Friday, April 28, 2006
In August, the son of Slovak prez was kidnapped & dumped in Austria where he has been held under an internat warrant for fraud. It seems that secret service were the ones who dumped him
Alabama, known for its new prison chain gangs, putting inmates who masturbate in front of female guards into hot pink uniforms
In Br, a 3-yr old Mensa member w/IQ of 152 is editor for a day of the Sun
FBI wants capacity to tap 1 of every 1,000 phone lines in urban areas (the current ave is 1,174,000)
House 288-139 bans a rare type of late-term abortion, what they like to call “partial birth”, almost always performed to save mother’s life. Inc 2 yr prison for doctors + $250,000. No exception for saving mother’s life or health
Last 3 DCIs, Webster, Gates, Woolsey say it’s not their fault their Russian intel was wrong
House votes for school vouchers for DC, $3,000. Gingrich calls DC schools violent, drug-ridden dens of illiteracy & ignorance. Or was that the Senate? Would also ban abortion in pub hospitals, repeal DC domestic partnership (249-172)
Indian state of Maharashtra since March under control of Hindu nationalist party run by Balasheb Thackery, a great admirer of Hitler & hater of Muslims. Evidently he renamed Bombay “Mumbai.” His people have threatened a newspaper & stopped sale of Salman Rushdie’s latest novel, which satirizes him. Police rounded up hundreds of Bangladeshi Muslims after the election. And a huge power-plant deal w/Enron (American) was canceled
NY Sup Court allows unmarried couples, inc gay, to adopt children. Only VT & Mass. do, by their sup courts
Bosnian UN war crimes tribunal asks US to make surrender of suspects a condition for any peace accord.
-At peace talks in Dayton, Bosnian gov wants parl to be dir elected, Serbs delegated by separate parls.
-In Mostar, supposedly under Bosnian-Croatian fed, the city as divided as Berlin was, w/separate license plates, currency, passports. And Croats voted in Croatian elections – overwhelmingly for Tudjman’s party. Mvmt over the city is restricted
Russian Sup Court overrules Electoral Commission’s bans on pol parties
One of the witnesses against Noriega in his 1992 trial was a man paid by Cali drug cartel, $1¼m, to testify against Noriega’s links to Medellín cartel. US made deal whereby a Cali leader got 9 yrs off his sentence. US claims this had no significance
Israeli PM Rabin assassinated at peace rally. 9 days after an Islamic Jihad leader killed in Malta. The assassin Jewish, but W Bank sealed off anyhow
Powell attacked by R’s right (I knew Hitler, & you, general, are no Hitler...) Pat Robertson says Powell “equivocated” on ability of people to have personal relationship to God. A group of righties note that he is a Rockefeller R. & Rockefeller was an adulterer. And Mrs Powell is on antidepressants
1994 gamblers (inc lotteries) spent $482b. Lottery = 3X movie tickets.
John Major rejects Nolan Cmte recommendations that MPs report outside income. Major doesn’t want professional politicians. Tony Banks says no one will accuse Major of being one.
Andreotti, while on trial, indicted for commissioning the Mafia to kill a journalist 1979
Walesa, his reputation in the toilet for yrs, comes in prez elections w/enough to force a run-off against the ex-CP candidate. Latter has a problem w/the Church over abortion
Budget passed by House, sorry, will be passed, inc all sorts of special interest stuff: no tax on boat fuel, impose Fed tax on Indian casinos (as regular casinos won’t), sell of ski resort lands on Forest Service lands, allow mining comps to buy the gov’s interest in Fed lands at rate not to inc the value of mineral deposits, allow coal comps to get out of paying health benefits to retired miners
Since Gingrich couldn’t appoint his own House historian (the woman who wanted equal space for Nazis & KKK), the post has been abolished
Amazing to see Rabin lauded as a saint. My hope is this will discredit the settlers. A lot of bitching about them never having thought a Jew would kill a Jew (shades of Oklahoma City). Peres is now PM.
