Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In the News: Nov-26

60 dead in Mumbai attacks: hospital - 26 Nov 2008 at 3:13pm - MUMBAI (AFP) - Nearly 60 people were killed in a series of shootings and blasts across India's financial capital Mumbai late Wednesday, hospital officials told AFP.

Stop ignoring Omar Khadr case: Opposition MPs to PM - 26 Nov 2008 at 1:43pm - Federal opposition MPs came together Wednesday to call on the Conservative government to immediately begin repatriating Omar Khadr, the last Western citizen still detained at the U.S. naval base prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

New York warns of possible al Qaeda attack - 26 Nov 2008 at 12:42pm - NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have warned of a possible al Qaeda threat to transit systems in and around New York City, a Homeland Security official said on Wednesday.

Volcker to head Obama economic advisory panel - 26 Nov 2008 at 10:20am - CHICAGO -- Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker will head a new White House panel to help President-elect Barack Obama create jobs and bring stability to the ailing financial system.

Thought for the day:
My feeling is that there is nothing in life but refraining from hurting others, and comforting those who are sad. -Olive Schreiner (1855 - 1920)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In the News: Nov-25

Documents released in Hatfill anthrax case - 25 Nov 2008 at 3:49pm - WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department has released hundreds of documents that it used to falsely accuse scientist Steven J. Hatfill of masterminding the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Fed announces new plan to support mortgages - 25 Nov 2008 at 9:53am - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve, in another massive life-support intervention for the U.S. financial system, on Tuesday announced a $600 billion program to buy mortgage-related debt and securities and a $200 billion facility to support consumer debt securities.

Thought for the day:
We don't know what we want, but we are ready to bite somebody to get it. -Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)

Monday, November 24, 2008

In the News: Nov-24

Britain to hit rich to fund tax cuts as recession looms - 24 Nov 2008 at 8:42am - LONDON (AFP) - The British government is expected to hit the rich to pay for tax cuts aimed at getting consumers spending again in an economic stimulus package set to be unveiled Monday.

Obama Advisers Signal Tax Cuts May Stay - 24 Nov 2008 at 6:48am - Barack Obama is indicating that he will pursue a far more ambitious plan of stimulus spending and tax cuts than what he outlined on the campaign trail.

Thought for the day:
History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other alternatives. -Abba Eban (1915 - 2002)

Friday, November 21, 2008

In the News: Nov-21

U.S. world dominance fading: intelligence agency - 21 Nov 2008 at 2:07pm - Within the next two decades, the world's power dynamics will shift in a way that will see a deterioration in the United States' superpower status, according to a report by the country's intelligence agency.

Bug-sized spies: US develops tiny flying robots - 21 Nov 2008 at 2:44pm - DAYTON, Ohio -- If only we could be a fly on the wall when our enemies are plotting to attack us. Better yet, what if that fly could record voices, transmit video and even fire tiny weapons?

Napolitano: Send Guard back to the border - 21 Nov 2008 at 12:51pm - PHOENIX -- Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, President-elect Barack Obama's reported primary choice for Homeland Security secretary, says she still thinks National Guard troops should be sent back to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Thousands protest in Iraq against U.S. troops pact - 21 Nov 2008 at 9:58am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Followers of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr marched on Friday against a pact letting U.S. forces stay in Iraq until 2011, toppling an effigy of President George W. Bush where U.S. troops once tore down a statue of Saddam Hussein.

Thought for the day:
CNN is one of the participants in the war. I have a fantasy where Ted Turner is elected president but refuses because he doesn't want to give up power. -Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - )

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In the News: Nov-20

Report says CIA witheld info from White House - 20 Nov 2008 at 1:39pm - WASHINGTON -- The senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee Thursday called for a criminal investigation into whether the CIA lied to Congress and withheld information from the Justice Department during its inquiry into the 2001 shoot-down of an American missionary plane by the Peruvian air force with help from a CIA spotter plane.

