused Bush of "exactly the kind of appalling attack that's divided the country and that alienates us from the world."

How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power --Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today's president [sic]. 25 May 2004 George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism. His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy. The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator's action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Biden: Bush's comments were 'bullshit' 15 May 2008 Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), piling on to Democratic complaints about President [sic] Bush’s speech in Israel today: "This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset ... and make this kind of ridiculous statement."

US announces deal to send food to [appease] North Korea 16 May 2008 The United States said Friday it has reached a deal with North Korea to provide more than 500,000 tons of food aid over the coming year to the communist nation. The Bush regime says the aid is unrelated to its nuclear disarmament deal with Pyongyang, although both have involved an unusual intensity of U.S. diplomacy with a nation Dictator Bush once included as part of an "axis of evil," along with Iraq and Iran.

'This is our revenge for the US missile attack.' Militants kill soldier to avenge raid 17 May 2008 Pakistani authorities yesterday found the body of a paramilitary soldier beheaded by Taliban 'insurgents' in a tribal area where a suspected US missile strike left 12 people dead. A note left on the corpse said the soldier had been killed in revenge for Wednesday's attack in Damadola village in Bajaur tribal district. He was kidnapped overnight. Authorities found the bullet-riddled body 10km north of Damadola, Bajur. The note included a warning for tribal elders that they would meet the same fate if they cooperated with authorities. "This is our revenge for the US missile attack," the note signed by militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, said.

Pakistan protests suspected U.S. missile strike on border village 16 May 2008 Pakistan is lodging a formal protest with "allied forces" in neighbouring Afghanistan over a suspected U.S. missile strike this week. Army spokesman Maj.-Gen. Athar Abbas says Pakistan has concluded that Wednesday's attack on a house in Pakistan's border region was launched by drones from Afghanistan. The missile destroyed a house in Damadola, killing 14 people.

Pakistan says coalition missile struck inside borders 17 May 2008 Pakistan says 'coalition' forces in Afghanistan had earlier this week launched a missile strike into its tribal region, killing 14 people. Chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas says Islamabad has conveyed its protest and is awaiting a response from the coalition forces.

Osama bin Laden targets Israel on anniversary 16 May 2008 Osama bin Laden vowed to reclaim "every inch of Palestine" today when an [alleged] audio tape purporting to be from the al-Qa'eda [al-CIAduh] leader was released. The message was timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Israel's foundation.

Gordon Brown could offer concessions to Labour rebels to win 42-day vote 17 May 2008 Gordon Brown is ready to offer concessions over his plans to extend detention without charge for terror suspects to 42 days in an attempt to assuage Labour rebels and avert a Commons defeat.

Police 'being used to push 42-day detention' 08 May 2008 Gordon Brown vowed to press ahead yesterday with plans to detain terror suspects without trial for 42 days, warning Tory MPs and Labour rebels that the public would not forgive politicians who blocked the measures. The Prime Minister defended his plans after ministers were accused of trying to involve the police in party politics by asking a senior officer to lobby MPs in favour of the changes. Bob Quick, Scotland Yard's assistant commissioner in charge of counter-terrorism, has "agreed" to a request from the Home Office to meet MPs to discuss the detention limit.

Huckabee apologizes for Obama gun joke 16 May 2008 Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee Friday apologized for telling an audience of gun rights supporters an offstage noise was Barack Obama ducking a gunman.

Huckabee quips about gun aimed at Obama 16 May 2008 Republican Mike Huckabee responded to an offstage noise during his speech Friday to the National Rifle Association by suggesting it was Barack Obama diving to the floor because someone had aimed a gun at him. Hearing a loud noise and interrupting his speech, Huckabee said: "That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He's getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him and he -- he dove for the floor."

Edwards rules out vice presidential run with Obama 16 May 2008 Former presidential contender John Edwards said on Friday he would not be Democratic front-runner Barack Obama's running mate, but did not rule out taking a role in an Obama administration.

Conyers: 'We're closing in on Rove' 15 May 2008 Just off the House floor today, the Crypt overheard House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers tell two other people: "We're closing in on Rove. Someone's got to kick his ass." Asked a few minutes later for a more official explanation, Conyers told us that Rove has a week to appear before his committee. If he doesn’t, said Conyers, "We'll do what any self-respecting committee would do. We'd hold him in contempt. Either that or go and have him arrested." Conyers said the committee wants Rove to testify about his role in the imprisonment of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, among other things. "We want him for so many things, it's hard to keep track," Conyers said.

House panel rejects Rove's offer on Siegelman case 14 May 2008 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have rejected Karl Rove's offer to provide written responses to questions about the federal prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. In a letter to the former White House adviser's attorney, Committee Chairman John Conyers and several other Democrats said Rove's written responses would not allow for 'give-and-take' questioning. They asked Rove to reconsider his refusal to testify in person and under oath, asking him to respond by May 21.

Florida passes 'Anti-Biker' bill HB 137 17 Mar 2008 Bad news for Florida riders: As of October 1, anyone caught going over 30 face confiscation of their vehicle, five to 10 years in prison and a 10-year license suspension. We say "anyone" because bill HB 137, originally targeted at motorcyclists, was amended to apply to all vehicles.

Texas officials sue US over border fence 16 May 2008 Texas mayors and business leaders filed a class-action lawsuit Friday alleging Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff hoodwinked landowners into waiving their property rights for construction of a fence along the Mexican border. Members of the Texas Border Coalition said Chertoff did not fairly negotiate compensation with landowners for access to their land for six-month surveys to choose fence sites.

Oil sets record near $128; pump price at high, too 16 May 2008 Oil prices shot to new highs again Friday as traders, unimpressed by U.S. and Saudi efforts to boost supply, kept buying on the belief that prices had more room to rise. Light, sweet crude for June delivery jumped $2.17 to settle at record close of $126.29 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, prices surged to $127.82 a barrel, also a new high.

