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    World News
12/9/02 - 12/15/02  

Sunday  12/15/02

Control social de los medios de comunicación televisivos y sanciones para petroterroristas  12/15/02 Asamblea Popular Revolucionaria: "Este Paro patronal insurreccional y terrorista de Fedecámaras, CTV y de la Coordinadora Democrática, busca producir con la escasez de gasolina, y en consecuencia de otros renglones de energías así como también de alimentos, medicinas, agua, y materias primas, las condiciones para un nuevo golpe de estado. De forma desesperada y descarada, tienen intensificado un ataque despiadado de desinformación, violencia y odio por parte de los medios de comunicación propiedad de la burguesía, en especial los televisivos. Estos han creado un terrorismo colectivo en los televidentes, radioescuchas y lectores."

"Bush's Blacks: Race Traitors?"  12/15/02 Black World Today: "In the field of foreign affairs, the leading race traitor, hands down, is Condoleeza Rice, Bush's National Security Adviser. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1954, Rice grew up under Jim Crow segregation. She earned her B.A. degree at the University of Denver in 1974, followed quickly by her M.A. from Notre Dame in 1975 and her doctorate at Denver in 1981. Rice was hired as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford University also in 1981, and she left the Democratic Party to become a Republican the next year… Rice's emergence as a major black figure in the Republican Party occurred at the 2000 National Convention. In her convention address, she justified her membership in the party because "the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register" her father, but "the Republicans did. I want you to know," Rice declared to the cheering predominantly white audience, "that my father has never forgotten that day, and neither have I." The fact that the majority of these white racist Democrats two decades later comprised the South's Republican Party was conveniently ignored."

Hi-tech arms 'would finish war in a week'  12/15/02 Independent: "Among the weapons Mr Gouré and others highlight are satellite-guided smart bombs known as Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs). While a number of these were used in Afghanistan, many more are likely to be deployed in Iraq. The smart bombs available have also been upgraded. The GBU-28 "bunker-busters" have been upgraded by the BLU-31. Designed to penetrate hardened underground facilities, these have also been equipped with a new device called the hard-target smart fuse, which allows the bomb to "count" how many floors it needs to penetrate before detonating. A new category of bomb is the thermobaric device – only one was used in Afghanistan, and missed its target – which can penetrate indoor or underground spaces and then set off a blast of heat and pressure strong enough to destroy biological agents such as anthrax or smallpox. One weapon that is completely untested in battle is the microwave bomb, which British and US experts have been working on for several years. Exploding in mid-air, these bombs release pulses of magnetic energy that seek out electrical systems and computers and burn them out – even if they are buried underground. These can also be used to create a fizzing sensation on a person's skin – something US law enforcement agencies have been testing for crowd control."

Has the mafia infiltrated Israel's political system?  12/15/02 Mena Report: The Israeli Mafia controls world wide distribution of the club drug, extasy.

Venezuela on brink of second coup - The President's supporters are preparing for a last stand  12/15/02 Observer, UK: "Ricardo Marques, the meeting's chairman, organised people into teams - transport, communications, first aid, security - that are to be activated if word comes through that the military or large crowds of opposition are approaching the presidential palace. Distributed at the meeting was a photocopied page showing the supposed salaries - about £500,000 - of some of Chavez's opponents, executives at the state oil company, PDVSA. A straw poll of people at the meeting indicated that their average wage was £15 a month. It is this disparity that has fuelled Chavez's popularity among those who see him as their champion, even as all the major institutions - business, the media, the unions, the church - call for his removal. The leading trade union federation, CTV, which represents skilled workers in a national workforce where 50 per cent are employed 'informally' and are not unionised, has been one of his most vocal opponents. 'Tomorrow, we need to be be near the palace,' said Marques, as he called for volunteers to man the teams. 'And we have to explain to people what we stand to lose if there is a coup.' Groups like these, the chavistas, are portrayed by the opposition as part of an dangerous lumpen mob, just as the chavistas see the opposition as an elite fighting to exclude the poor from power."

Cuban exiles lend a hand to opponents of Venezuelan president  12/15/02 Sun Sentinel, Florida: "Exiles of Chávez's "Revolucion Bolivariana," are building on a decades-old alliance that developed when thousands of Cubans fled Fidel Castro's rule and settled in Venezuela more than four decades ago. Since then, Chávez's pro-Cuba policies have rankled many Cuban exiles, who have embraced Venezuela's cause and helped organize protests, denounced Chávez in radio and newspaper editorials and brought the country's plight to Washington's attention… "I owe a huge debt to Venezuela, and now I can begin to repay it," said Jesus Permue. He heads Cuban Unity, an exile umbrella group composed of 35 organizations that has helped Venezuelans organize rallies in Miami's Bayfront Park… According to Esquivel, the Cuban Council has helped organize meetings between Venezuelan exiles and key members of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., as well as delegates from the United Nations and members of Congress. He thinks these meetings over the past three years helped spawn an awareness that led to President Bush's declaration Friday demanding that Chávez hold a general election." One rabid group of white supremacists helping another.

