Saturday, March 05, 2005
Admin has stopped hearings for people seeking disability benefits [8/1: and re-started]
In Salvadoran Jesuit killing, it seems Pres. Cristiani & chief of staff Emilio Ponce authorized a search of the Jesuits’ house 3 dys before they were killed. Judge wants to get 2 US officers to testify on how they knew, earlier than has been admitted, fo army involvement & why delayed telling Salvadorans
A former aide to Bush, Robert Thompson, now a lobbyist, used his contacts to help buyers of insolvent S&L, was able to suggest changes in internal gov documents affecting his clients’ interests. And has refused to appear before Sen. subcmte
SA disbands the clandestine unit that killed opponents
Mongolian CP won at least 70% of seats because the 5 opposition parties (which will be invited into coalition) didn’t have much time
Iraq has invaded Kuwait. They claim revolutionaries had already overthrown gov
-Iraq says it will make Kuwait a graveyard if outsiders intervene
The Emir got out safe to Saudi Arabia
-Iraq freezing debt payments to US. US froze Iraqi & Kuwaiti assets. Trade banned
-USSR stops arms sales to Iraq. There will be a joint US-USSR condemnation
Pentagon’s new strategy will assume that after USSR w/draws forces from E Eur it will take it up to 2 yrs to mobilize for an invasion
Bulgarian opposition leader is president after the weirdness of the last couple of weeks
Final agreement on Ger elections. Dec 2. Will keep the 5% min, but E Ger parties can piggy-back on W Ger parties. 3 of the 5 W Ger parties have E Ger versions (SPD, CDU, Free Dems) & Bavaria’s Christian Soc Union will take in right-wing agric parties. The losers will be the New Forum & the old Communists, which won 16% of last E Ger elections (5% in all Ger = 22% E Ger)
Gorby & Yeltsin to form joint commission on econ change
Ukraine Parl votes to close Chernobyl & work to eliminate nuke power
1989 men got 71% of actor roles in movies & 63% tv
Kuwait did ask for US military assistance. Didn’t get it
-There is some suggestion Iraq coordinated w/Iran
Congress to overturn Pentagon’s 1988 ban on abortions at military hospitals abroad (even at own expense) [Update: or not]
Bush working on chemicals in GATT. Would pre-empt states setting environmental standards (as in the Nov. initiative to phase out carcinogenic chemicals in agric). And would end EPA standards on imports, adopted UN weak standards which would allow in chemicals that are now banned here.
The S&L bailout will involve a transfer of wealth from N to S. $80b will be sent to Texas ($4,775 per person). NY will lose $17b, CA $11b, Ill. & NJ $8b
-When starting or buying an S&L one could put in $3 & make loan of $100 to self or friends, gov-insured
Iran & Br moving closer to relations, Iran saying Br had condemned Rushdie. The statement from Foreign Min Hurd: “The Br Gov had nothing to do with the publishing of The Satanic Verses. Nor has it encouraged its publication in other countries. There is no question of the Br Gov or people working to insult Islam.”
There is a bill in Pakistan Parl to impose Sharia. Sounds like PM Bhutto wouldn’t be allowed in power, no? She has said it’s inhuman to cut limbs off, and has been called an infidel
There is some suggestion that Iraq will move on Saudi Arabia next. Certainly there are too many troops in Kuwait & they are w/in 5 mi. of S Arabia
-Arab League denounces the invasion, but 7 of 21 abstained. No one, but no one, supports it, inc Cuba or Ch.
Iraq has est military gov in Kuwait. It’s unclear whose military
Taiwan threw Ch. boat people into their boat, nailed it closed. When it got back to Ch., 25 dead
US has deployed Marines to Liberia, allegedly to evacuate citizens from the civil war.
-This follows the game plan of a 2nd rebel leader who hit our newspapers from nowhere, who ordered arrest of all foreigners in Moravia to provoke an intervention. Nigeria & others considering it.
Iraq says it’s pulling troops out. US says they aren’t
E Ger SPD stopped Christ. Dem plans to have all-Ger elections Oct 14, when there will be elections in the 5 new E Ger states
Ch. stops arms sales to Iraq. Japan banning import of Iraqi oil
-The key sanctions countries are Turkey & Saudi Arabia, which have pipelines from Iraq
-EEC embargoing oil from & arms to Iraq
-The head of the puppet gov, one Col. Ala Hussein Ali, possibly Saddam’s son-in-law, is PM, commander in chief, min of defense & interior. Staffing problems? His military will be volunteers from any Arab countries, meaning Iraq of course, which says 140,000 have volunteered. Some say the murder of the new gov are from Iraqi army
-It took Iraq a surprisingly long time to name the revo gov that invited it in.
