Israel brushes aside U.S. pressure over
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel
sought on Monday to lower U.S. expectations for any deal with the Palestinians
this year, brushing aside pressure over settlements and calling for decisions
on Jerusalem's future to be deferred.
European powers to continue with Lisbon
Treaty despite Ireland �No� vote
The major European powers, led by Germany and France, have
made clear they will seek to defy Ireland�s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in
the referendum held June 12. In a 53 percent turnout, 53 percent voted �No�
while 46 percent voted in favour.
Bush's former Iraq ambassador to seek Afghan
In his time, he has been President George Bush's point man
in Baghdad, Kabul and the UN, as well as a lobbyist for both the Taliban and
international oil companies. Now Zalmay Khalilzad is preparing to run for the
presidency of his native Afghanistan.
Corn sets all-time high on U.S. crop fears
LONDON (Reuters) - Corn prices surged to a record high on
Monday and looked set to climb further as widespread flooding in a key
producing region, the U.S. Midwest, helped to heighten concern about tight
supplies, dealers said.
Cheney admits error, this one about Chinese
WASHINGTON � Vice President Dick Cheney's office has
acknowledged that he erred when telling an audience this week that China is
drilling off the coast of Cuba. Citing columnist George Will, Cheney on
Wednesday told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that "oil is being drilled
right now 60 miles off the coast of Florida. We're not doing it. The Chinese
are in cooperation with the Cuban government."
APNewsBreak: Companies get OK to annoy polar
WASHINGTON - Less than a month after declaring polar bears a
threatened species because of global warming, the
Bush administration is giving oil companies permission to annoy and potentially
harm them in the pursuit of oil and natural gas. The Fish
and Wildlife Service issued regulations this week providing legal
protection to seven oil companies planning to search for oil and gas in the
Chukchi Sea off the northwestern coast of Alaska
if "small numbers" of polar bears or Pacific walruses are
incidentally harmed by their activities over the next five years.
Human cost of Brazil's biofuels boom
BOCAINA, BRAZIL -- For as far as the eye can see, stalks of
sugar cane march across the hillsides here like giant praying mantises. This is
ground zero for ethanol production in Brazil -- "the Saudi Arabia of
biofuels," as some have already labeled this vast South American country.
But even as Brazil's booming economy is powered by fuel processed from the
cane, labor officials are confronting what some call the country's dirty little
ethanol secret: the mostly primitive conditions endured by the multitudes of
workers who cut the cane.
CEO pay rose higher in '07 despite economic
NEW YORK - As the American economy slowed to a crawl and
stockholders watched their money evaporate, CEO pay still chugged to yet more
dizzying heights last year, an Associated Press analysis shows.
[Fact or Fiction?] Activists Preparing
Against Use of �Brown Note� at Dem Convention
Political activists planning protest rallies at the upcoming
Democratic Convention in Denver have their stomachs in knots over a rumor about
a crowd control weapon - known as the �crap cannon� - that might be unleashed
against them. Also called �Brown Note,� it is believed to be an infrasound
frequency that debilitates a person by making them defecate involuntarily.
Kristol: McCain And Graham Plan To Introduce
Legislation Undermining Supreme Court Decision On Guantanamo
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled
that Guantanamo Bay detainees have the right to challenge their detention in
civilian courts. Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wasted no
time in publicly blasting the decision, saying they were �disappointed�
in �one of the worst
decisions in the history of this country.�
Fox News presenter taken off air after Barack
Obama 'terrorist fist jab' remark
A Fox News television presenter is to be taken off air after
she accused Barack and Michelle Obama of greeting each other with a
"terrorist's fist jab." . . . E. D. Hill, a veteran of the Fox
network, made her comment after the presumptive Democratic nominee and his wife
affectionately bumped fists on stage last week as he prepared to make his
Mysterious fatal strokes in 3 U.S states
People in three southern U.S. states are facing a health
threat no one can explain: an abnormally high risk of suffering a fatal stroke
- even among tourists just visiting the region. Residents and visitors alike in
near-coastal areas of North and South Carolina and Georgia have a stroke risk
at least 10 per cent higher than people in other U.S. states.
