Copyrighted material



Kirkuk Orders Tens of Thousands Shiite Arabs to Leave

On Feb. 4, the Iraqi Higher Committee for the Normalization of Kirkuk ruled that Arabs who moved to the city from other parts of Iraq after July 14 1968 -- when the Baathist party of former president Saddam Hussein came to power -- would be returned to their original towns and given monetary compensation

Iraq Rebels Don't Need Iran to Make Better Bombs

by Alexander Cockburn The improvised EFPs used in Iraq don't need to have Iranian-manufactured components. The necessary equipment consists of the copper bowl (a hand beaten one like they sell to tourists all over the Middle East is fine), a 6" to 9" diameter iron or steel sewer pipe or oil pipe (the oil pipe is excellent quality steel), a few pounds of explosive and a fuse. The 380 tons of US RDX explosive that went missing due to lax security would be ultra-high quality stuff for the job. All the insurgents need is one or two chalk talks or a videotape to learn how to make an EFP. That's all it takes to transfer the technology

Will They Nuke Iran?

by Alexander Cockburn Brinkmanship suits everyone's book. Ahmadinejad, facing serious political problems, can posture about standing up to the Great Satan. Olmert can say Ahmadinejad wants to finish off Israel and kill all the Jews. Bush sees Iran as a terrific way of changing the subject from the mess in Iraq and putting the Democrats on the spot

White House Meddling With Climate Science Has Done Lasting Damage, Senate Told

by J.R. Pegg The Bush administration's political interference with climate scientists has done lasting damage to the nation's ability to prepare for the challenges of global warming, a former senior associate with the federal climate research program told a Senate panel

Japan's Rising Crime Rate Tied to Working Poor

by Suvendrini Kakuchi According to police statistics, more than 42,000 robberies were committed by persons older than 65 years in 2005, six times greater the number recorded in 1991. Surveys also showed almost all of those arrested were heavily in debt to loan companies after losing their jobs or companies

Japan's "Lost Generation" of Brilliant Shut-Ins

by Sandip Roy When Japan's economic bubble burst, stories emerged about the hikikomori, the thousands of young men who lock themselves in their rooms, isolating themselves from the world and even their own families for weeks, months, sometimes years

The Left's Favorite Whipping Boy (on the Left) Speaks Out

by Steve Young One wonders whether if the trashing comes not from his liberal inadequacy but by his critics' own expectations; that Colmes is Colmes; that he is not Hannity. You just know people want him to Hannity the guest. They'd like him to be more demonstrative. Ask more loaded questions. Corner his prey. Pounce on him. Cut the lying liar into tiny little pieces leaving him to rot in the sun while the vultures pick at what's left (or right) of his vapid argument. Even more so, they want him to Hannity Hannity

Let's Declare August 8 "Mollyday"

by Steve Young I beseech writers and websites all over the world to make August 8th, Molly Ivin's birthday, a day of satire. A day where they drop their on-the-money reflections and replace them with cleverly-worded, insightful, and inciting, columns and blogs that give readers credit for being able to think past the words. And if I might up the ante just a bit, we can do more

O'Reilly as Joe McCarthy? Get Real

by Steve Young I'm sorry, Mr. Olbermann. While I find your similitudes to be rather amusing, I find this particular analogy to be both erroneous and Senator McCarthy. Bill-o is FAR WORSE

Oprah Helps O'Reilly Rewrite Past

by Steve Young The Bill O'Reilly Image Rehabilitation Tour stopped by Oprah this week, and the most trusted woman in America got played again. The same woman who was molested as a child by a family member got betrayed anew, but by an even more manipulative predator. But this time much of the fault lies at Oprah's doorstep

Trial Begins for Dissident Army Officer

by Aaron Glantz Lt. Watada faces four years in prison if he is convicted of all the charges against him. That's because he's not charged only with refusing to go to Iraq, but also for 'conduct unbecoming of an officer' for speaking in public forums against the war

But the number of injured has far outstripped the dead, with the Veterans Administration reporting that more than 150,000 veterans of the Iraq war are receiving disability benefits

IPCC Report Called Too Cautious

by Stephen Leahy Because of a mandatory cut-off date for submissions, the newest IPCC report does not include assessments of the latest published studies showing that ice sheets in Greenland and elsewhere are melting much faster than previously thought. Rahmstorf's own research published last December in Science magazine states that the sea level rise is more likely to be between 50 and 140 cm by 2100

