Saturday, April 30, 2005
Ukraine bans CP
Tadzhikistan president forced out for sitting on fence during coup
Armenia to seize assets of CP
Lebanon & Syria sign security pact for “coordination” of all military, intelligence matters. And extradition
Singapore head quite worried about only getting 61% & winning 77 of 81 seats
While infant mortality is at record low (22nd in indust work, almost twice Japan’s), 9.1/100,000, not doing at all well on pre-natal care or birth weight, which is declining among blacks (13.3& under 5 pounds v. 5.6% white)
-Also, emergency rooms are closing down everywhere, waits not routinely 6-9 hrs
John Major in China, 1st W. leader since Tiananmen
Serbia seems to be getting its arms from SA
Ger trying E Ger border guards for shooting the last escapee shot
US to recognize Baltics (31st country so to do). Gorby gave Bush permission. Gorby sort of allows as how they might be allowed to go. Eventually.
October Surprise reporters keep dropping dead. Financial Times stringer Anson Ng shot in Guatemala. Joseph Casolaro found w/numerous slashes in W Virginia. Police call it a suicide but doesn’t look like one. And his notes on Oct. Surpsie, S&L, BCCI for a book have vanished
-A key element is a software package by Inslaw comp to track criminals & legal cases. Justice reneged on the comp’s fees & it went bankrupt & into court. Evidently, US modified the software for export to intelligence services abroad. Inc Iran
-Congress’s investigation to be done by a task force, which allows admin to pack it
300,000 exhausted unemp benefits July, highest level in 40 yrs. 1.8m lost benefits Jan-July
A Cleveland suburb w/pornography lawsuits pending, actually decided to find out what “community standards” are. A poll said porno fine, so they dropped the suit
Oct. Surprise. Justice has been hampering Congressional investigation. Casolaro said money from sales of the system funneled through BCCI, some into priv accounts, some for covert action. He said (different from Voice, this from NYT) given to those Amers. who arranged for hostages not to come out
Gorby & 10 republics came up w/a little plan behind closed doors to replace cabinet w/a state council of the heads of republics & to replace Sup Soviet w/a Legislative Council of 20 deputies/republic. This would be interim — and indeterminate — until new union. Georgia didn’t sign. Baltics & Moldavia didn’t participate. Unclear what powers Gorby would have. Also said republics could determine their participation in union treaty. Another move towards nationalism whilst ignoring democracy
Yeltsin says the coup was all the fault of Gorby’s past inconsistencies, but that Gorby has learned his lesson & can be trusted now.
-And Yeltsin says strategic nukes will be moved to Russia
Ngorno-Karabakh dec ind from Azerbaijan
Jerry Brown to run for president
China is getting defectors from USSR
Romania claims there was a Soviet-type coup planned last month. Probably just found a good excuse for a purge
John Major had a nicely humiliating trip to China. He did more than was expected, bringing up prisoners of conscience by name. And was told to go to hell. Li Peng talked about Ch. being “bullied & humiliated” for 100 yrs & different standards, etc. When Major tried to go walkabout, guards kept hm from the Ch. people.
-And today Ch. police attacked 3 US congresscritters in Tiananmen Sq (inc Pelosi)
Noriega finally to go on trial. The last of his co-defendants plead out. Oh, and José Blandon skipped the country. Gov admits paying $1.5m to 6 witnesses. Incidentally: Noriega was indicted before the invasion of Panama. His then-lawyer, who resigned when Noriega captured, was working undercover for USG at same time — something about judicial corruption.
Gorbachev showing his democratic sensibilities again. Told Congress to either vote for his Aritcles-of-Confederation plan, “or we will find another way.” Also, threatened to dissolve them, a power he does not have.
-Planning, he says, to recognize Baltic ind through a decree. Presumably wants to avoid a pub debate, now that everyone has dec ind
Lithuania rehabilitating Nazi war criminals, over 1,000 so far, inc confessors to mass murder. ⅓ of them are still alive. No investigations conducted, just say original verdicts have no legal standing
Ch. denies accepting Soviet defectors
Baker trying to get Israel not to ask for its $10b loan guarantee, as it would screw up a peace conf. Shamir immediately saw the logic of this & requested the money, now please. Says he doesn’t want to look weak before the Arabs. Weak presumably meaning not able to twist the US around his finger.
