Saturday, August 06, 2005
Just last week a National Security Council report said Iran was a decade away from acquiring a nuclear bomb. That time frame could arguably have been significantly longer if Halliburton, whose miltary unit just reported a 284 percent increase in its second quarter profits due to its Iraq reconstruction contracts, was not actively providing the Iranian government with the financial means to build a nuclear weapon.
The military trains people to withstand interrogation. Are those methods being misused at Guantánamo? [PDF]
In July, 2004, Mora wrote a memo to Church’s investigative team, in which he encounted his discussion with Gelles.He said that he had found the tactics he had read about in the Qahtani interrogation logs to be “unlawful and unworthy of the military services.” Mora argued that these practices “threaten the entire military
commission process.” According to the Church report, an N.C.I.S. official subsequently said that if the abusive practices continued “N.C.I.S. would have to
consider whether to remain co-located” in Guantánamo. According to a recent ABC News report, in January, 2003, Mora also told William J. Haynes, the Pentagon’s general counsel, that “the use of coercive techniques” could expose both interrogators and their administrators to criminal prosecution.
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The Chinese-made long range surveillance radars will be used by Venezuela’s air force, defence officials said yesterday.
"I don't do exploitative Wonder Woman things. I have been careful with her. I like her, and I think she's fantastic for women, and I think she's fantastic for the gay community, and she was great for young guys seeing a beautiful, strong woman."
"Maybe when I'm really old," she says. "In another five years."
Carter clearly has a few good years left in her, and a self-deprecating tone marks many of her reflections. She is "kind of shocked" at the level of interest in her since last month's release of "Sky High" and yesterday's opening of "The Dukes of Hazzard," which was directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, who also worked with Carter in the 2001 comedy "Super Troopers."
For a terrific interview of the stunt woman from the 70's TV show, check out "
A deal has been struck to transfer most of the 110 Afghan terror suspects to the "exclusive custody and control" of the Afghanistan government.
Similar deals are in the pipeline with authorities in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, a Pentagon spokesman said.
Matt Waxman, the deputy assistant secretary of defence for detainee affairs, stressed the plan was not to shut down Guantanamo.
The attorney general's office said in four-page letters to each of the eight Democrats on the Judiciary Committee that it is "simply contrary to the public interest" to release certain records from Roberts's service in the solicitor general's office, which argues cases before the Supreme Court on behalf of the executive branch.
Organizers hope the “Keep the Vote Alive” march will pressure Congress and President Bush to extend key provisions of the landmark law, which expires in 2007.
“Forty years later, we’re still marching for the right to vote,” said U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who participated in the civil rights struggles that helped secure passage of the law in 1965. “Don’t give up, don’t give in. Keep the faith, keep your eyes on the prize.”
...Civil rights groups fear conservatives will try to modify two key provisions of the law. One requires nine states, mostly in the South, to get federal approval before changing voting rules. The other requires election officials to provide voting material in the native language of immigrant voters who don’t speak English.
Activists also used the rally to protest Georgia’s recently passed voter identification law, which critics call the most restrictive in the country.
If that bill is approved by the Department of Justice, Jackson warned on Friday, it could “spread like a virus” to other states. Rainbow/PUSH is among a list of objectors that have urged the Department of Justice not to approve the law.
The public tormented him with an unending parade of fiddlers, Punch-and-Judys, stilt-walkers, fanatic psalmists, and tub-thumpers. Some neighbors hired musicians to play outside his windows. Others willfully annoyed him with worn-out or damaged wind instruments. Placards were hung in local shops, abusing him. During one 80-day period Babbage counted 165 nuisances. One brass band played for five hours, with only a brief intermission. Another blew a penny tin whistle out his window toward Babbage's garden for a half and hour daily, for "many months".
The 27-year-old Briton who was arrested in Rome on Friday and accused of planting a bomb on a British subway had entered Britain using fake documents and an alias, the authorities say. He managed to escape the country on the Eurostar, although grainy photos of him plastered the walls of the train station.This feature was announced in early 2001. The FCC now requires it for 911 services.
Yet the police swiftly tracked his escape, for the most mundane of reasons — he did not turn off his cell phone.
..."If your phone is on, they know exactly where you are," said Paul Sagawa, an analyst with Sanford Bernstein, an investment research company in New York City.
Today, this feature is being marketed to parents who want to track their children.
One Security Tech Blogger is not impressed.
This is worrisome from a number of angles: government surveillance, corporate surveillance for marketing purposes, criminal surveillance.
...We're building an infrastructure of surveillance as a side effect of the convenience of carrying our cell phones everywhere.