SC first to get 'I Believe' license plates
S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's lieutenant governor announced Thursday that he is
willing to put up $4,000 of his own money so his state can become the first in
the nation to issue "I Believe" license plates with the image of a
cross and a stained glass window. The legislation allowing the plates was one
of several religious-themed bills to became laws in the closing days of the
state's legislative session.
Jun 16, 2008
Defense lawyers to challenge
A day after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling granting
detainees at Guant�namo Bay, Cuba, the right to challenge their detention in
federal court, military defense lawyers said they planned to use the decision
to mount new attacks on the government's war crimes prosecutions that could
stall or stop trials.
Europe struggles to keep reform plans alive
after Irish reject treaty
Political leaders across Europe were trying desperately last
night to keep EU reform plans on track after Irish voters overwhelmingly
rejected the Lisbon Treaty. The French and German governments led calls for the
other 26 EU nations to push ahead regardless with the ratification of the treaty.
But senior officials in Brussels accepted that � unless Ireland could be
persuaded to stage a second referendum next year � seven years of painful
negotiations to simplify and streamline the governance of the EU had come to
EU tries to isolate Irish after treaty
Germany and France moved to isolate Ireland in the European
Union yesterday, scrambling for ways to resuscitate the Lisbon Treaty a day
after the Irish dealt the architects of the EU's new regime a crushing blow.
Refusing to take Ireland's 'no' for an answer, politicians in Berlin and Paris
prepared for a crucial EU summit in Brussels this week by trying to ringfence
the Irish while demanding that the treaty be ratified by the rest of the EU.
G.O.P. Says Ex-Treasurer Stole Funds
An internal investigation by the National Republican
Congressional Committee has determined that $725,000 is missing from its
fund-raising accounts, money that the group says was stolen as part of a
six-year scheme carried out by its former treasurer.
Giuliani Plans to Aid Hopefuls, for His Share
WASHINGTON � With the Republican Party in need of money for
the November elections, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has offered to appear
at fund-raisers around the country for G.O.P. candidates. But there is a catch:
He wants some cash out of the deal.
Iraq Says U.S. Security Pact Talks at Impasse
BAGHDAD � Iraq�s negotiations with the
United States on a security agreement governing America�s long-term involvement
in the country are at an impasse because America�s demands infringe upon Iraqi
sovereignty, the country�s prime minister said Friday.
Exclusive: New batch of terror files left on
Secret government documents detailing the UK's policies
towards fighting global terrorist funding, drugs trafficking and money
laundering have been found on a London-bound train and handed to 'The
Independent on Sunday'.
Many historians see little chance for McCain
One week into the general election, the polls show a dead heat. But many presidential scholars doubt that John McCain stands much of a chance, if any. Historians
belonging to both parties offered a litany of historical comparisons that give
little hope to the Republican. Several saw Barack Obama�s
prospects as the most promising for a Democrat since Roosevelt trounced Hoover
Lieberman irks Democrats by criticizing Obama
WASHINGTON - Joe Lieberman is
fast becoming the Democrats' public enemy No. 1. The four-term Connecticut senator,
who came tantalizingly close to being Al Gore's vice
president in 2000, not only has been campaigning for his pal, presumed Republican nominee John McCain,
now he's publicly criticizing the Democrats' standard-bearer, Barack Obama. Lieberman has strayed before, most
notably switching from Democrat to independent in 2006 to hold onto his Senate
seat after a Democratic primary loss.
House GOP falls short on campaign cash
WASHINGTON - House rank and file Republicans are tens of
millions of dollars short of meeting fundraising targets set by their own
campaign committee in advance of this fall's elections, according to figures
circulating among the leadership, heightening concerns inside the party about
major losses in November.
