Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Rebels have taken over Chad
With the only possibles for Guatemalan president quite right-wing, troops are getting nastier. Killed 11 civilians protesting a military raid
Patience in Gulf advised by ex-defense secs Harold Brown, Robt McNamara, Frank Carlucci, Caspar Weingberger, Elliot Richardson
US to help Lebanon gov beat militias
Israel strike by its nat union over taxes for immigrants (inc 20% tax on interest in pension funds). 165,000 immigrants this yr. Next yrs’ immigrants will be screwed. Min wage to be reduced 20%. Shamir will ask Bush for more loan guarantees after breaking promise about Jerusalem for last ones.
James Lilley, US ambassador to China, called demonstrators against him in Seattle “cowards,” suggested one, a Tibetan, “go back to China and serve China.”
1st Japanese in space, a reporter whose passage bought in USSR program for $12m
A dr. who invented a suicide machine & allowed a ♀ w/Alzheimers to use it has been charged w/1st-degree murder
Leader of Bulgaria’s opposition resigned, as a former secret police informer
Sup Court allows weak fed laws on pensions over override states’ laws on workers fired to avoid paying pensions. The Texas law would not just restore pension but also compensation for lost wages, punitive etc, which seems fair if the termination was unlawful. Fed law doesn’t provide for it
Sup Court 6-2 says once a suspect has asserted his right to a lawyer, the police may not initiate further q’s
Fed workers are now banned from accepting payment for articles or speeches (books are ok) even if subj unrelated to their work
Iraq says 1,400 children (all under 5) have died from sanctions
Russia allows priv farms, not alienable
Ger elections: Christ. Dems 43.8% (down from 44.3), Free Dems up to 11, SPD 33.5. Greens & Republicans destroyed, both under 5%. Repubs 21% Greens represented now only through 8 E Ger members, losing all 48 seats
Webster of CIA told Congress sanctions might shut down Iraqi industry by spring but may not affect policy
IAEA says Iraq’s enriched uranium is accounted for. Further, there is only 12.5 kg. To make a bomb from that little, it would have to be pretty sophisticated
The Channel Tunnel has connected from both ends. The Continent will no longer be an island.
US allows World Bank to lend $ to Ch. 1st time since Tiananmen
Fed Reserve easing requirements on banks to keep cash; thus more loans
House D Caucus votes 177-37 that Bush shouldn’t start war w/out Cong. approval
In the court case, asst atty gen argues dec of war power is optional -- Congress can start a war but so can prez send troops into combat
Bangladesh dictator Ershad resigns after demos & gen strike
Iraq to release all hostages. Hussein cites US pub op & Demo. statement against war; and fully deployed in Kuwait, so don’t need them anymore
US troops helped stop a minor rebellion in Panama. Ex-police chief who claims it was just to get more respect for the police. Herrera was US choice to head the police in January. Had organized a failed coup against Noriega 1987. And tried it again this Oct., the gov says as it jailed him. He was broken out by a helicopter. Anyway, he’s captured again
Georgia. Sup Court upheld anti-Mask Act
Controversy in Tory Party over selection of their 1st black candidate, in v. white (safe seat?) Cheltenham. Someone called him a bloody nigger
Baker says his trip to Iraq this month is the “last, best hope” for peaceful settlement, so yes the sanctions approach is dead.
A bill passed to protect art from destruction after it is sold
Heseltine, as environment min., asks Labour to assist in revising poll tax
W-style campaigning has reached Poland, w/state tv accusing candidate Tyminski of wife-beating & claims about army rejecting him for psychosis
Slovenia will hold an independence referendum Dec. 23, requiring simple majority
Homicide rate among black men 15-24 rose by 2/3 1983-8. In some areas they are more likely to die than soldiers in VN
Lou Harris finds a 25% gender gap on going to war w/Iraq
US embassy in Kuwait will be closed when all hostages out
US has monitored 1,400 calls made by Noriega
Burma arresting members of opposition party, inc 35 elected MPs, for allegedly planning to est a parallel gov -- this is the party that actually won the elections
Over weekend, Bush said that release of hostages good because US now has free hand to attack. Brilliantly, he said this while most of the hostages still there.
The investigating judge on Salvadoran Jesuit slayings has ordered trial of 9 soldiers.
Lech Walesa won as Polish president w/about 75% in 2nd round. Church supported him, the Primate calling Tymenski a “joke of history.”
US approves 1st new contraception in 30 yrs, an implant that’ll cost $500-600 & last 5 yrs
Effect of Iraq: our Navy enlistments down 15%, Army as much as 28%
Iranian President Rafsanjani wants liberalization, inc 1-day temp marriages
M-19, now a Colombian pol party, won 30% votes
Milosevic’s Communists won Serbian elections, Kosovo Albanians abstaining
Bangladesh’s ex-dictator Ershad arrested. Just in time. Since he was starting on his come-back from 5 minutes after he resigned
Albania to allow ind parties & mvmts
The Italian guerilla group (Gladio) was recruited from the Sallo Republic (Mussolini’s puppet gov). What about the others?