SA gov plan: 2 chambers, 1 by party by PR, 2nd by 9 new regions, w/power of veto over other house. Headed by exec council instead of president (i.e,. no one, black person). And would reunite govs of cities & their satellite townships. And ind judiciary & bill of rights
The Crimea dec ind, meaning it wants to be an autonomous and ind republic, but somehow w/in Ukraine
Claire George, CIA’s depy director for operations 1984-7, indicted for 10 counts of obstruction & perjury (to Congress) for Iran-Contra
Dept Energy raises estimate of cleaning up pollution at nuke weapons plants, $40b over next 5 yrs. So they’ll just have to break their promise to clean them up
USSR does say that republics gaining ind must be non-nuclear
This is news: a white executed for killing a black for 1st time since 1944, and in SC yet. Of course, he also killed 9 whites. Of 15,978 executions since 1608, 30 have involved whites killing blacks. Of course, some of that was killing slaves, so the crime was not murder but destruction of property. Since 1977, 153 executed, 42 of them blacks who killed whites
Noriega judge bans info on discussion w/George Bush
E Ger’s last PM resigns as deputy chair of Christ Dem Union & leaving politics, pissed about secret-service-connection allegation & W Ger CDU pillaging of E Ger
Yugoslav head-of-presidency Mesic says army must return to barracks, or he will consider a military coup to be in progress
Amnesty Int to target non-gov groups as well (inc Tamil Tigers, Sendero Luminoso)
Tadzhikistan dec ind
Macedonia referendum supports ind by c.75%. Albanians boycotted
Republic of Georgia has prohibited export of meat, milk, vegetables, building materials, almost everything. Its president, Gansakhurdia, is ruling as a paranoic dictator in the traditional Georgian fashion, firing ministers, claiming plots — Moscow is against him, the S Ossetians are agents of Moscow, he has ordered 1 demonstration fired on. Says: “When you are in war, you cannot think of democracy. Now we are in war.”
Similarly, the fascist head of Azerbaijan just reelected in a farce from which the opposition abstained
Clarence Thomas ruled that a fed law doubling penalties for those selling drugs w/in 1000 feet of a school applies to someone merely possessing, because had a prior record of selling near that school
Robert Hutchins describes the modern university as a collection of separate depts unified by a central heating system
Greece jails 7 editors to 5-10 months for “unwarranted publicity” for terrorists
Clarence Thomas hearings: he admits a right to privacy.
-Did I mention his 2nd wife is white?
Only 4 countries execute juveniles — US, Iraq, Iran, Bangladesh
USSR agreed to withdraw troops from Cuba
US gov to limit fed matching of Medicaid spending by states depending on source — not matching spending from taxes imposed on hospitals, nursing homes
Clarence Thomas has tried to distance himself from natural law theory. Indeed, his positions this week are profoundly different from everything he said before.
Bush supports the all-male public schools Detroit failed to get past the courts. Compared them to Boy Scouts (also in trouble of late for ejecting atheists & gays)
Thomas said Apr88 “Congress is no longer primarily a deliberative or even a law-making body. There is little deliberation, and even less wisdom in the way the legislative branch conducts business. Members act for their own interests. Interests of the few take precedence over interests of the many.” He suggested new judges of the right view would be a quick fix and that they should be guided by a Scalia dissent in a 6-3 case
Mitterrand says Slovenia & Croatia can be ind.
