Sunday, January 08, 2006
Ukraine dec dir control of Crimea, Pres. Kuchma reinstates as PM there the man who lost a vote of confidence last week, and is his son-in-law
US to cut overseas food aid in ½
Gingrich threatens to restore the ban on gays in military (already ruled unconst several times, as is the new policy). (Update: backs off 2 dys later)
Warren Christopher says no CIA money now going to Guatemala
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Office participating for 1st time in a repatriation program, of VN refugees in HK & elsewhere
Russia refuses to stop planned sale of nuclear reactor to Iran. Sec Defense Perry says US will do nothing to Russia.
Russian law requires AIDS test of foreigners
A 1990 Nat Law Journal study of capital cases showed ¼ on KY’s death row represented by lawyers later disbarred, suspended or convicted of crimes. In 6 S. states studied, lawyers were disbarred or disciplined at 3-46X overall rate. As a Texas judge told one defendant, “The Const. does not say that the lawyer has to be awake.”
Gingrich says Toricelli should resign from Intelligence Cmte for exposing CIA coverup of Guatemalan connection. Exposing it to the president & Sec of state for a start. Christopher admits he was wrong about no CIA money going to Guatemalan military. Under “liaison” programs, it is legal for CIA to spend millions w/out White House permission, hand over secret data, w/hold info from embassy & Congress
Something I must have missed: some mos ago Qaddafi suggested his son marry Chelsea.
Israel launches own spy satellite
Warsaw subway system to open, 11 stops, 6.5 miles, begun in 1925.
Scottish local elections: Tories 11.5%, Lab 43.5%, SNP 26%. Tories control no councils, get 82 of 1,159 seats. Labour 613 seats, 20 of 29 councils
Alexander Cockburn says Clinton & Gingrich have same recipe: training & computers; strength through electricity like Lenin
Clinton says Japan is owed no apology for Hiroshima & Nagasaki
Torricelli allowed to stay on Intel Cmte, but referred to Ethics Cmte
New anti-abortion device: malpractice suits about breast cancer, valid consent, psych problems. Most get thrown out, but the pt is harassment
Robert McNamara new book says US should have pulled out of VN 1963 or 4, bombing & force were ineffective & DCI Richard Helms memo to LBJ Sep67 says losing VN would do little damage
What ever happened to bribery? $20b to Mexico & we can’t get them to support indefinite extension of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. All that aid to Russia & they insist on selling nuclear reactions to Iran
Peru Prez Fujimori wins re-election, for whatever that’s worth
9th Circuit says health comps that reward drs for referring Medicare or Medicaid patients to them can not be excluded from the programs unless Gov proves they knew such rewards illegal
Ron Brown had yet another dodgy investment he lied about on disclosure forms, an apt that defaulted & was dec unfit for habitation. He got $175,000 in tax write-offs.
Appeals court says const applies only to refugees in borders of US, so we can hold Cubans indefinitely in Guantanamo
House R’s allow billionaires to give up US citizenship & save billions in taxes. An expatriation tax was in Clinton’s proposed budget
The sexually “ambiguous” Bishop of London will be next Archbishop of York
CIA wants $15m to destabilize Iraq, $4m against Iran
UN fires Russian gen. from Croatian peacekeeping force. He sold UN gas to Serbs, forced Belgians to dismantle a checkpt, allowing Serb soldiers, artillery & tank destroyers in. One of his predecessors stayed in area when his time was up to trade.
Nat Institutes of Health relinquishes right to require reasonable prices on drugs developed by gov-industry cooperation
A senior member of Serbian secret police defected w/documents last yr, inc orders from Serbia on concentration camps, executions. But Dutch secret service or UN Internat Criminal Tribunal (war crimes) “lost” them
Fed judge in Boston orders former defense minister of Guatemala to pay $47.5m to a UN nun & 8 Guatemalans tortured
Sen. Gorton Slade worked on a bill to gut Endangered Species Act, the drafting done by lawyers representing timber, mining, ranching, utilities, his campaign contributors. Didn’t bother consulting environmentalists because he already knew their views
Solzhenitsyn is now a talk show host in Moscow. Exc he’s now decided no one else should talk
US backs an unlikely Turkish plan to have Iraqi Kurds protect Turkey from Turkish Kurds, using Iraq as base
Palestine sentences militants in closed-door military hearings. Meanwhile Israel shoots dogs on streets of Hebron – they say rabies, actually the dogs warn of patrols
40% of pop of island of Rongelap have cancer. It is 95 miles from Bikini.
