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    World News
3/1/08 - 3/15/2008

Saturday  3/15/2008

Colombian rebel leader murdered - Reflections on meeting with Raul Reyes  3/15/2008 Fight Back: "Raul Reyes, a leading member of the FARC - the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - was killed by the U.S. backed Colombian government March 1. Fight Back! asked Jess Sundin, who traveled to Colombia and met with Raul Reyes, to give her impressions of him and to speak about the significance of his slaying. Sundin is a member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization and an important leader in Minnesota’s peace and justice movement."

Friday  3/14/2008

topEliot's Mess - The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked  3/14/2008 Greg Palast: "This week, Bernanke’s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks’ mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure. Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers’ bordello: Eliot Spitzer. Who are they kidding? Spitzer’s lynching and the bankers’ enriching are intimately tied."

Thursday  3/13/2008

topThe Media Repeats Stream of Lies About Obama  3/13/2008 Alternet: "What floods into one's inbox these days bears little or no relation to Obama's record. "Some of my earliest and most ardent supporters came from the Jewish community in Chicago," he has said. Obama ran for the Senate promising to help reconstitute the black-Jewish civil rights coalition. His first foreign policy speech of the campaign was before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where he pledged "clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel." He has occasionally angered pro-Israel hawks by urging direct negotiations with Iran and Syria, but Obama's foreign policy record is well within the Democratic Party mainstream. He's committed to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, supported Israel's incursion into Lebanon in 2006 and has criticized Hamas. During his campaign for the presidency, Obama has been defended by AIPAC, the neoconservative New York Sun and The New Republic's Marty Peretz, a noted Israel hawk. And yet no defense of Israel by Obama -- or of Obama by the pro-Israel establishment -- seems to be enough. "When one charge is disproved, another is leveled," says Rabbi Jack Moline, who leads a synagogue in Alexandria, Virginia."

Peter Dale Scott, Transcript of Talk, Santa Cruz Media Strategy Summit  3/13/2008 Education Forum: talk given 1/26/08 - "Another thing is that, and I go into this in my book, around about the year 1970, the right wing of the overworld of this society decided that they were actually threatened by blacks in the streets and SDS and everything else and mobilized for what Irving Kristol called an "intellectual counterrevolution."[3] Which meant they systematically channeled money into the big four foundations, like the Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation, which have been funding the radical right, theocons, all of these things have been systematically funded. And money after all, does have an impact in the country. And what is even worse since Iraq, and it started with Cheney when he was Secretary of Defense in 1982, the right wing developed this theory that there were too many public civil servants because these tended to vote Democratic, so they started outsourcing to private contractors. And that has certainly redressed the balance in the opposite direction. Because firms like Haliburton or Blackwater go to Iraq with huge non-bid contracts; Halliburton channels 87 % of its political contributions to the Republican Party; Blackwater is channeling its political contributions to the radical Christian right wing. So that it's the public treasury that is funding these private outsourced contractors, who then, in turn, are financing the political machine that has given them these contracts in the first place."

Wednesday  3/12/2008

topWashington Post Columnist Gives Private AIPAC Talks on How to Help Israel in '08 Election  3/12/2008 Mondoweiss 

Teachers, Students Speak Out At Miami-Dade School Board Meeting  3/12/2008 NBC: "Students and teachers attended the first school board meeting since the nationally televised brawl at Edison High School. Dozens of Edison students showed up to voice their plan for change. "With school board members sleeping on the job and our superintendent missing in action, the demand for restorative justice is being ignored," one student said. Students asked for training across the board in anger management, conflict resolution and what they describe as "unfair zero-tolerance policies."

Tuesday  3/11/2008

topHow to End the Subprime Crisis  3/11/2008 Counterpunch: "But at the heart of the problem is a 1999 “reform” that repealed an earlier reform known as the Glass-Steagall Act. In 1933 the Glass-Steagall Act separated commercial banking from the securities business. It prevented securities speculation from destroying bank capital and shrinking bank deposits from bank failures and runs on banks by depositors. Congress and President Bill Clinton foolishly repealed the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999."