Petrol prices pinching post office
WASHINGTON - Soccer moms and commuters aren't the only ones
feeling the bite of rising fuel costs � every time the price of gasoline goes
up a penny it costs the Postal Service $8 million.
Tim Russert vs. the News...
will likely be pummeled for what I am about to write, but I have to say
something. Although my heart goes out to the Russert family and his co-workers,
the non-stop 24/7 coverage of Russert's death is obscene. Yes, the man was well
liked, celebrated, a fixture for the beltway to gather around. I get it. And
yes, he deserves recognition and tributes. But this wall-to-wall coverage of
his death is beyond appropriate, bordering on insanity really. There are few
people in the world who deserve the kind of coverage Russert's death is
getting. I would say Ghandi, MLK, the Pope, etc., surely would have required
this kind of coverage because they were admired the world over, celebrated the
world over, known to people from every possible background.
Jun 13, 3008
Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that
foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the
Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts. The justices
handed the Bush administration its third setback at the high court since 2004
over its treatment of prisoners who are being held indefinitely and without
charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The vote was 5-4, with the court's
liberal justices in the majority.
Supreme Court ruling cripples Guantanamo
The future of President Bush's controversial military trial system
for terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay has been dealt a potentially
terminal blow by the US Supreme Court. In its third rebuke of the Bush
Administration's treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the court ruled that
the 270 foreign terror suspects have the right under the US Constitution to
challenge their detention in civilian courts on the American mainland.
Bush disagrees with court's Guantanamo ruling
ROME - President Bush on
Thursday strongly disagreed with a Supreme Court ruling
that clears foreign terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay
to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts. Bush suggested new
legislation may now be needed to keep the American people safe.
U.S. security talks with Iraq in trouble in
Baghdad and D.C.
BAGHDAD-A proposed U.S.-Iraqi security agreement that would
set the conditions for a defense alliance and long-term U.S. troop presence
appears increasingly in trouble, facing growing resistance from the Iraqi
government, bipartisan opposition in Congress and strong questioning from Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama .
New Gang of 14 [Republican members of
Congress] won�t back McCain
At least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to
endorse or publicly support Sen. John McCain for president, and more than a
dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator. Many of
the recalcitrant GOP members declined to detail their reasons for withholding
support, but Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.) expressed major concerns about McCain�s
energy policies and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) cited the Iraq war.
Some Hill Dems won't endorse Obama
The presidential race may be topic A, B and C in Washington
these days, but some people are just too busy to think about it � particularly,
it seems, centrist Democrats from conservative districts, who aren�t exactly
eager to align themselves with Sen. Barack Obama.
Central bank body warns of Great Depression
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the
organisation that fosters cooperation between central banks, has warned that
the credit crisis could lead world economies into a crash on a scale not seen
since the 1930s.
Scanners that see through clothing [being]
installed in US airports
NEW YORK (AFP) - Security scanners which can see through
passengers' clothing and reveal details of their body underneath are being
installed in 10 US airports, the US Transportation Security Administration said
Tuesday. A random selection of travellers getting ready to board airplanes in
Washington, New York's Kennedy, Los Angeles and other key hubs will be shut in
the glass booths while a three-dimensional image is made of their body beneath
Liberty, security and an anxiety over lost
Senior MPs last night used the debate on the 42-day
detention plan to warn that it would diminish ancient British freedoms that
would be difficult to win back. Sir Menzies Campbell used his first
parliamentary speech since resigning as the Liberal Democrat leader to issue a
rallying call to MPs to accept that their duty to protect freedom
"transcends all of our other responsibilities".
United Will Also Charge for Luggage
United Airlines said Thursday that it would begin charging
many passengers on Friday to check their first bag, joining American Airlines
in assessing a $15 luggage fee for passengers flying on the cheapest tickets.
Americans scramble to lock in next year's
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans looking past a painful summer
at the gas pump toward next winter are scrambling to lock in heating oil at
current near-record prices for fear of a worsening energy spike -- but the
dealers aren't offering.
