Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In the News: Dec-31

White House says cease-fire depends on Hamas - 31 Dec 2008 at 3:01pm - CRAWFORD, Texas -- President George W. Bush believes the first steps in any cease-fire in the ongoing violence in the Mideast will require the Islamic militant group Hamas to agree to stop firing rockets into Israel now and in the future, the White House said Wednesday. From his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Bush called Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for the first time since the conflict escalated between Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
Well, since Hamas demands open borders as a condition of cease-fire, and Israel demands closed borders as its condition, it seems it kind of depends on both.

Canadian military unit probes possible 'inappropriate conduct' in Afghanistan - 31 Dec 2008 at 2:09pm - The investigative arm of the Canadian Forces is probing possible "inappropriate conduct" stemming from the death of a "presumed insurgent" in Afghanistan's Helmand province, military officials said Wednesday.

Troop deaths in wars at lowest - 31 Dec 2008 at 10:18am - As 2008 ends, U.S. troop deaths for the year in Iraq and Afghanistan are the lowest combined total since the Iraq war began in 2003. Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, warned against complacency as the Americans hand off security to Iraqi forces in the new year and more U.S. forces head to Afghanistan.

India signs new anti-terror laws in wake of Mumbai attack - 31 Dec 2008 at 9:42am - In response to the deadly Mumbai attacks, India's president has signed into law a bill that doubles the number of days police can detain terror suspects and extends police powers to conduct searches.

Thought for the day:
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. -Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In the News: Dec-30

GM, GMAC seek to jump-start car loans after bailout - 30 Dec 2008 at 3:16pm - WASHINGTON (AFP) - Auto finance giant GMAC and its former parent General Motors unveiled plans Tuesday to expand lending to jump-start the sputtering auto sector a day after a six-billion-dollar US government rescue.

Ill. governor names Burris to replace Obama - 30 Dec 2008 at 3:13pm - CHICAGO -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich has defied U.S. Senate leaders and his own state's lawmakers by appointing former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate. Blagojevich announced his decision in Chicago on Tuesday with the 71-year-old Burris at his side.

Group sues to reinstate firearms ban - 30 Dec 2008 at 12:34pm - WASHINGTON -- The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is suing to stop a last-second Bush administration change that would allow people to carry concealed, loaded guns in most national parks and wildlife refuges.

U.S. backs plan for engaging Afghan tribes - 30 Dec 2008 at 8:10am - KABUL (Reuters) - The United States backs a proposed Afghan government plan to engage tribal elders in the war against the resurgent Taliban, a move seen by critics as reviving militias, its top envoy said on Tuesday.

Bonuses, elite rep help boost Marine numbers - 30 Dec 2008 at 8:09am - WASHINGTON -- Buoyed by more recruiters, bigger bonuses and an elite reputation, the Marine Corps has grown by nearly 27,000 members in a little more than two years - half the time that military officials believed it would take.

U.S. Agrees to a Stake in GMAC - 30 Dec 2008 at 7:36am - The Treasury Department took a stake of $5 billion in GMAC and agreed to lend $1 billion to to help it reorganize itself as a bank holding company.

Israel turns back aid workers en route to Gaza - 30 Dec 2008 at 7:21am - Israel's navy clashed with a small boat carrying aid to Gaza on Tuesday, despite world leaders calling on the country to keep corridors open for the transportation of humanitarian supplies.

Trial delayed for Iraqi who threw shoes at Bush - 30 Dec 2008 at 7:11am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The trial of an Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad has been postponed pending an appeal over whether the incident amounted to an assault, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Ex-Bush aides say he never recovered from Katrina - 30 Dec 2008 at 6:59am - WASHINGTON -- Hurricane Katrina not only pulverized the Gulf Coast in 2005, it knocked the bully pulpit out from under President George W. Bush, according to two former advisers who spoke candidly about the political impact of the government's poor handling of the natural disaster.