Judge orders release of 5 terror suspects at Gitmo - 20 Nov 2008 at 12:36pm - WASHINGTON -- A federal judge has ordered the release of five Algerian terror suspects who have been held without charges almost seven years at Guantanamo Bay.

Thought for the day:
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a man to create an artificial shortage of fish and he will eat steak. -Jay Leno (1950 - )

Monday, November 17, 2008

In the News: Nov-17

Hill sources: Treasury won't use full bailout - 17 Nov 2008 at 3:13pm - WASHINGTON -- The outgoing Bush administration has told top lawmakers it does not plan to use at least half of the $700 billion bailout fund that Congress approved this fall to aid the financial industry, congressional officials said Monday.

Top US officer comfortable with Iraq security deal - 17 Nov 2008 at 2:31pm - WASHINGTON -- The nation's top military officer says he feels comfortable with the terms of a security agreement with Iraq that would require U.S. forces to withdraw by the end of 2011.

Dems to Bush: Your papers, please - November 16, 2008 9:40:00 PM - Dem Senators want assurances that key documents won't be leaving the White House with the Bush administration.

Judge orders Hatfill search warrant made public - 17 Nov 2008 at 12:09pm - WASHINGTON -- A federal judge on Monday ordered the Justice Department to release the information it used to convince the courts to let it search the home of a former Army scientist who was exonerated in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

U.S. recession will last 14 months: Fed survey - 17 Nov 2008 at 10:30am - NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private-sector economists believe the U.S. economy fell into recession last spring and now expect a sharp contraction in the fourth quarter of this year after slashing their forecasts for gross domestic product, a Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia survey said on Monday.

IRAQ: NGOs concerned about detainees’ rights - November 17, 2008 8:58:56 AM - BAGHDAD, 17 November 2008 (IRIN) - Local NGOs are concerned about the rights of detainees in US military custody due to be transferred to the Iraqi authorities in 2009 in line with a draft US-Iraqi security pact.

Rather?s Lawsuit Shows Role of G.O.P. in Inquiry - 17 Nov 2008 at 9:20am - Dan Rather?s lawsuit seems to have unearthed evidence of political influence in an internal CBS investigation.

Iraq, U.S. sign pact on troops withdrawal deadline - 17 Nov 2008 at 7:49am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari and U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker signed a long-awaited accord on Monday requiring Washington to withdraw its forces within three years.

Thought for the day:
It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. -Jerry Seinfeld (1954 - )

Friday, November 14, 2008

In the News: Nov-14

Indictment drafted in Blackwater shooting in Iraq - 14 Nov 2008 at 11:47am - WASHINGTON -- Federal prosecutors have drafted an indictment against six Blackwater Worldwide security guards for the deadly shootings of 17 Iraqi civilians last year.

British troops out of Iraq by end of 2009: Iraqi official - 14 Nov 2008 at 11:00am - BAGHDAD (AFP) - All British troops will be out of Iraq by the end of next year and a controversial Iraq-US security pact is likely to be approved by Baghdad this weekend, Iraq's national security adviser said Friday.

Retail sales fall by record 2.8 percent in October - 14 Nov 2008 at 8:52am - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sales at retailers suffered a record decline in October, government data on Friday showed, as shoppers took fright over falling home prices and a widening credit crunch pushing the economy toward recession.

CIA's Hayden says al-Qaida still greatest threat - 13 Nov 2008 at 3:51pm - WASHINGTON -- Osama bin Laden is isolated from the day-to-day operations of al-Qaida but the terrorist organization he built is spreading its influence in Africa and the Middle East, CIA director Michael Hayden said Thursday. Al-Qaida remains the single greatest threat to the United States, Hayden said in remarks prepared for delivery at the Atlantic Council.

Thought for the day:
A leader or a man of action in a crisis almost always acts subconsciously and then thinks of the reasons for his action. -Jawaharlal Nehru

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In the News: Nov-13

Bush, Out of Office, Could Oppose Inquiries - 13 Nov 2008 at 2:44pm - A precedent set by Harry S. Truman suggests that former presidents wield lingering powers to keep matters from their administration secret.

