Saturday, February 26, 2005
Isralis are pissed at the pol system. Shamir “converted” to that, but a court order forced Likud to reveal previous secret coalition agreements in which Shamir promised no reform.
Ivory Coast: Houphet-Boïgny to end one-party rule
Sandinistas left $3m in Treasury, the same figure they inherited in 1979.
Romania’s opposition parties to refuse to take part in elections, citing harassment.
Sup Court refuses to hear a case against Cath church’s tax exempt status for its anti-abortion activities, but only for standing, not merits. Plaintiffs inc tax-exempt organizs who claimed to be at competitive disadvantage because they followed the law. A dissenting opinion (at district level) said plaintiffs should not be required to break the law to be considered competitors.
Noriega’s lawyers ask to resign, citing danger of bankruptcy as US has frozen Noriega’s assets.
A former HUD aide, now in jail, testified to confess that Pierce & White House dir involved in manipulation of housing programs.
Ch. to send large arms shipments to Khmer Rouge
Salvadoran ambassador to US said those who killed Jesuits had “succumbed to provocation.”
Alexander Cockburn (Nation 5/7/90) thinks contra attacks on Sandinistas will escalate until S. back down or US invasion. Says contras have a new army & State Dept wants to distribute repatriation & demobilization money directly to contras rather than through an internat group of UN & OAS, designed not to give aid to contras refusing to disarm
A leader of Israeli settlers in W Bank given 5 mos for killing a Palestinian. He claims to have been “innocent”--I didn’t have the honor of killing the Arab. Plea-bargained down to death by negligence--meaning he was firing indiscriminately.
The Hersh article Sunday the cmtes failed to initiate electronic recovery of data, or seek RR’s telephone logs & calendars, or demand tapes of phone talks w/foreign leaders
Dolphins & sea lions being armed w/.45s to kill enemy frogmen
HUD testimony says VP Bush’s office also inf HUD
In response to Demo budget cut in defense, Cheney threatens to cancel 207 construction projects. Guess where they are.
E Ger, W Ger agree on monetary union. Exchange rate 2:1 now. Favorable treatment for E Gers over 60.
Bush wants to lift high-tech restrictions for USSR, EEC. Coincides w/arrival in Washington of Lithuanian PM
Hungary’s new president, elected by Parl, Arpad Goncz, a writer jailed 6 yrs after 1956. The compromise involved changing provision for annuling Const from 2/3 parl to ½ & Prez elected by Parl rather than direct.
Oregon to ration health care by cost-benefit analysis. Thus, thumb sucking is high on the list (low cost), at bottom are ulcers, varicose veins, sex change & advanced AIDS.
Australian prisoners took advantage of a warder strike to order 304 pizzas.
Feb. 25 during the pro-demo demonstration in Moscow, the military mobilized, evidently as a warning to Gorby
AZT now to be allowed for children w/AIDS
On anniversary of Tiananmen Sq massacre, Bush will ask for extension for Ch. of most-favored nation status.
Bush says there’s no constructive role for US in Lithuanian crisis. Of high-tech exports, “I don’t view this as giving something to the Soviets at all.”
US threatening to cut Salvadoran aid unless progress on Jesuit-killers. Cristiani now holding talks w/rebels hostage to that aid.
France: a CP-sponsored bill on race hatred wins, making it illegal for anyone who incited hatred holding elected office or gov job, right of reply to anti-racism groups criticized in press, misdemeanor to deny crimes of Nazi Ger. Le Pen said, “racism in Fr today means patriotism.”
Armenia also to suspend the draft
Latvia sort of dec ind, restoring part of its old Const but keeping Soviet const. Transition per of unnamed length
US to forego moderniz of short-range nukes, not that W Ger would have taken them. NYT describes it as the dipl equivalent of “You can’t fire me, I quit.”
US military planned & led a helicopter attack Dec89 in Colombia on a drug lord that killed him.
Israeli navy ship, allegedly carrying out a routine weapons check, did so in the direction of King Hussein’s yacht, with king on it.
