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    World News
11/18/02 - 11/24/02  

Sunday  11/24/02

Is John Poindexter really the best bet for this job?  11/24/02 Asheville Citizen Time, NC: from Feb '02, concerning Admiral Poindexter's suitability to be big brother - "According to the British newspaper The Guardian, the IAO "will supply federal officials with `instant' analysis on what is being written on e-mail and said on phones all over the U.S.'' Putting aside all other issues, you have to ask: Do we really want someone with a proven track record of hiding information from the public, of creating his own foreign policy, implementing it, destroying records of it and then lying about it someone we want in charge of such a sensitive office?" Note the quote from a British paper, needed since the US media simply doesn't cover the news.

CIA paying millions in Qaeda hunt  11/24/02 Boston Globe: "Just as the CIA spent several hundred million dollars in $100 bills on hand-picked warlords to help motivate and arm ground forces in the war in Afghanistan, agents have been given stacks of US currency to spend in Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, among other countries."

US-Saudi ties strained by hijacker money clain  11/24/02 Financial Times: "Saudi officials suggested the case of the princess was being promoted in Congress by the lawyers of a trillion-dollar lawsuit filed last August by relatives and survivors of the September 11 attacks against Saudi institutions and members of the royal family." This lawsuits risks bringing down House Saud, just as Al Qaeda wants.

No more Mr Scrupulous Guy  11/24/02 Guardian: From Feb '02 - "Poindexter was also accused by a Costa Rican government commission of being involved in cocaine trafficking to raise funds for the contras, though this was never proved (you can find details in the Guardian, July 22 1989)."

Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America'  11/24/02 Guardian, UK: "America does not understand the language of manners and principles, so we are addressing it using the language it understands."

Briton killed in Jenin 'pleaded for ceasefire'  11/24/02 Independent, UK: "Questions were mounting yesterday over the death of Iain Hook, the British United Nations relief worker killed in Jenin refugee camp, after it emerged that the Israeli army had failed to react to repeated telephone calls from Mr Hook pleading for a ceasefire so he could evacuate staff from the UN compound where he died… Israeli radio said yesterday that Mr Hook was not "caught in crossfire" as had been reported earlier, but that an Israeli soldier had shot directly at him. An investigation by the Israeli army found that when Mr Hook emerged from a caravan into the open courtyard of the UN compound, an Israeli soldier mistook the mobile phone he was carrying for a grenade and opened fire on him, the radio reported. It is not clear why the soldier opened fire into a compound clearly marked with UN signs and a blue flag. "The compound is well-known to Israelis. It is inexcusable to fire into it for any reason," a UN source said yesterday."

BBC pays $785,000 to Oryx for Bin Laden libel  11/24/02 Mena: "The false allegations arose when BBC journalists mistakenly accused one of Orynx’s major shareholder’s of being convicted terrorist, Mohammed Khalfan. It was later revealed that the shareholder was a legitimate investor with a similar name to that of Khalfan. As a result of BBC’s accusations, Orynx lost many orders and a number of its credit facilities were canceled. Oryx is a subsidiary of the Omani-based Orynx Group. The company is a mining corporation operating worldwide in the diamond, cobalt, and gold industries. It is currently developing a diamond concession in the Democratic Republic of the Congo"

Big Brother Is Back - The Pentagon’s plan to eyeball America’s databases is drawing fire—as is its controversial salesman  11/24/02 Newsweek: "But on Capitol Hill, Democrats and some Republicans—including retiring House Majority Leader Dick Armey—are concerned that the project is part of a wider White House strategy to erode civil liberties in pursuit of security. (A court recently granted the government expanded surveillance powers.) They are especially irritated that they knew nothing about the $10 million experiment, since the Pentagon quietly buried it under “technology development” in the Defense bill. Now they’re demanding greater scrutiny. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she wants to freeze the program’s funding until Congress can hold hearings. Poindexter may not be able to ignore the rumblings. “He forgot the question you always ask,” says one Pentagon official. “How would this look on the front page tomorrow?”

Split Deepens on Israeli Killing of U.N. Aide  11/24/02 NYT: "Paul McCann, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said the compound, a fenced cluster of three trailers, was clearly marked as belonging to the United Nations. "We know that we had control of it, there were no militants inside it, and there was absolutely no firing coming from inside it," said Mr. McCann, who visited the site today. The aide worker who was killed, Iain John Hook, 54, was shot in the back, Mr. McCann said. Mr. Hook's two sons claimed his body today, he said."