Venezuelan military defy court injuction  12/15/02 Sydney Morning Herald: "Soldiers blocked the gates of Caracas police stations in defiance of a court injunction handing the stations back to the opposition mayor, stoking tensions as government supporters and detractors demonstrated in the streets."

Venezuela: 90 por ciento de nómina contractual de Pdvsa esta trabajando  12/15/02 Venpres: "Más del 90 por ciento de la nómina contractual de Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) y la que se encuentra al frente de las operaciones del holding se encuentra en sus puestos de trabajo, afirmación que desmiente las declaraciones de algunos voceros energéticos."

Venezuela: PDVSA regaining control of production  12/15/02 Vheadlines: 'PDVSA regaining control of production, according to blue collar petroleum workers union (Fedepetrol) president Rafael Rosales. After meeting with Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) president, Ali Rodriguez Araque, and Energy & Mines (MEM) Minister Rafael Ramirez in the Miraflores Presidential Palace, Rosales stated the company's management was regaining control of operations in Zulia State, with many workers now arriving to work. Operations in Lake Maracaibo, in Zulia State are key to the company, as that is where a great amount of the nation's petroleum is pumped."

Does al-Qaida have 20 suitcase nukes?  12/15/02 WorldNet Daily: "A new book by an FBI consultant on international terrorism says Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network purchased 20 suitcase nuclear weapons from former KGB agents in 1998 for $30 million. The book,"Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror," by Paul L. Williams, also says this deal was one of at least three in the last decade in which al-Qaida purchased small nuclear weapons or weapons-grade nuclear uranium."

Saturday  12/14/02

topVenezuela - Arab News Editorial  12/14/02 Arab News: the Saudis weigh in - "Despite is vast mineral potential which includes very large quantities of coal, iron ore, bauxite and gold, Venezuela remains a one-horse economy. The Venezuelan currency, the bolivar, was long kept strong by oil wealth, which made imports cheap. This meant that local producers were unable to compete economically with foreign goods. No substantial economic alternatives have developed to the energy industry. It was this economic dominance that was so abused by Chavez’s bickering political predecessors. While they made sure that PDVSA remained a center of technical excellence, they steered its revenues into their uneconomic projects designed purely to line their own pockets and those of their cronies. It was this cycle of corruption and inefficiency which left 85 percent of Venezuelans on the bread line, which Chavez promised to fix. Unfortunately, in tackling the entrenched interests that undoubtedly center around PDVSA, he has ended up taking an ax to the organization itself. There was no carrot in his approach, just stick and it has lost him the support even of those PDVSA employees who accept that their organization needs reform. It is hard to see where the president can go now. The strikers have vowed to continue until he quits office. The military is becoming increasingly uneasy and even many of Chavez’s poorest supporters are beginning to question his wisdom. of the man they once idolized." Let it not be sais that the Saudi princes ever weighed in on the side of the poor!

I can't remember how many I killed, says boy who begs forgiveness  12/14/02 Independent, UK: "Mr Kombi of the LPCC estimates that out of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers fighting for either the government or the five main rebel groups in the Congo, at least 70 per cent are children."

Anti-war protest snarls traffic at Yokosuka gate  12/14/02 Stars and Stripes: "Dozens of Japanese civilians who oppose a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq marched in front of Yokosuka Naval Base on Thursday, causing a temporary afternoon closure of the main gate that led to snarled on-base traffic. The rush-hour protest — during which marchers chanted through bullhorns and waved signs in English reading “No New War in Iraq!” — lasted about an hour. No arrests were reported and the protesters stayed mainly across Route 16 from the main gate. Dozens of Japanese police in riot gear and toting shields herded the crowd along the street and lined up shoulder to shoulder to block the main base gate."

North Korea: Nuclear reaction jolts US  12/14/02 Sydney Morning Herald: "Pyongyang said it would reopen shuttered nuclear power facilities and asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to remove seals and monitoring cameras from all of its nuclear facilities. It said the move was a reaction to the US decision to suspend fuel oil deliveries made to North Korea under the 1994 agreement that had frozen the country's nuclear plants. Many experts had predicted an escalation in the stand-off by Pyongyang in response to the US decision, but this move was more drastic than most had expected. It came on the heels of the US-backed interception of a North Korean ship carrying 15 Scud missiles, Pyongyang's chief legal export, to Yemen. North Korea yesterday demanded an apology from the US for "unpardonable piracy" in detaining its ship."

Keeping Track of John Poindexter  12/14/02 Wired: "The head of the government's Total Information Awareness project, which aims to root out potential terrorists by aggregating credit-card, travel, medical, school and other records of everyone in the United States, has himself become a target of personal data profiling. Online pranksters, taking their lead from a San Francisco journalist, are publishing John Poindexter's home phone number, photos of his house and other personal information to protest the TIA program… What Smith didn't realize was that Poindexter's phone number and other information would end up on more than 100 Web pages a week later as others took up the cause."

