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    World News
1/13/03 - 1/19/03

Sunday  1/19/03

Race reemerges as issue that can divide Americans  1/19/03 Boston Globe: "From Republican Senator Trent Lott's praise of a segregationist past to President Bush's decision to oppose affirmative action in college admissions, race is shaping up as a central political issue as the parties position themselves for the 2004 presidential contest." While demographics trends in the US will lead to white minority a few decades away.

Surfing Television News For Antiwar Demonstrations  1/19/03 Intervention Maganzine: "So that’s it. Nothing shocking, nothing out of the ordinary, certainly nothing great. If the viewer searched, he or she could find some decent coverage, but most received little information and not very good reportage. Yet, when this coverage is compared with the previous anti-Iraq war protests in New York in October, in Washington and California in December, the coverage was a significant improvement. The media are realizing that they must cover the growing antiwar movement, that it is a power evolving, that it is a legitmate story. It is now time for the movement to wise up, to present its message in a way that will expand its numbers and the media coverage. It needs to get serious about drawing in the powerful American middle class, it needs to get serious about seeking good media coverage."

World's Capitals See Antiwar Protests  1/19/03 Newsday: "Activists in Tokyo carried toy guns filled with flowers, one banner at a Moscow rally read "Iraq isn't your ranch, Mr. Bush," and anti-war protesters in Paris shouted, "Stop Bush! Stop war!" ... A Jan. 12 poll in the Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper showed 76 percent of those surveyed didn't want French troops to take part in a U.S.-led operation."

Crowds denounce war - From coast to coast, protesters assail possible U.S. military action against Iraq.  1/19/03 Sacraamento Bee: "In San Francisco, demonstrators filled the nearly two miles along Market Street between the Embarcadero and City Hall, many of them carrying signs, pushing baby strollers or chanting anti-war slogans. Organizers estimated that 200,000 attended the event; San Francisco police set the number at 50,000… The estimate of the crowd protesting in Washington, D.C., was set at 500,000 by organizers. Police there did not provide their own figure, but said Saturday's attendance was larger than the 100,000 who participated in an anti-war rally in October."

Mainstream Media Disinforms on Food Siezures  1/19/03 Trinicenter: "However, what was patently ignored in all the publicity given the event around the world was that the procedure was accomplished with explicit court orders (based on charges of hoarding -- a common practice mostly ignored by former Venezuelan regimes), the GN (accompanied by a judicial witness and a representative from the Official Ombudsman's Office) presented themselves at the locations to take control of the redistribution of the illegally retained products. How and when the distribution of these products will begin is still to be seen."

U.S. units on hunt to track Saddam  1/19/03 USA Today: "The effort involves, among other things, small teams of U.S. special operations forces and CIA paramilitary units inside and around Iraq, satellite imagery, radio intercepts and airborne reconnaissance, U.S. intelligence officials say."

Crowd Estimates: 30,000 to 500,000  1/19/03 Washington Post: "I know everyone is skittish about saying a number," said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer. "But this was big. An impressive number."

Triggering Abrupt Climate Change  1/19/03 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute: "When the Gulf Stream’s waters reach the Labrador, Greenland and other northern seas, and lose their heat to the atmosphere, they become colder—and hence denser. The waters are also relatively salty. Salty water is denser than fresher water, so the whole salty mass begins to sink to great depths. When this sinking mass of cold water reaches the abyss, it then flows at deep levels of the ocean, from the North Atlantic southward into the South Atlantic. The plunge of this great volume of cold, salty water propels the Great Ocean Conveyor. And on the back end, it creates a void that actively pulls the Gulf Stream northward to replace the waters that are sinking… If you simply add too much fresh water to the North Atlantic, the waters there will become less salty and less dense. They will stop sinking. Then the Gulf Stream slows down or is deflected southward. Winters in the North Atlantic region get significantly colder."

Saturday  1/18/03

topPlan to assassinate the President of oil workers' union  1/18/03 ANNCOL: "Those who are planning to carry out this criminal act seek to unleash violence against the union in order to silence the voices of protest against the intentions of North American multinationals to take possession of the hydrocarbon industry, a process that started with the restructuring of the company and official oil policy."

Portland: More Than 20,000 Attend Peace March  1/18/03 AP: "More than 20,000 people marched through downtown Portland Saturday to protest a possible war in Iraq in one of the city's largest peace rallies ever."

US troops engage further in Colombia  1/18/03 BBC: "The United States has deployed troops in eastern Colombia in an area rich of oil and widely seen as a stronghold of Marxist rebels. US special forces have begun training Colombian troops in counter-insurgency techniques in the province of Arauca." Pulling guard duty for Oxy.

WEEK OF ANTI-WAR RESISTANCE February 13-21  1/18/03 International Answer: "There have been two important calls for coordinated global mass action: one on January 18 that is anchored in the U.S. anti-war movement and another on February 15 that is anchored in the European movement." Expect also some media denunciations of how International ANSWER is a WWP communist front group.

Hamas Says Muslims And Arabs Will Attack American Targets If US Attacks Iraq  1/18/03 Jihad Unspun: "Muslims and Arabs will attack American targets everywhere if the United States goes to war against Iraq, a senior member of the militant Islamic movement Hamas said in Gaza on Friday. He made the new threat during a march by 3,000 Palestinians through the winding streets of Gaza City on the 12th anniversary of the 1991 Gulf War. Some protesters fired shots shot in the air and others held portraits of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. "If Iraq is attacked... all American targets will be open targets for every Muslim, Arab or Palestinian," Mahmoud al-Zahar, told reporters."