The photographs, which have been seen by New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh, are alleged to contain photographs of U.S. servicemembers involved in raping detainees, possibly underage. The Bush Administration has successfully blocked their release, first saying they needed time to anonymize those engaged in illicit behavior, and then seeking a permanent block, arguing the photos could endanger troops and civilians overseas.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow ruled that statements made by four men accused of smuggling cocaine aboard a cruise ship could not be introduced in court because the Miranda warning failed to spell out that they could have an attorney present during - not just before - interrogation by authorities.
"From a legal standpoint, the warnings on the Homeland Security form are ambiguous, at best," Snow said in her 16-page decision.
The ruling was issued July 26 but not made public until Friday by defense attorney Ellis Rubin, who brought successful challenges to similar flaws in police Miranda warnings in Broward County.
If they don’t know, for example, precisely how many more people attended the Tokyo Comiket Manga (comic strip) convention in 2002 than in 2001, they are unlikely to make it past the first section.
Each nerd will be completely alone in this mental endeavour. Internet chatrooms and cyber cafés will be empty. There will be no conferring and the winner will take the greatest pop-culture prize of all — being officially recognised as Japan’s biggest geek, or otaku.
The companies - Caterpillar, Motorola, ITT Industries and United Technologies - were selected from a list of several dozen possibilities by a church investment committee that met Friday in Seattle. The Presbyterians accused these companies of selling helicopters, cellphones, night vision equipment and other items Israel uses to enforce its occupation.
In an effort to appear even-handed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the church committee also included Citigroup on its list of targets, alleging it had a connection to a bank accused of having a role in funneling money from Islamic charities to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. The church said it included Citigroup because it was mentioned in an article in The Wall Street Journal.
A spokeswoman for Citigroup called the church's assertion "an outrage," a reaction echoed at several of the other corporations.
Since then, Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove was the source, even as Mr. Mosbacher, who no longer talks on the record about the incident, has never changed his original assertion that Mr. Rove was the culprit.
"It's history," Mr. Mosbacher said last week in a brief telephone interview. "I commented on it at the time, and I have nothing to add."
But the episode, part of the bad-boy lore of Mr. Rove, is a telling chapter in the 20-year friendship between the presidential adviser and the columnist. The story of that relationship, a bond of mutual self-interest of a kind that is long familiar in Washington, does not answer the question of who might have leaked the identity of the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, to reporters, potentially a crime.
But it does give a clue to Mr. Rove's frequent and complimentary mentions over the years in Mr. Novak's column, and to the importance of Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak to each other's ambitions.
Friday, August 05, 2005
The minutes of a meeting of Tony Blair’s Iraq war cabinet on July 23, 2003, leaked to the London Sunday Times, record Hoon as saying “the US had begun spikes of activity to put pressure on the regime.”
UK ministers have since insisted that the stepped up attacks, which began in May 2002, were a direct result of Iraqi attempts to shoot down allied aircraft and were not, as Hoon suggested, an attempt to provoke a response that would give the allies an excuse for war.
But figures released last month by the British Ministry of Defense show that in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, with American officials predicting moves to oust Saddam Hussein, Iraq dramatically scaled back its attacks on allied aircraft.
During the first seven months of 2001 the allies recorded 370 “provocations” by the Iraqi military against allied aircraft. But in the seven months between October 2001 and May 2002 when the allies stepped up their attacks, there were just 32. The complete figures are available here, on the parliament's website.
Even when reporters do know the difference, the conventions of he-said-she-said journalism get in the way of conveying that knowledge to readers. I once joked that if President Bush said that the Earth was flat, the headlines of news articles would read, "Opinions Differ on Shape of the Earth." The headlines on many articles about the intelligent design controversy come pretty close.
Finally, the self-policing nature of science — scientific truth is determined by peer review, not public opinion — can be exploited by skilled purveyors of cultural resentment. Do virtually all biologists agree that Darwin was right? Well, that just shows that they’re elitists who think they’re smarter than the rest of us.
Which brings us, finally, to intelligent design. Some of America’s most powerful politicians have a deep hatred for Darwinism. Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, blamed the theory of evolution for the Columbine school shootings. But sheer political power hasn’t been enough to get creationism into the school curriculum. The theory of evolution has overwhelming scientific support, and the country isn’t ready — yet — to teach religious doctrine in public schools.
But what if creationists do to evolutionary theory what corporate interests did to global warming: create a widespread impression that the scientific consensus has shaky foundations? [thanks, Tom P]
- Sanctions Available to be Imposed on Contractors
- Disciplinary and Criminal Actions Brought Against Contractors
- Legal Status of Security Contractors after Transfer of Sovereign Power in Iraq
- Casualty and Fatality Figures for Contractors Supporting Deployed Forces and Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq
- Hostile Fire and Other Incidents of Note
1) Try to summarize the main idea or theme in a single paragraph. As Einstein once said, unless a theory has a simple underlying picture that the layman can understand, the theory is probably worthless. I will try to answer those proposals which are short and succinct, but I simply do not have time for proposals where the main idea is spread over many pages.