Saudis see no reason to raise oil production now 16 May 2008 Saudi Arabia's leaders made clear Friday they see no reason to increase oil production until customers demand it, apparently rebuffing President [sic] Bush amid soaring U.S. gasoline prices. It was Bush's second personal appeal [Yeah, right!] this year to King Abdullah, head of the monarchy that rules this desert kingdom that is a longtime prime U.S. ally and home to the world's largest oil reserves.

Airline fuel cuts concern pilots 16 May 2008 Airlines have reduced the amount of spare fuel on airplanes in a money-saving effort that is raising concerns among some pilots and a government watchdog. Less fuel on planes increases the likelihood of diverted flights because planes can't circle for as long over airports when a landing is delayed, according to more than 20 pilots who filed complaints in the past year with NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System.

An epidemic of extinctions: Decimation of life on earth 16 May 2008 The world's species are declining at a rate "unprecedented since the extinction of the dinosaurs", a census of the animal kingdom has revealed. The Living Planet Index out today shows the devastating impact of humanity as biodiversity has plummeted by almost a third in the 35 years to 2005.


What Did Obama Promise Edwards? --The Rec Report By Michael Rectenwald 15 May 2008 John Edwards's endorsement of Obama seems par for the course for Hillary. As soon as she wins, superdelegates endorse the other guy. As soon as she wins, backers endorse her opponent. The more she wins, the more media decry her staying in the race. The better she does, the worse she's made out to be. It's quite a staggering and stunning beating that she's been taking from the liberal elite. [Note: This essay does not reflect the views of CLG Editor, Lori Price.]

U.S.-trained forces reportedly helping Mexican cartels --U.S.-trained Mexican security personnel have 'became assassins and recruiters for the Mexican drug cartels.' 14 May 2008 As many as 200 U.S.-trained Mexican security personnel have defected to drug cartels to carry out killings on both sides of the border and as far north as Dallas, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, told Congress on Wednesday. The renegade members of Mexico's elite 'counter'-narcotics teams trained at Fort Benning, Ga., have switched sides, contributing to a wave of violence that has claimed some 6,000 victims over the past 30 months, including prominent law enforcement leaders, the Houston-area Republican told the House Foreign Affairs Committee... George Bush's blueprint calls for $1.4 billion in training, equipment and 'law enforcement' assistance to Mexico and Central America over three years. Bush also is seeking $500 million in emergency assistance for Mexico this year as part of the supplemental war spending measure.

Peace Group Sues Bush Administration, Charging Iraq War Is Unconstitutional (New Jersey Law Journal) 14 May 2008 An anti-war activist group sued President [sic] Bush in U.S. District Court in Newark on Tuesday, seeking a declaratory judgment that the war in Iraq is illegal and unconstitutional. The suit, New Jersey Peace Action et al. v. Bush, represented by the Constitutional Law Clinic at Rutgers University Law School-Newark, alleges that the war violates article I, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which assigns to Congress the authority to declare war.

U.S. House Blocks $163 Billion for War in Iraq 15 May 2008 The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a plan to spend $163 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after anti-war Democrats and Republicans who objected to Democratic tactics refused to support the measure. Lawmakers defeated the measure by a 149 to 141 vote with more than 130 members voting "present."

House Progressives STOP $163B for Iraq Occupation! By Bob Fertik 15 May 2008 We won!! 149 Members (147 Democrats and 2 Republicans) voted against $163B in Iraq occupation funds, and only 141 Members voted for it. Those 149 no votes were the result of your protests, emails, and calls - congratulations!! [Click here for Roll Call.]

McCain: I will win Iraq, kill bin Laden and start President's Question Time 16 May 2008 John McCain declared yesterday that within four years of being elected president he would have won the Iraq war, killed or captured Osama bin Laden, halted the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea and introduced British-style Prime Minister’s Questions in Congress.

McCain believes Iraq war can be won by 2013 15 May 2008 Republican Insane McCain declared for the first time Thursday he believes the Iraq war can be won by 2013, although he rejected suggestions that his talk of a timetable put him on the same side as Democrats clamoring for full-scale troop withdrawals. "It's not a timetable; it's victory. It's victory, which I have always predicted. I didn't know when we were going to win World War II; I just knew we were going to win," McLunatic said.

Iraq army rounds up suspects in assault on Al-Qaeda 15 May 2008 Iraqi security forces carried out mass arrests in the main northern city of Mosul on Thursday as a major crackdown against Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] entered its second day, officials said. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who travelled to Mosul on Wednesday to spearhead Operation Mother of Two Springs [LOL!], spent the night there and vowed to rid the province of Al-Qaeda operatives, the interior ministry said.

Olbermann: Bush interview unforgiveable 14 May 2008 Countdown’s Keith Olbermann gives a Special Comment on President [sic] Bush’s recent Politico interview. Pres. Bush suggested that electing a Democrat as president means "another attack on the United States." He also shows his empathy for the death of U.S. soldiers… by giving up golf.

Reagan, strike group preparing to deploy 15 May 2008 More than 7,000 sailors will leave home next week when the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group deploys from San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf regions. The seven-ship naval force, led by Rear Adm. James Wisecup, commander of Carrier Strike Group 7 in San Diego, will leave next Monday, Navy officials announced.

Aircraft carrier Reagan to start 6-month deployment May 19 12 May 2008 The aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan will leave May 19 for a six-month deployment with its air wing and five San Diego-based escort ships. More than 7,000 sailors are scheduled to deploy. While the Navy typically doesn't reveal the destinations of its carrier strike groups, the deployments usually include time in the Persian Gulf.

