default.html Issue 132
Table of Contents

Hundreds of Whistleblower Cases Thrown Out

Special Counsel Scott Bloch defends his 13 months in office by pointing to a sharp drop in backlogged whistleblower cases. His office has dismissed or otherwise disposed of more than 1,000 cases in the past year

Iraq: The Devastation

by Dahr Jamail At least one car bomb per day is now the norm in the capital city. Clashes erupt with deadly regularity throughout Baghdad as well as in cities like Ramadi, Samarra, Baqouba and Balad. The intensification is two-sided. With each ratchet upwards in violence, the tactics by the American military only grow more heavy-handed and, as they do, the Iraqi resistance just continues to grow in size and effectiveness

Outside Media Won't Understand Red Lake Story

by Kent Nerburn This Red Lake story is hidden beneath two layers of mythology and misunderstanding that pervade contemporary American culture: 'rural' and 'Indian reservation.' In each lies a series of expectations and misconceptions that obscures the truth of events and makes what takes place there something 'other' than the workaday affairs of our urban and suburban lives

Pirate Loggers Turning 3rd Largest Rainforest Into Hardwood Floors

Corrupt Indonesian military officers and international criminal syndicates are looting the forests of Papua, New Guinea, turning the world's third largest rainforest into a multi-billion dollar stream of illicit timber

Asian Bird Flu Traced To 2001 Vietnam Origin

The first human cases of H5N1 infection, linked to poultry outbreaks in parts of Asia that have been ongoing since December 2003, were reported in January 2004 in Vietnam and Thailand. Since then, a total of 69 cases have been reported, of which 46 were fatal. From January through March 2004 there were 35 cases, and 24 deaths. In an attempt to halt the spread of these viruses among poultry, duck flocks in the Mekong Delta will be vaccinated against bird flu in April

Coming From "USA Next:" AARP Hates AARP Members

by Steve Young With $10 million in the bank, don't expect USA Next to stop at banging AARP for their anti-military stance. There's still got to be a lot of sure-fire attack commercials at the ready

Justice DeLay'd, Justice Denied

by Steve Young At least one proud Lord of Loud brought the blather as close to the victim as possible, broadcasting his syndicated radio and Fox television shows just outside Ms. Schiavo's hospice. A ratings stunt? Certainly not a successful one if you judge from the country's reaction. Shameful? Only if they have a healthy sense of right and wrong

Yvon Neptune and Haiti's Political Prisoners

by David R. Kolker Neptune is perhaps the most well-known of the numerous pro-Aristide government officials and others who have been detained by the Latortue regime. The interim government even imprisoned Father Gerard Jean-Juste, the country's most revered Catholic priest. After a judge found that no evidence existed to hold him on charges of instigating violent pro-Aristide protests, Jean-Juste was released late last November, after nearly seven weeks in prison. Still, many prominent Haitian leaders continue to be imprisoned with absolutely no charges filed against them

Press Orgs Want Full Probe Into Sgrena Shooting

by Don Hill International freedom-of-the-press watchdog groups have been calling this week for full U.S. disclosure in the case of Giuliana Sgrena and Nicola Calipari. The watchdog groups have made similar demands in the past over killings of journalists by U.S. troops in Iraq -- with little result. The central difference in this case, they say, is it involves the famous Italian sense of national honor

Shooting Of Italians Rattles U.S. Coalition

by Paolo Pontoniere The shooting of an Italian journalist and an intelligence agent is producing a diplomatic rift between the U.S., Italy and other coalition partners. Observers say the U.S. doesn't communicate with other coalition countries, and some even ask if Washington is deliberately targeting journalists

Shock As Bush Appoints Right-Wing Extremist To UN

by Jim Lobe In a breathtaking victory for right-wing hawks, Bush has nominated Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton to become his next ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton, widely considered the most unilateralist and least diplomatic of senior U.S. officials during Bush's first term, will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate where some Democrats, a few of whom were said to be stunned by the nomination, are expected to put up a fight

A New Gulf Of Tonkin Incident Between Vietnam - China

by Thi Lam Vietnamese communities are protesting the Jan. 8 killing of Vietnamese fishermen by the Chinese navy. On that day, navy ships from the People's Republic of China shot and killed nine Vietnamese fishermen and injured seven others in the Vinh Bac Bo (Gulf of Tonkin). Eight fishermen were kidnapped. According to Reuters, China detained 80 Vietnamese fishermen in the month of December. The Vietnamese coast guard reported a total of 1,107 illegal incursions by Chinese boats into Vietnam's waters during 2004

China Crackdown On Abortions Of Girls

by Antoaneta Bezlova Afraid that a huge shortfall in the female population could cause social strife and affect the 'quality' of the race, China has decided to make sex-selective abortions a criminal offense

Wolfowitz Confirmed as World Bank President

by Emad Mekay The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors unanimously confirmed the nomination Mar 31 of U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz to be president of the World Bank

Negroponte Has Much In Common With Mullah Omar

by Dennis Hans Bush's pick for director of national intelligence once oversaw an Afghan-style sanctuary for terrorists every bit as nasty as Osama and al Qaeda

Will Democracy Follow Fall Of Lebanon's Government?

by Mohamad Ozeir What made this resignation a major front-page story in the Arab press was not Prime Minister Omar Karami's dramatic announcement in front of parliament that his government would step down. It was not the element of surprise, which made the parliament's president, Nabih Berry, a Karami supporter, complain about not being consulted. It was not the subject of the questioning, which was the touchy issue of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri's assassination two weeks ago. It was, many Arab media agreed, the fact that the resignation came in response to a popular uprising

Declining Conditions For Iraq Women - Amnesty International

by Sanjay Suri The situation for Iraqi women has gotten worse in many respects since the U.S.-led invasion two years back, says a report from Amnesty International. 'The current lack of security has forced many women out of public life and constitutes a major obstacle to the advancement of their rights,' says the report

Despite Ban, Indonesian Domestic Workers Still Head For Persian Gulf

by Meena S Janardhan In spite of a ban enforced by Indonesia in 2003 prohibiting domestic workers from accepting work in certain Gulf countries, several still manage to slip into the United Arab Emirates

