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Sadr Building Sunni-Shiite Coalition to Fight U.S.

by Gareth Porter Muqtada al-Sadr's bid to unite Sunnis and Shiites on the basis of a common demand for withdrawal of U.S. occupation forces, reported last weekend by the Washington Post, seems likely to get a positive response from Sunni armed resistance

Iraq's Journalists Face Death From All Sides

by Mohammed A. Salih The International Federation of Journalists has complained to U.S. authorities in Iraq about their failure to provide protection for journalists, with few results. 'We are having a very difficult dialogue with the Americans in Iraq with the way they have handled media,' White said. He added that so far, 19 of the journalists killed were found to have U.S.-made bullets in their bodies, 'but no satisfactory explanation' has been offered as to the circumstances in which they were shot

Al Gore, Merchants of Fear

by Alexander Cockburn The world's best-known hysteric and self promoter on the topic of man's physical and moral responsibility for global warming is Al Gore, a shill for the nuclear industry and the coal barons from the first day he stepped into Congress entrusted with the sacred duty to protect the budgetary and regulatory interests of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Oakridge National Lab

Trying to Catch Up with the Voters

by Alexander Cockburn Both Democratic and Republican politicians are becoming uncomfortably aware that they may have seriously miscalculated just how unpopular the war in Iraq is with a very large number of American voters. Fence-straddling on the war, let alone calls to "stay the course" are being seen as increasingly dangerous or fatal options

Ron Paul, Last of the Texas Outsiders

by Alexander Cockburn Paul is the last of the breed. As a small-government tight-money Republican this gynecologist-obstetrician (4,000 babies claimed as a career total) regularly votes No on pork barrel projects that would put money into his own district. But as a Republican in the isolationist, libertarian tradition he also votes No, sometimes alone among the 535 members of the U.S. Congress, on war funding, on laws allowing U.S. presidents to order arbitrary imprisonment, 'coercive interrogation,' and suspension of freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution

The Greenhousers Strike Back

by Alexander Cockburn The greenhousers endlessly propose that the consensus of 'scientists' on anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming. By scientists they actually mean computer modelers. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and their computer-modeling coterie include very few real climatologists or atmospheric physicists. Among qualified climatologists, meteorologists and atmospheric physicists, there are plenty who do not accept the greenhousers' propositions. Many others have been intimidated into silence by the pressures of grants, tenure and kindred academic garottes

Chavez Nationalizes Venezuela's Top TV Station

by Humberto Marquez Chavez cited the role played by the station during the April 2002 coup in which the president was overthrown for two days and infringements of broadcasting regulations. In its place, Channel 2 will be operated by a foundation will provide a space for independent producers, with the aim of creating a public service station

Deadly Pakistan Riots Blamed on Musharraf

by Zofeen Ebrahim Many saw in the events a repeat of the violence in the 1980s when the late military dictator Zia-ul-Haq used the MQM to remain in power. Now, Musharraf embroiled in crisis after crisis and having clearly lost popular support is seeking to cling on to power by using the MQM as a prop

Immigration Raids Ripping Apart Families

by Mary Holper When federal immigration agents raided a factory in New Bedford, Mass., the workers were producing safety vests and backpacks for the U.S. military. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) moved to detain and deport most of the workers almost immediately. Many of their families were left behind to wait for news about their loved ones and judicial decisions

Religious Right Rejects Giuliani

by Bill Berkowitz Giuliani's Republican primary gamble -- that his position on national security issues could override his liberal positions on abortion rights and other social issues -- was dealt a severe blow last Thursday, when James Dobson, the Republican Party political kingmaker and founder of Focus on the Family, declared that 'the jig is up' for Giuliani, announcing that he wouldn't vote for him should Giuliani become the Republican Party's 2008 presidential nominee -- under any circumstances

Republicans Eating Their Own

by Steve Young Rush Limbaugh, already tired of 'carrying water' for the 'Pubs, said it's gotten 'rough defending the President.' Democrats, step away from the table. Might get hit by a flying piece of Rove-fried Bush

