Saturday, February 19, 2005
HHS to cont. ban on fetal tissue research indefinitely.
In retaliation, Iran passed bill allowing it to arrest any Amers. who break its laws. Says should start w/capt. of the Vincennes.
Soviet legislature rejects gov proposal for sin taxes
USSR admitting unemployment, 27.6%. Azerbaijan 25.7%, etc.
Hungarian Parl will allow a referendum on whether prez should be pop-elected or by new Parl
1989 US college students: 38% took no history, 45% no literature, 33% no science & 77% no foreign language.
More on RICO: when pilots’ & machinists’ unions charged that Texas Air violating safety rules, mgmt filed RICO against union, claiming their criticism constituted a “pattern of racketeering activity.”
Bush’s nominee to Surgeon Gen is the sister-in-law of Father Guido Sarducci.
Israel agreed to stop arresting people in a personal phone book confiscated form a Palestinian journalist for NYT, CBS, Reuters.
US admits that 2,000 Contras have re-entered Nicaragua. And have never said they’d do otherwise. But Nicaragua is being universally condemned for ending peace accord.
Sen. votes to allow Ollie North his Marine pension, 78-17.
A panel of the Nat Academy of Sciences says gov lacks enough info to assess the environmental consequences of oil & gas leasing off CA & Fla.
Lebanon working under Arab League guidance toward having a gov again. Parl will meet to elect a new prez. Gen. Aoun, who’s been pretending to be prez, threatens to dissolve it. Wants Syrian troops out. Would transfer power from prez to a Cabinet led by Muslim PM
Israel will accept Amer. plan accepting Israeli plan for elections but adds conditions: no PLO, only Occupied Territory residents, just the elections, and, says KPFA but not NYT, that if talks fail, US must support whatever Israel does.
US has suddenly cut off the Rome or Vienna path for Soviet Jews. 150,000 were expected to seek US citizenship this yr. The entire quota for USSR is 50,000
Energy Dept is run increasingly by contractors for everything.
When Hungarian CP changed to socialist, asked its 720,000 members to re-register. 30,000 have.
When FBI asked librarians to help it find Soviet spies, it also investigated them. It thinks the protest against this crap was Soviet-originated.
At 70-nation conf on global warming, US & Japan wouldn’t endorse commitment to control CO2 emissions by 2000. Also Br, alone of EC, USSR. US produces 23% of carbon dioxide in world, USSR 19%, Ch. 10, Japan 5, W Ger 4, Br 3
E Ger to allow travel abroad for 30 dys/yr, though it sounds like they still have to it on $8. And right to emigrate. 170,000 have left 1989, 1% of pop
Mondale: “The people of Poland speak to us of the joy of democracy and freedom. We come back with the language of bookkeepers and bureaucrats.”
Sup Court turns down an appeal from a woman whose ex-husband got a court order stopping her having a man overnight (3 children).
This summer, Ceausescu canvassed for support for an armed intervention in Poland.
Dinkins elected 1st black NYC mayor. And 1st black governor, Doug Wilder of VA. Wilder very close; being pro-choice helped him.
-Dinkins & Wilder both distanced selves from Jesse Jackson
Namibia is voting. SA failed to create another SWAPO invasion scare last week.
-Election regs allow anyone to vote if they lived in Namibia at least 4 yrs or had a parent born there, intended to enfranchise black exiles, but whites flying in from SA to vote, 10,000 or so.
China eliminating priv enterprise. Has shut down 1m rural industrial collectives (of 18.8m), 22m priv enterprises of 14.5m.
E Ger Cabinet & Politburo resign. Politburo replaced w/reformers. The Cabinet may be less so.
Nat Endowment for Arts, following Helms, withdrew sponsorship from art show about AIDS. Says not because of the art but because the catalog criticized Cardinal O’Connor, Wm Dannemeyer & Jesse Helms. The legislation is not in effect yet.
Richard Secord pleads guilty to 1 charge (false statement to Congressional investigators) of 12 in Iran-Contra.
Afghan gov releases list of people killed by its secret police, I guess just in 1979. 1,000 of them, inc 2 ex-PMs
Asst atty gen Wm Barr defending the memo on seizing people abroad says US can break internat law in behalf of nat interest. Asked whether Iran, Panama etc couldn’t do same, he rejected moral equivalency between the US & “outlaw countries.”