Monday  3/10/2008

topKilling ourselves in Afghanistan  3/10/2008 Salon: "In a secret meeting with a Taliban commander, I learned how Bush administration aid to Pakistan helps fund insurgents who kill U.S. troops."

Bush Spending U.S. Tax Dollars to Foment Unrest in Bolivia  3/10/2008 The Progressive 

Sunday  3/9/2008

topBush, Colombia & Narco-Politics  3/9/2008 Consortium News 

What started it all? I am afraid it is a long, complicated story…  3/9/2008 

Obama wins Wyoming caucuses  3/9/2008 IHT: "Clinton campaigned here Friday, a day after her husband and daughter, signaling the stakes every contest holds in the fierce battle for the Democratic nomination."

'Human Smoke' by Nicholson Baker  3/9/2008 LA Times: "Roosevelt evinced no desire to negotiate. In fact, Baker writes, in October he "began leaking the news of his new war plan," with $100 billion earmarked for airplanes alone. Grew again warned Roosevelt that he was pushing Japan toward armed conflict with the United States, but the president continued his war preparations. Finally, the night before the Japanese attack, Roosevelt sent a message to Emperor Hirohito calling for talks. He read it to the Chinese ambassador, remarking that he thought the message would "be fine for the record."

EDISON HIGH SCHOOL - Brawl cases will be tough  3/9/2008 Miami Herald: "Vague language in the arrest forms of most of the Edison High students jailed after a melee could derail any criminal cases against them."

Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Faces Scrutiny  3/9/2008 NBC: "On Saturday, 47 Miami-Dade school police union members voted in favor of holding a meeting to cast a vote of “no confidence” against Chief Gerald Darling. The vote came after dozens of students were arrested last Friday in a scene which some parents and students argued police used excessive force."

‘Jail the cops who beat us’ demand Miami students  3/9/2008 The Militant 

Saturday  3/8/2008

topDe las Guerrilleras Negras a Piedad Cordoba  3/8/2008 AfroCubaWeb: by Jesus “Chucho” Garcia

Bolivia: Morales is Checked  3/8/2008 Counterpunch 

James Brown's Gate  3/8/2008 Counterpunch: "Lucas’s fascinating, well-researched story has broader significance, too. How many other liberal outfits which on the surface appear to behelping philanthropies or public benefits, are secretly funded and used bythe wealthy and the political establishment, sometimes even unknowingly, tokeep an eye out for—and control, if necessary— rabble rousers? Or have such subtle forms of intelligence gathering gone into the dustbin of history now that corporations and government agencies have easy access to everybody’s communications?"

Winter Soldier Hearings  3/8/2008 Foreign Policy in Focus 

Rio Group Raps Colombia-Ecuador Hit  3/8/2008 Prensa Latina: "Managua and Bogota face a conflict of territorial sovereignty over Providencia, San Andres and Catalina islands in the Caribbean Sea, in which Uribe says he will abide to the decison of The Hague International Court of Justice."

Friday  3/7/2008

topUS Seeks Weapons Suspect's Extradition  3/7/2008 AP: "The U.S. is seeking the extradition of a suspected Russian arms dealer dubbed the "Merchant of Death," but for now he will remain in Thailand, where authorities are investigating if he used the country as a base to negotiate a weapons deal with terrorists, officials said Friday. Viktor Bout, a 41-year-old whose dealings reportedly inspired a 2005 movie about the illicit arms trade, is accused of running weapons to al-Qaida, the Taliban and parties involved in bloody conflicts across Africa. He was arrested at a Bangkok hotel after a four-month sting operation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Thai and U.S. authorities said."

$300 MILLION FROM CHAVEZ TO FARC A FAKE  3/7/2008 Greg Palast: "Where is Hugo? Where’s 300 million? And 300 what? Indeed, in context, the note is all about the hostage exchange with the FARC that Chavez was working on at the time (December 23, 2007) at the request of the Colombian government. Indeed, the entire remainder of the email is all about the mechanism of the hostage exchange."