Thought for the day:
I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers. -Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

Monday, December 29, 2008

In the News: Dec-29

Networks cut Iraq coverage - 29 Dec 2008 at 1:56pm - Due to cutbacks, several major newspapers and networks have significantly reduced their Iraq war coverage.

Ex-Hussein Officials and Others Go on Trial - 29 Dec 2008 at 12:39pm - Two dozen people are being tried for what prosecutors said was their role in the execution of thousands of members of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki's political party during Saddam Hussein's rule.

Israel bombs Gaza in 'all-out war' on Hamas - 29 Dec 2008 at 8:54am - GAZA CITY (AFP) - Israel bombed Gaza for a third day Monday in an "all-out war" on Hamas, as tanks massed on the border and the Islamists fired deadly rockets in retaliation for the blitz that has killed at least 318 people.

Toronto security camera project coming to an end - 29 Dec 2008 at 8:29am - Toronto police will wrap up a $2-million experiment with surveillance cameras on New Year's Eve .

Thought for the day:
Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business. -Tom Robbins (1936 - )

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

In the News: Dec-24

U.S. recession deepens, countries boost spending - 24 Dec 2008 at 1:16pm - NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States fell deeper into recession, data showed on Wednesday, as the number of people filing for jobless benefits hit a 26-year high last week and consumers cut spending for the fifth consecutive month.

Canadian political turmoil over, Harper secure, U.S. ambassador says - 24 Dec 2008 at 10:14am - Canada's political infighting is over and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is probably safe for now, the outgoing U.S. ambassador says in an interview before leaving his post next month.

Afghan and U.S. Officials Plan to Recruit Local Militias - 24 Dec 2008 at 8:02am - American commanders and Afghan leaders hope to imitate Iraq?s successful experiment, but there are fears it could push the country into a deeper bloodletting.

Thought for the day:
No government can be long secure without formidable opposition. -Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In the News: Dec-23

U.S. rebuffs China call for 17 Guantanamo suspects - 23 Dec 2008 at 12:25pm - BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday it wants 17 Muslim Chinese terror suspects returned if the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is closed by U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.

Court reinstates clean air rule during EPA fix - 23 Dec 2008 at 12:46pm - WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court is reinstating one of President George W. Bush's clean air regulations while the Environmental Protection Agency makes court-mandated changes.

Iraq parliament backs British troop deal - 23 Dec 2008 at 11:46am - BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi parliament speaker Mahmud Mashhadani said on Tuesday that he will resign, ending a political crisis that had thrown into doubt arrangements for a British troop presence into next year.

US economy shrinks as IMF warns of Great Depression - 23 Dec 2008 at 9:39am - LONDON (AFP) - The US economy shrank by 0.5 percent in the third quarter, official data showed on Tuesday as Britain edged ever closer to a recession and the IMF's top economist warned of a second Great Depression.

Thought for the day:
He who will not economize will have to agonize. -Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)

Monday, December 22, 2008

In the News: Dec-22

Sidebar: Bush v. Gore Still Influencing Court Decisions - 22 Dec 2008 at 2:39pm - The Supreme Court?s decision in Bush v. Gore was never intended to set a precedent, but it is turning out to have lasting value after all.

Iraq Frees 24 Detainees, Denies Ties to Banned Party - 22 Dec 2008 at 1:47pm - Iraq?s interior ministry released a statement on Monday detailing the charges against its officials who were detained last week in a security crackdown.

U.S. Marine killed in combat in Iraq - 22 Dec 2008 at 1:08pm - The U.S. military says a Marine has died from wounds he received in combat in Iraq's Anbar province.

Pentagon Memo: Redefining the Role of the U.S. Military in Iraq - 22 Dec 2008 at 11:30am - Military planners are quietly acknowledging that many soldiers will stay in Iraq as "trainers" and "advisers."

Analysis: Census data shows 8 states could lose House seats - 22 Dec 2008 at 10:48am - Eight states — most in the Northeast and Midwest — would lose seats in Congress in 2010, based on an analysis of Census estimates of 2008 state populations released today. Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania each would lose a seat, according to an analysis by Election Data Services, Inc.

