Saturday, February 19, 2005
Israeli Army pardons soldiers who beat a Palestinian to death, cut 3 mos from their 9-mo sentences. They don’t seem even to have been thrown out of army
USSR army paper said they exploded a device in open air 1954, to test soldiers’ ability to move over contaminated terrain.
Denmark 1st country to allow gay marriage. Won Parl 71-47. Responsible for maintenance. Prop. inherits automatically, alimony. Cannot, however, adopt or obtain joint custody
-Sw. allowed rights 1st, but only equivalent to unmarried hetero couples
Israel bans use of faxes in Gaza. Shades of Romania.
Adding insult to insult, Israel asked US for $400m to finance housing for Soviet Jewish emigres, some of it, yes, on W Bank. Bush says maybe, but not in W Bank
The right has got Bush not to nominate a moderate R as chair of Legal Services because he refused to pledge to ask Congress to ban legal services to anyone who asks about abortion rights
A failed coup attempt Panama
Gorbachev calls for a 15-mo. ban on strikes. Did not get it. Did get 6-mo ban, right to use troops to open rails where Azerbaijan trying to starve Armenia.
Br Labour votes to abandon unilateralism. Kinnock said Gorbachev’s arms initiatives & RR’s gave them reason to hope for negotiations.
We’re going to lose the Ill. abortion case. Stevens recused himself
Fed appeals court allows employer to bar all fertile women from jobs (even if not pregnant or intend to be so) if potential risk.
There is another D’Amato, his kid brother Armand, ex of the NY state Ass. He also got $ from HUD contractors .
Protests by elderly at paying heavily for catastrophic health care lead House to repeal it 360-66
Many leaving E Ger., inc some in W Ger embassy in Prague. E Ger closing border w/Czech. E Ger is letting people travel to W Ger, though, reflecting Soviet intervention
House approves restrictions on Fed aid for “obscene” art, compromise against Helms. Inc S&M/homoeroticism, sexual exploitation of children, sex acts
US knew of attempted Panamanian coup at least 2 dys before. One story is that US asked for Noriega to be turned over to them.
-Some US soldiers perhaps blocked gov troops
-The communique the rebels put on tv while they held it did not mention human rights or democracy. Clearly just about getting in a new military faction
White House claims “new thinking” in SA
Cheney on McNeil-Lehrer says that some of US announced maneuvers in Panama were intended to put troops in position to intervene if that decision were made.
-US confirms that its troops blocked key roads between Noriega units & the coup’s besieged hq
Orrin Hatch wrote atty gen urging investigation of Randall Robinson, director of Trans Africa, who opposed aid to UNITA. “Mr Robinson, by his own admission, is actively working to change a stated US foreign policy.” Says Robinson “should not be permitted to propagate Marxist propaganda under the cover of academic independence.” Said Angola paid for Robinson trip there. In fact, the United Church of Christ did.
A secret Ch. analysis of its leadership says relations w/US have deteriorated, but Bush prefers relations to democracy. Says Ch. in strong position & burden is on US to repair relations
Right-to-lifers targeting a pill Cytotec, on mkt since Feb. for stomach irritation & to prevent ulcers in arthritis sufferers (from their drugs). It is an abortifacient in normal doses in 11-15% of pregnant ♀. In higher, would do more. This might be dangerous, so no ♀ would use it while abortion legal.
Florida Sup Court 6-1 struck down a parental consent law under Fla. const right of privacy (states with right of privacy: CA, Ala, Montana, AZ, Hawaii) & perhaps Wash, LA, SC
Chief Justice Rehnquist has been pushing for speedier enactment of death sentences (while Congress considering limiting appeals & after the June decision that aren’t entitled to free atty). 14 top fed judges challenge his right to be spokesman for fed judiciary on the issue. Rehnquist had tried to get the Judicial Conf, the court system’s top policy group, to approve this immediately, when they decided to wait until next meeting in Mar90, the next day Rehnquist transmitted the proposal to the Sen. Judiciary Cmte
It seems the Panamanian coup leaders had Noriega captive a few hrs
-And US Army blocked routes at request of the rebels. At no time did top nat sec officials meet on this.
-A transmission error between “want” & “won’t” confused issue of whether rebels would hand over Noriega--it was won’t.