UN contests Israeli army account of Jenin official's death  11/24/02 Reuters: "Preliminary findings from our inquiry indicate that this is not true. This claim is incredibly incorrect," said Paul McCann, a spokesman for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). He said a U.N. investigator would arrive from U.N. headquarters in New York later in the day to launch a full probe into the death of Iain Hook, a British UNRWA official killed in Jenin refugee camp on Friday."

US forces told to destroy supply lines of terror  11/24/02 Telegraph, UK: "American special forces commandos have been ordered to launch covert operations against arms supply lines to terrorists and the three rogue nations referred to by President George W. Bush as the "axis of evil"."

Rabbi in Hebron says annihilation of non-Jews acceptable  11/24/02 Ummah News: "A prominent Israeli rabbi with thousands of followers said during a Sabbath homily in the settlement in Kiryat Arba'a Saturday that halacha, or Jewish religious law, "essentially supported the annihilation of non-Jews in Israel." The rabbi, Rav Leor, said most rabbinic authorities "of the past and the present accepted the opinion that the lives of non-Jews don't enjoy the same sanctity as the lives of Jews." "Hashmadat goyem" (the extermination of non-Jews), he said, was an established principle in Jewish theology. The rabbi is affiliated with the messianic Jewish movement known as Gush Emunim which is represented in the Israeli Knesset by seven Knesset members."

Presidente denunció paro terrorista del 2 diciembre liderado por Carlos Andrés Pérez  11/24/02 Venpres: "Tras calificar de terrorista la paralización del lunes 2 de diciembre, motorizada por la Confederación de Trabajadores de Venezuela (CTV) en estrecha sintonía con Fedecámaras, el jefe de Estado destacó las declaraciones, desde República Dominacana, hace dos días, del ex presidente Carlos Andrés Pérez, a quien calificó de "capo mayor", y cuyo planteamiento citó textualmente: "En Venezuela correrá sangre y Chávez caerá, en breve, gracias al paro indefinido que se ha convocado". El primer mandatario venezolano, Hugo Chavez Frías, hizo esa denuncia en en su programa Aló Presidente N° 128, transmitido desde el sector San Lázaro, en la comunidad de El Winche, sobre la cual comentó además que, por un lado, no le dieron cobertura los medios comunicacionales privados del país y, por otro, el "formato es parecido al del 11 de abril (...) El paro convocado para el 2 de diciembre tiene una carta bajo la manga, tiene un puñal ahí, agarrado en la espalda, para tratar de apuñalar de nuevo a la Constitución Bolivariana y al pueblo venezolano (...) y no lo vamos a permitir, en el terreno que sea estamos dispuestos a combatirlo y en el terreno que sea lo vamos a derrotar".

Proposal to Enlist Citizen Spies Was Doomed From Start  11/24/02 Washington Post: "The Justice Department's Operation TIPS program, which would have enlisted tens of thousands of truckers, bus drivers and other workers as citizen spies, was doomed before it began. The Homeland Security package approved by the Senate last week and slated to be signed by President Bush includes language explicitly prohibiting the government from implementing the controversial initiative. It was hounded by criticism from civil libertarians and targeted for elimination by key lawmakers."

Saturday  11/23/02

topGroup Files Complaint to Disbar Dershowitz  11/23/02 "An American Muslim legal group today announced the filing of a complaint with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers demanding disciplinary action against Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. The Muslim Legal Defense and Education Fund (MLDEF) says Dershowitz violated rules of professional conduct when he advocated the commission of war crimes and the use of torture."

How the West fuels global terrorism  11/23/02 Arab News: "One year on, the crowing has long since faded away; reality has sunk in. After six months of multiplying attacks on US, Australian and European targets, civilian and military — in Tunisia, Pakistan, Kuwait, Russia, Jordan, Yemen, the US and Indonesia — Western politicians are having to face the fact that they are losing their war on terror. In Britain, the prime minister has taken to warning of the “painful price” that the country will have to pay to defeat those who are “inimical to all we stand for”, while leaks about the risk of chemical or biological attacks have become ever more lurid. After a year of US military operations in Afghanistan and around the world, the CIA Director George Tenet had to concede that the threat from Al-Qaeda and associated jihadist groups was as serious as before Sept. 11. “They’ve reconstituted, they are coming after us,” he said."