US Soldier Hurt In Afghanistan  1/18/03 Jihad Unspun: "Another US soldier was shot in the leg during an attack on a patrol in western Afghanistan, a military spokesman Col. Roger King told reporters on Friday. The Special Forces soldier was injured Thursday night when his reconnaissance team came under small arms fire 23 miles southeast of the town of Shindand."

Soldiers haul off inventory; drinks to go to `the people'  1/18/03 Miami Herald: "Acting on orders from President Hugo Chávez, armed soldiers raided the Coca-Cola and local beer bottling plants Friday, seizing soft drinks and alcoholic beverages that the government said it would distribute ``to the people.'' " Let us recall Coca Cola Colombia's assassination of union leaders.

Antiwar protesters march by thousands in U.S. cities  1/18/03 NYT: Washington - "The rally was sponsored by the peace group International Answer. Two hours into the Washington march, swarms of other demonstrators were assembled along the San Francisco waterfront and heading toward Market Street downtown. That rally, also organized by International Answer, drew tens of thousands from as far away as Missoula, Mont., and Alberta. Among the protesters was a caravan of environmentalists in electric cars with signs that read, "Go solar, not ballistic," and the Stroller Brigade, a group of Bay Area parents pushing their children through the crowds."

Germans Were Tracking Sept. 11 Conspirators as Early as 1998, Documents Disclose  1/18/03 NYT: "Three years before the Sept. 11 attacks, Germany's domestic intelligence service was tracking prominent members of the Hamburg terrorist cell that planned and executed the aircraft hijackings, according to newly obtained documents. The documents, including intelligence reports, surveillance logs and transcripts of intercepted telephone calls, appear to contradict public claims by the German authorities that they knew little about the members of the Hamburg cell before the attacks."

War Uncertainty Weighs on Economy  1/18/03 NYT 

Israel to Use Targeted Killings in U.S., Friendly Countries: Report  1/18/03 Palestine Chronicle: "An FBI spokesman only said: "This is a policy matter. We only enforce federal laws."

Protestors Flood Arab, Islamic Capitals, Slam U.S. War Plans  1/18/03 Palestine Chronicle: Bahrain - "MANAMA - As hundreds of thousands of anti-war activists were gearing up for massive demonstrations across the globe Saturday, January 18, angry demonstrators flooded the streets of Arab and Islamic capitals Friday, January 17, to protest the U.S. war rhetoric and military build-up in the Gulf."

MORE FUEL TO THE FIRE  1/18/03 Radio Progresso, Miami: The Miami Herald/Nuevo Herald stokes the anti-Chavez feelings of la Mas Fea de Miami - "By the way, the Chávez headline on El Nuevo's Page One that day was another in a series of headlines and stories that attempt to paint President Hugo Chávez in the worst possible light. In previous headlines, Chávez has been said to threaten, warn, defy and challenge, even though the stories show clearly that he is simply reacting to the threats and attacks from his opponents. On many occasions, the headlines have not been supported by the stories, and we have pointed out some examples here (“Adding fuel to the fire,” B.S. Detector of Jan. 9). This is, yet again, another example. The story says nothing about Chávez “threaten[ing] to seize the schools.” It does say that Chávez wants the schools to remain open and children to get their education. Teachers who go on strike would have their salaries withheld, the president said."

Americans Against Iraq War Protest in Washington  1/18/03 Reuters: "Protesters carrying placards reading "Regime Change Starts at Home" and "Would Jesus Bomb Them?" began assembling early despite 20 degree F (minus 6 Celsius) on the National Mall in Washington. Their numbers continued to grow even as the first speaker took the stage at 11 a.m., as a thick, long line of people streamed onto the Mall."

Protesters pack streets for anti-war rally  1/18/03 SF Chronicle: "Singers Joan Baez and Bonnie Raitt performed for the crowd, which police estimated at 50,000 and organizers pegged at more than 200,000. By either estimate, it was among the largest of a series of anti-war protests across the country."

Germany says it won't back US-British war  1/18/03 Ummah News: "It is inconceivable that Germany would vote in favour of military action against Iraq at the UN Security Council, German Defence Minister Peter Struck said in an interview published on Friday. A yes vote is "fundamentally no longer conceivable", Struck told the regional daily Rheinpfalz."

Hateful comments on Islam endangers evangelists, say missionaries  1/18/03 Ummah News: "In an unsigned letter, more than two dozen Southern Baptist missionaries have warned members of their denomination that negative statements about Islam not only hurt evangelism but also endanger missionary lives. The letter's writers, members of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Missions Board (IMB) who serve in predominantly Muslim countries, say that negative sound bites, such as those by Baptist leaders Jerry Vines, Jerry Falwell, and Franklin Graham, are widely reported in Muslim countries and add to already high tensions."

Kuwait: Spy Planned to Poison U.S. Troops  1/18/03 Washington Post: "Al-Watan, an independent paper known to have reliable contacts in the Interior Ministry, said the 40-year-old sergeant was involved in a plot to kill "a large number of (U.S.) soldiers through poisoning their food." Al-Watan said the Iraqis asked al-Juwayed, a food supervisor in the military, to provide information about the catering companies employed by the American forces in Kuwait."