Latin Immigrants Race For U.S. Border Fearing Crackdown

by Diego Cevallos If the Senate passes the new bill into law, which is almost certain to happen, the U.S. will permit the extension of the wall already separating Tijuana and San Diego, California by an additional 22 to 27 kilometres. The new legislation would also demand proof of legal immigration status in order to obtain a driver's license, which some states currently do not require. In addition, the "matricula consular" ID cards currently issued by Mexican consulates to nationals living in the United States and accepted by some states for opening bank accounts and a number of other official procedures would no longer be recognized

Most World Ecosystems Overtaxed, Study Warns

by J.R. Pegg Human activities are rapidly changing the Earth's natural environment and threaten the planet's capacity to support future generations, according to the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted of the world's ecosystems

Indecency Is In The Air As Congress Aims At Cable TV

by Marjorie Heins Instead of debating whether it threatens the republic for cable channels to show bare breasts, indulge in bathroom humor, or bleep out vulgar language in a war movie, policymakers should be focusing on the ways in which both cable and broadcast are dominated by large corporations that distract us with car crashes, reality TV, and celebrity newsbites while ignoring serious journalism. With a majority of Americans still believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, we know that the media -- both broadcast and cable -- are not doing their job

U.S. Warned Venezuela's Chavez About Assassination Plans

by Humberto Marquez Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. government has plans to assassinate him and thus trigger chaos that would allow it to intervene militarily and take control of the South American country's huge oil reserves. In an interview with the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel reported that former U.S. Ambassador Charles Shapiro had warned him of the possibility of an attempt on Chavez's life

Israel's Euphoria Over Lebanon Wearing Off

by Peter Hirschberg The initial reactions bordered on the euphoric. Lebanese citizens were pouring into the streets of Beirut in open defiance of Damascus, and Israelis were cheering. Talk in Israel of a democratic, Syria-free neighbor to its north abounded. Some even speculated Lebanon might be the next Arab country -- after Egypt and Jordan -- to forge a peace treaty with Israel

Propaganda Czar Karen Hughes Has Tough Job Ahead

by Nancy Snow Karen Hughes will be the most high profile undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs since Charlotte Beers vacated that position two years ago right before the first shock-and-awe air strikes in Baghdad. Margaret Tutwiler, the James Baker protege and former Ambassador to Morocco, spent less than nine months in that capacity before jumping the ship of state for the New York Stock Exchange. Now Hughes gets the job that everyone agrees is exceedingly necessary but altogether practically impossible given the ongoing credibility problems of the United States and its position of numero uno brand nation

Afghan Women Burning Themselves To Death At Alarming Rate

by Ron Synovitz Self-immolation by women in the western Afghan province of Herat continues to alarm officials and aid workers more than a year after a delegation from Kabul investigated the trend. The delegation determined that within just a few months, at least 52 women in the province had burned themselves to death -- often to escape an abusive marriage

Native Press Grapples With Red Lake Shootings

by Daffodil Altan The shooting deaths of 10 people on a Minnesota Native American Indian reservation by a high school student has national Native media wrestling with how to appropriately cover issues raised by the tragedy

U.S. On The Wrong Side As Tobacco Treaty Takes Effect

by Jim Lobe Although Washington signed the FCTC last May, the move was met with skepticism from public health activists who charged that Washington consistently took positions during its negotiation similar to those put forward by the tobacco industry in order to weaken the treaty. Mere signing of treaties without ratification commits countries to support them but does not create any legal obligations to abide by its provisions

Karl Sics The Dogs On AARP

by Molly Ivins The very people who told you that John Kerry was anti-military and pro-gay -- the people who told you he didn't deserve his medals from Vietnam, who said he testified before Congress that American soldiers were all war criminals -- these same friendly folk are back again, attacking the AARP, a group largely known for advocating afternoon naps for the elderly

Bush Stands Firm For More Mercury Poisoning

by Molly Ivins If the Clean Air Act, already in place, were simply implemented as it is supposed to be by the Environmental Protection Agency, we would be rid of over 90 percent of mercury emissions in this country by 2008. But, of course, that would cost the power industry a lot of money, and the power industry gives lots of money to politicians. So the EPA came up with a 'cap and trade' system, under which power plants can avoid meaningful regulation until after 2025

How Dare Repubs Talk About Morality In Schiavo Case?

by Molly Ivins In Texas, you can only live in a persistent vegetative state if you are accepted in one of the few institutions that provide such care or if your family is both willing and able to take care of you. And if Bush is so concerned about the right to life, why didn't he give death-row inmate Carla Faye Tucker more than 10 minutes consideration and some cheap mockery?

Tom DeLay Sets A New Definition For Sleaze

by Molly Ivins Over the line is where Texas pols would put using a children's charity as a cover for collecting soft money from special interest groups and then spending it on dinners, a golf tournament, a rock concert, Broadway tickets and so forth. Because the money was supposedly for a charity, Celebrations for Children, Inc., special interests who wanted favors from DeLay were able to give him money without revealing themselves as campaign donors. Cute trick, Tom, but a really cruddy thing to do

Propaganda Creeps In On Little Cat Feet

by Molly Ivins No joke, this is seriously creepy: The U.S. government is in the covert propaganda business, and it's not aiming this stuff at potential terrorists, it's aiming it right square at your forehead

Bush Gives The UN A Single-Digit Salute

by Molly Ivins Would the joke be half as good if President Bush hadn't just returned from a tour of Europe during which he assured our allies he was anxious to improve international cooperation? There, he was promising Europeans old and new that we'd turned a new page, we want nothing more than consultation, cooperation, being buddy-buddy. And then he names Bolton ambassador (oh, ha ha) to the United Nations (ha, ha, ha). Bolton keeps a bronzed grenade in his office to show how proud he is of being called a bomb-thrower

Bush Renominates The Same Bad Apples

by Molly Ivins All of this was about Bush's decision to renominate 20 of his choices for the federal bench who never got a vote in his first term because of threatened filibusters. For some reason, Republicans have chosen to treat these rebuffs as though they were World War III, accusing Democrats of the dread 'obstructionism.' Their own record during the Clinton years of knocking off dozens of President Clinton's judicial nominees gives not the slightest pause