Aid worker killed 'by Israeli soldier'  11/23/02 BBC 

Top Sharon adviser to discuss special aid request in Washington  11/23/02 Haaretz, Israel: "The Prime Minister's Office bureau chief, Dov Weisglass, left for the United States Saturday night in preparation for Monday's meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice over Israel's request for special economic and security assistance. Israel wants NIS 4 billion in military aid, to be given over a number of years, to support Israel's war on terror and to help the country face new strategic and military threats in preparation of the expected American-led war against Iraq. Israel also is asking that the Bush administration provide $10 billion in loan guarantees that would help ease its economic plight."

Justice Dept. Seeks to Use New Power in Terror Inquiries  11/23/02 NYT: "The moves grow from a decision last week by a special appellate panel of the Foreign Intelligence Court of Review in Washington that validated the Justice Department's broad surveillance powers under an antiterrorism law passed last year. The appeals court found that prosecutors were permitted to use wiretaps obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in prosecuting people accused of being terrorists. For more than 20 years restrictions had deterred criminal investigators and intelligence agents from sharing information."

Friday  11/22/02

topThe No-Fly List  11/22/02 In These Times: "Nancy Chang, a senior litigation attorney at the CCR, who also has been singled out for searches and questioning at the airport, says the government is “leveraging legitimate air safety concerns into a program that targets law-abiding Americans for questioning and detention based on their political viewpoints… This week, the CCR announced that it is considering a lawsuit against the TSA. A number of those whose travel has been interfered with have signed on as possible plaintiffs, and CCR is inviting those with similar experiences to contact them. Meanwhile, the ACLU has posted a no-fly complaint form to fill out on its Web site for those who are harassed or prevented from flying.”

The air industry's worst nightmare  11/22/02 Salon: "Sources within the White House Office of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Salon the conference was prompted in part by a recent Senior Executive Intelligence Brief prepared by the CIA, which alerted top Bush administration officials and selected military leaders that terrorists have likely smuggled shoulder-launch missiles into the United States in recent months."

105 killed in Miss World protests  11/22/02 Sydney Morning Herald: "Authorities clamped a curfew on the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna after at least 105 people were stabbed, bludgeoned or burnt to death during violent demonstrations over the Miss World pageant. The protests were triggered by a newspaper article suggesting Islam's founding prophet might have chosen a wife from among the contestants in the pageant. More than 200 others were seriously injured and four churches were torched, said the president of the Nigerian Red Cross, Emmanuel Ijewere. "A lot of people died. We don't know yet exactly how many." The monotheists at it again.

Spate of attacks raises Arab terrorism fears  11/22/02 Times, UK: "AMERICANS came under attack across the Middle East yesterday, prompting fears of a new wave of terrorist strikes at vulnerable Western targets in the Arab world. An American nurse was killed by a gunman in Lebanon. Two US soldiers were shot and injured in Kuwait by a fugitive policeman. In Saudi Arabia a gunman burst into a McDonald’s restaurant and set it alight. US officials are investigating whether the incidents were isolated attacks or part of a coordinated campaign. Hours before the latest violence, the US State Department had issued a warning to American citizens abroad that Osama bin Laden was preparing fresh attacks against them."

PM on aide: She calls me a moron, too  11/22/02 Toronto Star: "- Prime Minister Jean Chrétien refused today to accept the resignation of his embattled communications director, Francoise Ducros, over her alleged remark that U.S. President George W. Bush is a "moron."

Thursday  11/21/02

topMisinterpreting Osama's Message: Erring on the Side of Danger  11/21/02 Alternet: "In order to emerge from the imminent cycle of retaliation, we are required to operate from a new, transcendent paradigm principled upon tension reduction, violence prevention and conflict transformation. It is off the right-wrong axis."

Bush pledges to honor Russia's economic interests in Iraq  11/21/02 AP: "Russia's economic interests in Iraq will be honored if Saddam Hussein is toppled by a U.S. military operation, U.S. President George W. Bush said in an interview broadcast on Russian television Thursday. "We have no desire to ... run the show, to run the country," Bush told NTV, according to a transcript provided by the station. "And we understand that Russia (has) got interests there, as do other countries. And, of course, those interests will be honored."

Harvard shifts stance on speaker  11/21/02 Boston Globe: "Harvard University's English department, in a surprising reversal, has reinvited writer Tom Paulin to give a poetry reading on campus, one week after English professors and Paulin canceled the event because of complaints over Paulin's statements that Brooklyn-born Jewish settlers in Israel were ''Nazis'' who ''should be shot dead.''