Fed Dept of Ed. will prohibit universities getting fed funds from offering scholarships designated for minority students. Says they’re illegal, in which case should prosecute, not blackmail. Note the timing, by the way
Soviet Georgia revokes the autonomy of the South Ossetian Autonomous Region
Bush supporting yet another const amend, to limit congressional terms. That’s either his 5th or 6th
House a month ago voted to require convicted rapists reveal their HIV status on request. States must enact such mandatory testing or lose fed funds
US rejects Iraq’s offer to talk Jan 12, which it considered too close to Jan 15 deadline
Court dismissed the Congressional injunction case against military action as “premature”. Said injunction only appropriate if majority had petitioned
Sw. Parl votes to join EC
Wm Bennett turned down headship of R’s, as he couldn’t earn money through honoraria & such
The charge against a dr. who invented a death machine dismissed
The record store owner in Florida who sold a 2 Live Crew album fined $1,000 plus court costs.
Israeli snipers deployed to shoot Palestinians throwing stones at cars. No Jewish drivers have been killed this way
US will maintain sanctions even if Iraq pulls out of Kuwait, something about hurting its military
The gov thinks the Noriega tapes were leaked by José Blandon. Why did he have such access when he’s supposed to be a witness against Noriega?
Bush puts talks w/Iraq “on hold” until they back down from their date of Jan. 12 (Bush orig. said any time before Jan. 15 ok, now insists on before Jan 3)
Tambo wants ANC to reevaluate sanctions policy. And EC has done so
Israel, keeping quiet like US asked it, expelling 4 Palestinians. And there is talk of a death penalty
The US troops in Gulf are 28% black.
RR’s “auto”biography ghosted by an author of true crime books
Bush admin now will allow minority scholarships, but not w/fed money. The black asst sec Ed. is to be the sacrificial lamb
A CA. court sentenced a mass murderer to death despite the no-death clause in extradition treaty w/Mexico.
Gorby wants a referendum on union treaty, trying to bypass republican leaders
Haitian presidential election, easily won by 37-yr old Father Aristide (who will quit church) advocate of liberation theology, for which he was expelled from the Salesian order 1988.
E Ger’s last PM Lothar de Maizerie resigned party & gov posts after accused of being Stasi agent
Shevardnaze resigns as Soviet foreign minister. Says rightists are against him. And that Gorby should be reused the powers he wants.
-Yesterday military types & the Min of Culture & the head of Orthodox Church urged Gorby to crack down to hold USSR together
ANC conf gives SA until April to restore conditions for peace (release of pol prisoners, return of exiles) or will resume armed struggle
Hong Kong’s largest bank transferring assets offshore
Croatia new const w/right to secede
The FBI investigates bank robberies of any size but no fraud under $100,000
US cuts off aid to Guatemala — security forces killed an American. Considering how little help US gave Salvador on Jesuit prosecution this seems a tap disingenuous
USSR coming into conflict w/Moldovia. At unity talks, the attempted breakaway Gagauz & Slavic minorities were allowed representatives. And Moscow giving Modavia 10 days to clear up its problems. Insists all militias be disbanded. I think he’s picking on a small republic to be made an example of through direct rule
The deputy commander in Gulf says troops will not be ready by Jan. 15. Everyone else is determined to ignore him. And what about the allies?
90% of felony convictions 1988 in US by guilty plea
Fed gov agreed to reopen all pol asylum requests from Salvador & Guatemala since 1980 & allow claims by others from those countries. 150,000 cases to be reheard. 350,000 new cases possible. Acceptance rates 1983-90 for Salvadorans was 26%, Guatemalans 1.8%
Pete Wilson, who so righteously refused special interest campaign funds, wants money from them for his inaugural — $2.5m
Bush has declared victory in the drug war, based on a survey claiming a drop in monthly drug use, but a 25% increase in daily cocaine use. This based on a voluntary survey that misses the homeless
Philadelphia Inquirer says poor black ♀ should be given “incentives” to use the new long-term birth control
Salman Rushdie wimped out, apologized for his book & will not authorize a paperback
Coup in Suriname
Slovenian referendum gave gov a massive (90%) mandate for secession if fails to get looser federation
Bush on Hussein: “he’s going to get his ass kicked.”