Panama Caught up in FARC Crisis - With Quarreling Neighbors and its Own Guerrilla Camps, Panama Is In a Tough Spot... and US Involvement Threatens to Make Things Worse  3/7/2008 NarcoNews 

Police arrests Miami students for peaceful protest  3/7/2008 Party for Socialism and Liberation: "Miami Edison High School is 90 percent Black—a high percentage of students are Haitian and Haitian-American—and 9 percent Latino. Sixty percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunch, attesting to the student body’s primarily working class background."

They knew, but did nothing  3/7/2008 SMH, Australia: "Emails from the National Security Council's counter-terrorism director, Richard Clarke, showed that he had bombarded Rice with messages about terrorist threats. He was trying to get her to focus on the intelligence she should have been reading each morning in the presidential and senior briefings."

Edison students defend protest  3/7/2008 South Florida Times: "Nearly 600 students, parents and school officials convened on campus for the two-hour town hall meeting about the melee. At issue is whether the incident was a riot, as categorized by law enforcement, or a peaceful protest that was broken up with force, as many students claimed. In a note published in The Miami Herald’s letters to the editor page, student leader Chrisford Green said, “We simply wanted to tell the truth about what was going on in the schools. Police say that we were fighting, but for us to fight them, they had to start it. We would not risk getting shot. We students feel hurt.” "

Thursday  3/6/2008

topThe Upside-Down World of Bush and Uribe: Slandering Chávez and the FARC  3/6/2008 Colombia Journal 

Who leaked the details of a CIA-Mossad plot against Iran?  3/6/2008 Haaretz: "One of these ideas was to build electromagnetic devices, smuggling them inside Iran to sabotage electricity lines leading to the country's central nuclear sites. According to the plan, the operation was supposed to cause a series of chain reactions which would damage extremely powerful short circuits in the electrical supply that would have led to failures of the super computers of Iran's nuclear sites."

Activist group might be trying to help itself  3/6/2008 Miami Herald: "When it came time for a bit of street theater, it was Power U organizer Travae Brown who led a handful of protesters to the entrance of the Miami-Dade school police headquarters. With TV crews and newspaper photographers crowded behind him in the doorway, Brown demanded the school cops turn over that elusive restorative justice feasibility study. The school cops, of course, had no restorative justice feasibility study handy. I don't think Brown was surprised by the news. Brown, 19, is not a student at Miami Edison High School. Not even a grad. But Power U has been the organizing force behind the student protests since last week's arrests. Power U had been best known, previously, as an activist group mostly concerned with affordable housing and gentrification issues. Their demonstrators came to Wednesday's rally in green T-shirts emblazoned with ``Our land. Our people. Our community.''"

Wednesday  3/5/2008

topThe Afrovenezuelan Network and the Paramilitary Menace - La Red Afrovenezolana ante la Amenaza Paramilitar  3/5/2008 AfroCubaWeb 

PBS' 'Bill Moyers Journal' Dares to Mention (and Mispronounce) the Name of Sibel Edmonds  3/5/2008 Brad Blog: "PBS' Bill Moyers Journal takes a baby step --- a very baby step --- into the Sibel Edmonds story. Reporter Rick Karr offers a video "Web Exclusive" report (presumably meaning it won't even air on Moyers' actual show) on "Government Secrecy." He covers the cases of the Bush Administration's assault on the NY Times report, James Risen's coverage of warrantless domestic wiretapping, as well as the "retroactive classification" of Sibel Edmonds' testimony before Congress back in 2002. While it's nice to see the basics of the Edmonds case mentioned, out loud, by a mainstream U.S. broadcast journalist, Karr still manages to offer his colleagues in the U.S. corporate mainstream media --- and even himself, for that matter --- a get out of jail free card in his report, for their inexcusable lack of coverage of the former FBI translator's startling allegations concerning the sale of nuclear secrets to the foreign black market by high-ranking U.S. officials. "U.S. journalists have found it nearly impossible to look into her claims," Karr alleges, due to the DoJ's retroactive classification of virtually everything having to do with her case, including even a 2002 60 Minutes segment which covered her story back before they had been effectively neutered entirely."