Repubs Push Through Loathsome Bankruptcy Bill

by Molly Ivins The card companies push accounts on people whose credit is only marginal -- your teenager has doubtlessly been offered several. Ooops, it turns out many of those with shaky credit can't pay (!), so of course the banks want the law changed even more in their favor. Poor little card companies -- only $30 billion in profits last year

Debate Over "Indianness" A Flashback To COINTELPRO

by H. Mathew Barkhausen III Debates over blood strike close to home in Indian Country. If you want to discredit someone, all you have to do is say, 'He's not really Indian.' Casting such doubt has the potential to destroy the reputation of a formerly well-respected Native American leader. That is the legacy of FBI/COINTELPRO operations against the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the 1970s -- a technique known as 'bad-jacketing,' which destroys a grassroots organization from within by causing internal conflict

Ward Churchill Has Rights, And He's Right

by Robert Jensen When Churchill sees injustice in the world, he does not react as a cold, dispassionate scholar hidden away in a protected office but as a human being outraged by the injustice who wants it to end. There are too few scholars like Churchill, who dedicate their work and lives to ending the suffering that injustice brings. His 9/11 essay conveys that anger, and whatever the differences in interpretation I've outlined here, I cannot disagree with, nor discount, his anger. I remember feeling a similar anger that day, mixed with the shock and sadness. And the more I learn about the world, the more I feel it. None of us should let go of that anger just because others are scared of it

Ward Churchill And The Threshold Of Influence

by Jack Random Ward Churchill's unforgivable crime is that he dared to influence others. Our crime – and the crime of every media spokesperson that feigns outrage or affects agony over the moral dilemma of the latest test of first amendment rights – is that we have not stood up in his defense. Even those who have claimed the banner of the civil libertarian will not rally to his cause. Even those who would and have defended the Skinheads of Topeka for their inalienable right to speak the unspeakable have fallen silent

Ward Churchill's Defense

by Ward Churchill I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as 'Nazis.' What I said was that the 'technocrats of empire' working in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of 'little Eichmanns.' Adolf Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Similarly, German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies

Bush Admin Shows No Remorse for Fake Newscasts

by William Fisher Despite a rising chorus of condemnation from journalists and media critics, the Bush administration shows no signs of abandoning its distribution of taxpayer-funded "news" to U.S. newspapers, radio and television stations

Rice Surprises China With Tough Talk

by Antoaneta Bezlova While in Beijing, she bluntly told the European Union not to meddle with the balance of power in Asia. 'It is the U.S., not Europe, that has defended the Pacific,' she declared. Rice's remarks might have been nothing new to Chinese officials, but their hard-edged conservative resonance left many experts disturbed. They had expected Rice's trip as something of an 'exploratory' visit to gauge China's views and were least prepared when the U.S. state secretary actually spoke

Bush Plans Triple-Play: Syria, Iran, And Lebanon

by Gary Leupp The neo-cons know that when Syria, Hizbollah and Iran say no to their accelerating schedule of unreasonable demands, they'll maintain their case for attacks. But this time they'll have Europe (notably a wheeling and dealing imperialist France, which is doing business with the U.S. regarding its former Syrian and Lebanese colonies, to say nothing of Haiti), on their side as they pursue their five-year regime change plan

Canada's Coal Power Plants May Pit Kyoto Vs. NAFTA

by Stephen Leahy Closing North America's biggest coal-fired power plants is a key part of Canada's plan to meet its Kyoto Protocol obligations, but experts warn that U.S. coal companies could claim such a move violates international trade pacts like NAFTA

Saudi Arabia Turns To Russia For Arms Sales

by Thalif Deen The Saudi decision to diversify its sources of weaponry comes at a time when Washington has downgraded its military relationship by relocating over 6,000 U.S. troops, from Saudi Arabia to neighboring Qatar

Lebanon's Christian Factions Behind "Spontaneous" Demonstration

by Marianne Stigset Far from being a group of concerned citizens who spontaneously gathered in protest against the killing of a popular leader, the core of the activists present at Martyrs' Square are young members of Christian political groups who have been fighting the Syrian occupation of Lebanon for years

Feds Faked Data Showing Yucca Mtn. Nuclear Dump Safe

Government employees working on the licensing of Yucca Mountain, Nevada as the nation's only permanent repository for high-level nuclear waste 'may have falsified documentation of their work,' the U.S. Department of Energy acknowledged

Iran Considering National Dress Code

by Golnaz Esfandiari Iranian deputies are considering designs for a national dress. The idea was first proposed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a way of countering the influence of Western fashion. Supporters -- including Khamenei -- point out other countries have a national dress and that it reinforces pride. Detractors say the idea is not likely to catch on among young people -- and may simply be a way for officials to tighten enforcement of existing Islamic dress codes for women

Italy Bows Out Of Bush's Coalition

by Paolo Pontoniere Pressures from his political left and right, in addition to popular outrage over the killing of an Italian secret service agent, pushed Italy's prime minister to withdraw troops from Iraq

Being A Human Shield In Haiti

by Leisa Faulkner Barnes The assassins put the word 'Police' on their varied uniforms, but no one thinks of them as officers of the peace. I photographed them eyeing the crowd with their fingers ready on their U.S. supplied rifles. I photographed the tanks and armored vehicles encircling the exuberant crowd. I photographed the faces of hope that because of their mass felt safe to hold up to my camera their own images of President Aristide

Papal Legacy: A Regressive Church Where Dissent Is Crushed

by Elisa Marincola The Pope, christened Karol Jozef Wojtyla, found the Church in ferment when he took over in 1978. The Church was then in a process of opening up to the world from its closed clericalism. The new Pope changed all that. Avena says the Pope set about restoring strict orthodoxy, building up the power of the Church, and using this also to defeat communism. He used the powerful traditional Catholic group Opus Dei and other conservative groups to negate the renovation message that the earlier Vatican Council II had sought to promote

Staff Accuses World Bank Of 'Cooking The Books'

by Emad Mekay A U.S. Congressional committee said Monday that it would probe allegations of accounting irregularities at the World Bank, the world's largest development agency that lent $20 billion last year. One allegation is that problems in a World Bank accounting system produced tens of millions of dollars in errors, which were then offset by ad hoc adjustments

