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    World News
1/12/03 - 1/18/04

Sunday  1/18/04

Talking Back To the Global Establishment  1/18/04 Alternet: "As the Bush administration struggles with setbacks in its global trade and Iraq agendas, the opposition World Social Forum opened festively this week with 150,000 global justice activists primarily from India and South Asia, marking a successful transition for the grassroots experiment from its original site in Brazil. The growing legitimacy of the WSF, formed as a counter to the annual corporate-based World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was reflected by the presence on opening night of Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi of Iran, who expressed hope that "there will be a world where globalization will not be synonymous with inequality." She was joined by former United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson, who called for controls of global arms trafficking that contributes to the deaths of a half-million people annually."

Globalization in the African World  1/18/04 American Friends Service Committee: "In preparation for Miami, a group of activists from the African Diaspora decided that the impact of Globalization on the African continent needed to be highlighted. This idea culminated into a half-day forum co-organized by AFSC staff entitled Globalization in the African World."

Sharon backs envoy's art attack  1/18/04 CNN: "Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has praised his country's ambassador to Sweden for damaging an art exhibit depicting a Palestinian suicide bomber." The exhibit was inviting people to reflect on why the suicide bombings were happening, but this is not a topic of interest to Herr Sharon.

Desperation and Drastic Measures - The Use and Abuse of Martin Luther King Jr. by Israel's Apologists  1/18/04 Counterpunch: using a phony letter from MLK - "Soon afterwards, CAMERA, a rabidly pro-Israeli organization, published a statement declaring that the letter was "apparently" a hoax. CAMERA explained how it gained so much currency. The "letter" came from a "reputable" book, Shared Dreams, by Rabbi Marc Shneier. Martin Luther King III authored the preface for the book, giving the impression of familial approval."

Scalia and Opus Dei - Radicals on the High Court  1/18/04 Counterpunch: "Whether or not an alleged member of Opus Dei, like Justice Antonin Scalia, enjoys a touch of the lash on his prodigious derriere from time to time, is certainly no business of ours. However, the affiliation of a Justice on the highest court in the land to an organization that, for all appearances, is nothing more than a right-wing cult should arouse not only suspicion, but an investigation."

Who is the Grand Ayatollah Sistani?  1/18/04 Defense and the National Interest 

Opus Dei Awareness Network  1/18/04 ODAN: "The Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN) was founded in 1991 to meet the growing demand for accurate information about Opus Dei and to provide education, outreach and support to people who have been adversely affected by Opus Dei. ODAN challenges many of Opus Dei's Questionable Practices because of the way they affect an individual's personal freedom, choices and family life. Since 1991, ODAN has been in contact with countless individuals, families, the secular and religious press, clergy, religious, cult awareness organizations, campus ministers, home-schooling parents and more."

Saturday  1/17/04

topIsraeli ambassador kicked out of Swedish museum after vandalizing art  1/17/04 AFP 

Is Bush Doomed?  1/17/04 AntiWar: "If Bush delivers on his democracy promise, the Shi'ites with 60% of the population will be elected, and the country will break out in civil war. If he tries to water down Shi'ite representation with his plan for an assembly elected indirectly by caucuses, the so far peaceful Shi'ites are likely to join the violence… Bush, desperate to be extricated before doom strikes him is experiencing a reality totally different from the chest-thumping of neocon megalomaniacs, such as Charles Krauthammer, who declared the US so powerful as to be able to "reshape, indeed remake, reality on its own." Bush now knows that he lacks the power to deal with the reality of Iraq. Indeed, Bush cannot even deal with his own appointees."

Deadliest Attacks in Iraq War So Far  1/17/04 AP 

War protesters proud they got to jeer Bush  1/17/04 Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "For two years, the antiwar movement in Atlanta has waited for the moment Thursday when President Bush's motorcade pulled up at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. "No protester has ever been that close to Bush," crowed organizer Kelli Potts on Friday afternoon as she recalled the Thursday protest when about 1,000 people shouted "Bush Go Home" and waved antiwar placards as the president laid a wreath beside the crypt of Martin Luther King Jr."