First Pictures Taken of Extrasolar Planets - 13 Nov 2008 at 2:37pm - Images released on Thursday are believed to be the first pictures of planets orbiting stars other than the sun.

Chinese imports of food for babies, pets to be held at U.S. border - 13 Nov 2008 at 1:57pm - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued detention orders on Chinese imports including dairy products, candy, and food for babies and pets.

Jobless claims hit 25-year high, imports plunge - 13 Nov 2008 at 12:47pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of U.S. workers drawing jobless benefits hit a 25-year high this month and imports suffered a record fall in September, according to reports on Thursday that underscored a rapid drop-off in the U.S. economy.

Bush: government not 'cure-all' for economic woes - 13 Nov 2008 at 11:18am - NEW YORK (AFP) - US President George W. Bush said Thursday that the global economic crisis was not "a failure of the free market system" and warned against seeing government intervention as "a cure-all."
But as a last resort, why not intervene?

Jobless claims reach 7-year high - 13 Nov 2008 at 9:22am - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose last week to 516,000, the highest level since the weeks following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

Gates rejects Russian pressure on missile plans - 13 Nov 2008 at 8:26am - TALLINN, Estonia -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Russia's proposal that Washington scrap its missile defense plans in Eastern Europe is unacceptable.

US general urges Obama to keep missile defense - 12 Nov 2008 at 4:49pm - WASHINGTON -- The Air Force general who runs the Pentagon's missile defense projects said Wednesday that American interests would be "severely hurt" if President-elect Obama decided to halt plans developed by the Bush administration to install missile interceptors in Eastern Europe.

Thought for the day:
Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star. -Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In the News: Nov-12

Spam 'mother ship' shut down in U.S. - 12 Nov 2008 at 10:41am - A web hosting company reportedly responsible for the distribution of 75 per cent of all junk e-mail has been shut down.

Iraqi soldier kills two U.S. troops: police - 12 Nov 2008 at 10:26am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi soldier shot dead at least two U.S. troops on Wednesday at a joint security station where Iraqi and American forces operate side by side in volatile Nineveh province, Iraqi police and a mortuary official said.

Court rules for Navy in dispute over sonar, whales - 12 Nov 2008 at 10:07am - WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is lifting restrictions on the Navy's use of sonar in training exercises off the California coast, a defeat for environmental groups who say the sonar can harm whales.

Former General Sounds Off On Obama's Iraq Plan - 11 Nov 2008 at 4:23pm - Gen. Jack Keane, former Army vice chief of staff, oversaw military operations in Iraq during the U.S. invasion. He talks about president-elect Barack Obama's plan to end the war. Keane says the focus now should be on achieving the goal of the mission, not getting out.
The goal of the mission was bullshit, and plenty of that has already been achieved.

Thought for the day:
A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one. -Alexander Hamilton (1755 - 1804)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In the News: Nov-11

Oil drops 5 percent to $59 as demand weighs - 11 Nov 2008 at 2:50pm - NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell 5 percent to $59 a barrel on Tuesday as the deepening global economic crisis dragged down markets and raised expectations energy demand will slow further.

Baghdad bridge of death becomes bridge of hope - 11 Nov 2008 at 11:44am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Sunnis and Shi'ites made an emotional reach across the sectarian divide on Tuesday, reopening a Baghdad bridge between the two communities closed since a 2005 stampede, the deadliest incident of the war.

Official: Iraq, China finalize oil service deal - 11 Nov 2008 at 10:06am - BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq and China have signed the final agreement on a $3 billion deal to develop the Ahdab oil field south of Baghdad over a 22 year-period, an Oil Ministry official said Tuesday. An initial agreement was signed in Beijing last August, restoring a Saddam Hussein-era deal that was canceled after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Thought for the day:
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. -Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)

Friday, November 07, 2008

In the News: Nov-08

Sadr Followers Reject Security Pact - 7 Nov 2008 at 2:41pm - On Thursday, Washington sent what it said was the final text of a security pact to Iraq?s government. But one influential Shiite group, the Sadrists, still refuse to accept the agreement.

