Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Ortega says Sandinistas will still govern from below.
Indian Congress Party lost 6 of 8 states that held elections.
Likud lost 13% of its MPs
Nicaragua: Sandinistas 37-8 seats, UNO 51-2.
The SA police chief who commanded a hit squad says killings authorized at highest level inc Speaker of Parl, min of police, all members of State Security Council inc de Klerk, Botha, Malan
ANC elects Mandela deputy prez (w/Tambo sick, that puts him in charge)
Costa Rica wants John Hull extradited for murder in the 1984 La Penca bombing. The gov report says there was a CIA ring of 15 within the Costa Rican intelligence directorate, which spied on gov, tapped phones, sidetracked the La Penca investigation. Report implicates Ollie North, Robert Owen, then secy to Quayle. Report wants charges against North, Owen & station chief Holtz. The real question is why Hull was given bail (on drug charges).
Sup Court, which does not allow mandatory death penalty for specified crimes, allows 5-4 a Penn. law that mandates it if the jury finds an aggravating & no mitigating circumstance. This prevents the jury deciding whether the aggravating circumstance warrants death.
Ch. threatened not to recognize foreign passports held by HK Chinese, esp those Br will give 250,000. The theory is that these people are Ch. nationals. Ch. are leaving at 1,000/week
ROTC wants a gay cadet who was thrown out to repay his scholarship.
The new VP of Nicaragua, Virgilio, Godoy, had his parl immunity withdrawn some time back w/only 1 dissenting vote, for stealing campaign money
Israel to require news organizs to submit all reports on immigration of Soviet Jews to military censors. This at a time when they’ve demanded $1b from US Jews to pay for it
De Klerk says he’s putting covert action under civilian control & keeping it to a min.
RR says contras shouldn’t disband yet
-Chamorro will end draft
Latvia gave its kids right to refuse conscription in Soviet army & choose alternative pub service
CIA says reduced Soviet threat is irreversible, compared to DOD, which thinks not
Chamorro will return or compensate for land confiscation & sell off large state enterprises. But won’t displace those who got land in land reform. 20% of the land used to be owned by Somoza’s friends & family--this won’t be returned
Kohl demands Poland confirm its waiver of war reparation & guarantees of Ger minority @ border guarantees. Poland says no & says it might demand compensation for forced labor. Kohl’s getting uppity
Baker will tie the $400m loan guarantee for Sov. Jews’ housing in Israel to halt in new settlements in Occupied.
US preparing a resettlement aid package for Contras, a “GI Bill for Contras.”
There’s been a coup against the prez á vie of Ciskei. ANC is still banned there, by the by. Transkei had unbanned it before SA did. The new gov is proto-ANC
Shamir wants to settle Soviet Jews in E Jerusalem
There were elections Sunday in Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia. Yeltsin won 80% to represent Sverdlovsk. Vladislav Starkov, editor of Argumenty i Fakty, whom Gorbachev failed to fire, also did.
-Lithuania’s run-offs have filled 116 of 141 seats, Sajudis 90 seats.
Sandinistas still trying to negotiate on leaving power, insisting on retaining control of interior min (w/secret police & military).
Sup Court 5-4 limits recourse to fed courts in state cases where favorable court rulings since their convictions have occurred. This inc death sentences which could no longer be imposed, but can be carried out. So much, as Brennan says, for constitutional review.
SA inquiry into death squad begins: DeKlerk says he only knew of Civil Cooperation Bureau’s existence in Jan., Malan in Nov. Inc plan to kill Mandela by replacing his heart pills.
Coup attempt fails Afghanistan, headed by defense minister.
Kohl finally gives guarantee of Polish border
Sen. D’Amato demanding from fed agencies copies of any documents they give to news organizs under FOIA
USSR law allows people to own means of production
Ch. bitching about Taiwan’s semi-electoral politics, as a candidate for pres. (elected by Nat Ass.) pushing for a Taiwanese, non-Ch. identity
House drops ethics investigation of Gingrich.