Iraq parliament may remove speaker over shoe incident - 22 Dec 2008 at 8:47am - An Iraqi lawmaker says parliament will hold an emergency session to vote on removing its speaker from office over a row last week ago about an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush. As a result of the crisis, a vote was delayed Monday to approve a resolution allowing British and other non-American troops to stay until July 2009. Without the resolution, those troops would have no legal ground to remain after a U.N. mandate expires on Dec. 31

Iraq shoe-thrower to go on trial amid new torture claims - 22 Dec 2008 at 8:41am - BAGHDAD (AFP) - The Iraqi journalist thrust to instant fame when he threw his shoes at US President George W. Bush will go on trial this month on charges that carry up to 15 years in jail, a judge said on Monday.

Where'd the bailout money go? Shhhh, it's a secret - 22 Dec 2008 at 7:02am - WASHINGTON -- It's something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where's the money going?

British troop vote delayed in Iraq parliament - 22 Dec 2008 at 8:35am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Approval of a measure that would allow troops from Britain, Australia and a few other nations to stay in Iraq after a U.N. mandate expires at year's end fell hostage on Monday to a political row in Iraq's parliament.

Suspected U.S. drones kill 7 in Pakistan: agents - 22 Dec 2008 at 6:31am - DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - Suspected U.S. drones fired at least two missiles into Pakistan's South Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Monday, killing seven people, intelligence agency officials and residents said.

Thought for the day:
When you drink the water, remember the spring. -Chinese Proverb

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In the News: Dec-18

Texas student accused of graduation terror threat - 18 Dec 2008 at 2:48pm - BEAUMONT, Texas -- A Lamar University doctoral student was charged with making a terroristic threat after allegedly sending an e-mail threatening to violently disrupt Saturday's commencement ceremony because he was upset he couldn't graduate.
Is there any crime that cannot now be called "terrorism"?

Disputed U.S. House Raid in Afghanistan Elevates Tension - 18 Dec 2008 at 2:51pm - Americans called the raid a successful counterterrorism strike, while Afghans said it left three civilians dead and two wounded, including a boy bitten by an attack dog.

Gates asks anew for plan to close Guantanamo - 18 Dec 2008 at 2:58pm - WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked for an updated proposal for closing the controversial prison holding terrorist suspects in Cuba in case President-elect Barack Obama asks for one soon after taking office.

U.S. general drafts troop withdrawal plan for Iraq - 18 Dec 2008 at 12:45pm - The top U.S. general in Iraq has made initial recommendations about how to begin withdrawing the nearly 150,000 U.S. forces there.

Report Says Iraq May Ban Blackwater - 18 Dec 2008 at 12:01pm - The security contractor?s license may not be renewed next year to protect American diplomats in Baghdad.

'Orderly' auto bankruptcy is option: White House - 18 Dec 2008 at 11:36am - The White House is consider an "orderly" bankruptcy for car companies as one of the options it is examining for the industry, according to a spokeswoman for U.S. President George W. Bush.

Thought for the day:
Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein (1907 - 1988)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In the News: Dec-17

Treasury moves against alleged bank front for Iran - 17 Dec 2008 at 12:51pm - WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration moved Wednesday to clamp down financially on a New York City business suspected of acting as a front company for Iran's Bank Melli, which has been accused of providing support to Iran's nuclear program.

Panel calls for dropping Blackwater guards in Iraq - 17 Dec 2008 at 12:36pm - WASHINGTON -- A State Department advisory panel is recommending that Blackwater Worldwide be dropped as the main private security contractor for American diplomats in Iraq, The Associated Press has learned.

Thought for the day:
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In the News: Dec-16

Fed drops rates to target of zero to 0.25 percent - 16 Dec 2008 at 2:38pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve on Tuesday cut its target for overnight interest rates to zero to 0.25 percent, bringing it closer to unconventional action to lift the economy out of a year-long recession.