US govt presses NY appeal on detainee photos - 7 Nov 2008 at 2:13pm - NEW YORK -- The U.S. government has asked an appellate court to reconsider its decision ordering the release of 21 pictures of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. diplomats meet North Korean on disarmament - 7 Nov 2008 at 2:18pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior U.S. diplomats held substantive talks with a North Korean official about moving forward with the process of North Korea abandoning its nuclear programs, the State Department said on Friday.

U.S. Engages Russia on Arms and Missile Defense - 7 Nov 2008 at 11:33am - Russia received new proposals from the U.S. to reduce nuclear arms and provide greater access to the Bush administration?s planned missile defense system.

Suspected U.S. missiles hit Pakistan - 7 Nov 2008 at 9:20am - PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Suspected U.S. drones fired missiles into a Pakistan border region on Friday killing 13 militants, including five foreigners, officials said, the latest in a series of strikes that has infuriated Pakistan.

October job losses worse than feared - 7 Nov 2008 at 8:49am - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Employers cut payrolls by 240,000 in October, much more severely than expected, while September registered the biggest monthly loss in jobs in nearly seven years, according to a government report on Friday that showed labor markets were sharply deteriorating.

Thought for the day:
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities. -Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

In the News: Nov-06

U.S. delivers "final text" of Iraq troops pact - 6 Nov 2008 at 12:52pm - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States presented Iraq Thursday with its "final text" of a pact allowing U.S. forces to remain in the country beyond the end of this year, but Iraq said it still wanted more talks.

Bank of England cuts UK interest rates to 3% - 6 Nov 2008 at 7:37am - LONDON (AFP) - The Bank of England on Thursday slashed its key lending rate by a record 1.5 percentage points to 3.0 percent as Britain heads towards recession and faces a sharp drop in inflation.

Air strike kills seven Afghan civilians: officials - 6 Nov 2008 at 8:15am - HERAT, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Foreign forces have killed seven civilians in an air strike in northwest Afghanistan, officials said on Thursday, a day after the Afghan president said warplanes had killed 40 civilians in the south.

Thought for the day:
Art is on the side of the oppressed. Think before you shudder at the simplistic dictum and its heretical definition of the freedom of art. For if art is freedom of the spirit, how can it exist within the oppressors? -Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

In the News: Nov-05

Four Senate races still undecided - 5 Nov 2008 at 2:47pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With four razor-close U.S. Senate races yet to be decided, Democrats hoped on Wednesday to further expand their majority in the new Congress and act quickly with President-elect Barack Obama on an ambitious agenda.

Obama a shining light for us, too: Canadian reaction - 5 Nov 2008 at 2:12pm - Barack Obama supporters across Canada erupted into cheers early Tuesday when the senator from Illinois was declared the first black president in the U.S.

Air strikes killed about 40 civilians: Afghan president - 5 Nov 2008 at 10:52am - KABUL (AFP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Wednesday around 40 civilians, including women and children, were killed in international air strikes that hit a village in southern Afghanistan.

Russia Warns of New Missile Deployment - 5 Nov 2008 at 9:01am - In a wide-ranging attack on the U.S., Dmitri Medvedev said Moscow might deploy a missile system to counter a perceived threat from a proposed U.S. defense shield.

California set to pass Prop 8 ban on gay marriage - 5 Nov 2008 at 8:13am - SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Two U.S. states rejected proposals to limit abortion rights while others said no to gay marriage, in a mixed message over contentious social issues as Americans elected their first black president.

U.S. voters hit the polls in record numbers - 5 Nov 2008 at 8:10am - Barack Obama's resounding election victory in the U.S. presidential election was fuelled by Americans going to the polls in record numbers, with 136.6 million votes cast.

