Saturday, October 15, 2005
Yeltsin now opposes Poland et al joining NATO, no doubt part of the bribe he’s paying his military
7 a.m. Moscow crowd smashes barricades around Parl building. Rutskoi tells them to seize several other buildings. They have taken the mayor’s office & captured troops (or they switched sides). Boy, those riot police sure aren’t Korean – I guess not much experience
-10:30 pm. It sounds like WW2
-11:30 pm. They are shooting the White House
-Y. officially fires Rutskoi & strips him of his military rank
-Clinton’s anodyne announcement 9 am said Y. had “bent over backwards” to avoid force & Parl “trying to derail the elections process & are not committed to reform”
-11:46 pm. A tank fires on the White House
-12:17. Yeltsin people: no negotiations, just surrender.
If these people are captured, can they be tried when 1991 coup leaders haven’t been? And on what possible charge?
-6:22 am. White House on fire & not very much is still white
Of the 1m. drug arrests 1991, 40% for marijuana *some of rest just general)
6:34. Yeltsin suspends a bunch of newspapers inc Pravda. His speech last night suggested banning groups
-8:51. Rutskoi & Parl chair evidently surrender
A count of births in China: hospitals showed that 1sat babies 105.6 boys/100 girls, but where families already had a girl, 149.4; where 2 girls, 224.9
Somalis shoot down 2 US helicopters, killing a dozen or more, and taking – uh, oh – a hostage. So we’re sending a lot more troops & tanks & stuff, and said that US, not UN, will deal w/hostage. At last, a mission again: revenge
Yeltsin bans CP & Pamyat
-When Y. went on tv, notably on Sunday morning, not a prime time, he didn’t ask for any more from the people than moral support for the army
The Hubble telescope, still fucked up. Gov settles for $25m from the comp that faked tests to make it seem alright
In Pakistani elections, local councils keeping women from voting
Ch. breaks the world moratorium on nuclear testing. So Clinton prepares to follow
Br Tory Party conf upstaged by leaks of Thatcher’s memoirs, which say nasty things about Major
Yeltsin re-institutes censorship, removing stories critical of him from the remaining newspapers. He disbands Moscow municipal & regional councils, postpones forever meeting of regional leaders, fired the atty gen, “invites” the chair of Const Court to resign, fires governors of Amur & Novosibirsk, threatens to dissolve all regional & local soviets
News-wise, Somalia and, worse, the retirement of basketball player Michael Jordan, have knocked Russia out of American concerns. Aidid’s been doing so well against us I hear Grenada wants a rematch
-Clinton sends 2,000 more to Somalia & says he’ll set an exit date of roughly 6 mos. 65 House R’s sent letter criticizing Clinton’s “indecisive and naive approach to foreign policy” – so much for nonpartisanship. US commanders banned press from memorial service, so no pictures of coffins. An Aidid spokesman comments that a Nigerian UN soldier held hostage a month didn’t get the attention the US copter pilot is getting
Yeltsin speech calls for regional soviets to dissolve themselves. The chair of const court took the hint & resigned that post, though not from the court. Y. blames Const Court for violating principle of ind from politics. Censorship lifted – the newspapers were really pissed – today they printed articles banned yesterday. But the Parl paper, now another gov paper, withheld salaries of reporters until give an account of activities Sep. 21. Y. closes Lenin’s tomb
-Russia wants Conventional Armed Forces in Eur Treaty of 1990 revised so it can keep more troops in Caucasus. Another sign of new military power.
Economist Sep. 1 on re-est of USSR. 6 CIS members forced into “humiliating defense treaties” w/Russia – Georgia handed Russian peace-keepers control of Abkhazia, but still lost it. Tajikistan called in Russian troops to fight off Afghan-backed rebels. Aug 24 a common air-defense system & collective security council. Sep 7 agreement of 6 republics to coordinate fiscal, monetary, banking, customs, rebuilding the ruble zone. Moldova is threatened w/punitive tariffs unless reconfirms CIS membership. Pressure on Ukraine threatening to destroy its pol system.
Papal encyclical says bishops should shield the faithful from ideas contrary to official church teaching. This is a compromise, as the Pope has been threatening to make ban on contraception infallible. Rejects idea that human freedom & reason create values of their own, as values are inherent in the universe
Ciskei & Bophutatswana withdraw from peace talks, forming w/Inkatha & 2 white racist groups a “Freedom Alliance”
Russia claims only 142 dead in Sun-Monday fighting. Right. Y. suspends Const Court. Why not, there is no const. Y. said all governors & regional heads to be appointed & fired by him, since the elected ones didn’t all support him.
