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    World News
12/29/03 - 1/4/04

Sunday  1/4/04

topInventing Africa - New York Times archives reveal a history of racist fabrication  1/4/04 Black Star News: "When New York Times reporters such as Lloyd Garrison in the 1960s and Joseph Lelyveld in the 1980s filed news stories from Africa, editors at the Times routinely fabricated scenes and manufactured quotes for their articles. In some instances, the foreign editor colluded with the reporter to manufacture scenes that they believed would conform to the racist stereotypical biases that U.S. readers had come to expect in reports from Africa. When I brought these examples of racist journalistic concoctions to the attention of New York Times editors more than 10 years ago, I was virtually ignored. That's why recent assertions by Times editors that reporter Jayson Blair's concoctions and fabrications reflected a "low point" in the newspaper's 152-year history (5/11/03) were disingenuous. A much lower point had been reached in the 1960s, when the newspaper began covering Africa consistently, as I discovered when I dug up documents from the Times' archives in 1992."

British soldiers 'kicked Iraqi prisoner to death'  1/4/04 Independent, UK 

Colombian Rebel's Capture Was Result of Hunt Aided by U.S.  1/4/04 NYT: "Colombian agents, working with American intelligence, tailed a top Colombian guerrilla commander for months before he was arrested Friday on a busy street in Quito, the capital of neighboring Ecuador, Colombian military authorities said today… Colombia's security services have become more adept in their war against the rebels thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars in American military aid, training and, most recently, the sharing of intelligence information gleaned by American intelligence analysts. Although it was unclear today what role the Americans played in Mr. Palmera's capture, the minister of defense here, Jorge Uribe, called the American assistance "vital" in locating the guerrilla commander. The United States monitors radio signals and phone conversations and uses aircraft for surveillance of rebel-held regions. American troops have also trained a Colombian Special Forces unit whose sole purpose is capturing high-ranking rebel and paramilitary commanders. Many of those commanders are assumed to cross porous borders into Ecuador and Venezuela, where they are hard to track."

Opinion & Editorial Commentary - Danny Glover travels to Venezuela to show his support for the Venezuelan Blacks  1/4/04 Petroleum World: "The pretended purpose of the trip is, in itself, an indication of the distorted nature of your visit. You are coming to Venezuela to "study" the situation of the Venezuelan blacks. Sir, you are being a racist. You would be hard put to find "blacks" in Venezuela, except in villages such as Curiepe. In Venezuela almost everybody is dark. We are a mestizo country, Sir. We have no black oppressed minority in Venezuela, but a great mass of mestizos and mulattos lacking running water, decent schools and hospitals, running like rabbits to get home before sunset arrives, together with murderers and robbers; lacking decent employment and the required amount of daily calories. Are you telling me that, in the middle of this social chaos produced by the most inefficient and corrupt government we have had in modern Venezuelan history, you are coming to "study" the situation of blacks in the country? As they say in your native San Francisco: Give me a break."

White House 2004: General Election  1/4/04 Polling Report: Bush: 51%, Dean: 46% in CNN/Time Poll

Quarantining dissent - How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech  1/4/04 SF Chronicle: "When Bush visited Australia in October, Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mark Riley observed, "The basic right of freedom of speech will adopt a new interpretation during the Canberra visits this week by George Bush and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao. Protesters will be free to speak as much as they like just as long as they can't be heard." "

Jeb Bush seeks '04 win for brother  1/4/04 Tallahassee Democrat 

Post-9/11, this doesn't seem all that weird  1/4/04 Toronto Star: "On the face of it, Rocco Galati's claim that U.S. and Canadian intelligence agencies want to kill him sounds too weird for words."

Venezuelan Customs seize $2,500,000 illegal shipment of US banknotes  1/4/04 Vheadlines 

Saturday  1/3/04

top‘Something’ felled an M1A1 Abrams tank in Iraq – but what?  1/3/04 Army Times: published in October, 2003 - "Shortly before dawn on Aug. 28, an M1A1 Abrams tank on routine patrol in Baghdad “was hit by something” that crippled the 69-ton behemoth. Army officials still are puzzling over what that “something” was. According to an unclassified Army report, the mystery projectile punched through the vehicle’s skirt and drilled a pencil-sized hole through the hull. The hole was so small that “my little finger will not go into it,” the report’s author noted."

Washington's Past Relationship with Saddam Hussein Worth Looking At  1/3/04 Common Dreams: "But all of this is history, which in America is synonymous with forgotten. Which is why the Bush administration will do everything possible to make sure that Hussein is not brought before an international tribunal, where there is a greater chance that he could implicate some of his former friends and allies in Washington."