Ger SPD calling for unity through negotiations rather than annexation, anschluss.
-Modrow sent Kohl a letter urging he accept E Ger prop. rights (meaning no reparations for W Gers who lost property nationalized). Kohl replied essentially that Modrow trying to undermine elections & is “not legitimized by free elections.” In other words, all E Ger politicians can be ignored.
-Last act of E Ger Parl to adopt a social charter, meant to be inc in all-Ger Const: protector of E Ger savings & current rights to work, be educated, have a secure home & medical care
-W Ger suggesting some bits of E Ger could join unilaterally under W Ger const.
In Bophutatswana, 50,000 protesters fired on. State emergency, phone lines cut by gov
Gorbachev says Lithuania must pay $33b if it is to secede, also challenged its boundaries, demanding port city of Klaipeda. Also should pay for repatriation of any Russians who wish to leave.
Poland, Hungary, Czech. & Bulgaria voted in UN to condemn Cuban civil rights record. UN was result of US pressure. Ch. not mentioned
In the elections, Japan’s Lib Dems ran 1 woman--who lost.
Since losing the elections, Sandinistas giving out 1000s of guns to civilians, inc AK-47s. Also giving away gov prop. to those now living on it legally or illegally--inc Sandinistas themselves & all its leaders. Also declaring immunity for all unprosecuted crimes the new gov might want a shot at from 1979 to March 31, crimes not even committed yet. This could not be overturned w/out const amend, requiring 2/3. Sandinistas dominate Sup Court until 1993.
-Also moving tax collection, assessments etc from bur. to court system
-Also legalizing key organizs inc neighborhood Sandinista Defense Cmtes
-Selling off state cars, prop at token prices
Part of the “no new taxes” policy: throwing costs of highways onto states.
E Ger army has dropped from 170,000 below 100,000 through defections. They can now refuse orders
Soviet Georgia Parl condemned its forced annexation. Wants talks on ind. Condemned strong-president measures
Poindexter trial opened. Judge dec North a liar in his own trial or the pre-trial here, on whether he saw Poindexter destroy the finding.
At meeting of the 8 North Sea countries, Br refused to stop dumping nuclear waste
Slovenia dec econ ind, not fulfill obligations to Yug. for poor areas (Kosovo).
Idaho to restrict abortion to rape, incest, profound fetal disability, save life, w/heavy fines on doctors.
Fed judge allows Colo. to test inmates for AIDS & segregate those w/it.
Br poll tax much higher than supposed to be, is provoking violent resistance. Intro a yr ago in Scotland, and Tories haven’t won an election there since. Ranges from $281-1,000 per capita.
Mitterrand endorsed Poland’s demands to be in on Ger unity
The new Lithuanian Parl elects a Sajudis pres. of republic, 2:1 over CP, dec ind, having to get it in before Gorby’s new powers kick in. Ind voted 124-0-9
Gen. Avril resigns as pres. Haiti, after major clashes, but only to an interim military leader supposedly to give power in 72 hrs to an interim civilian leader, but they can’t find one.
Afghan. purged ½ Politburo after the coup
USSR claims to have invested $80b in Lithuania since 1945.
Nicaragua to turn all state farms into coops before UNO takes over, to make privatization difficult. Many of those AK-47s going to farm workers, esp those on land confiscated after 1979.
Israel says it will demand reparations from a new Ger
Nicaragua enacts amnesty for all crimes in civil wars inc Cotras & gov abuses
Gorbachev talking a little about decentraliz. 2-term limit on party official posts
Mongolian Politburo resigns, agreed to give up CP monopoly
Prosper Avril of Haiti evacuated to US
In W hemisphere, only one country has a leg. with >20% women. Cuba is over 30%
New civilian Prez. Patricio Alwin of Chile pardons pol prisoners. Perhaps only 10%
Poland has welcomed Lithuania’s dec. ind.
-Which Gorbachev says has no legality
Israeli coalition fell apart over accepting US peace proposal, Shamir rejecting, of course.
