Citizens For Legitimate Government is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose and resist US imperialism, corpora-terrorism, and the New World Order.

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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November 2008 Archives

KBR wins Army Corps contract to provide power during emergencies 11 Nov 2008 KBR Inc. has been awarded a $75 million disaster relief contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for emergency power. The Houston-based engineering company will be supplying the power to the Western region of the United States. The five-year contract was created by the Army to respond immediately to power emergencies caused by natural or manBushmade disasters.

Malmstrom missile wing fails nuke inspection 11 Nov 2008 The 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., failed its nuclear surety inspection after inspectors found problems with the wing’s weapons storage area and its personnel reliability program, which monitors who can work with nuclear weapons, an Air Force official said. Air Force Space Command inspectors allowed the wing to keep its certification to handle nuclear weapons [insert eye-roll here] and will return in 90 days to re-inspect the areas where it found deficiencies, according to an official statement from Space Command. The 341st is one of three Air Force wings that maintain the nation's Minuteman III nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles. [See also: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities'.]

Radioactive leak hits river 12 Nov 2008 Radioactive liquid spilled into a river [River Tamar] during maintenance work on a nuclear submarine, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. The Royal Navy said up to 280 litres (62 gallons) of contaminated water spilled from a ruptured hose as it was used to pump out coolant from HMS Trafalgar at the Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth.

Iraqi soldier kills two US troops 12 Nov 2008 An Iraqi soldier has shot dead at least two US soldiers and wounded six others in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The Iraqi trooper turned his gun on patrol members, the US military said, before being shot dead himself. Reports suggested the man had been involved in an altercation with a US soldier before opening fire.

Baghdad shaken by series of bombs 12 Nov 2008 At least 21 people have been killed and more than 85 injured in a series of bombs throughout Baghdad, police said. In the most serious attack, at least 12 people were killed and 60 injured when almost simultaneous car and roadside bombs detonated in eastern Baghdad. Earlier a car bomb killed four people and injured 14 during the morning rush hour in a busy central shopping area. Police also said five people were killed and 12 wounded in an explosion in the north of the capital. [As soon as the US election was over, Blackwater's terrorists began wreaking havoc all over Iraq, so that Obama "can't" bring the troops home. --LRP]

'Shocked at the brutality of western governments' I support Iraq insurgents but I loved England, says terror accused 12 Nov 2008 An Iraqi doctor accused of terrorist car bombings said yesterday he supported insurgent fighting in his homeland. Bilal Abdulla said he was born in England, studied in Cambridge, held a British passport and saw the UK as home. But he said the aftermath of the second Gulf war had left him shocked at the brutality of western governments, even though he welcomed the downfall of Saddam Hussein. Speaking for the first time in his defence, he described the effect of sanctions on Iraq, with shortages of basic medicines. Asked by his barrister, Jim Sturman, QC, if he supported the Sunni resistance, Abdulla said: "Definitely. I looked high upon those fighting the invaders. I supported the insurgency."

Police say car bomb kills three, wounds 14 in Baghdad 12 Nov 2008 Iraqi police say a bomb exploded in a parked car in a bustling section of downtown Baghdad early Wednesday, killing three people and wounding 14 others. The attack occurred around off al-Nasir Square in central Baghdad - a busy neighbourhood of shops, pharmacies and photography stores. Police say two officers are among the wounded.

US spec-ops get robot whispercopter kill fleet this month --Droid choppers can also carry passengers 11 Nov 2008 The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) secret military forces are receiving their first robotic whisper-mode helicopters, according to reports. The plan is for the you-never-saw-us-we-aren't-even-here brigade to receive a ten-strong fleet of Boeing A160T "Hummingbird" droid kill-choppers, under an extended demonstration programme.

Iran test-fires newly-designed missile 10 Nov 2008 Iran has successfully test-fired a new domestically-designed and manufactured missile in line with enhancing its combat capabilities. The Samen missile was launched Monday during an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) military drill in the border city of Marivan in the Western province of Kurdistan, Iran. The missile test comes shortly after a Nov. 3 ballistic missile test in the San Diego-based US Third Fleet, which according to the head of the US Missile Defense Agency was a test for the proposed-US missile shield.

US aid worker shot dead in Pakistan 12 Nov 2008 Gunmen shot dead an American aid worker and his local driver in Pakistan's volatile north west today. The attack occurred in University Town, a wealthy area of Peshawar where a top US diplomat was attacked just a few months ago, police official Arshad Khan said.

Russia rejects U.S. missile proposals 12 Nov 2008 The Kremlin on Wednesday rejected U.S. proposals aimed at easing concerns over a missile defense system in Europe and said it would try again to resolve the row once Barack Obama is in the White House. Russia says the planned U.S. system will threaten its national security and that the administration of George W. Bush has failed to allay its concerns.

Russia and Obama: Untying the Gordian Knot --Nothing much has changed to reduce US-Russian tensions with the election of Obama -- yet, opines Eric Walberg 11 Nov 2008 It is unlikely that Obama will run such a wild, unpremeditated foreign policy as his predecessor. There are factions within the imperial establishment -- liberals vs hawks. As presumably one of the former, Obama will be more likely to rely on soft power (undermining other governments in the name of democracy) vs outright war. The Russians no doubt will count on Obama to wind down the current wars rather than starting new ones, all the time keeping their eye on campaigns to "promote democracy" in their backyard.

U.S. backs away from plan to buy bad assets 12 Nov 2008 The Bush dictatorship on Wednesday largely abandoned its plan to buy up toxic mortgage assets and said it will focus its $700 billion financial bailout fund on making direct investments in financial institutions and shoring up consumer credit markets. The U.S. Treasury Department initially promoted the financial rescue package approved by Congress last month as a vehicle to buy illiquid mortgage assets from banks and other institutions to spur fresh lending.

US stocks plunge on Paulson comments, oil falls 12 Nov 2008 U.S. stocks plunged on Wednesday after a shift in how the U.S. government will use its $700 billion bailout fund fed uncertainty and oil prices slid to 21-month lows on fears of a deep global recession. U.S. Treasury Secretary [lying sack of sh*t] Henry Paulson said he was backing away from buying troubled mortgage assets and would focus on the capital needs of both banks and non-bank financial institutions.

$700B Gov't. Bailout Will Fund Big Wall Street Bonuses --Even without bonuses, the mean annual salary for a securities industry employee was just under $400,000. 12 Nov 2008 For Wall Street workers still employed, there could be a hefty bonus in their checks next month. According to a report from financial news agency Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, for example, has set aside $6.8 billion for bonuses, and Morgan Stanley, $6.4 billion. [See: Arming the Left: Is the time now? By Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003.]

'We've made it clear to them we do not want one dime being spent on these junkets.' Congressman wants AIG CEO to resign after Phoenix meeting 11 Nov 2008 After an ABC15 undercover investigation showed AIG executives holding poolside meetings and dining at an upscale restaurant in Phoenix, U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)wants AIG's CEO Edward Liddy to resign. The conference held last week at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix cost AIG approximately $343,000.

Lobbyists Swarm the Treasury for a Helping of the Bailout Pie 12 Nov 2008 When the government said it would spend $700 billion to rescue the nation’s financial industry, it seemed to be an ocean of money. But after one of the biggest lobbying free-for-alls in memory, it suddenly looks like a dwindling pool. Many new supplicants are lining up for an infusion of capital as billions of dollars are channeled to other beneficiaries like the American International Group, and possibly soon American Express.

Bailouts for banks: Layoffs for workers (WSWS) 12 Nov 2008 Instead of pouring billions more dollars into the private coffers of America's financial elite, the huge bonuses and compensation packages that the executives have awarded themselves while leading their companies into bankruptcy should be confiscated and utilized to improve conditions of life for those facing unemployment, the loss of their homes, the shutoff of their utilities and the loss of their life savings.

Obama's Bailout Bunch Brings Us More of the Same By Jonathan Weil 11 Nov 2008 It's hard to believe Barack Obama would even think of calling this change. Take a good look at some of the 17 people our nation's president-elect chose last week for his Transition Economic Advisory Board. And then try saying with a straight face that these are the leaders who should be advising him on how to navigate through the worst financial crisis in modern history.

Mega barf alert! Obama wants Lieberman to stay with Senate Dems 11 Nov 2008 President-elect Obama has told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid he's not interested in seeing Democrats oust Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman [R-Israel] from their ranks over his endorsement of Republican John McCain. Obama told Reid in a phone conversation last week that expelling LieberBush from the Democratic caucus would hurt the message of bipartisanship and unity [puke] that he wants for his new administration, a Senate Democratic aide said Tuesday. This aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were confidential.

Penn. teacher's aide says Obama 'to be shot' 10 Nov 2008 A teacher's aide in a vocational school in the North Hills faces disciplinary action after he allegedly made offensive remarks about President-elect Barack Obama. The student - a 16-year-old girl - told her parents that an aide at the AW Beattie Career Center on Babcock Blvd. in Allison Park yelled, among other things, that Obama was going to be shot, our flag would be changed to the KFC flag, and the National Anthem would be changed to "Moving On Up."

TPD lieutenant investigated by department, FBI 12 Nov 2008 (AZ) A Tucson Police Department lieutenant is on paid leave while he is under investigation by the department and the FBI, authorities said. The department's internal affairs office and the FBI are conducting separate but related investigations of the officer, who has been with the department for about 16 years, said Sgt. Fabian Pacheco, a police spokesman. The officer has been under investigation for several months, but police officials won't say why he's being investigated, Pacheco said.

More groups ask California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8 --Anti-discrimination groups and bar associations send letters to the court contending that the initiative, which bans gay marriage, is a sweeping revision of the state Constitution, not an amendment. 12 Nov 2008 Anti-discrimination groups and bar associations have joined 44 state legislators in calling on the California Supreme Court to overturn the anti-gay marriage initiative voters passed last week. In letters to the court, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups sided with lawsuits that said Proposition 8, which reinstated a ban on same-sex marriage, amounted to a sweeping revision of the state Constitution instead of a more limited amendment.

Indonesia records 113th bird flu death 12 Nov 2008 An Indonesian teen has died of bird flu raising the death toll in the country hardest hit by the virus to 113, health officials said. The latest death comes amid an ongoing dispute between the Southeast Asian country and the World Health Organisation (WHO) over sharing samples of the virus from patients there to monitor whether the H5N1 virus is mutating [by US bioterrorists] to a more dangerous form. [Indonesia is concerned -- and rightly so -- that the US will use the samples to create a bioweapon.]

Supreme Court Sides With U.S. Navy in Dispute Over Sonar Use, Whale Safety --Justices: National Security Strongly Outweighs Alleged Harm to Marine Mammals 12 Nov 2008 The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the U.S. Navy's need to conduct realistic training with active sonar outweighs the concerns of environmentalists that the sonar could damage marine life. The decision means the Navy can go forward with exercises off the coast of Southern California and does not have to sharply limit sonar use.


Google to report flu searches, locations to U.S. government 11 Nov 2008 Google Flu Trends, a new Web tool that unveiled on Tuesday, just as 'flu season' was getting under way in the United States. The Google Flu Trends surveillance tool will track such queries and charts their ebb and flow, broken down by regions and states. Early tests suggest that the surveillance may be able to detect regional outbreaks of the flu a week to 10 days before they are reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice. See: Bush wants army to combat bird flu 06 Oct 2005; DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack 10 Nov 2007; HHS Declares 'Health Emergencies' to Limit Legal Liability for Anti-terrorism Vaccines, Drugs 19 Oct 2008 and KBR awarded Homeland Security contract worth up to $385M 24 Jan 2006 The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster, the company said.]

Sick Surveillance: Google Reports Flu Searches, Locations to Feds S 11 Nov 2008 GOOGLE will launch a new tool that will help U.S. federal officials "track sickness". "Flu Trends" uses search terms that people put into the web giant to figure out where influenza is heating up, and notify the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in real time. Engineers devised a basket of keywords and phrases related to the flu, including thermometer, flu symptoms, muscle aches, chest congestion and others.

Iraq FM: Iraq not to be base for offensives against neighbors 11 Nov 2008 Visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said here on Tuesday that his country would not be a base for offensives against its neighbors, the official SANA news agency reported. "Iraq will not be a base for any offensive acts against any of the neighboring countries under any circumstances." Zebari was quoted as saying in talks with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem.

US 'has launched secret attacks on al-Qaeda since 2004' 11 Nov 2008 US special forces have conducted nearly a dozen secret operations against 'al-Qaeda' in Syria, Pakistan and other countries under a broad 2004 mandate approved by President [sic] George W Bush, The New York Times has reported. A classified order authorising attacks on al-Qaeda anywhere in the world, even in countries not a war with the US, was approved by Mr Bush and signed by former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the newspaper said, citing anonymous US officials.

UK must keep troops in Afghanistan-minister 11 Nov 2008 Terrorists in Afghanistan pose a direct threat to British security and it is even more important now than in 2001 that British troops be there to confront them, Defence Secretary John Hutton said on Tuesday. In his first major speech since being appointed last month, Hutton said that pulling out the 8,000 British troops fighting in Afghanistan would deal "a profoundly dangerous blow" to British interests.

Canadians deny prisoner swap for journalist 10 Nov 2008 Canadian and Afghan leaders rejected reports that Taliban prisoners had been swapped for the release of Canadian journalist Mellissa Fung, with officials from Ottawa to Kandahar issuing a string of denials. Authorities in both countries have been close-lipped about the circumstances that led to the release of Ms. Fung almost a month after she was abducted outside Kabul on Oct. 12.

World powers to meet anew on Iran sanctions 11 Nov 2008 Senior diplomats from six world powers are to meet this week to discuss stalled efforts to impose new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, U.S. officials said Tuesday. Thursday's meeting in Paris will bring together high-level foreign ministry officials from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- and Germany, the officials said.

After banning YouTube, military launches TroopTube --The Pentagon screens each video for 'taste,' copyright violations and national security issues. 11 Nov 2008 The U.S. military, with help from Seattle startup Delve Networks, has launched a video-sharing Web site for troops, their families and supporters, a year and a half after restricting access to YouTube and other video sites. TroopTube, as the new site is called, lets people register as members of one of the branches of the armed forces, family, civilian Defense Department employees or supporters.

Nuclear waste arrives in German town 12 Nov 2008 Amid large-scale protests, eleven containers of radioactive waste from a French reprocessing site have arrived at the Gorleben storage facility in Germany. The 17 tons of waste from the La Hague site in France reached its destination by train on Tuesday, one day behind schedule as the delivery was blocked for several hours by around 15,000 anti-nuclear demonstrators in Germany - the largest in nearly a decade.

Why veins could replace fingerprints and retinas as most secure form of ID 11 Nov 2008 Forget fingerprinting. Companies in Europe have begun to roll out an advanced biometric system from Japan that identifies people from the unique patterns of veins inside their fingers. Finger vein authentication, introduced widely by Japanese banks in the last two years, is claimed to be the fastest and most secure biometric method. Developed by Hitachi, it verifies a person's identity based on the lattice work of minute blood vessels under the skin.

Every school to get Holocaust specialist under anti-racism initiative 07 Nov 2008 (UK) Every secondary school is to get a Holocaust specialist to ensure that the subject is taught comprehensively and sensitively. One teacher from every school will be offered a place on a Holocaust education training course to combat [?] racism and intolerance. One in ten of those who take the course will also be able to take a master’s degree module in Holocaust education, as part of a £1.5 million scheme run by the Institute of Education.

Fire at FBI Building Forces Evacuation 11 Nov 2008 A boiler room fire at FBI headquarters in downtown Washington led to an evacuation this afternoon, D.C. fire officials said. The fire department was called at 4:15 p.m. to the garage of the headquarters, off Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Firefighters found a utility room on the garage level was fully engulfed in flames.

Another AIG Resort "Junket": Top Execs Caught on Tape --KNXV Discovers $343,000 Secret Gathering, AIG Signs and Logos Hidden 10 Nov 2008 Even as the company was pleading the federal government for another $40 billion dollars in loans, AIG sent top executives to a secret gathering at a luxury resort in Phoenix last week. Reporters for (KNXV) caught the AIG executives on hidden cameras poolside and leaving the spa at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, despite apparent efforts by the company to disguise its involvement.

Goldman Sachs urged bets against California bonds it helped sell 11 Nov 2008 Goldman, Sachs & Co. urged some of its big clients to place investment bets against California bonds this year despite having collected millions of dollars in fees to help the state sell some of those same bonds. The giant investment firm did not inform the office of California Treasurer Bill Lockyer that it was proposing a way for investment clients to profit from California's deepening financial misery.

Bonuses for Wall Street Should Go to Zero, U.S. Taxpayers Say 11 Nov 2008 U.S. taxpayers, who feel they own a stake in Wall Street after funding a $700 billion bailout for the industry, don't want executives' bonuses reduced. They want them eliminated. "The bailout money shouldn't have been given to them in the first place," said Ken Karlson, a 61-year-old Vietnam veteran and freelance marketer in Wheaton, Illinois.

House speaker seeks auto bailout bill 11 Nov 2008 House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought legislation on Tuesday to bail out failing automakers, saying she was confident an emergency measure would be approved next week. Pelosi aims to amend the government's $700 billion corporate rescue law that now applies to banks and other financial services firms. No figure was given, but General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC are seeking $25 billion in urgent assistance.

American Express Wins Fed Approval to Become Bank 11 Nov 2008 American Express Co. won U.S. Federal Reserve approval to become a commercial bank, gaining access to government funds as credit-card defaults climb with economies slowing around the world. The Fed waived a 30-day waiting period on the application because of "the unusual and exigent circumstances affecting the financial markets," according to a Fed statement released yesterday in Washington. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his colleagues unanimously approved the plan.

Obama Extends Ban on Lobbyist Donors to Presidential Transition 11 Nov 2008 Registered lobbyists will be barred from contributing to Barack Obama's transition to the presidency or working for his administration in any area in which they represented clients, the president-elect's transition team announced. The new rules also ban members of the transition team who become lobbyists from trying to influence the administration on issues they worked on.

Mega barf alert! Obama Wants Lieberman to Stay With Dem Caucus 11 Nov 2008 President-elect Obama says he'd be happy to have Connecticut Sen. Joe LieberBush [R-Israel] continue to caucus with Democrats. But Obama adds that he won't get involved in the fight on Capitol Hill over whether Democrats should take away Democrat-turned-independent Lieberman's chairmanship of a key committee to punish him for supporting Republican John McCain for president.

One week since the election of Obama (WSWS) 11 Nov 2008 First is the appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s chief of staff. This right-wing congressman and millionaire investment banker has already made clear that his main job is to rein in the more liberal elements in the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. Asked point blank by the Wall Street Journal whether "liberal majorities" in Congress would "have their way" with President Obama, Emanuel replied, "Barack Obama can stand up to them."

Georgia congressman warns of Obama dictatorship 10 Nov 2008 A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist [?] or fascist dictatorship. "It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press.

Dems get new crop of military voters 09 Nov 2008 An interesting subtext to John McCain’s defeat last week is what it means for the future of the Republican Party with respect to veterans and military voters... In the past two election cycles, Democrats have added ten new Democratic veterans to Congress. Last week, President-elect Barack Obama helped close the gap among military voters, winning 44 percent of veterans as opposed to John F. Kerry’s 41 percent in 2004.

Palin's father says Alaska governor sorting clothes to find GOP's 10 Nov 2008 According to her dad, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spent part of the weekend "frantically" trying to sort out which of her family's outfits belong to the Republican party. Palin's father, Chuck Heath, says part of the problem is that "kids lose underwear, and everything has to be accounted for."

Bush is less popular than Nixon in final days 10 Nov 2008 With 71 days left in office, President [sic] Bush is less popular than President Nixon was at the time of his resignation, according to data released Monday by CNN and Opinion Research Corporation. The new poll, taken Thursday through Sunday, showed an approval rating of 24 percent and a disapproval rating of 76 percent.

Probe sought of Bush handling of Alaska oil-spill case 10 Nov 2008 An environmental watchdog group asked the Department of Justice's inspector general on Monday to investigate whether the department had prematurely halted a criminal prosecution of BP for a 2006 oil spill in Alaska. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed the complaint on behalf of Scott West, who as the special agent in charge for the Environmental Protection Agency participated in the federal and state investigation of the spill.

Radioactive Beer Kegs Menace Public, Boost Costs for Recyclers 11 Nov 2008 Improper disposal of industrial equipment and medical scanners containing radioactive materials is letting nuclear waste trickle into scrap smelters, contaminating consumer goods, threatening the $140 billion trade in recycled metal and spurring the United Nations to call for increased screening. Last year, U.S. Customs rejected 64 shipments of radioactive goods at the nation's ports, including purses, cutlery, sinks and hand tools, according to data released by the Department of Homeland Security in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

New rules on factory farm pollution too lax? 'Puts the foxes in charge of their gigantic henhouses,' says activist 03 Nov 2008 The Environmental Protection Agency issued new pollution control requirements for large livestock feedlots Friday that would allow farm operators to avoid having to get a permit if they claim the facility will not put harmful discharges into nearby waterways. Under the rules, a feedlot would not automatically have to obtain a pollution discharge permit and could be certified as voluntarily complying with the "zero discharge" standard.

