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    World News
1/26/03 - 2/1/04

Sunday  2/1/04

Don King praises Venezuela's Chavez  2/1/04 CNN: ""To see what is happening here makes me feel good all over," said King of Chavez's government and his efforts to bring social justice to Venezuela's poor majority. "You are a president of the people, for the people and by the people and your magic lies in your people ties. You are the one concerned about the poor," King said during Chavez's "Hello President" program."

Chávez followers said to be training for referendum in Cuba  2/1/04 CubaNet 

Harvard Center for Risk Analysis  2/1/04 Disinfopedia: "The industry-funded Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA) was founded by John D. Graham and specialises in advocating forms of risk-assessment widely criticised by community groups."

Civil war breaks out at BBC as Hutton backlash grows  2/1/04 Guardian 

US boxing promoter Don King says will tell George W. Bush of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias' 'people ties'  2/1/04 Vheadlines 

Saturday  1/31/04

topDanger for Bush as doubts grow over prewar intelligence  1/31/04 The Age, Australia 

Prosecuted for politics, not security  1/31/04 The State, SC: "Mr. Thurmond would have you believe that my arrest, under the statute that deals with threats to the president, was simply a case of me being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I would argue that I was in the right place at the right time to take a stand against the Bush administration’s dangerous foreign policy and the erosion of civil liberties in this country."

Friday  1/30/04

topThe Leak of CIA Agent Valerie Plame Wilson's Identity: Why Competing Congressional and Special Counsel Investigations Will Inevitably Cause Problems By JOHN W. DEAN  1/30/04 FindLaw 

'The public must look to what is missing from the report' by Scott Ritter  1/30/04 Guardian 

Gilligan Resignation Statement in Full  1/30/04 Scotsman: "If Lord Hutton had fairly considered the evidence he heard, he would have concluded that most of my story was right. The Government did sex up the dossier, transforming possibilities and probabilities into certainties, removing vital caveats; the 45-minute claim was the ‘classic example’ of this; and many in the intelligence services, including the leading expert in WMD, were unhappy about it. Thanks to what David Kelly told me and other BBC journalists, in very similar terms, we know now what we did not know before. I pay tribute to David Kelly. This report casts a chill over all journalism, not just the BBC’s. It seeks to hold reporters, with all the difficulties they face, to a standard that it does not appear to demand of, for instance, Government dossiers. I am comforted by the fact that public opinion appears to disagree with Lord Hutton and I hope this will strengthen the resolve of the BBC."

U.S. has quietly expelled dozens of Saudi diplomats  1/30/04 World Tribune: "The United States has ordered the expulsion of dozens of Saudi diplomats suspected of helping promulgate Al Qaida ideology, diplomatic sources said. The State Dept. has refused to either confirm or deny the action… The U.S. decision to expel the diplomats was said to have stemmed from a Houston, Texas conference in December 2003. The Saudi opposition agency said Saudi diplomats had planned to attend the conference with what it termed "known supporters of Al Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden. The Saudi embassy canceled its participation in the conference after the Washington Post reported the involvement of the diplomats. The conference was to have been addressed by a senior Saudi cleric Sheik Abdullah Bin Jebreen, who has publicly supported Bin Laden and his war against the United States, the agency said. Jebreen addressed the conference via video link from Riyad… The agency said Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar Bin Sultan has refused to take responsibility for the Saudi embassy in Washington. The agency cited a source as saying he hasn't entered the embassy in years. "Many diplomats have not seen the ambassador for years," the source said. "Bandar spends most of his time at his mansions around the U.S. and the world, instead of carrying on his ambassadorial duties." "

Thursday  1/29/04

topAfrican Americans crucial to Democratic victory  1/29/04 Black Commentator: "In 1996, Bill Clinton trailed Bob Dole among whites 46 to 43 percent, but got 84 percent of the African American vote and won the election handily. In 2000, Al Gore won an historic 90 percent of the African American vote, which was critical to his success in the popular vote. Given the increased polarization of the electorate and the disappearing “swing voter” in 2004, African-American voters are more important than ever."