-The new lower house will be ½ single district, ½ from party lists, parties needing 100,000 signatures, from at least 7 regions – anyone to put their name on a list for the CP?
Russia may have a Doomsday Machine to launch nukes automatically
Clinton talks about Somalia in terms of not undermining our leadership. Clinton says he’s doubling # of troops but will pull them all out by March 31. Cutting & running is bad now, ok then
Police who tampered w/evidence in Birmingham Six trial released by judge, who says they can’t be fairly tried.
Yeltsin suspends CP & 9 other parties & 13 papers
Georgia & Azerbaijan to join CIS
Pentagon suspends “don’t ask, don’t tell” under order of Fed dist. judge, while appealing
US sends an envoy to Somalia to bypass UN & negotiate w/that ole debbil Aidid & other Af countries (one of Aidid’s sons was an interpreter for Marines, where he is a corporal). So if Aidid lays low 6 mos, he’ll be fine
c.1.5m Amers. are forced to be drug-tested via urine. Most is of job applicants. Some states, like Fla, reduce workers’ comp to comps that do it. Blue Cross in VA pays for it
Yeltsin orders regional councils to submit to new elections for a smaller new council (duma rather than soviet). Smaller councils to be dissolved, regional to be under control of his appointed governors
NYT says Ag Dept’s $40b crop export program has mostly enriched a few multinationals. 1986-9 1 program gave over half, $1.38b to 4 comps, 2 based in Eur – this was program to help compete against Eur. Some comps buy cheap foreign products & ship them from US as exports, inc at least $135m of tobacco. And there is a revolving door between top Ag officials, inc Clayton Yeutter, & the worst offenderrs. 80% of export dollars from gov are agric. Some subsidized comps are just mail drops. Helped one comp build a plant in Aqaba to get advantage over other US rice comps & take over Iraq rice mkt. A 1986 RR Exec Order ordered no new contracts to comps suspended or removed from other gov assistance programs. Ag only Dept not to comply, refusing flat out, exempting 5 key agencies. OMB gave up trying to get compliance 1990. School lunch subsidies esp abused, dairy & bakery comps splitting the mkt & subverting bidding. Many Ag agencies don’t check comps against banned list. As recently as summer they failed to expel one comp because it would draw attention to the issue. That’s the Clinton admin
US tried to land troops in Haiti. Their instructions were to run away if there were any difficulties. Not all would even be armed. We’ve learned so much from Somalia. Anyway, the security forces & crowds kept them from even landing. Grenada *definitely* wants a rematch
Kohl’s candidate for Ger president worries about Ger being overrun by foreigners, said women should stay at home, talked of Holocaust as one event of many
Papandreou returns in Greek elections
Yeltsin’s latest plan for Dec. elections: voting for upper, regional house as well, since he’s abolishing regional govs as well. He may also have a draft const for them to vote on
Scientologists get tax exemption
In the battle Oct. 3 Somalia, 300 dead, mostly civilians, US admits
UN reimposes sanctions on Haiti. US has definitely backed off. Aristide’s atty gen assassinated. Gen. Cedras now refuses to leave power because he didn’t like amnesty temrs
Clinton may appoint anti-abortion judges. But he will not appoint fed judges who oppose death penalty. Sen. R’s say commitment to death penalty will be a litmus test.
Somalia frees the US pilot
Labor Dept audit of its $200m job training program turns out not even to train people who collect extra unemp benefits intended to keep them in program. And only 1/5 of retrained workers get jobs paying at least 80% of old pay. No one bothered tracking workers leaving the program before
Mandela & DeKlerk get Nobel Peace Prize
Yeltsin does want vote on a const in 8 weeks. No hint as to when he’ll finish it. The idea is that the Parl elected on that day (under what const?) will have no power over a const.
-Also, gov orders Pravda & another paper to replace their editors & change their name
-Also, Moscow police have been throwing thousands of Caucasus traders out of city. Mayor of Moscow says Y. supports idea of requiring permission to travel to Moscow – internal passports?