Prescription Drugs Kill 300 Percent More Americans than Illegal Drugs 10 Nov 2008 A report by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission has concluded that prescription drugs have outstripped illegal drugs as a cause of death. An analysis of 168,900 autopsies conducted in Florida in 2007 found that three times as many people were killed by legal drugs as by cocaine, heroin and all methamphetamines put together.


Fed refuses to identify recipients of $2 trillion in U.S. taxpayer loans --Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Disclose 10 Nov 2008 The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.

'Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that the notice was illegal.' A Quiet Windfall For U.S. Banks --With Attention on Bailout Debate, Treasury Made Change to Tax Policy 10 Nov 2008 The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention. But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion. The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were furious. Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that the notice was illegal. But they have worried that saying so publicly could unravel several recent bank mergers made possible by the change and send the economy into an even deeper tailspin.

AIG May Get Expanded Bailout to $150 billion 10 Nov 2008 American International Group Inc., the insurer bailed out by the U.S., may get an expanded government rescue package valued at more than $150 billion that includes lower interest rates and more time to repay the debt. [See: AIG execs at posh Phoenix resort after $85 billion bailout 08 Nov 2008 The 2008 Asset Management Conference held this week at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix included many senior managers at American International Group, or AIG--recipients in September of more than $85 150 billion from the federal government. The ABC15 Investigators went undercover at the resort and found AIG executives having poolside meetings while drinking coffee and working out at the spa while other attendees were in conference rooms for seminars. We also watched as half a dozen of the executives went to dinner at McCormick & Schmick's at the Camelback Esplanade, racking up a bill of more than $400 for drinks, appetizers, and meals.]

Who are the Architects of Economic Collapse? --Will an Obama Administration Reverse the Tide? by Michel Chossudovsky 09 Nov 2008 The October 2008 financial meltdown is not the result of a cyclical economic phenomenon. It is the deliberate result of US government policy instrumented through the Treasury and the US Federal Reserve Board. This is the most serious economic crisis in World history. The "bailout" proposed by the US Treasury does not constitute a "solution" to the crisis. In fact quite the opposite: it is the cause of further collapse. It triggers an unprecedented concentration of wealth, which in turn contributes to widening economic and social inequalities both within and between nations.

OMG. Just when I'd thought I've seen *it all:* New envoy urges US to bail out Pakistan 10 Nov 2008 With Pakistan teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Husain Haqqani made his pitch for a quick infusion of US cash... "All Pakistan is asking for is a bailout of $10 billion to fight [foment] terrorism" and get back on its feet, he told a packed audience recently at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank... After Sept. 11, 2001, the United States had given about $125 million per month to Pakistan. This summer, a House subcommittee uncovered evidence of graft in the more than $6 billion worth of US military aid that went to Musharraf's government. Haqqani is also seeking an additional $10 billion loan from the United States at a "Friends of Pakistan" summit in the United Arab Emirates on Nov. 17. President-elect Barack Obama supports a plan to give Pakistan a $1.5 billion "bonus" if it remains a democratic state. [*REMAINS* Barack? Pakistan never WAS a democratic state, Barack. See: Billions in U.S. Aid to Pakistan Wasted, Officials Assert 24 Dec 2007 After the United States has spent more than $5 billion in a largely failed effort to bolster the Pakistani military effort against 'Al Qaeda' and the Taliban, some American officials now acknowledge that there were too few controls over the money. See: US Senate approves Pakistan aid worth $785m 20 Dec 2007 The US Senate has approved a $785 million assistance package for Pakistan for the fiscal year 2008 as lawmakers passed with a bipartisan 76-17 vote a massive appropriations bill for federal spending on Tuesday night.]

US 'in secret overseas strikes' 10 Nov 2008 The US has carried out nearly a dozen anti-terror attacks in Pakistan, Syria and elsewhere in the past four years, the New York Times has reported. The previously unreported attacks were authorised in 2004 by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Times quoted senior officials as saying. The order gave US forces permission to attack terror targets anywhere in the world without prior specific approval.

Secret Order Lets U.S. Attack Militants Around the World 10 Nov 2008 The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials. These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President [sic] Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.

Obama plans Guantanamo closure, US terror trials 10 Nov 2008 President-elect Obama's advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice.

ACLU Calls on Obama to Close Guantanamo on Day One of Presidency --Group Launches Campaign Urging New Administration to Restore Fundamental Rights and Reclaim America's Moral Leadership 10 Nov 2008 The American Civil Liberties Union launched a new campaign today calling on President-elect Barack Obama to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and end the military commissions on Day One of his presidency. Obama, as a candidate, pledged to "close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act and adhere to the Geneva Conventions." In a full page ad in the New York Times today, the ACLU urges Obama, as president, to fulfill those promises and immediately restore America's moral leadership in the world.

Bush Administration Once Again Attempts to Block Release of Prisoner Abuse Photos In ACLU Lawsuit --Photos Depict Abuse At Facilities In Afghanistan and Iraq (ACLU) 07 Nov 2008 The Bush administration petitioned a full appeals court late Thursday to reconsider a decision ordering the Defense Department to release photographs showing detainee abuse by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In September, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordered the government to release the photos as part of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking information on the abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody overseas.

14 Afghan civilians killed in US. air strike 10 Nov 2008 At least 14 civilians were killed in an air strike targeting militants by the US-led coalition forces in the eastern Afghan province of Khost, authorities said Monday. 'Fourteen security personnel of local road construction firm Gul Rahim were killed in Yaqubi district Sunday evening as the US-led coalition forces attacked them from the air,' the province's governor Arsallah Jamal told reporters.

Twin blasts hit Iraqi schoolgirls' bus; 31 killed --Suicide bomber strikes crowd gathered to help those hurt in first explosion 10 Nov 2008 suicide bomber struck Monday in a crowd that had gathered where an explosion moments earlier damaged a bus full of schoolgirls, with both blasts killing at least 31 people and wounding 71 others, officials said. Also Monday, a woman suicide bomber attacked a security checkpoint in downtown Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, killing five people including a local leader of Sunni group opposed to al-Qaida, police said. Fifteen other people were wounded in that explosion.

Suicide Blast in Emergency Room Near Fallujah Kills 3 10 Nov 2008 A female suicide bomber detonated explosives in the emergency room of a hospital near Fallujah on Sunday in one of several violent incidents in Iraq that left at least 10 people dead over the weekend, Iraqi officials said.

Report: Iraqi boat attacks Chinese ship 09 Nov 2008 Iraqi armed forces 'have launched a speedboat attack' on a Chinese cargo ship near the Khore-Musa inlet of the Persian Gulf. Three Iraqi gunmen aboard a speedboat attacked a Chinese ship leased by Iran en route the southwestern Iranian port of Imam Khomeini, Iranian news web site Tabnak reported on Sunday.

Obama makes historic White House visit 10 Nov 2008 President-elect Barack Obama visited the White House on Monday for his first post-election meeting with President [sic] George W. Bush, a strikingly symbolic moment in the historic transition of power in Washington. It was their first face-to-face encounter -- a visit steeped in symbolism -- following Obama's resounding victory over Republican John McCain in Tuesday's election, which will make him America's first black chief executive.

Gag me with a chainsaw! Obama advisers signal Republican roles in administration 10 Nov 2008 Top advisers to Barack Obama sent a strong message yesterday that Republicans will play a vital role in his administration. Valerie Jarrett, a longtime friend to Obama who is cochairwoman of his transition team, suggested that Obama intends to appoint Republicans to his cabinet or other important posts and does not rule out keeping on Defense Secretary [war criminal] Robert Gates when he takes power in January.

Obama 'to reverse Bush decisions' 10 Nov 2008 US President-elect Barack Obama will seek to reverse Bush administration policies when he enters office on 20 January, his transition chief has said. John Podesta said executive orders by President [sic] George W Bush on issues such as stem cell research and oil drilling were at odds with Mr Obama's views. Plans to pass a raft of last-minute regulations are also being watched.

The Climate for Change By Al Gore 09 Nov 2008 The inspiring and transformative choice by the American people to elect Barack Obama as our 44th president lays the foundation for another fateful choice that he -- and we -- must make this January to begin an emergency rescue of human civilization from the imminent and rapidly growing threat posed by the climate crisis. The electrifying redemption of America’s revolutionary declaration that all human beings are born equal sets the stage for the renewal of United States leadership in a world that desperately needs to protect its primary endowment: the integrity and livability of the planet.

Fears grow for Barack Obama's security 10 Nov 2008 When Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech behind a thick screen of bulletproof glass it was a sign of the huge security operation which will surround the new President Elect. Fears are growing that Mr Obama, who will become America's first black president following his inauguration next year, will be the subject of an assassination attempt. The secret service is reported to have already investigated more than 500 death threats against Mr Obama during the presidential election contest. He is expected to be protected by a secret service detail with hundreds of close-protection agents.

2 accused of trying to kill Obama kept in lockdown 09 Nov 2008 A sheriff says two men accused by the federal government of plotting to assassinate Barack Obama and kill other blacks are on 23-hour lockdown in a county jail "for their protection." Twenty-year-old Daniel Cowart of Bells, Tennessee, and 18-year-old Paul Schlesselman of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, met over the Internet. They now share a cell in the Obion County jail in Union City, Tennessee, while they await federal trial.

Secret Service Officer Arrested In Prostitution Sting 09 Nov 2008 A Secret Service officer was arrested early Saturday during a prostitution sting conducted by D.C. police in Northwest. Inspector Brian Bray, commander of Metropolitan Police Department's Narcotics and Special Investigations Division (NSID), says his squad was conducting a prostitution sting in the area of 11th and K Sts NW around 12:50 a.m. when a marked Secret Service Uniformed Division patrol car stopped to speak with an undercover female officer who was posing as a prostitute.

McAuliffe Files Papers to Run for Governor 10 Nov 2008 Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, filed paperwork today to run for governor of Virginia next year. McAuliffe said he's still not certain he will formally enter the race, but plans to spend the next two months traveling around the state talking to voters. He will also begin assembling a campaign team.

Dean not to seek 2nd term as Dem chairman 10 Nov 2008 Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean plans to step down from his post when his term expires in January, wrapping up a tenure in which the party heavily invested in all 50 states for a payoff that helped elect Barack Obama president.

Suit challenges NYC's Bloomberg term limits change 10 Nov 2008 A new law that allows New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to seek a third term to help the city deal with the global economic crisis is an illegal "end run" around New York voters, a lawsuit filed on Monday says. Last week, Bloomberg signed a law increasing the term limit for elected officials to three four-year terms from two. The law runs counter to two public referendums, held in 1993 and 1996, that imposed the two-term limit.

Circuit City files for bankruptcy protection 10 Nov 2008 Circuit City Stores Inc, the No. 2 U.S. consumer electronics retailer, filed for bankruptcy on Monday just weeks before the start of the holiday shopping season, becoming the largest retailer to file for Chapter 11 since Kmart in 2002.

Mormon church targeted for Prop. 8 support --A California measure banning gay marriage was the subject of a protest Sunday outside a Seattle Mormon church. Similar protests occurred Sunday in California. 10 Nov 2008 More than 40 people demonstrated in front of a Mormon church in Seattle's University District on Sunday morning, expressing anger at the role the national church played in the passing of Proposition 8, banning gay marriage in California.

Bashed flamingo gaining weight 10 Nov 2008 A flamingo bashed at Adelaide Zoo recently is now eating again and gaining weight. The bird is at least 75 years old. Zoo bird keeper Vaughan Wilson says the flamingo is still resting a lot more than usual but appears to be getting better.


High Court May Consider Legality of Detention --Can the military indefinitely detain, without charge, a U.S. citizen or legal resident seized on U.S. soil? 09 Nov 2008 Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri was whisked to a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., where he has spent more than five years. His case raises a question with vast implications for presidential power and civil liberties: Can the military indefinitely detain, without charge, a U.S. citizen or legal resident seized on U.S. soil? The Supreme Court is now being asked to consider the legality of Marri's detention, which is one of the broadest and most controversial assertions of executive authority since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who represents Marri, said his client's detention "is the broadest and most radical assertion of detention power since September 11. That the president can order the military to seize someone from their home, their business, from the streets and lock them up in jail potentially forever, without trial, goes against 230 years of American precedent and the basic idea that this country was founded on."

Students rally in support of Omar Khadr in Edmonton 08 Nov 2008 Omar Khadr's lawyer says teenagers understand best the plight of his young client, who has been held for six years in Guantanamo Bay accused of war crimes. As many as 200 people, mostly students from local universities and colleges, took part in the rally, which was followed by an event to launch Michelle Shephard's book on Khadr, 'Guantanamo's Child.' The Canadian-born Khadr was 15 when he was arrested in an Afghanistan firefight in 2002 and taken to Guantanamo Bay, accused of killing an American soldier with a grenade.

Report identifies UK terrorist enclaves 09 Nov 2008 Secret enclaves of al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] extremists based in London, Birmingham and Luton are planning mass-casualty attacks in Britain, according to a leaked Government intelligence report. The document, which was drawn up by the intelligence branch of the Ministry of Defence, MI5 and Special Branch, states that "some thousands" of extremists are active in the UK.

Military command casts broad net with homeland security operations 09 Nov 2008 A recent article by The Colorado Independent reported that the U.S. Northern Command, a military entity created in 2002 for homeland defense missions and based in Colorado Springs, plans to activate and train an estimated 4,700 service members for specialized domestic operations inside the United States. What’s next for the Northern Command? So far the federal government is keeping details relating to the planned troop activation vague, but claims the service members will only be used for humanitarian purposes. [? See: DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack.]

Feds and Telcos Defend Spy Amnesty to Court By Ryan Singel 07 Nov 2008 There's nothing unconstitutional about Congress putting an end to lawsuits accusing the nation's largest telecoms of secretly helping the Bush administration spy on Americans' communications, government and telecom lawyers told a federal court late Wednesday. At issue is the recently enacted "telecom immunity" power which the Bush administration is trying to use to wipe out dozens of anti-spying lawsuits targeting AT&T, Verizon and Spring.

E. Wash. Homeland Security head fired after arrest 08 Nov 2008 The Homeland Security coordinator for 10 Eastern Washington counties has been fired, three weeks after he was arrested for investigation of drunken driving in Stevens County. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezvoich confirmed to The Spokesman-Review that he fired David L. Byrnes on Oct. 30 "for violating sheriff's office rules and regulations."

Syria's Assad says US should withdraw from Iraq 09 Nov 2008 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday called on the United States to pull its troops out of Iraq, saying they posed a threat to neighbouring states. "The presence in Iraq of American forces of occupation is a permanent threat to neighbouring countries and an element of instability in the region," Assad said in a speech to Arab parliamentarians in Damascus.

Bomb attacks kill 8, wound dozens across Iraq 09 Nov 2008 Bombs killed at least eight people Sunday across Iraq and wounded dozens of others, officials said. Syria's president blamed the U.S. military presence for Iraq's instability and called on U.S. troops to leave.

British troops 'cannot bear brunt of Barack Obama's Afghanistan surge' 09 Nov 2008 British troops must not be sent in support of US President-Elect Barack Obama's planned "surge" in Afghanistan, the head of the armed forces has said. Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, warned that the British military was already over-stretched, and suggested that troops from other Nato countries should be sent to fight. Mr Obama has spoken of his desire to see a surge in troop numbers in Afghanistan. But Sir Jock said that British troops were already struggling to cope with fighting in the two theatres of Iraq and Afghanistan, and could not take on more demands.

Kidnapped Canadian journalist free in Afghanistan 08 Nov 2008 Mellissa Fung, a journalist working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp in Afghanistan, was freed on Saturday after being kidnapped a month ago near the capital, Kabul, her employer said. The CBC said Fung was safe in the Canadian Embassy and undergoing a medical checkup after being released to Canadian forces.

15,000 clash with police in German nuclear blockade 10 Nov 2008 Police wielding truncheons beat back around 15,000 environmentalists trying to block a train carrying highly radioactive nuclear waste from western France to a dump in Germany, authorities said. In the largest and most violent anti-nuclear protests since 2001 in Germany, activists set fire to barricades on the tracks in the north of the country, which police extinguished with water cannon.

At least 20 die in accident on Russian nuclear sub 08 Nov 2008 More than 20 people were killed and another 21 injured in an accident aboard a Russian nuclear submarine in the Pacific Ocean, the navy said on Sunday, in the worst submarine disaster since the Kursk sank eight years ago. A Russian naval spokesman said 208 people were on board the submarine when an accident involving the activation of a fire extinguishing system occurred during sea trials.

Obama 'to use executive orders' 09 Nov 2008 US President-elect Barack Obama will seek to reverse Bush administration policies when he enters office on 20 January, his transition chief said. John Podesta said executive orders by President [sic] George W Bush on issues such as stem cell research and oil drilling were at odds with Mr Obama's views. He said they could be easily repealed as no Congressional action was needed.

Obama reassures big business on economic policy By Patrick Martin 8 Nov 2008 In his first public appearance as president-elect, Barack Obama held a press conference in Chicago Friday afternoon after meeting for several hours with a selected group of economic advisers, comprised entirely of bankers, corporate executives and current and former government officials. Members of Obama’s Transitional Economic Advisory Board and other economic advisers, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and Clinton-era treasury secretary [NWO troll, Lawrence 'women might lack an intrinsic aptitude for math and science' Summers] and current Citigroup executive Robert Rubin, were lined up behind Obama as he answered questions from reporters.

Obama steering clear of Dems battle over Lieberman [!] 09 Nov 2008 President-elect Obama is avoiding the issue of whether Sen. Joe Lieberman should remain chairman of an important committee. Lieberman's affiliation with Democrats is in question after the Connecticut independent's high-profile support of Republican John McCain for president.

It Still Felt Good the Morning After By Frank Rich 09 Nov 2008 ON the morning after a black man won the White House, America’s tears of catharsis gave way to unadulterated joy. Our nation was still in the same ditch it had been the day before, but the atmosphere was giddy. We felt good not only because we had breached a racial barrier as old as the Republic. Dawn also brought the realization that we were at last emerging from an abusive relationship with our country’s 21st-century leaders. The festive scenes of liberation that Dick Cheney had once imagined for Iraq were finally taking place -- in cities all over America.

First Family, Vice President's Family on Election Night 04 Nov 2008 (Slide show)

Satire: Palin Punk'd By McCain --'The Palin phenomenon is actually the result of a practical joke gone haywire.' By R J Shulman 08 Nov 2008 Now that the election is over, bits and pieces of campaign secrets are starting to see the light of day. The most shocking of these so far: Governor Sarah Palin was not supposed to be Senator John McCain’s choice for running mate. "The Palin phenomenon is actually the result of a practical joke gone haywire," admitted Rick Davis, former McCain campaign manager... "It was just a joke," McCain recalls, "but she was so sincere and so excited, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was just kidding." (Satire)

Obama win triggers run on guns in many stores 08 Nov 2008 Sales of rifles, pistols and ammo are surging in parts of the United States, as many gun owners fear President-elect Barack Obama's administration may seek to tighten ownership of certain weapons. "The day after the election, I had many more calls than usual from people looking for semi-automatic rifles," said David Greenberg, the owner of the Second Amendment Family Gun Shop, in Bisbee, Arizona, who sold out of AR-15 rifles in recent days.

Number of outstanding ballots grows to 81,000 --U.S. Senate and other races yet to be decided 09 Nov 2008 (AK) The state Elections Division said Friday 81,000 votes remain to be counted, mostly early votes but also absentee and questioned ballots. That may be enough to swing as many as six state legislative races, and the number of votes is making the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Ted Stevens and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich look increasingly close.

Judge denies Coleman's effort to block tallying certain uncounted ballots 09 Nov 2008 In a move that could be seen as a benefit to Democrat Al Franken, a Minnesota judge Saturday denied a request from incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign to block certain uncounted absentee ballots from being counted in a race separated by–at latest tally–just over 200 votes in Coleman's favor. The Coleman team was looking to block 32 uncounted ballots from the city of Minneapolis, according to the campaign in the request.

Typo correction brings Franken closer to Coleman --With nearly 2.9 million ballots cast, the difference between the top two candidates is about one one-hundredth of a percentage point. 07 Nov 2008 The vote gap between Senate candidates Norm Coleman and Al Franken fluctuated throughout the day Thursday... In Pine County, an election official accidentally entered 24 votes for Franken on Tuesday night instead of the 124 he actually received. The mistake was caught on Thursday and the numbers changed, said Jim Gelbmann from the Secretary of State's office. KARE 11 News has also learned Ramsey County 'found' 55 absentee ballots which arrived on time to be counted on election day, but which were not. Those results have now been included in the new totals.

