Sunday, December 11, 2005
Japan will spend $1b in compensation, symbolic only, for the 200,000 WW2 “comfort women.” No personal compensation, because that would open the door to Br POWs, Koreans used as slave labor, etc. So just youth exchanges, research on wartime activities, vocational training for Philippines women...
US gets permission to invade Haiti from Caribbean Community & Common Mkt, & Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados & Belize will give a whopping 266 troops
After 2 weeks, RTC stops suspension of 3 investigations of Madison Guaranty (Whitewater)
Russian troops out of Baltics, Ger
Honduras to take 5,000 of our Cuban refugees, Panama 10,000 for 6 mos. Cuba has long pointed out that granting 2,000 legal visas/yr while allowing boat people encouraged them. US claiming Cuba releasing prisoners....
IRA calls cease-fire. Br bitches that it is not “perm”
On 1st day, IRA prisoners moved from Br jails to NI, inc 1 who tried to bomb Thatcher. Major said to be furious.
-Why now? The Downing Street Declaration Dec93, Ireland gave up its const claim until majority in NI votes for it. There is a sense that Br is just looking for a way out, and a lame duck PM might be the person to do it. The real war now is with the Loyalists, who are not renouncing violence, with the British an irrelevance.
-Loyalists kill a Cath
Nevada’s Sup Court says you can’t sue your lawyer for malpractice unless conviction 1st set aside on appeal, and must show innocence
Haiti agrees to let out the 1,000+ granted pol refugee status by US, but 2 busloads/week. Some have been beaten, threatened, raped.
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, est 1979 to allow wiretapping & bugging, has gotten 7,500 requests in 15 yrs & granted... all of them.
Br has 5,521 executive quangos w/70,000 positions. Wm. Waldegrave, ex-minister for Citizen’s Charter, said in pamphlet: “The key point is not whether those who run our public services are elected, but whether they are producer-responsive or consumer-responsive.” Choice, standards, redress. Power in housing, ed., etc moved to them from local councils (housing 1988 Act), grant-maintained schools, 6th-form colleges, further-ed. colleges, and now police powers, and soon regulation of dumping, transport & recycling of waste. Ministers are responsible for 42,600 appointments, 10,000 per yr, of which 24 were advertised 1992. Allows Tories to run Wales, though control none of its cty councils. Local councils unlike quangos in being obliged to publish auditors’ criticisms, have accounting officers, councillors can be surcharged for improper use of pub funds, keep register of councillors’ interests, meetings open – of the quangos, only health authorities must. Quangos for training must be 2/3 business people & often given contracts to their own comps
George W. Bush goes dove hunting, which is evidently part of running for governor in Texas (Ann Richards also does it). Killed a protected bird, is fined $130.
HUD will stop investigating protests of housing for poor, mentally ill, etc
Ch. pulls out of the commission overseeing the armistice that ended Korean War. NK pulled out 1991 when a SK general replaced the American
Tom Carson in Voice on the White House shake-up: “the familiar Clinton trademark of common sense resorted to as a desperation tactic, rather spoiling its effect.” And note that no one actually lost a job
Cuba proposes US take 100,000 Cubans/yr
During Brazilian presidential campaign, gov’s finance minister a comment overheard by mike, admits manipulating figures (pres. running based on beating inflation)
Irish PM has contacts w/NI’s Protestant guerillas (who car-bombed near Sinn Fein hq)
Russia & Ch. agree not to aim missiles at each other, & reduce troops on border. trade increasing greatly.
Ger CDU (but not Kohl) propose EU leave Br behind, a “hard core” integrating faster (Ger, Fr, Belg, Neth, Lux). Fr proposing something similar. This would be 3-tier, the 3rd being not-yet-members
An Alaksa Indian tribe (Tlingit) exiling 2 17-yr olds who beat up a pizza man, exiled to outer islands
Sikh elementary school students in San Francisco allowed to wear ceremonial daggers
Irish PM meets Gerry Adams. Major meets Ian Paisley, but terminates it when Paisley refuses to accept his word (that there is no secret deal) – Paisley then locks himself in the bathroom
If Repubs win Senate, chair of Armed Services would be Strom Thurmond, Helms Foreign Relations, Hatch Judiciary, D’Amato Banking
PRI wins Mexican election of Aug. 21. Seems legitimate at nat level, but not I think in some of the states inc Chiapas, where there was a revolt early this yr & the new governor gets 50.4%
Clinton health care task force papers released, after gov objections. Show that Treasury officials found fatal flaws in the financing
Decennial pop conf. Vatican fighting tooth & nail, even calling Gore a liar for saying he was not trying to est a univ right to abortion. Indeed, he was willing to leave this to the nation-state.