Controlling what we hear from Iraq  1/3/04 Electronic Iraq: "The Americans are creating the terrorists here by hurting people and causing their relatives to fight against them. Even this little boy will grow up hating the Americans because of their policy here."

The Garifuna  1/3/04 National Geographic 

Colombia Arrests Senior Rebel Commander  1/3/04 Reuters: "Simon Trinidad, a commander of the Marxist-inspired Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish acronym as FARC, was captured late on Friday."

Friday  1/2/04

topMcKinney: Black people need unity and focus  1/2/04 Barbados Advocate 

Activists say protests against war continues  1/2/04 Final Call 

1973 US plan to invade for oil: secret memo  1/2/04 The Age: "The United States seriously considered sending airborne troops to seize oilfields in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi during the 1973 Arab oil embargo, according to a top-secret British intelligence memorandum released yesterday."

Thursday  1/1/04

topLeftist Takes Over As Mayor of Bogota  1/1/04 AP: "With a pledge to combat poverty, Luis Eduardo Garzon took the helm Thursday as the first leftist mayor of Colombia's capital. "We have never had the opportunity to govern," the former communist union organizer said in his inauguration speech in Bogota's Plaza Bolivar. "We have a responsibility to manage things well, and to be completely efficient." "

Black America must prepare for the long deep slide  1/1/04 Black Commentator: "In 2000 these Pirates captured Washington, DC with the plainly stated goal of subduing the globe by military force and intimidation. It is at this point that the Dream Period ended, definitively, for Black America. There will be no return in the foreseeable future to the times of robust and general domestic growth. Instead, the era of American decline is well underway, and is likely to be punctuated by abrupt, dramatic, and extremely dangerous social dislocations, during which we will learn the fuller meaning of living “in the belly of the beast.” ...Polls show that majorities of Europeans believe the U.S. is roughly as great a danger to world peace as North Korea and Israel – an astounding result in the historical heartland of colonialism, among people who one would think had become inured to imperial excesses as practiced by some of their own governments. Much more ominous are the clear signals that global elites are quietly drawing red lines around the United States. These are the people who convene and attend the innumerable meetings on countless trade and finance issues that keep a wired planet in some semblance of stability. A general consensus has been reached that the U.S. is the primary source of global instability. The world’s elites are seeking to position their institutions and nations as far from the American axis as is feasible, while carefully avoiding economic catastrophe in the process. It is like planning a divorce from an insane, violent spouse who also has a key to the safety deposit box."

Haiti: a call for global action  1/1/04 Black Commentator: by Randall Robinson - "Between 1791 and 1804, hundreds of thousands of Africans enslaved in Haiti ignored the rivers, forests, precipices, swamps, mountains, gorges, bloodhounds, rifles, cannon, and whips that separated them and united to launch a massive, brilliantly executed, spectacular war of liberation that the armies of Spain, England, and France (with the help of the United States) all fought desperately – and failed absolutely – to crush. The Haitian Revolution was no “lucky break” involving “a few unruly slaves.” This was no “plantation uprising.” … "“Most have assumed that (Haiti’s) slaves had no military experience prior to the revolution,” John K. Thornton explains in African Soldiers in the Haitian Revolution. “Many assume that they rose from agricultural labour to military prowess in an amazingly short time…. However, it is probably a mistake to see the slaves of St. Domingue as simply agricultural workers, like the peasants of Europe… …A majority of St. Domingue’s slaves, especially those who fought steadily in the revolution, were born in Africa… …In fact, a great many… …had served in African armies prior to their enslavement and arrival in Haiti."

US military personnel blocked from accessing Electronic Iraq  1/1/04 Electronic Iraq 

Farming the Everglades  1/1/04 Radio Progresso: "With too few U.S. citizens willing to endure such treatment, programs to bring seasonal workers from places like Jamaica, Barbados, and Haiti began in the 1940s and expanded vastly in the wake of the Cuban Revolution, when the embargo of a foreign competitor allowed Florida sugar production to expand ten-fold. Growers paid the migrant workers a brutal piece rate, demanding that one ton of sugar be cut per hour. Those who complained vocally or organized to go on strike – as 300 did in 1982 at Atlantic Sugar Growers – swiftly found themselves in Miami's international airport, awaiting deportation… Over the years, the Fanjul family has grown accustomed to such high levels of political servicing. As owners of the Florida Crystals Corporation, Cuban-born Alfonso “Alfie” Fanjul, Jr. and his brother Jose, or “Pepe,” have the largest sugar cane holdings in the country. Their personal fortune is estimated conservatively at $500 million. Between 1990 and 2003, the sugar industry, led by the Fanjul brothers, sent $19.3 million in political contributions to Washington, according to the Center For Responsive Politics. Growers spent tens of millions more on local elections, especially in Florida. For the Fanjuls, the American two-party political system entails a simple division of labor: Alfie is a Democrat, Pepe a Republican. Leaders from each party eagerly seek the Fanjuls’ assistance as “Pioneer” class donors and campaign committee chairmen." The Fanjuls and the Bacardis are the financial backbone of the Miami Mafia.