-The new gov has threatened the nationals & interests of any country sanctioning them
Pakistan’s president has fired PM Bhutto for corruption of gov.
Cheney is in Saudi Arabia trying to get it to take American troops. Also announced its plan for Saudi defense: allow Iraqis way into country, then bomb them. I’m sure the Saudis are enthusiastic. Beyond the obvious, Iraq would have most of Saudi oil fields.
UN votes mandatory sanctions on export, import or investment in Iraq & Kuwait
ANC suspending armed struggle
US troops sent to Saudi Arabia
Bar Assoc meeting votes narrowly to be “neutral” on abortion
Iraq has rounded up Westerners (inc 28 Americans) in Kuwait
-Turkey to shut Iraqi pipelines. US policy is that Turkey is to be compensated by the exiled Emir of Kuwait, who holds foreign assets
23 states have raised taxes this yr.
Serbs in Croatia demanding cult. & perhaps territorial autonomy w/in Croatia. Will call an illegal referendum Aug. 19
Christ. Dems in Ger (both) pressing for a quick unification to get it in before the bill comes. E Ger unemp is v. high & needs to be paid for
Troops to be sent into Liberia by Ghana, guinea, Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone
Illinois senate votes to ban any depiction of same-sex physical contact on vehicles carrying people under 21 (response to a safe-sex poster).
The new Kuwaiti gov fixed the dinar to Iraq’s
Actor’s Equity refused to allow an Eng. actor (Jonathan Pryce) to appear on Broadway in “Miss Saigon” because he is Caucasian. It could not get away with this against an American.
Iraq has been saying the existence of Kuwait is just a result of imperialists dividing Arabs
-There is talk of an international naval force to enforce sanctions. USSR will be invited
-Saudis to increase oil production to make up ½ of Iraq + Kuwait, as will others.
-Ideally, Bush should also release oil from the strategic reserves. Bush has been v. quiet on what his strategy is to prevent recession resulting from all this
-Iraq & Kuwait = 8% world’s oil supply
Appeals Court says SF city ordinance banning sleeping in cars, campers & trailers overnight is not discriminatory because applies to rich & poor.
Iraq annexed Kuwait this morning
“NY is the town where at the end of every rainbow you find an empty pot of gold & the chalk outline of a leprechaun.”
In the Hasfenus-Secord suit, Secord says State Dept & CIA knew about his operations
US approached Syria & Iran to get them into effort against Iraq
The Winnie Mandela associate convicted of killing 14-yr old sentenced to death
When Panama invaded & the Pentagon pool of reporters not sent, it was attributed later to incompetence. Funny, they’re not going to the Gulf either.
-No one but no one has mentioned the War Powers Act, either
Samuel Doe says a US helicopter shot at him
Neil Bush’s S&L Silverado was definitely not closed when should have been, but the day after the election 1988
House cmte on gov operations says Reagan admin obstructed a Fed study on Agent Orange, forcing it to stop the study 1987 & say it was impossible to verify levels of exposure
US & other ships establishing a blockade of Iraq
-Finally. Bush complying w/War Powers Act
-On the press pool, Bush said merely, “There’s plenty of reporters in Saudi Arabia right now.” In fact, there are no Western reporters. Which is plenty to Bush.
-Iraq has sealed its borders, keeping 3,500 Americans inside Iraquwait
-Hussein calls for jihad & for overthrow of Saudi royal family
Justice Dept files suit against primary run-off law in Georgia (and by implication Ala., Ark, Fla, LA, Miss, OK, SC, Texas). Insists, as does Jesse Jackson, that it discriminates against minorities because whites vote for any non-black in run-off (why not file suit against white voters?). What R’s want is a weaker black plurality candidate to run against
An Arab force to be created to protect Saudis.
-Bush is going on vacation, to show he’s not hostage to it like Carter. Literally.