Karzai 'demands' Obama end civilian deaths after latest incident - 5 Nov 2008 at 8:07am - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday demanded that President-elect Barack Obama put an end to civilian casualties as villagers ...

World hails Obama's 'brilliant' victory - 5 Nov 2008 at 7:25am - PARIS (AFP) - World leaders hailed Barack Obama's triumph Wednesday in the US presidential election as the start of a new era while calling for the global superpower to change the way it does business.

Report: Drilling on federal lands could be faster - 5 Nov 2008 at 7:22am - WASHINGTON -- The government isn't doing enough to expedite drilling in federal waters and on public lands, according to a report issued Tuesday by congressional investigators.

Iraq: No hasty change in U.S. policy with Obama win - 5 Nov 2008 at 7:10am BAGHDAD (AP) — Many in Iraq said Wednesday they don't expect an immediate shift in U.S. policy toward their country when Barack Obama takes over as the new U.S. president, despite his calls for a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops within 16 months. But top Iraqi officials said they do recognize the new president-elect's perspective on the war in Iraq differs greatly from current U.S. President George W. Bush.

Thought for the day:
Everything you can imagine is real. -Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

In the News: Nov-04

Obama leads McCain in 5 of 8 key states - 4 Nov 2008 at 2:26pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama leads Republican John McCain in five of eight key battleground states as Americans prepare to vote in the White House race, according to a series of Reuters/Zogby polls released on Tuesday.

The '08 Campaign: Sea Change for Politics as We Know It - 4 Nov 2008 at 2:28pm - The 2008 election has upended how presidential campaigns are fought, a fact almost lost amid the battle.

Iraq VP proposes referendum on U.S. security pact - Tue Nov 4, 2008 12:25pm EST - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An agreement allowing U.S. forces to stay in Iraq for three years should be put to the public in a referendum, Iraq's Sunni Arab vice president said on Tuesday.

Thought for the day:
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. -Sun-tzu (~400 BC), The Art of War

Monday, November 03, 2008

In the News: Nov-03

Calgary man dies after Taser used during arrest - 3 Nov 2008 at 1:22pm - A Calgary man involved in a weekend Taser incident in Calgary has died, a spokesperson for the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team said Monday.

Manufacturing crashes to 26-year low in October - 3 Nov 2008 at 10:34am - NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. factory activity contracted sharply in October, falling to its lowest in 26 years as the financial crisis ravaged the world's largest economy, an industry report showed on Monday.

Pakistan tells Petraeus to stop missile strikes - 3 Nov 2008 at 8:43am - ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The U.S. commander running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, held talks on Monday with Pakistani leaders who told him to stop U.S. strikes on militants in Pakistani territory.

IRAQ: NGOs warn against encouraging large-scale refugee returns - November 03, 2008 8:32:57 AM - BAGHDAD, 3 November 2008 (IRIN) - The Iraqi government should review its policy of encouraging Iraqi refugees to return home by offering them free plane or bus tickets, until it is able to ensure security, local and international NGOs said.

IRAQ: Calls to ensure detainees’ rights - November 03, 2008 8:32:57 AM - BAGHDAD, 2 November 2008 (IRIN) - Local and international NGOs have expressed concern over a clause in a proposed US-Iraq security agreement that would allow the transfer of all detainees in US military custody to Iraqi authorities.

Thought for the day:
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. -H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

In the News: Nov-02

Judge orders White House to produce wiretap memos - 2 Nov 2008 at 7:22am - WASHINGTON -- A judge has ordered the Justice Department to produce White House memos that provide the legal basis for the Bush administration's post-Sept. 11 warrantless wiretapping program.

Iraq expects U.S. reply on troop pact within days - 2 Nov 2008 at 4:10am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq expects a reply from the United States within days to its proposal for changes to a pact requiring U.S. troops to leave by the end of 2011, Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Saturday.