US defends plan for search of data  11/21/02 Boston Globe: "Poindexter's project would cull data from all available sources, including driver's licenses, credit card transactions, airline tickets, and gun purchases. Privacy advocates object, saying that the system would be a radical departure from US legal traditions that limit surveillance of innocent citizens. ''Americans expect and have the right to expect that their lives don't become an open book when they have not done and aren't even suspected of doing anything wrong,'' said Katie Corrigan, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union." Poindexter was part of Coca Contra and is barred from Costa Rica for suspected drug trafficking activities committed with Secord, North, et al.

Coalition for Immokalee Workers  11/21/02 CIW 

Security act to pervade daily lives  11/21/02 CSM: "When you board a plane in the next year, your pilot may be armed. Make a call from a pay phone at the ballpark, and it may be tapped. Pay for a sandwich with a credit card, and the transaction may wind up in an electronic file with your tax returns, travel history, and speeding tickets."

Florida's rate of graduations worst in U.S.  11/21/02 Orlando Sentinel: "The Manhattan Institute, a supporter of Gov. Jeb Bush's education-reform policies, released a report this morning that places Florida's graduation rate 50th -- behind Georgia, the District of Columbia, Arizona, South Carolina and Tennessee. Based on graduation figures from the 2000 school year, barely half of Florida's students earned diplomas, according to the report, while New Jersey led the nation with an 87 percent graduation rate."

Canada to U.S.: Mind your business - Don't tell us how to run our military, defence minister admonishes U.S. president. Second Canadian official calls Bush'a moron' for pushing Iraq onto NATO agenda  11/21/02 Ottowa Citizen: "Earlier in the day, a senior Canadian official, who asked not to be identified, called Mr. Bush "a moron" because of his efforts to push the war against Iraq to the top of NATO's agenda. The summit was to focus on expansion and moderation of the alliance, but Mr. Bush has used his clout to make Iraq the dominant issue at the meeting."

Immigrant smugglers sentenced  11/21/02 Palm Beach Post: "The presiding federal judge also criticized the citrus industry, calling the slavery convictions a sign of the larger problems in Florida's second-largest industry. "Others at a higher level of the fruit picking industry seem complicit in one way or another with how these activities occur," U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore said while handing down the sentences. "I think there is a broader interest out there the government should look into as well."

Slave traders jailed for 12 years  11/21/02 Sydney Morning Herald: "Judge Michael Moore sentenced brothers Ramiro and Juan Ramos to 12 years and three months jail each, and their cousin Jose Ramos to 10 years and three months jail. In June, the three, who supplied pickers for citrus farms in Florida, were convicted in a federal court for conspiring to hold some 700 workers, most of them illegal migrants, as slaves. They would recruit workers, most of whom illegally entered the US from Mexico, by paying to transport them from Arizona to the citrus fields of Florida. The workers were threatened with violence and told they could not leave until they paid $US1,000 ($A1,800) for their transportation from Arizona. "This modern form of farmworker slavery is a devious racket," said Oxfam America, a charitable organisation that supports the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a Florida farmworkers organisation that had alerted the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to the case."

Capitán del Ejército denuncia planes golpistas al abandonar plaza Francia  11/21/02 VenPres: "El capitán (Ej) Pedro Sánchez Bolívar, uno de los militares disidentes que se encontraba en "desobediencia legítima" en la plaza Francia, de Altamira, denunció este miércoles al grupo de oficiales y demás seguidores castrenses quienes se pronunciaron en contra del presidente de la República, Hugo Chávez Frías, y en pacto con el titular de la Confederación de Trabajadores de Venezuela (CTV), Carlos Ortega, quieren llevar a cabo el paro general indefinido, que sin importar su éxito, "genere desorden, violencia y muerte", para lo cual almacenan armamento tanto en el sótano de la esa plaza como en el Hotel Four Season."

Wednesday  11/20/02

topChavez's military takeover of police provokes clashes  11/20/02 Independent, UK 

Garífunas, el pueblo olvidado  11/20/02 La Prensa, Honduras: "El 12 de abril de 1797 llegaron a Punta Gorda, Roatán, 5080 garífunas desde la Isla de San Vicente. Ellos venían como prisioneros de guerra después de combatir contra ingleses y franceses por cerca de 40 años. Una vez establecidos en Roatán iniciaron negociaciones con los españoles en Trujillo y se ubicaron en tierras continentales, estableciendo comunidades a lo largo de la costa Atlántica, inclusive Guatemala, Belice y Nicaragua. Con la Reforma Liberal, desde finales del siglo XIX hasta mediados del siglo XX, llegaron a Honduras nuevos contingentes afrocaribeños, principalmente de Jamaica, Haití y Trinidad y Tobago, para ser empleados en la construcción del ferrocarril interoceánico y en las plantaciones bananeras de las transnacionales. El mestizaje iniciado desde el siglo XVI, supone que aproximadamente el 80 por ciento de la población hondureña tiene sangre africana. Actualmente habitan en 36 comunidades a lo largo de la costa."