Libya's black market deals shock nuclear inspectors  1/17/04 Guardian, UK: "The ease with which the complex bomb-making equipment was acquired has stunned experienced international inspectors. The scale and the sophistication of the networks supplying so-called rogue states seeking nuclear weapons are considerably more extensive than previously believed. The purchase of full centrifuges, either assembled or in parts, marks a radical departure in what is on offer on the black market, sources said. While it is not yet clear where Col Gadafy obtained the centrifuge systems, at least 1,000 machines, believed to have been made in Malaysia, were seized last October by the Italian authorities on a German ship bound for Libya."

Red Flag Raised Over CIA, Special Forces  1/17/04 LA Times 

Who killed Kennedy?  1/17/04 Portsmouth Herald, NH: "Keating: We recently marked the 40th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. Polls show that a majority of Americans do not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman. My question to you, as someone who is running for the office that he held at the time of his assassination, is what do you believe? Dean: I believe what I read and what I’ve read is the Warren Commission, or some of it. And their conclusion is that he was the lone assassin. I’m not a big conspiracy theorist. Now I don’t deny that conspiracies exist, but this was never one that I’ve been highly attracted by. So I go with what I consider to be the mainstream opinion on this one, which is that it’s likely it was a single assassin."

We can share shrine with three faiths, says Wailing Wall liberator  1/17/04 Telegraph 

Friday  1/16/04

topIsrael marks Hamas leader for death following suicide attack at Gaza crossing  1/16/04 AP: "Israel is set to resume targeted killings of top Hamas militants and leveled a blunt warning to the group's elderly spiritual leader that he tops the list of those to be hunted and put to death… "Sheik Yassin is marked for death, and he should hide himself deep underground where he won't know the difference between day and night," Boim told Army Radio on Thursday night. "And we will find him in the tunnels, and we will eliminate him." "

Government by and for Halliburton  1/16/04 Center for American Progress: "SPACE – Pushing Mars Exploration, to Benefit Halliburton: Despite the White House's initial low-balling, legitimate "cost estimates for the new Mars program range from $550 billion to $1 trillion." And according to industry officials, "Halliburton would benefit considerably" from that huge new spending. The company has long pushed for the Mars program for that reason. In the 4/24/00 edition of Oil & Gas Journal, a top Halliburton scientist said that a "Mars exploration program presents an unprecedented opportunity" for the industry to make billions. He noted the reason there was such "great potential for a happy synergy between [Halliburton] and space researchers" was because the new drilling techniques developed in a Mars program would aid Halliburton's drilling for oil on Earth."

Black America's PAC  1/16/04 Disinfopedia: "Black America’s Political Action Committee (BAMPAC) supports conservative policies and African-American candidates. Its name misleadingly suggests that it represents the point of view of African-Americans, but in fact opinion polls and voting patterns show that the vast majority of African-Americans disagree with BAMPAC's political positions. BAMPAC claims to be nonpartisan, but its IRS tax statement explicitly states that its mission is to elect Republicans."

Colombia: La guerrilla destruye una base paramilitar en Simiti, sur del Bolivar  1/16/04 Rebelion 

King's legacy lives on -- in Venezuela  1/16/04 USA Today: "I was delighted, therefore, when I traveled with others from the TransAfrica Forum to celebrate King's birthday in Caracas, Venezuela. We went with Minister of Education Aristobulo Isturiz to open a school named after King. It's among more than 3,000 ''Bolivarian'' schools created since Hugo Chavez became Venezuela's president in 1999. The schools, open all day, provide two meals and a snack to poor children. There's also a new Bolivarian University, which increases higher education's availability, especially to poorer students. Further, more than a million adults have taken literacy classes in the past two years."