I Was A Commie Dupe

by Richard Thieme During times of crisis or war, when liberties and constitutional rights come into conflict with the necessities of self-defense, it's the liberties and rights that go. Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War and Japanese-Americans were herded into concentration camps during World War 2. Those wars, however, were clearly defined wars and contrasted with periods of peace. That distinction no longer applies. War and peace are indistinguishable. We live in a permanent state of war or preparation for war. As Orwell wrote, war is peace. Peace is war

"Hell No," I Won't Resign, Says UN Chief

by Thalif Deen After a 12-month investigation, a three-member independent committee has cleared UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan of any wrongdoing in the multi-million-dollar, now defunct oil-for-food program in Iraq. But the committee did fault his son Kojo Annan and three senior UN officials -- Iqbal Riza, Joseph Connor and Dileep Nair -- for acting improperly, or at least failing to take appropriate action to protect the integrity of the world body

Ex-Nazi Cult Leader Finally Caught In Argentina

by Gustavo Gonzalez A young member of the colony who fled in 1968, told of Nazi rituals and the holding of people against their will. But his reports were ignored by Chilean authorities, although they were later recorded by the German courts, which in 1996 also brought charges against Schaefer for child sex abuse

Panama's Cocaine / Money Laundering Probe Reopened

by Miren Gutierrez Since Jorge Mottley, former head of Interpol Panama left in 2000, Operation Malocchio was forgotten in Panama -- until now. Sossa's controversial mandate as attorney-general ended in January this year, and that has triggered a re-evaluation of his role

In Land Of Poverty, Swaziland King Buys $500k Car

by Thulani Gumede His purchase of the Maybach that apparently cost $500,000 comes at a time when over a quarter of Swaziland's 970,000 people are dependent on non-governmental organizations for food aid, and many who are HIV-positive go without the anti-retroviral drugs needed to prolong their lives

U.S. Muslims Waiting To See If Gonzales Better Than Ashcroft

by William Fisher Civil libertarians are wondering if the new U.S. attorney-general, Alberto Gonzales, will continue one of the trademarks of his predecessor, John Ashcroft -- razzle-dazzle news conferences announcing the arrests of terrorists, followed by trials in which no one is charged or tried for terror-related offenses

Major Oil Companies Wary Of Drilling in ANWR

by Katherine Stapp Several prominent oil companies, including BP, ConocoPhilips and ChevronTexaco, have dropped out of Arctic Power, and an anonymous Bush administration source recently told The New York Times that the oil companies would not pursue drilling in ANWR even 'if the government gave them the leases for free'

Military Recruiters Finding Fewer Kids Signing Up

by Katherine Stapp Under President Bush's No Child Left Behind plan, public high schools must provide military recruiters with contact information for every student or face a cutoff of federal aid. 'Kids tell me that not only do the recruiters call them at home, but they have copies of their grades, and will say, 'So Johnny, you're not doing very well in class. How are you going to get into college?' Rosario said. 'There is an opt-out form, but a lot of parents don't know about it'

Advocacy Groups Insulted By Wolfowitz Nomination

by Emad Mekay Critics say that the Wolfowitz nomination, coming on the heels of the nomination of another hawk, John Bolton, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reveals the contempt this administration has for the international community. "Wolfowitz brings no apparent development experience to the job, but does offer a record of unabashed militarism and unilateralism that represents exactly the wrong direction for the World Bank," said Robert Weissman, director of Essential Action

Even UK Unhappy With Wolfowitz At World Bank Post

by Sanjay Suri The response from Britain, the only significant ally the Bush administration found in Iraq was far from welcoming. Prime Minister Tony Blair said Britain would "wait and see if there are any other candidates" his spokeswoman said

Opposition To Wolfowitz Quickly Gathers Steam

by Emad Mekay Opponents to the controversial nomination are looking at a previous example when the United States opposed the nomination of Caio Koch-Weser, a European, for the IMF job in 2000. He eventually was replaced by Horst Koehler. Louisa Morgantini, chair of the Development Committee of the European Parliament, has written on behalf of her Committee calling on European governments to open up the process to accept other candidates

Wolfowitz Promises "Multinational" Team

by Stefania Bianchi Speaking after an informal meeting with European officials in Brussels, Wolfowitz said it was "very important" that the senior management of the bank reflect the fact that it is a multilateral institution, but declined to make any promises

Lebanon's Massive Debt Leaves Nation Unstable

by Peyman Pejman Lebanon owes many billions of dollars in debt it might not be able to pay, is engaged in a huge post-war reconstruction effort, and many Lebanese fear that fading confidence in the country will pull the plug on Arab and Western aid

Nepal Encouraging Vigilante Killings

by Akhilesh Upadhyay Vigilante justice has led to the deaths of as many as 31 alleged Maoists and their sympathizers as the Maoists have killed 16 villagers to date in retaliation

Nepal Farmer Co-ops Thrive In Maoist Countryside

by Marty Logan About 8,000 cooperative societies are operating in the country today. 'Maoists cannot challenge cooperatives because they belong to the poor and grassroots people,' said Deepak Baskota, executive chairman of the National Cooperative Federation of Nepal. 'Maybe they don't like (cooperatives) -- including some people in the government sector -- but they can't speak out against them'

Nepal's Political Parties Join Maoists For All-Out Fight Against King

by Sonny Inbaraj Nepal's political parties, at a closed door meeting in the Thai capital, have vowed an all-out fight against the monarchy after agreeing to the main demand of Maoist rebels to redraft the Himalayan nation's constitution

Journalists Under Attack In Nepal

by Marty Logan Since King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah declared a state of emergency on Feb. 1 and planted army censors in the country's newsrooms, dozens of reporters and editors have been arrested for disobeying directives about what they can broadcast or publish; others have been interrogated or had their homes or offices searched

India Doesn't Believe Nepal King's Promises

by Surendra Phuyal The king's action in banning Indian cable networks while at the same time allowing other international cable networks to function has also angered New Delhi. Another defiant gesture of Gyanendra has been the extension of jail terms of top political leaders for another two months. Arguing that his visit has worked to thaw the chill in Indo-Nepal relations and also Nepal's relations with the international community, Pandey claimed that his self-invited trip to New Delhi was successful