OPEC readies cut of 2-million barrels a day: Saudi minister - 16 Dec 2008 at 1:08pm - ORAN, Algeria (AFP) - OPEC plans to announce an output cut of two million barrels a day, the Saudi oil minister said Tuesday, as the cartel seeks to prop up oil prices amid crumbling demand and rising crude stocks in consuming countries.

U.S. sends three Guantanamo men home to Bosnia - 16 Dec 2008 at 12:52pm - MIAMI (Reuters) - The United States sent three Algerian-born prisoners home to Bosnia on Tuesday in the first release under court order from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, one of their lawyers said.

U.S. costs of Iraq, Afghan wars top $900 billion: report - 16 Dec 2008 at 9:08am - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. military operations, including the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, have cost $904 billion since 2001 and could top $1.7 trillion by 2018, even with big cuts in overseas troop deployments, a report said on Monday.

V.P. Cheney lauds Obama's choice of national security team - 16 Dec 2008 at 8:38am - Vice President Dick Cheney is calling President-elect Barack Obama's national security lineup "a pretty good team."

Madoff pyramid fraud puts US finance system in spotlight - 16 Dec 2008 at 9:08am - LONDON (AFP) - Commentators sharply criticized the US financial system Tuesday as more firms announced losses in the suspected multi-billion-dollar swindle run by ex-Wall Street heavyweight Bernard Madoff.

Thought for the day:
If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion. -George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

Monday, December 15, 2008

In the News: Dec-15

Suspected U.S. missile strike kills two in Pakistan - 15 Dec 2008 at 3:07pm - PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A suspected U.S. drone aircraft fired a missile into a house in Pakistan's North Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Monday, killing two people, Pakistani security agency officials said.

Court revives case of former Gitmo detainees - 15 Dec 2008 at 11:04am - WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court breathed new life Monday into a lawsuit filed by former detainees at Guantanamo Bay over alleged torture and abuse of their religious rights.

Iraqi Justice System Falls Short, Rights Group Says - 15 Dec 2008 at 10:22am - Defendants are often abused in custody and held for months or even years before being referred to a judge, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.

Arab world hails shoe attack as Bush's farewell gift - 15 Dec 2008 at 7:49am - Iraq faces mounting calls to release the journalist who hurled his shoes at US President George W Bush, an action branded shameful by the Government, but hailed by many in the Arab world as an ideal parting gift to the unpopular leader.

Thought for the day:
In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be. -Hubert H. Humphrey (1911 - 1978)

Friday, December 12, 2008

In the News: Dec-12

Brazilian's family slam 'whitewash' over anti-terror shooting - 12 Dec 2008 at 11:38am - LONDON (AFP) - The family of a Brazilian man mistakenly killed by anti-terror police in London slammed an inquest into his death Friday as a "whitewash," after jurors returned an inconclusive "open" verdict.

Navy commander questions land attacks on pirates - 12 Dec 2008 at 11:01am - MANAMA, Bahrain -- The commander of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet is expressing doubt about the wisdom of launching attacks against Somali pirates on land - a proposal the U.S. is circulating to the U.N. Security Council.

Thought for the day:
Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature. -Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In the News: Dec-11

Bush relaxes protections for endangered species - 11 Dec 2008 at 3:05pm - WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is reducing protections for endangered animals and plants.

Marines defend decision-making leading up to crash - 11 Dec 2008 at 2:12pm - WASHINGTON -- Marine Corps. generals are defending the decision to direct a jet pilot over a crowded San Diego neighborhood after an engine on his F/A18-D Hornet failed.

Suspected U.S. strike kills 6 in Pakistan - 11 Dec 2008 at 2:02pm - DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — A suspected U.S. strike killed six people Thursday on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border, a lawless region believed to be a stronghold of al-Qaeda, two intelligence officials said. The identities of those killed in the attack was not immediately known, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Panel on Iraqi Detainees Meets - 11 Dec 2008 at 1:51pm - Under the terms of the recently ratified security agreement, U.S. forces must begin releasing or transferring to Iraqi custody some 15,800 detainees on Jan. 1.