Italy refuses to stop selling so much oil to Albania, from where it is smuggled to Serbia
-And US ignores Iran arms smuggling to Bosnia
New powers given to the ex-KGB, inc running own jails, search w/out warrants, tap phones...
Clinton claims 3 top priorities: tax cuts linked to ed., welfare reform anti-crime measures preserving ban on assault weapons
Russia says its war in Chechnya requires breaking the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe treaty
“Either poverty must use democracy to destroy the power of property, or property, in fear of poverty, will destroy democracy.” Thomas Rainborough, 17C
New gov secrecy policy, w/declassification after 25 yrs starting in 2000. Heads of agency can exempt documents w/approval of a panel. The size of intelligence budget will still be secret. And among other exemptions agencies lobbied for and won, State Dept got provision, exempting documents that “reveal info. that would seriously or demonstrably impair relations between the United States & a foreign gov.”
Ch. also refuses US request to end nuclear cooperative w/Iran
WW2, US always planned to use the a-bomb on Japan, not Ger. A White House meeting May43 decided this. There was worry that the bomb might be a dud. Ger could figure out what the wreckage was, the Japs not. Planned to use on Japan’s fleet.
2 Fr peacekeepers were killed by snipers in Bosnia. UN is pretending it doesn’t know that the Serbs killed one, who was televised being killed. UN admits one bullet came from a Serbian position but claims a 2nd bullet might possibly have come from a grassy knoll (no, not really) controlled by gov.
-UN also gives in to Serbs in banning journalists from flights resumed into Sarajevo.
Sup Court to review a case under Fed law adding 5 yrs to those who use or carry a firearm during a drug offense. The Court of Appeals ruled 5-4 this inc keeping it in a locked trunk in a closet, since it could be used during a drug crime. Little hope for relief from Sup Court, which 2 yrs ago inc bartering a gun for drugs by “using” it.
Fed regulators give up on idea of making banks keep records of race & gender of small-business loans
Clinton prime-time press conf skipped by ABC & NBC. He gets same coverage as Newt did. But he insists “the Constitution gives me relevance.”
Dole, running on an American-first policy, talks about the evils of turning over command of US troops to Booootos-Booooooootros-Ghali. Actually, there are 70 US troops, observers, under UN command
Sup Court 7-2 says there is a right to distribute anonymous campaign literature
Rwanda evicts 100,000 from refugee camp, bars UN
A fed building is blown up in Oklahoma. Janet Reno says death penalty will be used
Clinton wants to resume scholarships to Indonesian military officers, stopped 1992
Russia is/was/will be debating new election laws. Yeltsin wants to increase # of electors required to petition for a presidential candidate from 250,000 (1991) to 2m., 4% of turnout, w/no more than 7% from any 1 of the 89 regions, effectively excluding several popular types & reforms w/narrower geo. base. And wants fewer of parl seats to be by party list
Virginia Sup Court 4-3 rules that lesbianism will stigmatize a child, so shouldn’t get custody. In this case, the lesbian’s mother sued for custody
Mass. Superior Court rules drs. need not provide care they deem futile that the patient wants. In this case, the *drs* issued a do-not-resuscitate order
The Oklahoma bombers seem to have been right-wing gun nuts, “militias,” for whom the Waco Texas massacre, on the 2nd anniversary of which this bombing came, was a sign that ATF was coming after their guns.
An It. fashion designer admits in court procuring prostitutes for Gabonese President Gabon
2,000 refugees kicked as Rwandan military clears refugee camps
Clinton uses OK bombing to push for new powers, like monitoring telephone & credit & travel records of suspected “terrorists” w/out evidence of a criminal act or plan for one. And require phone comps to assure wiretaps access on digital lines. Clinton also takes the opportunity to attack talk radio
Bosnian Serbs, dictating mvmts of diplomats flying into Sarajevo airport, last week making US ambassador drive out, this wee trying to limit a deputy asst sec state to 3 hrs w/Bosnian gov & force him to meet Serbs
Fr presidential elections: socialist Lionel Jospin surprises by getting 23.3%. Many expected a right-right runoff, but PM Balladur only gets 18%, Chirac 20%. LePen 15%, CP 8.6%, Green 3.3%.