Friday  1/17/03

topHegemon Down  1/17/03 Alternet: "And Europe, apart from Tony Blair, is none too happy about Bush's plans in the Persian Gulf. Among a number of other strategic issues, this is driving a permanent wedge between the longtime allies, and here is the highest cost for the United States. An invigorated Europe (if it can remain united as it expands toward Russia) will provide the most attractive model for development (one of quasi-socialist democracy), has the strongest ties to its old colonial dominions of the third world, and will soon surpass the United States in all the measures of strength except the military." And surveys show one of the top concerns in Europe is the US' lack of action on global warming, which if it leads to a reduciton in the Gulf Stream will have a big impact in Europe.

A vicious cycle of death & destruction  1/17/03 Arab News: "As a result of press censorship which deems certain pictures “offensive,” those who do not live in Palestine have no idea how nightmarish everyday life there is. As a journalist, I see the daily carnage by way of press releases and photos that are filtered through the Arab News office. A great deal of what I see is considered too graphic by most newspapers to print. For instance, recently I saw a picture of dead and bloodied Jamal Zabbaro, 20, whose family was hugging his bullet-pierced corpse."

LANGUAGE WARS: Nativo Lopez vs. Unz, Gersten & Tuchman  1/17/03 Aztlan: "There will be a major battle fought in the city of Santa Ana, California on February 4th that will have nationwide repercussions for all Mexican-Americans. The battle will take place among the voters of the Santa Ana Unified School District and will pit the district's majority Mexican-American immigrant population against powerful and well funded national organizations whose stated missions are to destroy public bilingual education for Mexican immigrant children, to stop immigration from Mexico and to control the birth rate within Mexican-American communities… The most effective attack on Spanish language rights has been against Bilingual Education for Mexican immigrant children. In 1998, a group of wealthy Jews, in conjunction with the Jewish media, launched a powerful campaign to effectively outlaw Bilingual Education in the state's public schools through their successful passage of a ballot initiative called Proposition 227… Ron Unz, a Jewish racist, does not hide his views of Mexican-American children. He was quoted by the Los Angeles Times on August 31, 1997 using crude ethnic stereotypes. He compared today's Spanish speaking Mexican children unfavorably to his own Jewish grandparents, "who came to California in the 1920s and 1930s as poor European immigrants." He said, "They came to WORK and become successful . . . not to sit back and be a burden on those who were already here!" "

Military voices of dissent  1/17/03 BBC: "Opposition to a possible war in Iraq has come from an unlikely source - the US military itself. As anti-war forces are gathering for a major demonstration on Saturday in Washington, a group of parents of the soldiers currently being deployed in the Gulf have decided to speak out against the drive for war. They have been joined by organisations representing Gulf War veterans, who are particularly concerned about the problem of chemical and biological warfare casualties among servicemen."

European leaders, public at odds over war with Iraq  1/17/03 CMS: "A French opinion poll shows 66 percent opposing war, up from 58 percent in August."

Saddam Ready To Go Into Exile Say UAE Diplomats  1/17/03 Dawn, Pakistan: "According to the three diplomats, further conditions for Saddam's departure would be the withdrawal of United States troops from the Gulf region, the end of United Nations arms inspections and sanctions against Iraq as well as measures against the production of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. However, the US had so far rejected these conditions and Egypt was now trying to convince Baghdad to accept a compromise, the diplomats said."

Chávez exposes subversive movement in Venezuela at UN  1/17/03 Granma: "Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, affirmed here on Thursday that his country is facing a subversive movement that has had no scruples in using terrorist methods. He explained the situation to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan during a one-hour meeting, as part of a flying visit to the organization’s headquarters to hand over the annual presidency of the Group of 77."

US scientist arrested over claim of plague vials theft  1/17/03 Independent, UK: "Around 60 law enforcement officers were involved in the subsequent investigation, during which they interviewed Dr Butler. FBI officer Lupe Gonzalez, said: "We have accounted for all those missing vials and we have determined that there is no danger to public safety whatsoever." The authorities have not said why they believe Dr Butler made the allegedly false comments. Officials said Dr Butler was the chief of the infectious diseases division of the department of internal medicine at the university's medical school. The university said he has been involved in plague research for more than 25 years and was internationally recognised in the field."

Freed Taliban Say 600 Pakistanis Still In Shiberghan Jail  1/17/03 Jihad Unspun: "Over 600 Pakistanis and some 500 Afghans are still languishing in the diabolic Shiberghan jail near Mazar Sharif, the Taliban prisoners freed by the Afghan government told newsmen at Boldak that borders Pakistan in the south west."

Cuban community plans big parade to show solidarity with Venezuelans  1/17/03 Miami Herald: mobilizing la Mas Fea - "Esquivel seems to epitomize the Cuban-Venezuelan bond. He is vice president of the Junta Patriotica Cubana and the Venezuelan American Brotherhood."

Let's make money, not war, say US protesters  1/17/03 Times, UK: "IF GEORGE BUSH looks out of the Oval Office window tomorrow he will probably see the biggest peace demonstration in Washington since the Vietnam War. But he will not see hippies or long-haired peaceniks. He will be looking instead at a huge cross-section of Middle America: doctors, corporate lawyers, chief executives, lorry drivers, nurses, military families, grandmothers, even families of September 11 victims. And they won’t be burning the American flag. They will be carrying it with pride."

BOSS HOGTIE  1/17/03 Washington City Paper: "Hundreds of people wandered into Pershing Park on the morning of Sept. 27—activists looking for a protest, nurses in town for a conference, lawyers headed to work, and a cyclist training for a race. And there was Chief Charles Ramsey with his troops, ready to arrest them all."

Al Qaeda suspects nabbed by use of cave prints  1/17/03 Washington Times: "Two al Qaeda suspects were taken into custody as they tried to enter the United States after their fingerprints were matched with ones lifted by U.S. military officials from documents found in caves in Afghanistan, law-enforcement authorities said yesterday."