Ex-FBI agent in I-95 crash tells court he wasn't drunk  11/20/02 Miami Herald: "The case has drawn intense scrutiny because the brothers, who were black, were initially blamed for causing the crash, and members of the community have accused investigators of racism and an official coverup. The grieving mother of the victims, Florence Thompson, sat in the back of the courtroom, crossing her arms and at times closing her eyes. She said later that she was praying Farrall would tell the truth, but that those prayers were not answered."

Saudis hold 100 over al-Qaida ties  11/20/02 MSNBC: "THE AL-EQTISADIAH newspaper said Interior Minister Prince Nayef said the Saudis were detained after their return from Afghanistan. It was the first official estimate of the number of detainees on terrorism charges in the kingdom after last year’s Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers in those attacks were identified as Saudis. “The number of those questioned on this issue was around 700 Saudis,” said Prince Nayef, rejecting reports that the number was much higher."

Alfredo Peña's Little Army  11/20/02 NarcoNews: "In the poorer districts of Caracas, the Policia Metropolitana (PM) has never been looked upon with very high regard. Judging by what I’ve heard and seen, and on many occasions I've had the opportunity to see the PM at work in the city center, this police force is probably about as brutal and corrupt as Mexico's Federales. In fact, there's a local saying here that goes something like this: better to fall into the hands of muggers than into the hands of the PM. As if this wasn't enough, since the beginning of this year the PM has acquired another appealing feature: it has become an instrument of brutal repression of pro-governmental demonstrations. Under the authority of the greater Caracas mayor Alfredo Peña, one of Chavez' most notorious opponents, the “Metropolitana” has grown increasingly effective at breaking up "Chavista" demonstrations through the systematic use of massive doses of highly potent tear gas and, more and more frequently, through the use of firearms loaded with real bullets. The PM played their first major political role on April 11th of this year when they accompanied an illegal opposition march on Miraflores presidential palace that produced a cloud-cover of chaos allowing a media-driven coup d'etat to take place. That afternoon, Venezuelan commercial television showed images of a few pro-government demonstrators who, for several minutes, fired automatic pistols over the railing of the Puente Llaguno bridge which overlooks the Avenida Baraldt, a main artery that leads towards Miraflores. Private Venezuelan television channels showed these images over and over while a commentator explained that the shooters were assassins who were deliberately killing "peaceful" demonstrators in the opposition march. What these TV channels failed to show their viewers was the wider-angle camera shots that allowed one to observe that other individuals on the bridge were ducking for cover and were quite obviously being shot at by an unseen aggressor. The unseen aggressor, as the pictures and videos of Venezuelan independent media were to reveal, was none other than the Policia Metropolitana. The independent media images, as well as many eyewitness accounts, filled the gaps in the story: the metropolitan police was using firearms, including long-range sniper rifles, to clear the Avenida Baraldt of the government supporters who were attempting to block the path of the insurrectionary opposition march. The images also revealed that the opposition march was a good distance behind the PM shock troops and out of the firing range of the Puente Llaguno shooters. Despite these images, the numerous eyewitness accounts, and the fact that there were many more "Chavistas" killed (14 out of 18) and injured on April 11th than opposition demonstrators, the opposition leaders and their media watchdogs have stuck to their version of events."

They spy - How law enforcement is keeping tabs on the new peace movement.  11/20/02 SF Guardian: "The Sept. 8 flight was poised to take off from Newark, N.J., for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and a final destination of Kabul, Afghanistan, when agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation strode aboard. The G-men escorted seven passengers off the plane and into a room where they were interrogated for six hours. Flight 91 took off without the group. Their offense? Signing up for a two-week "Reality Tour" of bomb-pocked Afghanistan, a junket organized by San Francisco-based human rights group Global Exchange. "They wanted to know about Global Exchange," says one of the detainees, Glenda Marsh, a Sacramento peace activist and state-employed biologist. "They asked me if I'd heard the people I was traveling with make anti-American statements."