Rabin’s widow blames Likud rhetoric. Likud’s head has been seen at a rally w/a picture of Rabin in SS uniform. Arafat ordered there be no pub gloating by fundies. The assassin was linked to “Kahane Lives”
Br Parl votes to require MPs to disclose outside earnings, 20 Tories crossing over. Some may resign in order to get rich
Shevardnadze easily wins Georgia elections
CA prison guards’ union now a major pol force, giving $1m to Wilson 1990, $530,000 1994, $101,000 to 3 Strikes, fought an assemblyman who opposed a prison bond initiative. Salaries for those w/7 yrs are $44,676, the best-paid guards in US, $10,000 more than teachers
Navy decides not to promote the guy who was in charge of equal opportunity who sexually harassed subordinates
Ch. gov to search for own reincarnation of Panchen Lama, the foreign ministry saying “The Dalai Lama’s arbitrary selection of a soul boy as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama is null and void.”
To get a concealed weapon permit in Texas, as one now can, one must take a nonviolent, conflict-resolution course & be in touch w/one’s inner child. And say in English “I have a handgun.”
Czech Republic, which brought us Semtex the plastique, now brings us Semtex the drink, the equivalent of Jolt
Afghan Taliban threats force UN there to stop using women employees. The gov ain’t much better, having banned its reps going to UN Women’s Conf
After only 6 mos, Fr Cabinet reshuffled, cut from 42 to 33, most women ejected. Its job will be fighting unions over budget cuts.
Sup Court says if forfeiture is part of a plea agreement, defendant has no right to judicial review of whether gov took more prop than the law allows
UN War Crimes judge Goldstone complains US w/holding data, inc satellite photos of mass graves, intercepted conversations. US 1st says it will cont. to “safeguard sources,” then says will give info. May be trying to prevent indictment of new friend & negotiating partner Milosevic.
Colin Powell decides he doesn’t have the passion to be president. But at least he does announce that he is a Republican, talks about broadening the party
Tobacco comps, having intimidated ABC into apologizing for an accurate news story, now get 60 Minutes not to broadcast an interview w/a former Brown & Williamson exec who has agreement w/the comp not to disclose internal matters (not that that should affect CBS) (oh, evidently it would be “tortious interferer” to induce someone to break a contract) – this has never been successfully used in suit against a news organiz. CBS CEO Larry Tisch linked to a tobacco comp.
In Tuesday elections, R’s didn’t do that well. Nor that badly, but the invincibility is gone. And R’s spent a fortune. But failed to win VA, Maine legs, KY governor. But Kirk Fordice reelected as governor of Miss, though losing every other statewide R (3 for state Sen., incumbents, lost). Newt was used in ads everywhere, esp VA. By D’s, I mean.
-Maine defeated anti-gay right measure
-Miss. rejected term limits
-Penn. allows children to testify by videotape
Nigerian gov confirms death sentences on opponents of the Ogoni region, who want compensation for environmental damage from oil drilling. Inc playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa. The trial a farce. Commonwealth meeting under pressure to expel Nigeria. Shell refuses to use its inf. Holdout: Mandela, who wants quiet dipl
R’s, still failing to pass budgets, putting more & more cute stuff in bill to extend gov’s borrowing authority, inc abolishing 6 gov agencies (so far) inc Commerce, limit death penalty appeals, environ crap
Fed appeals court throws out INS’s 1987 arrest of the “L.A. 8,” 7 Palestinians & a Kenyan arrested for promoting world communism. For 1st time said foreigners have free speech too
Fed judge quickly strikes down CA’s new “checkbook journalism” law making it illegal to accept money for info about a crime
Mich. appeals court reverses July94 custody case where judge said mother who had to work didn’t deserve the kid because she’d use day care
Energy Sec Hazel O’Leary paid $43, 500 of gov money to a comp to monitor reporters & rank their favorability to her – i.e., create an enemies list. She is not fired for it.