Obama blasts Bush over 'Nazi' comments 15 May 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama accused President [sic] Bush on Thursday of launching a "false political attack" with a comment about appeasing terrorists and radicals. The Illinois senator interpreted the remark as a slam against him but the White House denied that Bush's words were in any way directed at Obama, who has said as president he would be willing to personally meet with Iran's leaders and those of other governments the United States has deemed rogue.

In Speech Before Knesset, Bush Compares Democrats to Nazi Appeasers 15 May 2008 While delivering an address before the Israeli parliament commemorating the 60th anniversary of Israel, President [sic] Bush said that Sen. Barack Obama and Democrats favor a policy of appeasement toward terrorists. CNN reports that Bush was comparing Obama to "other U.S. leaders back in the run-up to World War II who appeased the Nazis." In his speech, Bush said, "As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939 [much like shock & awe in Iraq in 2003], an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history." [Speaking of appeasing Hitler, are the DemocRATs giving more money to Bush for the Iraq occupation this week?]

Bush suggests Obama wants 'appeasement' of terrorists 15 May 2008 In a particularly sharp blast from halfway around the world, President [sic] Bush suggested Thursday that Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats are in favor of "appeasement" of terrorists in the same way U.S. leaders appeased Nazis in the run-up to World War II. "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," said Bush, in what White House aides privately acknowledged was a reference to calls by Obama and other Democrats for the U.S. president to sit down for talks with leaders like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Bush says world must not allow Iran to have nuclear weapon 15 May 2008 Visiting U.S. President [sic] George W.Bush on Thursday said in an address delivered to Israeli Knesset (parliament) that the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. "Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations," the U.S. dictator said, adding that for the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. ['The world's leading sponsor of terror...' That would be Bush.]

UN special rapporteur expresses concern over civilians' killing in Afghanistan 15 May 2008 The United Nations Special Rapporteuron extra judicial executions Philip Alston on Thursday expressed concern over civilians' killing in Afghanistan and urged all warring sides in the country to respect human rights. "In the past four months, hundreds of civilians have been killed. They have died from bombs, missiles, explosive devices, police fire, beheadings and domestic violence," Alston said in a statement handed out at a news briefing here.

Suicide bomber kills 16 in Afghanistan: local governor 15 May 2008 A suicide bomber apparently wearing a burqa blew up in a busy bazaar in southwestern Afghanistan Thursday, killing 16 people, officials said, as eight rebels died elsewhere in the country.

New bin Laden message coming on Israel: monitor 15 May 2008 A pending new message from al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader Osama bin Laden has been announced on Islamist message boards and addresses the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel, an Internet terrorism monitor said on Thursday.

Verizon Wins $678.5 Million Pact From US Homeland Security 14 May 2008 Verizon Communications Inc. said on Wednesday that it will be the primary supplier of network equipment and services [illegal surveillance] for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a contract worth $678.5 million over the next two years. AT&T was named as the secondary provider for the Homeland Security Department.

New blow to detention plan 15 May 2008 Gordon Brown's efforts to persuade Labour MPs to back the 42-day detention of terrorist suspects without charge suffered a fresh blow after the plan was condemned as "fundamentally flawed" by a parliamentary committee. Mr Brown appears to be heading for a humiliating Commons defeat on the issue next month.

Accused September 11 planners set for court on June 5 15 May 2008 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused of masterminding the September 11 attacks, is tentatively due to appear before a U.S. war [kangaroo] court judge at Guantanamo Bay for the first time on June 5, a military official said on Wednesday.

Oil cos. expect battles over polar bear listing 15 May 2008 The lawyers aren't clearing their calendars just yet, but the oil industry is bracing for some courtroom battles to maintain its stake in Alaska's oil-rich fields now that the Interior Department has listed polar bears as a threatened species. [We'll be ready to fight Bush's corpora-terrorists.]

U.S. Trusting Oil Companies to Safeguard Arctic Wildlife --Industry Permit Plans Not Subjected to Required Peer-Review or Monitoring 15 May 2008 Federal agencies issued permits for oil exploration in vast areas of the Arctic Ocean without verifying industry claims or imposing required safeguards against damage to wildlife, according to agency e-mails released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Intense political pressure to speed Arctic leasing coupled with tardy industry submission of any data resulted in official rubber-stamping of permit applications without review or plans for follow-up.

U.S. Using Food Crisis to Boost Bio-Engineered Crops 15 May 2008 The Bush regime has slipped a controversial ingredient into the $770 million 'aid' package it recently proposed to ease the world food crisis, adding language that would promote the use of genetically modified crops in food-deprived countries. The value of genetically modified, or bio-engineered, food is an intensely disputed issue in the U.S. and in Europe, where many countries have banned foods made from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Government's bird flu drugs strategy is 'flawed' 15 May 2008 The Government's strategy to defend the nation against a bird flu pandemic has been called into question. The Department of Health has built up millions of doses of Tamiflu, an antiviral drug, in preparation for a [US Army-engendered] pandemic of the kind that killed 50 million people in 1918. However, a team at the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research in London warned that a mutation in the H5N1 strain of the virus could make it resistant to the vaccine. The researchers found that when mutation occurred in the H5N1 virus it became resistant to Tamiflu. [See: Bird Flu Medicine Toxic for Teens 13 May 2008 Concerns are rising over side effect of bird flu drug Tamiflu on teenagers. See: Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu --Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing. 31 Oct 2005 Rumsfeld still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.]

Arizona State University Decision Theater Tests Pandemic Flu Plans 14 May 2008 This year, the pandemic flu committee created what is known to be the only tabletop exercise of its kind in the nation, says Allan Markus, ASU’s director of campus health services and co-chair of the pandemic flu committee. The exercise, which took place April 10 in ASU’s Decision Theater, involved the university’s pandemic flu planning committee and several senior administrators. Mary Tyszkiewicz, a senior analyst at the Homeland Security Institute, a think tank that supports the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, seconded Markus’ observation.