Three arrested in California on terror charges  11/20/02 The News, Pakistan: "Prosecutor Nick Thompson said the arrests had prevented a possible bomb attack, probably on Jewish targets, but conceded that authorities were not aware of any specific plans for a hate attack. "What specifically they had in mind, I don't know," he said. "The big concern for us was the spread of hate. We wanted to nip this in the bud to avoid, and not be embarrassed by, waiting for something to happen." Prosecutors said that hundreds of pieces of evidence -- including Nazi uniforms, statues, flags, posters of Adolf Hitler, documents and photos -- were recovered from the homes of the suspects."

Pakistani MP brands America a 'terrorist'  11/20/02 Times, UK: "A SENIOR Pakistani MP described America as the “biggest terrorist state” in prayers said in Parliament yesterday for a man executed in Virginia last week for the murder of two members of the CIA. The remark, which will embarrass the Islamabad Government, was made as a record 20,000 people gathered to remember Aimal Kansi in his home city of Quetta… Kansi, 38, was executed by lethal injection last Thursday. His body was returned to Quetta on Monday. His death has fuelled intense anti-US sentiment in Pakistan and right-wing religious parties, which made big gains in recent parliamentary elections, have called for revenge against the United States. Many Pakistanis see Kansi as a new “icon of Islam”.

War crimes arrest blow to Iraqi opposition  11/20/02 Times, UK: "DANISH police arrested last night an exiled Iraqi general tipped as a possible replacement for President Saddam Hussein. He faces charges that he was responsible for killing thousands of Kurds in a chemical weapons attack 14 years ago. The arrest of General Nizar Khazraji, the former Iraqi Chief-of-Staff and the most senior officer to defect from Baghdad, appeared to wreck any chances that he might lead a mutiny in the Armed Forces and help to topple Saddam’s regime… “His arrest is a major setback for us,” one opposition figure said. “He is a man with credibility back home. His arrest will make it that much harder to encourage other officers to defect if they fear that they will be charged, too.” The Bush Administration is compiling evidence against several prominent members of the Saddam regime, who could face war crimes trials if it is toppled. Washington, however, would like any hearings to take place inside Iraq and to concentrate on a “dirty dozen” list of suspects, including Saddam and his ruling clan. General Khazraji, from a prominent Sunni Muslim family in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, was not believed to under investigation. Nevertheless, he was regarded in Washington and London as one of the few former army officers with real clout inside the Armed Forces. His arrest will probably be greeted with dismay in both capitals. The Bush Administration is counting on the Iraqi Army to revolt en masse against Saddam in the event of a US-led operation. "

Venezuela: Illegal weapons dumps  11/20/02 Trinicenter, Trinidad: "Illegal weapons dumps in Plaza Altamira and Four Seasons basements ... Venezuelan Army Captain Pedro Sanchez Bolivar -- one of the rebel officers who has camped out in Plaza Altamira for the past several weeks -- has revealed that anti-government opposition forces have been storing quantities of arms and ammunition. Sanchez Bolivar says he has been deceived into believing that his fellow rebels were seeking a democratic solution. In a shock announcement, he has told reporters that rebel General Enrique Medina Gomez has conspired with trade union leader Carlos Ortega to incite protesters "to create general mayhem, violence and to kill if necessary" to force a military takeover of the Chavez Frias government… In late breaking news, it has been revealed that the rebel officers have received financial support from "a North American embassy" as well as huge sums from Venezuelan business personalities."

Tuesday  11/19/02

topTribunal expands wiretap authority  11/19/02 Boston Globe: "The wiretapping decision by the special Court of Review made it clear that the Justice Department can use foreign intelligence wiretaps not only to gather data on spies or terrorists, but also to build evidence for criminal cases. The Bush administration was the first to take that position."

Thousands Say No to Exporting US State Terror - A Report from the Protest at the School of the Americas  11/19/02 Counterpunch: "According to the Intelligence Oversight Board, a federal panel commissioned in 1996 by President Clinton, SOA/WHISC used training materials that specifically condoned "executions of guerillas, extortion, physical abuse, coercion, and false imprisonment". This training directly resulted in atrocities by the SOA/WHISC trainees such as those detailed in the findings of a U.N. Truth Commission on the civil war in El Salvador, "Three quarters of the Salvadoran officers responsible for seven other massacres during El Salvador's bloody civil war were trained by the Fort Benning school." This is only one of the numerous examples that protestors cited as an example of grievous, deadly acts committed by SOA/WHISC trainees-- graduates carrying on the work of US foreign policy. Currently, graduates of the SOA/WHISC are being implicated by other international human rights organizations. Human Rights Watch found SOA graduates directly responsible for numerous human rights violations, and one graduate, Brigadier General Jaime Ernesto Canal Alban, exemplified the legacy of SOA training through his leadership of the infamous Columbian Calima Front and the forced disappearance of 2,000 persons as well as 40 assassinations."