1986-94 CIA passed on to presidents & Pentagon 95 reports from foreign agents it knew to be controlled by Moscow, w/out warning the prezes
UN War Crimes Tribunal indicts 3 Serbian Army officers for killing of 260 in Kukovar 1991. These are 1st indictments in Serbia itself
Israeli police arrest 2 more in Rabin assassination, now talking about conspiracy rather than lone nut. A phone # in NY to raise money for the legal defense.
Nigeria executes the 9. US does bugger all; well, recalls ambassador, bans military sales, of which there are none, extends a ban on visas downwards, and utterly fails to stop oil sales to US – ½ Nigerian oil exports. World Bank rejects loan for a liquidification of natural gas project – which will mean continuation of bad environmental process of flaring gas – one of Saro-Wiwa’s main complaints. There is talk of expulsion from Commonwealth
Commonwealth also not thrilled w/Major for refusing to condemn Fr nuclear tests – as Prince Philip does
HUD orders Baltimore to drop a security contract w/Nation of Islam
Albanian Prez. Sihas law banning any member of Politburo or any MP before May91 from Apr96 elections. This inc heads of 2 opposition parties & many sitting MPs
Cameroon joins Commonwealth (#52)
And Nigeria suspended – the 1st time.
SA local elections finish democratization. ANC got 58% of coloureds (not all counted), Nats 7%
Israel has so far arrested 8, inc a soldier & 5 relig students. They are invoking “Pursuer” law, the right to kill someone chasing a Jew intending to kill him. Some settlers consider all Arabs to be pursuers. Shin Bet was tipped off a week before & did nothing.
Florida Gov Lawton Chiles’s staff authorized scare phone calls to 680,000 old people during elections 1994 accusing Jeb Bush of cheating on his taxes & his running mate of waiting to kill Soc Sec. The campaign paid for the calls, which were supposedly from 1 fake & 1 real organiz which did not authorize them
And this week in VA, R’s pretended to be D’s to try to inf a state leg election
Israel thinking about changing Law of Return to exclude US loonies – 1st Jew excluded.
-And new head of Islamic Jihad is a former U of S. Florida prof. The U is not happy.
-Someone points out, a propos the nonsense about Jews never killing Jews, Rabin commanded troops who shot Irgun activists wading ashore after the gov bombed their ship 1948. 17+ Jews killed.
Brazil to attempt land reform, expropriating 250,000 acres
Ch. gives Tibetan leaders choice of 3 children to be Panchen Lama, to be chosen by lot. None are the one chosen by Dalai Lama
Chief candidate for next PM of Sweden, 38-yr old Mona Sahlin, who organized Sw’s 1st Barbie Doll Club & youngest MP at 25, has to w/draw because used a gov credit card to buy personal items & failing to pay parking tickets. She did pay off the credit card, though late. No one else in Cabinet wants the job
Japan loses another cabinet minister for making stupid comments about Korean occupation
Peres “sets tone” on being confirmed as new Israeli Labor leader, by bombing Lebanon & w/drawing troops from Jenin in W Bank
Clinton vetoes 2 bills to keep gov going. Today, “unessential” parts close down, but Congress is somehow still in session. R’s delayed passing the stop-gap spending bills until after evening tv news. Treasury will sell off securities in gov retirement funds to pay for gov. R’s keep taking on new amends they couldn’t ordinarily pass inc banning environmental & safety regs. R’s insist Clinton sign on to balancing budget in 7 yrs
Croatia promotes a general 1 day after he is indicted by War Crimes Tribunal
Azerbaijan blatantly rigs elections
Australia refuses pol asylum to refugees from E Timor, PM saying he didn’t want to rupture relations w/Indonesia
EEOC, not quite getting the pt, wants “Hooters” restaurant chain to hire male waitresses
800,000 “unessential” fed workers furloughed for 3 days now. R’s insisting Clinton commit to balanced budget in 7 yrs – & to use Congressional rather than OMB numbers. 28,000 people/day come due for Soc Sec – and aren’t getting it. News reports focus on passports & nat parks
S Korea arrests Roh Tae Woo for taking bribes. Roh refuses to say “forgets”) who paid & who he paid from the slush fund. It is assumed pub contracts were awarded based on bribes