Uncounted ballots unlikely to reverse Proposition 8 09 Nov 2008 Could the vote on Proposition 8, the gay-marriage ban, turn around when all the uncounted ballots are tallied? Almost certainly not. Here's why: Roughly 2.7 million ballots from Tuesday's election remained to be counted statewide as of late Friday, according to the California secretary of state's office... In order to reverse that result, opponents of the measure would have to win just more than 59% of the uncounted ballots. So far, however, opponents have won 47.6% of the vote. The odds are strongly against the uncounted ballots being so dramatically different from the ones counted.

Anti-Prop. 8 protests spring up in California --Over 20,000 gather in Los Angeles, San Diego and elsewhere to oppose the gay-marriage ban. 'Everyone should have equal rights.' 09 Nov 2008 More than 20,000 protesters spilled into the streets of Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and even Modesto on Saturday in mostly peaceful demonstrations over passage of Proposition 8, the statewide ballot measure that bans same-sex marriage.

Scenes from Prop. 8 Protest in Sacramento, CA, 11/9 By Brock Keeling Sorry to inundate you with even more protest-ness, but this is happening all over the state today, citizens protesting Prop. 8's passing -- e.g., the protest at Oakland's Mormon Temple, the big one happening in Sacramento.


Sarah Palin blamed by US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama 08 Nov 2008 Sarah Palin's attacks on Barack Obama's patriotism provoked a spike in death threats against the future president, Secret Service agents revealed during the final weeks of the campaign. The Republican vice presidential candidate attracted criticism for accusing Mr Obama of "palling around with terrorists." The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling "terrorist" and "kill him" until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric. But it has emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further. The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks.

Palin Calls Critics Among McCain Aides 'Jerks' 08 Nov 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska fired back Friday at the unnamed McCain campaign aides who have been maligning her in recent days, saying that their criticism was "cruel and it’s mean-spirited, it’s immature, it’s unprofessional, and those guys are jerks..." By the end of the week, their complaints had escalated considerably, with Fox News quoting unnamed McCain campaign officials as saying that Ms. Palin had not known that Africa was a continent, not a country, and claiming that she did not know which countries were covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Palin Denounces Her Critics as Cowardly --Palin denounces critics as cowardly; GOP lawyers try to sort out her RNC-paid for clothing 07 Nov 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called her critics cowards and jerks Friday for deriding her anonymously and insisted she never asked for the expensive wardrobe purchased for her use on the presidential campaign. "I never asked for anything more than a Diet Dr. Pepper once in a while," Palin said as she returned to the governor's office from her two-month odyssey as the GOP vice presidential nominee.

U.S. concedes Georgia attack attack in South Ossetia was a mistake 08 Nov 2008 The U.S. State Department said Friday the Georgian attack in South Ossetia last August was a mistake, but that it did not justify Russia's large-scale intervention. The comments follow a critical newspaper assessment of the Tbilisi government's role in the crisis. In its most specific comments on the subject to date, the State Department says Georgian leaders made a mistake when they attacked the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, in August.

Nine civilians killed in attacks in Iraq 09 Nov 2008 Nine civilians were killed and many injured on Saturday in violent attacks in Iraq. Eight people were killed and 22 injured in twin blasts in al-Ramadi city... Earlier, one person was killed and seven were injured in a bomb blast in northern Baghdad, the police said.

Latest US air strike in Pakistan kills at least 12 09 Nov 2008 At least 12 people were killed when a missile slammed into a small village in north-west Pakistan in a suspected US air strike near the border of Afghanistan, according to a Pakistani security official. The latest in a series of such incidents [war crimes], the missile strike on the tribal village of Kam Sam in North Waziristan marked the first attack since Pakistan's top defence official warned the newly appointed head of US Central Command to halt airborne assaults inside Pakistan.

Record opium harvest in Afghanistan threatens new heroin crisis in Britain 07 Nov 2008 A glut of opium on the world market, fuelled by a record Afghan harvest, threatens a new heroin crisis in Britain, the European Union's drug agency warned yesterday. The agency's annual report also confirms that the UK remains at the top of the European league table of 27 countries for cocaine abuse for the fifth year in a row.

Mega barf alert: Israel cautions against Obama dialogue with Iran 06 Nov 2008 Israel said on Thursday U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's stated readiness to talk to Iran could be seen in the Middle East as a sign of weakness in efforts to persuade Tehran to curb its nuclear programme. Asked if she supported any U.S. dialogue with Iran, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni replied: "The answer is no."

Obama has to pay for eight years of Bush's delusions --He will have to get out of Iraq, and he will have to tell Israel a few home truths 08 Nov 2008 But Obama's not going to be able to make the break. He wants to draw down in Iraq in order to concentrate more firepower in Afghanistan. He's not going to take on the lobby in Washington and he's not going to stop further Jewish colonisation of the occupied territories or talk to Israel's enemies. With AIPAC supporter Rahm Emanuel as his new chief of staff – "our man in the White House", as the Israeli daily Maariv called him this week – Obama will toe the line.

South Bay conducts mass vaccination drill --Hundreds in Santa Clara County got flu shots during pandemic clinic test run 06 Nov 2008 (CA) For the first time in San Jose, a senior center became a mass vaccination clinic. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department offered free flu shots as a way to test years of planning for a real-life [US-engendered] medical emergency. In Alameda County, a similar drill was carried out for first responders - police, fire and medical workers. The state is mandating exercises like the ones in San Jose and Alameda County to avoid ensure a repeat of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that killed an estimated 50 million people. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 UK Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice. Animals exposed to this composite were dying within days of symptoms similar to those found in human victims of the 1918 pandemic.]

Federal judge in Oregon rules against terrorism law 07 Nov 2007 A federal judge in Oregon has ruled a law prohibiting material support for terrorists is unconstitutional because it is too vague. U.S. District Judge Garr King said the Treasury Department violated the rights of the Oregon chapter of a defunct Islamic charity based in Saudi Arabia. Treasury officials froze the assets of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in Ashland after listing it as a "specially designated global terrorist organization."

FBI finds most terrorism threat reports baseless 07 Nov 2008 The FBI tracked about 108,000 potential terrorism threats or suspicious incidents from mid-2004 to November 2007, but most were found groundless, a Justice Department review found on Friday. The department's office of inspector general gave the figure in an audit of the FBI's terrorism case-tracking system, called Guardian, launched in 2002 after the September 11 attacks.

Bank of America puts non-customers through the wringer By George Gombossy 02 Nov 2008 Bank of America, the largest bank in Connecticut, is now requiring non-customers to provide their thumbprints and is charging them $6 to cash checks issued by businesses and government agencies from its accounts.

Undercover cops were among the unruly at DNC 06 Nov 2008 When a Jefferson County deputy deployed pepper spray into a crowd during the first night of the Democratic National Convention, he did not know that his targets were undercover Denver police officers. During a melee that occurred Aug. 25 between protesters, police and bystanders near Civic Center Park, undercover Denver detectives staged a struggle with a police commander in order to get out of the crowd undetected.

McCain to fight for Chambliss 08 Nov 2008 U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will come to Georgia to campaign for incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the Moultrie lawmaker’s campaign confirmed Friday. Chambliss’ spokeswoman, Michelle Grasso, also said the campaign is also in touch with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s office about a possible Georgia appearance. Chambliss is headed for a Dec. 2 runoff with Democratic challenger Jim Martin of Atlanta. Neither candidate got a majority of the vote in their Nov. 4 contest with Libertarian Allen Buckley.

Reid looks to chop Republican committee seats 08 Nov 2008 Senate Democratic leaders plan to cut Republican committee seats to reflect the new balance of power in the upper chamber, according to Democratic aides. Republicans will lose at least one seat on most committees and may lose as many as two on some of the larger panels, such as the powerful Appropriations committee.

McConnell reaches out to Lieberman 07 Nov 2008 Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has reached out to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman [R-Israel] about the prospect of joining the Republican Conference, but Lieberman is still bargaining with Democratic leaders to keep his chairmanship, according to Senate aides in both parties... A LIEberman aide said that Lieberman was not offered a subcommittee, as has been reported, but rather was offered chairmanship of a lesser committee. He didn’t specify which one he was referring to. However, if Lieberman left Homeland Security, Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) would be next in line and would have to give up Veterans Affairs, which would then be open for Lieberman. [!]

U.S. to Open Public Land Near Parks for Drilling 08 Nov 2008 The Bureau of Land Management has expanded its oil and gas lease program in eastern Utah to include tens of thousands of acres on or near the boundaries of three national parks, according to revised maps published this week. National Park Service officials say that the decision to open lands close to Arches National Park and Dinosaur National Monument and within eyeshot of Canyonlands National Park was made without the kind of consultation that had previously been routine. The bureau’s new maps, made public on Election Day, show not just those empty areas but 40 to 45 new areas where leasing will also be allowed.

New U.S. Rule Pares Outpatient Medicaid Services 08 Nov 2008 In the first of an expected avalanche of post-election regulations, the Bush regime on Friday narrowed the scope of services that can be provided to poor people under Medicaid’s outpatient hospital benefit. Public hospitals and state officials immediately protested the action, saying it would reduce Medicaid payments to many hospitals at a time of growing need.

Bankers and academics at top of donor list 08 Nov 2008 Barack Obama owes Wall Street bankers a debt of gratitude for generous campaign donations as he ponders how to cope with a financial crisis that poses challenges over government aid and regulation for the banking industry. Staff at banks, Silicon Valley technology companies and universities topped the list of contributors to Obama's record treasure chest of $640m (£406m).

Bush refuses to concede U.S. in recession 08 Nov 2008 On Friday, President [sic] Bush again pointed to what he called aggressive and decisive measures his administration has taken to stabilize markets, adding it will take some time for various measures to have an impact on the economy. Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto said the president understands the burdens Americans face, but avoided putting a recession label on the economic situation.

AIG execs at posh Phoenix resort after $85 billion bailout 08 Nov 2008 The 2008 Asset Management Conference held this week at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix included many senior managers at American International Group, or AIG--recipients in September of more than $85 billion from the federal government. AIG made significant efforts to disguise the conference, making sure there were no AIG logos or signs anywhere on the property. An AIG spokesperson said there were no AIG markers in order to minimize signage costs and to lower the company's profile. A hotel employee told ABC15, "We can't even say the word [AIG]." The ABC15 Investigators went undercover at the resort and found AIG executives having poolside meetings while drinking coffee and working out at the spa while other attendees were in conference rooms for seminars. We also watched as half a dozen of the executives went to dinner at McCormick & Schmick's at the Camelback Esplanade, racking up a bill of more than $400 for drinks, appetizers, and meals.

Pelosi, Reid call on Paulson to use bailout authority to help Big Three 08 Nov 2008 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are urging Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to use his authority under the $700 billion Wall Street bailout package to help beleagured U.S. automakers. With sales slumping, the auto industry and its allies in Congress are calling for as much as $50 billion in new government loans to help the struggling companies, on top of $25 billion already approved. [WHY should *taxpayers* bail out corpora-terrorists who *continue* to make fuel-INefficient vehicles that no one wants?]

Regulators shut banks in Texas, California 08 Nov 2008 Regulators shut down Houston-based Franklin Bank and Security Pacific Bank in Los Angeles on Friday, bringing the number of failures of federally insured banks this year to 19. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of Franklin Bank, which had $5.1 billion in assets and $3.7 billion in deposits as of Sept. 30, and of Security Pacific Bank, with $561.1 million in assets and $450.1 million in deposits as of Oct. 17.

Just 3 'superbanks' now dominate industry --Sudden consolidation raises questions about regulation, consumer impact 06 Nov 2008 The financial crisis that has been sweeping the globe has reshaped nearly every corner of the economy, but no industry has been altered more radically than banking. Several of the nation's biggest banks have failed or been absorbed by healthier institutions, leaving three giant "superbanks" with an unprecedented concentration of market power: Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Jobless ranks hit 10 million, most in 25 years 08 Nov 2008 The nation's jobless ranks zoomed past 10 million last month, the most in a quarter-century, as piles of pink slips shut factory gates and office doors to 240,000 more Americans with the holidays nearing. The unemployment rate soared to a 14-year high of 6.5 percent, the government said Friday, up from 6.1 percent just a month earlier.


Mission accomplished: Shell secures 25-year access to Iraq's oil, gas 07 Nov 2008 A joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Iraq's state-owned South Gas Co. could give Shell a 25-year monopoly on production and exports of natural gas in much of southern Iraq - the biggest foreign role in Iraq's oil and gas sector in four decades. The planned venture, spelled out in a 16-page document obtained by United Press International, goes well beyond descriptions provided by Iraqi and Shell officials on Sept. 22, when they held a public signing ceremony in Baghdad.

Judge asks media whether to release Guantanamo Bay 'torture' evidence 07 Nov 2008 A High Court judge has invited the media for advice about publishing legal evidence in a case concerning a British terror suspect held at Guantanamo Bay. Binyam Mohamed, a British resident... was later secretly rendered to Morocco, where he says he was tortured by having his penis cut with a razor blade. The US subsequently flew him to Afghanistan and he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in September 2004. Mr Mohamed wants access to documents held by the British Government he believes support his claim that he was subjected to extraordinary rendition and ill-treatment.

Judge Is Told 6 Algerians Should Remain Detained 07 Nov 2008 A Justice Department lawyer yesterday urged a federal judge to continue the detention of six Algerians at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, contending they would "take up arms" and attack Americans if released. The accusations came during the first habeas corpus hearing ever held for a Guantanamo prisoner, a landmark in the prisoners' legal saga of more than six years.

'The discussion of these issues will have to take place in a closed courtroom outside the presence of the public and the detainees.' Judge Opens First Habeas Corpus Hearing on Guantánamo Detainees 07 Nov 2008 After years of legal clashes over whether prisoners have the right to contest their detention in court, a federal judge on Thursday opened the first hearing into the government’s justification for holding suspects at the naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. But after opening statements that did not detail the evidence, the judge, Richard J. Leon of Federal District Court here, closed the courtroom, saying the evidence was classified.

Sadrists reject US-Iraq security deal White House calls final 07 Nov 2008 Yesterday, the White House called it final. Today, Shiite leaders are calling on the Iraqi government to reject the security deal it's been negotiating with the U.S. U.S. and Iraqi officials are trying to finalize the agreement, which would remove U.S. soldiers from Iraq's cities by June 30, and see the last American troops leave the country by 2012.

Blackwater could face sanctions for improper arms shipments 07 Nov 2008 Private security contractor Blackwater Worldwide soon may face new legal problems. A grand jury in Washington is expected to decide soon whether to indict individual Blackwater guards mercenaries involved in a widely publicized shooting incident in Baghdad last year, two people familiar with the investigation said. And the State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, which is responsible for export controls on some arms, is moving to hit the North Carolina-based firm with what could be millions of dollars in fines for shipping weapons to police training facilities in Iraq and Jordan without proper licensing, according to three officials briefed on the probe.

Day One: Obama faces a Cold War threat and a warning from Israel 07 Nov 2008 Barack Obama was confronting a looming international crisis just hours after his White House election triumph. The U.S. President-elect faced a triple threat with Russia, Israel and Afghanistan all threatening to test his mettle. Locked away in his Chicago home, Mr Obama received his first national security intelligence briefing yesterday as he wrestled with appointments for his Cabinet.

Iran's Ahmadinejad congratulates Obama 06 Nov 2008 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a message to the US President-elect Barack Obama, has congratulated him on his victory. "I congratulate your Excellency on receiving the majority of votes in the [presidential] election. You know that the opportunities given by the God to the people are transitory, they could be used for the progress of the people or against them. I am hopeful that by preferring the real needs of the people over the insatiable demands of a selfish and corrupt minority, you take the chance and make a good name for yourself in history," Ahmadinejad said in his message.

Georgia Claims on Russia War Called Into Question 07 Nov 2008 Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression. Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgia’s inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm.

U.S. airstrike kills 37 civilians in southern Afghanistan: report 07 Nov 2008 An investigation by the Afghan government says the Taliban was largely responsible [?!?] for the deaths of as many as 37 women and children killed in an air strike earlier this week by the U.S. military. The air strike was ordered after a U.S. military convoy was ambushed Monday by Taliban militants. The bombs struck a compound in the Shah Wali Kot district where the women and children were attending a wedding celebration

Morales: US encourages drug-trafficking 07 Nov 2008 Bolivian leader Evo Morales has accused the US government of encouraging drug trafficking and says he has evidence to back up his charges. Morales announced last Saturday that he was suspending the work of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Bolivia. Morales also accused the DEA of shooting and killing 19 Bolivians in the course of their anti-drug operations in September and early October, including two members of the coca farmers' movement who were gunned down on October 4.

Pakistan sets death penalty for "cyber terrorism" 06 Nov 2008 Causing death through "cyber terrorism" will be punishable by death in Pakistan, according to a decree issued by President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday. The Prevention of Electronic Crimes law will be applicable to anyone who commits a crime detrimental to national security through the use of a computer or any other electronic device, the government said in the ordinance.

Man Charged with Plotting Terrorism Attack, Found with IEDs, Nazi Handbook 06 Nov 2008 British police charged a 43-year-old man Thursday with plotting an act of terrorism and having two improvised explosive devices, chemicals, timers, and a Nazi-themed handbook. Neil Christopher Lewington was first arrested last week after police discovered a suspected explosive device when they searched him at a railway station in Lowestoft, a coastal city in eastern England.

ACLU wants probe into police-staged DNC protest 07 Nov 2008 When a Jefferson County deputy unleashed pepper spray at unruly protesters on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, he did not know that his targets were undercover Denver police officers. Now the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado is questioning whether that staged confrontation by police pretending to be violent inflamed other protesters or officers during the most intense night of the four-day event.

Palin backlash continues as Republican lawyers head to Alaska to take back her $150,000 campaign clothes 07 Nov 2008 The bitter McCain backlash against Sarah Palin continued today as it emerged that Republican Party lawyers were heading to Alaska to retrieve her $150,000 (£95,000) campaign clothes. The vice-presidential candidate's hopes of challenging Barack Obama in 2012 took a big dent as simmering tensions with the McCain camp finally boiled over into wide-ranging criticism of her conduct.

Good riddance: Lieberman in talks about caucusing with Senate GOP 07 Nov 2008 Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is talking to Connecticut 'independent' Sen. Joe LieberBush (R-Israel) about the possibility of Lieberman caucusing with the GOP. Lieberman's affiliation with Democrats is up in the air. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, angered by Lieberman's support of Republican John McCain for president, is considering yanking Lieberman's chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as punishment.

CT Dems' Lieberman resolution: "extraordinary disloyalty" means he must resign from party By Rick Green 06 Nov 2008 Connecticut Democrats fed up with Sen. Joe Lieberman are eagerly waiting to hear what happens in Washington, but their own censure resolution now pending before the state central committee is pretty clear about what should be done. Lieberman's "extraordinary disloyalty" means he should resign from the party.

Dems take full control in 3 more states 07 Nov 2008 Democrats emerged from Election Day gaining control over more state governments, and they now dominate both the legislature and governor’s office in 17 states, compared to just eight for Republicans. The party, which swept into the White House and padded its majorities in Congress, also won complete control of Delaware, New York and Wisconsin state governments in Tuesday’s (Nov. 4) contests. The GOP, meanwhile, lost its grip on Missouri and Alaska and is within 25 votes of losing full control of Texas, too.

Obama wins electoral vote in Nebraska 07 Nov 2008 Barack Obama made history today in Nebraska. The Democratic presidential candidate claimed an electoral vote in the Omaha-based 2nd Congressional District -- the first time in more than four decades a Democrat won any of Nebraska’s electoral votes. The Omaha World-Herald is calling the race after Obama won 8,434 out of 15,039 early votes that arrived too late to be included in Tuesday’s results.

Obama's change begins with transition Web site 07 Nov 2008 President-elect Obama's got a new Web site,, that gives people a chance to say what they think his priorities should be, track the transition to his new administration, tell their personal stories and even apply for federal jobs. The site -- a down payment on Obama's pledge to create a more "transparent and connected government" -- still has lots of white spaces and promises of future features.

Gibbs will be WH press secretary 06 Nov 2008 Robert Gibbs, a top aide to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on his campaign and in his Senate office, will be named the White House press secretary, a top Democratic official said. Gibbs was usually the senior official on Air Obama, the campaign plane. As communications director of Obama's Senate office, Gibbs was a key strategist in Obama's rapid move to the national stage.

Feinstein in line to chair Senate Intel Committee 07 Nov 2008 California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is in line to become the first female chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The opening was created Friday amid a chairmanship shuffle sparked by the announcement that Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia was stepping down as head of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Bush officials moving fast to cut environmental protections 06 Nov 2008 In the next few weeks, the Bush administration is expected to relax environmental-protection rules on power plants near national parks, uranium mining near the Grand Canyon and more mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia. The administration is widely expected to try to get some of the rules into final form by the week before Thanksgiving because, in some cases, there's a 60-day delay before new regulations take effect.