Bush Renewed Military Ties With Indonesia Worries Rights Activists

by Jim Lobe The State Department's decision to renew military training for Indonesia -- a major step toward full normalization of military ties between the United States and the giant archipelago -- has been greeted with skepticism by human rights groups and some lawmakers critical of Jakarta's record

Neo-Cons See Democratization, Others See Disintegration

by Jim Lobe In column after column, especially since the anti-Syrian demonstrations in Lebanon broke out in the wake of the mid-February assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, their media mouthpieces have claimed vindication for their long-standing predictions that democratic elections in Iraq would reverberate throughout the region, encouraging democratic forces to stand up to their oppressors

Tsunami Nations To Europe: Don't Dump Old Fishing Boats On Us

by Stefania Bianchi The environmental group WWF is also concerned that the boats are not suitable for local fishing communities. It says European fishing boats are very different from Indian, Indonesian or Sri Lankan coastal vessels, and this could lead to serious changes in local fishing practices. "For example, in the tsunami-affected region most fishermen operate individually in small boats, not in crews," WWF said in a statement. "Therefore the use of European vessels would require different systems of working with owners and workers."

With Bolton At The UN, The Pentagon's Back In Control

Analysis by Jim Lobe Whatever the nomination said about Bush's attitude toward the UN, it also demonstrated that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is supposed to serve as Bolton's superior if he is confirmed by the Senate, will likely play a much less powerful role in Bush's second term than had been thought, particularly in the wake of her two tours -- one with the president -- of Europe last month

Madrid's Train Bombing Still Unsolved A Year Later

by Alicia Fraerman A year after the Mar. 11, 2004 terrorist attacks that killed 192 people and injured some 2,000 in the Spanish capital, investigations have still not conclusively determined who planned and directed the planting of the bombs on four commuter trains at rush hour

Pentagon Still Won't Hold Top Brass Responsible For Abuses

by Jim Lobe Rights groups assailed Vice Adm. Albert Church's testimony and his report not only for their failure to address command responsibility, but also for their superficiality -- particularly in light of recent revelations, made possible by the release of thousands of e-mail messages and other documents obtained by the ACLU in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit

Rise Of Iraq's Da'wa Party Bad News For U.S. Interests

by Aaron Glantz Founded as a movement to make Iraq an Islamic Republic, the Da'wa Party became emboldened after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah of Iran and imposed his version of Islamic law in 1979

Possibility Of Legal Opium Farms In Afghanistan Studied

by Ron Synovitz A Paris-based think tank is studying whether Afghan farmers should be licensed to grow opium poppies for legal medicines like morphine and codeine. The Senlis Council says such a policy could shift income from Afghanistan's illegal opium production away from drug lords. The group says the idea could also boost development in rural parts of Afghanistan

Taliban's Star Again Rising In Afghanistan

by Jalal Ghazi One of the Arab media's most influential analysts is reporting that Afghanistan's Taliban are gaining in strength and popularity, fighting U.S. forces in greater numbers and claiming the control of several districts. In 2003, according to Huwaidi, the Taliban bought 900 Honda motorcycles. Eyewitnesses report that Taliban leaders give speeches at wedding parties in which they offer the vehicles to young men willing to join them in fighting U.S. forces

Bolton Faces Fight For UN Post

by Jim Lobe Groups that have been organizing a grassroots campaign against Bolton's nomination say they believe that all eight Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which must approve Bolton he can be confirmed by the entire Senate, are now either lined up or leaning against him.

State Dept. Awards U.S. A Gold Star In Annual Human Rights Report

by Jim Lobe Hailed the progress it said had been achieved over the past year in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ukraine, but assailed North Korea, Belarus, China, Syria, Iran and Venezuela, among others, for authoritarian rule or backsliding during 2004

$1.6 Trillion Needed To Patch America's Crumbling Infrastructure

America's roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, dams, rail lines, and waste treatment systems are failing to keep up with the heavy demands made of them, and will take a total investment of $1.6 trillion dollars over five years to bring up to acceptable levels

Antiques The Latest Craze For China's New Rich

by Antoaneta Bezlova China's new rich have joined junk collectors and bewildered foreigners wandering through the stalls in search for that precious scroll or ancient piece of bronze. Even in big weekend crowds where Tibetan and Mongolian vendors stand out in their exotic outfits, these wealthy urbanities are easy to spot -- they wear diamond-studded gold watches (genuine more often than not) and sport the latest models of mobile phones

Shiite - Sunni Conflict Spreads To Lebanon In Hariri's Assassination

by Paolo Pontoniere Although Syria is being blamed for the killing -- Hariri was a staunch opponent the Syrian presence in Lebanon -- the crime is most likely the extension of the Sunni-Shiite conflict that is coming to a boil in Iraq

Racist "Elders Of Zion" Much Older Than Thought

by Jan Jun 'I realized that the truth about The Protocols is out there, but it was only told in academic, footnoted books. But The Protocols are read by millions of people around the world. Unbelievable. So I decided to tell the public the story, readable for the general public -- a popular book. I wrote it like a whodunit -- a thriller. And because I wanted to be very precise, I did my research as a fact-finding judge'

China Passes Law Authorizing Possible War With Taiwan

by Antoaneta Bezlova In clear reference to Taiwan's moves towards independence, China's President Hu Jintao called on army leaders Sunday to step up preparations for a possible war, and to safeguard territorial integrity

China Debates Law Authorizing Possible War With Taiwan

by Antoaneta Bezlova As China forges ahead with passing an anti-secession law that would legitimize war with Taiwan, the United States has stepped up efforts to keep China's growing military might in check. Beijing says the legislation is aimed at curbing Taiwan's separatist activities and would serve as a powerful deterrent to Taipei formally declaring independence. After the law is enacted, China would have the legal means to launch a military invasion of the island if it believes that the legislation had been violated

Stage Set For Historic Battle Over Bush Judges

by J.R. Pegg Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said the potential rule change would make the Senate 'merely a rubber stamp' for the White House. 'It would mean that one man, sitting in the White House, has the practical ability to personally hand out lifetime jobs to judges whose rulings can last forever,' said the Nevada Democrat. 'That is not how America works'