The Panama invasion because P. forces opened up on “lost” US soldiers who ran a roadblock. It seems they were part of a group called “the Hard Chargers” who frequently dared roadblocks by refusing to stop or pulling away (LAT, 12/22/90)
KGB chief asked for powers to crack down on “destructive political forces” & says CIA destabilizing USSR economy. Denounced mkt economy
FDA allows Army drs. in Gulf to administer experimental drugs to soldiers w/out permission
King Michael showed up in Romania & was thrown out 12 hrs later
US has helped Panama organize a secret police under an old Noriega crony. Its job described as targeting “troublemakers.” Created by prez decree w/no oversight & mysterious funding
3 Jewish guerilla leaders released after 7 yrs of their life sentences. ½m Israelis petitioned for their release. Killed by bombing 2 Arab mayors, bombed buses, shot up Muslim university
It seems Fr & Syria will not join attack on Iraq. Now, even Bush admin admits troops will not be ready Jan. 15
Hussein says Tel Aviv is 1st target, whether Israel in war or not
USSR to have referenda on unity & priv land ownership
Gorby has won his new powers, making him the equal of Tsar Nicholas. Can rule by decree w/no oversight, suspend republic govs. But Congress voted down his proposal for an inspectorate to enforce his decrees. Gorby says this isn’t his idea, it’s the declared will of the people. Think we’ll ever have an election to find out? Gorby will have dir control over gov bur, nominate PM, name a new VP
State Sup Court struck down the part of Prop 115 that prevented CA courts applying only US rights.
Soviet PM Ryzhkov has a v. convenient heart attack
Bush has been pushing for more aid to Salvador because rebels have surface-to-air missiles now, evidently acquired from the Contras
Bush admin working on the National Energy Strategy, the NSC-68 of this war. Sununu wants all reference to energy efficiency cut, wants incentives to drill in Alaska wildlife reserves, restoration of oil depletion allowances. Bush wants synfuel from coal, at incredible environmental cost, & to double # of nuke plants. Wants to burn toxic waste for energy.
Voice 12/18/90 talks of arms sales to Iraq over the yrs, in violation of alleged neutrality. Weinberger approved swaps of US weapons for their Soviet one, though didn’t go through
-Arms sent through 3rd countries, violating Arms Export Control Act, through Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait. Also US got Br, Fr & Ger to sell.
-Also worked on denying arms to Iran, succeeding w/S Korea, It., Port, Sp, Argentina. This by Asst Secy State Richard Fairbanks, who in private practice got Iraq money for, among other things, pub relations on hitting the USS Stark Jun87. While on Iraqi payroll, Fairbanks advised Bush campaign on Middle E., arguing for closer relations w/Iraq.
-Dec87 fed grand jury indicted arms merchant Soghanalian & 2 Hughes execs for smuggling 103 combat helicopters w/TOW missiles. Still not gotten to trial because of US obstruction
-1983-4 Agnew & Nixon got Romania to supply uniforms to Iraq — $181m worth.
-1985-90 Iraq purchased $782m of “dual use” US materiel allegedly for civilian use, like 60 helicopters. 1984 sold 45 Bell 214 helicopters, easily converted for military use, for “recreation”. These copters have been seen in military use, but no protest lodged
-1985-90 Commerce Dept ignored Pentagon & approved chemicals for nerve gas, among other things.
-Early in office Bush doubled credit guarantees for agric to $1b/yr
-RR pressured Ex-Im Bank to provide loan guarantees. This required Iraq be taken off list of sponsors of terrorism, as was 1982, w/none but cosmetic changes (Abu Nidal allegedly expelled)
Gorby’s VP choice only elected on 2nd ballot, an apparatchik Gennardy Yanayev. Gorby virtually made it a test of confidence. And Y. is a Russian.
US threatening Panama w/withholding $84m in aid unless US allowed to inspect Panamanian banks
“Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied.” — Claud Cockburn
Yeltsin cuts Russian contrib to USSR budget by 85%.
Jordan moving to protect its borders against Israel
Fed law forces all colleges to make new students w/out high school diploma or equivalency take a test. CA community colleges suing. Supposed to cut defaults on student loans
Greece’s conservative gov releasing army officers jailed for 1967 coup & after, inc Papadopoulos.
Ditto Argentina, generals Videlia & Viola among others
Bush, by directive, forgives $1b of Egypt’s debt for making reforms
Greece changed mind
Gorby, by himself, imposed a 5% sales tax
During his 8 yrs, Deukmejian vetoed 2,298 bills, 1 of 6. None overridden. Spending for prisons increased 310%, schools 115%, health & welfare 98%
Bob Dole says US should talk w/Iraq (& Lee Hamilton & Les Aspin). and Gephardt says sanctions should be given 18 mos. and that Congress will cut off funds if war starts w/out their approval
-Iraq calling up 17-yr olds
-Quayle told soldiers they’d been patient long enough
Treasury Sec Brady: “I don’t think it’s the end of the world even if we have a recession... No big deal.”
Iraq now claims 4,000 dead from sanctions