Houston's Franklin Bank closed, 18th failure this year 07 Nov 2008 Houston, Texas-based Franklin Bank S.S.B. was closed by regulators Friday, the 18th bank failure this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said in a statement that Franklin Bank had total assets of $5.1 billion as of Sep. 30, and $3.7 billion in total deposits. El Campo, Texas-based Prosperity Bank will assume Franklin Bank's deposits, and Franklin's 46 offices will reopen as Prosperity branches, the FDIC said.

Unemployment rate hits 6.5%, a 14-year high --The economy lost 240,000 jobs in October, bringing the total to 1 million jobs lost this year. 07 Nov 2008 Employers slashed jobs from one end of the economy to the other, pushing the unemployment rate to 6.5% -- the highest in 14 years -- and making a deep recession a virtual certainty. The Labor Department reported today that the economy lost 240,000 jobs in October, the steepest one-month decline in a contraction that began last January. It also revised downward the number of jobs lost in September, to 284,000 from an initially reported 159,000.

Obama Plans to Confront Economy 'Head On' --Obama Gave First Presser Since He Won the Election: Vows to Act Swiftly to Cure Economic Woes 07 Nov 2008 President-elect Barack Obama promised today that a "particularly urgent priority" of his administration would be to pass a second stimulus plan and extend unemployment benefits. The Illinois Democrat stood behind a podium that read "President Elect" and was backed by a row of economic advisers as he spelled out a series of measures meant to "confront this economic crisis head-on.

Obama likely to boost FDA oversight of imports 06 Nov 2008 The Food and Drug Administration, bedeviled by a salmonella outbreak and tainted medicine from China, is likely to monitor imports and fresh produce more closely under an Obama administration. With President [sic] Bush no longer a roadblock, health officials also can expect new powers to control tobacco.

President-Elect Obama: I Want a Mutt 'Like Me' 07 Nov 2008 The main topic of the day was the economy, but President-elect Barack Obama did say Friday, at his first press conference since his election, that he is dealing with a topic close to home. "With respect to the dog," said Obama, "this is a major issue." ..."Our preference would be to get a shelter dog," which would point to the possiblity of a mixed breed, or, as Obama said, "a mutt, like me."


George Bush plans to push through agenda in last days in office 06 Nov 2008 President [sic] George W Bush is planning to push through a series of potentially unpopular regulation changes in his final weeks in office. Democrats fear the president will try to ram through new rules on the environment, civil liberties and abortion rights before December 20, the deadline for changes before the new president is inaugurated a month later. The alterations could take months or years to undo. Attorney General Michael Mukasey has already rushed out new guidelines for the FBI that make domestic surveillance easier, including the use of informants to infiltrate lawful groups and prolonged physical surveillance.

Guantanamo inmates challenge detention in US court 06 Nov 2008 Hearings began Thursday for six Algerians who are fighting their detention at Guantanamo Bay -- the first such challenge in a federal court since the war-on-[of]terror US prison opened in 2002. The six remained in the US naval facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Thursday, but were linked into the Washington court hearing by telephone, with the entire proceeding translated for them. Theirs is the first such case to go to trial since the US Supreme Court on June 12 granted Guantanamo prisoners access to the civil court system to challenge their detention on habeas corpus grounds.

Airstrike kills 90 in Afghan wedding party 05 Nov 2008 There are accusations that U.S. airstrikes struck a wedding party in southern Afghanistan Monday - killing scores of women and children and sending the bride and groom to hospital. "When the fighting started the jets came and bombed," said Juma Khan, who helped bring his mother and nine other women and children to Kandahar's Mirwais Hospital.

Obama win hailed by US Afghan aid workers 06 Nov 2008 There has been a warm welcome among aid workers in the Afghan capital, Kabul, over the election of Barack Obama as US president. The last seven years of Western-led 'reconstruction' in Afghanistan have been determined by policies emanating from George W Bush's Republican administration - and aid workers in Afghanistan are predominantly Democrats.

Baghdad bomb blasts kill five 06 Nov 2008 A string of morning rush hour bombings in central Baghdad on Thursday killed at least five people and wounded 17 in the latest wave of violence to hit the Iraqi capital, police said. Four of those killed died when two roadside bombs targeting a checkpoint in central Baghdad went off in quick succession, police said.

Obama advisers discuss preparations for war on Iran By Peter Symonds 06 Nov 2008 Behind the backs of American voters, top advisers for President-elect Barack Obama have been setting the stage for a dramatic escalation of confrontation with Iran as soon as the new administration takes office. A report released in September from the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank, argued that a nuclear weapons capable Iran was "strategically untenable" and detailed a robust approach, "incorporating new diplomatic, economic and military tools in an integrated fashion".

Pentagon briefings to start 'almost immediately' 04 Nov 2008 Since the upcoming political transition will be the first in wartime since Vietnam, Pentagon officials say they are prepared to begin briefing the President-elect's transition team, "almost immediately" after today's elections on a wide range of military operations and Pentagon programs. "We are undertaking Herculean efforts to ensure the transition goes as smoothly and seamlessly as possible," according to one official.

Target Obama --A military-style operation to keep Barack Obama alive was under way yesterday within hours of his victory. 06 Nov 2008 Even as the US President-elect celebrated with more than 160,000 supporters in Grant Park, Chicago, he did so from behind bullet-proof glass 12ft high and 3ins thick. Mr Obama, wife Michelle, running mate Joe Biden and his wife Jill were under instructions not to stray from the line-of-fire protection zone. This zone had been identified by FBI agents pointing lasers at the stage from every building surrounding the park. Mr Obama and his family spent the Presidential campaign with more full-time Secret Service agents – a team of 10 – than any other candidate in the history of the race. That will now be increased, with a squad of six agents assigned to his wife Michelle, and another six to watch over their daughters Malia, 10 and Sasha, seven.

White supremacists indicted over plot to murder Obama 06 Nov 2008 A federal grand jury in America has indicted two white supremacists accused of plotting to kill US President-elect Barack Obama and dozens of other black people. Twenty-year-old Daniel Cowart and 18-year-old Paul Schlesselman were arrested last month. They were indicted on charges of possessing a sawn-off shotgun, planning to rob a gun dealer and threatening a presidential candidate.

'Impeach Obama' groups pop up on Facebook 05 Nov 2008 Barack Obama has not even been sworn in yet as the 44th president of the United States but groups are springing up online calling for his impeachment. On Facebook, an "Impeach Barack Obama" group has attracted more than 700 members and a lively debate about the Democrat's election victory on Tuesday over Republican John McCain. Another Facebook group of the same name has 160 members and urges others to join because "we might as well get a head start on the impeachment of Obama."

Satire: The Honeymoon Is Over; GOP Calls For Impeachment of Obama --'By now, Obama should have rebuilt New Orleans and rebuilt the Constitution.' By R J Shulman 06 Nov 2008 Just hours after an impressive win by Barack Obama over John McCain, Republican leaders are calling for the impeachment of the President-elect. "Obama has lied to the American public about change. Everything was change," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "Do you see any change?" McConnell asked. "I don’t see any change." (Satire)

Obama adds symbolic NC victory to White House win 06 Nov 2008 President-elect Obama won North Carolina on Thursday, a symbolic triumph that underscored his political strength as he turned nine states that President [sic] Bush 'won' in 2004 to Democratic blue. The Associated Press declared Obama the winner after canvassing counties in North Carolina to determine the number of outstanding provisional ballots.

Obama Names Emanuel Chief of Staff --Fellow Chicagoan Emanuel Accepts Position 06 Nov 2008 Democratic officials said Thursday that Barack Obama's fellow Chicagoan [conciliator] Rahm Emanuel has agreed to be White House chief of staff. One of Obama's first decisions as president-elect was to ask the Illinois congressman to run his White House staff.

Class divisions begin to emerge in Obama coalition (WSWS) 06 Nov 2008 Barack Obama won the US presidential election Tuesday riding a wave of popular opposition to the Bush administration and the Republican Party. Tens of millions of voters delivered a massive repudiation of the politics of social reaction that have dominated America for decades... Leading Democrats have lined up to insist that it would be wrong to interpret the election as a mandate for substantial changes in policy. Instead, they are saying the next administration will have to rule from the "center" and rely on a bipartisan alliance with the Republicans.

The election of Barack Obama (WSWS) 05 Nov 2008 The US media will doubtless say that the Democratic victory is not a mandate for a radical change of course. Already, even before the votes were counted and Obama's victory was officially acknowledged, leading Democrats were putting forward precisely this position. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who threw his support to Obama during the Democratic primary contest, cautioned Tuesday night that the Democrats should "be modest" and "seek alliances." [And, Pelosi wants Obama to 'govern from the middle.' Scr*w that. Bush didn't--and he didn't even *win* an election! We didn't elect Barack Obama to surrender to the GOP and the corpora-terrorists. We elected Barack Obama to implement CHANGE. --LRP]

Obama Wins in North Carolina; Democrats Increase Senate Margin 06 Nov 2008 President-elect Barack Obama added to his electoral-vote victory by winning North Carolina, and Democrats picked up a U.S. Senate seat in Oregon for a net gain of six. North Carolina's 15 electoral votes gave Obama a total of 364 to Republican Senator John McCain's 163.

Democrats gain sixth new Senate seat 05 Nov 2008 Democrat Jeff Merkley defeated Republican Sen. Gordon Smith in Oregon, the Portland Oregonian projected on Wednesday, to further expand Democrats' majority in the new Congress that convenes in January. With the results of three Senate races still to be determined from Tuesday's election, Democrats have now gained six seats to raise their majority in the 100-member Senate to 57.

A Big Election Day for Animals (Humane Society Legislative Fund) 06 Nov 2008 On Tuesday, voters from coast to coast sent a strong message that animals deserve to be protected from cruelty and abuse, and the humane movement won resounding victories in the presidential race, congressional races, and ballot issue contests. These new public policies and new and reelected policymakers will have a meaningful impact on the lives of animals for years to come.

Obama puppy will be a shelter dog 05 Nov 2008 President-elect Barack Obama promised his daughters they could bring a puppy with them to the White House. And, according to Deb Wood, that puppy will be rescued from a shelter. [Awesome!]

First Dog takes bite at White House reporter --Decker treated by White House physician after being nipped by Barney 06 Nov 2008 Barney the First Dog was caught biting a member of the White House press corps Thursday in Washington D.C. Reuters political reporter Jon Decker was bitten by the Scottish terrier and had to be treated by the White House physician, according to a source on the scene.

'Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast' 05 Nov 2008 NEWSWEEK has learned that Sarah Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family--clothes and accessories from top stores... One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

Palin's place in Republican party uncertain after defeat --It is unclear if Alaska governor will be welcomed by Republicans as many blame her for their party's disarray 05 Nov 2008 Sarah Palin barely waited for the dust to settle on the wreckage of the Republican party before offering herself as its saviour today. But while Palin's sights seem fixed on 2012 after the meteoric rise and fall of her 68 days on the national stage, it is far from clear her fellow Republicans will welcome the return of the woman many blame for John McCain's defeat and their party's disarray. By the time McCain steeled himself to concede to Barack Obama at his election night party in Arizona, Palin was practically persona non grata in the Republican presidential campaign.

Looks like the 'let's-help-the-GOP-with-a-pre-election-gas-sale' is over: Oil 'to shoot back through $100' 06 Nov 2008 The oil price will shoot back through $100 a barrel as soon as economic conditions return to normal, and will break through $200 threshold by 2030, say officials at the International Energy Agency. The world energy watchdog is certain the "era of cheap oil" is over, according to research due to out next week.

Auto Leaders to Press for More Federal Aid --Detroit Urgently Seeks $25 Billion More in Loans Corporate Welfare 06 Nov 2008 Top auto industry executives and the president of the United Auto Workers plan to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today to ask for additional federal aid for the struggling U.S. carmakers. [WHY should taxpayers bail out MORE corpora-terrorists, because they chose to manufacture fuel-INefficient vehicles, which people do not want?]

N.Y. Prosecutors Will Not Charge Eliot Spitzer 06 Nov 2008 Former New York Gov. Eliot M. Spitzer (D) will not face criminal charges for his role in the prostitution scandal Reichwing attack that drove him from office this year, prosecutors announced this afternoon.

Government black boxes will 'collect every email' --Home Office says all data from web could be stored in giant government database 05 Nov 2008 Internet "black boxes" will be used to collect every email and web visit in the UK under the Government's plans for a giant "big brother" database, The Independent has learnt. Home Office officials have told senior figures from the internet and telecommunications industries that the "black box" technology could automatically retain and store raw data from the web before transferring it to a giant central database controlled by the Government.

Every MP to receive a copy of Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" 04 Nov 2008 The Libertarian Party UK 1984 campaign is this week delivering a copy of George Orwell's prophetic novel to every Member of Parliament. The books will be inscribed with the words, 'This book was a warning, not a blueprint' and will arrive at Parliament on or before November 5th - a date of well known historical significance for that building.

Bird flu virus hides from immune system 06 Nov 2008 U.S. scientists say they've found how the avian influenza virus "hides" from the body's immune system, preventing an antiviral response from infected cells. Baylor College of Medicine researchers said they discovered a protein found in the virulent avian flu virus strain called H5N1 forms tiny tubules in which it "hides" the pieces of double-stranded RNA formed during viral infection. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 UK Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice.]

Plea for more research cash as two billion bees die from rampant disease 01 Nov 2008 The number of honeybees wiped out by virulent diseases which threaten their ultimate survival as a species reached almost two billion in the last year, experts have warned. They accused the Government of failing to invest in the research needed to stem diseases and parasites which are now thought to have destroyed one in three bee colonies over the past year. The British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA) has calculated that up to two billion bees succumbed to sickness between November 2007 and April 2008, with a similar number expected to be wiped out by the end of this winter.

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops --When Prince Charles claimed thousands of Indian farmers were killing themselves after using GM crops, he was branded a scaremonger. In fact, as this chilling dispatch reveals, it's even WORSE than he feared. 03 Nov 2008 Shankara Mandaukar was one of an estimated 125,000 farmers to take their own life as a result of the ruthless drive to use India as a testing ground for genetically modified crops.

Bashed flamingo still off-colour 06 Nov 2008 A flamingo bashed by a group of teenagers at the Adelaide Zoo is still having difficulty eating. The bird is at least 75 years old and suffered a blow to the head last week. It was unable to walk following the attack. The Zoo's senior bird keeper, Brett Backhouse, says the flamingo is a lot quieter than normal.


Obama victory sparks cheers around the globe 05 Nov 2008 Barack Obama's election as America's first black president unleashed a renewed love for the United States after years of dwindling goodwill, and many said Wednesday that U.S. voters had blazed a trail that minorities elsewhere could follow. People across Africa stayed up all night or woke before dawn to watch U.S. history being made, while the president of Kenya -- where Obama's father was born -- declared a public holiday. "This is the fall of the Berlin Wall times ten," Rama Yade, France's black junior minister for human rights, told French radio.

World leaders quick to congratulate new US president 05 Nov 2008 Many world leaders have applauded Barack Obama's election victory. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso used the occasion to call for a new deal between the United States and the rest of the world in order to solve problems such as the credit crisis. French President Nicolas Sarkozy wrote a letter to Mr Obama congratulating him on his "brilliant victory." He said: "The American people have chosen change, openness and optimism."

Obama's Win Eclipses National News In Britain 05 Nov 2008 Britons awoke Wednesday to headlines like the Daily Express’ "A New World Dawns," and The Independent’s "Mr. President" in bold print below a full-page picture of Barack Obama wearing a winning grin. From all-night television coverage to special, late editions of the morning papers, not printed until most polls had closed, the U.S. election has eclipsed all national news here.

Obama supporters celebrate: 'Yes we did!' 05 Nov 2008 The hundreds of thousands celebrating in a park on the Lake Michigan shoreline roared louder each time the giant video monitors showed that Barack Obama had won another battleground state: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico. "O-Ba-Ma! O-Ba-Ma!"

240,000 pack Grant Park for election rally 05 Nov 2008 Tuesday night, a huge crowd of Barack Obama supporters crammed into Grant Park for a chance to be a part of history. City officials estimated the crowd at Grant Park to be 240,000 people. Only about 70,000 of those had tickets, which means the rest stood blocks away and watched the proceedings on a Jumbotron. They took part in the victory celebration when Obama was declared the president-elect.

'All Things Are Possible' --President-elect Barack Obama vows to deliver change that was theme of his historic campaign 05 Nov 2008 Barack Obama, a 47-year-old first-term senator from Illinois, shattered more than 200 years of history Tuesday night by winning election as the first African-American president of the United States. A crowd of 125,000 people jammed Grant Park in Chicago, where Obama addressed the nation for the first time as its president-elect at midnight ET. Hundreds of thousands more -- Mayor Richard Daley said he would not be surprised if a million Chicagoans jammed the streets -- watched on a large television screen outside the park.

Sen. Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech in Chicago, Ill. (CQ Transcripts Wire) 05 Nov 2008 If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

Barack Obama to be America's first black president --John McCain praises rival in concession speech as record numbers turn out to vote in historic election 05 Nov 2008 Americans tonight placed their faith in Barack Obama, who made history by becoming the first African-American to win the US presidency. Scenes of jubilation broke out among Democratic supporters as the US TV networks at 4am GMT declared that the inexperienced but inspirational Democratic candidate had been elected president, after a momentous day that saw voters turn out in huge numbers.

Rep. Lewis: 'a nonviolent revolution' 04 Nov 2008 An emotional moment on ABC News, as Georgie Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis told Charlie Gibson that today's election was "a nonviolent revolution" and an "unbelievable, and unreal transformation of American politics." Asked about his emotions if there's an Obama victory, Lewis continued. "Well, I tell you, I cried a little today when I cast my vote, and I've been crying for the past few days. I don't know if I have any tears left.... I think I'm going to shed some more tears before the night is over."

Obama Makes History --U.S. Decisively Elects First Black President; Democrats Expand Control of Congress 05 Nov 2008 Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois was elected the nation's 44th president yesterday, riding a reformist message of change and an inspirational exhortation of hope to become the first African American to ascend to the White House. Obama, 47, the son of a Kenyan father and a white mother from Kansas, led a tide of Democratic victories across the nation in defeating Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a 26-year veteran of Washington who could not overcome his connections to President [sic] Bush's increasingly unpopular administration.

Brown hails 'inspirational' Obama 05 Nov 2008 Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he is looking forward to working with US president-elect Barack Obama. He said the Democratic senator ran an "inspirational campaign, energising politics with his progressive values and his vision for the future".

Bush calls Obama to congratulate him 05 Nov 2008 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush on Tuesday called Democrat Barack Obama to congratulate him on winning the presidential election, the White House said, adding that Bush invited him and his family to visit to the White House soon.

John McCain concedes; congratulates Barack Obama on victory 05 Nov 2008 John McCain came up a comeback short against Barack Obama Tuesday night, unable to overcome the crushing twin burdens of President [sic] Bush's unpopularity and the tarnished GOP brand. "My friends, we have come to the end of a long journey," the Arizona senator told supporters at his election night headquarters here. "The American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly." "A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Sen. Barack Obama to congratulate him," he continued. [Click here for text of speech.]

US elections: the world has no vote but it knows who it wants 04 Nov 2008 Barack Obama goes into today’s vote with the overwhelming backing of the world beyond America’s borders in a presidential race that has gripped audiences like no election before. Obamamania is at fever pitch across Europe, where his ratings regularly exceed 80 per cent. Germany, the Netherlands and France form the cheer-leading front row. Not since John F. Kennedy has France so fallen for a presidential candidate; if citoyens had the vote, Mr Obama would trounce Mr McCain by 72 points.

George W. Bush hits new low in approval rating 04 Nov 2008 As Americans are turning out to the polls in record numbers, George W. Bush's approval rating, according to the latest CBS News tracking poll, has dipped to 20 percent, the lowest ever recorded for a president [sic]. His disapproval rating of 72 percent matches his all-time high, reached last month.

Poll predicts California will shatter voter turnout records 04 Nov 2008 California is expected to smash its all-time turnout record by more than 1 million voters once ballots are tallied today. According to Field Poll voter turnout projections, 13.6 million California voters will cast ballots, shattering the record set in 2004. Nearly 80 percent of registered voters are expected to participate in the election – the highest level since 1976.

At 114, a daughter of former slaves votes for Obama 04 Nov 2008 (CA) Gertrude Baines' 114-year-old fingers wrapped lightly over the ballpoint pen as she bubbled in No. 18 on her ballot Tuesday... A daughter of former slaves, Baines had just voted for a black man to be president of the United States. "What's his name? I can't say it," she said shyly afterward. Those who helped her fill out the absentee ballot at a convalescent facility west of USC chimed in: "Barack Obama."