Thatcher lost a Parl vote, over NHS, 30 Tories crossing over
Kohl says E Gers will be able to exchange their personal savings 1:1 for W Ger marks. This exchange rate (very generous) won’t apply elsewhere. Perhaps compensating for their loss of benefits when move to W Ger
Gorbachev got his powers from Congress of People’s Deputies, 1,817-133-61. Continuing his slimy parl tactics, G. got a vote on overall approval before amends. Power to issue edicts subject to const law. Power to dec martial & civil emergencies overseen by Sup Soviet. Override of veto by 2/3 will be it (no further appeal). Cmte of Const Control appointed by chair of Sup Soviet rather than prez. Gaullist model
There were alternative non-official elections in Estonia in which only those there before 1945 & their descendants allowed to vote. 500,000 did so, of total pop 1.6m
The new Romanian gov still has problems on ethnic question. Has baned import of Hung. language ed. material unless addressed to Min. Ed.
Poland will be involved in Ger unity talks.
Chile: armed forces can buy & sell w/out any gov control. Pres. can’t retire an officer. The Nat Intel Center destroyed its archives before dissolved & no judge or member of gov can seek identity of any former members. Pinochet transferred Mercedeses to army, leaving Alwin w/out cars. Sold airport & news agency to friends. Total of 40 anti-demo laws
Gorbachev elected prez but just barely got the 2/3 (1,49 of 2,244) to exempt himself from dir election. 500 voted against him (he was unopposed).
Gorbachev occasionally gets Parl to censor tv reports of its debates. It refused 1250-637 to censor its debate on a tank-export scandal
Kohl-backed E Ger coalition of 3 parties--1 party proved to be headed by a secret police agent.
Serb Parl planning to provide money for Serbs to resettle in Kosovo.
E Ger SPD leader may be Jewish. SPD wants new all-Ger const while Kohl’s Alliance wants to join via the W Ger const
Russian elections w/7 candidates/seat on ave., 10% seats taken. In Leningrad 83% of those who won or went to round 2 backed by Democratic Elections, ‘90. Russian nationalist right did badly
-Ukrainian nationalists got ¼ seats
The Judicial Conf, contrary to Rehnquist, modified proposal to limit appeals by prisoners on death row. No limits unless states provide lawyers at every stage. The Conf would have called for Congress to override ability of state inmates to benefit retroactively. Lost by tie because of Rehnquist vote.
Guam passes a v. restrictive abortion law, the worst. Only allows for life or grave health of mother, w/approval of 2 in drs., reviewed by cmte. Not for rape, incest, fetal abnormality. Makes it felony for dr., misdemeanor for ♀. Passed unanimously.
Irish Sup Court rules not to return escaped IRA prisoners to Br, citing risk of assault by prison staff
Poindexter destroyed, or tried to, >5,000 computer messages when I-C investigation began
Soviet Parl rejects Lithuanian ind 1463-94-128, 560 not voting
When Bush vetoed Ch. student protection, said had or would issue exec order protecting them. We’re still waiting.
The Dallas judge censured Dec88 for saying he gave lenient sentence to one who killed “queers” has been re-elected
Seems the CIA has something to do w/S&L failures, having intervened to stop investigations in up to 22 S&Ls, 16 in Texas, that will cost taxpayers $13.1b. Wm Webster refuses to appear before House subcmte on financial institutions. An Iranian evidently had an FBI “get out of jail free” card.
US Coast Guard searching Colombian ships in internat waters
Gorbachev gave Lithuania 3 days to knock it off. Lithuanian prez Vytautas Landsbergis says USSR congress resolution was taken by a foreign power & is irrelevant
Warsaw Pact agrees to united Ger, but not on security. Czech, Hung. & Pol. want it in NATO because isolation as USSR wants might let it become a great power
Lithuania forms gov. Ind CP (nationalist) head is deputy PM. PM is a female ex-CP Saiudis Kazamiera Prunskiene. Soviet army helicopters dropped leaflets on Vilnius against ind.