2) If you have a serious proposal for a new physical theory, submit it to a physics journal, just as Physical Review D or Nuclear Physics B. There, it will get the referee and serious attention that it deserves.
3) Remember that your theory will receive more credibility if your theory builds on top of previous theories, rather than making claims like “Einstein was wrong! ” For example, our current understanding of the quantum theory and relativity, although incomplete, still gives us a framework for which we have not seen any experimental deviation.
The Vatican’s chief astronomer, George Coyne, has rebuffed controversial comments made by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn in The New York Times on 7 July that evolution is incompatible with a belief in God.
“The waters have again been darkened” writes Coyne in the latest issue of the UK Catholic weekly, The Tablet. His article follows another flare-up in the debate, when US president George W Bush commented on Monday that schools should teach children about “intelligent design”.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
The FCC is now modifying the original rules adopted in 2000 and seeking public comments about the control of LPFM stations, their licensing rules, and protecting LPFM signals from interference.
Click here to learn more about LPFM
However, the unsealed documents reveal that the government never officially demanded the computer servers -- the subpoena to Rackspace only requested server log files. This contradicts previous statements by the web host that it took the servers offline because the government had demanded the hardware. The documents also contradict Rackspace's claim that it had been ordered by the court not to discuss publicly the government's demand. It cannot be determined from the unsealed documents whether or not the government informally pressured Rackspace to turn over the servers.
The Michigan eLibrary has posted the 67-page Statement of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. According to the librarian who posted this document, the Committee says that it doesn't intend to post the statement on the Web. Hats off to the MeL for doing the Committee's work for it and keeping us informed.
Statement of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
An approaching ball triggers the robot's three fingers into action. Actuators embedded in each joint use a burst of high current to move through 180 degrees in less than one tenth of a second. This enables the machine to snatch the ball in the split second it takes to arrive.
Blast Effects Calculator
Reliance on the horse was a sign of the "primitive state of the country and of the patent office at the time, where the quickest way to deliver messages around the city of Washington was by a boy on a pony," according to "The Patent Office Pony," by Kenneth W. Dobyns. He also writes that in 1835, the office issued 757 patents.
If only things had stayed so simple. In fiscal 2004, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved about half of the 376,810 applications it received, according to preliminary data, and it expects a flood of new activity this year. Although the office has raised application fees and hired new examiners, by many accounts the agency is struggling with its workload.
It's probably too strong to call it a pipeline-and-tanker version of a global arms race - in fact, that's precisely what many world leaders hope to avoid.
But in an era of rising oil prices and burgeoning demand for fuel, the issues of energy and national security appear increasingly linked.
...Up to now, the US has relied largely on oil markets to divvy up resources. Its focus is on promoting an expanding and smooth-running global energy market. China is deploying government wealth - fed by its large trade surplus - to back the expansion of firms like CNOOC.
"To support their economic growth countries like China and India are aggressively moving to secure new energy streams," says David Phillips, an energy expert at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. "The US needs to have a comprehensive energy strategy, which is part of our overall national-security strategy."
According to Cowburn's research, as published July 28 in the journal Nature, the unique speckle pattern of a sheet of paper remains recognizable even after crunching the paper into a ball, soaking it in water, baking it at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes, scrubbing it with an abrasive cleaning pad or scribbling over it with a big black marker.
A cross-correlation algorithm that assesses the degree of similarity between the base-line scan and the new scan allows the paper's identity to be verified. The odds of two pieces of paper having similar patterns are greater than 10 to the 100th power to one.
The Washington, D.C. organization, Center for Democracy and Technology, or CDT, says it will file comments Wednesday with the FCC opposing an FBI request to force satellite-based broadband service providers to equip their in-air networks with a rapid-wiretapping capability. It would let government spooks begin sniffing any passenger's internet traffic within 10 minutes of obtaining court authorization.
And a reliable mortuary source said the sexual assault on a young male was "just the tip of the iceberg" and "several more young male corpses have been violated".
Two "crime against a body" cases linked to the state mortuary have been opened at Woodstock police station.
The alarm was raised after police staff at the Durham Road mortuary found that the body of a young suicide victim had been sodomised last month.
Carson is still the target of countless critiques. “DDT killed bald eagles because of its persistence in the environment. Silent Spring is now killing African children because of its persistence in the public mind,” Tina Rosenberg wrote last year in a piece about malaria in The New York Times Magazine called “What the World Needs Now Is DDT.” It’s true that Silent Spring failed to describe the benefits of pesticides in fighting malaria, which is spread by mosquitoes, and in protecting food crops from destructive pests. Perhaps Carson believed that everyone acknowledged the benefits while ignoring the risks. Her goal, after all, was action, not contemplation.