-Bush looks like a fool. Helms is attacking him. Basically, Bush passivity failed. As the attacks on this become stronger, Bush admin (Bush himself v. much in background) telling more of the truth of US involvement. 1st said didn’t block their troops, then that just protecting US installations.
Sam Nunn says that Bush wasn’t prepared for what would happen if his policy (the coup) succeeded
A party-line vote in Israeli cabinet stopped them talking to Egypt about its peace proposal
Another Republican who lobbied HUD: Charles Percy.
The Internat Institute for Strategic Studies says that Gorbachev’s unilateral reduction will eliminate capability for surprise attack in W Eur by 1991. It would take 2 weeks to marshal forces.
Estonia suspends residency requirement for voting, though not for candidates.
Hungarian CP dissolved, to reform as a more competitive demo. party. Conservs, who might have split off and good riddance, didn’t.
Nigeria rejected all 13 civilian groups that put themselves forward to be the 2 pol parties that will be permitted. The military gov claims that they all had ethnic or relig divisions. So the eventual democracy will consist of 2 parties created by the military.
Bush confirmed that military had authorization to seize Noriega, if possible w/out bloodshed,
The US Civil Rights Commission rebukes its chairman for appearing a Fundy Christian symposium on homosexuality, the speech called “Blacks? Animals? Homosexuals? What is a Minority?”
The Israeli jailed for meeting Arafat said the gov sent him to talk to the PLO 1982.
Menem of Argentina pardons another 174 military officers inc those who rebelled against Alfonsin, those who led into Falklands War.
While allowing strikes, USSR banned them in energy, transport, health etc, or strikes damaging ethnic relations
Noriega denying he executed coup leaders.
With 10s of 1000s of E Gers leaving, Economist points out that proportionately, more Irish emigrate
Sup Court allows use of RICO against anti-abortion clinic blockers.
Environmental groups in court trying to stop launch of Galileo probe w/50 pounds of plutonium on shuttle Thursday
Bush will veto foreign aid bill inc support for UN Population Fund
Russian press reporting on UFOs & alien encounters. TV inc psychic healers.
After 8 yrs, House to allow Medicare for abortions for rape & incest, 216-206.
Amnesty says in last 1½s, Colombia police & military killed 2500, often in concert w/drug traffickers
SA to free Walter Sisulu & other ANC leaders.
Judge refused to stop shuttle.
USG recommending less prenatal care for healthy mothers. No pap test, one pelvic exam only, fewer dr. visits.
The NRA thinks it’s ok to shoot a human being as long as you eat the meat.
Fed appeals court upheld Las Vegas high schools banning ads in student papers, etc from Planned Parenthood.
Bush says he’s willing to use force against Noriega.
Azerbaijan CP chief came to protocol with the nationalists last month under which he has legalized the Pop Front, lifted curfew, special session of Parl for new sovereignty law. Gorbachev will evidently let them claim Ngorno-Karabakh again & dismantle the special cmte that rules it. Its sovereignty law allows right to secede, veto in Moscow, control all natural resources.
Palme’s alleged assassin’s conviction overturned & released
FBI in settlement admits efforts to disrupt the Nat Lawyers Guild 1940-75 despite gov determinations in 1958 & 1974 that it wasn’t subversive. Inc warrantless wiretaps, break-ins, informers etc. Provided info on Guild members to panels reviewing lawyers for bar admissions.
Justice Dept told FBI it may seize US fugitives in foreign countries w/out latter’s consent. Carter Admin had said this was kidnapping. This would inc Noriega. No one told James Baker, & Bush at news conf was unaware of it.
Ch. CP to purge in Beijing. Suggested “exploiters,” meaning capitalists, need not apply. Said members should spend profits on production & pub. welfare, not priv needs.
Meese’s friend E Robert Wallach sentenced 6 yrs for inf-peddling
From Nancy Reagan’s new book: “I’m not saying Iran-Contra was Don Regan’s doing. But it did occur on his watch, and when it came out, he should have taken responsibility.”
Bush admin over-riding 2 Fed panels to extend ban on research involving fetal tissue.