States where Medicaid pays for Norplant do not pay for removal
Air Force charges pilot w/26 counts of negligent homicide for shooting down 2 army helicopters over Iraq last April
Allies are also out of Berlin
Quayle opens his presidential campaign w/another speech about unwed mothers, claiming it’s about men & responsibility, not attacking women. Calls illegitimacy a pathology. Also says Clinton will invade Haiti to increase his standing in opinion polls. Of course Quayle’s view is now de rigeur. Donna Shalala of HHS says illegitimacy is “just wrong”
And Clinton at black Baptists also denounces illegitimacy as wrong & we should be less tolerant of single parenthood & abortion
US & China working on military cooperation, inc coordinated military exercises. Ch, the only country w/nukes targeting US, has recently claimed sovereignty of entire South China Sea
US-Cuba agreement by which they stop (somehow) emigration & US to take min. 20,000/yr (max. still 27,845). Those interned in Panama & Guantanamo to be kept in detention forever. Cuba gets nothing from this, and no talk of the embargo, so a secret deal is assumed. Will also end automatic pol asylum for Cubans (as Clinton already did). I know of no other case of the US negotiating for a country to reduce human rights. By the way, 20,000 is what we’re supposed to be taking under previous rules. Castro has done what Hitler did w/Jews & that boat
Br says relations will be harmed if US breaks arms blockade of Bosnia
The president of Crimea, which thinks itself ind of Ukraine, dissolves his Parl. He must be moving closer to Russia
US already planning for policing Haiti after invasion. Doesn’t want to do itself, so plans to rehabilitate existing security forces, as in Panama. Do not plan to make much effort to capture military leaders
NYT says INS is dysfunctional. Can’t collect fees but can send inspectors on cruises. Front-line workers paid little more than min wage so highly corrupt. Deportations are on honor system – in NY 4% show up. They don’t ever answer their phones. Over 1m illegals caught/yr. There is little oversight, only 3 senators on the subcmte, because no one wants to do it. Most district leaders never hear from their DC supervisors – for 2½ yrs, says head of Chicago office. The INS officers are a courtesy to cruise lines, who prefer not to have a line at the end, so have him/her along during the whole cruise, the lines paying for family or friends, expenses. This was reported by Inspector Gen May93 but no new orders issued, until Times asked just now. Budgeting is non-existent, so always have to cut budget mid-year. They throw out most mail, inc letters w/out file numbers. Airlines & cruise lines that collect $6/passenger don’t turn it in. and fails to keep bonds from immigrants who fail to show up for hearings, so they expire – no one does in SF. INS is 21% Justice staff, 54% arrests for corruption & misconduct. Almost no managers denied bonuses, pay rises or promotion because their staff corrupt. Flaws in procedures allowing corruption for which an employee indicted 1986, another later & warned about by Justice Inspector Gen 1990 still not fired.
Fr to ban Muslim head scarves in pub schools. They are upholding the proud tradition of secular ed.
A 19-yr old Florida woman who couldn’t afford an abortion tried to do one w/a gun. The baby was C-sectioned at 6 mos, lived 1 week. They are charging her w/manslaughter & 3rd degree murder
Besides nude pictures of Prince Charles in Fr & Ger papers, audit shows money to run the palaces inc $1.2m in telephone bills, rent subsidies to servants
Peru dictator Fujimori is having trouble w/the wife, who calls him a tyrant. He cut off her water & Power & sealed her in. She forms a party & will run for pres. against him
Fed court in Louisiana kills a black district, creates a new one for David Duke, who carried 15 of its 20 parishes when running for Senate 1990. The only seats in South returning blacks are black-majority. And elsewhere: of 22 black congresscritters from outside S., 19 from black-majority districts. Courts dissolving black districts in LA, Texas, GA, NC, Fla.... LA & TX fed courts decided black districts are segregated, white-majority districts are integrated. Sup Court has stayed the LA district
A provision of an interstate banking bill would stop fed regulators pursuing negligence cases in S&L’s, potentially costing $1.6b in lost case. Metzenbaum threatens filibuster. House passed it. The insurance industry which would have to pay insisted.
Clinton admin says it can invade Haiti w/out Congress vote. Christopher says it’s his “const prerogative” & “We can’t tie the hands of the president.” Madeleine Albright, ambassador to UN, says it could be a “police action” & is like Panama & Grenada.