Wednesday  12/31/03

topColombian rebels attack village, killing at least 39 paramilitaries, one civilian  12/31/03 AP 

Tuesday  12/30/03

topBush Bros. Wrecking Company - Time Runs Out for the Everglades  12/30/03 Counterpunch: "The failure of the state to plan for sprawl creeping toward the Everglades Agricultural Area, where sugar is grown, is an enormous impediment to timely and cost-efficient restoration, which will depend -- not on risky technologies like aquifer storage and recovery wells that only engineering companies believe will work -- but on significant additional surface water storage. The imminent arrival of condo farms in the Everglades Agricultural Area -- the "exit strategy" for Big Sugar -- will be facilitated by a new law Gov. Bush supported in 2002 that diminishes citizen standing in challenging bad development decisions by the state or local authorities." Big Sugar here means the Fanjul family, long in the forefront with Bacardi in financing the Miami Mafia. Their exploits in the sugar industry are legendary: from working conditions to large government subsidies to their pollutants, which have killed many of the coral reefs off the coast of Florida.

Latest government report on Wellstone 'accident' finds its scapegoats, many questions remain  12/30/03 Liberal Slant: "The Duluth News Tribune featured a column by Jim Fetzer, a University of Minnesota-Duluth philosophy professor and author, in November 2003. Fetzer wrote that an FBI "recovery team" headed out to investigate the Wellstone plane crash BEFORE the plane went down. "I calculate that this team would have had to have left the Twin Cities at about the same time the Wellstone plane was taking off," Fetzer wrote. That apparent prior knowledge was similar to Dallas police putting out an all-points bulletin for accused John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald at 12:43 p.m. in 1963 for shooting a police officer. The problem was the officer was not shot until 23 minutes later. Fetzer also noted that Wellstone's plane was "exceptional, the pilots well-qualified, and the weather posed no significant problems." He wrote that "we have to consider other, less palatable, alternatives, such as small bombs, gas canisters or electromagnetic pulse, radio frequency or High Energy Radio Frequency weapons designed to overwhelm electrical circuitry with an intense electromagnetic field. An abrupt cessation of communication between the plane and the tower took place at about 10:18 a.m., the same time an odd cell phone phenomenon occurred with a driver in the immediate vicinity. This suggests to me the most likely explanation is that one of our new electromagnetic weapons was employed." "

Monday  12/29/03

topThe terror threat at home, often overlooked  12/29/03 CSM: "Last month, an east Texas man pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon of mass destruction. Inside the home and storage facilities of William Krar, investigators found a sodium-cyanide bomb capable of killing thousands, more than a hundred explosives, half a million rounds of ammunition, dozens of illegal weapons, and a mound of white-supremacist and antigovernment literature. "Without question, it ranks at the very top of all domestic terrorist arrests in the past 20 years in terms of the lethality of the arsenal," says Daniel Levitas, author of "The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the Radical Right." But outside Tyler, Texas, the case is almost unknown. In the past nine months, there have been two government press releases and a handful of local stories, but no press conference and no coverage in the national newspapers."

Drug money sustains al Qaeda  12/29/03 Washington Times: as it does the Company…


"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to Democracies as against despots: suspicion." -- Demosthenes

Maps & Weather

A number of maps here

Estimates of the total number of Muslims range from 0.7 to 1.2 billion worldwide and 3 to 6 million in the U.S. About 20% of all people on earth follow Islam. The religion is in a period of rapid growth.

Christianity is currently the largest religion in the world. It is followed by about 33% of all people -- a percentage that has remaind stable for decades. It is expected that, if current trends continue, Islam will become the most popular religion sometime in the mid-21st century.


Death from America

Iraq news: Soaring death rates among Iraqi children, 1999 BBC, UNICEF 500,000 child deaths

Ramsey Clark: Report to UN Security Council re: Iraq, 1/26/2000
1.5 million deaths

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