Pakistan setting up special tribunals to try old ministers of Bhutto’s gov, possibly inc her, w/single judge, for corruption
Indeed, the 9 members of the now-presumably-defunct Free Gov of Kuwait were all Iraqi Army officers
-Pentagon finally activates the press pool
Mozambique moves to multi-party
American force could reach 100,000 or more. No Iraquwait oil getting out. When began, claimed only 50,000 needed. This is without a war yet
Fed District judge rules US violated extradition treaty w/Mexico by abducting suspect
Soviets finally matching Western standards. In its free elections, the Congress of People’s Deputies contingent of women dropped from 33% to 15%
1st sign of strain in Iraq’s mostly-imported food situation: death penalty for hoarders
“Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.” Bernard Berenson
Nominee to Court of Appeals, Fed Dist Judge Kenneth Ryskamp, overturning jury verdict in favor of people mauled by police dogs, “I think of countries where, if you are guilty of a robbery they cut off your hand... It might not be inappropriate to carry around a few scars.”
Hussein wants meant consumption halved
Saudi Arabia fires at 2 Iraqi planes somewhere near the border w/Kuwait
Hussein says he’ll pull out of Kuwait if sanctions removed, US troops in Saudi replaced by Arabs (but not Egyptians) and, oh yes, Israel pulls out of Occupied Territories & Syria pulls out of Lebanon.
The North diaries also indicate Elliott Abrams knew of things he claimed not to know, like military assistance to Contras & use of airstrip in Costa Rica.
-An intriguing Apr85 entry: “Arrange for explosion in earshot of ROC embassy,” evidently followed a Singlaub warning to Taiwan about Nicaraguan terrorism. They talked about (all?) a demonstration. Taiwan donated $2m.
Iraq killed a Britisher trying to escape Iraq.
W Ger Free Dems merge w/3 E Ger parties, inc their opposite number
Evidently, Estonia dec ind last week & said the presence of the Soviet army is illegal
Iraqi blockade extended to food
-Iraq broadcasting to other countries, inc Egypt, trying to appeal to their people over the heads of govs
-NYT today comments on the help given to Iraq over the yrs in wheat & oil trade, former w/Ex-Im credit. CIA gave them info. And it was kept off list of states supporting terrorism. And no protest of forced relocation of Kurds, etc. And US gov now still guarantees payment for Iraq of $1.7b
-US soldiers in Saudi Arabia told not to drink, etc
-The blockade has been est unilaterally, in contrast to Bush’s word that troops only defensive, and not UN-authorized
-Bush has said he wouldn’t mind seeing Hussein overthrown
-Spending on forces in Saudi Arabia estimated at $300-400m/mo.
Pakistan has offered Benazir Bhutto to withdraw corruption charges if she went into exile and retired perm. from politics. Which proves issue political, not criminal
Bush says that for Nixon, “politics was poetry, not prose.” The pardon constituted poetic license, presumably.
IMF used fraudulent figures in imposing austerity on Trinidad
Poland’s pub schools to begin “voluntary” classes in relig. ed.
Iraq has looted Kuwait for $3-4b in gold, foreign currencies & goods
-Everyone says US can’t est blockade w/out Sec Council resolution. Fortunately, we are instead imposing an “interdiction.” Difference? See the dictionary, State tells us.
Armenia’s CP gov resigned, its new PM is a former pol prisoner & nationalist
Apr89 Sec Commerce Mosbacher sold a property to a Manioso for $400,000 -- cash
The money paid to the Watergate burglars was traced to Texas oilmen, partners of Bush. Congress failed to follow this up.
Bush says he no longer feels he has to remain silent on the Democrats’ “responsibility” for deficit because his confidential tax plan was leaked -- evidently by a Republican.
Iraq reaches out to... Iran, accepting the 1975 border & pulling troops out.
-Bush has secretly approved $1b in arms sales to Egypt
Russian Republic said USSR could not market its diamonds through DeBeers. Now the Autonomous Republic of Yakutia (w/in Russia) wants control. And it has all USSR’s diamonds, much of its gold
Bush says Iraq threatens our way of life (remember “our oil”?)
-Iraq still keeping Westerners hostage until “threats” eliminated
-By the by, these people are “restrictees”
Iraq orders roundup of US & Br citizens in Kuwait. Just to ensure their safety, of course
-Iran has accepted Iraq’s acceptance of the status quo ante but doesn’t seem to be giving anything. Iran-Iraq POW exchange finally to begin. This all seems like the ultimate admission that the Iran-Iraq War failed
E Ger PM Lothar de Maiziere fired his chief rival, SPD Finance Minister Walter Romberg, & agric min. SPD will probably pull out of coalition.