"Through the generations, scouts have made America a stronger and better nation," Mr. Bush proclaimed.
"Thousands of scouts have shown the highest form of patriotism by going on to wear the uniform of the United States," he said.
The truncated story in the Times' late edition was even more spare -- four brief paragraphs, the longest one a mere seven lines.
So what did you miss if that's all you read?
Oh, not much -- four electrocutions, one death from a heart attack and 300 scouts felled by heat exhaustion!
By contrast, let's take a look at the Associated Press, which gets to the heart of the story and all its awful, imperfect details right away:
Succeeding on his third try to visit them, President Bush comforted thousands of Boy Scouts yesterday at a national jamboree marred by the electrocutions of four leaders, the death of a volunteer, and the stifling heat that sickened 300.
"It may take 10 years, it may take 20 years for the second wave to crest, but crest it will, and it will sweep the elegant, erudite, pretentious and toxic detritus of nonoriginalism out to sea," he said in a 1987 speech. Judge Bork now cochairs the society's Board of Visitors with Sen. Orrin Hatch of Nevada, a member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"Twenty years later, the organization designed to carry forward Bork's jurisprudence is trying to get access to the top courts in the country," says Alfred Ross, president and founder of the Institute for Democracy Studies (IDS) in New York. "It's extremely dangerous."
The group's First Amendment committee had narrowly voted to give Miller the prize for her dedication to protecting sources, but the full board has now voted to not accept that decision, based on its opinion that her entire career, and even her current actions in the Plame/CIA leak case, cast doubt on her credentials for this award.
The omission is notable because the Senate asked for a list of all of his lobbying, and his work for the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Fragrance Association resulted in the controversial suspension of stricter rules for labeling sunscreen products.
The State Forestry Administration said forest coverage will reach 23 percent in the next 10 to 15 years, an increase of five percent.
"The increase in forests will outpace what the country consumed or lost during the growth of its economy," administration director Zhou Shengxian was quoted as saying by the China Daily.
Then a lawyer specializing in appellate work, the conservative Roberts helped represent the gay activists as part of his law firm's pro bono work. While he did not write the legal briefs or argue the case before the Supreme Court, he was instrumental in reviewing the filings and preparing oral arguments, according to several lawyers involved in the case.
When nanotubes were placed inside cells and radiated by the laser beam, the cells were quickly destroyed by the heat. However, cells that did not contain any nanotubes were not affected by the laser beam.
"An interesting property of carbon nanotubes is that they absorb near-infrared light waves, which are slightly longer than visible rays of light and pass harmlessly through our cells," study co-author Hongjie Dai, associate professor of chemistry at Stanford, said in a prepared statement.
The Center's analysis of the legal expense funds maintained by eight sitting members of Congress revealed that in addition to DeLay and Reid, those receiving questionable donations included Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Those five legislators collectively received donations from 12 lobbyists, the Center found.
Legal expense funds are designed to defray costs related to a variety of proceedings, including ethics, civil and criminal matters. Both House and Senate rules forbid any "contribution or other payment by a registered lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal to a legal expense fund." This prohibition is similar to one that bars lobbyists and foreign agents from paying for lawmakers' travel.
Both the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives on Gifts and Travel and the Standing Rules of the Senate prohibit any "contribution or other payment by a registered lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal to a legal expense fund established for the benefit of a Member, officer, or employee.
Although EPA is required by the Clean Water Act to require these cooling water intake structures to use the “best technology available to minimize adverse environmental impact,” OMB forced EPA to develop a rule using a completely different standard that emphasized keeping costs down for the corporate special interests such as Cinergy, Edison Electric, and Public Service Electric & Gas that lobbied OMB for weaker rules.
Instead of requiring the largest facilities in the most ecologically sensitive areas to meet standards that the new technology would allow and that EPA originally proposed, EPA adopted less protective measures. EPA failed to require closed-cycle cooling at the largest and most harmful plants and allowed industry to lobby state agencies for even weaker guidelines for specific facilities.
The piece on which this summary is based was originally published in Harper's. Mark Crispin Miller is a professor at New York University, a political/media commentator, and author of his latest book, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the Election of 2004, and Why They Will Keep Doing It Unless We Stop Them, which will be published by Basic Books this October.
The indictment charges Steven Rosen, the former foreign policy director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, with receiving classified information from analyst Lawrence Franklin and helping Franklin pass on written classified information.
AIPAC's former senior Middle East analyst, Keith Weissman, also was charged with receiving classified information.
The Court created the so-called state secrets privilege more than 50 years ago but has not considered it since. The need for clarification of the doctrine is acute, the ACLU said, because the government is increasingly using the privilege to cover up its own wrongdoing and to keep legitimate cases out of court.