Friday  12/13/02

topUS-led anti-terrorism outfit up and running in Horn of Africa  12/13/02 AFP: "The USS Mount Whitney, a helicopter carrier, arrived in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday. "Our force also includes about 900 personnel at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti and a small number of liaison personnel working in other parts of the region," said Sattler."

5 dead in US military helicopter crash in Honduras  12/13/02 Agence France Press: A few more details than in the AP story - "The Blackhawk belongs to a US Air Force regiment that is part of Joint Task Force Bravo, based at the Enrique Soto Cano Air Force base, located near the city of Comayagua, some 70 kilometers (44 miles) north-west of Tegucigalpa. The base is home to some 550 US military -- mainly army and air force -- personnel and more than 650 US and Honduran civilians. US forces at the base carry out anti-drug operations, training missions, and support for humanitarian relief assistance, according to the base website."

EU clinches expansion deal  12/13/02 BBC: "The United Nations - which was sponsoring the negotiations - said on Friday that there had been no agreement on creating a federal, decentralised system, which would have allowed Cyprus to join the EU as a united nation. The failure of the talks may result in EU membership only for the internationally recognised, Greek Cypriot-run part of the island."

Enrique Soto Cano Air Force Base  12/13/02 Center for International Policy: "With the departure of the U.S. Army’s 228th Aviation Battalion from Fort Kobbe, Panama, many aviation assets of U.S. Army South (USARSO), Southcom’s army component, were moved to Soto Cano. These include a command and control element, CH-47 “Chinook” helicopters, and UH-60 “Blackhawk” and “Medevac” helicopters.7 The Honduran Constitution does not permit a permanent foreign presence in Honduras. A "handshake" agreement between the United States and Honduras allows JTF-Bravo to remain in Honduras on a "semi-permanent" basis. This agreement, an annex to the 1954 military assistance agreement between the United States and Honduras, can be abrogated with little notice."

Canada fears Venezuela could destabilize region  12/13/02 Forbes: Canada breaks rank with the US - "But Foreign Minister Bill Graham was cool to U.S. calls for early elections, saying the people of Venezuela themselves should work out a solution to their problems."

French accuse U.S. of meddling  12/13/02 IHT: "The French industry minister, Nicole Fontaine, lashed out against the Americans' involvement after Bush, at a meeting with Turkey's new leader, Recep Tayip Erdogan, said that the United States stood alongside Turkey in its bid to join the EU. Bush also twice telephoned Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark, which currently holds the EU's revolving presidency. And he phoned the French president, Jacques Chirac. . Fontaine was quickly joined in the attack by another French official, Pascal Lamy, the EU's trade commissioner. . "It's certainly not up to the president of the United States to interfere in something so important and which mainly concerns Europeans," said Fontaine, a vocal critic of American intervention in Afghanistan."

Some 90,000 US soldiers expected to arrive in Turkey - Hurriyet daily  12/13/02 Kuwait News Agency: "Turkish newspaper Hurriyet said Friday that the US administration completed technical and logistic preparations to send 90,000 American soldiers to six military bases in Turkey within the next few days. Washington asked Ankara to allow some British troops to join the American forces in Turkey, expected to participate in a wide-scale military action against Iraq, the daily said. It added that Ankara was not comfortable with the American request."

Bush’s Desperate Venezuela Statement - Read Between the Lines: The Coup is Falling Apart  12/13/02 NarcoNews: “Six elections in the past four years in Venezuela, all of them won by President Hugo Chávez and his supporters, all of them deemed fair and free by national and international observers (including by delegates of the U.S. Republican and Democratic parties who were present to observe them), are not enough. We need a Seventh Election in four years because we don’t like the results of the first six. We, in the Bush administration, are deeply offended that Venezuelan law awards the presidency to the candidate who won the most votes. That’s not how we did it in the U.S. We will only be happy when a minority of citizens can impose a president. If we allow Venezuela’s majority decisions to stand, they might start exporting democracy to the United States. In any case, we insist that Catherine Harris be allowed to count the votes, and Jeb Bush should print the ballots, next time in Venezuela.”

Venezolanos a la calle convocados para defender al gobierno  12/13/02 Prensa Latina: "Al cumplirse ocho meses de la victoria popular sobre el golpe de Estado del pasado mes de abril, las organizaciones que apoyan al Ejecutivo llamaron a sus partidarios a concentrarse frente al palacio de Miraflores desde horas de la mañana. A participar en la demostración se convocó no sólo a los chavistas de Caracas, sino a los residentes en los estados cercanos de Carabobo, Miranda y Vargas, lo cual augura una importante concentración. Pero el objetivo no es solamente la fecha, sino una movilización especial ante lo que los dirigentes gubernamentales señalan como necesidad de enfrentar intentos opositores de provocar desórdenes ante el fracaso del paro nacional convocado por ellos." The Company's action plan must be in full swing by now...