South Pacific More Vulnerable to Global Warming Than Thought

by Shailendra Singh Experts say that the tiny Pacific Island nations, which collectively account for a mere 0.0012 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, are the most vulnerable and would be the first to feel the full brunt of global warming. Because the Pacific Islands are small and un-influential and their concerns easily ignored

Capturing Carbon Will Be Most Critical Challenge of Century

by Stephen Leahy Capturing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and pumping the global warming gas deep underground or under the sea may well be the most critical challenge we face, at least for the next 100 years, writes Daniel Schrag, director of Harvard University's Center for the Environment, in the journal Science

"The Hero is the one who can Survive by Whatever Means"

"I'm an 11-year-old boy who has never been to school -- so I can neither read nor write. For the past two years I have been living on the streets of Baghdad, surviving on leftovers that I scavenge from garbage or by stealing from people and shoplifting"

Bush Admin Fails to Produce Link Between Iraq Terror and Iran Gov't

by Gareth Porter The first major effort by the Bush administration to substantiate its case that the Iranian government has been providing weapons to Iraqi Shiites who oppose the occupation undermines the administration's political line by showing that it has been unable to find any real evidence of an Iranian government role

Congress Seeks to Block Bush Attack on Iran With "Resoliferation"

by Jim Lobe Increasingly concerned about the escalating rhetoric against Iran by senior U.S. officials, including President Bush, members of Congress are trying to put limits on his ability to attack the Islamic Republic. Their efforts so far have primarily taken the form of what one lobbyist refers to as 'Resoliferation'-- that is, the proliferation of a number of mostly non-binding resolutions -- in both the House of Representatives and Senate asserting that Bush must seek Congress's approval before any attack on Iran or any of Iraq's other neighbors

Bush Unveils Largest Pentagon Budget Since WWII

by Jim Lobe 'What's remarkable about this year's military budget is that it's the largest budget since World War II, but, of course, we're not fighting World War II,' noted William Hartung, a defense expert at the World Policy Institute in New York. 'We're fighting terrorist networks armed with explosives and AK-47s. This has to be considered a triumph of an arms lobby that can obviously sell us things we don't need at a time that the president claims we're in mortal danger'

Money Pouring Into Afghanistan for Guns, not Needed Butter

by Dad Noorani Anticipating a Taliban spring offensive against the Afghanistan government, international assistance to the war-torn country has increased sharply. The United States recently committed $10.6 billion, which includes $8.6 billion to beef up the country's security forces. It will also contribute armored vehicles and light arms to the Afghan National Army. The European Union has promised a 600 million euro assistance package for Afghanistan for 2007-2010. The question on most people's minds is whether more assistance largely spent on non-development priorities will actually help to improve the situation in Afghanistan

Indonesia Won't Share Bird Flu Samples if Big Pharm won't Share Vaccines

by Marwaan Macan-Markar Indonesia's decision not to share local samples of the bird flu virus with the World Health Organization (WHO) reflects fears harbored by developing countries of being marginalized in the race to find a vaccine for this deadly disease

Bush Inaction on Darfur Frustrates Activists

by Jim Lobe In late November, Natsios, Bush's former chief of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) who was appointed special envoy for Darfur under pressure from the activist groups, announced that Washington was prepared to impose additional sanctions as part of an unspecified 'Plan B' if Khartoum did not agree to the peacekeeping deployment by Jan. 1

Mexico Rapidly Exhausting Its Oil Reserves

by Diego Cevallos Mexico has been emptying its oil reserves at an unsustainable rate and has been going into debt to obtain it. While measures have been taken to increase the output from oil fields, they come at a high price. Unless this behavior changes, the country will experience a serious crisis

Sudan's Oil Boom Displacing Poorest for "Dreamland"

by Noel King At present, the 9-million-square-meter tract in the state of Gezira does not look like much more than a bleak, windswept desert. But Egyptian and Sudanese investors, who paid $13 million for the land, intend, within six years, to transform it into the Dreamland complex: a lush oasis of shopping centers, villas, pools and an 18-hole golf course. The struggle over this land parallels problems cropping up all around Khartoum. An economic boom spurred by investment in Sudanese oil has caused land prices to skyrocket. Some of the land has been occupied for more than two decades by squatter families who have no legal rights to their plots