Thursday  1/15/04

topMass Demonstrations by Women, Others, Against Sudden Islamization of Iraqi Law  1/15/04 Antiwar: "US observers, including US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, have continually worried in public about Iraq becoming a theocracy, and have rejected that option. But the American-appointed Interim Governing Council has suddenly taken Iraq in a theocratic direction that has important implications for women's rights. As reported here earlier, the IGC took a decision recently to abolish Iraq's civil personal status law, which was uniform for all Iraqis under the Baath. In its place, the IGC called for religious law to govern personal status, to be administered by the clerics of each of Iraq's major religious communities for members of their religion. Thus, Shiites would be under Shiite law and Chaldeans under Catholic canon law for these purposes."

Wackenhut, empresa de la CIA implicada en golpe y acciones conspirativas, incumple leyes laborales en Aragua  1/15/04 Aporrea 

Dean says there’s no ‘war’ on terror – and he’s right!  1/15/04 Progresso Weekly 

Demystifying Africa's Absence in Venezuelan History and Culture  1/15/04 Venezuela Analysis: By: Jesus "Chucho" Garcia. "Editor's Note: This article is being posted here in connection with the recent visit of a TransAfrica Forum delegation to Venezuela. An interview with Jesús García, who is the director of the Afrio-Venezuelan Network, on the current situation of Venezuelans of African descent will follow soon." … "From 1937 to the present, Arturo Uslar Pietri, the celebrated Venezuelan writer with the greatest influence on the white elite, has kept this official discourse alive in his writ­ings and his addresses to Venezuelan intellectuals concerning issues of modernity and the nation. Uslar Pietri's premise is that "Blacks did not arrive" in Venezuela "with a culture that visibly affected the construction of our national identity."[3] He asserts that "Blacks did not make a racial contribution beneficial to the nation. Our racial blend has not enabled us to transcend the original ingredients. In general terms, those members of what we might call the current Venezuelan race are as incapable of comprehending modern and dynamic concepts of work as were their ancestors. This means that if we cannot substan­tially modify the ethnic composition of our population, it will be virtually impossible to change the course of our history and to make our country a modern nation."[4]"

Wednesday  1/14/04

top"Racismo en Venezuela está vivito y coleando" afirma presidente de TrasnAfrica Forum  1/14/04 Aporrea: "Durante una rueda de periodistas este martes, resaltó para ilustrar su afirmación, que en algunos espacios de la prensa nacional la visita de la organización que integra ha sido objeto de ataques "que rayan en la idiotez y en el racismo". "No se dejen engañar cuando les digan que aquí no hay racismo (...) Donde quiera que existe racismo ya el conflicto está presente", insistió Fletcher. Al respecto agregó, que ese conflicto algunas veces funciona de manera interna, socavando todo incentivo de progreso que se pueda emprender. La presencia de esta delegación de progresistas afroamericanos no tiene como función hacer ningún juicio a la política venezolana ni hacer el papel de árbitro, sino que esta visita sirve para intercambiar opiniones con representantes del sector oficial, de la oposición y de otros "quienes no se encuentran en ninguno de los dos bandos". Negó, con mucha vehemencia, que esta visita sea "chavista", tal como lo han reseñado algunos medios de comunicación venezolanos, al tiempo que apuntó que en su país sólo se conoce una versión de lo que ocurre en Venezuela. Luego de visitar varios barrios, ubicados en diferentes regiones de Venezuela, esta delegación pudo evidenciar el alto predominio de negros en esos lugares."

Stubborn insurgency continues despite the capture of Hussein  1/14/04 Baltimore Sun 

Hussein Warned Iraqis to Beware Outside Fighters, Document Says  1/14/04 NYT: "It provides a second piece of evidence challenging the Bush administration contention of close cooperation between Mr. Hussein's government and terrorists from Al Qaeda. C.I.A. interrogators have already elicited from the top Qaeda officials in custody that, before the American-led invasion, Osama bin Laden had rejected entreaties from some of his lieutenants to work jointly with Mr. Hussein. ...Senior officials at the Pentagon who were certain that the evidence of connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda were strong and compelling found themselves at war with analysts at the C.I.A. who believed that the evidence showed some contacts between Baghdad and the terrorist organization, but not an operational alliance." Much like the US thought communism was monolithic and never understood the tensions between China and Viet Nam.