-US sent a destroyer to violate Haitian waters, coming 1 mi off Port-au-Prince, helicopters closer
-Pentagon estimates cost of invasion & foreign aid as $427m – if no ammunition used
-Not only would US not go after military leaders, but sole aim is to restore Aristide, not rebuild country or help Aristide succeed. State Dept report says military gov worse than Papa Doc, has killed 4,000
Gov. Wilson vetoes a register for unmarried couples that would allow hospital visitation, bequeath prop. & act on behalf when incapacitated
Some guy in a Cessna tries to crash into White House
Fed panel rules a GA district unconst because solely created to elect a black
Jeb Bush gets R nomination for governor of Fla. (46% in primary – opponent pulled out
Dole campaigns for Ollie North. Even when he 1st endorsed him, he refused to be photographed w/him
INS, cont. INS also fails to find convicted criminal aliens. 200,000 of them, 20,000 deported last yr, 284 deportation officers. No nat system to speed them by allowing them to waive right to hearing
Quebec votes separatists into power. There will be a referendum on sovereignty next yr. They didn’t get majority of vote, so who knows
Marion Barry, convicted drugee, wins D primary for mayor of DC, winning black districts. The most white district gave him 3.4%
Ollie North wins his primary
Algeria working to compromise w/Islamic militants making the country ungovernable, putting leaders under house arrest instead of prison
In Brandenburg & Saxony elections, both in East, PMs of Soc Dems & Christ Dems, respectively, retained, while CP increases vote to 19 & 17%. Greens, far right & Free Dems fail to get 5%. nationally, we may see Free Dems disappear
Ch. imposes fee of $11,600 for right to live in Beijing, for new residents
Clinton finally makes a speech on Haiti. 13 minutes. Says the invasion will be just like those of Grenada & Panama. Were those good things? Says only 2 leaders in W Hemisphere not democratically elected. Yes, but Peru’s is still a dictator. Says we will not rebuild Haiti or its economy and we will “give democracy a chance, not guarantee it”. Says Aristide will not run again (according to his Const). Fails to mention Congress even once. Restoring democracy but refusing a vote of Congress & against opinion polls – 2/3 against.
-The new covert program could inc large bribe for the military leaders to leave
-And Clinton plays the race-refugee card to its hilt, joining Pete Wilson on the high ground.
The new Crime Law allows fed prosecutors to disclose previous charges of sex crimes – w/out conviction. And waters down rule against executing people so mentally ill they can’t understand the proceedings
Though yesterday Clinton said he had exhausted diplomacy w/Haiti, today he sends Carter, Colin Powell & Sam Nunn to tell Haitian leaders to leave & discuss arrangements for that, or serve as hostages, as the case may be. Nunn actively opposes intervention. Powell (retired) has expressed scepticism, ditto Carter.
-Bush opposes the war. And Schwarzkopf. Quayle says Aristide has such a nice apt he doesn’t really want to go back.
-Clinton’s theme in his truly mediocre speech is that he told them over & over to leave, & he’s had enough. But when hee talked of American credibility, it sounded like his.
-The Haiti line & sub rosa from R’s, is that Clinton is driven by the Congressional Black Caucus.
States are trying to make prison worse. Miss., whose Gov. Fordice wants to make it “the capital of capital punishment,” bans priv. tv’s, radios, walkmen, computers, weight-lifting equipment, and will put them back in striped uniforms (to emphasize the fat from lack of exercise equipment?). Louisiana law bans martial arts training, of which there was none. LA Cty removes weight equipment, others restricting tv’s...
Exxon jury awards $5b punitive damages for Valdez spill, less than last yr’s profit. Will appeal.
Major says any change in N Ireland to be decided by referendum. And lifts idiotic broadcast ban on Sinn Fein
New CA law (if US allows) limits AFDC for new children unless rape or incest (if reported) or if contraception fails – but only if IUD, Norplant or sterilization
The war in Haiti is on hold. It was scheduled for tonight, because there is a Congressional vote scheduled for Monday. Carter pulled off a deal w/2 or 3 military leaders, the other being in hiding. They get a parl amnesty for themselves & all gov & military. US troops go in immediately, cooperating w/the coup leaders & military peace-keeping in the absence of a head of state. Then Aristide goes back. The deadline is Oct. 15, whatever Haitian parl votes, which means it’s just another 4-week stall, really. Oct. 15 was also the date they promised to leave by last yr. They may or may not leave the country – Clinton said “depart,” but not from what – it is not part of the deal. US claims there is no bribe of US taxpayer money, but presumably they can keep any Haitian taxpayer money they might have accumulated. Agreement was reached only when they were convinced – & 61 planes actually in the air, though US says they’d have gotten Carter et al out before the shooting started. Aristide was informed of all this, not party to it.
-Given that ½ Parl in Miami, how binding is an amnesty?