Ex-Rival Edwards Throws His Support to Obama 15 May 2008 John Edwards gave his long-awaited endorsement to Senator Barack Obama on Wednesday, bolstering Mr. Obama’s efforts to rally the Democratic Party around his candidacy and offering potential help in his efforts to win over working class white voters in the general election.

IRS cites 'error' as 350,000 households missing out on tax rebate 15 May 2008 As many as 350,000 households are not getting the $300 per child refund owed as part of economic stimulus rebate payments, the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.

General Electric to Shed Appliance Unit, People Say 15 May 2008 General Electric Co. may sell or seek a partner for the unit that makes refrigerators and washers, ending more than a century in an industry that helped make GE a household name, people familiar with the situation said.

Maine power company sends disconnect notice to nearly 39 percent of customers 14 May 2008 The disconnection notice is just one of approximately 46,000 the electric company has issued this year to its 118,000 customers, Kim Wadleigh, senior director of customer operations at Bangor Hydro-Electric Co., said Wednesday. Most of the disconnection notices were sent to residential purchasers, she said.

California Supreme Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban 16 May 2008 Same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The court’s 4-to-3 decision striking down state laws that had limited marriages to unions between a man and a woman makes California only the second state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriages.


Air Force Aims for 'Full Control' of 'Any and All' Computers By Noah Shachtman 13 May 2008 The Air Force wants a suite of hacker tools, to give it "access" to -- and "full control" of -- any kind of computer there is. And once the info warriors are in, the Air Force wants them to keep tabs on their "adversaries' information infrastructure completely undetected." The government is growing increasingly interested in waging war online. The Air Force recently put together a "Cyberspace Command," with a charter to rule networks the way its fighter jets rule the skies. The Department of Homeland Security, Darpa, and other agencies are teaming up for a five-year, $30 billion "national cybersecurity initiative."

Air Force Colonel Wants to Build a Military Botnet By Kevin Poulsen 12 May 2008 ...Col. Charles W. Williamson III is proposing that the Air Force build its own zombie network, so it can launch distributed denial of service attacks on foreign enemies. In the most lunatic idea to come out of the military since the gay bomb, Williamson writes in the Armed Force Journal that the Air Force should deliberately install DDoS code on its unclassified computers, as well as civilian government machines. He even wants to rescue old machines from the junk bin to enlist in the .mil botnet army.

U.S. Forcibly Drugs Detainees --Sedation of deportees is far more common than federal immigration officials have admitted. 14 May 2008 The U.S. government has injected hundreds of foreigners it has deported with dangerous psychotropic drugs against their will to keep them sedated during the trip back to their home country, according to medical records, internal documents and interviews with people who have been drugged. The government's forced use of antipsychotic drugs, in people who have no history of mental illness, includes dozens of cases in which the "pre-flight cocktail," as a document calls it, had such a potent effect that federal guards needed a wheelchair to move the slumped deportee onto an airplane.

Italian Trial of CIA Operatives Begins With Torture Testimony 15 May 2008 (Milan) A long-delayed trial of C.I.A. operatives and former top Italian intelligence officials moved forward here on Wednesday, as a judge ruled that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi could be called to testify about the abduction of a Muslim cleric here in 2003. Testimony also began Wednesday. The cleric’s wife, Ghali Nabila, said her husband, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, known as Abu Omar, was taken from Italy and transferred to a prison in Egypt, where, she said, he was repeatedly tortured. "He was tied up like he was being crucified. He was beat up, especially around his ears. He was subjected to electroshocks to many body parts." "To his genitals?" the prosecutors asked. "Yes," she replied.

Italian PM may be drawn into CIA abduction case 13 May 2008 An Italian judge could decide on Wednesday to make Silvio Berlusconi the first head of a government to testify in criminal proceedings over secret CIA transfers of terrorism suspects. Prosecutors say a CIA-led team kidnapped a Muslim cleric off the streets of Milan and secretly flew him to Egypt. There, the terrorism suspect, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, says he was tortured under questioning and held for years without charge before being released in 2007.

Bush: Democratic presidency could lead to another terror attack on U.S. 13 May 2008 President [sic] Bush said on Tuesday he was disappointed in "flawed intelligence" before the Iraq war and was concerned that if a Democrat wins the presidency in November and withdrew troops prematurely it could "eventually lead to another attack on the United States." He acknowledged concerns about leaving the unfinished [lost] Iraq war to a Democratic successor. Bush said his "doomsday scenario of course is that extremists throughout the Middle East would be emboldened, which would eventually lead to another attack on the United States."

US Listed Palestine Hotel as Target Prior to Killing of Two Journalists: Fmr. Military Intelligence Sgt. (Democracy Now!) 13 May 2008 Last month marked the fifth anniversary of the US military shelling of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. The attack killed two journalists: Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk and Jose Couso, a cameraman for the Spanish television network Telecinco. The Pentagon has called the killings accidental, but in this broadcast exclusive Army Sgt. Adrienne Kinne (Ret.) reveals she saw secret US military documents that listed the hotel as a possible target. Kinne also discloses that she was personally ordered to eavesdrop on Americans working for news organizations and NGOs in Iraq.

Military analysts named in Times exposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR 13 May 2008 A New York Times article detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries, reporting that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on various media outlets.

Two suicide bombings kill over 20 Iraqis 15 May 2008 Two suicide bombings left more than 50 people killed or injured on Wednesday in Iraq. A suicide bomber blew himself up in a tent on a funeral site at the Zaidan village of Abu Ghraib area, some 15 km west of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said. The blast killed at least 20 mourners and wounded about 30 others at the funeral, the source said.