Thursday  1/16/03

topChicago Resolution Opposes War on Iraq  1/16/03 AP: "Thursday to oppose a pre-emptive military attack on Iraq unless the country is shown to be a real threat to the United States."

Denuncias e información sobre los hechos violentos ocurridos ayer en la UCV  1/16/03 Aporrea: "Rafael Yolld, de la Secretaría de Reivindicaciones de la Federación de Centros Universitarios de la UCV, denunció hoy a través de VTV que el día de ayer se ejecutó un plan preconcebido por la marcha realizada por partidarios de Bandera Roja y otros movimientos, con la intención de producir hechos de violencia que generen un número significativo de muertos y heridos, y justifiquen una suspensión completa de las actividades en la UCV."

Servicio secreto interroga a opositor venezolano en Nueva York  1/16/03 Aporrea: "El opositor venezolano Miguel Hernández dijo que el Servicio Secreto de EEUU lo interrogó en su casa en la madrugada de hoy en relación con un supuesto plan para asesinar al presidente Hugo Chávez durante su visita a Nueva York. En un comunicado, Hernández relata que "18 agentes del Servicio Secreto de EEUU allanaron" su residencia, ubicada en el condado de Queens (Nueva York), "ante acusaciones del Gobierno de Venezuela de un supuesto plan para matar a Chávez el próximo 16 de enero".

'I'm an ex-marine recruiting human shields'  1/16/03 BBC: "I'm hoping to recruit hundreds of volunteers en route to Iraq and my goal is thousands. After we leave London on 25 January, we go to France, then Holland, Germany and Switzerland before heading towards Baghdad."

A Chicano Looks at the Trent Lott Affair  1/16/03 Black Commentary: "It is a little known fact that during the Reagan-Bush retrenchment a Neo-Confederate movement emerged across the Deep South. Lott was a key player and often boasted that Republican Party programs were reviving "the spirit of Jefferson Davis," the former president of the Confederacy. The Council of Conservative Citizens, known as the "uptown Klan," was a direct descendant of the radical segregationist White Citizens' Councils of the 1950s. What does all this have to do with Mexicans and other Spanish-speaking groups? Over the last decade, Mexican and Latino immigrants have moved in large numbers into the old Confederacy. According to the most recent census, the increase in Latinos between 1990 and 2000 in North Carolina was 393.9%, in Arkansas 323.3%, in Georgia 299.6%, and in Tennessee 278.2%. In Lott's home state, the number of Latinos more than doubled. Whereas in 1990 only 19 of the state's 82 counties had 200 or more Latino residents, by 2000 more than half or 48 counties had 200 or more. And these numbers are probably too low given the census bureau's track record of undercounting Latinos."

Five Killed In American Military Vehicle Explosion: Eye Witnesses  1/16/03 Daily Islam: "According to news received from Kandahar, an American vehicle exploded on Tuesday after running over a land mine south west of the Kandahar Airport and all five American onboard the vehicle were killed instantly. Daily Islam learned that after the explosion of the vehicle, the Americans started a search operation, blocking the main roads and passages however no arrests have yet been reported."

The Southern Takeover of American Politics  1/16/03 On Point Radio, WBUR, Boston: Interesting analysis of W's fundamentalist Christian, southern culture.

Agarren a la india chavista  1/16/03 Rebelion: Anti-chavistas as white KKK - "Mi amiga Elsa Morales es pintora, Es una artista popular muy importante que ha ganado premios a nivel nacional e internacional. Ha expuesto en México, Alemania, Italia y Estados Unidos. Su madre era indígena, de la etnia wayu, o guajira, y Elsa se enorgullece de su herencia. No hace mucho salió de su casa en los Dos Caminos para hacerse unos exámenes en la Clínica Avila. Se puso su manta guajira, como lo hace a menudo, y se bajó en la estación Altamira del metro de Caracas. Se dirigió a la parada de las camionetas en la Avenida Luis Roche, frente al hotel, y allí escuchó que gritaban: ¿AGARREN A LA INDIA CHAVISTA!! Seis señoras, elegantes, armadas de banderas y tocadas con atuendos tricolores se le abalanzaron, a los gritos de ¡¡MALDITA GUAJIRA, NEGRA DE MIERDA, QUE HACES AQUI!!, le empezaron a pegar y la tiraron al suelo, donde siguieron golpeándole con patadas y las astas de las banderas. Mi amiga, quien tiene más de 50 años, pedía auxilio, era pleno día, había militares rebeldes, guardias del hotel, mirones, etc, NADIE INTERVINO."

Belize: Our Community - Jules Escalante - "The Jules of the Isle"  1/16/03 San Pedro Sun: "This week The San Pedro Sun is pleased to feature a young man who, although born and raised by Belizean parents in the United States, has "come home" to make his contribution to this "island paradise" - Jules Homero Escalante."

Judge tosses protest charges  1/16/03 St Petersburg Times: "TAMPA -- Calling the state's case "a stretch," a Hillsborough judge Wednesday tossed out charges against eight antiwar activists arrested for blocking the road outside MacDill Air Force Base."

Carter visits Venezuela to "confer" with coup mogul Cisneros  1/16/03 Trinicenter, Trinidad: "Carter is expected to meet Organization of American States (OAS) secretary general Cesar Gaviria next Monday as the latter continues his unsuccessful quest to mediate between the government and anti-constitutional opposition saboteurs. Meanwhile, in related news, Gustavo Cisneros has turned up at the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) in Caracas with a highly-paid legal team from the Diego Cisneros organization to file a writ against President Hugo Chavez Frias claiming defamation in statements made during last Sunday's 'Alo Presidente' broadcast to the nation. Cisneros is also said to be infuriated over the leaking of a 'private' letter he is said to have sent to President Chavez Frias."