The ex-HUD aide testified that HUD’s discretionary grant programs used as pol slush fund
US cigarette comps advertise illegally in Asia, on school notebooks, kites, bubble gum, children’s swimsuits
Br local elections not as bad for Tories as expected. They lost 8 councils (of 200). Labour up 10 to 89. Of the 5,000 seats, Tories lost 191, Lab gained 300, SLDP lost 48. Lab got 42% of vote, Tories 31%, SLDP a respectable 18%. Scottish nationalists also up. Tories did well in London, which is a problem
PW Botha has quit the NP in protest of de Klerk’s policies inc meeting a CP leader, Joe Slovo, in the ANC delegation
Latvian cautious version of UDI went down just as well in Moscow. Gorby threatened w/sanctions, said, no different from Lith. Indicates there’s no pt in not going for fastest possible ind. I thought Gorby was trying divide & rule
2 more US soldiers arrested for murder in Panama invasion.
US has spent $100s of millions buying USSR weaponry from underground traders, corrupt officials & the Ceausescu family
Soviet tanks rolled through Latvia, purely a demonstration
USSR to allow Ger merger before military status settled
In the Salvador Jesuit investigation, evidence has disappeared & 4 soldiers w/evidence were sent abroad so as to be unavailable to testify
Bush will veto any law requiring employers to give parents time off to care for newborn babies or seriously ill family members. Claims to oppose gov dictating fringe benefits.
Ligachev wants a separate Russian CP
Wisconsin not to prosecute that woman for adultery but force her to attend counseling & perform community service.
Nicaraguan parl may weaken presidential powers, dissident UNO members joining Sandinistas.
Canadian immigration authority has been drugging refugees it wants to deport.
Ollie North’s notebook shows he met VP Bush hours after lying to Congress in 1986.
Bush not to take position on bill to allow entry of HIV-infected foreigners
In a murder trial, Winnie Mandela named by witnesses
A Senate study says 2.2m Amers. are cocaine addicts, 1/5 of those arrested
White House to oppose financial aid for developing countries to stop damage of ozone level.
Albania to allow religion again, and travel abroad
EPA says passive smoking causes 3,000 lung cancer deaths/yr
Democrats altering campaign finance law to exempt expenses of incumbents from limits, allowing them 15% above others.
A top secret Ch. document leaked by a defector says Ch. to use release of pol prisoners and Fulbright & Peace Corps to inf US. This week, released 211 prisoners. Decision of most-favored nation status due by June 3. And plan to pressure Ch. students in US.
House votes for family leave bill (up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for birth, adoption, serious illness). 237-187. Only for comps over 50 at a work site, excluding 56% of workers.
Smoking costs $65b in health & lost work
Interior Sec Lujan says we shouldn’t bother saving each species. Thinks it’s awful this is used to stop devt. Can’t tell difference between a red squirrel, black or red
USSR stops transfers of hard currency to all Baltic states
Nicaraguan state workers are on strike, w/gov threatening to fire them. Partly for large pay raises, partly for legal right to unionize & strike, which Chamorro has suspended
Br local election results actually mirror the Jun89 Eur Parl elections
Florida to expand its lottery to the 3rd World
State Dept gave refugee status to Ch. abortion foes
Soviet law against insulting the president passed one house, failed in the other
Baltic states revived a Baltic council
So far, aid to Panama only $42m
Israeli tv says the CIA condoned a plan by an Israeli reserved colonel to est training camp for Panamanian rebels in Antigua. Weapons were sent there, but later diverted to a Colombian drug chief
W Ger Christ. Dems. lost elections in Lower Saxony, N Rhine-Westphalia, the former a defeat. Means SPD has majority in the upper house which can delay legislation
Sununu’s anti-environment, pro-growth policy dates from his governorship, where he pressured fed & state agencies to allow devt of a ski resort to widen a highway & to license Seabrook nuke plant, and intimidated officials
Sup Court 5-4 refused to life a ban on Operation Rescue blockade in Atlanta
In Sup Court flag burning case heard today, Solicitor Gen Starr said it’s like requiring demonstrators to turn down volume--it’s content-neutral, not aimed at a particular viewpt. Scalia interjected that there is only one viewpt expressed so, “I hate America.”
Soviet helicopter drops leaflets on Vilnius calling people to take to streets “in defense of Soviet power in Latvia.” “Contempt and shame will cover the descendants of those who in this decisive moment do not speak out against the counterrevolution. Men, look into the eyes of your children, your mothers and your wives. Can you leave them defenseless?”