The Awesome Destructive Power of the CPM (Corporate Power Media)  1/29/04 Black Commentator: "The New York Times, through its chief political reporter, Adam Nagourney, set the parameters of coverage by eliminating any mention of the three “bottom tier” candidates – starting with his “analysis” of the May televised debate in South Carolina, a state in which Al Sharpton is a key player! Nagourney systematically erased Sharpton, Kucinich and Carol Moseley-Braun from his weekly coverage of the contest – a professionally suicidal routine were it not consistent with the objectives of corporate management. The Times proudly sets the standard for national reporting, but its leadership was not necessary to ensure that the bottom tier would remain at the bottom. The organs of corporate speech all march to the same tune because there is not a dime’s worth of difference between their owners… The real story here is that Koppel felt empowered to all but demand that the three most progressive candidates (and both Blacks) vacate the Democratic presidential arena. Koppel had fumed to the New York Times about the uppity intruders, the month before. The day after the debate, ABC withdrew its reporters from all three campaigns. (None of the other networks had even bothered to give full-time coverage to the bottom tier.) Koppel’s arrogance, so unbecoming to a journalist, is rooted in his actual status at ABC/Disney: he is a corporate executive who pretends to be a newsman on television. His professional history notwithstanding, Koppel and each of the high profile TV “news” personalities are millionaire executives who act as spokesmen for the corporate divisions of their parent companies. They interact with executives of other divisions, principally marketing – the domain of sales and “impressions.” Koppel is incapable of thinking in terms other than money and polls, an important marketing tool. He is proprietary about the political process because, as an esteemed executive in the ruling corporate class, he thinks he owns it."

The GI's weapon of choice in Iraq: dollars  1/29/04 CSM 

Help America Vote Act  1/29/04 Disinfopedia: "In an article in In These Times, Mark Lewellen-Biddle wrote "more troubling, the backers of the act and the manufactures of e-voting machines are a rat’s nest of conflicts that includes Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and Accenture Ltd.. Why are major defense contractors like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin mucking about in the American electoral system? And who are Accenture and EDS?" "

False Casualty Counts, Beating Sheikhs in Ramadi  1/29/04 Electronic Iraq: "Ali (last name withheld), an Iraqi Policeman who witnessed the incident, said, “I saw 12 dead US soldiers. They put them in black body bags and flew them out by helicopters.” Ali said, “We tried to help get the man out of the bus, but the American’s wouldn’t let us. He died because they wouldn’t let us get him out.” A man who also lives near the scene of the incident, Abdul Ahkman, said, “I saw 12 US soldiers killed and flown away by their helicopters. We want the American’s to leave. They said they would bring us freedom, but they have only brought us death and suffering. We will kill them all if they stay here.” "

The shadow of Iraq - The Hutton saga is a sideshow. The real issue is who will pay the price for war and occupation  1/29/04 Guardian 

LLAMAMIENTO DE CARACAS  1/29/04 Jiribilla: "Convocados por las ideas de Bolívar y Martí, los escritores venezolanos y cubanos reunidos en la ciudad de Caracas los días 26, 27 y 28 de enero de 2004, hemos decidido, tras intensos y fructíferos debates, hacer público el presente llamamiento:"

Venezuela - Es indetenible la ola de cambios sociales  1/29/04 Jiribilla 

Officers criticize ‘Crusade against terrorism’  1/29/04 Radio Progreso, Miami: "One of the most virulent attacks against the objectives of the anti-terrorist war comes, oddly enough, from a famed and controversial expert: Prof. Jeffrey Record of the U.S. Air Force Academy at Maxwell, Ala., the author of six books about military strategy. The scholar, who is not prone to forgive the mistakes of politicians (in 1999, he published a report that questioned the military strategy of the Clinton administration), recently published a wide-ranging study that reveals the incongruities of the campaign against terrorism. Record's pragmatic conclusions raised welts in the Pentagon, for the simple reason that the strategist made a negative evaluation of the government's steps that, in his judgment, harm the interests of the United States. Record's criticism can be summarized thusly: The campaign against terrorism does not pursue a clear objective; the inclusion in the list of terrorist organizations of groups that do not represent a direct threat to U.S. interests (groups such as ETA and the Tamil Tigers) constitutes a grave mistake; the administration will be unable to effectively fulfill the promises it made in recent years; the economic resources allotted to the Armed Forces will be squandered in actions that will not guarantee the much-touted absolute security of American citizens."

Women Protest US Award to Venezuelan Coup Leader Gustavo Cisneros  1/29/04 Venezuela Analysis 

Wednesday  1/28/04

topBBC AT WAR - M'LORD HUTTON BLESSES BLAIR'S ATTACK ON BBC'S INVESTIGATION OF IRAQ WAR CLAIMS  1/28/04 Greg Palast: "This is not just a story about what is happening "over there" in the United Kingdom. This we must remember: David Kelly was not only advisor to the British but to the UN and, by extension, the expert for George W. Bush. Our commander-in-chief leaped to adopt the Boogey Man WMD stories from the Blair government when our own CIA was reticent… As of today, the independence of the most independent major network on this planet is under attack. Blair's government is "cleared" and now arrogantly sport their kill, the head of Gavyn Davies, BBC's chief, who resigned today. "The bleak future for British journalism" portends darkness for journalists everywhere - the threat to the last great open platform for hard investigative reporting. And frankly, it's a worrisome day for me. I'm not a disinterested by-stander. My most important investigations, all but banned from US airwaves, were developed and broadcast by BBC Newsnight, reporter Watts' program."