Homeland Security nominee's record with Hispanics is drawing fire  12/13/02 San Antonio Business Journal: "Hutchinson, a former Republican congressman from Arkansas, has been tapped by President George W. Bush to serve as the Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security within DHS. However, a major Hispanic law-enforcement group - the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA), is raising some serious concerns about Hutchinson's track record at DEA, particularly as it relates to his treatment of minorities… Among the charges made in a recent resolution adopted by HAPCOA are that Hutchinson has "been a party to continuing an insidious 'good old boy' network (in DEA) thus perpetuating an atmosphere of distrust, reprisal and retaliation against minority employees for exercising their rights. ..."

Platform of the States Rights Democratic Party  12/13/02 Smoking Gun: "Here's the platform adopted in 1948 by the racist States Rights Democratic Party, which nominated Strom Thurmond that year for president. At the heart of the party plank was the assertion that, "We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race."

Kissinger steps down from Sept. 11 panel  12/13/02 Toronto Star: Kissinger, always a representative of Rockerfeller interests, put down by Lieberman - "But a second Congressional Research Service report said all members of the commission — including a presidential appointee — would be bound by Senate ethics requirements. That report was released Thursday by the office of Senator Joe Lieberman (D — Conn.), chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee."

Thursday  12/12/02

topU.S. wants to debrief Iraqi scientists  12/12/02 ABC News: US wants to snatch Iraqui scientists…

Honduras Crash Kills Five U.S. Soldiers  12/12/02 AP: "Palmerola is a $30 million base built in 1983. It lodges 400 U.S. soldiers, who rotate every three months. During the turmoil of the 80's in Central America, Palmerola was the main U.S. military operations center in the area." Coca Contra left overs.

Christian fundamentalists and American hegemony  12/12/02 Arab News: "The American writer Grace Halsell did not exaggerate when she said that Christian Zionists in Washington were more dangerous than the Zionist lobby. In 1989, Muhammad Sammak translated Halsell’s book “Prophecy and Politics” into Arabic. The book discussed the dangers posed by militant Christian fundamentalists to the Arab world but Arab policy-makers did not pay much attention to her warnings."

Yemen wins Scud tussle  12/12/02 Arab News: "The United States backed down from a standoff with Yemen yesterday when it announced the release of a ship carrying Scud missiles intended for the Yemeni Army."

'Rebel oil executives' fired in Venezuela  12/12/02 BBC: "The Government of Venezuela's embattled President Hugo Chavez has sacked several rebel oil executives in an attempt to break a general strike that has crippled the country's oil industry."

Bush Administration Pushes "Regime Change" in Venezuela  12/12/02 Counterpunch: "A little noticed retraction published in the Chicago Tribune on April 20 summed up the extreme prejudice of our major news organizations against the president of Venezuela: "An editorial on Sunday mistakenly said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had praised Osama bin Laden. The Tribune regrets the error."

Trent Lott: Repeat Offender  12/12/02 Counterpunch: "The Jefferson Davis reference was telling. Lott has something of an obsession with the former President of the breakaway Confederate States of America. In the late 1970s, Lott spearheaded a successful campaign to have Davis' citizenship retroactively restored. More recently, Lott fought to gain custody of the desk Davis used during his Confederate reign, so that it could furnish Lott's Senate offices in Washington."

Song and dance as 'rightwingers' face music  12/12/02 Independent, South Africa: "Supporters stood at attention and sang the old Transvaal Republic's anthem as eight alleged rightwingers appeared in the Pretoria regional court on Thursday afternoon on charges of high treason, terrorism and sabotage. "Kent gij dat volk?" (Do you know that nation?), friends and family members sang enthusiastically as the men were led out of court - some of the women in tears… The eight were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday this week along with two others who were released without being charged. Police seized about 880kg of explosives, firearms, military-type equipment and time delay devices."

The Pope ordered US priest moved to avoid child sex abuse scandal  12/12/02 Independent, UK: "The Pope ordered that a defrocked priest convicted of paedophilia in America should move to a new area where his behaviour was unknown – unless his presence in the parish where the abuse took place caused no scandal. Pope John Paul II's decision was revealed yesterday with the release of a document that deepened the crisis over sex abuse by priests in the Catholic Church. Joseph Gallagher, the co-founder of the Coalition of Catholics and Survivors, said that the document, one of thousands from the Boston Archdiocese made public by court order, was the "smoking gun" that uncovered secret Vatican policy of keeping under wraps its problem with abusive priests."

Bush restores rights of FBI agent jailed in Ruby Ridge probe  12/12/02 Miami Herald: "Gov. Jeb Bush and the Clemency Board restored the civil rights Thursday of the FBI agent convicted of destroying records while investigating the agency's role in the deadly 1992 shootout at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. E. Michael Kahoe, a former head of the FBI's violent crime and major offenders section, pleaded guilty in 1997 to obstruction of justice for ordering the destruction of an FBI report into the 1992 fatal shooting at the cabin of white separatist Randall Weaver."