The Berlin Wall is now open.
SF votes down domestic partners ordinance, barely.
Cal. Board of Ed. adopted new textbook guidelines deleting reference to evolution as “scientific fact.”
Jordan had 1st elections in 22 yrs, 1st with women voting, though no ♀ candidates won. Fundies won 1/3 seats
I repeat, the Berlin Wall is open. And without papers, the system overwhelmed by numbers. Some people are breaking it up
-Thatcher says it’s going much too fast
-It has been shown on Russian tv
-USSR said it will allow non-CP gov in DDR if it remains in Warsaw Pact.
Israel considering a law which would make it a crime to receive or deliver property (money, anything) knowingly or unknowingly, from a terrorist organiz--the classification being that of the gov, not reviewable by court. Such property could be seized by police, w/out warrant. Gov could shut down any group connected in such a way w/terrorists, or acted “for the denial of the state of Israel.” This would be retroactive. It would shut down all philanthropic money to Arabs.
-Money to Israel is only distributed to Jewish communities
-Standard is not reasonable doubt but “balance of probabilities.” A defendant may be refused atty exc as designated by the Military Justice Law of 1955--only 1 Palestinian lawyer is. May allow hearsay, take evidence n secret from defendant. May liquidate any organiz & seize its assets, can do so w/no crime admitted or anyone even arrested.
Doug Wilder is governor of a state whose song inc words darkie & massah.
Bulgarian leader Zhikov resigned after 35 yrs. New leader Mladenov more reformist
Guatemala prez Cerezo says officials of Salvador’s ARENA sending explosives to ultra right in Guatemala to foment violence before next election. Linked to hand grenade attacks in Aug., inc on human rights organizs
1/6 pop of E Ger has exit visas.
Israel has stopped use of all fax machines in Gaza.
The new Single Integrated Operation Plan (SIOP) aims at hitting Soviet command & control systems at the beginning of a nuclear war, instead of as last resort (Nation, 10/23/89)
Salvadoran rebels launched a really major offensive. The country is under state of siege--an ARENA state of siege, which is probably the idea.
-Troops raid the National University
A new study shows tax credits for child care have little effect
OAS says Panamanian gov is illegal
Wall St J headline: Can Expansion Last if Cold War Ends.
Czech. allowing travel w/out visas. Where will they go?
Eugenio Montale, who won the Nobel Prize in Lit. 1975, used a ghostwriter.
SWAPO received 57.3% of vote, Demo Turnhalle Alliance 28.6%. SWAPO 41/72 seats Const Ass. Not the 2/3 needed to rewrite const
Congress restricting Bush’s sending weapons to guerillas in Cambodia, stopping him using CIA contingency funds w/out approval
Since Gorbachev tried to fire the editor of Argumenty I Fakty, its subscribers up to 31.5m from 22m
Tories to push for the death penalty against, right after alleged IRA convicted 14 yrs ago found to have been innocent--& judge at time said he’d have executed if he could’ve
CIA estimates confirm that Soviet military spending declined this yr 1.5%, as USSR said. Expect 7% cut 1990. This is contrary to what Quayle & Cheney have been saying
Major fighting El Salvador. 6 Jesuits killed today, bringing death squad deaths up again. Killing of 10 unionists. Oct 31 cited by rebels. NYT mentions in editorial, not news, that gov turned down Red Cross proposal for cease-fire to get civilians out. The gov is killing indiscriminately by helicopters. US state blames FMLN “use civilians as a shield and then complain about civilian casualties.”
USSR protests the Wall being opened up w/out their being informed
-E Ger admits its budget deficit $70b, sinking efficiency & huge bad subsidies. Honecker’s people blamed rather explicitly.
Jeremy Storo says US not only supporting anti-Cambodian guerillas w/weapons, food & satellite info, also intervening in Thai politics
CIA has launched a new $3m plot to buy a coup in Panama. Use of US troops a possible option. With Congressional approval.
Cath Church bans a CA state assemblywomen from sacraments until stops supporting abortion. [Late: she won election anyway]
China orders all fax machines to have a pol monitor.