Norway Building "Doomsday Vault" to Save Earth's Seeds

A fail-safe vault designed to protect the agricultural heritage of humankind -- the seeds essential to agriculture of every nation -- will be constructed this year on the Arctic island of Svalbard not far from the North Pole

Gloomy Intel Findings on Iraq: Hopefully It's Only a Civil War

by Jim Lobe The NIE, which has been six months in preparation and represents the consensus views of the vast U.S. intelligence community, also stressed the violence in Iraq is internally generated and sustained, refuting recent suggestions by the senior Bush administration officials that Iran is playing a major role in support of Shiite militias

The New Cold War: Russia's Plan to be Oil, Gas Superpower

Analysis by Paolo Pontoniere A new Cold War is under way, but unlike the conflict of the Reagan era it is not a fight for military supremacy but rather for gaining control, directly or through commercial proxy, of energy resources. At the heart of this new conflict are Western attempts to diffuse Russian President Vladimir Putin's drive to transform his country into a new oil and gas superpower with vast bargaining power with the European Community

Iraq Food Supply Collapsing

by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily Prices of imported goods have increased dramatically. And so most of the food in Iraqi markets today is imported, and more expensive due to skyrocketing fuel costs and lack of government regulation. Imported foods like chicken, fruits and vegetables now cost more than locally grown foods

Bush Declares Africa a new Theatre for Pentagon Command

by Jim Lobe Since the 1993 'Blackhawk Down' incident, in which 18 U.S. servicemen were killed in Somalia, Washington has generally resisted African and international pressure to put boots on the ground in Africa, particularly in peacekeeping missions for which until now it has provided only logistical and financial support. Nonetheless, Washington's military presence in the region -- especially in the Horn, in the Sahelian region, and, to a somewhat lesser extent, in oil- and gas-rich West Africa -- has grown steadily since the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon

Right-Wing Likely to Raise Fuss Over Barack's Colorful Past

by Michael Sheridan and Sarah Baxter When Barack Obama, America's newest presidential hopeful, was hit by allegations that he had attended a radical Islamic madrassa school as a boy in Indonesia, the claims spread like a virus through the media and internet. It was a lie -- the school was barely more religious than British church schools -- but his heritage is far more diverse and astonishing than anything American voters have heard so far

Mexico Donating Spanish Language Textbooks to U.S. Schools

by Louis E. V. Nevaer The United States has the fastest-growing Spanish-speaking population in the world and Mexico is helping by donating Spanish textbooks. While Americans may fret that Johnny can't read, Mexico wants to make sure that Juanito pueda leer

Iran Struggling With Its Own Sunni Terrorism

by Kimia Sanati A week after alleged Sunni militants blew up a vehicle transporting members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, killing 11 and injuring 18, sectarian tension is reported prevailing in the predominantly Sunni southeast that borders Afghanistan and Pakistan

Kurds on Alert as Turkish Troops Move Toward Iraqi Border

by Mohammed A. Salih Over the past few weeks, movements by Turkish troops on the border with Iraq are reported to have increased. Turkey has deployed around 240,000 troops on the border strip with Iraq, and has bombarded areas within northern Iraqi Kurdistan region several times over the past eight months

Falluja Defiant Amidst Chaos

by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily Resistance groups have taken the fight to the security forces. In one instance resistance fighters in four cars attacked one of the biggest police stations in the city with rocket propelled grenades and machine guns. Chief of the city council Abbas Ali Hussein was killed by unknown assassins. He was the fourth chief of council killed in the city within 12 months

The Secret Hand Guiding White House Mideast Policy

by Jim Lobe Abrams' personal influence over Bush could not possibly match Rice's, but his bureaucratic skills and political connections -- notably to the so-called 'Israel Lobby' of pro-Likud Jewish organizations and the Christian Right -- give him considerable clout. According to various sources, Abrams has been working systematically to undermine any prospect for serious negotiations

Was Maliki Government Behind Najaf Massacre?