Determined Texas woman, 92, votes in ambulance 04 Nov 2008 Betty Owen is 92 and after a stroke four years ago, needs a feeding tube and can't walk. But she was determined not to miss Tuesday's election. She arrived at her polling place on a gurney in an ambulance, where an election judge and support worker climbed aboard with an electronic voting machine and let her cast her ballot. She cast a straight Democratic ballot Tuesday.

Bachmann wins re-election over Tinklenberg --Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson was a distant third, but drawing enough votes to possibly influence the outcome. 05 Nov 2008 Rep. Michele Bachmann [R-Insane] narrowly defeated Democratic challenger, Elwyn Tinklenberg on Tuesday in the Sixth Congressional District, a race that came to symbolize the perilous position of Republican incumbents across the nation.

U.S. military probes claims that airstrike hit Afghan wedding party --Reports from Kandahar province say about three dozen people were killed. President Hamid Karzai appeals to Barack Obama to end civilian deaths. 05 Nov 2008 The U.S. military said today it was investigating a report that an American airstrike hit a wedding party, killing dozens of civilians and prompting new pleas from President Hamid Karzai that foreign forces try harder to avoid hurting and killing noncombatants. "We cannot win the fight against terrorism with airstrikes," Karzai told reporters at the presidential palace, speaking hours after Barack Obama won the U.S. presidential election.

House Dems win their biggest majority in 15 years 05 Nov 2008 House Democrats are on track to gain at least 17 seats in the next Congress, according to CNN projections, giving Speaker Nancy Pelosi her party's most powerful majority since 1993. Such a margin would arm Democratic President-elect Barack Obama with a formidable tool to push his legislative agenda after he takes office on January 20. Democrats took at least 21 seats from Republicans in Tuesday's election, with the GOP taking four seats from the Democrats, according to CNN projections.

Electoral surge gives Democrats 56 seats in US Senate 06 Nov 2008 Democrats surged to a majority of 56 of the 100 Senate seats, wresting five from the Republicans as voters approved a mandate for change. Leading lawmakers hailed their expanded control of the Senate as the start of a new chapter in history, even as they fell short of the 60-seat total that would have given them power to block Republican delaying tactics.

Coleman poised to steal a *second* election! Recount likely in Minnesota U.S. Senate race 05 Nov 2008 The Minnesota secretary of state's office said Wednesday a recount will probably be held in the state's neck-and-neck U.S. Senate race. With all of the precincts reporting, the unofficial figures show the Republican incumbent, Sen. Norm Coleman, leading the Democratic challenger, comedian Al Franken, by about 700 votes out of 2.4 million cast. Recounts are triggered in Minnesota when the winning margin is less than half of 1 percent.

Fannie Mae spends more than $6,000 on golf outing 04 Nov 2008 Mortgage finance company Fannie Mae acknowledged Tuesday that it spent more than $6,000 on a golf outing after it was seized by the government earlier this year, but said it is halting similar company-sponsored events. Dallas-Fort Worth area television station KTVT reported Monday night that Fannie paid for 20 golfers, including several company executives, to attend a Sept. 29 golf excursion in Texas.

AT & T to try limiting subscribers' data use --The company, which says half of its total bandwidth is used by 5% of customers, began testing the new policy in Reno this month. 05 Nov 2008 AT&T Inc. has joined the ranks of telecommunications companies that are exploring the idea of limiting the amount of bandwidth that subscribers can use each month.


Ohio GOP Files Complaint Over Provisional Ballots 04 Nov 2008 Ohio Republicans have asked a federal judge in Columbus to require that provisional ballots be verified and counted the same way statewide. The legal action filed Tuesday by the Ohio GOP updates an earlier Republican lawsuit against Ohio's top elections official, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat.

Judge orders Virginia to preserve absentee ballots from military --Lawsuit asks that any ballots received by November 14 be counted 04 Nov 2008 A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Virginia election officials to hold on to late-arriving absentee ballots from members of the military stationed overseas. Republican John McCain's presidential campaign has sued the state election board... Judge Richard Williams ordered a hearing on the lawsuit next Tuesday afternoon in Richmond, and said in the meantime, those ballots will be set aside and preserved.

Missing ballots, balky machines hamper voting in key states --Voters in Florida, Ohio and Virginia are among those reporting long lines and problems with ballots and voting machines. Voting-rights groups sound the alarm. 04 Nov 2008 Heavy voter turnout overwhelmed polling places in the key battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia, prompting tens of thousands of complaints about long waits, missing ballots and malfunctioning voting machines.

Voting Problems Roundup: Election Morning Problems Are Popping Up In Several Key States 04 Nov 2008 Just a few hours into Election Day, problems are popping up in several key states with long lines and broken machines all against the backdrop of what is expected to be the largest turnout in history. As of right now, one national voter protection group says it has received 27,000 reports of problems.

Virginia: The New Florida? By Andrew Gumbel 04 Nov 2008 In the crush of the first few hours of Election Day, the crucial swing state of Virginia is emerging as the country's number-one voting trouble spot. As of 10:30 am ET, more than two dozen polling places across the state were reported to be close to a standstill because of machine failures, lack of back-up paper ballots and other problems. Dozens of other locations were experiencing abnormal delays and long lines, raising serious questions about the ability of Virginia voters to exercise their democratic rights before the scheduled close of voting at 7 pm.

Israel Launches First Airstrike on Gaza Since June 04 Nov 2008 Israel has launched an airstrike on Gaza after its troops clashed with Hamas along the border and militants fired mortars into Israel, leaving five Palestinians dead. It was the first armed confrontation between the two sides since a June truce took effect.

It's No Joke: Fed Hires Failed Bank Executive --Heckuva Job, Fed? 04 Nov 2008 The Federal Reserve Bank is drawing jeers for hiring a former top executive from the now-defunct investment bank Bear Stearns to help it gauge the health of other banks. Michael Alix was head of risk management for Bear Stearns for two years until the institution imploded this spring, a victim of its (risky) subprime-mortgage related investments. Last Friday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York quietly announced it had hired Alix to advise it on bank supervision.

Counter terrorism police hold teenager 04 Nov 2008 (UK) Police said on Tuesday they had arrested a teenager in Blackburn as part of an investigation into alleged threats on an Islamic website to kill Gordon Brown. The 19-year-old man was held under the Terrorism Act in the early hours following a joint operation between Lancashire Police and the Greater Manchester Police Counter Terrorism Unit. His home is being searched.

Toledo police set with riot gear in case of election-related problems 04 Nov 2008 (OH) Toledo police officers have been instructed to carry with them riot gear on Tuesday and Wednesday in case any problems arise as a result of the election [or coup], Chief Mike Navarre said. The chief said there is no specific information about potential civil unrest in Toledo. The measures being taken are simply precautionary, he said. "It’s called being prepared," Chief Navarre said. "There's probably 100 different cities doing the same thing we're doing."

Toledo, Ohio police issued riot gear --Police brace for possible civil unrest 04 Nov 2008 Toledo police are gearing up for possible "Civil unrest" during and after tomorrow's elections. In an internal memo obtained exclusively by NBC 24 News, officers are ordered to "Have their riot equipment with them Tuesday and Wednesday". Police chief Mike Navarre confirms, officers will have gear similar to the equipment they used during riots in 2005.

'Oddities in Ohio's 2004 presidential election continue to surface.' Computer expert denies knowledge of '04 vote rigging in Ohio 03 Nov 2008 A Republican computer consultant denied under oath Monday that he knew of any GOP effort to steal the 2004 election for President [sic] Bush by rigging Ohio's vote totals, an attorney who questioned him said. A federal judge on Friday ordered Michael Connell, whose firms had consulting contracts with Bush's campaign and with the Ohio secretary of state's office in 2004, to submit to a limited, closed-door deposition in a suit alleging schemes to fix the vote... During 2004, Bush's campaign paid New Media Communications, which was owned by Connell, more than $806,000 to for Web services, according to Federal Election Commission records. Connell's firm also has served as a consultant to John McCain's 2008 Republican presidential campaign.

Report: ES&S Voting Machines Can Be Maliciously Calibrated to Favor Specific Candidates By Kim Zetter 03 Nov 2008 Touchscreen voting machines at the center of recent vote-flipping reports can be easily and maliciously recalibrated in the field to favor one candidate in a race, according to a report prepared by computer scientists for the state of Ohio. At issue are touchscreen machines manufactured by ES&S, 97,000 of which are in use in 20 states, including counties in the crucial swing states of Ohio and Colorado.

Indiana court ruling backs GOP on challenged ballots 03 Nov 2008 The Indiana Supreme Court this afternoon let stand a Marion County judge's ruling directing poll workers on Election Day to set aside any challenged absentee ballots. Today's ruling, in line with a lawsuit brought by the Marion County GOP, means challenges of absentee ballots based on voters' eligibility will be dealt with after Election Day. Ballots deemed valid by bipartisan teams later in the week will still be counted, but those votes won't be reflected in election results Tuesday night.

California GOP Files FEC Complaint Over Obama Visit to Grandmother By Matthew Mosk 03 Nov 2008 Perhaps the most ill-timed press release of the 2008 campaign arrived shortly after 1:30 p.m. today, sent by the Republican National Committee. The release forwarded word that the California Republican Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, in part because of a visit Sen. Barack Obama made to his dying grandmother... Filing the complaint today now seems to have been ill-advised, if not legally, then certainly politically. Obama and his sister released a statement this afternoon announcing that their grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died peacefully after a battle with cancer. [Didn't Bush use public funds to finance his favorite GOPers to travel all over the US to aid Republican candidates, prior to the 2006 elections? This funding was a complete violation of the Hatch Act. --LRP]

Barack Obama votes in Chicago 05 Nov 2008 Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama has cast his ballot in his home city of Chicago with his young daughter Malia by his side. In a historic vote that could make him the first black US president, the Hawaii-born Illinois Senator, joined by his wife Michelle Obama and his young daughters Sasha and Malia, was greeted at a Chicago polling station in a school gymnasium by dozens of reporters and photographers.

Biden votes with family in Delaware 04 Nov 2008 Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden has cast his ballot. The Delaware senator voted shortly before 9 a.m. EST Tuesday at a private school about half-mile from his home in the Wilmington area. Biden walked into the school holding the hand of his mother, Jean Biden.

Hugs and cheers as Virginia casts first votes --Democrats encouraged by high early turnout in key swing state for Obama 04 Nov 2008 The line began forming soon after 4am, when there was more noise from crickets than passing traffic and the suburban cul-de-sacs were bathed in darkness, as Virginians cast the first votes in today's elections. Polls in Virginia, a prime target of Barack Obama today, opened at 6am -- ahead of much of the rest of the country. The early morning hours saw heavy turnout... The heavy turnout was also an encouraging sign for Democrats.

Dixville Notch has spoken: It's Obama in a landslide 04 Nov 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama emerged victorious in the first election returns of the 2008 presidential race, winning 15 of 21 votes cast in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. People in the isolated village in New Hampshire's northeast corner voted just after midnight Tuesday. It was the first time since 1968 that the village leaned Democratic in an election. Obama's rival, Republican John McCain, won 6 votes.

Polls Show Obama With Clear Advantage --McCain, Hampered by Bush and Economic Crisis, Must Win Virtually Every Close State 04 Nov 2008 Democrat Barack Obama, seeking a history-making victory in a presidential campaign that has captivated the country as few others ever have, maintained a clear advantage over Republican John McCain yesterday as the two made final appeals in battleground states and readied massive get-out-the-vote operations in advance of today's balloting.

"Lifelong Republican" EPA Chiefs Back Obama 03 Nov 2008 There is a man-bites-dog quality to this story: the first two administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, both appointed by President Nixon in the 1970s, say they are voting Democratic this year. "We are lifelong Republicans," write William Ruckelshaus and Russell Train in an opinion piece in the Tampa Tribune. "Yet after much thoughtful deliberation we have decided to support Barack Obama...."

Why Obama Should be our Next President By Susan Eisenhower 04 Nov 2008 For more than fifteen years, I have regularly appeared in the media as a foreign policy expert... In February of this year I announced my support for Barack Obama. As a lifelong Republican I decided to support this Democratic contender because he has, I believe, the energy, the intellectual capability, as well as the temperament and the steadiness to lead this country during this perilous time.

Free Starbucks Coffee On Election Day 'Illegal' Ad 04 Nov 2008 Seattle-based Starbucks is making fast changes -- after being accused of breaking the law [?!?] with an offer to voters. Prior to Monday afternoon, Starbucks was promoting an ad that said anyone who says enters a Starbucks on Election Day and says that they voted would get a free cup of tall coffee. Election officials for the state of Washington told KIRO 7 that rewarding voters with free coffee is illegal.

Iraq: At least 16 killed in Baghdad bombings 04 Nov 2008 At least 16 people were killed in bombings in eastern Baghdad today, a reminder of the complicated situation in Iraq as Americans headed to the polls to elect their next president.

Afghan Officials Aided an Attack on U.S. Soldiers 04 Nov 2008 An internal review by the American military has found that a local Afghan police chief and another district leader helped Taliban militants carry out an attack on July 13 in which nine United States soldiers were killed and a remote American outpost in eastern Afghanistan was nearly overrun.

Guantanamo tribunal convicts another al-Qaeda official 04 Nov 2008 The special military tribunal at the US detention center, Guantanamo Bay, has handed down its second verdict. Yemeni-born Ali Hamza al Bahlul was sentenced to life for his alleged involvement in al-Qaeda and incitement to murder. Mr al-Bahlul worked as a press officer for Osama bin Laden.

Explosion targets gas pipeline in western Canada 01 Nov 2008 Canada's counter-terrorist security force is investigating the third bomb attack in three weeks targeting natural gas pipelines owned by EnCana Corp. in western Canada.

Auto Sales Worst Since 1983 --Shell-shocked consumers stay away from showrooms. GM sales down by 45%, Ford off 30%, and Toyota 23% 03 Nov 2008 A combination of plunging consumer confidence and shortage of credit is pushing auto sales to their lowest monthly levels since the early 1980s--and the automakers themselves to the financial breaking point. The U.S. Big Three automakers--General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler--reported big double-digit declines in October sales: Ford was down 30%, GM off 45%, and Chrysler down 36%... Other industry analysts expect a bigger drop to levels not seen since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.


Prepare for chaos: U.S. electoral system warned it 'can't cope' as historic number of voters cast their ballot 03 Nov 2008 The American presidential election could descend into electoral chaos on Tuesday as unprecedented numbers of voters turn out to cast their ballot in a system that is largely untested. The U.S. has an electoral system that is not organised, designed or funded to cope with 'anywhere near a 100 per cent turnout', a director of a leading independent electoral reform group has said.

Obama expected to draw record number of voters to polls 03 Nov 2008 Election officials are braced for the biggest election turnout in US history tomorrow as voters finally deliver their verdict on Barack Obama and John McCain to bring to an end a gripping, two-year long campaign. The excitement generated by Obama's candidacy is expected to see between 130m to 140m Americans 'vote,' easily eclipsing the 121m in 2004.

Voting Lines Stretch to Eight Hours 03 Nov 2008 Early voting has reached record numbers this year. Including absentee ballots, 27 million people have already voted. That's in spite of lines that stretch on for hours... Rachel Maddow discussed the long lines -- eight to ten hours in some places -- on MSNBC last night. While she admitted that images of people waiting hours to vote was inspiring, she reminded viewers that not everyone has the time to do it. Long lines, she argued, are a new kind of poll tax.

Judge Refuses to Extend Voting Hours in Virginia 03 Nov 2008 The Associated Press is reporting that a Judge has refused to order longer voting hours and reallocation of voting machines in Virginia. Last week the NAACP filed a lawsuit against the Commonwealth and Governor Tim Kaine saying the state was not prepared for Tuesday's election. It said that there were not enough voting machines for areas that predominately served African-American voters. It also asked the governor to extend voting hours from 7pm to 10pm. The ruling from the judge today means that hours will remain the same and no additional machines will be added to five precincts named in the suit.

Fulton, Clayton Election Boards Nix Longer Voting Hours 03 Nov 2008 (GA) Fulton and Clayton County elections officials decided against asking for federal permission to extend voting hours on Election Day. The counties considered whether to ask for expanded hours because of the heavy turnout in early and advance voting. The Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections [GOP trolls] said Monday that the number of voting machines is enough to handle the crush of voters.

Voter docs found on Tampa highway 03 Nov 2008 (FL) Thousands of pages of voter information were found lying along the shoulder of Interstate 4 this morning. The papers, all with information about Hillsborough County voters, have been cleaned up and taken to a Department of Transportation maintenance facility for now, but voting officials still don't know where they came from.

McCain Sues to Force Va. to Count Military Ballots That Arrive Ten Days After Election 03 Nov 2008 John McCain's campaign sued Virginia's electoral board today, hours before the election, seeking to force the state to count late-arriving overseas military ballots. The lawsuit asks a federal judge to order the State Board of Elections to count any overseas absentee ballots sent by November 4 and received by local election officials as late as November 14.

NBC/WSJ poll: Obama holds significant lead --Dem's edge nationally over McCain stands at 8 points among likely voters 03 Nov 2008 With just a day left until Election Day, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama holds a statistically significant advantage over Republican Sen. John McCain in the race for the White House, according to the final NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll before the election.

Obama, McCain dart across crucial states 03 Nov 2008 The presidential candidates are capping a history-making campaign with a dash from Florida through a half-dozen other crucial states as John McCain tries for an upset over Barack Obama. With little sleep, McCain was darting through seven swing states Monday, arguing that victory was virtually at hand despite national polls showing otherwise.

Barack Obama's grandmother dies, as polls point to election triumph 03 Nov 2008 Barack Obama's grandmother - the woman who helped raise him - has died on the eve of the US election. Madelyn Dunham died peacefully after a long battle of cancer, the Democratic candidate announced in a joint statement with his sister. They described her as "the cornerstone of our family". Mr Obama learned of her death this morning while he was campaigning in Florida.

Obama's grandmother dies a day before election 03 Nov 2008 Barack Obama's grandmother, whose personality and bearing shaped much of the life of the Democratic presidential contender, has died, Obama announced Monday, one day before the election. Madelyn Payne Dunham was 86. Obama announced the news from the campaign trail in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Customs Officials Refer Leak of Obama's Aunt's Immigration Status to Inspector General 02 Nov 2008 Officials at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department have referred the disclosure to the media of the immigration status of Sen. Barack Obama's Aunt Zeituni Onyango to the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General and the office of professional responsibility. The disclosure may have been a violation of federal privacy laws.

Iraq deputy oil minister wounded in Baghdad bombing 03 Nov 2008 Iraq's Deputy Oil Minister Saheb Salman Qutub was wounded in a bomb attack outside his house on Monday, security officials said. The bomb exploded as Qutub was preparing to leave his home in the northern Ataifiyah neighbourhood of Baghdad, they told AFP.

Iraq: Failed Assassination Against Senior Oil Ministry Official 03 Nov 2008 Nine people were killed and dozens wounded on Monday in bombings in Baghdad and eastern Diyala province, including a failed assassination attempt against a senior oil ministry official, authorities said. An explosion ripped apart the car of Abdul Sahib Salman Qutub, a deputy oil minister, outside his Baghdad home, authorities said. The official suffered minor injuries, and his driver was more seriously wounded, according to Asim Jihad, the spokesman for the oil ministry.

Twin bombing kills six in central Baghdad 03 Nov 2008 Two bombs -- one of them hidden in a trash can -- exploded in a central Baghdad square Monday, killing six people and wounding 21 others, police said. A security official said 10 policemen were among those injured in the blasts, along with two women and nine men.

Military Seeks 'Bird Control' in Afghanistan --Wanted: Falcons, Handlers For Mission in Afghanistan 03 Nov 2008 The U.S. Air Force is looking for a few good falcons. Live falcons, that is, ones with feathers and talons, the kind that hunt mice and small birds. U.S. aircraft at the sprawling Bagram air base in Afghanistan are coming under increasing attack -- not from al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters but from "many small songbirds, pigeons, Magpies, Hawks and Black Kites," according to a bid request for a "bird control services" contract issued by the Army last month.

Gunmen kidnap Afghan government adviser in Pakistan: police 03 Nov 2008 Gunmen have kidnapped an Afghan government official as he was visiting his in-laws in a Pakistani border town, police said Monday. Akhtar Kohistani, an adviser at the ministry of rural development, was whisked away from Chitral town late Sunday, hours after he arrived to see relatives in Pakistan, local police chief Sher Akbar told AFP.

Brother of Afghanistan's finance minister kidnapped in Pakistan 02 Nov 2008 Afghan officials say gunmen in Pakistan have kidnapped the brother of Afghanistan's finance minister. They say Zia ul-Haq Ahadi was abducted in the city of Peshawar on Friday. His brother is Finance Minister Anwar ul-Haq Ahadim. A Finance Ministry spokesman in Kabul says it isn't known who kidnapped Ahadi. [Blackwater. Who else?]