Chavez's Clowning at Summit Hits a Chord in Latin America  1/14/04 Pacific News: "According to the Buenos Aires daily Pagina 12, reporters were awaiting the conclusion of a key meeting between the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and President Nestor Kirchner of debt-crushed Argentina, when Chávez passed by. "Have you seen the photos that they've been sending from Mars?" he asked the crowd, referring to images of a flat, scorched-looking landscape the U.S. space vehicle has been transmitting. Chávez's punch line: "It looks like the IMF has been there too." "

US Plans to Overthrow Venezuela President?  1/14/04 Pravda: "Hugo Chavez is sure that over half of the signatures are falsified. He says that if the checkup turns them down, Washington may treat him as an enemy of democracy who has sabotaged the referendum and thus must be overthrown. The Venezuela president emphasizes he will draw attention of the world to the problem at the summit of the American continent presidents that started in Mexico on Monday." That is, if they turn the microphone on...

To Rebel Is Justified: Cuba, Haiti and John Brown  1/14/04 SF Bay View 

Trans Africa Forum: there's racism and discrimination in Venezuela after all  1/14/04 Vheadlines: "Insisting that the delegation did not come to Venezuela to create any conflict, Fletcher referred to opposition media racist characterizations of President Hugo Chavez Frias as a clear example of racial discrimination and says he is surprised at the high level of racial factor negation that the group's visit has aroused in Venezuela. "If we don't confront the heritage of Western Hemisphere invasion, colonialism, slavery and segregation, racism will undermine every attempt at social progress." Trans Africa colleague, James Early insists that the group did not come to Venezuela to start accusing people and but to meet and talk with their African-Venezuelan brothers. "They have been told that some barrio inhabitants are denied access to discotheques because of the color of their skin." "

Clashes Rise in Southern Iraq - Jobless Protesters Confront Ukrainian Troops and Local Police  1/14/04 Washington Post: "Some people complained that occupation authorities had been slow to deliver promised jobs and services, but most blamed Iraqi officials, including both former Baath Party members who managed to retain niches in the bureaucracy and former exiles who were appointed to national and regional posts by U.S. officials but have done little to help the public."

Tuesday  1/13/04

topU.S. toll in Afghan military campaign hits 100  1/13/04 AP 

Militares rebeldes venezolanos solicitan en Miami invasión del ejercito de EE.UU. a Venezuela  1/13/04 Aporrea: sources report that there are many arms now inside Venezuela and the situation is very tense - En el Programa “Maria Elvira Confronta” del lunes 12 de enero, el cual es conducido por la señora Maria Elvira Salazar en el canal 22 local de la ciudad de Miami, se le preguntó al militar rebelde venezolano Luis Piña si él estaría de acuerdo con una intervención militar a Venezuela por parte de los Estados Unidos, y que si a él le gustaría ver a los U.S. Marines pisando su patria Venezuela con la intención de derrocar al actual Presidente Hugo Chávez… El programa Maria Elvira Confronta es uno de los más vistos entre el publico hispano del sur del estado de la Florida en EE.UU. En el mismo se ha entrevistado a individuos como el dictador militar chileno Augusto Pinochet, quien, a pesar de contundentes evidencias de sus actos de genocidio, cuando fue entrevistado en el programa dijo ser “un ángel que actuó por amor a su país”."

Sorprendido Chávez en Monterrey. Desorganización en la Cumbre  1/13/04 Aporrea: "Cuando Hugo Chávez, alcanzaba 3 minutos de intervención "inexplicablemente" se perdió el audio. Debo decir que a ninguno de los mandatarios anteriores (al menos escuche a 7) le sucedió esto. La interrupción se produjo en el preciso momento en el cual el Presidente de Venezuela formulaba, en un tono muy sereno, sus críticas al ALCA como una propuesta que no ayudará en nada al desarrollo. Los siguiente 2 minutos no hubo sonido. Este fue repuesto cuando el HCF daba las gracias a Fox e invitaba a reflexionar a sus colegas." Hugo was COINTELPRO'd.