War Crimes Tribunal indicts Karadzic & Mladic for genocide in Srebrenica. They mention a grandfather forced to eat his grandson’s liver. Judge Goldstone can’t get US to promise surrender of those indicted as part of peace accord
The commander of US forces in the Pacific forced out after said the rape of a 12-yr old in Okinawa could have been avoided if the servicemen had paid for sex
Gingrich admits causing the gov shutdown in part because when Clinton took him on Air Force One to Israel for Rabin’s funeral, he was forced to exit by the rear stairs
-NY Daily News has a picture of him as infant in diaper, headline “Cry Baby.” R’s pushed measure through to bar it being shown in House chamber. Pat Schroeder holds up a model Oscar, awards it to him for best performance by a child actor
House R’s intro a school prayer amend that would also allow vouchers to relig schools & no doubt much else – the language is vague
One Congresscritter sends his staff home as “inessential” during the budget crisis
Ger SPD ousts Rudolf Scharping as head in favor of someone w/a personality, Oskar Lafontaine, of the Left
While Bosnian negotiations continuing in Dayton, House votes 243-171 to ban US troops from peacekeepers. Bosnian gov has hired Richard Perle as consultant for the negotiations. Yug. army has been rebuilding Bosnian Serb military, replacing communication links bombed by NATO, sending helicopters 7 planes w/supplies
-ITN insists US covered up arms drops to Bosnian gov
Gov being closed costs somewhere between $100 to 200m/day
House votes to kill nat speed limit but force states to put a 0.02% alcohol blood level limit on drivers under 21
House kills D attempt to force a pub report on Gingrich’s ethics
During intifada, Yigul Amir (the assassin of Rabin) really enjoyed Rabin’s “force, might & beatings” policy
Vatican says “infallible” that women can’t be priests
Aristide encourages violence again at a funeral of a murdered relative (& MP), and homes have been burned or looted. Most opposition boycotting the elections, though the Virgin Mary Party running
Walesa loses run-off to Kwasniewski. CP now controls Polish Parl & in 1½ yrs also Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia. Walese accused K., who won by 52%, of being part of a web of lies & thugs. Cardinal Glemp said the choice was between Christian & neo-pagan values. In the debate, Walesa told a reporter: “If abortion had been legal, you would probably have gone down the drain.” K. says Poland will still join EU & NATO. He failed to report his wife’s shareholdings in financial disclosure zones, or that he failed to earn his degree in ‘78. The consensus is that Walesa represents the old ways, the old fights. K. did well among the unemployed & peasants
Israeli secret service may have run the far-right loon group the assassin came from. Its head was on the payroll – the only 1 arrested to be released.
It. by decree to give legal status to illegal immigrants w/jobs & expel those convicted of crimes. Northern League threatening to torpedo the budget unless immigration stemmed. Cath Church objects
Fla. joins AZ & Ala. in starting chain gangs, excuse me, “restricted labor squads.” But they aren’t chained together.
Congress & Clinton agree to restart the gov until Dec. 15. R’s say Clinton caved on balancing the budget in 7 yrs, he claims the small print there is an out.
-The Fed. Helium Reserve never shut down.
Fed Judge voids much of CA’s Prop 187, esp those killing ed. & health care for illegal immigrants – since there is fed money involved
3 people in Chicago stab & shoot a 9-mo pregnant woman, kill her 2 children, in order to rip the fetus from her womb. The fetus survives (Update 11/22: Gingrich blames the welfare state)
Princess Di gives a... gasp... interview to BBC, talks about her affair & bulemia
Bosnian peace talks fail. US refused to arm & train Bosnian Army, Serbs made last-minute land demands, etc etc
Oregon’s Sen. race has a factual test. Most did not do well & Rep. Ron Wyden (D) couldn’t give the price of milk or gas or locate Bosnia on a map, name Canada’s PM or his state’s major employer
Israel grants citizenship to Jonathan Pollard, still in prison here
Article on comps using computers to sell term papers advertising in Rolling Stone, Playboy etc. $50 for 8-page standard, $200 for custom. They are for research only, cough, but the comps make sure not to sell the same paper to classmates.