by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily The people killed were mostly Shias from the Hawatim tribe that opposes the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq as well as the Dawa Party. These two pro-Iranian groups control the local government in Najaf and the government in Baghdad. Most people in the area believe the U.S. military was told by Iraqi security forces that 'terrorists' or the 'messianic cult' was attacking Najaf. They say the misinformation was intended to mislead occupation forces into attacking the tribe

Libby Trial Keystone is Bush, Cheney Perjury

by Joe Conason Whether the jury eventually finds the former White House aide guilty of perjury or not, the evidence shows that his bosses George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have misled the public from the very beginning about the vengeful leaking of Valerie Plame Wilson's CIA identity

Democrats Voting for Symbolic Resolutions, Not War Shutoff

by Aaron Glantz Senior Congressional Democrats are brushing off questions about cutting off funding for the Iraq war, and indicate they will do little to forcefully stop President Bush from sending 21,500 additional U.S. troops to Iraq

House Votes to Frown on Bush Iraq Plans

by Jim Lobe In a significant defeat for President Bush, the House of Representatives Friday voted 246 to 182 to 'disapprove' his plan to add an estimated 30,000 U.S. troops to the 140,000 marines and soldiers already deployed in Iraq. Seventeen Republicans voted with the majority Democrats to approve the non-binding resolution

Obama Inherits Democrats' Flawed Script on Race

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson The Democrats' strategy of trying to out-muscle Republicans on national security while downplaying race and poverty issues won't work too well for Barack Obama. In his presidential campaign Obama will be caught between those who demand he say more about race, and those who hope he won't

Iraq's Shadow Over America

by Andrew Lam In another generation, when a future U.S. president sends troops to occupy some intransigent country on a dubious objective, American pundits will most likely ask this familiar question made new: "Will it be another Iraq?"

Saudi Executions Drop as Victim Families Forgive or Strike Deals

by Emad Mekay To save their lives, families of the murderers tapped into a law here that derives from the Islamic Sharia law called the 'Pardon Provisions.' The law enables convicted murderers to appeal to the families of the deceased, also known as the 'blood-owners,' for forgiveness as instructed by the Koran

Executions Create Generations of Victims

by Mithre J. Sandrasagra The families of the executed suffered from 'shame, increased isolation and feelings of personal failure.' They might also feel responsible for the crimes of their relatives or blame themselves for their inability to save them from execution

Adoption - Guatemala Industry Without Oversight

by Ines Benitez Luxury hotels in the Guatemalan capital reserve entire floors for foreign couples visiting the country to adopt children -- a reflection of the demand that is growing steadily without oversight by any specific government authority

Bush Presidential Library to Include Revisionism Institute

by Bill Berkowitz In addition to the proposed library, where scholars of all political stripes could come and do academic research, Bush supporters are proposing a separate entity called the Institute for Democracy, which would be run by the president's foundation instead of the university, and where conservative ideologues would be paid to promote the Bush philosophy

Korea Deal a Victory for Realists - Just Like 1994 Clinton Korea Deal

by Jim Lobe Analysts from both the right -- like Bolton -- and the left pointed out that the core of the agreement was very similar to the 1994 Agreed Framework worked out between the administration of President Bill Clinton and Pyongyang. Democrats, who have long supported the kinds of bilateral talks that led to Tuesday's agreement, may also be tempted to score political points against the administration by pointing out that Tuesday's agreement could have been reached back in 2003, before North Korea had actually exploded a nuclear device

Neo-Cons Not Beating War Drums Over Iran

by Jim Lobe The neo-cons, who helped lead the year-long propaganda campaign to rally the country behind the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 with an admirable single-mindedness and urgency, appear far less focused on Iran, at least for the moment. If an attack on Iran is on the near-term agenda, the neo-conservatives have been decidedly off-message

Stricken Whaler May Sink Japan Plans to put Minke on Menus

by Suvendrini Kakuchi The stranding of a Japanese whaler off the Antarctic coast may wrecked plans by the government to promote whale meat as part of the country's traditional diet and resume commercial whaling on that basis

Feds Recognize First Tribe Since Bush Elected

by Peter Micek The American Indian tribe that welcomed Pilgrims to North America and celebrated the mythical first Thanksgiving received federal recognition last week. The Mashpee Wampanoag of Massachusetts waited 32 years for the call from the Bureau of Indian Affairs