Inter-black violence in SA getting out of hand. Buthelezi says it will stop when he & Mandela address joint rallies. So the 200 dead in the last week are his way of enforcing claims to equality. Necklacking is back. Mostly in Natal
Bush authorizes use of force to halt shipments. Perez de Cuellar says this not legal
-Rumor says there was an attempt to assassinate Hussein.
-Alex Cockburn says CIA helped the Ba’thist coup 1963 & gave lists of communists who were seized & murdered
US Actors’ Equity to allow Jonathan Pryce to play Miss Saigon
35 Americans taken from Baghdad hotel to undisclosed location
After Bush elected, Sununu said this admin would end abortion by the judicial selection process. On Nightline, Thornburgh talked about how Souter applies his brilliant intellect to cases, but was unable to name one
Itaq to house foreigners at key installations. Now will Bush use the h-word?
Ed. Sec Cavazos says children who do not speak English are not ready to learn
Br unbans the film showing Salman Rushdie killed by god
Iraq says Western hostages must face food shortages
-US ships fire warning shots at Iraqi tankers
US aid to Israel costs more than $3b. They are the only country getting aid up front instead of quarterly, so US incurs interest of $60m. Israel puts some of this in US bonds, so more interest. And usual offsets are not to make Israel buy US products, but US has to buy from them, 30¢ on the aid $. We buy more of their military equipment than they do.
E Ger SPD leaves coalition
AIDS is the leading cause of adult death in Abidjan (30-40%)
Bush finally said US citizens being used as hostages. Hussein said he’d free them @ complete pullout & end blockade.
-Diplomats to be kicked out of Kuwait
-United Arab Emirates to allow US troops
4 sailors on the nuke aircraft carrier Nimitz told tv that crew members cheated on exams, & tests for radiation leaks fabricated. The 4 were arrested & lost clearances
Bush’s trying too hard not to be Carter. He’s been recreating as if his life depends on it. I think he’s not emotionally capable of dealing with this
Kuwait now ruled by Hussein’s cousin, who oversaw the destruction of the Kurds.
-Considering that ⅓ Kuwaiti pop have fled indicates a possible Iraqification
-Harboring a foreigner will be punished in Iraquwait
Iraq asks for talks, US rejects. The Hitler Munich rhetoric means we won’t settle for less than Iraq humiliating itself
Seems drug smugglers using Panamanian fields as much ever
There was an exchange of fire, initiated by Pakistan w/heavy artillery against India over Kashmir. The coincidence of this & the Paki. coup (and yes, that’s what it was. The new gov is anti-Bhutto to a man) may indicate a problem
Fiji’s const for the next elections 1991 allots 37 seats of 70 to Fijians, 27 to Inds
Walesa, ego expanding rapidly, will run for president. After all, he is the moral president now
Jordan closes border to refugees
-US to keep Kuwaiti embassy open, though Iraq will revoke dipl immunity
-Bush calls up 40,000 reserves
-Iraq says they’re not hostages, but guests
-Bush, on reporter’s request, calls for conservation, but says it won’t interfere w/his use of his speed boat, nor should anyone else’s vacations be affected--“prudently recreate.”
India to serve 27% of gov jobs for backward castes (⅓ of pop). 22.5% already reserved for Untouchables & tribals (25% pop). Not that quotas are met
Ger re-unification Oct. 3
The day Souter nominated, Sununu confidentially told an anti-abortionist that the right would be made v. happy
Lebanese Parl has finally changed balance. Parl will be ½, ½, replacing 6:5 in favor of Christians. President will be Christian, but powers to shift to an evenly-divided cabinet & Muslim PM will countersign pres. decrees. Problem remaining: Gen. Aoun
Hussein appeared on tv w/some of the hostages
-193 Soviet advisers might still be in Iraq
-The UN needs a Supreme Court, since Bush & Thatcher keep saying they have authority to use force, after Perez de Cuellar says otherwise. Fortunately, Bush avoiding hitting the ships warning shots fired at
-Japan will compensate Middle E. countries w/billions for their losses
-Saudis are restricting press coverage & talking about sending foreign press home, again. Cheney talks about accepting censorship as respecting their culture
Armenia dec ind. Own army, currency, cent. bank
Guatemala bars Rios Montt from running for president, as a former coup leader
Women Marines bumped from trip to Saudi. Then had to reverse itself
Fed judge over-ruled Guam’s abortion law
Jordan re-opens border
-Jesse Jackson going to Iraq -- as a journalist
One of the judges who overturned Ollie North’s conviction (2-1 decision) was in 1980 RR campaign, met w/Iran arms dealers which he failed to report to State Dept, headed CIA transition team, and said an ind prosecutor had no authority against North--this is Laurence Silberman
Iraq is not allowing the evacuation of non-essential personnel from Iraq embassies by countries not closing Kuwaiti embassies.