Walesa’s people accuse opponent of election fraud
Gingrich, who wants to pay kids to read books, wants to pay parents $5,000 to bring kids to school already knowing how to read
There is a Bosnian peace after all, if you ignore, as everyone does, that the Bosnian Serb delegates didn’t sign it
Shell said it could not intervene in Nigeria’s kangaroo trial of Saro-Wiwa. Actually, it seems to have bribed 2 witnesses
In Turkmenistan the “sayings of Turkmenbashi” memorized in schools. There is a bizarre little personality cult for Prez Niyazov, who has several palaces & is building a new one
Under Bosnia accord, NATO forces can remove forces & weapons at will – Bosnian Serbs are not pleased. And Sarajevo would be undivided. Thus, Milosevic signed on behalf of Bosnian Serbs, but no one in their delegation signed & speaker of Parl called it a betrayal. And why not, Milosevic kept the map from them until the last minute. One notes that in ‘93 the same 3 presidents signed Vance-Owen but Bosnian Serb Parl killed it. Each side will keep own army, & US will not build up Bosnian army. Would be a rotating presidency. Bosnian gov not happy either, meaning only Serbia or Croatia are. UN already lifting sanctions on Serbia. Arms embargo to be phased out from 90 days after accord signed. Milosevic drank his way through the talks while Bosnia PM & Foreign Min weren’t on speaking terms. US found Milosevic so flexible they talked only to him. Too bad he can’t really speak for the Bosnian Serbs. Croatia to get E Slavonia back, over time. Arbitration later on town of Brcko. At end, they found Serbs only got 45%, so they had to take more from Croats to get it back to 49. US will send 20,000 troops, but only if Bosnian Serbs agree
Budget bill passed by Congress. Capital gains cut would cost billions every yr exc 2002, the yr the budget is supposed to be balanced. The child tax credit won’t be in April but in Oct., just before the election, which will cost IRS extra $308m to process forms. R’s claim IRS couldn’t handle it as early as April – IRS says it was never asked. Rep Bill Archer says 9% of tax cuts go to richest 1%, Treasury 17%, & poorest 20% would pay higher % of incomes. R figures are short-term, while main effects take a couple of yrs & really benefit the rich
-Gov shutdown cost $700-800m, ½ in salaries for workers not working, ½ in lost revenue
Baltimore ends contract of a priv comp running 12 schools
Bosnian Serbs accept the peace accord, but I don’t see Karadzic stepping down
Chechen military leader tells Russian tv where to find a parcel of radioactive cesium near entrance to a Moscow park. Says there are other parcels
Clinton’s promise to slash gov employees leading to use of priv prisons. Which may save #s but probably not money, esp when contracts allow comps to recoup building costs in only 5 yrs, fed gov pick up medical expenses. Priv comps hiring fed officials – a new revolving door. Wardens of the prisons say they don’t have to abide by fed rules – they have looser rules on the use of deadly force
Russian Defense Minister has gotten 123 officers inc 23 generals to run for Parl
S Korea says it will charge Chun Doo Hwan for 1980 Kwangju massacre
Princess Di admitted adultery. The man involved is subject to the death penalty...
Pat Robertson coerces tv networks inc CNN into not running commercials from Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays for using clips that take “out of context” his line: “Homosexuality is an abomination. Many of those people involved w/Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals. The two things seem to go together.”