U.S. in Peril, Losing Terror War Say American Foreign Policy Experts

by Jim Lobe According to the survey, the second in the last six months carried out by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for American Progress, two out of three foreign policy experts oppose President Bush's plans to increase troop levels in Iraq, while nearly 9 out of 10 say the war there is undermining U.S. national security

Neo-Con Masterplan was for Iraqi Shiites to Create Pro-Israeli Regime

by Gareth Porter The neo-conservative plan for invading Iraq reflected Wurmser's assumption that the United States would not need to plan a long military occupation of Iraq, because toppling Hussein's regime would unleash the power of the Iraqi Shiites

The Passing of the Greatest Storyteller

by Alvaro Vargas Llosa Whatever one calls the genre cultivated by acclaimed journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who passed away in Poland a few days ago, no imitator came close to his art. To say that he was a masterful chronicler of the revolutions, famines, civil wars and imperial breakdowns of the last half-century in Africa, Asia and Latin America is to state the obvious. He did more than that

Right Can't Wait to Swiftboat Hillary

by Joe Conason Dick Morris and assorted other characters from the old Clinton drama are preparing films and books to re-enact their vendetta, and Scaife and Ruddy can be relied upon to promote those efforts, as they have consistently done for the past several years

Iraq Hospitals Under Siege

Hospitals are getting caught in the midst of violent clashes between insurgents and U.S. or Iraqi troops, and between Sunni and Shia militias. In the course of these battles, ambulances are sometimes destroyed or confiscated and entire hospitals, particularly in the restive Anbar province, are taken over by a particular armed group -- whether official or non-official

Hillary's Lost the Peace Vote

by Robert Scheer Let's face it: No matter how much many of us who oppose the war in Iraq would also love to elect a female president, Hillary Clinton is not a peace candidate. She is an unrepentant hawk, a la Joe Lieberman. She believed invading Iraq was a good idea, all available evidence to the contrary, and she has, once again, made it clear that she still does

Before the Invasion, There Was Feith

by Robert Scheer Feith's office manufactured an 'Alternative Analysis on the Iraq-Al Qaeda Relationship,' which ignored the consensus of the intelligence community that the two natural enemies -- one a secular Arab government, the other a fundamentalist terror group bent on destruction of same -- were not, nor ever had been, working together, despite a shared enmity for the United States

Bush Budget Delivers the Bacon

by Robert Scheer President Bush's outrageous military budget has nothing do with fighting terrorism but everything to do with pumping up the profits of the administration's generous political donors in the defense industry. So, the question is: Will the Democrats have the guts to stop this betrayal of the public trust?

Libby Trial Evidence Building Case for Impeachment

by Robert Scheer The Libby case testimony, centered on the chicanery of the vice president, certainly suggests that impeachable offenses occurred at the highest level of the White House. Just how conscious the president was of the deceits conducted under his authority, what he knew and when he knew it, is precisely what an impeachment trial would determine.

Analysis: Ahmadinejad's Decline is Not Bush's Success

by Trita Parsi Washington's reading of developments in Iran is severely flawed. Most importantly, there is likely no significant relationship between the U.S.'s recently imposed unilateral financial sanctions and Ahmadinejad's dwindling popularity. The Bush administration seems to be confusing its sanctions policies with Ahmadinejad's incompetent economic policies. The push-back against Ahmadinejad has, according to observers of Iran's domestic political scene, far more to do with his failed economic policies and his populist promises, which have created exaggerated expectations among the Iranian populace, than with Tehran's nuclear posturing or Washington's financial sanctions

Bush "Accelerating Environmental Protection," EPA boss tells Senate

by J.R. Pegg EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson Johnson told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that the Bush administration is 'accelerating the pace of environmental protection,' but his comments did little to satisfy Democrats who contend recent EPA decisions have undermined regulations that protect public health and the environment

D'Souza: Neo-Cons Join Bin Laden in Hating Liberal America

by Ivan Eland Dinesh D'Souza, a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University, has raised a ruckus in his new book 'The Enemy at Home.' In the book, he contends that the 9/11 attackers were motivated by neither U.S. foreign policy abroad nor by a hatred of U.S. freedom, as President Bush has repeatedly argued. Instead, D'Souza declares that Osama bin Laden hates the liberal U.S. culture that promotes contraception, abortion, and homosexuality