Edison High students will protest in front of police station Wednesday  3/5/2008 Carlos Miller 

Obama Glosses Over Colombian Attack in Ecuador; Clinton Calls for Escalation Against Venezuela  3/5/2008 Common Dreams 

Colombia Faces Military Border Blockade from Venezuela and Ecuador  3/5/2008 Guardian 

Ecuador president suggests Colombia wanted to prevent hostage release  3/5/2008 IHT: "Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa suggested Tuesday that a Colombian raid against guerrillas hiding in Ecuadorean territory was carried out to prevent the liberation of rebel-held hostages. Correa offered no proof to back up the claim, but said he agreed with speculation that Colombian authorities targeted top FARC leader Raul Reyes "and killed him to prevent a deal for the liberation of the hostages from going forward." Reyes was the key broker in a deal being negotiated by Ecuador to help release the hostages in March, Correa said after arriving in Brazil on a multination tour to win support for the condemnation of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. His first stop was Peru."

Crimes by Homeland Security agents stir alert  3/5/2008 Miami Herald: "Bribery. Drug trafficking. Migrant smuggling. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is supposed to stop these types of crimes. Instead, so many of its officers have been charged with committing those crimes themselves that their boss in Washington recently issued an alert about the ''disturbing events'' and the "increase in the number of employee arrests.''

Justice for Miami Edison Students  3/5/2008 Petition Online: "We are completely dismayed by the actions of the Miami Police and the School administrators on Friday February 29th at Miami Edison High School that resulted in the arrests of 27 youth and countless cases of youth being beaten and injured. We support the demands of the students as outlined below and further demand that they are met in their entirety NOW! "

Miami students protest police invasion of their school  3/5/2008 SF Bay View: "Monday morning 300 students boycotted attending Miami's Edison Senior High, the first school day after police brutally beat and arrested masses of students on Friday. The mostly Black and largely Haitian-American youth are organizing to demand the arrest of Assistant Principal Perez for assault on a student, the dropping of all charges against the students arrested Friday, no retaliation against students and the institution of restorative justice as a problem solving model, instead of arresting more young people in the future. This level of organizing is unprecedented and deserves community support."

The assassination of Larry Davis, symbol of resistance  3/5/2008 SF Bay View: "Hood icon Larry Davis was reportedly assassinated in Shawangunk Concentration Camp in upstate New York on Feb. 19 after being shanked (stabbed) by another prisoner. The legend of Larry Davis was created after he sold drugs for a number of years on the streets of New York directly for the police department. When he wanted to quit, the police sent a hit squad to kill him. He escaped and, in the process, seriously injured a few of his would-be assassins. Seventeen days later, after the biggest manhunt in New York City history up until that point, Larry Davis called the press and the FBI and surrendered publicly to avoid a police lynching."

Tuesday  3/4/2008

topWhy is Obama's skin blacker than normal in Hillary's new attack ad?  3/4/2008 America Blog: "I went and got the original footage from the Clinton ad, and then compared it to 3 different video clips of the same debate from 3 different sources. I did this so as to take into account any editing, or quality issues, that might have accounted for Obama having darker skin in any particular video. None of the 3 video sources I found showed Obama nearly as black as the Hillary ad does. Click the image above to see a larger version. Look at his lips. Look at his eyebrows. Look at how the red MSNBC background has turned more purple. Clearly the image was darkened. The question is "why.""