Russian judiciary. The experiment w/trial by jury up to 2% of trials at regional levels, none lower. Many judges sell verdicts in commercial disputes. The const court has not met since the Parl was dissolved a yr ago & has no chair
Safire on Haiti: “The hype about multilateral force is getting out of hand. With his ludicrous enlistment of cooks and bottle washers from every country on our foreign-aid list, Mr. Clinton fooled nobody but himself about this being an international operation. To pretend it is not our show to solve our refugee problem invites smirks around the world. Worse, he put the Presidency in the impossible position of asking the UN for permission to invade without asking Congress for permission to wage war.”
Br Libs conf votes to decriminalize marijuana
Latest trend in SA: witch burning, scores of them by necklacing. There is a witch refugee camp in Northern Sotho chieftanship, run by a woman (20 families). They do not deny witchcraft, just want it dealt with on proper lines.
Polish parl’s lower house ends freedom of press (1990) & enacted on Official Secrets Act. Would inc ban of 40-80 yrs on publishing archives of CP secret police. Trials of Secret Police chiefs have been failing
Bush endorses North
Miss. had a spy agency 1956-77 aimed at civil rights leaders, w/files, influencing media, & helping the lawyers of the killer of Medgar Evers. Now the legislature refuses the funding to index & collate the records, as court demands
Hong Kong elections for Leg Council Ch. pledges to abolish. Democratic parties win 106 seats, pro-Ch. parties (Ch. encouraged them to run) 37, and a lot of Inds
Clinton frees Russia of Jackson-Vanik waivers, saying emigration now free
Zulu king fires Buthelezi. May not be able to make it stick
It would be nice if Clinton & Carter stopped talking about how honorable the Haitian military leaders are.
-Oct. 15 is also the deadline imposed by Clinton on Bosnian Serbs
-Resolution in House praising the deal wins 353-45
-The strategy was to start the rhetorical ratcheting up 10 dys before, to avoid a real debate in Congress.
-Warren Christopher says the amnesty is for whole military, & it seems to cover murder, rape & such.
-Today, US troops watched as Haitians dealt w/the “routine law & order” stuff we’re leaving to them, breaking up a pro-Aristide demonstration violently, beating 1 to death
-A Rangers captain says there was a plan to kidnap Cédras during the invasion. Pentagon denies
-US not to disarm troops or paramilitary
-Still unclear who in hell constitutes the Parl supposed to vote the amnesty. By-elections have occurred under the military. 40 of 110 are abroad. Previous amnesties have failed to pass (the excuse last yr for staying on) by bribing MPs to prevent quorum, some admit
-Pentagon planned to restrict reporters to their hotels, asked an 8-hr blackout
Carter now reveals he offered to mediate between Iraq & Kuwait & was turned down, then wrote to every member of UN Sec Council exc Thatcher (a waste of a stamp) to vote against armed action
Br Lib Dems vote against elected head of state. Party tells activists to be realistic. If they were realistic, they wouldn’t be LibDems
Helms amend to Ag budget to undo the recognition of a gay employee organiz passed 92-8
The pledge for a referendum in N Ireland has royally pissed off Scotland
In Danish gen elections, well, who cares, exc that now represented in Parl is the Assoc of the Consciously Work-Shy Elements. It pledges to do as little as possible. And a following wind on all bike paths.
China to double auto production – they’re thinking volks’ car. Like Ch. needs more pollution & gridlock
With Clinton’s deadline on Bosnian Serbs coming up, there have been hundreds of forbidden helicopter flights over Bosnia originating in Serbia, perhaps bringing in arms since Milosevic pretended to embargo. He refuses the 4,000 monitors UN force says necessary to oversee the alleged embargo, 800 for a ltd version. Instead, 135 over a 300-mile frontier. There are also artillery pieces around Sarajevo & a new massive wave of ethnic cleansing. So today NATO planes bomb an abandoned tank after UN troops are fired on w/rockets & machine guns in several incidents. UN commanders as ever wanted to do nothing, but Clinton wanted something to show that lifting the embargo on Bosnia not necessary
The power to Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Missile Command Center was turned off because they failed to pay their electric bills. The Defense Ministry hasn’t paid up since Jan., $20m for Moscow region
Wednesday our new Haiti policy was to stop Haitian police beating protesters, but not every time, only in the extreme cases. Whatever that means. And Haiti bans street demos. Thursday, policy was to stop any beatings and follow them around. Also disarmed the heavy weapons comp. After many speak in Congress chiding his lack of gratitude, Aristide says thank you. “Who will interface with this turbulent priest.” Cédras does plan to stay in Haiti – perhaps run for president
John Major asks US not to let Gerry Addams into US until after Tory Party Conf
1960-89 # of psychiatric beds US fell from 722,000 to 161,000
UN Sec Council amazingly eases sanctions on Yugoslavia, though tightens them on Bosnian Serbs (no travel by officials, no trade w/any entity they own, no river traffic)
How surprised should we be at violence in Haiti when we’re promising an amnesty? Article in Bay Guardian says Carter (who monitored the 1990 election), had tried to get Aristide not to run.