I thought so. Bush opposes extension of visas for Ch. students.
New Ger PM Modrow chose 11 of 27 new cabinet from 4 minor parties.
SA to repeal segregation of pub facilities. Started w/beaches
RR has made $7m since leaving office
Salvador’s far right atty gen suggests pope get bishops out of the country. This is evidently a thinly-veiled threat against the Archbishop of San Salvador. Local media are prohibited mentioning this. The original Jesuit killings came a day after threat over radio by d’Aubuisson.
-Asst sec state Aronson confirmed threats in a call-in program but that’s it. 1,000 dead in 1 week.
The D of Energy pays not only environmental fines of its contractors, but huge legal bills as well. It is therefore more expensive to fine a contractor than not.
Romania, almost the last holdout, putting border restrictions. Seals border w/Hungary entirely.
The Czech. leader evidently got a letter from Gorbachev identical to that received by Bulgarian leader before he quit.
-Czech. attacked a huge protest meeting
Bill pending Congress to restrict states ability to restrict abortion before viability or after if life of mother threatened
Of all Soviet republics, GA declaring it was incorp illegitimately & can secede or not accept USSR laws
SA. A white former police capt has said he commanded an assassination squad, w/high-level authorization. Said there were 5 death squads consisting of 2 white cops, 2 black cops & 4 ex-ANC. Says he knows of murder of Ruth First.
Atty Gen of El Salvador to Pope: “Rather than investigating things which have already happened, it is a thousand times **healthier*** to avoid them.”
Abortions outnumber births USSR
Ch. sterilizing mentally retarded (IQ 49 or below)
Salvador. Robert White comments that in response to FMLN peace plan, reply was “The Gov of El S. will not give an inch.” Demand for purge of military of abuses ridiculed as “absurd.”
-Gov forces this time raid church & arrest 17
Soviet Sup Soviet demands greater econ decentraliz, voting down gov plan for ltd econ autonomy.
Israel passed an anti-discrim bill 53-19, but will probably kill it in cmte because of threats from relig parties which don’t like freedom of religion
Bush vetoed a paltry sum to UN Population Fund, even though provided that no money to go to Ch. & if it was so spent, the whole amount would have to be redunded. In other words, Bush caved into the far right for no reason.
House vote 403-0 to allow 30,000 Ch. students to stay in US indefinitely.
New law on lobbying by former gov officials to exclude ex-presidents, on Bush’s insistence
Bush vetoes appropriation bill for DC which would have allowed local funds spent on abortion
Bush knows Salvadoran gov not involved in priest murders because “Cristiani would not lie to me.” Even if true, why would Cristiani know?
People are selling pieces of the Berlin Wall like the True Cross.
Salvadoran rebels sort of accidentally took prisoner 4+ US soldiers who fired on them. US is pretending it’s a hostage situation.
US will cut immigration quotas from Poland & Hungary--no refugees unless they have relations here, barring 95% of the 20,000 who have applied.
The Economist points out that the turnover in the US House of Reps (7%/yr) is about the same as that in the House of Lords (5%), whose members leave in a box.
Of the Namibian assembly, of 72, 5 are ♀, 9 are white
Albert Hakim pleads guilty to an Iran-Contra misdemeanor, diverting $ to Ollie North. Big deal, but 1st admission that diversion was a crime. No indication how much money embezzled.
An E Ger gov poll showed CP getting 7% of support.
Atty Gen bars disclosure of classified info in Iran-Contra trial of Joseph Fernandez, ex-CIA COS Costa Rica. Some of this secret info, like existence of CIA field offices in Cent. Am., previously disclosed by media.
The Ill. abortion case settled before got to Sup Court, thank god. State will drop excessive regulation of clinics.
The American Green Berets in Salvador (see 11/21) got out w/out major US intervention, though Delta Forces were sent there. Bush falsely claimed they helped get the “hostages” out. (No demands ever made on them, nor were they actually under rebels’ phys. control).
The new Lebanese prez lasted 17 dys & was blown up. NYT refers to “a well-established pattern of assassinating Lebanese leaders almost as soon as they seem to abandon their partisan positions and start to speak of national reconciliation.”