E Ger elections: god help us, the Christ. Dems won, though not absolute majority. CP 16%, SPD 22%. Needs 2/3 to change Const. The less-than-half is the whole 3-party Alliance inc DCU. 3/4 voted for W Ger parties
Gorbachev on offensive against Lithuania. Ordering KGB to take control of state industries, protect vital installations, enforce customs regs. Sunday held maneuvers, flew jets over Vilnius. Disrupting phone, tv, radio
SA gov has set aside 3% of budget for a trust fund, which will also seek priv & foreign donors & will address township problems, w/participation of black groups inc ANC
E Ger. Of 400 seats, Alliance 193, of which 164 for CDU. SPD 87, ex-CP 65. Alliance got 48% of the vote
Br Parl, in free vote, allows retroactive prosecution of Nazis living in Br
W Ger stops special benefits for E Ger refugees from July 1
Demos got 281 of 498 seats Moscow city council. Also got Leningrad, Kiev. 54% Leningrad council, 80% of its seats in the republic Parl. And Minsk.
-Ukraine, Rukch took 15/22 seats (for Kiev) in repub Parl
An adult book store in NC hired a professor to help them refute obscenity charges by getting reactions of people to explicit material. Sup Court allowed him to be charged.
The Ch. equivalent of state of union address by Li Peng calls for tightening up security, building police up. They’re celebrating 150th anniversary of Opium War, hint hint. And military spending up >15%.
John Lewis Gaddis asks why can’t a unified Ger be member of both NATO & Warsaw Pact
Burma relocating >500,000 from cities to new outlying towns in the malarial zones. Tearing down neighborhoods that supported opposition in Sep88 demonstrations. A “Burmese” form of gerrymandering.”
Sup Court rules that union members suing their unions for failing to represent them can have jury. This is under 7th Amend on jury trials in civil cases, which involves common law, so the question is whether the case would have been heard by an 18C Eng jury
The test case in Guam’s abortion law will be of an ACLU lawyer who said in a speech to Press Club that abortion is still legal in Hawaii. This speech is illegal in Guam as “soliciting” abortion. Guam is Cath. & the Archbishop threatened to excommunicate any member of legislature who voted against it.
Fed appeals court Boston dec unconst the 1988 fed regs preventing family planning clinics doing abortion counseling.
Nicaraguan law gives president & VP life-long immunity from prosecution
Gorbachev ordered Lithuanians to turn in guns. Pres. of Lithuania says it’s illegal. Lith. has been forming volunteer militias. USSR will tighten travel to Lith.
Albania claims to be democratizing, w/real defense lawyers & fewer crimes subj to death, contested elections
Poindexter denied use of RR diaries under exec privilege
A Soviet military convoy went through Lithuania. Now 30,000 troops there. Gorby ordered Lith. to stop signing up militia.
-Lith. moving to bring police under their control. Setting up own gov
-Moscow getting Lith. civil defense agencies to turn over weapons & vehicles. 16,000 vehicles.
-The maneuvers unscheduled & w/out informing locals
-Gorbachev objecting to proposed Lith. law applying penalties to those agitating for overthrow of republican gov
Br Conservs lost a safe seat, mid-Staffordshire, by ≥20%, showing just how unpopular the poll tax really is
Moscow News admits Katyn was Russian.
RR’s videotaped testimony in Poindexter trial is out. He’s not faking senility. He is. Seems to have said he hadn’t read Tower report. Said he can’t remember 150 times.
Bush admin refused to insist on NEA restricting contents of arts
USSR orders 2 US diplomats out of Lithuania
Idaho abortion law allow it only for rape, incest, fetal defect or health. Rape must be reported in 7 days, incest under 18, also police. Drs. fines up to $10,000 & could be sued by father or parents
A dead guy won a Chicago election. Affirmative action, Chicago-style.