U.S. Charges Halliburton Ex-Worker In Multi-Million $$ Iraq Scam

by Emad Mekay The United States has charged a former employee of Halliburton and a Kuwaiti subcontractor with defrauding the U.S. government of millions of dollars in a contract scam in Iraq

Misleading AP Report: "Iraq Coverage Wasn't Biased"

by Christian Christensen If you take a glance at the actual study, you will see that the few figures provided by the AP tell only part of the story. The actual study shows that half of all news stories on the evening news and almost two-thirds of stories on the morning news had one or no transparent source. During a time of war (the ultimate exercise in state power) these numbers are nothing short of awful

John Bolton The Extremist's Extremist

The Bush administration stoops to a new low by nominating possibly the least appropriate figure in U.S. public life to fill a post that should excel at building bridges and not tearing them down

We Can't Forget Rachel Corrie

by Alison Weir I wonder if we'll hear about Rachel Corrie on March 16th, the second anniversary of her death. Israel, as with all those it kills, claims that her death 'was an accident' or 'was necessary for security' or that 'she was a terrorist' or that 'she was protecting terrorists!' As fast as these Israeli fabrications are refuted, new ones are produced

Congress To Probe Lost Money At World Bank

by Emad Mekay A U.S. Congressional committee that pledged to probe alleged accounting irregularities and mistreatment of whistleblowers at the World Bank said March 24, that it has found evidence supporting the allegations and will proceed with a full investigation

UN Genocide Advisor Says Darfur Getting Worse

by Gustavo Capdevila Since September the threat has grown for those displaced by the violence, and there is a greater danger of massive attacks

Karen Hughes' Post Gives Rice Leverage Over Rove, Cheney

by Jim Lobe It suggested that Rice is building a major power center at Foggy Bottom, one that is capable of ensuring that she can penetrate the circle of foreign-policy hard-liners led by Vice President Dick Cheney and bolstered by national security adviser Stephen Hadley, and his deputy, J.D. Crouch, any time she wants

Workers Choke On Schwarzenegger's Lunch Break Deal

by David Bacon Surrounded by food all day, many restaurant workers nationwide don't even have time to get a bite to eat. Rule changes proposed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would make it even harder for workers to take a lunch break

James Bond's Real-Life "M" Says Terror War Muddled

by Sandip Roy Dame Stella Rimington, the first woman to head the British spy agency MI5 and the real-life inspiration for the James Bond spymaster 'M,' says the notion of a war on terror obscures what it takes to fight terrorism

Science Panel Links Fried Potatoes With Cancer

The chemical acrylamide formed unintentionally when starchy foods such as potato chips are cooked may be of public heath concern since it has been shown to cause cancer in animals, an international expert panel said

Nicholas Kristof's Kool-Aid

by Andrew Christie The publication and wide dissemination of the essay 'The Death of Environmentalism' is a healthy indication of a movement engaging in useful self-examination and vigorous debate -- unless you're Nicholas Kristof, in which case it's an indication that 'the movement is in deep trouble'

Because It Works, Bush Wants To Break Social Security

by Robert Scheer The most successful safety net program in human history is currently sitting on $1.7 trillion in reserve funds and faces a possible shortfall decades from now, which minor corrections to the program could prevent. Yet our president has been running around like Chicken Little telling us the sky is falling

Bush Backs Us Into Another Corner

by Robert Scheer U.S. policy toward Iran is now a big, dangerous mess. President Bush again has backed us into a corner with his confrontational framing of every dispute as one of pristine virtue versus stark evil, putting us out of sync with our allies in Europe and probably giving the ayatollahs in Tehran a public relations boost at home

Life, Death And Cynical Grandstanding

by Robert Scheer Republican demagogues led by Rep. Tom DeLay (D-Texas) – who is battling ethics problems – took the easy, cynical way out. They rushed through a bill, past cowed Democrats, that moves the case to federal court and applies only to Schiavo's parents. Even more shocking, President Bush did what he would not do in August 2001 when terrorism warnings were 'blinking red,' in the words of the then-head of the CIA: He returned to Washington from one of his many sacrosanct vacations, in this case to sign this ill-conceived legislation

A Tutorial in Greed

by Robert Scheer Lesson of new bankruptcy bill is that campaign cash is worth more than family or religious values

Bush Insists 'Coalition Of The Willing' Not Crumbling

by Andrew Tully Bush denied his so-called "coalition of the willing" in Iraq is falling apart, a day after Italy said it will begin withdrawing some of its 3,000 troops from the effort. Bush said he had spoken by phone with Berlusconi and that the Italian leader assured him the withdrawal would not be hasty. Fourteen countries have withdrawn their forces from Iraq. They include Spain, danother former staunch Bush ally

McCain Pushes For Non-Paid TV Coverage Of Candidates

by William Fisher In an effort to encourage local television outlets to devote more time to coverage of local races, McCain introduced his Localism in Broadcasting Reform Act of 2005. The proposal would reduce the license term for broadcasters from eight years to three, thereby requiring broadcasters to provide the FCC with information every three years on why their license should be renewed

Kurdistan Takes Shape As A Nation Within Iraq

by Mohammed Amin Abdulqadir Two years and three elections after the fall of the Saddam regime, Kurdistan is taking shape as a nation within a nation

Iraq Becomes Kidnapping, Inc.

by Aaron Glantz Since the beginning of the occupation, the number of Iraqs kidnapped for ransom has skyrocketed. With unemployment high and law enforcement weak, ransom was seen as an easy way to make money. 'Now it's a business. Some groups understand that a European or an American businessman or a journalist is a very expensive product in the sense that they can get millions of dollars in ransom'

Christian Zionists Vow Gaza Showdown

by Bill Berkowitz 'In Gush Katif (the largest bloc of Jewish communities in Gaza), they expect that when the hour of reckoning comes, Diaspora Jewry will not only send financial aid, but will also dispatch legions of people for the violent struggle against the government,' the paper said. Many of those itching to get in on the action in Israel -- including Rabbi Mordechai Friedman, president of the American Board of Rabbis, an organization made up of some 1,000 orthodox clergymen -- recently claimed that 'hundreds if not thousands of his followers will come to Israel to fight the (disengagement) plan'

U.S. Court Throws Out Suit By Vietnam's Agent Orange Victims

by Tran Dinh Thanh Lam On March 7, a federal court in New York dismissed a legal action brought by Vietnamese plaintiffs over the use of the defoliant by U.S. forces from 1961 to 1971 where large quantities of Agent Orange were sprayed across parts of Vietnam

Less Porn, More Patriot Act, Top Gonzales' To-Do List

by William Fisher In a speech at the Hoover Institution, a think-tank, Gonzales urged Congress to speed the process for deporting illegal immigrants, break the partisan logjam over judicial nominees, renew and extend the USA Patriot Act, crack down on obscenity, and reduce violent crime by creating five federal-local task forces nationwide

Remember Johnnie Cochran For Much More Than O.J.