Taliban, Al-Qaeda using low tech to beat high tech  1/16/03 Ummah News: "The Taliban have gone low- tech, using donkeys and motorcycles instead of their signature four- wheel drive sports utility vehicles, according to US intelligence sources."

Three US troops hurt in Afghanistan  1/16/03 Ummah News: "Three U.S. soldiers were wounded in Afghanistan in two incidents and one of the men was in critical but stable condition, sources said on Thursday. In a statement issued from Bagram Air Base just north of Kabul, U.S. forces also said B-52 heavy bombers were called in to provide close air support for a forward base in Asadabad, a town in the eastern province of Kunar. It was not immediately clear if the B-52s had dropped any bombs. Two special forces soldiers were injured about 50 km northeast of the eastern city of alalabad on Wednesday morning when an explosive device went off under their vehicle."

US Secret Service interrogates Venezuelan in alleged Chavez Frias assassination plot!  1/16/03 Vheadlines: " reports from New York that 18 Secret Service agents have raided the Queens home of Venezuelan opposition activist Miguel Hernandez following the discovery of a plot to assassinate President Hugo Chavez Frias when he visits UN General Secretary Kofi Annan today. Details of the early-morning raid are sparse but it is believed that the Hernandez premises were searched for drugs and weapons. Agents are said to have taken away evidence for forensic tests. A Secret Service special agent is quoted as saying that the department has evidence that Hernandez is one of the leaders of the anti-government Venezuelan opposition in New York and further investigations may lead to classification as a terrorist."

The Washington Post: Venezuelan Opposition Softening  1/16/03 Washington Post: "In recent weeks, however, Chavez has cobbled together a temporary supply system that has kept this country of 23 million in gasoline and food, albeit at enormous inconvenience to the public and a high financial cost to the government. Now confident he has bested his opponents, Chavez has little incentive to compromise and end a standoff that has thrown the third-largest U.S. oil supplier into political unrest, according to several of the president's adversaries and allies. The hardening government position was reflected in comments today by Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel, who ruled out compromise proposals in a meeting with foreign reporters. This has prompted many businesses sympathetic to the opposition to question whether Chavez is suffering the greater financial hardship."

Wednesday  1/15/03

topVenezuela's Vice President: Gov't Would Accept Court Ruling Upholding Referendum on Chavez Rule  1/15/03 ABC News: "Venezuela's vice president said Tuesday the government would respect the high court if it rules to allow a Feb. 2 referendum on President Hugo Chavez's rule. However, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel warned that such a ruling would create chaos in this country of 24 million coping with a general strike called by opponents to overthrow Chavez… Soldiers loyal to Chavez seized riot gear from the police department Tuesday in what Caracas Mayor Alfredo Pena called a deliberate effort to undermine him...Rangel said the seizure was part of an effort to make police answer for alleged abuses against Chavez demonstrators. The government accuses police of killing two Chavez supporters during a melee two weeks ago. Troops searched several police stations at dawn, confiscating submachine guns and 12-gauge shotguns used to fire rubber bullets and tear gas, said Cmdr. Freddy Torres, the department's legal consultant. Officers were allowed to keep their standard-issue .38-caliber pistols."

Right-wing gunmen kill leader of teachers' union  1/15/03 ANNCOL: "Labor leaders accuse President Uribe of increasing the war "on all fronts" after death squad gunmen linked to the security forces have murdered yet another union leader - this time in the eastern Colombian town of Tame."

Belgium opens way for Sharon trial  1/15/03 BBC: "Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt says he supports a change to the country's law on human rights, to allow the prosecution of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for alleged war crimes. Mr Verhofstadt said on Tuesday he did not object to parliament broadening the scope of the law so that a war crime could be prosecuted "no matter where the person accused of the crime is located," Belgian media said."

Anthrax traces found at the Federal Reserve  1/15/03 Boston Globe: "Traces of anthrax have been found at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C., possibly from an item of mail, Postal Service officials said yesterday. ''We have a single test result from one sample out of many that are done over at the Federal Reserve,'' said Thomas Day, vice president of engineering for the Postal Service. Day said there was no evidence of broad contamination or of risk to employees at the mail facility. (Reuters) "

Pentagon database plan hits snag on Hill  1/15/03 Business Week: "Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., is planning to introduce a bill on Thursday to halt the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness program. A representative said on Wednesday that if passed, the legislation would suspend the TIA program until Congress can "review the data-mining issues." Even if Congress never acts on Feingold's proposal, the unusual step of trying to suspend a military program may prompt the Defense Department to review the TIA program in a way few other tactics could. The bill will also provide TIA critics with a focal point for activism."

US human rights record slammed  1/15/03 CBS: "Many countries resent or are reluctant to join the U.S. "war on terrorism" partly because of the government's tendency to ignore human rights in its conduct of the war, Human Rights Watch said yesterday."

400 in city march for peace  1/15/03 Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester 

NICARAGUA-CORRUPTION Audit: Aleman diverted $57 million  1/15/03 EFE: "Comptroller's Office president Francisco Ramirez said Central Bank auditors had informed him that Aleman "laundered" more than $57 million through the bank. Aleman, who was put under house arrest on Dec. 22, has had his rights to travel and receive visitors restricted, and he is banned from using a telephone."