Russians With Pumpkins Protest Many U.S. Plots 03 Nov 2008 Thousands of Russians from the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi gathered in front of the United States Embassy here on Sunday night carrying jack-o’-lanterns inked with the names of war victims and charging that the war in Georgia was part of an American plot to improve Senator John McCain's electoral prospects. Most of the demonstrators, men and women in their teens and early 20s, said they held the United States responsible for the war in Georgia, saying President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia would not have attacked the separatist enclave of South Ossetia without express permission from American officials.

U.S. army commits $50 million research into soldier suicides 03 Nov 2008 The U.S. Army and the National Institute of Mental Health have begun a five-year, $50 million research program into the factors behind soldier suicides and how to prevent them. [US: Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan -- that will stop them.]

Israel far-right parties unite ahead of election 03 Nov 2008 Two of Israel's main far-right parties on Monday announced they had decided to forces under a new list promoting settlements in the occupied West Bank ahead of a February general election. The still unnamed party unites The National Union and National Religious Party, which together have nine MPs in the current parliament.

Israeli troops destroy West Bank settler structures 03 Nov 2008 Israel said it demolished several structures near a Jewish wildcat settlement in the West Bank on Monday, a day after it vowed to stop funding such illegal outposts amid escalating settler violence. Army bulldozers backed by police forces tore down four makeshift structures located outside the Migron outpost in the Ramallah area of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a military spokesman said.

Yemen man convicted of war crimes for making al-Qaeda videos 03 Nov 2008 A U.S. military jury in Guantanamo has convicted a Yemen man on war crimes charges for making propaganda videos for 'al-Qaeda.' The nine-person jury voted to convict Ali Hamza al-Bahlul on multiple counts on charges of conspiracy, solicitation to commit murder and providing material to support terrorism. The jury, which was composed of military officials approved by the Pentagon, reached the verdict on Friday after four hours of deliberations but only announced its decision on Monday. [He was convicted because typically, it's the CIA that makes the propaganda videos for al-Qaeda.]

Bio Terror 'Next Threat' For US 31 Oct 2008 In an exclusive interview with Sky News, homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff said sources of radioactive and biological materials must be properly secured "at all costs". He warned terrorists are actively seeking to acquire such materials. Mr Chertoff said he did not think a weapon of mass destruction, like a biological or nuclear bomb, was a danger that could be just months away. [LOL! Of course it is! Say, late November... December. See: Brace yourselves - George Bush will soon be free to do just what he wants By Jonathan Freedland 29 Oct 2008... From November 5 to January 20, he will exercise the freest, most unaccountable form of power the democratic world has to offer.]

Scientists Slam FBI Anthrax Probe 03 Nov 2008 It was an open-and-shut case, the FBI said. But three months after agents pinned the post-9/11 anthrax mailings on Army scientist Bruce Ivins - who 'committed suicide' as the FBI closed in on him - his former colleagues have approached a lawyer to sue the feds for fingering the wrong man, The Post has learned. They argue that the FBI abused its power and violated its own policies as they probed an innocent man for six months.

Senior Corporate Executives Warned to Leave N.Y. on 9/11: Source By Jeremy R. Hammond 03 Nov 2008 Foreign Policy Journal has learned that senior executives of a major U.S. international corporation may have been warned to leave New York on September 11, 2001. According to an inside source, one of the senior executives of the corporation told him beforehand that "something big" was going to occur and so other corporate executives would be travelling out of New York. The source, who spoke to the Journal on the condition of anonymity, worked at a European branch of the media giant Warner Bros.

Bush, business groups push limits on lawsuits for drug companies 02 Nov 2008 The question before the Supreme Court is whether patients such as Seuferer should be able to sue when they believe drugmakers failed to warn them adequately about the risks of medicines. The pharmaceutical industry, and the Bush administration, say patients are amply protected by the Food and Drug Administration. In the case called Wyeth vs. Levine, business groups and the government are asking the Supreme Court to impose strict new limits on lawsuits against drug firms.

Bloomberg Gets an Earful Before Signing Term Limits Bill 03 Nov 2008 After listening for nearly four and a half hours to emotional and at times harshly critical testimony from scores of residents, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed legislation at 1:55 p.m. Monday to extend New York City’s term limits law, allowing himself and a majority of the City Council to seek a third four-year term in 2009.

Bodyguard for bashed flamingo at Adelaide Zoo 02 Nov 2008 The flamingo enclosure at Adelaide Zoo will have a permanent "bodyguard" following this week's sickening attack on a 78-year-old bird. Zoo staff and volunteers will take turns watching over the greater flamingo – believed to be the oldest in the world – that was left bloodied and injured after it was allegedly bashed on Wednesday.


Fallout on leaked call 03 Nov 2008 The federal Opposition has called on the Government to investigate how a telephone conversation between Kevin Rudd and US President [sic] George W.Bush found its way into the media. Details of the call to discuss the global financial crisis were reported on the front page of The Weekend Australian last month. The article, published on October 25, reported that in a conversation about the global financial crisis, Mr Bush asked the Prime Minister what the G20 forum was. US officials denied Mr Bush asked that question, rejecting that aspect of the report's claims through an article in The Washington Post. Mr Rudd's office has also denied that version of events.

Call to investigate leaked call between Rudd and Bush 02 Nov 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd should launch an investigation into the leaking of details of a sensitive phone call he had with US President [sic] George W Bush, former foreign minister Alexander Downer says. Details of the call to discuss the global financial crisis were reported last week in The Weekend Australian. During the call, Mr Bush reportedly responded to Mr Rudd's suggestion of a G20 summit to deal with the crisis by saying: "What's the G20?''.

Goldman Sachs ready to hand out £7bn salary and bonus package... after its £6bn bail-out 30 Oct 2008 Goldman Sachs is on course to pay its top City bankers multimillion-pound bonuses - despite asking the U.S. government for an emergency bail-out. The struggling Wall Street bank has set aside £7billion for salaries and 2008 year-end bonuses, it emerged yesterday. Each of the firm's 443 partners is on course to pocket an average Christmas bonus of more than £3million. The size of the pay pool comfortably dwarfs the £6.1billion lifeline which the U.S. government is throwing to Goldman as part of its £430billion bail-out.

Final USA TODAY/Gallup estimate: Obama, 53%; McCain, 42% 02 Nov 2008 Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama leads Republican John McCain by 11 percentage points in the last USA TODAY/Gallup national poll of likely voters before Election Day. With less than two days to go before polls open, the contenders' support is estimated to be: Obama, 53%; McCain, 42%.

Gallup Daily: Obama Continues to Outpace McCain --Holds 8-point lead among "traditional likely voters" 02 Nov 2008 Voters' presidential preferences remain favorable to a Barack Obama win on Tuesday, with 51% of traditional likely voters supporting the Democratic nominee for president, and 43% backing John McCain. An additional 1% say they support some other candidate, leaving 5% undecided.

2.6 million ballots cast early in North Carolina 02 Nov 2008 Nearly 2.6 million people -- or more than 40 percent of registered voters -- have already cast a ballot in North Carolina, with turnout heavy among blacks and registered Democrats in a trend that could favor Barack Obama.

Satire: McCain tells supporters, 'It's close enough for us to steal' --'Our operatives tell me we can steal anything under nine points.' By R J Shulman 03 Nov 2008 Senator John McCain told a group of about fifteen loyal supporters in a Long John Silver’s Restaurant that, "In two days, victory is ours, my friends. The latest CNN poll shows Obama ahead by only seven points and our operatives tell me we can steal anything under nine points." (Satire)

Add Your Name to the Do Not Concede Letter By David Swanson 02 Nov 2008 An Open Letter to Senator Obama and the Democratic Leadership: On Election Night, DO NOT CONCEDE! "Eight years is too much" is how Barack Obama explained why we must win the coming election and begin to restore America. But, even if we receive the most votes, will we win the election? DO NOT CONCEDE! Both of the last two elections were conceded by the Democratic presidential candidate. The 2004 election was handed to George Bush while votes were still being counted in closely-fought Ohio. While the 2000 election was contested to the Supreme Court, it too was ultimately conceded to Bush "or the good of the country." Some good.

Hate Groups Riled Up Over Prospect of President Obama --Fringe Groups Will Be Watched Even More Closely in the Event Obama Wins 01 Nov 2008 The prospect of a Black president has America's bastions of hate in an uproar. Federal authorities say web sites have featured ugly calls to target Senator Barack Obama... Twice since August, two sets of self-proclaimed neo-Nazi skinheads have been caught in what officials say were feeble but still troubling plots to assassinate Obama.

Anti-Obama display causes controversy 02 Nov 2008 (CA) Trouble surrounds a controversial campaign display in Craven County. First voters, now the NAACP is taking issue with a casket placed near the township's voting site in James City. They want both parties to publicly denounce the display containing anti-Obama stickers with Obama's picture and a red cross through it. The display also reads "poor Joe the plumber, taxed to death".

Fake Flyer Tells VA Dems to Vote On Nov. 5th 28 Oct 2008 Virginia's State Board of Elections has released a "rumor buster" document telling voters to disregard a flyer claiming that Democrats should vote on November 5th. Election Day, of course, is November 4th for all voters.

ICE investigating leak By Ben Smith 01 Nov 2008 An update from Kelly Nantel, the press secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on the leak of Obama's half-aunt's immigration status: Early this morning, the matter was refered to Inspector General and ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility for action. They are looking into whether there was a violation of policy in publicly disclosing individual case information.

Boo! Supporting Obama? No treats for you --Mich. woman shares sweets with only those who back McCain, Palin 01 Nov 2008 A woman refused Halloween candy to children whose parents support Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Shirley Nagel passed out candy Friday on the scary U.S. holiday, but only to those who shared her support for Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his vice presidential pick Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin agrees to hunt baby seals with bogus head of state 02 Nov 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has become the victim of a prank phone call by a French-Canadian comedian posing as the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Well-known Canadian comic, Sebastien Trudel, convinced the Alaska governor that she was speaking to Sarkozy. Ms Palin, tape recorded for the occasion, accepted Trudel's invitation to hunt baby seals.

Quebec pair prank Palin with faux-Sarkozy phone call 01 Nov 2008 Two notorious Quebec comedians have pranked Sarah Palin, tricking the Republican vice-presidential nominee into thinking she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a Saturday afternoon phone call. "Oh my God, seriously, it's probably the biggest we've ever done," Marc-Antoine Audette, a member of comedy duo The Masked Avengers, told Saturday afternoon.

General David Petraeus plans more border raids 02 Nov 2008 General David Petraeus, who took over last week as the new head of Central Command with responsibility for America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is a fervent adherent of the newly expanded American strategy of self-defence aggression. The strategy, outlined by Robert Gates, the American defence secretary, holds that US forces have the right to attack a target in any country, without notifying that government, if the country is harbouring a threat to American interests.

Iran to help Iraq retrieve stolen relics 02 Nov 2008 Iraq has asked Iran to help gather information about the artifacts, which have been stolen from Iraqi sites since the 2003 US-led war. According to AP, some 15,000 artifacts have been smuggled out of Iraq in the chaotic post-war years. Jordan and Syria have returned 2,466 and 700 artifacts to Iraq, respectively, while Iraq is still working with Interpol to trace the 12,000 archaeological pieces still missing. [Check Cheney's bunker. --LRP]

Iraqi females suffer in US custody 02 Nov 2008 Hundreds of Iraqi women are being held under humiliating conditions in the US custody in Iraq, without being charged, a report indicates. According to released Iraqi prisoners, female detainees are being raped by US troops and forced into undressing in front of the guards, Wisam Al-Bayati, Press TV correspondent in Baghdad reported Sunday.

Verdict reached but not read at Guantanamo 31 Oct 2008 U.S. military jurors reached a verdict on Friday in the Guantanamo 'trial' of Osama bin Laden's accused media chief, who is accused of inciting murder and inspiring September 11 hijackers. But the verdict will not be announced until Yemeni defendant Ali Hamza al Bahlul, who could face life in prison, is brought back into the courtroom on Monday, one day before the U.S. presidential election.

Thousands more Syrian troops deployed on Lebanon border 02 Nov 2008 Syria has mobilized some 3,000 troops and heavy equipment near its border with eastern Lebanon, Beirut's As-Safir newspaper reported over the weekend.

Israeli security chief warns of assassination 02 Nov 2008 Israel's internal security chief Yuval Dis kin on Sunday said he is "extremely concerned" that extreme right-wing activists might launch attacks against national leaders, local news service Ynet reported. The warning from the Shin Bet agency came on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 before he was shot dead by a right-wing radical terrorist who opposed to his signing of the Oslo Accords.

12 year old Palestinian boy tells of arrest by Israeli army 02 Nov 2008 Muhammad Khawajah, 12, seen here at his family's grocery store in the Palestinian territories, was recently arrested by the Israeli army. He tells of how he was handcuffed, blindfolded, punched, kicked, and imprisoned: 'I am twelve years old and live with my family in Ni’lin in the Palestinian territories.'

Elite combat brigade for homeland security missions raises ire of ACLU 02 Nov 2008 In the next three years, the military plans to activate and train an estimated 4,700 service members for specialized domestic operations, according to Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of U.S. Northern Command, which was created in 2002 for homeland defense missions. The comments, made at the annual National Homeland Defense and Security Symposium in Colorado Springs last week, reveal more details about the recent stationing of active military personnel inside United States borders for what officials say is a mission centering around responding to catastrophic emergencies.

Obama Civilian Security --Posted by squawkboxnoise 17 Jul 2008 Barack Obama: "We cannot continue to rely only on our military, in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force [!?!] that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." (Video)

Judge tells White House to release wiretapping docs 02 Nov 2008 The Bush administration must give to a federal court documents related to government wiretapping of domestic communications without a warrant after the September 11 attacks, according to a recent court order. U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy signed the order on Friday requiring the U.S. Justice Department to provide the court for private review certain documents that were sought in lawsuits filed by the civil liberties groups.

Greenwich officers pose as terrorists in Bridgeport training 01 Nov 2008 (CT) Several Greenwich police officers will play the role of terrorists in a drill today at the University of Bridgeport, officials said. The event is being run by the Department of Homeland Security and will involve police departments from the surrounding area, including Greenwich, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk, according to Scott Appleby, director of Bridgeport's Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. This is the first time the Department of Homeland Security has planned a drill of this magnitude in the state, Appleby said.

Bashed flamingo not eating 02 Nov 2008 The flamingo that was bashed at the Adelaide Zoo on Wednesday is refusing to eat, which is worrying zoo staff. The flamingo, which is around 75 years old, was left in a critical condition after it was allegedly attacked by four teenagers [sociopaths], who have all been charged.


American Nato officers rent villa owned by Naples Mafia boss Antonio Iovine 27 Oct 2008 American Nato officers have been renting a villa near Naples for years that belongs, indirectly, to Antonio Iovine, a clan chieftain of the Camorra, the Neapolitan Mafia. Mr Iovine, 44, nicknamed "o'ninno" -- the baby -- because of his small stature, is wanted for murder and other crimes, and is listed among the 30 most dangerous criminals in Italy. He has been on the run for 12 years.

Iraq sends police to guard Syrian border 01 Nov 2008 Iraq is sending police reinforcements to the border with Syria. The rapid reaction force is aimed at preventing 'al-Qaeda' combatants from penetrating Iraq. The measure follows the United States air strike last Sunday on the Syrian border city of Abu Kamal.

U.S. bombings in Pakistan kill 27 01 Nov 2008 Intelligence officials in Pakistan say two suspected U.S. missile strikes in northwestern Pakistan Friday killed at least 27 people, including a mid-level al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] leader. In the first attack, officials say two missiles struck a house near Mir Ali town and a vehicle in North Waziristan tribal area.

MoD 'can be sued' over SAS deaths --Lawyer's advice to families follows commander's resignation in protest at inadequate equipment 02 Nov 2008 The families of three SAS soldiers and a female corporal killed in Afghanistan when their Land Rover hit a landmine have a strong legal basis for suing the Ministry of Defence under the European Convention on Human Rights, according to a senior barrister.

British SAS commander in Afghanistan quits over bad equipment 01 Nov 2008 A British newspaper says the commander of the Special Air Service in Afghanistan has resigned over the poor standard of equipment given to troops. The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday that Maj. Sebastian Morley has quit over what he claims is chronic under investment in armoured vehicles. It said he blames poor equipment for the deaths of at least four of his troops.

Ecuador says CIA infiltrated its military 31 Oct 2008 Ecuador charged on Thursday the CIA infiltrated its military and knew of a Colombian military raid against rebels in Ecuadorean territory -- accusations that could fray ties with Washington. Defence Minister Javier Ponce said the CIA knew of the Colombian attack before the Ecuadorean government from agents inside its military. "The CIA had full knowledge of what was happening in Angostura," Ponce told reporters, referring to the border hamlet where Colombia troops killed a top leftist rebel leader in March. The raid, which also killed other 24 people, briefly raised the threat of war after Ecuador and Venezuela sent soldiers and tanks to their borders with Colombia.

Holocaust is over, leading Israeli tells Likud 01 Nov 2008 Benjamin Netanyahu, a front-runner for the Israeli premiership, has been severely criticised by a former Speaker of the Knesset and head of the Jewish Agency for comparing the threat posed by Iran to that of pre-war Nazi Germany. Mr Netanyahu, whose Likud Party is running neck and neck in the polls with Kadima, led by Tzipi Livni, has gone further than his rivals in implying he might authorise a unilateral attack on Iranian nuclear installations.

Saddam Hussein’s body was stabbed in the back, says guard 01 Nov 2008 The body of Saddam Hussein was stabbed six times after he was executed, according to the head guard at the former president’s tomb north of Baghdad, who was one of the people that helped bury the corpse. The claim is categorically denied by the head of Saddam’s tribe.

Barack Obama warned that terror attacks could soon test mettle 01 Nov 2008 Barack Obama has been warned by intelligence officials that terrorists will attack US targets or a friendly state such as Britain or Israel to test his mettle if elected. The briefings given to the Obama campaign about possible attacks were based on specific intelligence picked up monitoring terrorist networks and informers, according to a senior military source aware of the contents of the reports. Fred Burton, a former senior US counter-terrorism agent, separately told The Sunday Telegraph that Britain could be targeted by al-Qaeda if the organisation was unable to mount an attack on US soil early in the new administration - as they did soon after the election coup of George W Bush in 2001 and election of Bill Clinton in 1993.

'Muslims targeted in US security probe' 01 Nov 2008 The US Department of Homeland Security kept an eye on more than 2,000 immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries in 2004, but most were found to have done nothing wrong, according to newly disclosed government data, as reported by the New York Times on Friday.

Homeland Security Pays Dividends for Alaska BY G.W. Schulz 31 Oct 2008 Despite its go-it-alone spirit, sparsely populated Alaska is one of the greatest per-capita beneficiaries of funding from Washington among the 50 states. A major portion of those federal taxpayer dollars in recent years has come from large infusions of homeland security grants and appropriations handed out to the state since the Sept. 11 attacks.

KBR 3Q profit rose 35 pct as revenue climbs 31 Oct 2008 Engineering and construction firm KBR Inc. said Friday its third-quarter profit increased 35 percent, led by strong revenue from a company it bought this spring. Net income rose to $85 million, or 51 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. Revenue climbed 39 percent, to $3.02 billion, boosted by the addition of construction contractor BE&K in May.

McCain's name nowhere to be seen at Palin rally 01 Nov 2008 At a boisterous Sarah Palin rally in Polk City, Florida on Saturday afternoon, one name was surprisingly absent from the campaign décor -- John McCain’s. The GOP nominee’s name was literally nowhere to be found on any of the official campaign signage distributed to supporters at the event. Members of the audience proudly waved "Country First" placards... [but] those signs were paid for by the Republican National Committee. The other sign handed out to supporters read "Florida is Palin Country," but those signs were neither paid for by the RNC nor the McCain campaign.

Biden Jumps on Cheney's McCain Endorsement 01 Nov 2008 : Aspiring vice-president Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., jumped on vice-president [sic] Dick Cheney’s praise today for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., citing it as "proof" that McCain would continue the Bush administration’s "failed" economic policies. "If you ever had any doubt about John McCain and whether he’d continue the Bush policies, you can put them to rest now," Biden said at Marion Harding High School, home of the Presidents, in Marion, Ohio.

Biden accuses McCain of using "Karl Rove" tactics 01 Nov 2008 Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden accused Republican John McCain of using the same political tactics as President [sic] George W. Bush's strategist Karl Rove in the last days of the campaign. Campaigning in the battleground state of Indiana, Biden said he was disappointed that Republican candidate McCain was increasing his personal attacks against the Democratic choice Barack Obama before Tuesday's election. He equated it to the same attack strategies used by Rove during Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns.

Alaska pols ask McCain to apologize for 'troopergate' role 01 Nov 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain should apologize for his campaign's personal attacks on the Alaskan at the heart of the 'troopergate' controversy, according two former Alaska legislative leaders. Former House Speaker Gail Phillips, a Republican, and former Senate President Chancy Croft, a Democrat, on Friday said McCain's campaign representatives made attacks that damaged the reputation of Walt Monegan, Gov. Sarah Palin's fired public safety commissioner.