Declaraciones de Chávez sobre la actual situación  12/12/02 Rebelion: "Ustedes lo saben, aquí se puso en macha un gigantesco plan de sabotaje. Yo le comentaba al Presidente Uribe, por ejemplo que lo que aquí está pasando se puede comparar con lo que ocurre a veces en Colombia cuando un cuerpo armado le coloca una bomba a un oleoducto o a una torre petrolera y la vuela. Aquí afortunadamente no las han volado y estoy seguro no las van a volar, pero es una especie de subversión encorbatada y muy capacitada que penetró la industria, se la expropió a los venezolanos hace bastante tiempo. Gente que ha creído que PDVSA es de ellos."

MEM toma acciones contundentes en PDVSA; se reestablece exportación de crudo y se preparan sanciones contra gerentes saboeadores  12/12/02 Rebelion: "A PDSVA se le ocasionaban daños de más de 40 millones de dólares diarios, pero el esfuerzo de trabajadores, población y FFAA se han reestablecido la operación en nuestra principal industria. Hay sabotaje PLANIFICADO CON MUCHO TIEMPO, pero gracias al apoyo técnico de trabajadores de PDVSA y de trabajadores voluntarios se han reestablecido las operaciones y continuarán reestableciendose."

Trent Lott's Segregationist College Days - At Ole Miss, the Senator helped lead a fight to keep blacks out of his national fraternity  12/12/02 Time Magazine: "Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott helped lead a successful battle to prevent his college fraternity from admitting blacks to any of its chapters, in a little-known incident now four decades old. At a time when racial issues were roiling campuses across the South, some chapters of Sigma Nu fraternity in the Northeast were considering admitting African-American members, a move that would have sent a powerful statement through the tradition-bound world of sororities and fraternities. At the time, Lott was president of the intra-fraternity council at the University of Mississippi. When the issue came to a head at Sigma Nu's national convention — known as a "Grand Chapter" — in the early 1960s, "Trent was one of the strongest leaders in resisting the integration of the national fraternity in any of the chapters," recalls former CNN President Tom Johnson, then a Sigma Nu member at the University of Georgia."

Zionism doesn't define Jews - it divides us  12/12/02 Toronto Globe & Mail: "From its beginnings, political Zionism faced opposition within the Jewish world. The Zionist identification of a people with a state is incompatible with the real position of most Jews as freely chosen citizens of other countries. Long before Roman times, Jews formed widely dispersed religious, cultural and ethnic groups whose commonality was not based on geography or politics. Only their spiritual practices were centred on Palestine. Some Jews saw in political Zionism a vulgarization of Jewish Messianic tradition that would debase Jewish moral life. The Russian-Jewish writer and "spiritual Zionist" Ahad Ha'am, who emigrated to Palestine, was one of the first to recognize the ethical costs of a project to establish a Jewish state at the expense of the indigenous Arabs. "If this be the Messiah coming," he wrote in the first years of the last century, "then I don't want to see him arrive." Zionist theory denied the legitimate presence of an emerging, indigenous nation in Palestine. Zionist practice ensured its dispossession and exile. "We may be a people without a home," said a disillusioned German Zionist in 1925, "but alas, there is not a country without a people. . . . Palestine has an existing population of 700,000, a people who have lived there for centuries and rightfully consider the country as their fatherland and homeland."

USA intelligence agencies revealed in plot to oust Venezuela's President  12/12/02 Vheadlines: "Uruguayan EP-FA congressman Jose Bayardi says he has information that far-reaching plans have been put into operation by the CIA and other North American intelligence agencies to overthrow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias within the next 72 hours. Bayardi says he has received copies of top-secret communications between the Bush administration in Washington and the government of Uruguay requesting the latter's cooperation to support white collar executives and trade union activists "to break down levels of intransigence within the Chavez Frias administration."

Wednesday  12/11/02

topHelms defends Lott remarks  12/11/02 AP: from the son of the sheriff who went after Robert F. Williams.

Lott expresses regret for remarks; court filing from 1981 surfaces  12/11/02 AP: "Senate Republican leader Trent Lott tried to help Bob Jones University keep its federal tax-exempt status despite the school's policy prohibiting interracial dating two decades before his recent comments stirred a race controversy. "Racial discrimination does not always violate public policy," Lott, then a congressman from Mississippi, wrote in a 1981 friend of the court brief that cited prior court rulings upholding affirmative action programs at colleges." This sounds like a mistake from the heart...

Council of Conservative Citizens  12/11/02 A sign on Trent's favorite group's site: "Lott Needs YOUR Support!"