Kitty Hawk air wing commander removed for 'loss of confidence' [?] 11 May 2008 The U.S. Navy air wing commander for the USS Kitty Hawk’s strike group was relieved of duty Friday after an admiral said he lost confidence in the commander’s ability, according to a Navy spokeswoman. Capt. Michael P. McNellis was relieved as commander of Carrier Air Wing 5 by Rear Adm. Richard B. Wren, commander of Commander Task Force 70, the Navy said in a news release.

MI6 chief visits Mossad for talks on Iran's nuclear threat 04 May 2008 The head of MI6, Sir John Scarlett, is to visit Israel later this month as Britain forges closer links with Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service. Iran’s nuclear programme is expected to be high on the agenda in an intelligence-sharing process described by Israeli officials as a "strategic dialogue". It is building on long-standing cooperation between MI6 and Mossad, both of which have extensive spy networks in the Middle East.

Afghanistan seeks $50 billion in aid 14 May 2008 Afghanistan will ask international donors next month for $50 billion to fund a five-year development plan, a presidential aide said, despite growing criticism that aid money is being wasted. [Thanks to Bush,] Afghanistan produces about 93 percent of the world's opium, the raw material of heroin.

13 Taliban, 2 police killed in Afghanistan 14 May 2008 Clashes in southern Afghanistan have left 13 Taliban militants and two policemen dead, while a teacher was shot to death in the north after giving a speech condemning suicide bombings, officials said Wednesday.

Generals dismissed over Afghan assassination bid 13 May 2008 Eight senior generals have been suspended from Afghanistan's armed forces and are being questioned over last month's failed assassination bid on President Hamad Karzai. Mr Karzai survived the April 27 'Taliban' attack on a military parade, which left three other people dead including an Afghan MP.

Jordan convicts 3 of plotting to kill Bush 14 May 2008 Jordan's military court convicted three militants Wednesday of plotting to assassinate President [sic] Bush during a 2006 visit to the kingdom and sentenced them to 15 years in jail. The Jordanian men -- Nidhal Musleh al-Momani, Sattam al-Zawahrah and Tharwat Darajs -- were arrested Nov. 28, 2006, the day before Bush landed in the Jordanian capital Amman. [They couldn't get bail?]

Why has the US dropped 9/11 charges? [Because Bush did it.] 13 May 2008 The American government has given no reason why charges against the man it has alleged was the "20th hijacker" in the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US have been dropped... The CCR said in a statement it believed the charges against him had been dropped because Mohammad al-Qahtani had been tortured. "The government's claims against our client were based on unreliable evidence obtained through torture at Guantanamo," it said.

Police warn editors on terrorism article 14 May 2008 (AU) Police have issued formal warnings to six editors and an investigative reporter over coverage of the Operation Eight terrorism investigation. In what is believed to be a legal first, a police investigation found that the seven journalists had a case to answer over an alleged breach of Section 312K of the Crimes Act. The section limits publication of information gathered using an interception warrant. The Police investigation related to news reports published in Fairfax Media newspapers and the Stuff website last November.

John Edwards endorses Barack Obama for president 14 May 2008 John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama for president today, dealing a major blow to Hillary Clinton's hopes for prolonging the Democratic race into next month. Both Obama and Clinton had courted the 2004 vice-presidential nominee, paying personal visits to Edwards's North Carolina home and vowing to carry on his agenda to end poverty in the US.

NARAL Pro-Choice America endorses Obama 14 May 2008 The group NARAL Pro-Choice America just announced it has endorsed Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's bid for the White House. "Sen. Obama has been a strong advocate for a woman's right to choose throughout his career in public office," NARAL President Nancy Keenan says in a prepared statement.

Tennessee superdelegate endorses Clinton for president 14 May 2008 Tennessee superdelegate Vicky Harwell has decided to endorse Hillary Clinton's bid for the Democratic nomination for president. Harwell, the president of the Tennessee Federation of Democratic Women, says in a statement that Clinton's overwhelming win in West Virginia shows she is the best candidate to take on Republican nominee John McCain in November.

W.Va. blowout bolsters Clinton's resolve 13 May 2008 Hillary Clinton crushed Barack Obama by more than 2-1 in the West Virginia primary Tuesday -- a victory that was surely personally satisfying but came as the Democratic presidential nomination is nearly in the grasp of her rival. "There are some who have wanted to cut this race short," Clinton told raucous, cheering supporters in Charleston, but she left no doubt she plans to stay in the race through the final contests.

Clinton cruises to easy West Virginia win 13 May 2008 Hillary Clinton scored a big victory over front-runner Barack Obama in West Virginia on Tuesday, but it could be too little and too late to stop his march to the Democratic presidential nomination.

Democrats capture GOP seat in special Mississippi election --Loss in solidly Republican area may spell trouble for party in fall 13 May 2008 Travis Childers, a Democrat, won a special election for a House seat in Mississippi on Tuesday night, defeating Republican opponent Greg Davis and lengthening a string of Democratic victories in solidly Republican congressional areas. The win by Childers adds to potential trouble for the Republican party in the fall.

Democrats win again in a Republican stronghold 13 May 2008 Both parties watched a special House election in Mississippi -- and the results could not be worse for the GOP. For the third time during the last few months, a Democrat triumphed in a House district that long had been solidly Republican. In this case -- Mississippi's 1st congressional district -- Travis Childers bucked last-minute intervention by Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney to win a seat that the GOP had held, easily, since 1994. Cheney personally stumped on behalf of the Republican candidate, Greg Davis, on Monday.