"Edmonds' case is not an isolated incident," said ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson. "The federal government is routinely retaliating against government employees who uncover weaknesses in our ability to prevent terrorist attacks or protect public safety."
“It seems like the British government is leaking like a sieve. We need to get our own U.S. government colleagues to be leaking like a sieve,” said Wright, who gave up her career in the foreign service because she disagreed with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. “We need more documents — certainly not documents that are really going to jeopardize the security of the United States — but documents that show the sequence of events within our own government.”
Wright said that many federal employees disagree with the policies of the current administration but stay involved for a host of reasons, one of which more often than not is that they have mouths to feed. A closer look of the major U.S. newspapers, however, shows that those discouraged officials inside the government are sending signals of hope to the American people, she said.
This is leaked from next month's issue of Vanity Fair magazine.
With the first $25 million, Mr. Noe quickly invested money into real estate and his associates’ coin businesses, and he brokered multimillion dollar coin deals that made the state little money but that allowed him to unload his coins for hundreds of thousands to the state, according to rare-coin records released yesterday by the state.
At the center of the millions in deals was Rare Coin Enterprises LLC, the company Mr. Noe created and infused with $2 million nine days after he received the first $25 million in rare-coin money from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
With the first cash from the state, Mr. Noe created Capital Coin Fund Limited, but that rare-coin face of the state would remain behind the scenes, intentionally.
Measuring some 3,250 square kilometres in area and 220 metres thick, the Larsen B iceshelf broke away from the eastern Antarctic Peninsula in 2002, eventually disintegrating into giant icebergs.
By chance, a US-led team of geologists had gathered a rich harvest of data around the iceshelf just before the spectacular collapse, including six cores that had been drilled into marine sediment.
The cores contain the remains of plankton and algae embedded in layers of minerals, and their radiocarbon and oxygen isotopes provide clues about ice cover and climate change over the millennia.
Dozens of foreign journalists have been abducted or killed in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to oust President Saddam Hussein. But Vincent's death has new, disturbing implications; he may not have been killed because he was an American or a journalist. He may have been targeted because he was uncovering alleged corruption and influence-peddling in the city's political, security and religious leadership.
Multiple witnesses attest that Vincent and Khal were abducted by men who appeared to be driving police vehicles.
One witness, who refused to give his name, said he recognized one of the abductors as an Interior Ministry employee.
"The man also recognized me, after I saluted him," the witness said. "He said to me: 'Do not interfere! It is our duty.' "
Federal agents searched Jefferson's homes in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans.
"As it is a criminal investigation we will not be able to comment any further," said Bryan Sierra, a Justice Department spokesman.
Jefferson, 58, represents a district comprising mostly the heart of New Orleans.
The human rights group has called on the US to reveal details of the alleged secret detention of suspects abroad.
Amnesty fears the case is part of a "much broader picture" in which the US holds prisoners at secret locations.
Captain Wolf didn't return calls, but her departure and the reasons for it were confirmed by two sources linked to the office of military commissions, one opposed to the process, and one supporter.
The ABC has been able to speak to an Air Force judge advocate general, who was closely involved with the commissions for a year-and-a-half, including during the prosecutors' revolt.
The JAG declined to be identified or recorded, but he agrees with the Pentagon's assessment that there was a communication breakdown in the office.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
In December of this year, the Pentagon will decide whether or not to begin producing a new type of antipersonnel land mine called a ”Spider”. The first of these mines would then be scheduled to roll out in early 2007.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the funds for Spider's production are already earmarked, as the Pentagon has requested 1.3 billion dollars for the mine system, as well as for another mine called the Intelligent Munitions System, which is expected to be fully running by 2008.
A new report by the HRW issued Wednesday notes these weapons that kill and maim an estimated 500 people, mostly civilians, each week. The group called on the Bush administration to halt all research and development on all types of these widely-banned weapons.
”With very few exceptions, nearly every nation has endorsed the goal of a global ban on all antipersonnel mines at some point in the future,” the HRW report says. ”Such acts (by the U.S.) would clearly be against the trend of the emerging international consensus against any possession or use of antipersonnel mines.”
classroom," said NSTA President Mike Padilla. "Nonscientific viewpoints have
little value in increasing students' knowledge of the natural world."
Robert McNamara, President Kennedy's Defence Secretary, has told Newsnight he is "astonished" at the revelation that Britain kept this secret from America.
In Wednesday's programme, Newsnight reveals how British officials decided it would be "over-zealous" to impose safeguards on the Israelis, and chose not to insist that Israel only use the heavy water for peaceful purposes.
For many conservatives, the clause has long been a sore point. They believe Congress and the courts have interpreted it too broadly, leading to sweeping federal regulations that the Founding Fathers never intended.