CIA station chief in Guatemala was reprimanded 9 mos before being removed for not disclosing links to the colonel, for suppressing reports of rights violations, failing to warn US ambassador of army plan to destroy her reputation. In 8 yrs, this is 6th Latin American COS to be removed, for lying, sexual harassment, threatening underlings at gunpoint, letting a ton of cocaine get shipped to US, sloppy book-keeping.
Soviet archives are closing down outside access bit by bit, w/secret-police agents reappearing in archives & research institutes. Dramatic disclosures have been ordered by Yeltsin to tarnish CP or Gorbachev or as gifts to foreign govs. What has been recently released: Stalin directive to Molotov 1930 to shoot coin-hoarders & cashiers, proof that they have Flight 007 black box, that Stalin ordered invasion of S Korea 1950, that were undecided about invading Poland early 1980s
Sup Court 7-2 rules a rule change decreasing parole hearings to 3 yrs (4?) for multiple murderers does not violate ex post facto because it had only “the most speculative & attenuated possibility” of increasing sentences. I believe Thomas is assuming a neg. result to these hearings
Lobbyists for Georgia-Pacific (wood products) wrote provision of upcoming leg intended to stop EPA inquiry into its violations of Clean Air Act by barring gov suits for actions taken on advice of a state or fed official. In no other case is gov bound by the word of mistaken officials, as in taxes.
Gingrich won reelection 1990 by only ½%, & 1992 primary by 980. And this by outspending 5 to 1
Clinton backs off demand for permission for FBI to infiltrate groups w/out evidence of a crime or plot, but wants 1,000 new feds, “tagging” of plastique to individualize it, allow military to help investigate crimes involving “weapons of mass destruction.”
Sup Court 5-4 says Congress did not have authority in 1990 to ban possession of a gun w/in 1,000 ft of a school as a fed crime. Gov claims under commerce clause (crime is bad for the economy) Sup Court hasn’t overturned a commerce law since 1936 (min wage & max hrs in coal). One wonders what leg functions vulnerable to this sort of challenge, starting w/Brady law, abortion clinic protection....
Berlin will merge into state of Brandenburg if approved by legs & referendum
Br using nat lottery money to pay Churchill’s family £15m for his personal papers
Israel to confiscate 135 acres in E Jerusalem for new Jewish neighborhoods & a police hq
UN still trying to persuade Rwandans in refugee camps that it is safe to go home, though UN kept out of parts of the camp & military a) massacred, b) starving out, the refugees, might indicate how safe they are.
Tony “Principles without power are useless” Blair gets a Labour Party special conf to abandon Clause 4
Israeli Army commander in W Bank says soldiers’ task is to kill wanted Palestinians. Official policy is, of course, allegedly to arrest them
Russia has also promised Iran a gas centrifuge that would enrich uranium
Orrin Hatch demands D’s accept a 1-yr limit on appeals in capital cases as price for not trying to repeal ban on assault weapons
There was a war-crimes tribunal in Leipzig 1921. 901 cases. 888 acquitted or summarily dismissed
Referendum in Kazakhstan to extend President Nazarbayev’s term to Dec00. Uzbekistan did same last mo. & Turkmenistan & Kyrgyzstan will follow. The Kazakh election was uncontested
Yeltsin orders cease-fire in Chechnya for 3 weeks for the 50th anniversary of V-E Day celebrations
In response to Oklahoma bombing, some examination of far-right, anti-gov rhetoric. G. Gordon Liddy’s radio show, on which he once told people to shoot for the heads of Fed agents, and NRA fund-raising letter saying Clinton gave law enforcement permission to “murder law-abiding citizens” & calling ATF “jack-booted thugs,” a favorite phrase, sometimes used by R. congresscritters
OK senate votes unanimously to ask stations to stop broadcasting Liddy
Russia extends draft from 1½ to 2 yrs