Friday, April 15, 2005
Taiwan ends emergency rule, sort of recognizes Ch., says won’t use force to reunify Ch. New elections will eliminate most mainland MPs
State Dept delays visa to ex-Iranian President Bani-Sadr, who was to promote his new book, which inc his belief in October Surprise.
Br H of C overturns Lords on bill to prosecute Nazis — ex post facto
Halfway through this fiscal year, House passed intelligence bill — without oversight provisions or prohibition of 3rd-party funding of covert action.
Allies double protected area for Kurds in Iraq
In Br local elections, Labour seems to have gotten more votes than Tories. And of course Lib Dems did well — c.21%. Tories lost 1 seat to the Monster Raving Loony Party.
SA to end preventive detentions, no longer prohibit publications or writings, nor papers pay deposits, or treat communism as a crime
Turkey shut part of its border w/Iraq, preventing aid reaching Kurds — again. Claims US giving them arms
State Dept to allow Bani-Sadr into US after all — Bush denies he went to Paris 1980.
Bob Woodward’s new book says Chief of Staff Colin Powell opposed war in Iraq
Br local elections: 12,000 seats voted on. Tories had had 5,200. Lost over 850. Labour gained 450+, Lib Dems 500. Vote 36% Tory, 37% Lab, 21% Lib Dems. Options on when to hold the general are more constricted than ever. Indicates Tories are blamed for the poll tax
Turkey has expelled 30 Br marines who stopped a governor entering a refugee camp before finding who he was, and expelled a Br journalist for reporting on Turkish soldiers stealing aid supplies
There has been violence in Serb areas of Croatia. Army may be in.
Bush has irregular heart beats. A thought to conjure with: acting-president Quayle
USSR transfers control of ½ coal mines to Russia — Yeltsin also to form his own KGB
Syria says guerillas in Lebanon should not allow gov to disarm them as long as Israel occupies s. Lebanon
Yug. army gives what amounts to an ultimatum for authorities to stop violence — says country is in a civil war now.
Seems costs of Savannah River nuclear weapons plant hid extra $10m’s in cost overruns in construction fund
Bush will veto any gun control bill (the Brady 7-day waiting per.) not part of a crime package.
US wants to store military equipment in Saudi & Gulf & conduct reg. exercises
Azerbaijan & Armenia are at it again, and, again, Moscow siding w/former
USDA withdraws its nutrition chart (food groups, etc) after meat & dairy producers complain
US troops are out of Iraq
House passes Brady Bill over the NRA’s Star Wars approach (an impossible computerized system), 239-186.
It won’t ultimately come to much, but Bush’s little heart difficulty has brought up real doubts about Quayle. The “cardio-constitutional” crisis.
DCI Wm Webster retires. Possible replacements are Deputy Director Robert Gates, if American amnesia has forgotten Iran-Contra already, or James Lilley, now ambassador to Ch. & former CIA COS under Ambassador Bush there. Either would be more “activist”
Poland removes subsidy on birth control pills, tripling their price. And 4 of 7 pills removed altogether, ostensibly for health reasons. Will soon vote on abortion. Eur Parl urged them not to ban
Iraq rejects UN e force for N Iraq.
Slovenia asserts power over its citizens in the nat army & they should instead serve in repub. forces. Yug. Army moving closer to coup
Chief of Staff Sununu has used military planes 77 times over 2 yrs, inc many personal & pol. flights. He was himself in charge of how they’d be designated — 4 were “personal.” While this flap going on, Quayle took a plane to play golf. 2 of Sununu’s official trips were ski trips, costing us $30,000 each — the ski industry paid his hotel & meals. Reimbursement by R party or himself is laughable compared to actual costs. Sununu must now clear all flights w/White House Counsel. No one is introducing disclosure.
“E Ger” will be firing 40% of its teachers, to reduce it to W Ger standards. To assist in this, gov is making them fill out info on their pol affiliations... not now, nor have I ever...
Br: some time back, Tories enfranchised the 2½m expatriates. Despite biased registration (advertising in Le Figaro but not Libération), only got 31,000
Albania: after winning March’s elections, an all-CP cabinet
USSR occupies 2 Armenian-populated villages in Azerbaijan, killing... well, Armenia claims 48. Armenian prez says Gorby trying to bring down Armenian gov
Kuwait to begin collaboration trials
SA banning Zulus using “traditional” weapons, exc spears
Stanford fired the professor who advocated drug use. Claims it was for violating policy, not exercising free speech.
Bush attacks Great Society as discouraging good works (Points of Light), that civil rights programs “generated animosity” & welfare created dependency
Departing US soldiers in Gulf supposed to be replaced by Arabs. But Egypt calling its troops home, so US delays.