Racist Rage Of The Caracas Elite  12/11/02 Guardian, UK: "Opposition spokesmen complain that Chavez is a leftist who is leading the country to economic chaos, but underlying the fierce hatred is the terror of the country's white elite when faced with the mobilised mass of the population, who are black, Indian and mestizo. Only a racism that dates back five centuries - of the European settlers towards their African slaves and the country's indigenous inhabitants - can adequately explain the degree of hatred aroused. Chavez - who is more black and Indian than white, and makes no secret of his aim to be the president of the poor - is the focus of this racist rage." El Mico Mono...

Web of deceit lies behind death of a traitor to many masters  12/11/02 Independent, UK: by Robert Fisk - "To the rest of the world, the bomb that wounded two Israeli soldiers on the Lebanese-Israeli border was just another example of Hizbollah "terrorism", a provocation that showed Hizbollah had – in Israel's words – "crossed a red line". Israel warned of retaliation. But the truth was quite different, and infinitely more sensational. For the bomb was connected to the murder last Friday of a notorious Lebanese drug smuggler who had not only captured an Israeli collaborator accused of murdering one of the most militant Shias in Beirut but was involved in the capture of three Israeli soldiers. Even more dramatic – for the Israelis – is that the murdered man, Ramzi Nohra, used to work for Israeli intelligence."

Al-Qaeda planning uranium bomb: UN - Five canisters of 'highly radioactive material' seized  12/11/02 National Post, Canada: "United Nations experts charged with probing al-Qaeda warn that the terrorist group appears determined to produce a "dirty bomb" capable of spreading radioactive material over a wide area after Tanzanian police seized what is believed to be raw uranium."

Tuesday  12/10/02

topNorth Korean Missiles Intercepted  12/10/02 ABC News: "A ship carrying a dozen Scud-type missiles from North Korea was intercepted in the Arabian Sea today, U.S. officials said. They said the missiles were believed to be headed for Yemen."

Trouble for Lott  12/10/02 ABC News: "Civil rights groups are outraged by Lott's comment. "It sends a chilling message to all people," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., incoming chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. And today the NAACP demanded Lott resign as majority leader, calling his remarks blatant bigotry. "I think that's about as racist as you can get," said NAACP Executive Director Kwesi Mfume… But many critics are not satisfied. They point to Lott's recent ties to a group described by some as a white supremicist, the Council of Conservative Citizens. And some prominent Democrats don't believe Lott misspoke at Thurmond's centennial birthday. "I understand that Senator Lott has made an apology, and he can apologize all he wants. It doesn't remove the sentiment that escaped his mouth that day at that party," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the newly elected House minority leader. Former Vice President Al Gore, who is considering another run for the White House, said on CNN: "The statement was a racist statement ... I think it is good that he has apologized for it." And after initially saying he understood how Lott could have verbally slipped at a microphone, Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle took a tougher stance today. "Regardless of how he intended his statement to be interpreted, it was wrong to say it and I strongly disagree with it," said the South Dakota lawmaker."

Anti-War Demonstrators Arrested in Ill.  12/10/02 AP: "About 20 anti-war demonstrators were arrested Tuesday when they sat down in the lobby of a federal office building to protest U.S. policy toward Iraq, federal officials said."

Black Lawmakers: Lott Apology Not Enough  12/10/02 AP: "Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., also said that Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle spoke too quickly on Monday when he said he accepted Lott's explanation that he hadn't meant his words to be so interpreted. "This is a Democratic Party issue," Waters said. "It is not enough to simply defend or to explain these kinds of statements and then at election time talk about why black Americans should turn out in large numbers."

'It's time to take risks' - Daniel Ellsberg  12/10/02 Guardian, UK: "A little more than 30 years ago, the leaking of 7,000 pages of Pentagon documents, which exposed an extraordinary catalogue of lies and duplicity on the part of the US government, helped to bring an end to the war in Vietnam. Daniel Ellsberg, a former marine company commander, who had served in Vietnam, leaked the documents, risking a life sentence to do so. Now he is finally telling the whole story of how he became perhaps the most important whistle-blower of the past half century. It is a bright autumnal day in Berkeley, California, and Ellsberg, now a sprightly 71, is having a rest day from a cross-country tour to promote his memoirs, Secrets. It is his account of how he, an analyst with the Rand Corporation, who had worked in the Pentagon under defence secretary Robert McNamara and for the state department in Vietnam, was finally driven by his conscience to reveal how successive US governments had stumbled into a war that cost more than a million Vietnamese and 55,000 American lives, and how successive presidents had lied to the American people about the conflict's conduct and consequences."

A People Defends its Democracy Against Media Power  12/10/02 NarcoNews: "Enough already with the lies: At the hour that I write you the people of Venezuela have left their homes to rescue their petroleum industry and put an end to the lies of the Venezuelan private-sector media. Thousands and thousands of Venezuelans assemble peacefully in front of the headquarters of Globovision, Venevision, RCTV, Televen and Meridiano TV in Caracas. And in the city of Maracay, the people have taken TV5 and the daily El Aragüeño, calling upon President Chávez “to govern,” and referring to the mass media as “media terrorists.” Other groups march now toward the offices of the newspaper El Nacional. For more than a year the Venezuelan Media has substituted the opposition political parties, fabricating an absolute matrix of opinion against the democratic government of President Chávez."