Musicians back campaign against 'audio torture' - 11 Dec 2008 at 12:53pm - A group of musicians, including bands such as Massive Attack, has backed a lobby group that is urging governments to stop the use of music in torture.

White House, not U.S. soldiers, cited for abuse - 11 Dec 2008 at 12:42pm - A new U.S. Senate report says the physical and mental abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay Naval Base was the direct result of Bush administration policies and should not be blamed on guards and interrogators. The report from the Senate Armed Services Committee is the result of a two-year investigation. It directly links President Bush's policies after the Sept. 11,2001 terrorist attacks, legal memos on torture and interrogation rule changes with the abuse that was photographed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq four years ago. The report says administration officials publicly blamed the abuses on low-level soldiers but called that "both unconscionable and false."

Senators urge swift probe of jet fighter crash - 11 Dec 2008 at 10:58am - SAN DIEGO -- California's two U.S. senators want the Marine Corps to review its entire fleet of F/A18-D Hornet jets for possible problems after one of the jets crashed into a home and killed two young girls, their mother and their grandmother.

Report: U.S. executions, death sentences on decline - 11 Dec 2008 at 9:14am - New death sentences in the United States were at or near a three-decade low this year and the number of people executed will be the lowest since 1994, according to a new report. The nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center reports 37 executions in 2008, with no more expected for the remainder of the year. That's down 12% from 42 in 2007 and a 30% drop from 2006.

Portugal offers to take Guantanamo detainees - 11 Dec 2008 at 7:40am - European Union countries should offer to take in any detainees released from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo, Portugal's foreign minister said in a letter published Thursday. Portugal is willing to grant asylum to Guantanamo detainees who cannot return to their home countries, Foreign Minister Luis Amado said in the letter sent to his EU counterparts.

Gitmo commander: Prison won't close soon - 10 Dec 2008 at 4:43pm - GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — Guantanamo's commander believes that the prison on this base won't close anytime soon after President-elect Barack Obama takes office. Rear Adm. David Thomas said he expects "rigorous debate" in America before the 250 detainees are flown out, pouring cold water on speculation that the military's offshore prison might close within days after Obama is sworn in on Jan. 20.

Thought for the day:
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, and, whatever you hit, call it the target. -Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In the News: Dec-10 - Evening Edition

Auto rescue bill in peril, opposed by GOP senators - 10 Dec 2008 at 7:13pm - WASHINGTON -- The House pressed toward passage of a $14 billion bailout for the nation's imperiled auto industry Wednesday night, but the hard-fought deal between Democrats and the Bush White House was in jeopardy amid strong opposition from GOP senators.

September 11 families denounce Guantanamo trials - 10 Dec 2008 at 7:03pm - GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Two dozen people who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks issued a statement on Wednesday denouncing the Guantanamo war crimes trials as illegitimate, shameful and politically motivated.

Injured vets still await disability appeal process - 10 Dec 2008 at 5:38pm - FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- There was nothing dramatic about how Spc. Cristapher Zuetlau's career in the Army came to an end: he stepped in a hole. But the damage to the tank crewman's wrenched back was so brutal he can barely walk. The Army agreed he was no longer fit to serve, but in doing so determined his disability was not severe enough to warrant long-term care by the military. That turned his health care over to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which left him with no retirement benefits and cut off his family from government health care. Thousands of similar stories caused veterans advocates to protest that the military was manipulating disability ratings to save money, and Congress last year ordered the Pentagon to accept appeals from wounded and injured troops. So far, officials have yet to examine a single case.

U.S. Forces Kill 6 Afghan Police Officers by Mistake - 10 Dec 2008 at 7:10pm - A strike at a suspected Taliban commander led to what a U.S. official called a "tragic case of mistaken identity."