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson To Cochran, the Simpson case was yet another example of how a black defendant, even a rich black celebrity defendant, could be victimized by the criminal justice system. The issues again were racism and police misconduct. Cochran did not, as I mistakenly believed, play on race to manipulate the jurors and get Simpson off. He meticulously picked apart the flaws, contradictions and inconsistencies in the prosecution's case. The case was won on the evidence, or lack thereof, and not race

Growing Concerns On Mercenary Role For Intelligence

by Pratap Chatterjee Private military contractors like the Virginia-based Anteon, which has grown tenfold in the last decade, are becoming ever more integral to the nation's programs for intelligence sharing, intelligence training and video game warfare simulators

Bush Pick Of Wolfowitz For World Bank Stirs Questions, Anger

by Jim Lobe Wolfowitz's 35-year public and academic career, notably lacking in direct experience either with banking or development, let alone the Bank's supposed core mission of poverty reduction, has also steered a wide berth around both Africa and Latin America, two regions of enormous importance to the Bank

Researchers Worried Over Thailand's Bird Flu Experiments On Humans

by Marwaan Macan-Markar "A classic vaccine trial has many phases and often takes at least seven years if not rushed," said Dr. Khanchit Limpakarnjanarat, of the international emerging infections program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (USCDC). "So it is too soon to talk of an H5N1 vaccine trial getting underway in Thailand."

Pentagon Report Reveals Bush Plans U.S. To Be Globocop

by Jim Lobe In dramatic contrast to the National Security Strategy of the USA released in September 2002 -- nine months after Washington ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan and six months before its invasion of Iraq -- the latest strategy does not even mention NATO by name, except obliquely by the phrase 'traditional allies' or 'partners,' suggesting a strong preference for ad hoc 'coalitions of the willing,' rather than permanent collective-security arrangements.

Americans Grab Most Lucrative UN Jobs

by Thalif Deen "Only the crumbs from the table go to developing nations"

Jobs Bill Will Allow Faith Groups To Discriminate In Favor Of Religous

by William Fisher The Job Training Improvement Act sounds like legislation designed to increase employment and improve economic wellbeing -- and most of it is. But the bill passed March 2 by the U.S. House of Representatives contains one provision that allows religious organizations involved in federal job training programs to discriminate according to religion when hiring staff for taxpayer-funded services

For Sale: Serbia's Military Might

by Vesna Peric Zimonjic 'This is a sale of what used to be the mightiest army in the region,' said Gordana Pop Lazic from the SRS. 'This means that Serbia will remain defenseless in the years to come, and that is being done under the dictate of the West'

John Negroponte, Chief Of All Spies

by Tom Barry Over the past four decades, Negroponte has moved around the globe doing whatever is required to further what successive U.S. administrations have defined as U.S. economic interests and national security -- including such diverse roles as advising the puppet U.S. government in South Vietnam during the war, supervising the Reagan administration use of Honduras as its logistical center for the counterinsurgency and counterrevolutionary campaigns in Central America

Native Mexicans Face Harassment, Ridicule In Cities

by Diego Cevallos Roughly one million Native Mexicans -- members of the Nahuatl, Mixtec, Zapotec, Mazahua and other ethnic groups -- are living in Mexico City among the 20 million inhabitants. Around 340,000 still speak their native languages. The majority are poor, badly paid and discriminated against in a city where the word 'Indian' is used as an insult

Whistleblowers Sue U.S. Over Firings

by William Fisher Amid charges that hundreds of whistleblower cases may have been arbitrarily dismissed, the U.S. Justice Department has admitted that it retroactively classified information that posed no threat to national security. According to the ACLU, the admission could help former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who has filed a lawsuit challenging her termination

Pollution Profiteering

by Daphne Wysham The United States -- the world's number one CO2 emitter -- has played a shameful role: first by proposing the carbon trading idea as a way to ensure its involvement in the Kyoto Protocol, and then by backing out of the agreement once carbon trading was accepted by the international community. Although it is important for the United States to rejoin the global climate regime, it is perhaps a blessing in disguise that U.S. industries are unable to trade their CO2 emissions on the global market, adding to the overall problem of carbon trading

Anger and Grief Mark Second Anniversary of Iraq War

by Haider Rizvi Joining others around the world, tens of thousands of people in cities across the United States took to the streets Saturday calling for an end to the occupation of Iraq and immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from that country

Neo-cons Seek To Create Pro-U.S. "Anti-Islamist Institute"

by Jim Lobe Despite the apparent decision by President Bush against re-nominating him to the board of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), 'anti-Islamist' activist Daniel Pipes is working as diligently as ever against the influence of what he sees as radical Islam

Bush Tries To Make Iran A Nuclear Bogeyman

by Stephen Zunes Having already successfully fooled most of Congress and the American public into believing that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program, the Bush administration is now claiming that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program

Military Recruiters Face Resistance From Young Anti-War Activists

by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg In many New York City public schools that are predominantly Black and Latino, military recruiters are a heavy presence, promising young people financial security and a fulfilling career. Recruiters roam the halls, set up tables and even pull students out of class. But in recent months, a group of teenagers and anti-war veterans have been canvassing the neighborhoods where the recruiters frequent, hoping to convince students to consider other options

Conditions In Central Asia Cotton Farming Called "Medieval"

by Emad Mekay The industry relies on a pool of cheap labor, which includes schoolchildren. In Uzbekistan, for example, students are still frequently required to spend up to two months in the cotton fields. Child labor is also rampant Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Students in all three countries must miss their classes to pick cotton, the report says. "Little attention is paid to the conditions in which children and students work. Every year some fall ill or die," it adds