Venezuela-owned Citgo hit with debt rating cut  1/15/03 Houston Chronicle: "Citgo Petroleum Corp., a U.S. refiner owned by Venezuela's state oil company, had its debt rating cut below investment grade Tuesday by Moody's Investors Service because of a strike that's slashed oil shipments from its parent. The rating on $700 million of Citgo senior unsecured debt was lowered to Ba2, two levels below investment grade, from Baa2 and may be cut further, Moody's said in a written statement. The reduction means Tulsa-based Citgo may have to rely on lines of credit to finance its operations, the statement said." Buy Citgo!

Taliban Threaten Death For Those Trading With US Troops  1/15/03 Jihad Unspun: "Fuel for U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan is transported from Pakistan because of U.S. reluctance to use Iranian oil and other goods since the hostage crisis in Tehran in 1979. "We want to make it abundantly clear that we have made all the arrangements to torch tankers and vehicles," the pamphlet said. It also claimed the group has already set two oil tankers ablaze. The pamphlet said the drivers and assistants of the two oil tankers managed to escape, but in future they will be "punished with death."

Judge Blasts Govt. Stall Tactics  1/15/03 Newsday: "On June 9, the government secretly transferred Padilla to a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., and into the custody of the Department of Defense. He has been held incommunicado there while his New York lawyers, Donna Newman and Andrew Patel, have sought access to their client. Last week, government lawyers filed a brief urging Mukasey to reverse his ruling to allow Padilla to confer with his counsel. They argued that Mukasey should reverse the ruling in light of “the grave damage to national security” that they contend could result if Padilla’s ongoing interrogation by the Department of Defense is interrupted." Ongoing torture.

Washington loses patience on Venezuela  1/15/03 Pravda: "Venezuela's strike has contributed to an increase in U.S. gasoline prices by 5 cents per gallon in the past three weeks to an average $1.50 a gallon, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 U.S. service stations. No one can predict which will be the impact on oil prices of a war against the regime of Saddam Hussein. Citing scarce gasoline imports from Venezuela, the U.S. Energy Department said American motorists could pay up to $1.54 per gallon of gasoline this spring even if war is averted in Iraq."

Israel to kill on U.S., allies' soil  1/15/03 Reuters: "Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials told United Press International. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has forbidden the practice until now, these sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Israeli statements were confirmed by more than a half dozen U.S. foreign policy and intelligence officials in interviews with UPI… Dagan has already removed Mossad officials whom he regards as "being too conservative or too cautious" and is building up "a constituency of senior people of the same mentality," one former long-time Israeli operative said. Dagan is also urging that Mossad operatives rely less on secret sources and rely more on open information that is so plentifully provided on the Internet and newspapers. "It's a cultural thing," one former Israeli intelligence operative explained. "Mossad in the past has put its emphasis on Humint (human intelligence) and secret operations and has neglected the whole field of open media, which has become extremely important." - Long a fig leaf, the US constitution is finally ended.

Oil Bubbles at 2-Yr Highs on Iraq Fears, Venezuela  1/15/03 Reuters: "Clearly there is a huge amount of conflicting information affecting the market. However the bottom line is that fears of a conflict affecting Iraq are justified, and there is no end in sight to the Venezuelan strike," he said.

The United States of America has gone mad by John le Carré  1/15/03 Times, UK: "America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War. The reaction to 9/11 is beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams. As in McCarthy times, the freedoms that have made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded. The combination of compliant US media and vested corporate interests is once more ensuring that a debate that should be ringing out in every town square is confined to the loftier columns of the East Coast press. The imminent war was planned years before bin Laden struck, but it was he who made it possible. Without bin Laden, the Bush junta would still be trying to explain such tricky matters as how it came to be elected in the first place; Enron; its shameless favouring of the already-too-rich; its reckless disregard for the world’s poor, the ecology and a raft of unilaterally abrogated international treaties. They might also have to be telling us why they support Israel in its continuing disregard for UN resolutions."

Tuesday  1/14/03

topAlerta UCV : Bandera Roja pretende tomar la Universidad mañana  1/14/03 Aporrea: Bandera Roja is an extremist group suspected of various provocations.

Election 2002: Why The Democrats Lost by Manning Marable  1/14/03 Black World Today: "However, don't believe the Republican hype. In reality, there is absolutely no mandate for the Republican regime. First, let's count the votes. About 77 million Americans cast votes last November in 435 House and 34 Senate races. A shift of only 43,000 votes, according to the Washington Post, would have given the Democrats 51 Senate seats and continued control. Republicans today control about 52 percent of the House seats, and about one-half of the state governorships-hardly a "mandate." The hidden story of the 2002 elections was the dramatic breakthrough registered by third parties. In California, 13 percent of the total vote went to third parties. According to historian Gerald Horne, this was "the largest total" received by California third parties "since 1913." Green Party gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo won five percent of the statewide vote. Even more impressively, Camejo received 15.4 percent of the vote in San Francisco, a higher total than Republican candidate Bill Simon. In Alameda County, Camejo won nearly 11 percent of the vote."

Not Enough Self Praise  1/14/03 Bluefields Pulse, Nicaragua: "The days when the Bluefields man used to live upright for the sake and integrity of living upright are blowing away with the north wind. It is our duty to re-arrange this and set the example for our youths in this time. Our youths are participating in some confusing past times. These past times include destroying our town and reputation."