Polar Bears Listed as Threatened Species in U.S. 14 May 2008 After delaying a decision for several weeks, the U.S. government today listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), creating new protections for the bears in their Alaskan habitat. But officials emphasized that the decision will not be used to determine U.S. climate policy.

Polar Bear Is First Species Protected Because of Climate Change 14 May 2008 The U.S. declared the polar bear a threatened species, giving protected status for the first time to an animal because of global warming.

Polar bear listed as threatened but protection uncertain 14 May 2008 Defenders of Wildlife today welcomed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This move officially recognizes that polar bears are threatened with extinction from global warming, which is melting the Arctic sea ice where polar bears hunt for ringed and bearded seals, their primary food source. Defenders cautioned, however, that the Bush administration continues to be unwilling to address global warming, which is the leading threat to the polar bear.

Bird Flu Medicine Toxic for Teens 13 May 2008 Concerns are rising over side effect of bird flu drug Tamiflu on teenagers. Tamiflu is Swiss-based Hoffman-La Roche's antiviral for general influenza A and B but is also used to combat bird flu. However, worries have surfaced about the possibility of the medicine causing mental disorders among teenagers. [See: Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu --Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing. 31 Oct 2005 Rumsfeld still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.

House votes to stop adding to [Bush's insane] oil stockpile 14 May 2008 The House of Representatives on Tuesday followed the Senate in rejecting the Bush regime's policy of adding oil to the country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve while fuel prices are high. The Senate approved a similar measure earlier in the day. Like the Senate's legislation, the 385-to-25 vote in favor of the bill in the House was big enough to override a possible presidential veto of the measure.

Toll Hikes Used to Boost Foreign Company Profits --North American motorists pay extra to cover the losses at a Spanish toll road giant. 09 May 2008 Drivers in North America are paying higher fees to cover the red ink of a Spanish infrastructure firm. Global toll road giant Cintra announced yesterday that its first quarter revenue had jumped 15.3 percent thanks in part to toll hikes on roads in the US, Canada, Chile, Ireland and Spain... American motorists are now paying significantly more as a result. In 2005, Governor Mitch Daniels (R) leased the Chicago Skyway to Cintra and the Australian tolling firm Macquarie for the next 99 years. The consortium hiked tolls 20 percent earlier this year, charging motorists $3 each to drive the 7.8 mile route.

US foreclosure filings surge 65 percent in April 14 May 2008 More U.S. homeowners fell behind on mortgage payments last month, driving the number of homes facing foreclosure up 65 percent versus the same month last year and contributing to a deepening slide in home values, a research company said Tuesday.


'I have determined that you pose a security threat.' Blunt Federal Letters Tell Students They're Security Threats 13 May 2008 A German graduate student in oceanography at M.I.T. applied to the Transportation Security Administration for a new ID card allowing him to work around ships and docks. What the student, Wilken-Jon von Appen, received in return was a letter that not only turned him down but added an ominous warning from John M. Busch, a security administration official: "I have determined that you pose a security threat." Similar letters have gone to 5,000 applicants across the country who have at least initially been turned down for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, an ID card meant to guard against acts of terrorism, agency officials said Monday.

Arrested, killed, re-arrested, allegedly re-killed and now devalued: US slashes reward for al-Qaida Iraq leader 13 May 2008 The Bush regime has slashed its reward for the leader of al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] in Iraq from $5 million to $100,000 because it feels he's lost effectiveness and is no longer worth such a steep price, officials said Tuesday. Information on Abu Ayyub al-Masri is now worth only up to $100,000 under a separate and less well-known rewards program run by the Defense Department, which asked that he be taken off the State Department list, they said.

Ex-officials: Bush admin. ignored Iraq corruption 12 May 2008 The Bush administration repeatedly ignored corruption at the highest levels within the Iraqi government and kept secret potentially embarrassing information so as not to undermine its relationship with Baghdad, according to two former State Department employees. The State Department's policies "not only contradicted the anti-corruption mission but indirectly contributed to and has allowed corruption to fester at the highest levels of the Iraqi government," Arthur Brennan, who briefly served in Baghdad as head of the department's Office of Accountability and Transparency last year, told the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

GE gets deal to supply Iraq gas-powered generators 13 May 2008 Iraq has agreed to a 179 million euro ($275 million) contract with General Electric Co to buy eight natural gas-powered generators, an Iraqi government spokesman said on Tuesday. "The Iraqi cabinet today gave approval to buy the generators from GE at an agreed price of 179 euros. The ministry of electricity can buy them without delay," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Reuters. [Oh. That's why MSNBC stopped covering Iraq.]

Officials say Turkish planes bomb PKK in Northern Iraq 12 May 2008 Turkish war planes bombed Kurdish separatist PKK rebels in northern Iraq overnight but there were no casualties, a security spokesman for Iraq's Kurdistan region said on Monday.

Officials: Clashes in Iraq's Sadr City kill 11 13 May 2008 A fragile cease-fire failed to stop fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City where the latest clashes between Shiite extremists and U.S.-backed Iraqi forces killed 11 men and wounded 19, Iraqi hospital officials said Tuesday.

Indiana soldier killed in Iraq --Specialist dies after 'vehicle accident' 13 May 2008 A soldier from Indiana was killed in a vehicle accident over the weekend in Iraq, the Pentagon said Monday. Spec. Joseph A. Ford, of Knox, Ind., died Saturday in Al Asad. The soldier's death is under investigation.

Army suffering 'critical weaknesses' due to Iraq 13 May 2008 Nearly half of all armed forces units are suffering from "serious or critical weaknesses" as a result of their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Issuing its quarterly report on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence admitted it was running at well below strength and could not meet its Government-set targets as a result of the continuing pressure of operations in the war against [of] terror.