-Kuwaiti gov-in-exile said it might bankroll US costs. It holds $100b in offshore holdings
-Iraqi troops have attached explosives to Kuwaiti oil wells
SA reinstitutes state of emergency in townships, outlawed weapons inc pitchforks, axes. Death toll over 500
Washington state using pro bono prosecutors in drug cases
Dist. Judge threw out portions on PA’s abortion law for parental notification, husband-notification & 24-hr waiting per.
NEA to set up a panel to investigate complaints, essentially just from congressmen
Tajikistan dec sovereignty. 2 to go. Turkmenia did it this week
UN Sec Council allows force to enforce embargo. Bush says we have a free hand
-Iraq: death penalty for harboring westerners
Bush asked about future Kuwaiti gov, accidentally said it should be whatever the Kuwaiti people want. He probably didn’t mean it.
-Also said in favor of negotiations, but nothing is negotiable.
-Iraqis still surrounding Kuwaiti embassies, briefly entered that of Ch. Has cut off food, power, phone
The Pentagon press pool disbanded as unnecessary.
-US expelled 36 Iraqi diplomats of 55. And rest restricted to 25 mi.
-Wives & children of US diplomats in Kuwait allowed out.
-Iraq ships will not defy the blockade. Will allow searches
-Israel, very helpfully, will strangle Palestinian food exports to Jordan & allegedly thereon to Iraq. Israel also to allow refugees (Palestinians, presumably), to cross from Jordan more easily
-Saudis are paying for most of fuel, transportation, food & installations for US soldiers
-Iraq has so far rounded up. 58 US, 147 Br
-Bush has yet to address the Middle Easterners
Benazir Bhutto’s husband arrested for illegal weapons possession
Sec. Interior Lujan wants balance between protecting species... and jobs.
NEA says it denied grants to those 4 artists because their work would not “enhance public understanding & appreciation of the arts.”
Saddam Hussein to let foreign ♀ & children out
-Pentagon doubled estimates of Mid East to $2.5b through Sept.
Johannesburg city council voted to end residential discrim (still conflicts w/Group Areas Act)
USSR rationing cigarettes
SA raids COSATU hq & arrested leaders who had displayed a captured undercover agent to reporters
Iraq will let out ♀ & children only w/exit visas, and lists of addresses (which could lead them to the men) -- may not apply to Kuwait, unclear
-Iraq made some sort of secret offer -- allegedly they’d leave Kuwait, allow hostages out @ lifting UN sanctions, guaranteed access to Persian Gulf, control over an oil field on the border
-Japan will pay $1b as its part
US may be training Kuwaitis
-Iraq now may have placed conditions on release of ♀ & children that the planes must bring in food & medicine. No one’s left yet.
-OPEC authorizes increased production
Renamo of Mozambique, abandoned by SA, now backed by... Kenya?
W Ger says unified Ger will limit military to 345,000
Iraq wants planes taking foreigners out to bring in Iraqis stranded in Eur. Otherwise, will force them to take land routes
SA National Party will allow black members
Israel has been ordering prominent Palestinians not to travel abroad. Inc keeping them from UN conf on Palestinians in Geneva
The Ger Unity treaty: separate abortion laws. 2 yrs & W Gers can take advantage
-And recognize E Ger land reform 1945-9. And gov will guarantee compensation. E Ger state will have to pay back ½ of E Ger debt. Files of secret police to stay East under an administrator selected by E Gers
-W Ger will amnesty Stasi agents not charged or liable for under 3 yrs
US, which making emergency sale of $2.2b in arms to Saudi Arabia, will send Israelis $1b worth. Sounds like we’ll wind up paying a good chunk of it.
-US says cost of everything will be well over $25b: financial aid, repayment for trade lost by embargo, etc. We want Japan to pay for it, of course
-Israel claims Jordan running recon for Iraq
Charles Taylor, the likely winner in Liberia, killing nationals of those countries (Ghana, Nigeria) in internat force