A Real Patriot - Standing Up to the School of the Americas  1/14/03 Counterpunch: "Ryerson, who twice attended previous SOA protests without being arrested, says civil disobedience is a vital component of a movement that has come as close as five votes away from having the U.S. House of Representatives stop funding for the SOA's successor. "There are all sorts of different resources we are using in this effort: While we are getting arrested, there is a bill going through Congress every year [most recently H.R. 1810, which counted Rep. Julia Carson (D-Indianapolis) as one of its 112 co-sponsors]. Thousands of people are writing letters, and of course there is the mass mobilization every November. "But civil disobedience is often more necessary than we think it is. Education is probably the most important and hardest step in any kind of effort to make social change, and civil disobedience really helps with the education piece," she says. "If I wasn't going to prison, I wouldn't be doing this interview with a newspaper. I have friends and family who have never been politically active at all who are now incredibly mobilized. Multiply that by 96, the number of people arrested this past November, and that's enormous."

Eyewitness in Brasilia - Lula Takes Over  1/14/03 Counterpunch: "In addition to being the first leftist elected in many years, Lula is the first leader (apart from members of the military dictatorship), who is not descended from European nobility. In a sense you could look at his election as the end of the last vestige of Portuguese colonization."

Palestinians and Native Americans  1/14/03 Counterpunch: "Few can be as blunt regarding the legacy of the United States toward the native people of this land as the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. In his narrative, "The Winning of the West," Roosevelt spoke about the "spread of the English-speaking peoples over the world's wasted spaces." He wrote: "The European settlers moved into an uninhabited waste...the land is really owned by no one.... The settler ousts no one from the land. The truth is, the Indians never had any real title to the soil." In an interview with the British Sunday Times, on June 15, 1969, former Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir made similar claims, stating, "There was no such thing as Palestinians. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country from them. They did not exist."

The Rev, Bush & North Korea  1/14/03 Counterpunch: "When President Bush added North Korea to his list of "Axis of Evil" nations, the influence of the self-declared reincarnation of Jesus Christ, the "Reverend" Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church, loomed largely over the White House decision-making process. The decision by Bush to throw into the trash heap of history eight years of a joint American-South Korean-Japanese dialogue with the reclusive Communist regime would ultimately result in Pyongyang returning to using the rhetoric of bygone years. Just as the Bush administration reintroduced to regular use the terms "segregation," "civil rights," and "ban on abortions," the terms "demilitarized zone," "Panmunjom," and "38th parallel" would also re-enter the American political lexicon. Bush, a self-described "born again Christian" who has maintained close links to Moon, hired David Frum as one of his speechwriters. Frum apparently came up with the term "axis of evil" for Bush's 2002 State of the Union address but it seems likely that Bush, heavily influenced by the propagandists of the rabidly anti-Pyongyang Washington Times, decided North Korea's "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il was Satan reincarnate." Government by Christian mullahs.

US prosecutors seek death penalty for former sergeant accused of spying  1/14/03 Independent, UK: "The trial began yesterday of a former US Air Force master sergeant who faces the death penalty for allegedly offering to sell secrets to Iraq and Libya for $13m (£8m). If the death penalty is eventually enforced, it would be the first time America has executed anyone for spying since the 1950s."

Pamphlet Declares New Anti-US Afghan Army  1/14/03 Jihad Unspun: "A new group calling itself a secret mujahideen force has claimed responsibility for 50 raids on US forces and its allies in Afghanistan, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) reported on Sunday. The claim appeared in Pushtu language pamphlets circulated in Peshawar late Saturday. The leaflet was distributed in the name of the “Secret Army of Muslim Mujahideen” but does not disclose either the nationalities of its members or its operational base, AIP said. The pamphlet claims responsibility for attacks including a bomb explosion near the US embassy in Kabul, rocket attacks on ISAF headquarters and the ambush of US soldiers in Jalalabad."

Venezuela troops seize police weapons  1/14/03 Knight Ridder: "In eight pre-dawn raids, the military seized 581 submachine guns, 1,712 shotguns, 14 riot-control rifles equipped to fire nonlethal bullets, as well as tear gas launchers and gun clips, the police said. The 10,000 officers were allowed to keep their .38-caliber revolvers."

Colombia: New rules of engagement  1/14/03 LA Press: "US sends funds and Army Special Forces to protect an Occidental Petroleum pipeline."

Playing dead as a last-minute trick  1/14/03 Times, UK: "SADDAM HUSSEIN has a range of eleventh-hour tricks and ploys to avert an American-led invasion, White House officials and Iraqi experts believe. One option, it is thought, would be staging a fake coup. In an analysis of the Iraqi leader’s options if war is inevitable, Saddam may even mastermind his own assassination, using one of his many doubles. Saddam would then wield power from behind the scenes."

Defense disputes racial imparity  1/14/03 Washington Times:  "Blacks tend to be concentrated in administrative and support jobs, not in combat jobs," the Pentagon report says. "This is in sharp contrast to the situation in a draft force."

Venezuelan plays race card  1/14/03 Washington Times: the Rev. Moon weighs in - "Though racial labels are nearly meaningless in this nation, in which most people are of mixed African, Native American and European descent, Mr. Chavez's supporters tend to be mostly poorer and darker, while those trying to oust him are mainly descendents of European immigrants, many drawn by Venezuela's post-1930s oil boom… Caracas political scientist Anibal Romero said Mr. Chavez seeks to foment racial tensions. The president "has said many times that he is the son of Indians and black people, trying to convey the message that those are the only legitimate Venezuelans," Mr. Romero said."