As arms inspectors arrive, row erupts over US smears  11/19/02 Guardian, UK: "The United Nations chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, yesterday accused hawks in Washington, who are bent on going to war with Iraq, of conducting a smear campaign against him. The extent of the tension between Mr Blix and elements of the US administration burst into the open on the day that he led UN weapons inspectors back to Baghdad for the first time in four years to renew their search for chemical, biological and nuclear-related weapons."

Israeli army desertions rise  11/19/02 Guardian, UK: "Military police are dealing with at least 40% more deserters than last year, the result of increasing numbers of reservists refusing to perform military service. One report put the increase as high as 67%… A report in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, quoted military sources saying that as of last week, military police were dealing with 2,616 deserters compared with 1,564 last year. It also stated that reservists are now forced to serve an average of 33 days per year. A spokesman for the IDF said yesterday that the rate of desertions had increased massively since the beginning of the intifada. The rate of desertion in 1999 increased by 7%, by 31% in 2000 and by 40% in 2002. He added that the latest figures were still being analysed and refused to give the numbers involved."

U.S. thinks bin Laden tape is real  11/19/02 IHT 

Drug Trafficking by the US National Security Council  11/19/02 Orlin Grabbe: from Costa Rican Comision Especial's report - "Recommendation number 13 reads: 13. Que el señor Lewis Tambs, Joe Fernández, Oliver North, John M. Poindexter, Richard V. Secord, no se les permita la entrada al pais. [p. 74] Here we have three individuals associated with the US National Security Council—John M. Poindexter, Oliver North, Richard V. Secord—as well as the local CIA Chief of Station, Joe Fernández, and the US Ambassador to Costa Rica, Lewis Tambs, all barred from the country. Fifty members of the legislative assembly voted to approve the report with its recommendations. Two members did not. One of these two—Leonel Salazar Villalobos—is now himself in prison for narcotrafficking." Poindexter is now head of the Pentagon's Office of Information Awareness at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is planning massive surveillance of US citizens.

Local peace machine gathers some steam  11/19/02 Portland Tribune: "Judging from the massive participation in Sunday’s peace march, Portland police say they’re bracing for even larger crowds in coming months. “There’s no question,” Police Chief Mark Kroeker said Monday. “Across the nation and in all major cities, people are experiencing a desire to speak.’’ Marches will be “more and more frequent and more and more attended,” he said. “Here in Portland, we’re going to have that happen as we come to the brink of war.” Will Seaman of the Portland Peaceful Response Coalition said an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people joined in Sunday’s largely peaceful rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square and march through downtown."

Mujahideen in shootout in Riyadh  11/19/02 Ummah News: "Saad al-Faqih, spokesman for the London-based Movement for Islamic Reform (MIR), said the shooting broke out as police tried to arrest a group of around 50 "young mujahideen", armed sympathisers of al-Qaeda who were meeting in a house. Some of the eight policemen wounded were in serious condition, said Faqih, contacted by telephone in London. Police launched a manhunt for the remaining suspects who fled, he said. A witness, questioned by telephone from Dubai, said the clash took place around 1:00 pm (1000 GMT) Sunday. Some 15 Saudi veterans of fighting in Afghanistan were at the meeting when police launched the raid, said the witness, who described himself as an "Afghan Arab."

Twelve killed in attack on US chopper  11/19/02 Ummah News: "Unknown assailants have downed a US military helicopter near mountains in Shahi Kot, eastern Afghanistan. All the twelve aboard are said to have been burnt to death. Five coalition troops were killed and several injured when a bomb exploded at the new airport at Bagh Sira in the Afghan province of Khost. According to undisclosed sources here, the authorities have banned the entry of civilians into the airport area in order to keep the losses secret. Meanwhile, the first successful attack by Northern Alliance forces on an American military patrol in Koh Sani near Bagram Airbase resulted in two American deaths and four severely injured. The American soldiers were travelling in a group of four vehicles and were on a mission to capture and destroy heavy ammunition from the former commander Maulan Zabeeh Ullah Shaheed."

Islamic win in Bahrain threatens lifestyles of U.S. troops  11/19/02 World Tribune: "The pro-government press in Bahrain as started a national debate over new laws that increase restrictions on Muslims and could end the reputation of its capital city Manama as the tourist mecca of the Persian Gulf. The debate pits liberals against conservatives in the aftermath of the victory of Islamic fundamentalist groups in Bahrain's parliamentary elections. The elections were followed by a government ban on the Muslim purchase of alcohol, Middle East Newsline reported."