In the News: Dec-10

High court weighs lawsuit against FBI head, ex-AG - 10 Dec 2008 at 12:18pm - WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court justices voiced concern Wednesday about including former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller in a lawsuit that claims prisoners detained after the Sept. 11 attacks were abused because of their religion and ethnicity.

U.S. troops start to relax as Iraq security improves - 10 Dec 2008 at 12:04pm - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A few months ago, Lieutenant Greg Bassett and other U.S. soldiers would move through Abu Dsheer in a leapfrog pattern, half of them down in the dirt, rifles at the ready, protecting the rest as they ran.

U.K. Says Most Troops Will Leave Iraq - 10 Dec 2008 at 10:55am - Britain's remaining troops will begin withdrawing from Iraq in March, Defense Ministry officials said.

Thought for the day:
All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power. -Ashleigh Brilliant

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

In the News: Dec-09

RCMP to test some Tasers after CBC investigation - 9 Dec 2008 at 2:48pm - The RCMP says it is pulling some of its Tasers for testing after a CBC News and Radio-Canada investigation found some stun guns deliver a higher level of electricity than the manufacturer promises.

Congressional aide says crashed jet lost power - 9 Dec 2008 at 12:54pm - SAN DIEGO -- Both engines of a military jet fighter failed before the aircraft crashed and burned in a residential area, killing three people on the ground, a congressional aide said Tuesday.

Provincial chief in Iraq calls for election delay - 9 Dec 2008 at 11:30am - A local official in one of Iraq's most violent provinces called Tuesday for a six-month delay in regional elections there because the security situation is too fragile. Ibrahim Bajilan, head of the Diyala provincial council, said parts of his province are still under the influence of insurgents and are no-go areas for certain religious groups.

Fannie, Freddie execs were warned of problems: report - 9 Dec 2008 at 8:03am - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Documents show that top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were warned years ago that the firms were offering mortgages that could pose a long-term danger to the companies, borrowers and the industry, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Ill. Gov. Blagojevich arrested on federal charges - 9 Dec 2008 at 9:48am - CHICAGO -- An official says Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY'-uh-vich) has been arrested in Chicago on corruption charges stemming from the selection of the successor to President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat.

Thought for the day:
Observe your enemies for they first find out your faults. -Antisthenes (445 BC - 365 BC)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

In the News: Dec-08

US: Blackwater used grenades on unarmed Iraqis - 8 Dec 2008 at 1:18pm - WASHINGTON -- Blackwater Worldwide security guards opened machine gun fire on innocent, surrendering Iraqis and launched a grenade into a girls' school during a gruesome Baghdad shooting last year, prosecutors said Monday in announcing manslaughter charges against five guards.

Dion to resign on Monday - 8 Dec 2008 at 1:10pm - Embattled Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion will step down on Monday, sources have told CBC News.

Iraq security contractors face end to immunity - 8 Dec 2008 at 8:19am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Private security guards in Iraq, whose armored convoys once barreled through the streets with impunity, could face being thrown into crowded and violent Iraqi jails once their era of legal immunity ends on January 1.

September 11 defendants ask to plead guilty - 8 Dec 2008 at 10:00am - GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - The self-styled mastermind of the September 11 attacks and four co-defendants sent a note to a military judge at Guantanamo on Monday saying they wanted to confess and plead guilty.

Panel to Call for Probe Into Wiretapping of Scholar - 7 Dec 2008 at 10:13pm - An inquiry would examine evidence that the National Security Agency illegally wiretapped a Muslim scholar.

Spying on pacifists, environmentalists and nuns 7 Dec 2008 at 3:00am - An undercover Maryland State Police trooper infiltrated nonviolent groups and labeled dozens of people as terrorists. To friends in the protest movement, Lucy was an eager 20-something who attended their events and sent encouraging e-mails to support their causes.