Monday  1/13/03

topBigger Buildup - U.S. May Call for More Military Buildup in Gulf Than Expected  1/13/03 ABC 

Six killings every day in mid-sized Colombian town  1/13/03 ANNCOL: "Right-wing terror has reached a new height in the eastern Colombian town of Cucuta: 57 violent killings by paramilitaries allied to the Armed Forces have been registered in this provincial town - in just the ten first days of 2003!"

Anti-Chavez protests continue in Venezuela  1/13/03 AP: "Soldiers lobbed tear gas today at tens of thousands of protesters who were marching on a park near a military base in Caracas. The demonstrators were demanding that the armed forces support the ongoing strike against President Hugo Chavez."

Gambia arrests assassination suspect  1/13/03 BBC: "Gambia, which won independence from Britain in 1965, is a predominantly Muslim nation of 1.5 million."

US reaches out to N Korea  1/13/03 BBC: but not to Irak - "The United States has said that it is willing to consider energy aid to Pyongyang if it gives up its nuclear programme."

Caribbean States Feel Backlash From Venezuela Crisis  1/13/03 Black World Today: ''We are very constitution minded. This is where the Caribbean governments are coming from: (Venezuelan President Hugo) Chavez heads an elected government; they have difficulty in going against a government that was elected,'' Gonsalves told IPS. Even attempts by Venezuela's opposition to get the region's trade unions on its side have been rebuffed. The powerful Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) in Trinidad and Tobago labelled the street demonstrations in Caracas as a ''big business, CIA strike against the democratically elected government''.

Clevelanders rally in Push for Peace as war cry grows  1/13/03 Cleveland Plain Dealer: "The "Voices Against the War" rally was billed initially as an effort by Greater Cleveland's black community to unite in opposition to the war. But nearly as many whites as blacks came to cheer impassioned pleas for peace from politicians, clergy and activists."

Corporate Black Caucus?  1/13/03 Counterpunch: "The Congressional Black Caucus says that it has been "the conscience of the Congress since 1969." If that is in fact the case, why then is the caucus not taking a leadership role on major progressive issues of the day? Because like the vast majority of members of Congress, the caucus has been bought off by the corporate commercial interests?"

Latest Al Qaeda recruits: Afghans seeking revenge  1/13/03 CSM: "Haji Din Mohammad's family has been marked by two tragic acts. The first was an American bombing raid in December 2001 that killed his nephew Zeni Khel in a local mosque. The second was the murder of an American CIA agent a month later by another nephew in an act of revenge. It's this eye-for-an-eye code of Mr. Mohammad's Pashtun ethnic group that Al Qaeda and its allies are exploiting to create new suicide squads in Afghanistan, say Afghan intelligence officials. They are drawing recruits from families who have suffered losses in the past year of war. With motives and methods copied from Palestinian suicide bombers, the young men pose the newest, and perhaps gravest, threat to the young government, to American aid workers, and to US troops."

Small-town US against war  1/13/03 Herald Sun, Australia: "The townsfolk, for whom Washington DC, let alone Baghdad, seems a world away, are not ready for war on Iraq. They question Bush's motives, wonder about the strength of his evidence, remember Vietnam, and fear the consequences may reach their doorsteps."

Public Payroll: a Family Affair - Nepotism in Washington poses a threat to institutional integrity.  1/13/03 LA Times 

The Former Face of Evil  1/13/03 Newsweek: "In an exclusive interview in Tripoli last week, Libyan strongman Muammar Kaddafi revealed that Libya is now providing intelligence to the United States about Al Qaeda."

Iraq links cancers to uranium weapons U.S. likely to use arms again in war  1/13/03 SF Chronicle: "In an interview on Saturday, Rokke said of his own health: "I'm trashed." He said that Pentagon officials routinely tell him and others who were contaminated in the gulf theater that the elevated levels of uranium in their bodies are "just coming out of our diets."

Libya and US exchange intelligence on al-Qaeda  1/13/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "But Mr Gaddafi admitted that bin Laden, whose network is blamed for the September 11 attacks on the United States, had become a prophet in the Islamic world and that "all the young people like him". "Bin Laden has convinced his followers that America is attacking the whole Arab and Islamic world," the Libyan leader said. "It is not a battle between America and bin Laden any more. Everybody is with bin Laden."

Internet journalist who developed anti-Chechen site killed  1/13/03 Ummah News: "Vladimir Sukhomlin, a 23-year-old software developer and Internet journalist, was abducted and brutally killed in Moscow on 4 January, "The Moscow Times" and other Russian news agencies reported on 13 January. According to the reports, Sukhomlin was on his way to meet a potential client when his car was stopped by two police officers and he was forced into a waiting Lada passenger car. Two police officers from the Moscow Oblast town of Balashikha, who were identified only as Goncharov and Vorotnikov, were arrested on 9 January, according to "Izvestiya" on 13 January, and they reportedly told police they had been paid $1,150 to kill Sukhomlin… He also created the website, which was designed to counter the pro-separatist site According to a colleague quoted in "The Moscow Times," Sukhomlin was also developing software for the Defense Ministry."

Antiwar Activists From Across U.S. Preparing for Weekend of Protests  1/13/03 Washington Post: "The same coalition that coordinated the October rally, International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), is organizing this week's protest. Brian Becker, an ANSWER spokesman, said it is too early to tell whether the crowd will be as big as or bigger than that at the previous march. But he said tens of thousands are planning to make the trip, as organizers from Texas to New York to Wisconsin arrange for charter buses, car caravans and flights to the District."

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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Iraq news: Soaring death rates among Iraqi children, 1999 BBC, UNICEF 500,000 child deaths

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