America Tugs at French-Accented Lands: It's Not Peanuts  1/28/04 NYT 

Anti-Defamation League accuses the Bay View of ‘being anti-Semitic’  1/28/04 SF Bay View 

Tuesday  1/27/04

topDefienden a médico cubano de conducta agresiva de televisoras  1/27/04 Aporrea: "El pueblo de El Pensil les respondió porque estamos agradecidos de este médico cubano, y le salimos al paso a esta gente. Este médico ha hecho una obra muy buena, y no vamos a permitir que nadie, absolutamente nadie, nos saque a este médico cubano que ha hecho maravillas con la salud de nosotros. El atiende muy bien; en mi caso yo no podía caminar, y gracias a este médico hasta tacones me puedo poner y tenía años que no lo hacía”.

Targeting weak points: Iraq's oil pipelines  1/27/04 Asia Times 

Risky Votes  1/27/04 Gov Exec: "Despite warnings from computer experts that a $22 million online voting system is plagued by security risks, the Pentagon is moving forward with the project. Known as Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment, or SERVE, the system lets U.S. military members and their dependents or U.S. citizens living abroad vote in this year's presidential election via the Internet. SERVE effectively puts the mail-in absentee ballot system online."

Pionero del Software Libre Richard Stallman critica firma de contrato de Miniesterio de Educación de Venezuela con con Microsoft  1/27/04 Rebelion 

Oscar Heck: Hungry opposition vultures waiting for Chavez to die from his injuries  1/27/04 Vheadlines: "The Venezuelan opposition has continuously demonstrated their admiration for the USA, its policies and its ways of life ... using USA-style rhetoric such as: rogue states, evil, dictator, communist, fascist, tyrant, terrorists, insurgents, axis of evil, weapons of mass destruction ... in association with Chavez ... and democracy, liberty, civilized and freedom when describing themselves. So grand is the Venezuelan opposition’s love for the USA that they even invited the USA to militarily invade Venezuela. It is therefore no surprise that the Venezuelan opposition were able to accuse Chavez of having “terrorist” relations with “evil dictators” such as Moammar Gadhafi ... which would eventually lead to Venezuela compromising its “freedom” and “democracy.” "

Monday  1/26/04

topFrench Lesson - The Battle of Algiers  1/26/04 American Conservative: "The Pentagon’s special-operations chiefs screened the once-famous 1965 film “The Battle of Algiers” last August, inspiring its timely re-release in selected theatres this month. Produced by arch-terrorist Saadi Yacef (who played himself) and directed by the Italian Communist Gillo Pontecorvo, this favorite of the old New Left recounts with remarkably dispassionate (if selective) accuracy one of France’s many military victories on its road to losing the 1954-1962 Algerian war of independence. Ultimately, the 132-year-old settlement of one million “pied noir” Europeans was driven into the sea. The Pentagon commandos’ flier advertised, “How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas … Children shoot soldiers at point blank range. Women plant bombs in cafes. Soon the entire Arab population builds to a mad fervor. Sound familiar? The French have a plan. It succeeds tactically, but fails strategically.” The paratroopers’ plan was to track down Yacef’s top killers using intensive interrogation (i.e., torture)."

How roadside bombs have become the Iraqi guerrillas' most dangerous weapon  1/26/04 Independent, UK 

Nigerian corruption trail leads to US, Paris  1/26/04 Mail & Guardian: "In Paris, a French judge has reportedly warned that United States Vice-President Dick Cheney could be charged over allegations that his former company, Halliburton, paid $180-million in bribes to build a Nigerian gas plant. Halliburton has called the accusations untrue, and Cheney's spokespersons have refused to comment on the case."

Whistleblower Coming In Cold From the F.B.I.  1/26/04 NY Observer: "The first half-dozen translations were transcripts from an F.B.I. wiretap targeting a Turkish intelligence officer working out of the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. A staff-member of the Judiciary committee later confirmed to this writer that the intelligence officer was the target of the wiretap Ms. Dickerson had mistranslated, signing Ms. Edmonds’ name to the printouts. Ms. Edmonds said she found them to reveal that the officer had spies working for him inside the U.S. State Department and at the Pentagon—but that information would not have reached field agents unless Ms. Edmonds had retranslated them. She only got through about 100 more pages before she was fired."

Commentary - Paranoid Shift  1/26/04 UQ: "Angleton told author Joseph Trento that the reason he had gotten the counterintelligence job in the first place was by agreeing not to submit "sixty of Allen Dulles' closest friends" to a polygraph test concerning their business deals with the Nazis."
"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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