Toxic Chemicals Found in Household Dust Across USA

There are many hazardous chemicals in common household dust and they are making Americans sick, says a coalition of nine environmental organizations. An analysis of dust in 70 U.S. homes released March 22 shows that particles from detergents, packing materials, textiles, computers and cosmetics, among many other ordinary objects, can be hazardous to human health

My Other Me

by Elizabeth Rodriguez At my job, I work with people who are obviously using someone else's identity -- the business constantly gets notices about certain people's social security numbers needing to be checked. A lot of those people move on quickly, but others have remained, and I know they don't have other options besides working long hours and clocking as much overtime as they can

Why Iraq Withdrawal Makes Sense

by Norman Solomon As spring 2005 begins, many who like to praise Martin Luther King are going out of their way to evade the fundamental destructiveness of this war. Of course, throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, a prevailing argument was that removing U.S. troops would be a betrayal of U.S. responsibility to the people of South Vietnam. Today, likewise, opposition to a swift U.S. pullout from Iraq is often based on the idea that the American military must stay because of a responsibility to the people of Iraq. But most Iraqis want the U.S. military out of their country -- pronto

Seldes And Bagdikian

by Norman Solomon When 'The Media Monopoly' first appeared in 1983, the media establishment and many of its employees shrugged; if they paid any attention, it was usually just long enough to dismiss Ben Bagdikian's warning about consolidation of media ownership as alarmist

Little Reporting On Paranoia In High Places

by Norman Solomon Bad people are out to get us. Whether destroying the World Trade Center or filing suit at the International Criminal Court, evil ones and their abetters are engaged in sinister efforts. In the words of the Pentagon's new document, they all 'employ a strategy of the weak' against us -- the United States -- the epitome of the strong

Karen Hughes' New Job: Make Muslims Love Bush

by William Fisher A close personal friend of the president who is credited with helping craft and deliver the messages that won him a second term, Hughes has been tapped for the post of undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. She will also lead the president's campaign to promote democracy in the Middle East Makes Peace With The Iraq War

by Norman Solomon Sadly, it has come to this. Two years after the invasion of Iraq, the online powerhouse -- which built most of its member base with a strong antiwar message -- is not pushing for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq

The State Of TV: When Junk Interrupts Junk

by Norman Solomon Seen out of corners of our eyes, TV commercials maintain much of their power because we don't think about them very much, even while we absorb them. However, if we set out to consciously scrutinize a random sample of commercials for a while, we're liable to be jolted by just how awful they are

Fears Of Renewed Sri Lanka War As Tsunami Truce Fades

by Marwaan Macan-Markar Sri Lanka's death toll from the Dec. 26 tsunami, which battered over three-fourths of its coastline, was 38,000, with a further 800,000 being displaced. This Indian Ocean island was the second worst affected of the 12 countries in South and Southeast Asia hit by the tsunami, which killed over 220,000 people. Such a staggering death toll from the few minutes of powerful waves rampaging across Sri Lanka's shores equalled to more than half of the 64,000 people who died in over two decades of the ethnic conflict

40,000 Children Believed Captive In Latin America Sex Rings

by Diego Cevallos In Honduras alone, between 8,000 and 10,000 girls and boys are the victims of sexual exploitation, according to a still unpublished Casa Alianza study conducted last year in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua

World Bank May Fund Israel Wall Checkpoints To "Help" Palestinians

by Emad Mekay The World Bank, an international development institution that says it has no political agenda, may be preparing to fund Israeli security checkpoints around a controversial wall under construction on occupied Palestinian territories. The World Bank has been at the center of several controversies over the past few years, including charges that it backs international corporations at the expense of poor people in developing nations, but this is the first time it appears ready to get actively involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. James Wolfensohn had rejected this possibility last year

World Bank Gets $34 Billion For Controversial Loan Program

by Emad Mekay The World Bank's soft loan arm, the International Development Association (IDA), will get a funding increase of $34 billion from rich nations over the coming three years, the largest increase in two years, international donors and lenders say

Ultra-Zionist Sees Decline Of The Jews

by Alexander Cockburn Baehr goes on to portray, somewhat fancifully, the Democratic Party as increasingly falling into the clutches of what he sees as the ultra, Israel-hating Left, headed by ... Michael Moore, the movie director. I seem to remember Moore taking enormous pains last year to absolve Israel from any unpleasing role in Fahrenheit 911, by the simple tactic of not mentioning that troublesome nation. By 'Israel hating' Baehr appears to mean anyone who speaks up in any way for justice for Palestinians or criticizes Ariel Sharon

The Consequences Of The One-Party State

by Alexander Cockburn It's fair to say this revamp of the bankruptcy laws is as sinister and menacing portent of the shape of things to come as would be the physical construction of a new debtors' prison in every American town

From Kennan To Schiavo: Realism And Hypocrisy

by Alexander Cockburn Kennan will probably best be remembered for his self-consciously 'realistic' assessment in those post-war years, in State Dept. Policy Planning Study No. 23 that 'We have about 50 percent of the world's wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population. ... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. '

As A Governor, Schwarzenegger's A Bad Actor

by Alexander Cockburn Schwarzenegger's strategy has been to project an image -- calculatedly fascistic in style -- of irresistible momentum, aiming to crush all opposition with threats to go directly to the people with rallies backed by the mountains of corporate cash he's been raising since he was elected

Global Warming Causes More Severe Forest Fires

by Stephen Leahy New Canadian research shows that forest fires are becoming larger and more intense due to the effects of climate change and are adding enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere

Lights, Camera, Agenda

by Steve Young When the GOP isn't busy keeping Terri Schiavo alive while pulling the feeding tube on states rights, President Bush and his creative public relations team have been putting out "video news releases" (VNRs) to push their policies and now, California's Governor Schwarzenegger has joined the coercion crew

Sean Hannity, Closet Liberal Hugger

by Steve Young I spotted two of the most gorgeous faces in talk radio. The ever-blossoming syndicated liberal talker, Stephanie Miller, and mega-star, talk show god, Sean Hannity. What were these two from opposite sides of the room and even further opposite sides of the political spectrum, doing in a hotel thousands of miles away from their east coast bases of operation and without their mates? I was soon to get an answer

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