Democrats and liberal groups say Roberts' opinion in a quirky case involving California toads suggests he sides with the conservatives, has a narrow view of the clause and would strike down many federal laws.
"That theory could substantially cut back Congress' power," said Elliot Mincberg, vice president and legal director of the liberal group People for the American Way. "It could mean significantly limiting the ability of Congress to pass laws protecting civil rights, safety and the environment - and throwing out laws that already do that."
Nor has a complaint been lodged against Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA), whose house was recently raided by the FBI, or Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), who enjoyed a trip to a Scottish casino and floated a $100 bet alongside a gambling lobbyist to win some $32,000.
Ney’s press secretary said the congressman had been “lucky.”
Ethics groups on both sides agree. Their ire, which previously was focused largely on Republicans, has turned on Democrats; they say the party has failed to marry rhetoric with action. Democrats maintain they’ve worked to fix a “broken” ethics committee and are watching to see where the committee goes before taking action.
Mr Vincent was abducted with his female Iraqi translator at gun point by men in a police car on Tuesday.
His bullet-riddled body was found on the side of a highway south of the city a few hours later.
He had been writing a book about the city, where insurgents have recently stepped up their attacks.
The CIA spent millions of dollars on the Scorpions, whose existence has not been previously disclosed, even giving them former Soviet Hind helicopters. But most of the unit's prewar missions -- spray-painting graffiti on walls; cutting electricity; "sowing confusion," as one said -- were delayed or canceled because of poor training or planning, said officials briefed on the unit. The speed of the invasion negated the need for most of their missions, others said.
After Baghdad fell, the CIA used the Scorpions to try to infiltrate the insurgency, to help out in interrogations, and, from time to time, to do "the dirty work," as one intelligence official put it.
...More than six years ago, a special committee revised spelling rules in an attempt to rid the language of many of its quirks and make it more logical.
Germany, Austria and Switzerland have been in transition since then, with both sets of spelling rules in use.
Under the new system, extremely long compound words have been broken up, comma rules have been simplified, and in many cases a double-S replaces the old letter sign for the sound, which resembles a capital B.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Course materials are mostly created by the Air Force, and the classes taught by retired officers. Costs will be split between the Air Force and the school district.
Disbursing shops at several 1st Marine Division and 1st Force Service Support Group battalions surveyed over the past week said they learned only recently about the elimination of "geographic rate protection" under the Basic Allowance for Housing.
The continued shooting of civilians is fueling a growing dislike of the United States and undermining efforts to convince the public that American soldiers are here to help. The victims have included doctors, journalists, a professor — the kind of people the U.S. is counting on to help build an open and democratic society.
"Of course the shootings will increase support for the opposition," said Farraji, 49, who was named a police general with U.S. approval. "The hatred of the Americans has increased. I myself hate them."
The increase in profits was primarily due to the Pentagon's payment of "award fees" for what military officials call "good" or "very good" work done by KBR in the Middle East for America's taxpayers and the troops.
Despite the scandals that plague KBR's military contracts, the Pentagon awarded $70 million in "award" fees to the company, along with four ratings of "excellent" and two ratings of "very good" for the troop logistics work under the Army's LOGCAP contract.
Because the moon's gravity has been slowing down the Earth, it takes slightly longer than 24 hours for the world to rotate completely on its axis. The difference is tiny, but every few years a group that helps regulate global timekeeping, the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, tells governments, telecom companies, satellite operators and others to add in an extra second to all clocks to keep them in sync. The adjustment is made on New Year's Eve or the last day of June.
But adding these ad hoc "leap seconds" -- the last one was tacked on in 1998 -- can be a big hassle for computers operating with software programs that never allowed for a 61-second minute, leading to glitches when the extra second passes. "It's a huge deal," said John Yuzdepski, an executive at Symmetricom Inc., of San Jose, Calif., which makes ultraprecise clocks for telecommunications, space and military use.
On Jan. 1, 1996, the addition of a leap second made computers at Associated Press Radio crash and start broadcasting the wrong taped programs. In 1997, the Russian global positioning system, known as Glonass, was broken for 20 hours after a transmission to the country's satellites to add a leap second went awry. And in 2003, a leap-second bug made GPS receivers from Motorola Inc. briefly show customers the time as half past 62 o'clock.
Less than two weeks ago, Daniel Kasaris, special prosecutor against two critics of public officials in northern Ohio, stated publicly that the duo’s website which often levels caustic charges against public officials, especially judges, and focuses on alleged governmental wrongdoing, was not a factor in the arrests of the pair.
But now he says if the website editor stops writing for the site, he’ll reduce the felony charges he brought against him to a misdemeanor.
One interrogation analyst also testified that sleep deprivation and forced nudity -- which were used in Cuba on high-value detainees -- later were approved tactics at Abu Ghraib. Another soldier said that interrogators would regularly pass instructions to have dog handlers and military police "scare up" detainees as part of interrogation plans, part of an approved approach that relied on exploiting the fear of dogs.