Soviet helicopters fire on an Armenian village, evidently in retaliation for an ambush of a column of troops
Yug. came to agreement on disarming civilian & para bodies. Croatian PM said would not demobilize police reserve Croat rep on presidency said would
Bush proposes to force states to limit awards to malpractice victims, among other things, or lose some of Medicare & Medicaid funds. Fortunately, this requires legislation. Also wants payment periodic, not lump sum
Winnie Mandela found guilty of kidnapping & accessory after fact to beatings.
Journal of AMA blames lack of health insurance on racism
Sup Court 5-4 says people arrested w/out warrant can be held 48 hrs before judicial determination of whether the arrest proper. Scalia says 24 hrs the max, in dissent. O’Connor’s opinion gives no justification, has no footnotes. Scalia says Court for admin convenience “simply decided that... it is not so bad for an utterly innocent person to wait 48 hours in jail before being released.”
Bush evidently has a plan under which Israel wouldn’t produce material for nukes & Arabs give up chemical weapons & not develop nukes
Bush nominates Robert Gates to head CIA. Evidently the statute of political limitations on Iran-Contra is over. He wouldn’t be a Cabinet member
USSR has been working on law of freedom to travel & emigrate 2 yrs, and just sent it back to cmte
Winnie Mandela sentenced to 6 yrs prison (still out, pending appeal)
Of Scottish Tory party members, 65% over 65, 5% under 40, 38,000 all told
Fed agencies want to redefine wetlands to exclude most of them.
Louisiana lower house passes 2 measures sentencing drs who perform abortions, unless (in 1 bill) rape or incest (passed 71-32) or just save life (68-33), to #100,000 & 10 yrs hard labor, you should excuse the pun — or 15 yrs
Bush wants to cont. most-favored nation status for China
UN plan for reparations by Iraq would set max of 25-30 of oil revenues (about what it spent on arms)
Kuwait arrests 5 in opposition group for putting up non-political posters welcoming returning Kuwaitis
Church attacks Polish PM for firing a deputy health minister who said gays are “deviant” & AIDS could be avoided by “a decent life.”
Saudis refused to allow in Senator Lautenberg because passport contained an Israeli stamp. US responded by issuing him a new, clean passport
Yugoslav fed. presidency supposed to rotate to a Croat. Serbia blocked it (w/Kosovo, Vojvodina, Montenegro abstaining). Yug. now has no head of state or... commander of armed forces. This all strengthens the theory that attacks killing 12 Croatian police were intended to provoke state of emergency & block this rotation. The Croatian nominee (Mesic) says if blocked, Croatia will secede.
French PM Rocard resigns, unclear why, perhaps to be a viable candidate for president in ‘95. Replaced by Edith Cresson, formerly Trade Minister, Ag Min, Min Eur Affairs. More left. And female.
A July86 computer memo indicates Robert Gates, then Depy DCI, told (or knew of) North’s contra supply network. Poindexter I-C testimony did same
Noriega’s brief says he helped US support Argentina (when?) allowed Israel to spy on PLO & Libyan agents there, refused to allow Panama to be used as platform for invasion of Nicaragua. And this in the uncensored bits
Gorbachev bans strikes in coal, oil, natural gas & other industries
House subcmte deleted funds for space station
Sen. Energy Cmte killed higher auto fuel standards
US to admit 350 of its Libyan guerillas
Bush is pushing criminal cases involving guns to be in fed courts where terms tougher, but this pushes out civil rights & antitrust cases. And judges don’t like mandatory sentencing. 1980-90 fed prosecutors increased from 1,900 to 3,900, drug cases 3,100 to 16,400. While judges up only 10%. Drugs = 1/3 fed criminal cases. Criminal cases are under deadlines of 70 days for trial, so civil cases get pushed back. Time to confirm judges ave 471 days, as long as 1,960 days. 10% of civil cases have waited over 3 yrs (1985 = 6%)
1948, AEC decided to conduct atmospheric tests of nukes in Nevada rather than NC, which would have taken longer, while knowing more people would be exposed to radiation. Discussed possibilities of using Pacific Islanders as guinea pigs. 1 scientist on advisory cmte 1956 said, “While it is true that these people do not live, I would say the way Westerners do, civilized people, it is nevertheless also true that these people are more like us than the mice.”
PLO will not disarm its forces in Lebanon
Polish Parl did not ban abortion, adopted nonbinding resolution for gov to ban abortions by priv drs, not mentioning state hospitals. The requirement for permission from 2 gynecologists & a psychologist evidently doesn’t now apply to priv drs
Yug: Mesic says he considers himself president, no one else can take the job, and Croatia won’t follow any other president
US Court of Appeals dec the fed ban on “indecent” (i.e., not obscene but “contrary to contemporary standards” or community standards) 24 hrs a day as unconst
Eur commission says relative poverty greater in Br than any other EC country exc Portugal
Kuwait has started collaboration trials, 1st batch inc 1 sentenced to 15 yrs for wearing a Hussein t-shirt. Tuesday, 23 journalists will be tried
Croatia referendum: 4% against secession. Most want loose association. Croatia & Slovenia may simply go ahead & form that sort of Yug.