Congressional Democrats plan three-stage charade to pass Iraq war funds By Bill Van Auken 13 May 2008 In order to once again approve hundreds of billions of dollars to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while posturing as opponents of "Bush’s war," the Democratic leadership in Congress has crafted an elaborate legislative charade that is set to begin unfolding this week.

Iran says to sue U.S. and Britain over mosque blast 12 May 2008 Iran's judiciary said on Monday it would file international lawsuits against the United States and Britain, accusing them of providing financial support to those behind a blast in a mosque that killed 14 people. Iran's intelligence minister last week said Iran had arrested five or six members of a terrorist group with links to Britain and the United States who he said were involved in the explosion that also wounded 200 in the southern city of Shiraz.

US confession: Weapons were not made in Iran after all 10 May 2008 In a sharp reversal of its longstanding accusations against Iran arming militants in Iraq, the US military has made an unprecedented albeit quiet confession: the weapons they had recently found in Iraq were not made in Iran at all. According to a report by the LA Times: "A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was canceled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran. A U.S. military spokesman attributed the confusion to a misunderstanding that emerged after an Iraqi Army general in Karbala erroneously reported the items were of Iranian origin. When U.S. explosives experts went to investigate, they discovered they were not Iranian after all."

Israeli police seize documents in Olmert probe 13 May 2008 Israeli police raided the offices of a government ministry on Tuesday, confiscating documents as part of a bribery investigation that could force out Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Officers from the National Fraud unit entered the industry, trade, and labor ministry, and took away documents "as part of the ongoing investigation," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Afghan mission now top priority 14 May 2008 The war in Afghanistan will cost taxpayers $620 million this year as the Rudd Government lifts its military and diplomatic commitment to the NATO-led stabilisation 'mission' and scales down Australia's troop commitment to Iraq. Afghanistan is destined to become the main focus of Australia's military operations abroad and the budget will see an extra $26 million earmarked for the new embassy in Kabul.

Afghan villagers flee NATO strikes 13 May 2008 People have been fleeing their homes in a southern Afghanistan district for fear that NATO strikes will affect them. The mass exodus from Garmser, a remote district in Helmand province, has come as NATO launches a major operation against Taliban militants.

Japan allows military activity in space 09 May 2008 Japan's defence forces are to be allowed to operate in space for the first time as they try to counter military expansion in North Korea and China. A committee of the Japanese parliament has voted to revise the law which until now has prevented the use of space for military purposes.

Canadian torture victims press Ottawa over probe 08 May 2008 Three Canadian men who blame Ottawa for their alleged torture in Syria protested outside Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office on Thursday to demand that a secret probe into their case be opened to the public.

U.S. Drops Charges Against "20th Hijacker" --Pentagon Won't Try Mohammed al-Qahtani, Who Was Allegedly Involved In Sept. 11 Plot 12 May 2008 The Pentagon has dropped charges against a Saudi at Guantanamo who was alleged to have been the so-called "20th hijacker" in the Sept. 11 attacks, his U.S. military defense lawyer said Monday. Officials previously said Mohammed al-Qahtani had been subjected to a harsh interrogation torture authorized by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Pentagon formally charges 5 with Sept. 11 conspiracy 12 May 2008 The Pentagon has formally approved death penalty charges against reputed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other men in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, setting the stage for proceedings to begin before a military commission in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sometime in June. The Pentagon made no announcement that a civilian appointee known as the convening authority, Susan Crawford, had signed off on the charges. But defense attorneys for the men in Washington, D.C., said they received copies of the 93-page charge sheet by fax after the close of business Monday. Navy Capt. Prescott Prince, who's been appointed to defend Mohammaed, called the after-hours faxed delivery of the charges "arrogant."

5 Guantanamo detainees to face 9/11 capital case 12 May 2008 A Pentagon official has formally approved death penalty charges against reputed 9/11 architect Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other men for allegedly conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks, according to their charge sheet obtained Monday night by The Miami Herald.

U.S. paid bounty for Khadr: court documents 12 May 2008 The U.S. government paid Pakistan authorities a $500,000 bounty to capture Abdullah Khadr, a Toronto man facing terrorism-related charges, according to Federal Court documents made public Monday. Justice Richard Mosley ordered the release of information on Khadr, who is fighting his extradition to the U.S., including an October 2004 briefing note to the RCMP commissioner.

Feds: No credible terror threat to Indy 500 12 May 2008 The Indianapolis 500 is an attractive target for terrorists, federal authorities said, but there has been no credible or specific threat aimed at the Memorial Day weekend race. In an internal FBI/Homeland Security Department assessment released Monday to local police, officials said such sporting events, which attract hundreds of thousands of spectators, are attractive potential targets.

Rove refuses to testify before Congress about Siegelman case --Former Bush adviser tells House panel he'll answer questions in writing 12 May 2008 Former White House political adviser Karl Rove has declined a request to testify before Congress about the criminal case against former Gov. Don Siegelman and instead made a counteroffer to answer questions in writing, Rove's attorney said Monday. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee had given Rove until Monday to agree to appear voluntarily, and said they would issue a subpoena if he declined. Siegelman, a Democrat, has alleged that Rove influenced the federal investigation that led to his conviction in 2006 on corruption charges.

White House vs white bear: Judge says Bush must decide whether to save the polar bear as the ice melts 11 May 2008 It's a classic stand-off between one of the world's best loved animals and one of its most unpopular leaders, between the planet's largest bear and its most powerful 'man.' And it comes to a head this week. On Thursday, by order of a federal judge, George W Bush must stop stalling on whether to designate the polar bear as a species endangered by global warming. [Let's see... world's best loved animal verses deranged sociopath. Ok, I'll take polar bear. Why not just toss Bush into the Polar Bear Sea and see what happens?]