Any statements that included comments by third parties must identify them and have their permission to use them, it said.
Hendrix's subterfuge, contained in his military medical records, is revealed for the first time in Charles R. Cross' new biography, "Room Full of Mirrors." Publicly, Hendrix always claimed he was discharged after breaking his ankle on a parachute jump, but his medical records do not mention such an injury.
Japan is the latest major US trading partner to impose sanctions to protest the US anti-dumping law.
The Japanese tariffs, set at 15 per cent from September 1, are in line with similar moves by Canada and the European Union against the so-called Byrd Amendment.
The law enacted in 2000 redistributes US levies on dumping -- the selling of items abroad at lower prices than in the domestic market -- to the US companies that complained. Critics says this puts exporters to the United States at a disadvantage.
The health care industry itself, based on current estimates, will cover less than 20 percent of that amount.
"These findings suggest that policy initiatives are needed if we are to close this gap," said a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Bernadette Noe, who served dual roles as chairman for the Lucas County Republican Party and the Lucas County Board of Elections, sent twelve “partisans” into a warehouse on Election Day, according a memo authored by Ohio’s Director of Campaign Finance Richard Weghorst who was present at the time.
The assertion is part of a comprehensive investigation prepared for Ohio Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell regarding reports of irregularities in Lucas County. The report found gross failures on the part of Ms. Noe’s board in preparation for and administration of November’s election. (Read the memo in PDF)
The findings, published online today, will add to concerns that anti-Americanism is hurting companies whose products are considered to be distinctly "American".
The Anholt-GMI Nation Brands Index found that although US foreign policy remained a key driver of hostility, dissatisfaction with the world's sole superpower might run deeper.
"The US is still recognised as a leading place to do business, the home of desirable brands and popular culture," said Simon Anholt, author of the survey. "But its governance, its cultural heritage and its people are no longer widely respected or admired by the world."
[So which nation has the most esteemed brand? Australia.]
The scientists were led by South Korea's Hwang Woo-Suk, Gerald Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and the creator of the cloned sheep Dolly, Professor Ian Wilmut of Scotland's Roslin Institute.
They would not say what the experiment would be about, but said it was expected to be over early next week.
Schatten however told journalists it would be a scientific "milestone" and indicated it could be aimed at combining achievements made in cloning and stem cell research to develop ways to treat incurable diseases.
- Stop encouraging Wal-Mart personnel to spy on suspected pro-union coworkers and get rid of your anti-union hotline.
- Stop spending money on anti-union activities, including your "People Division," an on-call unionbusting army which responds to the 'threat' of unions in your stores.
- Stop closing stores or departments where your employees have decided to form a union.
Cheney’s orders first surfaced in an article by Philip Geraldi in the Aug 1, 2005, issue of The American Conservative. Geraldi was unavailable for comment, but excerpts of the article went on to say:
"Vice President Cheney's office has specifically told the Pentagon that the military should be prepared for an attack on Iran in the immediate aftermath of "another 9-11." That's "not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States," notes Geraldi’s article.
"Speaking of phones and doorkeepers, it's widely understood that to have real influence in Washington, one must be on good terms, not so much with Cabinet secretaries, as with White House secretaries--that is, the assistants who sit in the outer offices of the president's senior advisors. As with much else in this town, uber-lobbyist/anti-tax activist Grover Norquist seems to understand this rule as well as anybody. Norquist had a deal with Susan Ralston, who until recently was the assistant to Karl Rove. An unnamed Republican lobbyist recently told Salon.com: "Susan took a message for Rove, and then called Grover to ask if she should put the caller through to Rove. If Grover didn't approve, your call didn't go through."
How did Norquist attain such influence over Ralston? Flowers every Friday? Redskins tickets? The answer, actually, is what the White House ethics lawyers call a "preexisting relationship." Ralston had formerly worked for lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a close friend of Norquist's and a top fundraiser for House majority whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas).
"I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought," Bush said. "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes."
The theory of intelligent design says life on earth is too complex to have developed through evolution, implying that a higher power must have had a hand in creation.
[Bush's statement on education is in stark contrast to the policy on teaching how condoms work.]
Put some super glue on broken off part, insert, hold a few seconds and pull.
2. Remove a broken light bulb.
Stick a bar of soap into jagged edges, use soap as handle.
3. Remove a stubborn screw.
Heat with a soldering iron for a few seconds first.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff called the gangs "a threat to our homeland security and ... a very urgent law enforcement priority."
CNOOC’s withdrawal frees the way for Chevron Corp. to clinch its $17.4 billion bid for El Segundo, Calif.-based Unocal.