US military 'brutalised' journalists  1/13/04 Guardian, UK: "Although Reuters has not commented publicly, it is understood that the journalists were "brutalised and intimidated" by US soldiers, who put bags over their heads, told them they would be sent to Guantanamo Bay, and whispered: "Let's have sex." At one point during the interrogation, according to the family of one of the staff members, a US soldier shoved a shoe into the mouth one of the Iraqis. The US troops, from the 82nd Airborne Division, based in Falluja, also made the blindfolded journalists stand for hours with their arms raised and their palms pressed against the cell wall. "They were brutalised, terrified and humiliated for three days," one source said. "It was pretty grim stuff. There was mental and physical abuse." He added: "It makes you wonder what happens to ordinary Iraqis." The US military has so far refused to apologise and has bluntly told Reuters to "drop" its complaint… Last night the nephew of veteran Reuters driver and latterly cameraman Mr Ureibi said that US troops had forced his uncle to strip naked and had ordered him to put his shoe in his mouth. "He protested that he was a journalist but they stuck a shoe in his mouth anyway. They also hurt his leg. One of the soldiers told him: 'If you don't shut up we'll fuck you.'" "

State Dept.: Attack on U.S.S. Liberty was act of negligence  1/13/04 Haaretz 

Media Queries - Combined Press Information Center  1/13/04 US Army: "Members of the media can submit queries to Combined Joint Task Force Seven through the Combined Press Information Center by email at or by telephone at (914) 360 - 5089 or (914) 360 - 5082."

President Hugo Chavez Frias urges Venezuelan foreign reserve switch from US$ to €uros  1/13/04 Vheadlines: "Meanwhile, Chavez Frias says that Venezuela has lost substantial gains by keeping all of its monetary reserves in the declining US dollar ... he says it would make sense to have part of those reserves in €uros as the international currency of choice ... Venezuela's international reserves have grown from about US$14 billion (€10.95 billion) in January 2003 to $21.4 billion (€16.74 billion) at the beginning of this month."

Monday  1/12/04

topCondoleezza Rice: refrain yourself from speaking of Venezuela!!  1/12/04 Vcrisis: "Can you not see that Danny Glover is talking? How do you dare to utter words of constitutional respect? Are Venezuelans not living in a paradise land ruled by the most benign, pro-active and forward-thinker of the Americas since Simon Bolivar? Silence!! Let us hear the sage words of Mr Glover on the struggle of African-Venezuelans in Venezuela. I felt the need to come out of my self-imposed ban to comment on some issues. It appears that everyone is quite pissed owing to the visit of the third tier Hollywood actor to Venezuela. Why should we give a flying fu*** about this loser anyway? Who gives a shit about what he thinks? What audiences is he to manipulate in Chavez’ favour?"

Venezuela Will not Tolerate any Intervention in its Internal Affairs, According to Chavez  1/12/04 Venezuela Analysis: "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez welcomed a delegation of U.S. African-American activists and said that his country will not tolerate any intervention from Washington, in response to negative comments from U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice… Later in the program, President Chávez suggested to actor Danny Glover that he make a movie about ‘el negro Andresote,’ a slave who organized a rebellion against slave owners in Venezuela. Glover responded, "it's a deal!" "

Danny Glover praises Venezuela's education minister ... opposition bristles  1/12/04 Vheadlines: "The Black Americans' visit to Venezuela has raised controversy and created a somewhat irrational response among opposition sectors that deny the existence of racism in Venezuela, accusing the Venezuelan President of artificially whipping up non-existent racial tensions and hatred. Analysts suggest that it is time for Afro-Venezuelans ... such as Barlovento-based and Unesco-sponsored, Jesus Chucho Garcia ... and other domestic black experts to speak out on the matter and place the debate on a more equal footing."

Danny Glover is Making a Difference  1/12/04 WORK, Rochester, NY 


"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 Americatop

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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