USSR cutting back on flights for Soviet Jews to Israel
Poindexter defending himself against charge of lying to Congress by showing it knew in late 1985 that US still directing Contra action
Contras will disband Apr. 20, 5 days before new gov
Evidence in the North & Poindexter trials shows that RR lied to the I-C fed. grand jury. Inc his signatures & initials on plan to bribe Honduras Feb85. Oct85 he approved use of SR-71 & U-2 spy planes on behalf of Contras & airdrop rifles. And that he met w/the Costa Rican security minister, who was working w/NSC. This was described by White House as “simply a photo op.” And Thatcher seems to have been solicited in Dec84 to obtain surface-to-air missiles for Contras. These had been sold to Chile, 48 Blowpipe missiles, needed Br permission to transfer.
-The attempt by RR to insist he knew nothing hurt in the North trial when CIA official said Casey told him RR approved plan for North to take over on Contras. The problem is the prosecution is protecting RR to make its case. Indeed, it stopped him admitting he knew about destruction of documents.
Soviet army still on maneuvers in Lithuania.
-Lith. made arrangements for a gov-in-exile if necessary.
-The clash may come over USSR army deserters that it wants back.
Serbia has taken control of Kosovo police after rumor about poisoning of Albanian children.
USSR troops took control of several Lithuanian CP buildings. They say because someone shot at some soldiers. Three weeks ago.
Estonian CP dec itself ind from Moscow 432-3-7, but with 6 month transition per.
Soviet army taking Lith. deserters
-Seized hq of the breakaway CP
-Lith. has little support in Moscow, critics citing lack of concern for Russian & Polish minorities & lack of plebiscite for ind.
-Helicopters dropped leaflets for Russians & Polish to protest against ind.
Bulgaria giving out info concentration camps 1950s-early 60s
Police in SA shot 8 protesters.
All foreigners ordered out of Lithuania
Bush admin planning to force 2 chemical comps to sell them a poison gas ingredient. One of the comps is an Amer. subsidiary of a W Ger firm
Kohl says E Ger should get on w/reconciliation & ignore the number of Stasi collaborators in politics, inc possibly the SPD head.
Responsibility for radiation at nuclear weapons plants shifted to DHHS
Quayle kind of supported the roundup of Lithuanian deserters as “disciplinary measures”
Pres. Landsbergis of Lithuania says the Bush admin “sold us out.” He’s right.
-Lith stopped recruiting militia
The reason Satanic Verses isn’t in paperback might be that Viking’s owner, Pearson PLC, is in oil business
Br Labour Party, at constituency level, will choose candidates by 1-person, 1-vote. But mandatory process of re-selection at each election eliminated
House votes 371-55 to elevate EPA to Cabinet. Or create an ind statistics-gathering agency exempt from presidential authority
GAO says Simpson immigration law has caused discrimination
Br’s Granada TV has docu-drama on the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings. Says the 6 in jail are innocent and identified the 5 who did it, saying gov knew since 1975. Also mentions later bombings by these people, inc the attempt on Thatcher 1984.
Br arrests people in an attempt to smuggle nuclear bomb triggers to Iraq. Some relation to Iraq’s execution of a Br journalist 3 weeks ago?
Lithuania now asking US Congress for recognition, giving up on Bush
Belgium legalizes abortion (in 1st 12 weeks). [see 4/3/90]
Gov of Idaho vetoes the highly restrictive abortion leg. Now I can eat potatoes.
Thousands of Slovaks protest the new name (Czechoslovak Federative Republic) because it lacks a hyphen.
Baker says Jews have right to live in all parts of Jerusalem, though Bush 2 weeks ago said there shouldn’t be settlements
Mandela’s book no longer banned
Soviets seized State Prosecutor’s Office & the printing plant in Lithuania.
-Byelorussia says it would claim Vilnius & 6 other districts if Lith. secedes
-Soviets fired the State Prosecutor of Lith., put in their own.
-Troops not yet interfering w/printing, plants on breakaway CP officials in buildings they’re occupying
-Bush letter to Gorby says US is “not trying to make things difficult” in Lithuania