'Far-away countries that a polar bear has never even heard of will have a part to play in saving this species.' Global effort needed to save bears By Sophia Dore & Andrew Laursen 12 May 2008 A symbol has emerged in the fight against global warming -- the polar bear... It is within the power of the Canadian government to protect the habitat of the polar bear, to ensure that oil and gas exploration in the Arctic is limited. But the main threat to the polar bear cannot be eliminated by passing a single law or by hiring enforcement agents to prevent poaching or by setting aside land for habitat. It is going to take a global effort to save the polar bear.

Senate rejects GOP oil drilling plan 13 May 2008 The Senate has rejected a Republican energy plan that calls for opening an Alaska wildlife refuge and some offshore waters to oil development. Supporters of the measure couldn't get the needed 60 votes to overcome a Democratic-led filibuster threat.

Government asks court to block wider testing for mad cow 09 May 2008 The Bush regime on Friday urged a federal appeals court to stop meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease, but a skeptical judge questioned whether the government has that authority. The government seeks to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to conduct more comprehensive testing. Less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows are currently tested for the disease under Agribusiness Department guidelines.

Army Corps says Condition of many levees a mystery 12 May 2008 Across America, earthen flood levees protect big cities and small towns, wealthy suburbs and rich farmland. But the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency that oversees levees, lacks an inventory of thousands of them and has no idea of their condition, the corps' chief levee expert told The Associated Press. [Sounds like Bush is trolling for a catastrophe, so that he can give billions to KBR to 'rebuild' them.]

Just like Blackwater's New Orleans: Myanmar police block aid workers, food piles up 13 May 2008 Police barred foreign aid workers from reaching cyclone survivors in hard-hit areas Tuesday, while emergency food shipments backed up at the main airport for Myanmar's biggest city. [See: U.S. (forgetting Katrina) "outraged" by Myanmar's response to cyclone By Lori Price 09 May 2008 'The United States expressed outrage on Thursday at the delays in allowing in aid.' Really? Well, I am outraged that they are outraged! This is the 'Pot-Kettle' moment of the decade. Heckova job, Brownie Burma!]

Bush bin Laden's cronies to absorb citizens' tax rebates: Tax rebates headed for the pump, grocer: survey 13 May 2008 Consumers will use much of their tax rebate money to pay for increasingly expensive gas and groceries, rather than spend it on electronics or clothes, said the most recent survey by the National Retail Federation.

Gasoline and diesel prices soar to records: EIA 12 May 2008 U.S. drivers dug deeper into their pockets to fill up at the pump, as the average price for gasoline skyrocketed 10.9 cents over the last week to a record of $3.72 a gallon, the federal Energy Information Administration said on Monday.

Furman University professors, students sign statement opposing Bush visit 12 May 2008 More than 200 students and faculty members at Furman University have signed a statement protesting President [sic] Bush's visit to speak at the South Carolina school's commencement later this month. Bush is scheduled to speak at Furman's graduation ceremonies May 31.

Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, who married Jenna Bush, is endorsing Obama: Why a Spiritual Advisor to President Bush Supports Obama --The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell explains his bond with Bush, his donations to Obama, and his defense of Jeremiah Wright. Interview by Dan Gilgoff 08 May 2008 The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell is pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church, the largest United Methodist congregation in the nation. Often described as a ‘spiritual advisor' to President [sic] George W. Bush, Caldwell introduced Bush at the 2000 Republican National Convention and delivered the benedictions at the 2001 and 2005 presidential inaugurations. He endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president in January. When you called President Bush to say you were endorsing Senator Barack Obama, how did he respond? He had shared his thoughts with me about Senator Obama months before I called and told him I was going to endorse. And he says he likes him as a person. He told me that early on, before the Senator even announced he was running for president. He has a tremendous amount of respect for him.

No Rush for Clinton to Go, but it's Still Advantage Obama --Poll Shows 64 Percent of Dems Say Clinton Should Remain in the Race 12 May 2008 Pushing back against political punditry, more than six in 10 Democrats say there's no rush for Hillary Clinton to leave the presidential race – even as Barack Obama consolidates his support for the nomination and scores solidly in general-election tests. Despite Obama's advantage in delegates and popular vote, 64 percent of Democrats in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say Clinton should remain in the race. Even among Obama's supporters, 42 percent say so.

McAuliffe says media 'in the tank' for Obama 13 May 2008 Terry McAuliffe, campaign chairman for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), said Tuesday that the former first lady is hamstrung by a biased media. "Clearly it has been a biased media, no question about it," McAuliffe said on Fox News. When asked how much of the mainstream media is "in the tank" for Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), who leads Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination, McAuliffe estimated that about 90 percent of the media favor Obama.

U.S. Outlook Is Worst Since '92, Poll Finds --Results Give Democrats Edge 13 May 2008 Americans are gloomier about the direction of the country than they have been at any point in 15 years, and Democrats hold their biggest advantage since early 1993 as the party better able to deal with the nation's main problems, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. More than eight in 10 now saying the country is headed in the wrong direction, coupled with growing disaffection with the Republican Party.

The Bipartisanship Scam By Arianna Huffington 12 May 2008 Wasn't the Iraq war the crowning example of bipartisanship during the Bush era? And we know how well that bipartisanship worked out... Sure, if only Denny Hastert and Nancy Pelosi had had a few dinners together, we might not be in a disastrous war, or we wouldn't have had No Child Left Behind, or a prescription drug program that doesn't allow the government to negotiate with drug companies to reduce prices. Oh wait, those were all bipartisan bills.

Housing market worst for 30 years 13 May 2008 Confidence in Britain's housing market has sunk to its lowest level for more than 30 years, figures to be published today will reveal, as property prices continue to fall and mortgage lenders restrict home loan finance.


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