Jakarta Floods Linked to Illegal Construction, Not Unusual Weather

by Kalinga Seneviratne The worst ever floods to hit the Indonesian capital, which submerged 60 percent of the city and killed 85 people earlier this month, are being attributed to uncontrolled construction rather than unusually heavy rain, by a broad spectrum of analysts

Hardliners in Iran Love Bush Brinkmanship

by Kimia Sanati Whether or not the military posturing by the United States and Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman actually results in armed hostilities, militarists in Iran are having a field day. While politicians such as Rafsanjani, Khatami and Mehdi Karrubi (reformist former parliament speaker) are seeking to lower tensions, the militarists see an opportunity in the confrontation

2003 Iran Diplomatic Letter Reviewed by White House, Says Former Aide

byGareth Porter The identification of Rove as a recipient of the secret Iranian proposal throws new light on the question of who in the Bush administration was aware of the Iranian proposal at the time. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denied in Congressional testimony last week that she had seen the Iranian offer in 2003 and even chastized former State Department, National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency official Flynt Leverett for having failed to bring it to her attention at the time

Factory Farms a Major Source of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

by Stephen Leahy Factory farms are responsible for bird flu and greater emissions of greenhouse gases than cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs,) according to a new report. The growing numbers of livestock around the world are also responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions as measured in carbon dioxide equivalent, according to the FAO, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

Homeland Dept. Inspectors Find Widespread Abuse of Jailed Immigrants

by William Fisher Suspected illegal immigrants held in detention by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are failing to receive timely medical treatment and adequate food, are subjected to frequent sexual harassment, and have their access to lawyers, relatives and immigration authorities improperly limited. These are among the findings of the department's inspector general, based on an audit of the U.S.-owned and operated Krome Service Processing Center in Miami, a contract with the Corrections Corporation of America's facility in San Diego, and local jails and prisons

Time for Hillary to Admit Error -- and Act

by Joe Conason She endorsed the potential use of force because she wanted the inspectors to return to Iraq -- as she has said many times. She then watched President Bush terminate the inspections unilaterally, violating his pledge to seek a peaceful resolution. Trusting him was a mistake that she should no longer be unwilling to admit

Trial for Dissident Army Officer Ends in Mistrial

by Aaron Glantz The court-martial of the first commissioned U.S. military officer to refuse to serve in Iraq ended abruptly Wednesday when the military judge overseeing the proceedings declared a mistrial over a technicality

1 in 11 Romanians Infected With Hepatitis

by Claudia Ciobanu It is estimated that around 1.5 million Romanians carry one of the viruses without being aware of it. Medical reports suggest that most people in Romania got infected during the 1980s because of poor conditions in hospitals and polyclinics and negligent medical practices such as using non-sterile syringes and transfusions with untested blood

Germany Takes One Step Forward, Two Steps Back on Green Energy

by Julio Godoy The causes of global warming have been established firmly by world scientists, and the solutions set out. The question now is, who will implement these solutions. Germany is finding alternatives to foreign dependence on energy, but not it seems, for the sake of the atmosphere

What's the Real Goal of the Surge?

by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily Some Iraqi military strategists believe that the recent troop increase will be of no value if the goal is security and prosperity for all Iraqis. 'Their goal is to crush as many oppositionists as possible,' Duraid Aziz, a 46-year-old lawyer and military analyst from Mosul. 'The first step of their security plan was to raid the Adhamiya Sunni area (of Baghdad) while Mehdi death squads continue to kill Iraqis under the eyes of the U.S. army'

N Korea Disarmament Deal Doesn't Cover Chemical, Bio WMD

by Antoaneta Bezlova Despite being described as the 'implementation' document of an earlier 2005 denuclearization agreement among the parties, the current deal has more specifics and a precise timetable. The agreement reached this week in Beijing appears less comprehensive and unequivocal as it omits reference to North Korea's biological and chemical weapons programs. It also postpones a resolution of Pyongyang's suspected clandestine uranium enrichment program

Climate Catastrophes Inevitable, Says New Report

by Julio Godoy Temperatures, that the report says could rise by a global average of 6 degrees by the year 2100, could lead to rising sea levels and the destruction of cities and territories located near the seas, melting of glaciers in the North Pole and in higher mountains zones such as the European Alps, and droughts and desertification in vast areas. The IPCC warns that heat waves, such as the one observed in 2003 in Europe, are likely to become more intense, more frequent and longer-lasting in the coming decades, and that tropical storms and hurricanes will probably be stronger