Dept of Energy spends $2b/yr on plants, projects & contracts its own inspector gen. says are wasteful.
US State Dept defends Kuwaiti trial as being open, w/internat monitors & counsel. Of course, there was no evidence or witnesses and the charge is still blanket “collaboration” and torture. Another was accused of joining PLO, 1 of making key chains from bullets. Trying Iraqis for war crimes this way is itself a war crime
Under immigration law, Salvadorans are charged $405 per to register for safe haven program, versus a max $50 for Kuwaits, Lebanese, Liberians...
Carter now thinks Donald Gregg responsible for leaks part of October Surprise. Says hostages supposed to be released Apr80 — he got a code paragraph Bani-Sadr inserted in a speech to that effect — but it didn’t happen, Iranian Parl did not vote on the issue at all. Reagan’s people also talked to Ayatollah & Rafsanjani about Carter’s deal, to discredit Bani-Sadr. And 1981 (‘82?) seems to have told Iran about a coup plot by foreign minister — who knew about Oct. & was executed
-And there were plans for a larger 2nd rescue attempt — headed by Richard Secord. Oct80 Bush talking publicly about such a possibility. At the very least, this made it pol. impossible
-Robert Gates another possible source of info. And Wm Odum, a planner hostage rescue, under RR director of NSA where he may have withheld intercepts from Shultz & Weinberger about arms shipments to Iran
Croatia offered foreign minister job to Minnesota’s ex-governor (Demo) Rudy Perpich, and holy shit he took it!
Rajiv Gandhi, campaigning in elections, assassinated
Ethiopian president Mongistu flees country
A Japanese professor w/9 yrs at Stony Brook is challenging his listing on watch list. In 1986, he was imprisoned w/out charge 44 days. Gov claims he has no right to challenge the list & any rights don’t outweigh gov obligation to enforce immigration laws. 1990, 367,771 on list, 69% for ideological grounds
Bush confirms US would stop lifting of UN ban on trade w/Iraq until Hussein out. This will screw the agreement on controlled sales of oil to pay for reparations
Soviet Parl gives right to travel & emigrate (into effect Jan93)
Sup Court 5-4 overturned a death sentence because a judge failed to mention he intended such a sentence. Must have fair warning of imminence of such a sentence
Sup Court 7-2 says exclusion in rape cases of evidence of victim’s previous sex w/rapist may violate a defendant’s rights
Just when you thought the dynasty was over, Congress Party names Rajiv Gandhi’s widow, who is Italian, to succeed him. She has no pol experience
Ger arrests E Ger’s old PM Willi Stoph, defense min, 2 members of Nat Defence Council
House budget for military has no new B-2 bombers, cut $1.9b from Star Wars. Bush threatening to veto. House also overturns Pentagon ban on abortions at overseas military hospitals. And repeals restrictions on female pilots in combat missions (though the services can still ban them).
Baker says there is no bigger barrier to Mid E peace than Israeli settlements
Sup Court 5-4 upheld fed regs prohibiting institutions getting fed money talking about abortion, even if asked. Rehnquist says gov can favor birth over abortion, that these institutions do not provide all-encompassing medical services. O’Connor dissented on the narrow grounds that Congress had not authorized such rules. This is another important bit, since it expands fed power incredibly. The admin rule, which Court says doesn’t interfere w/doctors’ free speech, requires him/her to respond to request for abortion: “the project does not consider abortion an appropriate method of family planning.” & must refer them to prenatal services. Funded projects can’t encourage abortion, lobby for leg. on it, disseminate material advocating abortion, use legal action to make it available. Actually, Rehnquist says the Title X program is for family planning, not prenatal care — so one would think they shouldn’t talk about that either. Rehnquist says it’s ok for poor women to be denied access to abortion because are no worse than if Title X never passed.
-In dissent, Blackmun says that Sup Court has never before upheld suppression of speech solely because it is imposed on those econ dependent on gov.