McCain's Poor Judgment Led to His Capture as a POW By NewsGuru 06 Oct 2008 Since the McCain campaign has proven they're willing to say just about anything, allege anything, even questioning the patriotism of fellow US Senators, in particular Senator Obama, I'll simply play by the same rules. Even the military has questioned John McCain's judgment. Why shouldn't we? For a man that's tried to use his military background as proof for sound character and judgment, he's particularly protective of releasing any records to detail the result of the many investigations and resolutions regarding his military mistakes. McCain is more than an erratic, angry little man, he's also a liar.

Obama Holds 6.5-Point Average Lead Over McCain in Polls 01 Nov 2008 Barack Obama has an average lead of 6.5 percentage points over John McCain in national polls with three days left in the presidential campaign. Polls released this week showed the Democratic candidate with leads ranging from three points in a Fox News survey to 11 points in a New York Times/CBS News poll. An average of polls compiled by Real Clear Politics shows that Obama has been ahead between five and eight points since the beginning of October.

Early Voting Update: Nevada Voting Suggests Obama Victory at Hand 31 Oct 2008 Today is the final day of early voting in the key swing state of Nevada, and the question must be asked, has Barack Obama already won there? As of late Thursday night, registered Democrats had cast 225,670 of the 438,129 ballots (51.5%) in the two most populous counties, Las Vegas’s Clark County and Reno’s Washoe. Republicans cast 31.3% with the remainder cast by Independents.

Judge rules for GOP on absentee ballots 01 Nov 2008 (IN) A Marion County judge ordered Friday that absentee ballots challenged at the polls on Election Day be set aside for review by 'bipartisan' teams later in the week. County Republicans said the ruling, issued in response to their lawsuit, is likely to end up affecting few ballots... But it means that any ballots facing challenges won't be counted Tuesday or show up in election results that night.

Vote watchdogs warn of troubles on election day --Lawsuits have already been filed over [GOP] efforts to purge rolls and challenging [Jim Crow-style] voter identification laws. 30 Oct 2008 Counting down to an election day expected to draw a record-shattering turnout, voting-rights watchdogs are sounding the alarm that a repeat of the Florida fiasco coup of 2000 could occur in any of a dozen battleground states. Lawsuits are already flying in many of these states. Voting rights advocates in Colorado, for example, told a federal judge Wednesday that the names of nearly 30,000 voters were recently purged from the state registry in violation of federal law and ought to be restored by election day.

Police gave no warning before De Menezes shooting, say witnesses 31 Oct 2008 Tube passengers sitting near Jean Charles de Menezes yesterday told the inquest into his death that no warnings were shouted by armed police before they shot him seven times in the head. Speaking for the first time in public, the commuters described the moment officers boarded the train at Stockwell station, south London, on July 22 2005.

Bush administration denies funding for FBI probe of mortgage mess 31 Oct 2008 The Bush administration is rejecting FBI pleas for more agents to investigate crimes that helped trigger the global financial meltdown, bureau sources said this week. The administration -- in reinventing the FBI after the its 2001 terrorist attacks -- shifted about 2,400 agents from traditional crime-fighting squads to counterterrorism units, according to a Seattle P-I analysis of FBI data. At least 1,700 of those agents haven't been replaced, and the latest Bush budget continues that trend.

The Bush Administration's Midnight Regulations --Critics Say Proposed Rules Would Hurt Consumers, Environment, Safety 30 Oct 2008 The Bush administration is trying to push through a wave of new regulations despite a promise by the White House to ban last-ditch rule-making in the waning days of the presidency, say watchdog groups and experts. Experts say the Bush administration is expected to approve a greater number of last minute rules more quickly than previous administrations--something they said could lead to bad and costly policy.

Another Thumb on the Scales (The New York Times) 01 Nov 2008 The world is in economic turmoil -- much of it caused by American financial excesses -- but the Bush administration isn’t budging from its anti-regulatory, unfettered-markets-know-best convictions. The Justice Department’s antitrust division has published a new set of guidelines that narrow the interpretation of abuse that would justify government intervention against monopolies. It is a deregulatory gift aimed at getting pesky antitrust enforcers off of the back of big business.

Report of suspicious powder at high school a false alarm --Men in Mylar suits and air masks went into the building and everyone inside endured cold decontamination showers in makeshift stalls. 31 Oct 2008 The Newark High School music building was locked down and 15 students had to take showers by fire hose yesterday after a suspicious package was delivered to a school band room. ...By the time the fire department was on the scene the hazardous materials unit was dispatched on a report that a white powder in the envelope had caused the symptoms. There never was any powder, said Jeff Walker, director of the Licking County Emergency Management Agency. Still, 15 students and eight adults who were in the building at the time were quarantined while emergency officials swarmed the scene.

Coastal Maine tide change a mystery 30 Oct 2008 Meteorologists are baffled by rapid tidal changes along the Maine coast, which damaged some boats and piers. Witnesses say low tide turned and became high within a matter of minutes on Tuesday afternoon. The changes occurred six or seven times. The National Weather Service says reports from several locations indicated that water levels fell and rose from 4 feet to as much as 12 feet during the event. In a public information statement, the weather service says the cause "remains a mystery and may never be known."


Erica Jong Tells Italians Obama Loss 'Will Spark the Second American Civil War. Blood Will Run in the Streets' By Jason Horowitz 30 Oct 2008 A few days ago, Erica Jong, the author and self-described feminist, gave an interview to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera... Here's a translation of Jong's more spirited quotes to the Milan-based Corriere, as selected by Christian Rocca. "The record shows that voting machines in America are rigged." "After having stolen the last two elections, the Republican Mafia…" "If Obama loses it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me. And it's not a coincidence that President [sic] Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets." "Bush has transformed America into a police state, from torture to the imprisonment of reporters, to the Patriot Act."

CIA officers could face trial in Britain over torture allegations 31 Oct 2008 Senior CIA officers could be put on trial in Britain after it emerged last night that the Attorney General is to investigate allegations that a British resident held in Guantanamo Bay was brutally tortured, after being arrested and questioned by American forces following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. The development follows criticism of US prosecutors by British judges who have seen secret evidence of torture committed against Binyam Mohamed, including allegations his torturers used a razor blade to repeatedly cut his penis.

Smith orders inquiry into MI5 and CIA torture claims --Investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing 30 Oct 2008 Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, has asked the attorney general to investigate possible "criminal wrongdoing" by the MI5 and the CIA over its treatment of a British resident held in Guantanamo Bay, it was revealed tonight. The dramatic development over allegations of collusion in torture and inhuman treatment follows a high court judgment which found that an MI5 officer participated in the unlawful interrogation of Binyam Mohamed.

US military judge rejects effort to redo Guantanamo convict's sentence 31 Oct 2008 The U.S. military judge who presided over the first war-crimes 'trial' at Guantanamo Bay has rejected a prosecution request to reassemble jurors in order to reconsider sentencing for Osama bin Laden's driver, the Associated Press reported. Navy Capt. Keith Allred, the judge in the war-court trial of Salim Hamdan, on Thursday rejected a prosecution motion arguing Hamdan should not receive trial credit for his time detained at this U.S. offshore prison as an "enemy combatant." He is eligible for release by January.

World faces growing risk of war: US intelligence chief 31 Oct 2008 The world faces a growing risk of conflict over the next 20 to 30 years amid an unprecedented transfer of wealth and power from West to East, according to the US intelligence chief. Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence, predicted rising demand for scarce supplies of food and fuel, strategic competition over new technologies, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Israel war on Lebanon 'inevitable' 31 Oct 2008 A US-based think tank says a third military conflict between Lebanon's Hezbollah and Israel is certain to happen in the near future. In a new report, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy revealed that Israel's determination to curb Hezbollah's burgeoning military and political prowess has strengthened the likelihood of another Israel-Lebanon war.

Iran's president condemns U.S. raid on Syria 01 Nov 2008 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday condemned the recent U.S. attack inside Syria that killed eight civilians, the official IRNA news agency reported. "Such blind and aimless acts once again showed that the U.S. has no base in the region and it is failed," Ahmadinejad said in a phone call with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad.

Syria suspends security talks with Iraq --US shuts Syria embassy, cites 'security concerns' 30 Oct 2008 Syria severed communications with Iraq, suspended bilateral security meetings and decreased the number of its border troops, Al Arabiya TV reported on Thursday. Thousands of people marched in the streets of Damascus on Thursday to protest at a deadly American raid on a village near the Iraqi border which Syria has branded a barbaric act.

Blackwater is a busy little bee! Water supply sabotaged in Baghdad 31 Oct 2008 A homemade bomb has struck a water pipeline in Baghdad's Adhamiyah district, disrupting water supply to hundreds of thousands of residents. The attack happened late on Thursday, creating a 45-centimetre (18-inch) hole in the pipe which supplies water to residents of Adhamiyah, Rusafa and Karrada in the Iraqi capital, the US military said.

Another success? Iraqi mayor Bush once hailed flees to U.S. 30 Oct 2008 Two years ago, President [sic] Bush hailed Najim al Jabouri as a symbol of success in the battle to curb Iraq's 'sectarian' violence. Today, Jabouri is a symbol of how uncertain that success is. Last month, Jabouri quietly left Tal Afar, an ancient city near Iraq's desert border with Syria where he was the police chief and the mayor, collected his wife and four children and flew to safety in the United States.

'27 dead in US strikes' says Pakistan 31 Oct 2008 At least 27 people have been killed in two suspected US missile strikes in north-western Pakistan, intelligence officials said tonight. The Pakistani officials said an Iraqi al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] operative known as Abu Akash was 'killed' in the first raid near the village of Mirali, north Waziristan, at about 8.30pm (14.30GMT).

US drone kills up to 20 people in Pakistan 27 Oct 2008 Missiles from a suspected US drone have killed up to 20 people in a militant camp near Pakistan's Afghan border, security officials say. "Two missiles were fired, they hit two houses in Shakai and up to 20 militants civilians were killed," a Pakistani intelligence agency official told the Reuters news agency on Sunday.

Two Killed by Bomber at Ministry in Kabul 31 Oct 2008 A suspected Taliban suicide bomber shot his way into the Ministry of Information and Culture in central Kabul on Thursday, then blew himself up, leaving at least two others dead and severely damaging a kindergarten in the building, officials and witnesses said. The blast also wounded at least 21 people, said Kabul’s police chief, Gen. Muhammad Ayub Salangi, after he toured the scene.

Deafness is the new scourge of British troops in Afghanistan 30 Oct 2008 Hundreds of soldiers are returning from Afghanistan suffering from severe and permanent damage to their hearing because of the overwhelming noise of intense combat. Nearly one in ten soldiers serving with one regiment have hearing defects that could bar them from further frontline service and affect their civilian job prospects, The Times has learnt.

DPRK condemns U.S., S.Korea for frequent aerial spying 31 Oct 2008 The United States and South Korea committed at least 150 cases of aerial espionage against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in October, the official KCNA news agency quoted a military source as saying on Friday. The United States and South Korea even staged war exercises against the DPRK, which demonstrated that their conspiracy of launching a war against the DPRK had gone into a "dangerous stage," it said.

Air crews participate in Alaska drill Stars and Stripes 01 Nov 2008 B-52 air crews from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., who recently deployed to Guam, and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, were among the participants last month in an exercise over the Pacific Alaska Range Complex, the Minot Daily News reported Thursday. The 10-day joint exercise, called Red Flag-Alaska, also included B-52s from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and F-16s out of Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

'It's gonna get nasty' in final days before election 31 Oct 2008 With just days to go before Election Day, Sen. Barack Obama is warning his supporters that things are going to get unpleasant fast -- and that the race will come down to every last vote. "Don't believe for a second this election is over. Don't think for a minute that power concedes anything. It's gonna get nasty, I'm sure, in the next four days," Obama told a crowd in Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday night.

McCain, Obama battle into last weekend 31 Oct 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain on Friday campaigned across Ohio, a state that is critical to his hopes of clawing back Democrat Barack Obama's lead going into Tuesday's election. Obama, who is ahead in national opinion polls and in this Midwestern state that has been crucial to Republican victories in the last two presidential votes, warned his supporters to expect attacks from McCain in the last days of the campaign.

Obama runs TV ads in Arizona, other 'red' states 31 Oct 2008 John McCain bused through Ohio in search of votes Friday while Barack Obama broadened his quest to win Republican states by buying TV ads in McCain's Arizona for the first time and returning to the airwaves in Georgia and North Dakota. Obama tapped his vast campaign war chest to venture into the three traditionally "red" states because recent polls have found him competitive in each.

Students pick Obama in mock election --More than a million nationwide voted in mock election 31 Oct 2008 More than 205,000 students from around Georgia avoided long lines to cast votes for the presidential election. Voting online in a mock election, their choice was Barack Obama by 58.6 percent. John McCain captured 35.5 percent of the vote.

Gore in Florida today: 'Take it from me ... every vote matters' 31 Oct 2008 The last time Al Gore campaigned in Florida, he came up 537 votes short -- at least according to the U.S. Supreme Court... That was in 2000. Today, the former vice president stumped in Florida again for the first time in eight years, exhorting supporters of Democrat Barack Obama to make sure to vote. After all, he reasoned, it can make a difference. At a rally in West Palm Beach, with wife Tipper Gore at his side, he said: By the way, take it from me, elections matter. Every vote matters.

No-match list catches regular voters by surprise --The state's list of 'no match' voters includes some surprises -- a Miami Heat player, a candidate's wife and many people unaware they were on it. 31 Oct 2008 ...12,000 names statewide have been flagged under Florida's Voter Verification Law, a ''no match'' screening process embroiled in legal and political controversy. The ID check spits out voter registrations that don't match driver's license or social security records. It has left voters on a list dominated by blacks, Hispanics and Democrats in a legal limbo -- unless they supply elections officials with additional proof they are who they say they are. More than one-third of the people on the ''no match'' list live in Miami-Dade or Broward counties -- most notably Mario Chalmers, a Heat guard who starred in last year's Final Four college basketball championships.

Georgia tells 4,770 voters their votes 'challenged,' allows voters to contest citizenship of other voters on Election Day By Chris Kromm 31 Oct 2008 In a bold move this week, Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) announced she was sending letters to 4,770 registered voters that they may have to cast "challenge" ballots that won't be counted on election day. In a striking announcement, she also announced that regular citizens would be able to contest the citizenship of fellow voters at the polls -- forcing them to also cast challenged ballots that won't be included in election day tallies.

Democratic politicians: Open polls this weekend 31 Oct 2008 Democratic politicians came together Friday to decry the three to four hour waits that have become routine at some early voting locations. They urged Secretary of State Karen Handel and Gov. Sonny Perdue to extend voting hours through the weekend. "We need to take any and all steps to fix it, and fix it now," said Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia). Voters at the Adamsville Recreation Center in Atlanta didn’t finish voting until 10:20 p.m. Thursday night because of a 'computer glitch.' Such problems have slowed early voting lines this week.

Eagleburger Blisters Palin: "Of Course" She's Not Ready By Nico Pitney and Sam Stein 31 Oct 2008 A former Republican Secretary of State and one of John McCain's most prominent supporters offered a stunningly frank and remarkably bleak assessment of Sarah Palin's capacity to handle the presidency should such a scenario arise. Lawrence Eagleburger, who served as Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush and whose endorsement is often trumpeted by McCain, said on Thursday that the Alaska governor is not only unprepared to take over the job on a moment's notice but, even after some time in office, would only amount to an "adequate" commander in chief.

McCain Now Wants Permanent Cap Gains Cut 31 Oct 2008 John McInsane altered his tax plan Friday, saying for the first time that he would like to slash capital gains taxes in half on a permanent basis -- not just for the next two years. "Look," McCain told CNBC's Larry Kudlow, "I'm at 7.5 percent, I'd like to keep it permanently at 7.5 percent."

Chevron profits hit new record of $7.89 billion 31 Oct 2008 Chevron Corp.'s earnings more than doubled in its third quarter and soared to a new quarterly record of $7.89 billion, the East Bay energy giant reported Friday. Chevron's profits equated to $3.85 a share. The third quarter profits jumped 112 percent from the year-ago quarter, when net income totaled $3.72 billion.

Chevron Profit Doubles After Oil Tops $147 a Barrel 31 Oct 2008 Chevron Corp., the second-largest U.S. oil company, said third-quarter profit doubled after crude surged to a record above $147 a barrel. Net income climbed to $7.89 billion, or $3.85 a share, from $3.72 billion, or $1.75, a year earlier, San Ramon, California- based Chevron said today in a statement.

FDIC takes over Florida's Freedom Bank 31 Oct 2008 Bradenton, Fla.-based Freedom Bank was closed Friday, marking the 17th bank failure so far this year amid the ongoing credit crisis. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said in a statement that as of Oct. 17, Freedom Bank had $287 million in total assets and $254 million in total deposits. Freedom Bank's four branches will open Monday as branches of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Fifth Third Bank, which has assumed Freedom Bank's deposits, the FDIC said.

Fed Adds $21 Billion to Loans for A.I.G. 31 Oct 2008 The American International Group said Thursday that it had been given access to the Federal Reserve’s new commercial paper program. The company said it would be able to borrow up to $20.9 billion under the new program, raising its maximum available credit from the Fed to $144 billion under three different programs. A.I.G.’s big borrowings underscore the company’s bewilderingly rapid decline. When it suddenly faced a cash crisis in mid-September, the original estimate of the amount it needed was just $20 billion. A few days later, the Fed stepped forward with its $85 billion credit line. And now, the stunning size of that original bailout has grown by almost 70 percent. [See: A Question for A.I.G.: Where Did the Cash Go? 30 Oct 2008.]

Attorney general's private trips have cost taxpayers 31 Oct 2008 Attorney General Michael Mukasey has taken personal trips on government jets almost every weekend since he took office less than a year ago at a cost to taxpayers of more than $155,800, Justice Department and Federal Aviation Administration travel records show. Mukasey took so many trips to his home in New York on FAA, FBI or Drug Enforcement Administration planes that he was outside Washington a third or more of February, May, July, August and September.

White House Makes a Last Push to Deregulate 31 Oct 2008 The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President [sic] Bush leaves office in January. The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms. Those and other regulations would help clear obstacles to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining.

Bashed flamingo back with mate in Adelaide zoo 01 Nov 2008 The flamingo that was bashed at Adelaide Zoo returned to its enclosure yesterday, still unsteady on its legs but otherwise on the way to recovery. The half-blind greater flamingo, one of the oldest in the world at over 70 years of age, was beaten around the head and beak during an attack on Wednesday that provoked public outrage. Four youths, aged 17 to 19, have been charged by police with animal cruelty. Greater, as the injured flamingo is known, was welcomed back by its "other half", a Chilean flamingo that has been its constant companion for the past half-century.


Auditors: Private security in Iraq cost over $6B 30 Oct 2008 It appears a good chunk of the money being spent to 'rebuild' Iraq went to private security mercenary companies protecting the people doing the rebuilding. The exact cost still isn't known, but auditors think the U.S. has paid private security companies well over $6 billion to guard diplomats, troops, Iraqi officials and reconstruction workers in Iraq. The inspector general also says there's probably more contractors that haven't been counted yet, and so the $6 billion is almost certainly not the full price.

Iraq opposes any clause letting US stay after 2011 30 Oct 2008 Baghdad wants to delete any reference in a security pact with Washington to the possibility of US troops staying in Iraq after 2011, an MP close to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Thursday. The demand is one of five amendments proposed by Iraq, Ali al-Adib, a member of the Shiite Dawa party, told AFP.

Fury sweeps Syria after US raid 29 Oct 2008 Souad Khousaim lay very still on her hospital bed and in a quiet voice wracked with pain told me she was one of the innocent victims of Sunday's raid by US special forces. "I went outside to get my son and the Americans shot me," she says. "They were very close, five metres away. I was screaming, terrified." Her husband was among the seven Syrian men who died, but hospital officials have not told her this yet.

Demonstrations prompt closure of U.S. Embassy in Syria 29 Oct 2008 The U.S. Embassy in Damascus announced that it will be closed Thursday because of "increased security concerns" arising three days after a U.S. strike in Syria. Officials said the action was taken because of concerns over anti-U.S. demonstrations scheduled for Thursday over Sunday's airstrike, which Syria claims left eight people dead near the Iraq-Syria border.

Report: Syria cuts diplomatic ties with Iraq over U.S. raid 30 Oct 2008 Damascus has decided to cut off its diplomatic relations with Iraq in response to a deadly raid carried out by the U.S. on Syrian soil earlier this week, Al-Arabiya reported on Thursday. Syria has also decided to reduce its troops on the border with Iraq, according to a report from Syrian television.