U.S. Military Booting Out Soldiers With PTSD Symptoms

by Aaron Glantz 'A lot of guys really want to get out,' Garrett Rappenhagen, chairman of the board of Iraq Veterans Against the War, told IPS. '"And the military, rather than take the responsibility that this guy has actually just fought in a war and is possibly damaged from that, is just allowing these guys and almost helping these guys get these discharges just to get out of the military and get rid of a problem'

Terror Victims Seeking U.S. Asylum Blocked by Rigid Anti-Terror Policies

by Sarnata Reynolds On January 11, 2007, the Department of Homeland Security recognized the dire consequences of these laws and agreed to provide waivers to eight discreet groups of refugees, and consider duress waivers on a case-by-case basis. This limited concession, however, applies to a very narrow category of people and provides no remedy whatsoever to detained asylum seekers who do not fall within the waiver categories. Worse, DHS has yet to provide a procedure to apply for a waiver, so even those asylum seekers who may benefit have no way of requesting one

Black on Black Homicides Fuel National Murder Surge

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Black murders are off the chart in many of America's big cities. The Bureau of Justice in its report on homicides went one better and found that the black murder rate is many times higher than that of whites, or even Latinos. In fact it's the leading cause of death among black males ages 16 to 34. By contrast, among white males, murder drops to number five as a cause of death, after accidents, suicide, cancer and heart disease. More police, dozens of new prisons and tougher laws haven't curbed black violence

Desperate or Dishonest Schemes to Fix or Exploit Global Warming

by Stephen Leahy With the stark realization that global warming is transforming our world, there will be crazy new era of desperate geo-engineering schemes, grandfathering of newly-built coal power plants and carbon-credit profiteering, environmentalists warn

Public Broadcasting's State of Fear

by Michael Winship Public broadcasting in America has perpetually struggled to recapture the spirit of its early days; the ragged-edge innovation, willingness to take risks, the opportunity for all kinds of people to participate in the creation of programming that reflected a panoply of their interests and concerns. The problem, of course, is financing. The old joke in public broadcasting: the good news is, you've got partial funding; the bad news is, you've got partial funding

Misinfo Clouds Research on Mara Salvatrucha Gang

by Diego Cevallos Understanding the world of youth gangs in Central America and Mexico is difficult. Some studies assert that their power is exaggerated and that they are closely related to poverty, others say poverty is not a determining factor, and there are also those who say the gangs are dangerous organizations that cut across national borders. But despite the differences, most research studies agree that adopting a hardline approach to wiping out the gangs or maras, as they are known in Central America, will not solve the problem, and moreover it will cost the state too much money

Iraqis Drinking From Rivers as Water Supply System Collapses

Diarrhea among children has increased some 70 percent in Anbar since the beginning of 2006. Among adults, the increase is 40 percent because they are more resistant than infants. After analyzing all the possible reasons [for diarrhea], we found that 95 percent of the cases were due to the ingestion of contaminated water from rivers

Bush Plays Into Osama's Hands With "Surge"

by Adam Elkus As revealed in a 2005 strategy document, al-Qaeda hopes to repeat Osama bin Laden's victory over the Soviet empire in Afghanistan by eliminating the chief obstacle in the way of establishing an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East. The goal is not, as Bush administration and right-wing pundits proclaim, to conquer or directly destroy America. Osama bin Laden wants to provoke the United States into destroying itself

Schwarzenegger's Health Care Reform Plan Boosts Insurance Industry

by Rose Ann DeMoro Most insidious is the Governor's proposal to require all individuals to buy health insurance without any controls on insurance premiums, drug or hospital charges or standards to affirm that individuals are getting more than junk insurance

Drug, Terror Links to Latin Youth Gangs Exaggerated

by Guthrie Gray Sensational accounts by the media, politicians and police have exaggerated the connection between Central American youth gangs and drug trafficking, international organized crime and terrorism, according to a report released this week

Comments? Send a letter to the editor.

Albion Monitor Issue 154 (

All Rights Reserved.

Contact for permission to use in any format.