John Le Carré, The Russia House: “the Russians’ misforture is that they long to be European but their destiny is to become American”
Publishers’ Weekly called on Viking Penguin not to publish a paperback Satanic Verses.
Webster of CIA wants greater initiative to support coups involving assassinations.
There is a global ban in sale of ivory, but Zim., Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi & Burundi will not abide. Burundi sells Tanzanian ivory
Gorbachev is pissed at press. Evidently suggested the chief editor of Argumenty I Fakty, best selling paper, should resign for publishing a popularity poll on members of parl. Soviet press hasn’t reported the meeting. Top rated: Boris Yeltsin, Andrei Sakharov, opposition historian Afanasyerv. Says NYT, “The sort of loyalty previous leaders got by force, Mr. Gorbachev expects as a kind of patriotic team spirit.”
-Starkov, the editor, was ordered privately to step down by CP ideology chief. He may not. The staff voted unan. to support him, perhaps strike
Erich Honecker steps down. Successor also orthodox
51 Senators voted for a flag-burning amend. It needed 2/3. The statute will become law w/out President Wimp’s signature.
House also voted 67-31 for abortion aid for rape & incest. Bush will veto.
1978-84 Medicare spending on elderly increased 29%, for children declined 14%.
Shamir has now rejected Mubarak & US proposals for talks. Mubarak would have had him meet a Palestinian delegation of residents of Occupied & 2 deportees who would function as PLO reps. Labor accepted, Likud didn’t. Shamir’s policy: “The populace will come to understand from the bitter experience of the intifada violence that this struggle will lead nowhere and that everything the PLO stands for will produce only disasters. They will eventually grow disappointed both with the intifada and with the PLO and they conclude that they must negotiate with us on the basis of our initiative.”
New Ger party head Egon Krenz: “My motto remains work, work, work and more work, but work that should be pleasant and serve all the people.”
Reagan in new book of speeches says Iran-Control may have been a “setup, a sting operation,” & that he wasn’t trading arms for hostages because was dealing w/intermediaries. Also says USSR no longer an evil empire.
Have I mentioned the 7.1 earthquake Tuesday? Well, Dan Quayle visited SF & didn’t bother meeting Art Agnos, who said the visit was therefore just a pol stunt
Art Agnos says SF will do well if gov responds as well to SF’s damage as to Dan Quayle’s damage
Burma, for obvious reasons still hiding under name of Myanmar, says those it has detained not eligible for nominations--inc leader & chair of largest opposition party.
Hungary dissolving the CP militia created after 1956. Also rehabilitates by vote in Parl of 278-4-2 those convicted for 1956 activities or convicted of pol crimes 1948-62.
Bush vetoes funds for rape & incest
SA will allow ANC leaders, inc Walter Sisulu & those released, to speak at a rally next week
USSR wants to convert factories for SS-20s, now banned, to make space launchers, in joint venture w/US firm. Could undercut US launch prices.
July Senate 93-6 voted to cut illegal aliens from receiving Fed benefits, inc Soc Sec, disability.
Of 529,460 couples or indivs reporting income over $200,000 1987, 595 paid no tax, w/ae income $600,000, 2/3 w/capital gains ave $490,000. Another 33,805 paid rate under 15%, 3,000 under 10%.
Israel has spend (when?) $4b on housing, roads, electricity for W Bank settlements, 3-4X that of other Israelis. While living in same area, 90% of cultivable land, 75% water & all infrastructure is geared to one of the peoples. Suggests disengagement would be difficult.
-Something to watch: tax raids by Israel in Occupied. By internat law, such taxes in an occupied area must be returned in services. The budget is classified & indications are that money goes to the cent. budget.
Soviet foreign minister said Krasnoyarsk does violate ABM Treaty. Is being dismantled.