-Croatia shuts oil pipeline to Serbia
NY Newsday says in Gulf War US used earth-moving equipment to bury Iraqis alive. US admits it; says it’s SOP. Says DOD: “War is hell.” Many of them had surrendered
Congress may vote on $10b for Israel before Bush wants it, in Jan. Bush suggests he’d veto it if voted on early
Robert McFarlane trying to torpedo Ollie North’s remaining conviction by saying his testimony was colored by North’s immunized account
Bureau of Land Mgmt asked Interior sec to convene the God Cmte to overrule Fish & Wildlife Services’ ruling that logging would cause extinction of Northern Spotted Owl. The God Cmte hasn’t met in 20 yrs & has ability to condemn a species
Under Clarence Thomas, EEOC filed 4.15% of its cases for Hispanics (9% pop)
-Thomas suggested those who expressed ops on abortion should perhaps recuse themselves. Fortunately, he has never ever expressed an op on Roe even in private, he says. And he doesn’t know of any cases saying whether fetuses have const rights. Of course, Roe explicitly denies it
Iraq, its usual helpful self on UN inspections, which have left the country unable to inspect missile program
Senate overthrows ban on abortion counseling 78-22, although in funding bill w/other stuff
Thomas unable to say whether unmarried people have right of privacy on sexual matters
USSR to stop shipping arms to Afghanistan & US to ditto to rebels, in January. Yeah, right.
A N Korean defector claims it’s close to nukes
Douglas Wilder, black governor VA since 1990, to run for president
Thomas: “Ollie North did a most effective job of exposing Congressional irresponsibility” that Congress is “out of control”, in series of speeches 1987-8
In SA, ANC & Inkatha sign peace accord. Inkatha supporters show up with symbolic weapons, which are outlawed
Swedish Soc Dems lose election. Right parties will rule only w/support of a new Christ Dem party & a far right group. Greens are out. Soc Dems haven’t done this bad since 1927
Hong Kong elections, turnout 39%. Ch-backed candidates do badly, democrats win 16 of the 18 seats which are allowed to be contested of the 60 total
An Israeli cabinet member (w/out portfolio) says Bush is an anti-Semite & liar
Charges against Ollie North gone. Congressional immunity did it. North won’t be called to testify before hearings on Robert Gates because he wanted... immunity
One witness to Oct. Surprise (& Iran-Contra) was go-between Cyrus Hashemi who died in 1986 of the world’s fastest case of “leukemia” days after passing a physical. Gov suddenly dropped charges against one arms seller trying to get Hashemi exhumed. And gov tried to prevent that by lying that body cremated
Yugoslav Civil War escalating. 40 dead this weekend. Croatia blockading army garrisons. Yug. airforce attacked Zagreb tv transmitted w/6 rockets, flying over Hungary to do so. Also sea blockade of Croatia
Soviet Georgia arrests leader of opposition
House to extend unemp benefits, 283-125, whether Bush wants it or not this time. Didn’t raise any funds for it
Baltics admitted to UN. Ditto the Koreas, Micronesia, Marshall Islands
Robert Gates, in confirmation hearings, still doesn’t remember his participation in I-C & doesn’t know why he’s mentioned in Ollie North’s notebooks, which in the 2 yrs they’ve been public, he hasn’t even reviewed
E Ger secret service head wants pol asylum from Austria
US has definitely linked $10b to Israel to freeze settlements Occupied. On this matter, Bush may not be able to speak for US
Canada to pull troops out of Eur almost completely
Gates hearings: being questioned over 1986 provision of info on Iran to Iraq, w/out an authorizing finding. The NYT characterizes his testimony as admitting faults while promising to do better if confirmed. Just like Clarence Thomas
Speaking of hearings, everyone on Sen. Judiciary Cmte a white male
4 artists suing NEA for their grant recommendations being overturned on high last yr, released transcript of the closed meeting indicating they bowed to pol pressure
On Sup Court, total trial judge experience is 9 yrs, Souter & O’Connor combined
Robert Gates evidently several (many?) times suppressed conflicting views in intelligence reports, inc a 1985 assessment that USSR behind assassination attempt on pope & bullying State Dept not to insert footnote in report recommending arms sales to Iran by, say, Israel, to support moderates or some such, May85 — the rationale for Iran-Contra
SA to put 6 police on charge of murder for a raid on a township 1988
NY has law that allowed stores to skip expensive criminal charges against shoplifters & go straight to civil action. They can coerce a shoplifter to admit guilt & agree to restitution & fine up to $500 imposed by the shop, w/no criminal record.