The Israeli gen. who commanded W Bank earlier in intifada, said there were several beatings & bone-breakings not made public.
CA demo gubernatorial debate: Feinstein said right ban abortion for sex-selection. Van de Kamp says this would est a state inquisitor. I find that people who might do such a thing are those I’d least want to inflict a girl on.
Chamorro decrees strikes by public workers illegal
When Bush stopped arms deliveries to Ch. he didn’t stop long-term programs like modernization of Ch. jet fighters. Ch. just stopped it, evidently after finding out about American cost overruns
No new taxes. In 1988 USG got $751b, 1990, $916b, 1993 $1.17t, without any change in tax rates
Negotiations on budget opened w/Bush refusing to make a televised address on the subject
US will link aid to Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand & Philippines to buying of US products
SA desegregated hospitals
The INS was stopped from deporting the children (6 & 3) of Mexicans w/legal residency
SA says homeland policy is dead
Bush says Ger should have full control of its territory
US to stop demanding (as since 1987) that NATO allies increase defense spending 3%/yr. Not that they have.
Report of Swedish Save the Children Fund on Israeli violence says if the 685 Palestinians killed since Dec87, 159 under 16. 1/5 children killed in or w/in 10 meters of their homes. Only ¼ in stone-throwing. Tear gas misuse has most to do w/this. 1,689 children sustained gunshot wounds
Governor of Puerto Rico says Bush is applying heavy-handed pressure, akin to Gorbachev in Baltic, to accept statehood
Fed district judge stops mandatory drug tests for lawyers applying to Justice Dept (anti-trust division). Justice said job applicants have a lesser expectation of privacy than those already in jobs.
Bush pushing law to expand list of drug crimes subject to death, allow extradition to countries w/which no treaty, force planes to land if ordered to do so by military officer
Bush complaining the Nicaragua aid bill has a Demo. amendment allowing DC money to be used for abortion. He calls this “mischievous” and fails to mention the, I believe, 160+ amendments from Republicans, inc one expanding use of death penalty in DC
4 groups representing almost all colleges, urged DOD to stop barring homosexuals from military service
Jiang Zemin, Ch. party leader, tells Barbara Walters that Tiananmen was “much ado about nothing.” Claims demonstrators burned 10,000 army trucks, tanks, etc
Lithuanian gov agreed to suspend all laws since dec. of ijnd. Gorbachev says Liths. guilty of “adventurism”
Nicaraguan strike turned out ok. Pay settlement
Sen. passes emergency AIDS bill. Inc amend 98-0 denying money to any state w/needle exchange programs
Dept Health & Human Services backing away from opposition to tobacco exports. The Asst Secy cancelled appearance before Congress on health effect of exports. The trade office said health not considered in pushing exports, thus Thailand now being pressured
Contras suspended agreement to disarm
Br: ind study says Br security forces passed info on IRA suspects to illegal Protestant death squads
Louisiana executed someone who shot a cop when he was 17 & brain-damaged (IQ 71) & convicted by all-white jury
A prisoner w/AIDS was sentenced to 25 yrs for trying to bite a guard. Last yr a prisoner was sentenced to life (he is 28) for spitting on a prison guard. And there are others
SF Examiner Sunday says CIA supplied names of 1,000s of Indonesia CP members to army 1965. 5,000? CIA denies it but then embassy deputy chief of mission & pol section chief all acknowledge it. Before names turned over, embassy had reports of firing squads. US lists were more comprehensive than Indonesian ones. Names supplied over months, so they had to know
E Ger easing visa requirements for W Eurs, increasing them for Romanians.
Army told a gay ROTCer he will not have to repay his scholarship
CIA estimate unemployment could reach 9% Poland, 20% E Ger & Yug., 5%+ Bulgaria
Taiwan moving towards democracy? Will soon revoke declaration of “Communist rebellion” on the mainland, meaning end of use of emergency powers.
Sup Court 5-4 let stand a perm. ban on Operation Rescue blockades of abortion clinics
The Yemens re-unified. Now we don’t have to remember which is which. Exc for that pesky Sec Council seat
The Iliescu communists won in Romania by at least 70%. 2 new parties, the Hungarian Democratic Union and the Ecologists Party, did better than older parties
W Ger SPD said will battle Kohl on the treaty on econ union. Could use new majority in upper house.