Thought for the day:
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. -Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745)

Friday, December 05, 2008

In the News: Dec-05

Bush: Iraq war longer, more costly than expected - 5 Dec 2008 at 9:59am - WASHINGTON -- President Bush says the fight in Iraq has been longer and more costly than expected.
If, like Rumsfeld, he expected it to last weeks, possibly months, then yes, it's obviously longer than expected. But since he cannot articulate any concrete goal as the hopeful outcome of the war, how can he expect any particular duration or cost?

New regulation eases ban on guns in national parks - 5 Dec 2008 at 1:37pm - WASHINGTON -- People will now be able to carry concealed weapons in some national parks and wildlife refuges.

Supreme Court agrees to hear enemy combatant case - 5 Dec 2008 at 2:28pm - WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether the president may order that people picked up in the United States be detained indefinitely and without criminal charges. The court is undertaking a fresh review of the Bush administration's aggressive use of preventive detention for suspected terrorists. The administration asserts that the president has the authority to order the military to detain anyone suspected of being an al-Qaida member.

US preparing for troop buildup in Afghanistan - 5 Dec 2008 at 12:13pm - WASHINGTON -- The military is beginning a big building effort in Afghanistan to house the roughly 20,000 additional troops who are expected to begin pouring in early next year, a top military officer said Friday.

Bush: Any aid to automakers must be paid back - 5 Dec 2008 at 12:00pm - WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush on Friday demanded that any auto bailout measure passed by Congress require car companies to pay back taxpayers.

Thought for the day:
It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it. -Steven Wright (1955 - )

Thursday, December 04, 2008

In the News: Dec-04 - Evening Edition

Interior Dept. Changes Rule to Remove Congress Veto - 4 Dec 2008 at 9:54pm - In another regulatory action in the waning days of the Bush administration, the Interior Department unveiled a new rule that challenges Congress?s authority to prevent mining planned on public lands.

US mulls unusual tactic as Blackwater charges loom - 4 Dec 2008 at 9:06pm - WASHINGTON -- Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in the deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting of Iraqi civilians could face mandatory 30-year prison sentences under an aggressive anti-drug law being considered as the Justice Department readies indictments, people close to the case said.

Some tested Tasers fire stronger current than company says: CBC/Radio-Canada ... - 4 Dec 2008 at 9:58pm - Some Tasers deliver a higher level of electricity than the manufacturer promises, reveals a series of tests on 41 stun guns that was commissioned by CBC News and Radio-Canada.

Panel Urges More Screening of Brain Injury in Troops - 4 Dec 2008 at 10:17pm - The Institute of Medicine is calling on the military to increase testing of cognitive skills of recruits to better evaluate and respond to traumatic brain injuries.

In the News: Dec-04

More problems for major post-9/11 security program - 4 Dec 2008 at 2:41pm - WASHINGTON -- A security program spurred by the 9/11 attacks to safeguard seaports has hit yet another snag, causing concern that commerce could be slowed during the busy holiday season.

Canadian Parliament Closed in Bid to Keep Prime Minister in Power - 4 Dec 2008 at 1:54pm - Canada?s formal head of state allowed the Parliament to be closed down until Jan. 26, granting an unprecedented request from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Iraq presidency council approves U.S. security pact - 4 Dec 2008 at 8:07am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's presidency council has approved a security pact with the United States that paves the way for a complete U.S. troop pullout by the end of 2011, a spokesman for the council said on Thursday.

IRAQ: Low oil prices could affect government aid to IDPs - December 04, 2008 8:53:22 AM - BAGHDAD, 4 December 2008 (IRIN) - Low world oil prices could exacerbate the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs): The government, which relies on oil revenues for over 90 percent of its income, will have to cut financial assistance to IDPs in next year's budget, an Iraqi lawmaker has said.

Thought for the day:
If you hear that everybody is buying a certain stock, ask who is selling. -Anonymous

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

In the News: Dec-03

Karzai Agrees to Cluster Bomb Treaty - 3 Dec 2008 at 10:27am - In a reversal, the government of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan agreed to sign a treaty the U.S. has rejected.