3 weeks before prez elections, Aristide thinking about staying on
Old White House computer messages survive. Inc Ollie North saying he threatened Costa Rican president w/loss of aid if he exposed resupply of Contras from Costa Rica
R’s abandon plan to deny higher ed. aid to legal immigrants but still want to limit access to Head Start, calculate eligibility by adding sponsors’ income to parents
Ireland votes 50.2% to legalize divorce. Bishops allowed Caths to vote their conscience – then one threatened to w/hold sacraments to those who remarried. Pope & Mother Theresa intervened. Favorite billboard: “hell divorce, bye-bye daddy.” One group blamed Jews for the divorce law (there are 3 Jewish MPs of 166). Divorce only after living apart for 4 yrs. And can be non-consensual
2nd highest per capita recipient of US foreign aid is Armenia, which kept its main opposition party out of July elections & is now arresting people
2 people still in jail in Oregon after serving 5 yrs for a murder admittedly committed by the Happy Face Killer (who signs his confessions w/a doodle of...) The woman implicated her lover because of abuse. In fact, she tried to turn him in for a bank robbery he didn’t do the yr before. Oregon courts can ignore new evidence. (Update: released).
When US invaded Haiti, it seized 150,000+ pages of documents from military hq & Fraph – and took them to US, where refusing to give them back. Pentagon says Aristide not legally entitled to them – they belong to the ousted military gov – and anyway they’re American property now. At the very least, the papers would locate arms caches & find out who financed Fraph
Gingrich not to run for prez. Who asked him?
Fed judge strikes down the highly restrictive Republican rules for getting on ballot NY. Dole may not now be the only candidate.
Clinton finally addresses the nation on Bosnia – and actually does well in polls on it. Problem: no exit strategy, but the troops are supposed to be out in a yr. To send 20,000, 1/3 of the force
R’s coming slowly into line – after all, Dole wants to be an imperial president too.
Internat Herald Tribune agrees to pay libel to Lee Kwan Yew for the story that Singapore...no, it didn’t even get that specific... some Asian leaders use a compliant judiciary to bankrupt opposition politicians
Chernobyl internat trust fund runs out of money, but thyroid cancers in Belarus still 285X normal, all illnesses up 30%, 270,000 still displaced, and no one has tracked down the 800,000 workers & soldiers sent in
Br & Ireland agree to talks, since Clinton going to visit
Br budget inc a 1% income tax cut as bribe (that’s 1% of income, 4% of income tax)
A Detroit woman sold her 14 or 15-yr old to pay off crack debt. He was used to sell drugs & got hooked himself. Police ignored the grandmother’s attempt to report him missing because she was not legal guardian
Sup Court heard case on whether gov can fire their contractors in retaliation for criticism (a garbage contractor in Kansas criticized the country in print). Scalia: “I find it extraordinary that the gov can’t favor some ideas over others.”
Sup Court unan. says that employer can’t fire paid union organizers who work for them or refuse to hire same. NRLF – under Bush rules – bans firing union workers. House added rider to new appropriation bill banning this & NLRF had stopped pending this case. The law just said “employee,” so it was just an obvious dictionary decision
Warner-Lambert (drug) Comp pays $10m fine for hiding the faulty manufacture of drugs. It sold unstable drugs
In a Sup Court case on asset forfeiture, Clinton Justice on side of Mich. which took a car from a john. The case is on behalf of his wife, who had ½ ownership. Clinton gov suggested she didn’t take reasonable steps to stop him
Sen. Robert Smith (R-NH) voted to limit damage awards. His wife is suing for falling off a garage ramp
Pat Schroeder to retire from House
A Republican who ran for House & lost ‘94 indicted for lying in an ad. He blamed the winner for kidnapping & rape of a woman & 2 daughters Minn., for blocking a crime bill – which actually wouldn’t have affected the men in question
R’s haven’t approved any fed judges in months. Now they’re saying that the circuits have too many judges, meaning Clinton gets to name too many replacements
Fed Election Commission says Gingrich’s GOPAC illegally gave him $250,000 in hidden support 1990, when he only won by 974, outspending the Dem 5X. GOPAC was only supposed to work at state & local level. House votes to kill an interim report from House ethics cmte
In Poughkeepsie Church cemetery, miscarried fetus & amputated limbs taken from local Cath hospital & stuck in other people’s graves
US says Ch. not keeping promise to enforce US copyrights. As opposed to the dissident they sentenced w/out a peep from us