A look at militaries in 3 Andean nations - A Look at the Military Strength of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela  3/4/2008 AP 

Exporting Health Care - Oil and Health in Venezuela  3/4/2008 Counterpunch: "Simon Romero of the New York Times never fails to report the slightest flutter of bad news from Venezuela. On February 9 of this year, under the headline "In Venezuela, Faith in Chávez Starts to Wane" he tells us that--despite the blessings of large oil reserves--food shortages and "outbreaks of dengue fever" have the populace in a foul mood… Perhaps Romero was in a hurry, but if he had checked a story released by the Bolivarian News Agency (ABN) on February 8, the day before his own story appeared in the Times, he might have seen this headline: "Venezuela is First Country to Show Progress in the Fight against Dengue." Under this headline, Romero and the entire staff of the NYT could have read the article's opening sentence: "Members of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), who are visiting Venezuela, said that Venezuela is the first nation of the region to make great progress in the fight against dengue." The PAHO is the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO)."

18 Edison students freed as peers rally  3/4/2008 Miami Herald: "Laniece Sands said she and her classmates would continue to meet outside school every morning until the charges against the students are dropped -- and Perez is arrested and fired."

Edison High Riot  3/4/2008 MySpace: extensive materials

Monday  3/3/2008

topNoam Chomsky: Why Isn't Iraq in the 2008 Election?  3/3/2008 Alternet 

Chavez: Colombia has become the Israel of Latin America  3/3/2008 AP 

Colombia: Evidence suggests Chavez gave FARC $300M  3/3/2008 CNN: "Evidence found in computers seized in a raid over the weekend suggests that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently gave the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia $300 million, Colombia's national police chief said Monday."

Raid leads to South American standoff  3/3/2008 CNN: "The tension deepened Sunday night, when the director of Colombia's national police force revealed evidence that he said showed links between Ecuador's government and the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which has fought to overthrow the Colombian government for 40 years. He said Colombia obtained the evidence from computers it seized after killing the senior FARC leader."

Is the Clinton Campaign Now Engaged in Intentional Race-Baiting?  3/3/2008 Daily Kos 

COLOMBIA: Hostage Talks "Still Alive," Despite Diplomatic Crisis  3/3/2008 IPS: "European envoys met over the weekend with members of the FARC rebel group’s central leadership to discuss how to move ahead in the efforts to negotiate a humanitarian exchange aimed at securing the release of Ingrid Betancourt and the rest of the hostages held in the jungle by the guerrillas. "The negotiations are alive. Nothing has changed. Or everything has changed, except the negotiations," a European source told IPS, on condition of anonymity."

Documents show Chavez gave FARC $300 million, Colombia claims  3/3/2008 McClatchy 

Good for the Jews? Hillary Clinton's surrogates are questioning Obama's commitment to U.S.-Israel relations.  3/3/2008 Newsweek: ""When Brzezinski's name appears on an advisory list, that's a red flag right away," says an influential American Jewish leader who did not want to sour relations with the Obama campaign. Many American Jews mistrust Brzezinski because he endorsed a 2006 article, later a book, called "The Israel Lobby," which blames many U.S. foreign-policy problems on Washington's ties to Israel. Lewis's aside is not an isolated incident. (She did not respond to a request for comment.) As the race between Clinton and Obama has sharpened in recent months, other Clinton campaign operatives have sent around negative material about Obama's relations with Israel, according to e-mails obtained by NEWSWEEK. In addition to Brzezinski, the e-mails attack Obama advisers such as Rob Malley, a former Clinton negotiator at the 2000 Camp David talks who has since written articles sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view, and they raise questions about Obama's relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor at Obama's Trinity Church in Chicago. Wright has criticized Israel, and Trumpet, a publication run by his daughter, gave an award for "greatness" to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who once called Judaism a "bloodsucking religion." (Obama disagreed with bestowing the award.)"

Diebold Receives a Takeover Offer  3/3/2008 NYT: "The United Technologies Corporation made public on Sunday an unsolicited $3 billion bid for Diebold, one of the largest makers of automated teller machines and voting machines. United Technologies, which first approached Diebold two years ago, initially made the offer in private on Friday. The bid amounts to $40 a share in cash, or a 66 percent premium over Diebold’s closing price on Friday of $24.12, United Technologies said." [UTC is a defense contractor.]