U.S. forces in Iraq detain, kill Iran-backed suspects - 3 Dec 2008 at 9:01am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. forces in Iraq captured two suspected members of an Iranian-backed network and killed a third Wednesday, part of U.S. efforts to target a group it says has attacked Iraqi citizens and foreign troops.

Folk Legend Odetta Dies Of Heart Disease - 3 Dec 2008 at 8:13am - Odetta's folk songs made her a symbol of the civil rights movement. She performed at the Civil Rights March on Washington in 1963 and sang "O Freedom." Her ballads and songs became, for many, the sound track to the American civil rights movement. Manager Doug Yeager says Odetta died Tuesday of heart disease at the age of 77.

Supporters Begin Signing Cluster Bombs Treaty - 3 Dec 2008 at 8:08am - Representatives of some 100 nations began signing a treaty renouncing the use of cluster bombs, even though the United States, China and Russia, reject the pact.

NATO backs U.S. missile shield - 3 Dec 2008 at 7:07am - NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday confirmed their support for U.S. plans to install anti-missile defenses in Europe despite ...

Thought for the day:
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts. -Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In the News: Dec-02

Iraq's "Chemical Ali" gets second death sentence - 2 Dec 2008 at 8:16am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi court sentenced Saddam Hussein's cousin "Chemical Ali" to death Tuesday for the killing of thousands of Shi'ites in a ruthless crackdown on their uprising after the 1991 Gulf War.
He quashed an insurgency, so he's a hero -- oops, no -- he was subsequently captured by the Americans, so I guess he's just a plain old murderer.

Auditors fault Treasury oversight of bailout funds - 2 Dec 2008 at 3:12pm - A government audit says the Treasury Department needs tougher controls to oversee the $700 billion financial bailout package.

US official: India attack may have Pakistani roots - 2 Dec 2008 at 12:31pm - WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration has reason to suspect a group at least partly based in Pakistan for last week's attack in India, and revealed that the U.S. had warned the Indian government beforehand that terrorists appeared to be plotting an assault on Mumbai, officials said Tuesday.

Botched London tube shooting not unlawful: coroner - 2 Dec 2008 at 9:18am - The coroner overseeing the inquest into the death of Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, gunned down by police who wrongly thought he was a suicide bomber in London, has ruled out a verdict of unlawful killing.

Chances of WMD attack in big city greater: report - 2 Dec 2008 at 8:36am - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chances of a terror attack on a major city somewhere in the world using weapons of mass destruction are better than even, according to a task force mandated by the U.S. Congress, The Washington Post reported in its Tuesday edition.

Panel: Bio attack likely in next 5 years - 2 Dec 2008 at 7:37am - WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan commission is asserting the country should expect a terrorist attack using nuclear or biological weapons sometime in the next five years.

Thought for the day:
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness. -Joseph Conrad (1857 - 1924)

Monday, December 01, 2008

In the News: Dec-01

U.S. in recession as Europe debates spending hikes - 1 Dec 2008 at 2:20pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy has slumped into a recession, the nation's business cycle arbiter declared on Monday, while European leaders clashed over how much public money to spend tackling a deepening downturn.

World Falls for American Media, Even as It Sours on America - 1 Dec 2008 at 2:08pm - After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the White House wanted major media companies to help improve the U.S. image abroad. That hasn't panned out.

Dion to lead Liberal-NDP coalition, Liberals confirm - 1 Dec 2008 at 2:00pm - Liberal caucus members agreed unanimously on Monday that Stéphane Dion will stay on to lead a Liberal-NDP coalition, CBC News has learned, following reports that the two parties reached a tentative agreement to replace the minority Conservative government.

Some vindication for sick vets, but little relief - 1 Dec 2008 at 11:08am - WASHINGTON -- Ground combat in the 1991 Persian Gulf War lasted just 100 hours, but it's meant 17 years of pain and anguish for hundreds of thousands of veterans.

Thought for the day:
Money doesn't always bring happiness. People with ten million dollars are no happier than people with nine million dollars. -Hobart Brown