N.Y. police consider giving all officers stun
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Police Department is
considering giving stun guns to officers who walk
the city's streets, a police spokesman said on Wednesday, prompting calls for
restraint from a human rights group.
Northern California jury holds TASER
International responsible for man�s death
On June 6, a federal jury in San Jose, California, found
TASER International, Inc., responsible for the February 20, 2005 death of
40-year-old Robert C. Heston in nearby Salinas, the first trial to establish
that the company�s weapon can kill a human being.
Probe Reveals Hundreds of Expired Products at CVS, Rite Aid
statewide sweep by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo found that more
than half of CVS stores and 43 percent of Rite Aid stores were selling expired
drugs, milk, eggs and baby formula.
Jun 12. 2008
Inquiry asks if speculators drive up oil
WASHINGTON -- The nation's top regulator of oil trading
announced on Tuesday the creation of a special federal task force to study the
role of speculators and the investment practices of large institutions that
critics believe are running up oil prices.
Corn prices surge to record high
Corn prices have hit new highs after the US Department of
Agriculture forecast that output would fall because of poor weather. Corn hit a
record price of $6.672 a bushel for July delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade
after the government cut its forecasts for the 2008 yield by 3%. Crops have
been hard hit by wet weather and flooding in the US.
Anti-war protesters banned from demonstrating
London police have announced a ban on anti-war campaigners
hoping to protest against President George Bush's visit to Downing Street this
Sunday. The Whitehall ban has been immediately condemned as a
"totalitarian act" by the playwright Harold Pinter, while Stop the
War organisers are urging people to defy it and to demonstrate nearby in
BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions
A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (�11.75bn)
may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq. The
BBC's Panorama programme has used US and Iraqi government sources to research
how much some private contractors have profited from the conflict and
rebuilding. A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations.
Doctors To Study Iraq Birth Defects
Sky News recently reported on families in the Iraqi city of
Fallujah who are calling for an independent investigation into their
concerns about a rise in the number of newborn babies suffering from
deformities. They raised concerns about the weapons used by American forces in
2004 during the war in Iraq - and are now questioning whether there could be
any links with the deformities. As a result of seeing our exclusive
report, one of the world's leading authorities on foetal medicine,
Professor Kypros Nicolaides, has decided to offer three scholarships to
obstetricians in Fallujah.
Bush warns Iran of 'all options'
US President George W Bush says he wants to pursue diplomacy
to deal with Iran's controversial nuclear programme, but "all options are
on the table". Mr Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said further
sanctions against Iran were possible.
US tax rebate could be pointless, says
PARIS (AFP) - The US government has failed if it believes
its one-off tax rebate will perk consumer spending and help revive the American
economy, according to a study released on Wednesday. Behavioural scientists
found that people given money as a lump sum are likelier to squirrel it away or
pay off debt, but if they are given the same amount spread as smaller, monthly
payments, they are more inclined to spend it.
Southern Baptists target political arena
INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - America's largest evangelical
denomination adopted a resolution on political engagement on Wednesday
signaling its intention to flex its muscles in the November presidential election. "Christians should seek to
apply their spiritual and moral values to the political process," read the
resolution, adopted on the second and final day of the Southern
Baptist Convention's annual meeting.
U.S. to erect more "virtual" border
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials announced plans for
more high-tech border fencing and rules making it harder for federal
contractors to hire illegal workers, but said on Monday it would take another
three years to declare victory in immigration control.
Home price drop means $4 trillion in lost
YORK (Reuters) - No one knows when the credit crisis will end. But when it
does, U.S home prices may have lost a third of their value, high-yield bond
valuations will hit levels close to those seen during the last recession, and
what may amount to $1 trillion of Wall Street losses
may translate into almost $4 trillion of lost access to capital.
Jun 11, 2008
Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment
Cleveland Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich took to the House
of Representatives floor on Monday evening to introduce a 35-count
resolution to impeach President George W. Bush.