Monday  11/18/02

topMore than 90 arrested in protest at Army base housing former School of the Americas  11/18/02 AP: "At least six nuns were among more than 90 people (new figure) arrested today at the annual protest of a U-S military program that trains Latin American soldiers. The protest at Fort Benning, Georgia is the 13th organized by School of the Americas Watch since the November 16th, 1989 killings in El Salvador of six Jesuit priests. About 65-hundred protesters turned out."

Protests over Caracas police takeover  11/18/02 BBC: The Caracas police was notorious for its participation in the coup earlier this year.

Fight For Global Justice Is TransAfrica's Immense Task, Says Danny Glover  11/18/02 Black World Today 

Garinagu community gear up for Settlement Day  11/18/02 Channel 5, Belize: "On this, the eve of Garifuna Settlement Day, intensive preparations continue for the long list of cultural activities planned for tonight and tomorrow… Tim Palacio, V.P., Belize City Nat'l Garifuna Council "We close off B.T.L. Park and we provide a Garifuna cultural experience that is geared towards all the multicultural groups in Belize City. So what we have on stage is going to be the Larubeya and their exciting cultural original vibes. We also have the John cunu dancers; we will be accompanied by the Ugudani dance group. This is going to be followed by the best performances of the International Dance Festival that will be on our stage tonight. And then we top it off with the Paranderos, Andy Palacio and Paul Nabor. So we really have a fun filled day, packed agenda. When that is done, and that is till da mawning, we go to the re-enactment...We will have a huge re-enactment, bigger than ever at the Bellevue pier, the mayor is going to be there to receive us. That is going to be followed by a parade to the Holy Redeemer Church. And we have a very vibrant, spirit-filled mass with the Garifuna Choir in full regalia. And then we parade to the B.T.L. Park."

Al-Jazeera: Al Qaeda issues new threat  11/18/02 CNN: "A new statement purported to be from the terrorist network al Qaeda warns the United States to "stop your support for Israel against the Palestinians, for Russians against the Chechens and leave us alone, or expect us in Washington and New York."

Harsh customs  11/18/02 Guardian, UK: "What makes Mr. Jalbert's case so unusual is that he has white skin. Most of the dozens who have reported trouble are non-white immigrants, especially those who of Arabic appearance. Rohinton Mistry, one of Canada's most celebrated authors, recently cancelled his US book tour. He said he couldn't face the "unbearable" humiliation of racial profiling in American airports."

Chávez: “Quisieron convertir la PM en punta de lanza armada de oposición”  11/18/02 Rebelion: "El Presidente de la República, Hugo Chávez Frías, durante la edición número 127 de su programa Aló Presidente, realizado desde la Parroquia El Valle de Caracas, aseguró que quienes dirigían la Policía Metropolitana "quisieron convertirla en una punta de lanza armada de la oposición".

US troops are losing battle of the bulge  11/18/02 Times: "AS AMERICAN troops prepare for war in Iraq a report is about to reveal that more than half of them are overweight. A panel of nine medical experts commissioned by the Pentagon is expected to say that 53.9 per cent of US military personnel over the age of 20 would be classified as too fat to fight under federal obesity standards."

Fresh attacks on US military in southeastern Afghanistan  11/18/02 Ummah News: "However, the Balochistan Post reported that five allied forces troops were killed and several others injured in the attack caused by a bomb planted under cover of construction work at the airbase."

Colombian Town Rises Up in Outrage  11/18/02 Washington Post: "In an act of collective rage following the assassination of a beloved mayoral candidate, roughly 500 men and women ransacked government offices, the headquarters of rival politicians and the state-run phone company. The mob used sledgehammers to weaken walls, gasoline to burn filing cabinets and furniture inside, and stones to batter away at the bricks. Much of the work, carried out through the night of Nov. 7, was done with bare hands… With the small revolt here in Concordia, the protests have now extended to violent resistance against the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, a paramilitary force that combats the guerrillas, often in tandem with the official army. The townspeople who went on a rampage here hold the AUC responsible for killing Eugenio Escalante, 47, a favorite son whose body turned up soon after he met with several paramilitary leaders who wanted him to get out of next month's mayoral elections. The AUC has deep ties to Colombia's political and financial establishment. The links are strong here, too, and Escalante apparently was killed for campaigning on a promise to end them."

World News

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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.

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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
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