Chavez: “Colombia is the Israel of Latin America.”  3/3/2008 Venezuela Analysis: "Chavez sharply criticized Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, accusing him of leading a "criminal" government, and warned the Colombian leader that any kind of incursion into Venezuelan territory on the part of the Colombian military would be a cause for war between the two countries. "This is very serious. If this were to happen in Venezuela it would be a cause for war," said Chavez. "Don't even think about it or I'll launch an air attack." Chavez compared the actions of the Colombian government to those of Israel in the Middle East who he accused of "invading," "bombing," and "killing" the Palestinian people with the intention of "preventing the union of the Arabic world." "It is the fist of the empire," he said. "And we're not going to let them plant another Israel here in Latin America." "

Sunday  3/2/2008

top'9/11 attacks made up, ' says French best actress Oscar-winner  3/2/2008 Daily Mail: "Actress Marion Cotillard sparked a political row yesterday after accusing America of fabricating the 9/11 attacks. The 32-year-old French actress, who received an Oscar last month for her performance as singer Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, openly questioned the truth behind the terrorist atrocity in an interview broadcast on a French website. "I think we're lied to about a number of things," Cotillard said, singling out the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center as an example of the US making up horror stories for political ends."

Chavez sends tanks to Colombia border in dispute  3/2/2008 Reuters: "Mr. Defense Minister, move me 10 battalions to the frontier with Colombia immediately, tank battalions," Chavez said on his weekly TV show. "The air force should mobilize. We do not want war." ..."He (Uribe) is a criminal," Chavez said. "Not only is he a liar, a mafia boss, a paramilitary who leads a narco-government and leads a government that is a lackey of the United States ... he leads a band of criminals from his palace."

Saturday  3/1/2008

topEconomist Stiglitz Says Iraq War Costs May Reach $5 Trillion  3/1/2008 Bloomberg: "Bills from the Iraq war will pile up for decades to come as the government spends hundreds of billions of dollars providing medical care and disability benefits to about 70,000 soldiers injured in the conflict, he said. The government also will have to pay back with interest money it borrowed to finance the war, which will drive total costs higher, he told Congress's Joint Economic Committee earlier this week. The Congressional Budget Office said last month that $752 billion will have been appropriated so far for the Iraq war, the conflict in Afghanistan and other activities associated with the war on terror once lawmakers approve the remainder of President George W. Bush's 2008 war-funding request. The administration's request for $70 billion more for fiscal 2009 would push that past $800 billion."

Oil money is coming - and there is little the west can do about it  3/1/2008 Guardian: "A study by one of the biggest banks, HSBC, noted: "The owners of emerging SWFs look unlikely just to roll over. They are enjoying the boot being on the other foot after an awfully long time. The train wreck that was the 1990s, when they had to go cap-in-hand to the developed world, was bad enough. "Going back further, western jibes about state capitalism would, perhaps, have more power had they themselves not ruled many of these countries for years via state-licensed companies." Gerard Lyons, chief economist at Standard Chartered, said: "Sovereign wealth funds have existed since 1953 and are here to stay. Their size and influence is set to grow. Already valued at $2.2tn, on current trends they could reach $13.4tn in a decade. "There is a serious likelihood of western governments and SWFs clashing over what they can buy and where. A protectionist backlash against strategic investments is real and threatens global trade." "

Chavez Warns Of "War" if Colombia Strikes Venezuela  3/1/2008 NYT: "President Hugo Chavez warned Colombia on Saturday it would be a "cause for war" if its forces struck inside Venezuelan territory as they did in Ecuador killing a top Colombian rebel commander there. "Don't be thinking that you can do that here ... because it would be extremely serious and would be a causa belli, a cause for war, (if there is) a military incursion in Venezuelan territory. There's no excuse," Chavez said in his most belligerent comments to date in a diplomatic dispute with Bogota."

"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


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