-Israel took advantage to bomb the country
Bulgaria to investigate corruption under Zhirkov
And E Ger to investigate Honecker.
El Salvador rejects a cease fire. “The offensive is totally defeated,” said Cristiani, as a bomb exploded. Rebels want dir taxs w/gov
Czech. leadership resigns en masse. Jakes had been in power since 1968. Speaking of 1968, Dubčec has returned to Prague.
SA integrated businesses in Boksburg whose new gov tried to put back whites-only signs
The case against Joseph Fernandes thrown out. Thanks, Thornburgh.
El Salvador approves law w/prison terms for subverting order, restricted press, tv & graffiti. One tv station suspended news altogether. Outlaws work stoppages, boycotts, ban on foreign news. Penalty 1-4 yrs for excusing acts of terrorism. Secretaries, printers, sign printers can get 6-24 mos.
The LA Weekly, Actuel & others are having a fax-in, a paper to be sent to China. That explains the guards on fax machines
The fed Bureau of Prisons is drafting rules on press access to prisoners: require allowing prison officials to respond, restricting interviews per indiv to 1/mo., no live broadcasts [update: dropped]
A fed report showed 30% of all suicide attempts are by lesbian & gay teenagers, urged programs w/counseling. HHS Sec Sullivan rejected this as running contrary to advancing traditional family values.
A plane allegedly from Nicaragua w/arms crashed ni El S. yesterday. El S breaking off relations. I smell CIA.
Americas Watch accuses US of covering up Salvadoran rights abuses. In killing of priests, that scene had been controlled by army for days; occurred during curfew in which soldiers patrolling the campus & the priests’ offices searched by soldiers 2 dys before & threatened w/death over gov controlled radio station
I didn’t know this--all Arab countries tax working Palestinians 5% for the PLO
USSR will evidently be cutting down aid to Syria
64% of Swiss decide they should keep their army
A poll shows 52% willing to have their houses searched, 67% their cars stopped & searched w/out warrant. 55% support mandatory drug testing, 67% for all HS students.
Czech dissidents formed Civic Forum 8 dys ago. It’s virtually in power already. Led by Charter 77 supporters. Setting up workers strike cmtes.
US threatens to cut off all $ to UN & its agencies if PLO’s status upgraded to nonmember state
Br is actually going to bribe VN to take the refugees it will forcibly repatriate from HK.
After a very corrupt & violent election in India, Congress lost anyway. Gandhi resigned.
A rightist Salvadoran assassinated, ex Chief Justice Guerrero who blocked investigation of Oscar Romero’s murder, who was secretly supported by US for prez 1984 to pull voters from ARENA.
USSR grants unconditional amnesty to soldiers who committed crimes in Afghan.
Sup Soviet restores Azerbaijan’s control over Ngorno-Karabakh. Mistake. But then, since Azerbaijan has demonstrated its econ power to bring Armenia to its knees, and is threatening gen strike again, perhaps Armenia would be thrilled to give it up
In Japan, the Reagans stayed at a 2-story guest house which had to install an elevator, because Nancy refused to walk up 1 flight.
The Nation 11/20/89 says the RR White House used HUD & EPA funds to inf elections (which is a felony & was one of the articles of impeachment against Nixon). Links Rita Lavelle of EPA & Deborah Gore Dean of HUD, both of whom took orders from White House, suggests the 2, both unqualified for their jobs, hired because they could be used that way.
Czech. abolishes guarantee of CP gov.
State of health of Warsaw Pact: Poland seeking to end agreement allowing USSR to order Polish troops into action. Hungary ended CP cells in the army & decreed that troops cannot be sent abroad w/out Parl permission. USSR defense minister said he needs Sup Soviet approval for committing troops. Romania hasn’t participated in Warsaw Pact exercises since 1964.
SA reducing power of State Security Council, restoring Cabinet as highest authority on nat sec.
Lebanon moving to civil war, w/new prez, backed by Syria, ready to move against Gen. Aoun, who has been officially dismissed, for what little that means.
-30 Fr right-wing legislators flew to Lebanon to show support for Aoun (Christian). Crusade nostalgia?