Taliban suicide bomber kills five in Kabul centre 30 Oct 2008 Five people were killed and more than 20 wounded when Taliban gunmen and a suicide bomber stormed a government ministry in the centre of Kabul. Three attackers opened fire on guards in the Afghan capital's information and culture ministry before running into the building, where one blew himself up in a conference room beneath the minister's office on Thursday morning.

UN urges end to US Cuba embargo 30 Oct 2008 The United Nations General Assembly has voted to urge the US to lift its 46-year-old economic embargo on Cuba in a resolution adopted for the 17th consecutive year. The non-binding resolution was passed by assembly on Wednesday by 185 votes to three -- US, Israel and Palau.

CIA Can Hide Torture Allegations, Court Rules By Ryan Singel 29 Oct 2008 The CIA can hide statements from imprisoned suspected terrorists that the agency tortured them in its set of secret prisons, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the Washington D.C. Circuit Court declined to review the government's assertions that the allegations of torture from men held in the CIA's black site prisons -- whether truthful or not -- would put the nation at risk of grave danger if allowed to be made public.

Minot AFB B-52s deployed to Guam take part in exercise 30 Oct 2008 Minot Air Force Base B-52 aircrews from Minot Air Force Base deployed to Guam recently finished a flying exercise this month over the Pacific Alaska Range Complex. The exercise tested their ability to defend against air threats. A 10-day joint exercise, Red Flag-Alaska 09-1, also included B-52s from Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Kunsan Air Base in the Republic of Korea and Eielson AFB near Fairbanks, Alaska. KC-135s for air refueling from McConnell AFB, Kan., also participated, according to the 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs at Eielson AFB.

Qaeda wants Republicans, Bush "humiliated": Web video 30 Oct 2008 An al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader has called for President [sic] George W. Bush and the Republicans to be "humiliated," without endorsing any party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to a video posted on the Internet. "O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him," Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet [LOL! But, we *all* want that!] Libi, one of the top al Qaeda commanders believed to be 'living' in Afghanistan or Pakistan [actually, dead but reborn so we can bomb the sh*t out of them and kill as many civilians as possible], called for God's wrath to be brought against Bush equating him with past tyrants in history. [He is.]

Increasingly, Poll Shows Palin Hurting McCain's Chances 31 Oct 2008 A growing number of voters have concluded that Senator John McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, is not qualified to be vice president, weighing down the Republican ticket in the last days of the campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. All told, 59 percent of voters surveyed said that Ms. Palin was not prepared for the job, up 9 percentage points since the beginning of the month.

Obama takes 7-point lead on McCain 30 Oct 2008 Democrat Barack Obama has opened a 7-point lead over Republican rival John McCain with five days left in the race for the White House, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Thursday. Obama leads McCain by 50 percent to 43 percent among likely voters in the three-day national tracking poll, building on his 5-point advantage on Wednesday.

Bill Clinton joins Obama in Florida 30 Oct 2008 Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the last Democratic president and the man Democrats hope will sweep them back to power, converged Wednesday night in Florida... to woo voters and pass the baton. "We can't fool with this. Our country is hanging in the balance, and we have so much promise and so much peril," Mr. Clinton told cheering supporters near Orlando. "This man should be our president."

NC elections board allows early voting extension 30 Oct 2008 Early voting sites in North Carolina can stay open an extra four hours Saturday to help deal with record turnout, the state Board of Elections ruled Thursday. The decision highlights the long lines that have formed across the surprise swing state since early voting began two weeks ago. More than 1.7 million people cast ballots at one-stop sites through Wednesday night.

Nielsen: 33.6 million watch Obama's political ad 30 Oct 2008 Nielsen Media Research estimated that 33.6 million people watched Barack Obama's half-hour television commercial Wednesday night. The spot ran simultaneously on CBS, NBC, Fox, BET, Univision, MSNBC and TV One, and aides said it cost the campaign roughly $4 million. It profiled several Americans struggling with a tough economy, and Obama offered his ideas for a turnaround.

Satire: McCain to Give 30 Minute TV Closing Argument Called "Thanks For Nothing" By R J Shulman 30 Oct 2008 To counter Barack Obama's unprecedented half-hour "Closing Argument to the Everyman" that aired on several networks, Senator John McCain announced that he will be airing his own closing argument on Fox tomorrow night. Entitled "Thanks for Nothing, You Ungrateful Whores," the speech is basically a rant of all "the unfiltered straight talk the party bosses stifled me from saying for all these long months," according to McCain. (Satire)

2 arrested for hanging Obama effigy on Ky. campus 30 Oct 2008 Two men have been arrested for hanging a Barack Obama effigy from a tree on the University of Kentucky campus. University police say 22-year-old student Joe Fischer and 21-year-old Hunter Bush turned themselves in Thursday afternoon. Both men were jailed Thursday on charges of disorderly conduct, burglary and theft.

Cindy Sheehan's Campaign Headquarters Heavily Damaged in Late Night Attack 30 Oct 2008 At 3a.m. on October 30th, all of the front windows of the Cindy Sheehan for Congress campaign offices were shattered. Although staffers had been in the office less than an hour earlier, no one was in the building at the time of the incident. Cindy Sheehan is a candidate for Congress in California's 8th Congressional District race against incumbent Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Senate Hopeful Sues Dole Over 'Godless' Ad --North Carolina Candidate Kay Hagan Says Dole's Ad Concerning Ties to Atheist Group Constitutes Defamation and Libel 30 Oct 2008 Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kay Hagan filed a lawsuit Thursday against rival Elizabeth Dole, accusing the Republican incumbent of defamation and libel for running a television ad that questions Hagan's ties to an atheist political group. Hagan filed a lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court after Dole declined to remove the ad from the air by a noon deadline.

Exxon Mobil: Biggest profit in US history --Largest U.S. oil company surges past analyst estimates to post net income of $14.83 billion. 30 Oct 2008 Exxon Mobil Corp. set a quarterly profit record for a U.S. company Thursday, surging ['surging' - ironic, since that's exactly what the 'surge' was for] past analyst estimates. Exxon Mobil, the leading U.S. oil company, said its third-quarter net profit was $14.83 billion, or $2.86 per share, up from $9.41 billion, or $1.70, a year earlier. The company's prior record was $11.68 billion in the second quarter of 2008. The latest quarter's net income equaled $1,865.69 per second, nearly $400 a second more than the prior mark. The company said its revenue totaled $137.7 billion in the third quarter.

ExxonMobil unveils record profits at $14.8bn 30 Oct 2008 ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company, unveiled a 58 per cent surge in third-quarter profits on the back of soaring oil prices. Net income hit a fresh quarterly record of $14.8 billion (£9.1 billion) for the period from July to September, during which oil touched an all-time high of $147 per barrel. "Despite the continuing uncertainty in world financial markets Exxon has maintained a strong financial position," said Rex Tillerson, Exxon chairman.

Pipeline bursts at Alaska's Prudhoe Bay 27 Oct 2008 BP's old bugaboo, corrosion, might have struck again in the giant Prudhoe Bay oil field. The oil company suspects corrosion contributed to a pressurized natural gas pipeline blowing apart on Sept. 29, BP spokesman Steve Rinehart said.

A Question for A.I.G.: Where Did the Cash Go? 30 Oct 2008 The American International Group is rapidly running through $123 billion in emergency lending provided by the Federal Reserve, raising questions about how a company claiming to be solvent in September could have developed such a big hole by October. Some analysts say at least part of the shortfall must have been there all along, hidden by irregular accounting. "You don’t just suddenly lose $120 billion overnight," said Donn Vickrey of Gradient Analytics, an independent securities research firm in Scottsdale, Ariz.

With time short, Bush pushes EPA to relax power-plant rule 27 Oct 2008 At the Bush regime's direction, the Environmental Protection Agency is working on a new rule that would weaken pollution regulations for power plants, allowing them to increase emissions without adding controls. EPA officials have been working on a fast track to meet a Saturday deadline, but many of them are arguing against changing the rule, said former EPA attorney John Walke and an EPA career official who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to make statements.

Panel Faults F.D.A. on Stance That Chemical in Plastic Is Safe 30 Oct 2008 A scientific panel has issued a blistering report against the Food and Drug Administration, saying it ignored important evidence in reassuring consumers about the safety of the controversial chemical bisphenol-A [BPA]. It criticized the drug agency as ignoring crucial studies and using what it said were flawed methods in reaching its conclusions. The agency’s evaluation of BPA "creates a false sense of security” and "overlooks a wide range of potentially serious findings," the report said.

New Debate on Wolf's 'Endangered' Label --Government Will Try Again to Take Northern Rockies Species Off Protected List 25 Oct 2008 The Bush regime is trying again to take the gray wolf of the northern Rockies off the federal endangered species list. Having lost in court this summer in a legal battle with conservationists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to reopen for public comment its 2007 proposal to delist the wolves... "This is the Bush administration's last-gasp attempt to remove protections for wolves," said Louisa Wilcox, a senior wildlife advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Livingston, Mont.

Outrage over Adelaide Zoo bashing of blind flamingo 30 Oct 2008 The bashing of a blind flamingo at Adelaide Zoo has sparked statewide outrage and prompted calls to review laws preventing underage offenders from being named. AdelaideNow readers have vented their fury over Wednesday's senseless attack on the 78-year-old flamingo – one of the zoo's main attractions since the 1930s. Police arrested and charged four teenagers [terrorists], including two aged 17, but their identities will not be revealed under laws that prevent alleged offenders being named if they are under 18.

Teens 'bashed' 78-year-old blind flamingo at Adelaide Zoo 30 Oct 2008 Four teenagers have been charged with beating a blind, 78-year-old flamingo at Adelaide Zoo The bird is believed to be one of the oldest of its kind in the world and keepers said it had been in a critical condition after yesterday's alleged attack. The zoo said this morning that the bird was responding well to care and it was hoped he would pull through, AdelaideNow reports.


Marine judge orders access to US secret prison camp at Guantánamo --Guantánamo commanders have long refused to say who runs it, or how much it cost to construct. 28 Oct 2008 A judge has ordered the Pentagon to give two military attorneys unprecedented access to a secret prison camp here in a ruling that specifically notes that alleged 9/11 conspirator Ramzi bin al Shibh has been mentally ill and may be still. Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, the chief judge for military tribunals, issued the three-page ruling on Sunday. He granted access to two Pentagon lawyers with top-secret clearances to inspect a portion of Camp 7, a secret prison camp facility run by a clandestine unit called Task Force Platinum, which segregates former CIA prisoners from the other 250 war-on-[of]-terror captives here.

Judge tosses detainee confession citing torture 28 Oct 2008 A U.S. military judge barred the Pentagon Tuesday from using a Guantanamo prisoner's 'confession' to Afghan authorities as trial evidence, saying it was obtained through torture. Army Col. Stephen Henley said Mohammed Jawad's statements "were obtained by physical intimidation and threats of death which, under the circumstances, constitute torture." Jawad's defense attorney, Air Force Maj. David Frakt, told The Associated Press that the ruling removes "the lynchpin of the government's case."

Report on Iraq Security Lists 310 Contractors 29 Oct 2008 At least 310 private security companies from around the world have received contracts from United States agencies to protect American and Iraqi officials, installations, convoys and other entities in Iraq since 2003, according to the most comprehensive accounting yet of the secretive and weakly regulated role that private firms have played in the conflict. A report by a federal oversight agency detailing the roster of security companies has been circulated among members of Congress and some federal agencies, and was obtained last week by The New York Times.

Europe criticizes U.S. air raid in Syria 29 Oct 2008 The European Union has criticized the U.S. military raid targeting suspected terrorists in Syria. France, the current holder of the rotating EU presidency, criticized the U.S. helicopter attack on a Syrian village near the border with Iraq, which, according to Damascus, left at least eight people dead.

Iraq rebukes US for commando raid as Syria appeals to UN 29 Oct 2008 Iraq's government rebuked Washington yesterday for launching a military raid into neighbouring Syria from Iraqi soil, while Damascus retaliated by ordering a US school and cultural centre to be closed. In a brief public comment more than 24 hours after the special forces strike, an Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said Baghdad rejected raids on its neighbours and did not want to be used as a launch pad.

Syria protests US attack in UN letter 29 Oct 2008 In a letter to the UN, Syria has protested the US chopper attack on a border village on Sunday that killed eight Syrian civilians. The Syrian Cabinet wrote a scolding letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council, slamming United States' Sunday attack on a building in a Syrian border village with Iraq.

Brace yourselves - George Bush will soon be free to do just what he wants --The raid on Syria is a dark portent. By Jonathan Freedland 29 Oct 2008 We are about to enter the twilight zone, that strange black hole in political time and space that appears no more than once every four years. It is known as the period of transition, and it starts a week from today, the time when the United States has not one president but two. One will be the president-elect, the other George Bush [sic], in power for 12 more weeks in which he can do pretty much whatever he likes... From November 5 to January 20, he will exercise the freest, most unaccountable form of power the democratic world has to offer. [My money is on Bush getting the bird flu pandemic party started (Killer flu recreated in the lab). It will begin in a Blue state with a GOP governor --think California. Bush can then privatize (ration) health care; raid Medicare and Social Security to fund mandatory vaccines (HHS Declares 'Health Emergencies' to Limit Legal Liability for Anti-terrorism Vaccines, Drugs); fire up the KBR detention centers (KBR awarded Homeland Security contract worth up to $385M); fund a greatly expanded Blackwater role (Bush wants army to combat bird flu); invoke martial law (DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack); and stay in power because a transition to a new administration would be 'impossible' during a national crisis. The PentaPost, New York Times, MSNBC, CNN and not to mention, Faux--will follow like puppies on a leash. --Lori Price]

Iraq VP: US blackmailing Iraq over SOFA 28 Oct 2008 The US military has threatened to halt vital services in Iraq if Baghdad refuses to sign a controversial US security pact with Washington. In addition to halting all military actions, US forces would cease activities that support Iraq's economy, educational sector and other areas- 'everything' - Tariq al-Hashemi, Iraq's Vice President told the US newspaper McClatchy. According to al-Hashemi, many Iraqi politicians view the move as 'political blackmail'.

Iraq says U.S. deal would ban strikes on neighbours 29 Oct 2008 Amendments sought by Iraq to a security pact with the United States would ban U.S. forces from striking neighbouring countries from Iraqi territory, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Wednesday. U.S. negotiators began on Wednesday to scrutinise the changes demanded by Iraq to the stalled security pact which sets the conditions under which American troops could operate in the country after this year.

Possibility of McCain victory Alarms Middle East 28 Oct 2008 A unique Middle East debating forum has conclusively warned America that a victory by John McCain in the US Presidential election would seriously undermine already damaged relations with the Middle East. In the largest voting margin yet recorded in the Doha Debates, now in their fifth year, an audience of more than 350 people voted 87%-13% against a motion suggesting that the Middle East would be better off with McCain as President.

Iran building naval bases on Sea of Oman 30 Oct 2008 Iran has started constructing new naval bases along the coast of the Sea of Oman, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayari announced on Wednesday. Sayari said the new bases, which will extend from Bandar Abbas to Pasa Bandar, will be constructed rapidly. "The new mission of the Navy is to establish an impenetrable line of defense at the entrance to the Sea of Oman," the admiral said in Hormozgan Province.

U.S. will pay price for attacks on Islamic world: Larijani 30 Oct 2008 Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has warned that the United States will "pay a price" for its attacks on Islamic countries. Larijani made the remarks on Wednesday in response to the U.S. attack on Syria on Sunday. The U.S. has carried out similar actions in Pakistan under the pretext of the war on terror, killing dozens of innocent people, and "this time it was Syria’s turn," he noted.

Afghanistan troop buildup could more than double 29 Oct 2008 Military planners now think they may need to send more than double the number of extra troops initially believed needed to help fight the war in Afghanistan. The buildup in the increasingly violent campaign could amount to more than 20,000 troops rather than the originally planned 10,000, two senior defense officials said Wednesday on condition of anonymity because no new figures have been approved.

Officials: 20,000 Afghan troops needed 29 Oct 2008 U.S. forces are struggling to deal with an intensified Taliban insurgency and need about 20,000 additional troops in Afghanistan to counter it, officials say.The Pentagon has already approved the deployment of 4,000 additional troops, set to arrive in January, and 10,000 to 12,000 more troops have been formally requested.

Bio Lab in Galveston Raises Concerns 29 Oct 2008 Much of the University of Texas medical school on this island suffered flood damage during Hurricane Ike, except for one gleaming new building, a national biological defense laboratory that will soon house some of the most deadly diseases in the world. How a laboratory where scientists plan to study spread viruses like Ebola and Marburg ended up on a barrier island where hurricanes regularly wreak havoc puzzles some environmentalists and community leaders. "It’s crazy, in my mind," said Jim Blackburn, an environmental lawyer in Houston.

Appeals Courts Pushed to Right by Bush Choices 29 Oct 2008 The Bush administration has transformed the nation’s federal appeals courts, advancing a conservative legal revolution that began nearly three decades ago under President Ronald Reagan. Republican-appointed judges, most of them conservatives, are projected to make up about 62 percent of the bench next Inauguration Day, up from 50 percent when Mr. Bush took [literally, *took*] office. They control 10 of the 13 circuits, while judges appointed by Democrats have a dwindling majority on just one circuit.

Effigy of noosed Palin prompts visit from feds 29 Oct 2008 (CA) Chad Morrisette never imagined his Halloween yard decorations would prompt interest from the Secret Service. But apparently hanging a mannequin of GOP vice presidential hopeful [terrorist] Sarah Palin from a noose isn't something to be ignored. Agents recently visited Morrisette's home to see the display and have been trying to meet him to ensure no violent plots have been concocted, Deputy Special Agent in Charge Wayne Williams said Tuesday.

Anti abortion bombs not terrorism: Palin 25 Oct 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has accused Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists", has refused to call people who bomb abortion clinics by the same name. When asked by NBC television presenter Brian Williams whether an abortion clinic bomber was a terrorist, Palin heaved a sigh and, at first, circumvented the question.

Campaign donor's giving raises questions --Little known about man who has sent thousands to GOP 29 Oct 2008 Before September 2007, Shi Sheng Hao of Roselle, Illinois, had never appeared in the 15-year-old federal database of campaign contributors. Since then, however, his donations have topped $120,000 -- including $70,100 on a single June day to Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Poll: Obama doubles lead in Colorado, gains in electoral map 29 Oct 2008 Call it the Rocky Mountain road to the White House. A new state poll suggests that Sen. Barack Obama has doubled his lead over John McCain in Colorado. In a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, 53 percent of likely voters questioned say Obama is their choice for president, with 45 percent backing Sen. John McCain. That 8 point lead for Obama is double the 4-point advantage he held in a similar poll two weeks ago.

Democrats dominate early voting in key states 29 Oct 2008 Democrats are dominating early voting in six key states President [sic] Bush won stole four years ago, forcing Republican John McCain to play catch-up even before Election Day arrives. Democrats outnumber Republicans among early voters in Iowa, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, according to statistics from election and party officials in those states.

Votes being stolen from Obama in Early Voting By Real History Lisa 23 Oct 2008 People in several states now have noted that when they cast a vote for Obama, it has switched to McCain. Not once have the votes flipped in the opposite direction. If there were simple error, we'd expect to see mistakes in both directions. But, just as with the errors in 2004, the only votes that have been seen flipping have gone from the Democratic presidential candidate to the Republican one.

Greater access to voting information (Google) 22 Oct 2008 It's hard to believe that in 2008, information so important to U.S. citizens and the democratic process isn't well organized on the web. To solve this problem, we've released our US Voter Info site, an effort to simplify and centralize voting locations and registration information.

Obama video to air tonight 29 Oct 2008 Barack Obama will focus on the economy and how his tax plans would help the middle class in a half-hour political infomercial on television networks tonight. The program "will share the specifics of Obama’s plans to turn the economy around and get the country back on track," campaign spokesman Bill Burton said Tuesday. The program will air at 8 p.m. on NBC, CBS, Fox, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One. ABC will show it on a different night to be announced.

Barack Obama campaigns in the rain in Chester, Pennsylvania 28 Oct 2008 While John McCoward cancelled one event in Pennsylvania owing to the foul weather, Barack Obama paid tribute to more than 9,000 hardy supporters who turned out at an outdoors rally, despite freezing rain and driving winds. (Photo)

McConnell Calls on Stevens to Resign 28 Oct 2008 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called for embattled Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to resign from his seat Tuesday evening, joining a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers seeking the ouster of the convicted felon. During a campaign stop in Elizabethtown, Ky., McConnell was asked about Stevens’ case and said that he believes "he should resign" following his conviction on seven counts of failure to disclose gifts on his financial disclosure forms.

Postal Service Looks to Cut 40,000 Jobs In First Layoff In History 27 Oct 2008 "We lost 2 billion dollars and like any other business we have to stay afloat." And to keep from sinking, the United States Postal Service is considering cutting thousands of jobs nationwide. Lavelle Pepper says the postal service is looking to eliminate 40,000 jobs nationwide.


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