Dole to intro bill to restrict Clinton using forces in Haiti. Says restoring Aristide to power is not worth a single American life. Look what party’s rediscovering the War Powers Act, since he would require Congressional authorization
D’s in Congress fail to end the Army’s Civilian Marksmanship Program, a post-Sp Amer. War program in which 40 million rounds given away for recreational target shooting & subsidizing competition among NRA gun clubs
Br wants to build a new tactical nuke, for the Air Force
Russians dump nuclear waste in Sea of Japan
Ukraine again threatening to keep some 46 SS-24s, but not aimed at US. Ukraine still hasn’t gotten last yr’s appropriated money from US
Janet Reno threatens to censor tv unless it does something about violence
Yeltsin to ban several parties from Dec. elections, but not CP
US troops in Somalia no longer to patrol or try to disarm anyone, main mission is now to defend themselves, & protect other people’s operations, if any violence occurs. The Rangers sent to hunt Aidid have been pulled out
Clinton & Gore say global warming is the worst environ. danger, & it should be solved by voluntary meausres
Benazir Bhutto, back in power after elections, says Pakistan will cont. its nuclear program
Russia threatens to veto UN sanctions on Libya for its not handing citizens over to Br for Pan Am bombing
Clinton gives up on plan to merge DEA into FBI
Ukraine to keep Chernobyl open
Russia to stop dumping of nuclear wastes in Sea of Japan
Dole backs off on troops in Haiti.
-CIA analyst gives a briefing to Congresscritters to effect that Aristide is an unstable psycho. Clinton has denied that.
Of the 88 Russian regions, only 13 govs dissolved themselves as Yeltsin demanded. Y. planning to remove references to their sovereignty from draft const
1/3 of Br local councils are hung. Labour has 9,300 councillors & 165 majorities, to Tories’ 7,900 & 99. Of the 28 Eng/Wales hung counties, 6 have minority admins, 10 no admins & 10 power-sharing. Hung councils increased 1980s. Each party made their own mistakes, Lab demanding absolute majorities on all cmtes & sulking into opposition when didn’t get it. Tories tried to form minority govs, acting as the “natural party of gov” but being defeated in cmte. Libs thought they could run things from the center, wrongly assuming Lab & Tory wouldn’t unite against them. Since, things have gotten more pragmatic. Often there is no recognizable admin & the cmte chair is just a chair, not an exec
Warren Christopher visits Kazakhstan & is told it will sign agreement on spending $85m of US aid on dismantling its nukes, but only face to face w/Clinton. And in Ukraine, is told they want $2b to ratify Nonproliferation Treaty & gov won’t guarantee that Parl will do so. Parl leader wants ¼ of weapons
Ch. bans sale of satellite dishes
Canadian elections not only throw out the long-reigning Con. party, but knocks it down to 2 seats & kicks out even PM Kim Campbell. Libs win & the Quebequois will be the primary opposition (!). Well, Campbell did predict unemp would not go down. Little did she know.
Head of Reform Judaism in N Amer wants them to proselytize
Plan for prisoner exchanges in Bosnia die. Red Cross mediator seems to imply Bosnia must drop demand for an accounting of the missing.
Michel Rocard now heads what’s left of Fr PS
Clinton to limit health care subsidies to low-income workers & small businesses (Speenhamland), so Congress would ration out money instead of it being an entitlement
E Ger secret police chief convicted of killing 2 cops in 1931, secret police who harassed KPD
Clinton’s new version of the health plan, inc allowing groups of drs. a waiver of anti-trust laws to bargain for fees w/the regional health alliances. Alliances are responsible for collecting all premiums, unclear how, and states would insure it. The nat health budget would have no admin or judicial review. And may drop idea of a global limit on health-care spending, in favor of premium caps (which mean increases for 40%).
Turkey says the cutoff of oil pipeline to Iraq is costing it billions, which it wants from US. It is threatening to w/draw use of airfields & supply routes used to protect Iraqi Kurds
Russia to resume jury trials (1864-1917) on trial basis in 5 pilot regions
Haiti Pres. Aristide not to return by Saturday, or course, as per agreement, and demands total trade embargo. US sent refugees back, promptly arrested
Filibuster kills another attempt to raise grazing fees on fed lands. Even land owned by military used as bombing range charges 3X, priv lands 5½X. Top 10% of permit-holders control ½ the land, 12% are small. There are 28,000 permit-holders of 50m in the 11 W. states. Just 97 in ND, but its senators voted against cloture. The way of life is clearly the campaign funds they get. The largest holder is a guy who has permits on 5m acres – the size of Mass.
The new Canadian gov wants NAFTA re-negotiated
Sup Court allows gov to carry out don’t ask, don’ tell while waiting on appeal
Labor Dept gives up on idea of raising min wage a whole 25¢
SA has 57% of Af telephones, ½ motor vehicles, uses 12% of its steel, 40% cement
Serbia’s inflation rate now 363 quarillion %
Br keeping open option of internment in NI. There have been 24 deaths this week, on both sides
Key members of the Haitian junta were paid by CIA at least until the coup. Started w/a RR effort to inf Jan88 electiojn. For once, Sen. Cmte blocked them