Alleged bomb plotter claims two and a half years of interrogation under US and UK supervision in 'ghost prisons' abroad
He alleges that in Morocco he was shown photos of people he knew from a west London mosque, and was asked about information he was told was supplied by MI5. One interrogator, he says, was a woman who said she was Canadian.
Drawing on his notes, Mohammed's lawyer has compiled a 28-page diary of his torture. This has been declassified by the Pentagon, and extracts are published in the Guardian today.
The carefully hedged assessments, which represent consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies, contrast with forceful public statements by the White House. Administration officials have asserted, but have not offered proof, that Tehran is moving determinedly toward a nuclear arsenal. The new estimate could provide more time for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. President Bush has said that he wants the crisis resolved diplomatically but that "all options are on the table."
The new National Intelligence Estimate includes what the intelligence community views as credible indicators that Iran's military is conducting clandestine work. But the sources said there is no information linking those projects directly to a nuclear weapons program. What is clear is that Iran, mostly through its energy program, is acquiring and mastering technologies that could be diverted to bombmaking.
Monday, August 01, 2005
DarwinAwards.com does its best to separate the wheat from the chaff, identifying for its readers which of its stories are factual and which are not. The various "Annual Darwin Awards" e-mails (such as the one which is the topic of this article) do not originate with DarwinAwards.com; they are put together by unknown persons.
Of the seven gruesome accounts given in the "Darwin Awards 2004" e-mail, six fail to check out, but one is real. The lone entry that stands up to scrutiny is the sorry tale of a Reston, Virginia, man who foolishly taped a selection of store-bought bungee cords together, then used them to bungee jump off a 70-foot railroad trestle.
That leads to reason to believe the North will demand something is done about the nuclear threat against it, including a negative security assurance. It will bring up instances where it has been fooled by the US in the past and demand legally binding assurances. The Bush Administration, however, has strengthened America's nuclear hegemony and said it could use nuclear arms against a biochemical attack, so it will not be accommodating to such demands.
Demands by the US that the North take the first step by giving up its nuclear program and the North's demand that the US take action on the nuclear threat as one of the corresponding actions it needs to take in response will probably make finding agreement difficult.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court here in December, the former C.I.A. officer, whose name remains secret, said that the informant told him that Iraq's uranium enrichment program had ended years earlier and that centrifuge components from the scuttled program were available for examination and even purchase.
The officer, an employee at the agency for more than 20 years, including several years in a clandestine unit assigned to gather intelligence related to illicit weapons, was fired in 2004.
Kerry A. Emanuel, an MIT professor of meteorology, reviewed about five decades of hurricane and typhoon data, and found that both the duration and wind speeds of the storms had increased by 50%.
"When hurricanes do strike in the future, they will, on average, have much greater intensity, hitting harder and lasting longer," Emanuel noted.
The increased intensity will "substantially increase hurricane-related losses along populated coastlines, hitting people hardest not as previously thought in the tropics but in the middle and high latitudes," he said.
Two emails, which have been obtained by the ABC, were sent to supervisors in the Office of Military Commissions in March of last year - three months before Australian detainee David Hicks was charged and five months before his trial began.
The first email is from prosecutor Major Robert Preston to his supervisor.
Maj Preston writes that the process is perpetrating a fraud on the American people, and that the cases being pursued are marginal.
"I consider the insistence on pressing ahead with cases that would be marginal even if properly prepared to be a severe threat to the reputation of the military justice system and even a fraud on the American people," Maj Preston wrote.
"Surely they don't expect that this fairly half-arsed effort is all that we have been able to put together after all this time."
Just 26 when he joined the Justice Department as a special assistant to Attorney General William French Smith, Roberts was almost immediately entrusted to counsel senior department officials on such incendiary matters of the day as school desegregation, voting rules and government antidotes to bias in housing and hiring.
"I think what's going on in Guantanamo Bay and other places is a disgrace to the U.S.A.," he told a news conference at the Baptist World Alliance's centenary conference in Birmingham, England. "I wouldn't say it's the cause of terrorism, but it has given impetus and excuses to potential terrorists to lash out at our country and justify their despicable acts."
Carter said, however, that terrorist acts could not be justified, and that while Guantanamo "may be an aggravating factor ... it's not the basis of terrorism."
Sunday, July 31, 2005
In another witness statement, passed to the Sunday Herald, former prisoner Thaar Salman Dawod said: “[I saw] two boys naked and they were cuffed together face to face and [a US soldier] was beating them and a group of guards were watching and taking pictures and there was three female soldiers laughing at the prisoners. The prisoners, two of them, were young.”
It’s not certain exactly how many children are being held by coalition forces in Iraq, but a Sunday Herald investigation suggests there are up to 107. Their names are not known, nor is where they are being kept, how long they will be held or what has happened to them during their detention.