The People Rise Up Against Venezuela's Commercial Media  12/10/02 NarcoNews: "An amazing sight: Thousands of people have surrounded the headquarters of five commercial television stations (RCTV, Globovision, TVS, Meridiano TV, Venevision) and are treating them to one hell of a cazerolazo (pot-banging). They are shouting "medios golpistas!" (putschist media) and "terroristas!". The channels have stopped (probably only briefly) broadcasting anti governmental propaganda and are at last giving some pro governmental demonstrations some coverage."

Venezuelan Majority Takes to the Streets, Coup Plotters Hide  12/10/02 NarcoNews: "On Monday night, the Venezuelan majority - unwilling to allow an upper-class economic coup d’etat that poses dishonestly as a “strike” to unseat its democratically elected government - took to the streets on a scale only seen once before in the nation’s modern history; as they had last April, when they turned back a military coup d’etat. By early Tuesday morning the masses had every Commercial TV station in the nation surrounded. Their weapons were nonviolent and theatrical: pots, pans, fireworks and thousands of defiant but smiling faces… The bluff of the former ruling class and its media – that their top-down imposed sabotage of the Venezuelan economy and oil industry of the past week is somehow a popular “strike” – has been called. The “strike leaders,” including corrupt oil union boss Carlos Ortega, have, in recent hours, disappeared from public view, abandoning their own supporters among the upper classes. To make sure the coup plotters don’t flee the country, the neighbors of Simón Bolívar International Airport near Caracas have surrounded the airport as well. The coup supporters, including the rogue ex-military officials from April’s attack on democracy who in recent days have called unsuccessfully for military coup, promptly abandoned Plaza Altamira last night, their physical base: the public stage they had occupied continuously for the past few weeks."

'All These Problems'  12/10/02 NYT: "What, exactly, did Mr. Lott mean by "all these problems"? Mr. Thurmond ran a one-issue campaign: "We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race," declared his platform. Is it possible that a major modern political figure has sympathy for such views? After all, the Bush administration includes figures like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice; some of Mr. Lott's best friends . . . Yet during the 1990's he was extensively involved with the Council of Conservative Citizens — a descendant of the White Citizens Council — telling them at one point that they "stand for the right principles and the right philosophy." When this came to light in 1998, Mr. Lott declared himself ignorant of the group's aims. Was he also ignorant of the aims of the 1948 Thurmond campaign? Or was he just, in the excitement of the moment, blurting out his real views? …And yes, there are political implications. In the midterm elections, Democratic candidates carefully avoided doing anything to mobilize the black vote, fearing that this would just encourage turnout by rural whites. But the rural whites turned out anyway, while blacks didn't. In Louisiana, black turnout — the result of a determined get-out-the-vote operation, perhaps helped by Mr. Lott's remarks — was the key to Ms. Landrieu's unexpected victory. Might I suggest that this tells us something?"

The Murder of My Terrorist Cousins  12/10/02 Palestine Chronicle: “The key to ending the massacre was to block the movement of the tanks,” I was told by a friend after he attended the funeral of my cousins the next day. “Abdul-Hamid, Imad and Mohamed rushed to their post and ran back with their rifles to face the Israeli tanks. They put up a good fight, allowing hundreds of people to flee, before a tank shell exploded in the midst of them.” A salute to these brave people.

Expert says killing bin Laden won't stop terror  12/10/02 Reuters: "In a Reuters interview last week, Pakistani Foreign Minister Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri said the West should fret less about bin Laden and pay more attention to the root causes of militancy such as poverty. He backed a package of help for the region like the Marshall Plan in Europe after World War Two. "That is exactly the kind of thing I have in mind," said Bowman, a former intelligence officer who now oversees FBI legal issues related to espionage and anti-terrorism activities. "We see how the Marshall Plan affected Europe after World War Two. That is fundamentally the concept." Eliminating bin Laden or his network would not end the threat of fundamentalist Islamic attacks."

Jewish Groups Seek to Ban Book on Mideast Conflict  12/10/02 Reuters: "The book was originally published in Italian in March. Ghazi, born in Italy of Egyptian parents, depicts teenagers caught up in the Palestinian uprising for independence. One of the characters blows himself up, killing five Israeli soldiers. Anti-racist group LICRA called on the government Tuesday to ban the book under publishing laws destined to protect young readers, but said it did not plan to fight the novel in court. The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center and France's CRIF umbrella group of Jewish organizations urged Flammarion and its Italian parent company, Rizzoli Corriere della Sera, to withdraw the book."

Mainstreaming the Antiwar Movement?  12/10/02 The Nation: "In November, the Washington and Hollywood endeavors converged. And this week, several large organizations of a progressive bent--the NAACP, the National Council of Churches, the National Organization of Women--and 100 or so entertainers are launching the Win Without War coalition, described by its organizers as the "new mainstream coalition to oppose Bush war policy." The leaders of this project don't put down ANSWER, but this clearly is an attempt to recast and reshape the antiwar opposition."