-New military leaders are by the accord to be chosen by military rules – presumably under US dictation. Of course, last time Aristide jumped the ranks and picked... Cédras.
-Clinton promises $200m aid
-Symbol: the widow of the man beaten to death had to bribe to get his body back.
Saturday a firefight between US & Haitian security forces, 10 Haitians shot. Sunday civilians in Cap-Haïtien sack police stations & military hq, taking rifles & tubas. Cédras demands court martial of the Marine commander. Tomorrow, US will start buying weapons. Aristide calls session of Parl, presumably meaning MPs are supposed to return to Haiti before he does
Another reason not to cross the border for medical treatment in Mexico: a pregnant ♀ drugged & given a forced Caesarean, the baby stolen
The last “POW” in Vietnam dec. dead
Pope recently beatified a women who chose to die of uterine cancer rather than get treatment that would risk her unborn child
After Swedish elections (Soc Dems won), women 41% of MPs, highest in world, thanks to 50% quota in Soc Dems. In US, 47 in House, 6 in Senate, 5 governors
Bosnian gov may not insist the arms embargo be lifted. God knows what we threatened them with... Withdrawal of UN forces.
Bavarian elections. Free Dems 3%
Health care reform declared dead for this session. R’s threatened to block GATT treaty
During a live tv interview in SA, Buthelezi storms in to attack a Zulu chief. Someone pulls a gun
US military in Haiti admits they killed 10 after a gun was only brandished.
-US now the only police in Cap Haïtien, the 2nd largest city – trying to get Cédras to send in his forces
-US military to bodyguard returning deputies & senators, and forcibly exclude pro-military deputies. So that’s which Parl was meant.
-US will buy guns at $50 per hand gun, $100 semi-autos, $300 machine guns, rocket launchers
Israel had promised US & PLO not to build new settlements. Now it will.
Br opts out of paternity leave (unpaid) of EU
Ridgewood, NJ tries to get everyone to give permission to raid their houses to stop teenagers drinking. 20 gave permission
CIA plan for $5m in Haiti, inc neutralizing Aristide’s opponents, help his return, and possibly, though gov denies it, bribe deputies to step aside
UN to stop encouraging Rwandan refugees to return, & stop helping them to do so, given a report that the new gov still killing Hutus. Sec Gen demands no one discuss it. There are 20 rights monitors, w/out cars or communications
House Foreign Affairs Cmte votes for March 1 deadline for pullout from Haiti
President Croatia notes that Serbia got UN embargo lifted for allegedly blockading Bosnian Serbs, but still supporting Croatian Serbs – who supply Bosnian Serbs
Pneumonic plague in India has spread to Delhi. It is supposed to be in control soon. Or not? Bubonic also becoming active. And probably Calcutta, Bombay
Clinton wants an extra, lame-duck session to pass GATT. I guess that’s more important than health care. Clinton’s made so many deals for so many industries that no one knows what’s in it
CIA gives no one worse than a reprimand for the Aldrich Ames fiasco (admittedly most of his superiors have retired)
Congress abandons efforts to make mining comps pay for metals from pub lands
5+ Haitians killed when a grenade thrown into a rally
The dr. doing abortions in Pensacola, whose drs. keep getting killed, is suspended by 2 states, restricted 2 others, “retired” in a 3rd
A Mafioso who participated, he says, in 19 murders as shooter, backup or setter-up, but who is a supergrass, will be out in 8 mos., getting 5 yrs for all 19 murders, inc 4 already served on a previous plea deal
Quayle endorses North (ditto Dole, Kemp, Graham)
R’s filibuster campaign finance reform to death (cloture fails 52-46)
A planned demonstration in Haiti today. US deployed its forces – some distance away – and just sat while “attackers” (thugs not in uniform) killed several. US left security to the police (thugs in uniform). US troops were deployed, not to protect pro-Aristide demonstrators, but businesses & rich people’s houses the demonstrators might go after, exposing the true point. Haitian police in fact ran off, at the 1st sight of trouble
-The gun buy-back netted 25 guns on 1st day, some dating back to the Old West
There was a Clinton-Yeltsin summit. Nothing of significance. On way back, Y. failed to get off plane to meet Irish PM. Says he was asleep