Senate Republicans block taxes on oil majors
WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans have blocked a Democratic
plan to tax the windfall profits of the largest oil companies.
Iran's supreme leader opposes US-Iraq deal
TEHRAN, Iran - Iraq's prime minister
made little headway in easing Iranian opposition to a U.S.-Iraqi security pact,
as Iran's supreme leader told him Monday that American troops must leave the
country. The deal, which is still under negotiation, could lay the groundwork
for a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq.
The Iranians fear the deal would solidify U.S.
influence in Iraq and give American forces a launching pad for military action
US: Iraq security pact can be finalized in
BAGHDAD - The U.S. State Department's top Iraq adviser said
Tuesday he believes an agreement to establish a long-term security relationship
between Iraq and the United States will be
completed by the end of July.
Report confirms White House-Abramoff ties
WASHINGTON -- Convicted superlobbyist Jack Abramoff
influenced White House actions while his firm wooed administration officials
over expensive meals and plied them with box tickets to sporting events,
according to a House of Representatives committee report released Monday. The
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said Monday that it had
received new White House documents and testimony that confirmed 80 White House
contacts with Abramoff and uncovered 70 others despite White House assertions
that Abramoff had vastly overblown his administration connections. Abramoff,
who's cooperating with federal prosecutors after pleading guilty in an
expanding corruption investigation, previously reported that his former firm
had more than 400 contacts with White House officials.
Ex-official Says DoD Nixed Iran Attack
WASHINGTON - Pentagon officials firmly opposed Vice
President Dick Cheney's proposal to strike Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
bases last summer by insisting that the administration make clear decisions
about how far the United States would go in escalating the conflict with Iran,
according to a former Bush administration official.
Washington ordered destruction of Guant�namo
In another confirmation of the criminal character of
Washington�s handling of so-called �enemy combatants,� a �Standard Operating Procedure�
manual has come to light that explicitly instructs US interrogators at the
American prison camp in Guant�namo Bay, Cuba to destroy contemporaneous records
of their interrogations.
Supreme Court justices sold stock
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, whose
investments forced them to sit out cases before the Supreme Court, have
significantly reduced their stock holdings, their latest financial disclosures
show. Roberts sold all his shares in four companies last year _ Becton
Dickinson & Co., Cisco Systems Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Merck & Co.
Inc. _ worth $117,000 to $265,000. Alito sold all his stock in Intel Corp.,
worth $15,000 to $50,000, and reduced his holdings in three other companies,
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Exxon Mobil Corp. and McDonald's Corp. The
information was contained in the justices' annual report on their finances,
Bush confronted Rove�s sins in church
If you�re going to fire someone, you want to make sure you
do it in a place where the now-unemployed can�t make a scene. You know�a place
like, say, a church. That, according to a new book � �Machiavelli�s Shadow� �
by former Time magazine reporter Paul Alexander, is where
President George W. Bush informed trusted advisor Karl
Rove in 2007 that his services would no longer be needed at the White
Net Providers to Block Sites With Child Sex
ALBANY � Verizon, Sprint and Time Warner Cable have agreed
to block access to Internet bulletin boards and Web sites nationwide that
disseminate child pornography. The move is part of a groundbreaking agreement
with the New York attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, that will be formally
announced on Tuesday as a significant step by leading companies to curtail
access to child pornography. Many in the industry have previously resisted
similar efforts, saying they could not be responsible for content online, given
the decentralized and largely unmonitored nature of the Internet.
Conservative Group Funds New Anti-McCain
Campaign, Promoting "Mickey Mouse"
new online campaign, backed by conservatives, offers a way for Republicans to
vent their anger at John McCain: write in "Mickey Mouse" for
president. In most states, write-in candidates that reach a certain threshold
are reported as percentages just like the normal candidates are. The group's
plan is for Mickey Mouse to reach that point, as a way for voters to visibly
and effectively demonstrate their disgust.