Palestinian film excluded from Zionist-dominated Oscars  12/10/02 Ummah News: 'On the grounds that Palestine is not a nation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has refused the Palestinian entry Divine Intervention, for the nomination of Best Foreign Film. The movie, which was directed by the renowned Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, recently won the Jury Award in the world famous Cannes Film Festival in France."

Groups stand against possible war  12/10/02 USA Today: "A recent USA/CNN/Gallup Poll found that a majority of Americans support sending ground troops to remove the Iraqi president, but 37% oppose that option. That's nearly double the opposition of a year ago."

Monday  12/9/02

topRumsfeld Considers US Military in Africa  12/9/02 ABC News: "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Monday left open the possibility of expanding the new U.S. military presence in the Horn of Africa, where hundreds of American troops are based as part of a land, sea and air campaign to root out al-Qaida terrorists. In an interview en route to his first visit to the Horn of Africa since taking office, Rumsfeld said some countries in that unstable region had offered the use of military facilities, but that so far the United States had only agreed to use Camp Le Monier in the desert hinterland of Djibouti."

From the Lab to the Battlefield? Nanotechnology and Fourth-Generation Nuclear Weapons  12/9/02 Acronym Institute: "... the use of weapons producing a low level of radioactivity appears to be acceptable, both from a military point of view because such a level does not impair further military action, and from a political standpoint because most political leaders, and shapers of public opinion, did not object to the battlefield use of depleted uranium."

U.S. Given [only] Copy of Iraqi Arms Papers  12/9/02 AP: "Deputy Russian Ambassador Gennady Gatilov said the United States had taken the council's lone copy to Washington where it would make duplicates for distribution to the four other powerful council members."

New LAPD Chief Bratton in Israel for 6 Days  12/9/02 Aztlan: " Just 45 days into his term as the new Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, Bill Bratton is already in Israel for 6 days of training and meetings with top Israeli "security and anti-terrorism experts." Bratton is married to prominent Jewish attorney and co-anchor of Court TV Rikki Klieman. Chief Bratton also has very strong social and political connections to Michael Bloomberg, the new Jewish Mayor of New York City." Committed to learning the secrets of how to be even less secure…

Anti-US protests grow in Seoul  12/9/02 BBC: "Hundreds of South Koreans have gathered in the capital, Seoul, to protest against the presence of American troops in the country. The protesters, many of them students, demanded an apology from President Bush over the deaths of two South Korean teenage girls last June in an accident involving a tank driven by American soldiers… The rising tension prompted a United States congressional delegation to call off a trip to Seoul to meet President Kim Dae-Jung and a group of North Korean defectors."

Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US  12/9/02 Christian Science Monitor: "Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today's population, that is more than $5,700 per person. This is an estimate by Thomas Stauffer, a consulting economist in Washington. For decades, his analyses of the Middle East scene have made him a frequent thorn in the side of the Israel lobby. For the first time in many years, Mr. Stauffer has tallied the total cost to the US of its backing of Israel in its drawn-out, violent dispute with the Palestinians. So far, he figures, the bill adds up to more than twice the cost of the Vietnam War."

The Crisis in Venezuela - What Happened in Altamira Plaza?  12/9/02 Counterpunch 

Why Are the Coup Plotters So Impatient? …And How Venezuela Can Defeat Them Legally  12/9/02 NarcoNews: "The second reason for the pro-coup haste is the entrance in vigor of various important laws that come into effect on January 1, 2003, that touch vital interests of the economic elite: Among them, the Land Law that affects not just the large plantation owners in the country but also real estate speculators and vacant lots in urban zones. The Hydrocarbon law is even more important because it will permit the dismantling of the meta-State of the petroleum business PdVSA, the corrupt oil group that controls the economic life of the country and that is an integral part of the New World Energy Order of George Bush."

Opposition claims to have proof of hidden Iraqi arms  12/9/02 The Straits Times: "The leader of the biggest Iraqi opposition group said he was prepared to hand over documents proving that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction but wanted the United Nations to guarantee the safety of his informers inside Iraq. 'We have strong evidence proving that Saddam does have weapons of mass destruction and is hiding them from the UN arms inspectors,' Mr Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, leader of the Teheran-based Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, told The Associated Press yesterday."

Venezuela: WHAT HAPPENED IN PLAZA ALTAMIRA?  12/9/02 Vheadlines: "After a detailed coverage of the shooting at Plaza Altamira, commercial TV stations at once started identifying one of the suspects connecting him to the government of Hugo Chavez Frias via images conveniently shown to the public a few days earlier . As in last April s coup attempt, the network of private TV channels has summarily judged, found guilty and condemned the President of Venezuela as an assassin based on evidence that was collected, shown and assessed by the print & broadcast media at their complete whim."

World News

"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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