Fr dec that a new UN sec general must speak French
Bush threatening to send troops or aircraft back to Iraq to “escort” UN inspectors. But he forgot to ask Saudi permission 1st.
-US signs 10-yr security pact w/Kuwait
CIA regularly intercepted conversations between D’s in Congress & Sandinista gov 1980s. Wm Casey at 1 pt confronted Congressman Wm Carnes of MD
Senate 62-28 to ban NEA awarding grants for materials depicting sexual or excretory activities or organs in an “offensive way.” Jesse Helms’ measure. May not survive conference
Chinese foreign minister says if any goods made in prison are exported, it’s the US buyers’ fault. A Hoover Institute scholar posed as a businessman & was told prisoners could be beaten as a means of quality control
Testimony says Robert Gates heard about I-C often. There’s also an interesting Dec84 memo on Nicaragua, calling for forming a gov-in-exile, giving it military & propaganda support, econ sanctions & sabotage & air strikes
Head of Yugoslav presidency, a Croat, calls for Yug. soldiers to desert. A 12-mi. column has entered Croatia. Bosnia has mobilized against fed troops moving through their republic towards Croatia
Richard Brenneke of October Surprise fame is a fraud. Credit card receipts & such say he was not in Europe 1980
Israel announces plans for a new settlement — in E Jerusalem
Yugoslav Defense Minister accuses Croatian leaders of fascist tendencies, refuses Croat offer of cease-fire. Also attacked president Mesic & PM
House members wrote 8,331 bad checks in yr to Jun90 on the Capitol Hill bank, w/out penalty
Yeltsin to mediate over Ngorno-Karabakh. Armenia to renounce claim on it. At some pt recently, Azerbaijan disbanded local gov when it voted to secede. Yeltsin wants censorship to stop ethnic-baiting.
-Armenia to dec ind after referendum, 94% in favor. 3 to go.
Opposition to Georgian president, now led by former PM Sigua, seized GA’s tv station
John Cairncross admits to having been 5th man
Bush at UN calls for repeal of Zionism-is-racism. Evidently Israel is giving Jesse Helms a bad name.
In Tadzhikistan CP-dominated parl forces the post-coup president out & put in a CP. Also re-legalized CP, dec state emergency. Wants to arrest a major for having Lenin’s statue pulled down. Parl to rebuild Lenin statues
Iraq still stalling helicopters. And arrested UN inspectors who got hold of papers on nuclear effort & held them 12 hrs. Said it was because they want a receipt.
Alyeska, famed of Valdez oil spill, has targeted a critic to try to get hold of his sources, inc bribing to get telephone records, setting up phony environmental organiz
Chile arrests the 1973-7 head of secret police & his director of operations for murder of Orlando Letelier
Israel threatening 2 Palestinians from E Jerusalem who Baker met & who might go to a peace conf, w/prosecution for meeting PLO
Iraq seizes UN inspectors again. Claims they have personal documents on scientists’ personal lives
Amnesty Int finally to inc homosexual victims
There’ll be another 1st-come-1st-served granting of legal immigrant status for 40,000. As with other lotteries, those who apply hundreds of times have a greater chance. Usually, Irish do well out of this. Most of eligibles are Eurs. Ah, Irish to get 40+%.
-Conf Cmte has agreed on repeal of McCarran-Walter & prohibit State from denying passport based on speech, action, affiliation, in or out of US, protected by 1st Amend