-Also says invasion of Afghan. was illegal
SA’s favorite party in Namibia, the Demo. Turnhalle Alliance, has hired demobilized Koevoet members (the counterinsurgency force) as party workers)
Israel claims PLO hiring local assassins to get other Palestinians & attribute to fictional group
Jim Baaker sentenced to 45 yrs
Justice Dept to limit use of RICO & seizures before trial in white collar cases. Figures it wouldn’t be revised 1st for 1st amend uses
Vladislav Starkos is still editor of Argumenty I Fakty as his nominal publisher can’t find a good reason to fire him
Penn. passes abortion bill which would require: “informed consent” (alternatives), 24-hr wait, notification of spouse, none after 24 weeks unless life of mother (not health) endangered, no sex-selection abortions (denounced by feminists as thought control). Some of these measures already dec unconst by Sup Court. Passed 143-58. Women wouldn’t be prosecutors, drs. would
RR will have to produce personal papers for trial of Poindexter (but not Bush)
Sup Soviet votes to eliminate the 1/3 reserved seats in Congress of People’s Deputies
A RICO suit by W Hartford, CT against anti-abortion protesters, inc someone who wrote editorials supporting Operation Rescue’s actions.
-Others are accused of preventing the police from effectively doing their jobs. And using court processes.
House fails to override Bush on abortion 231-191 for abortion
Bush is looking for opportunity to exercise a line-item veto, as if he has one.
Sup Soviet also voted for dir elections for presidents of the republics, opposed by Gorbachev as giving them too much power. Republics will set own rules for local elections
USSR has recognized Finland’s neutrality & ind
Gorbachev in Finland says would pull nuke subs from Baltic by 1991, and no longer target the area w/missiles, as step to nuclear-free zone. And disavows any right to interfere in affairs of E Eur, this in the week that saw the declaration of the Republic of Hungary. Says Brezhnev doctrine is dead.
Thomas Pickering, US ambassador to UN, claims Nicaragua stationing troops at voting registration centers. UN monitor, Elliot Richardson, says otherwise.
RR in Japan (the $2m trip) wonders if the Tiananmen students “handicap people who were quietly trying to do what they want?”
-On Sony buyout of Columbia Pictures: “I just have a feeling that maybe Hollywood needs some outsiders to bring back decency and good taste”
Though Simpson-Rodino made employing illegal aliens illegal, LA now has jobs program that largely helps them.
Bush wants new pesticide laws to make it easier to pull chemicals & faster. Will also pre-empt the states est more stringent standards. And its own standards will be flexible, if profits or whatever involved. Partly aimed at a CA initiative next yr
Evidently Contras are selling arms to Salvadoran rebels, that is, we are now causing the ostensible reason we funded the war to begin with.
E Ger amnesty for those who have escaped or tried to.
Israel may have helped SA dev a medium-range missile. SA denied that but not that Israel has received enriched uranium from SA
James Baker stopped deputy nat sec adviser Robt Gates, formerly of CIA & Iran-Contra, giving pessimistic speech on USSR. May89 Gorbachev called him head of the cell w/in NSC created for purpose of discrediting perestroika
Samuel Pierce has taken 5th again. No longer claims needs more time, says there is “an atmosphere wherein he remains a target of the subcmte’s hearings.” He won’t go because they want him there? Has asked for gov to pay his legal fees
Sen. approves 79-20 death penalty for terrorists who kill American *abroad*.
A judge Florida refuses to postpone a woman’s 60-day sentence so she could have abortion--or in his words, “murder your baby.”
INS won’t challenge LA helping day laborers
Ortega says Nicaragua will renounce the 19-mo. ceasefire w/Contras in response to attacks, one of which killed 19 soldiers. This announced at hemispheric meeting where Bush said he would sign no document w/Ortega’s signature on it, & claimed pictures of the 2 together hadn’t come out.
E Ger lifting ban on visa-free travel to Czech.
Senate Republicans, being obstructive about capital gains tax, trying to add it to the increase of debt limit bill. To prevent the blame for this if the bill doesn’t pass on time, Treasury is borrowing money up to the limit early, at an extra cost of $20m.
In SA, an ANC rally allowed
Deal on min. wage will raise it to $4.25 by 1991. With submin wage of $3.61 for 90 days for 16-19 days or, if it’s really for training, another 90
Last yr SA pushed 3 villages into Ciskei. Nkqokgweni people refused to go & lose SA citizenship w/out consultation. Recently, Ciskei had bulldozed houses, made town’s leaders disappear, dumped people into remote parts of Ciskei. A Justice said razing homes, etc legal, denied right of appeal. SA ambassador to Ciskei said they should go back to Ciskei, “where they’ll be well cared for and well looked after.”