-30 states hold doctors liable for failing to disclose treatment options
Justice anti-trust suit against 8 of the Ivy U’s over sharing info & not competing for students w/financial aid
Sonia Gandhi turns down nomination. So much for the sympathy vote
Before Thornburgh negotiated the inadequate settlement over Valdez spill, involving immunizing Alyeska Pipeline, he got a waiver on conflict of interest rules — he has $32,000 in 2 oil comps which own much of Alyeska
Gorby wants $100b econ aid (or 100b rubles)
In last 6 yrs, at least 60 trauma centers closed for financial reasons (370 left), meaning no insurance & ltd Medicaid help
SA extends weapons ban to “cultural” Zulu spears
Bush’s policy keeping sanctions on Iraq, NYT comments, interesting from someone who previously found sanctions so inadequate. And undercuts, UN attempt to eliminate Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, since only removal of Hussein will get US to drop sanctions
McGovern not running
House gave Admin “fast track” authority to negotiate a free-trade agreement w/Mexico, to be voted up or down w/out amend. Senate same
E Ger 1970s took children from pol offenders
Kuwaiti officers want the people who were defense & interior minister at time of invasion, who ordered tanks not to fire on Iraqis, dismissed from the current gov
Suriname negotiating to give foreign, military & finances back to Netherlands in commonwealth deal
Sup Court 9-0 decides, but on narrow grounds, that a husband can’t use bankruptcy to avoid dividing property on divorce
Under pressure, INS reduces fee for Salvadorans from $405 to $255, max $225 for family 3+. And $60 for work authorization every 6 mos
Israel taking advantage of collapse of Ethiopia to move 1,000s of Jews out
No one knows who killed Gandhi, thank god, so no blood bath
Bush plan for college aid to eliminate grants to 400,000 students w/family incomes over $10,000
N Korea to apply for own UN seat
Bush to cont. Ch’s favored-nation status, but restrict missile technology. He is “trying to chart a moral course through a world of lesser evils.”
Japan says it will pull out of US big science projects if US cancels space station
Georgia (USSR) presidential election won by rabid nationalist & authoritarian (press curbs, cent. control of local govs, branding opposition as KGB agents, suppression of S Ossetia)
An Assembly of Nat Fronts formed by Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Armenia, Georgia, Molodvia, to coordinate secession moves
NYT says Robert Gates knew of Iran-Contra in all aspects early & was warned of it more times than he admitted to in I-C hearings
NATO planning to cut US troops in Eur 50% & create a rapid-deployment force under Br command
Nebraska passed parental-notification, making it 33rd state (some blocked by courts)
Croatia dec itself an ind, sovereign state
The Georgian leader just elected had police raid hq of an opposition candidate 2 weeks before election. 1 week before Georgian parl banned statements injuring Gamsakhurdia’s “honor & identity” — 6 yr jail term. And G. said the Radio Liberty reporter who said soldiers intimidated voters “deserves to be arrested”
Sup Court let stand ruling that prosecution must reexamine witnesses against Ollie North for contamination by his I-C hearing
Sup Court 6-3, but w/no majority opinion, that excluding those fluent in Spanish in case against Hispanic, because they might not abide by official translation, is “race-neutral” & ok
Bush proposed on arms sales control to Mid E focusing only on ballistic missiles & poison gas, not the stuff we sell
US admits paying Noriega $300,000 to spy during Panama Canal negotiations
Last camp of Kurdish refugees in Turkey to close Sat.
Ethiopians protesting US role in negotiating Tigreans taking over capital. Eritreans forming own provisional gov in Eritrea.
-Israel got 14,000 Ethiopian Jews out in part by giving asylum to >2 senior gov officials, & $35m
SA highest court overturns death sentences on 14 blacks sentenced for being in crowd that killed a cop 1985, & orders 11 released
India: Congress Party has filled a vacuum with a vacuum, former foreign minister & governor of Andhra Pradesh, Narasimha Rao
Lithuanian gov says Soviet Interior Min police must resign or face prosecution for part in attacks on Lith’s border posts
Sup Court 6-3 says police who think there are drugs in a bag in a car can open w/out warrant whether or not they have reason to search the car
Sup Court 5-4 says defendant in trial that had already gotten much publicity do not have right to question jurors about what they’ve seen & read. Marshall’s dissent says this makes 6 Amend guarantee of trial by impartial jury “into a hollow formality.” Rehnquist says such questioning only constitutionally compelling if its absence must render trial unfair. Of course, w/out the questioning, how do you tell?
Under free trade agreement w/Canada, meat inspectors at border is “streamlined.” A slaughterer calls in a shipment & an AgDept computer randomly decides whether it will be inspected (1 of 15 are) & whether will get visual or lab testing. It can then cancel shipment & take another roll of the dice. It can choose its own samples of what is to be inspected & inspectors are prohibited entering truck. If tested by labs, results come in 2 weeks after meat is sold
White House thinking about changing regs on how to comply w/job discrim laws, which now ban aptitude tests or ed. credentials, if they’d exclude minorities & ♀ & if not related to job performance.
1 week late, NYT finally reads its own columnists & there is the 1st article on the subject in Anthony Lewis’s column. RR admin tried this once before
State Dept refused to safeguard Rudy Perpich’s citizenship if he took on Croatia’s job of foreign minister
On the vexed question of where Bush was Oct. 18-9, 1980, the official version is that he had lunch Sunday w/Potter Stewart (dead) & his wife (chronic memory loss). A different version, also put out by Secret Service the same day (May91) to a different paper has him at home