2 CIA officials say they briefed Gates on indications of illegal funding of Contras, contrary to what Gates said.
-The CIA analyst also says he considered possibility of Iraq invading Kuwait from Jan90, but got no directives from higher-ups for closer watch on Iraq
E Ger head of Stasi, failing to get asylum Austria, under arrest in Ger
Israel declares Green Line dead as it puts up a new settlement on Israeli side, one of many planned on both sides of that border to obliterate it
Noriega trial judge refuses to allow pictures of Noriega meeting Bush, info on US involvement in 1984 Panama election, Panama ties w/Israel
UN Sec Council arms embargo Yugoslavia
Standoff in Iraq continues — Un inspectors still not allowed to leave w/documents. Iraq says inspectors are CIA & if get personnel files (which can track nuke programs by tracking personnel), they’ll be assassinated by Mossad
Miners again riot in Bucharest, this time not to attack democracy protesters but I guess for higher pay. And Romanian gov to be replaced, but not much I think
Over time, Georgian prez has closed 3 opposition papers, denied opposition access to radio & tv, end distrib of Moscow tv & papers there, fired rector of Tiblisi U. & postponed indefinitely start of new term
FCC wants to implement only ltd ability to block Caller ID, only on indiv calls, presumably something complex on every phone call, rather than automatic blocking. FCC trying to pre-empt states which are more interested in protecting privacy
Clarence Thomas may have delayed releasing an opinion in a case he heard 8 mos ago, which overturns FCC award of a broadcast license to a woman under FCC policy of sex preference, to avoid being questioned about it
Senate Judiciary Cmte deadlocked 7-7 on Thomas
Gov Wilson has vetoed all redistricting plans of Legislature, which throws it to the Republican Sup Court
GM has killed 20,000 lab animals testing car safety since 1981
Bush proposes removing all ground tactical nukes from Eur & ships & subs (Soviets have 11X more short-range ballistic missiles than US) w/out negotiations. And to negotiate elimination of MIRVs, but not on our submarine based weapons, of course. And to stop developing mobile MX. Weapons scheduled for destruction under START to be removed from active duty now. Still wants Star Wars. And of course, no cut in the defense budget
So when does UN structure change?
Occupied settlement: 1983 religious settlers slowing down, so Begin started subsidizing settlers — by 1984 subsidies 4X higher per cap than to Jews in Upper Galilee. Jan88-Jun91 504,120 durams (¼ acre) confiscated. 70,000 since Gulf War, wiping out agric of some villages. Current plans are to increase Jewish pop W Bank 50% over 3 yrs. Bonus for fast building. 20% Housing budget to Occupied (2% Jewish pop). Now, a family taking a $71,000 mortgage W Bank has all but $17,500 interest-free, rest 4.5%. After 5 yrs, $10,000 becomes a gift. Sewage, water, power lines free. And Nov90 secretly started giving land free. Israel has expropriated 60% W Bank (7% increase over last yr), Gaza 49%. W Bank settlers use 4X more water — Palestinians have not been allowed to dig a new well in over a decade
Must be starting up that ole political season. Jesse Jackson just read “Green Eggs & Ham” on Saturday Night Live
Last yr, this yr, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan banned religious parties, afraid of Islamic Renaissance Party. Tajikistan relegalized it Sept 9.
The world produced $20.64 trillion in goods & services 1988. $1.03t went to military
Salvadoran jury finds a colonel guilty for the Jesuit killings — 7 others acquitted, though 4 had signed confessions
Some of the Bush initiatives aren’t so unilateral. Cheney already threatening to take some of it back if not reciprocated. There is some thought that Yeltsin might destroy weapons himself
Wilson vetoes a gay rights bill — claims would create unjustified lawsuits
Since 1976, 3,834 sentenced to death, 155 executed. Blacks 40% of former
Coup in Haiti. Father/President Aristide to exile in Fr. Bet he doesn’t live as well as Duvalier
NYT refers to Milosevic’s “unpublicized declaration,” meaning again it took NYT 6 mos to catch up to it, that “it is the legitimate right and the interest of the Serbian people to live in one state — this is the beginning and the end.” Serbia has mobilized draft-age youth.
Soviets want Bush initiative extended to test ban
In the continuing check-writing scandal, no names come out, but seems Congresscritters routinely bounced checks at no penalty — in effect getting large interest-free loans. 24 House members bounced at least 1 check over $1,000 each month in last 6 mos. 1990
CIA not declassifying documents involving allegations that Robert Gates slanted intelligence, like the about-face on Iran before Iran-Contra. Of course, Congress could just declassify them itself. Of course, it won’t.