The Fed gov will pay full cost of Noriega’s trial in return for their dropping subpoenas to force gov to disclose how much it paid Noriega. This could be interpreted either as buying Noriega’s silence or bribing his lawyers not to defend him. The money is supposed to be reimbursed later from his frozen accounts.
Israeli Parl voted >$17m for roads & Jewish settlements Occupied Territories
Sen. George Mitchell on Quayle: “He doesn’t say much, and when he does, he doesn’t say much.”
Soviet Union to have referendum on free mkt
Israel has rejected idea of UN observes in W Bank
FDIC assets at lowest levels ever, 70¢ for every $100 insured. Safe = $1.25. It lost $851m last yr. Only the 2nd time ever, after losing $4.24b 1988
E Ger is getting refugee Soviet Jews
Bush extended most favored nation status to Ch. for 1 yr, no conditions. Soviets will not get it
House bans executions of the retarded or when race played role in sentence. State would have to disprove racism
Sen. votes to ban 3 yrs semiautomatic assault weapons, 50-49
Court ruled out the agreement on paying Noriega’s lawyers
Sen. bans death penalty for retarded 59-38 & will limit writs of habeas corpus to one. Rejected the discrim bit.
Gorby says Lithuania could be ind in 2 yrs if suspended dec ind
Winnie Mandela’s bodyguard convicted of the murder of a 14-yr old late 1988. Court ruled that she was in on the beating. Not (yet) charged
DEA admits paying $20,000 for the kidnapping of a Mexican doctor for charges here. Justice Dept knew in advance & failed to object & block it. Mexico wants a DEA agent accused of planning the kidnapping extradited.
In UN, US blocked attempt to send mission to Israeli-Occupied Territories. There has been increased killing since a loon w/a submachine gun killed 7 Palestinians
CA Assembly by 1 vote added HIV info to school health ed. (Duke vetoed this last yr)
Yeltsin elected prez of Russian SSR after great Gorby efforts to stop him
And is already demanding “sovereignty” in terms not unlike those of Lithuania, talking of primacy even in internat agreements
DeKlerk having real trouble w/the Conservs, who are calling for resistance to deKlerk. He calls them “irresponsible, undemocratic and dangerous.”
Yeltsin called for USSR gov (not inc Gorby) to resign
-Yeltsin to est dir econ links w/Baltic republics
Sup Court 7-2 ruled people guilty of crimes ordered to pay restitution to victims can declare bankruptcy & get out of it
Canada H of C 140-131 requires women to get a doctor’s consent for abortion
Louisiana’s lower house, trying for redneck records, passed a bill of KKK state Rep. David Duke against affirmative-action-as-discrimination 66-28 & reduced battery penalties for attacks on flag burners (or, in the words of the bill’s author, “marijuana-planting dope-smoking hippies”) from $500 & 6 mos & costs to $25 & no jail or costs
Yeltsin’s view of decentraliz inc Russian republic setting prices for its resources, republic laws taking precedence over Soviet law, and he would have as much power as Gorbachev
2 Czech cabinet ministers (Info, Agric) resigned after being found to have had secret police links
Warren Hinckle comments that Thornburgh has helped Bush coverups before last week’s attempt in the Noriega case, and holding back what Ind Counsel Lawrence Walsh calls “fictional secrets” to prevent Iran-Contra prosecution of CIA, head of station Costa Rica. In 1976 he helped Bush prevent publication of the DeFeo report on drug dealing by Panamanian officials, inc Noriega, & illegal CIA & DEA activities. In his 1988 confirmation hearings, he promised now to release it. He hasn’t
Panama invasion. US troops incinerated corpses w/out prior identification to avoid us finding out the numbers. Also, there were execution-killings, tanks ran over cars & homes & fired at ambulances. US troops arrested labor leaders, raided union offices
Moldavian Parl recognizes Lithuania as ind.
US vetoes UN sending a commission to Occupied Territories
Nixon & John Mitchell helped Iraq arrange a sale of military uniforms from Romania in 1984. Writing 2 letters (Nixon) to Ceasescu