Jon Stewart and Satire Destroying Society

by Steve Young Before knocking the art of satire in the hands of a Stewart or others of his ilk, perhaps Dalrymple/Daniels should first look at his own supposed-serious side of the aisle for how much they've damaged the public's ability to encourage honest intellectual curiosity

SPIRD: Smartest Person in the Room Disorder

by Steve Young SPIRD symptoms include, but are not limited to: thinking you have all the answers, thinking you should know all the answers, bulging forehead blood vessels, shouting down the opposition and an impulsive need to demonize or ruin your adversary

Mr. 6.8 Seconds

by Steve Young Are you saying that Bill's producer was pulling quotes out of context? That's not the Factor's cracked research team I know. It's almost like the guys at the Factor are treating the Folks like they're idiots, not simplifying the information but distorting it to make it quite contradictory to the truth

Bad Luck Can be the Best Luck of All

by Steve Young Paris Hilton, Alec Baldwin, David Hasselhoff, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Don Imus. It may seem to be more passenger list for the Titanic than role models for your kids, but looking past the celebrity, their plummeting reputations and escalating humiliation there lies grande opportunities. If not for them, then for us

Wolfowitz Appoints New World Bank Director for Iraq

by Emad Mekay The new appointment, which has not yet been formally announced by the Bank, appears to confirm what many analysts have long suspected about Wolfowitz's relentless attempts to move the Bank back into Iraq -- and to boost U.S. policy there -- despite internal opposition and the continuing high security risk

Deadly Tornado Brings Iraq War Home

by Jim Lobe In an echo of the Katrina hurricane disaster that devastated New Orleans -- and Bush's approval ratings -- in August 2005, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and several senior National Guard officers have charged that the deployment of key equipment, notably tractor-trailers that can bring heavy equipment to the site, to Iraq has slowed the state's response to the tornado that destroyed the prairie town of Greensburg

Mr. Hardball Goes to the World Bank

by Sarah Anderson Zoellick moved with breathtaking speed to take advantage of public fears and pressure on lawmakers to stand with the President during a national crisis. In a speech at the Institute for International Economics four days later, Zoellick really let loose by insinuating that there were links between the September 11 terrorists and anti-globalization protestors

After the Zealot Wolfowitz Comes Zoellick

by Emad Mekay Until last July, the 53-year-old Zoellick was the U.S. deputy secretary of state. He is best known, however, for his role as a former U.S. Trade Representative, a job in which he campaigned, with mixed results, to force developing countries to open their markets for U.S. businesses and goods

Presidential Hopeful Bill Richardson Courts Ethnic Media

by Daffodil Altan He said if he were president, he would do several things: map out a legalization plan for all undocumented immigrants, increase border security, with enhanced border patrol and technology, and increase legal immigration by increasing HB-1 visas and dealing immediately with the large visa backlog. When asked about a guest worker program, the governor said, 'I would talk more about earned legalization,' which would involve learning English, passing a background check and paying a fine, he said. 'Within earned legalization, I don't have a problem with a guest worker program'

Executions Down Worldwide -- Except Iran

by Kimia Sanati The Amnesty report showed a significant drop in executions worldwide -- 26 percent less than in 2005. But the trend was the opposite in Iran. There are also no signs of the number being any less this year, activists say, noting that in just two weeks in May the press reported some 18 executions

Admiral Told Bush: No War on Iran on his Watch

by Gareth Porter Fallon's resistance to the proposed deployment of a third aircraft carrier was followed by a shift in the Bush administration's Iran policy in February and March away from increased military threats and toward diplomatic engagement with Iran. That shift, for which no credible explanation has been offered by administration officials, suggests that Fallon's resistance to a crucial deployment was a major factor

Pakistan Threatens Martial Law as Situation Turns Grim

by Viji Sundaram Between violent opposition party protests and anti-War on Terror suicide bombings, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's leadership is being seriously called into question. But South Asian experts worry that a militant takeover of the country can only spell worse trouble for the nation

Fish & Wildlife Top Official Resigns in Ethics Scandal

MacDonald repeatedly leaked internal Fish and Wildlife Service documents to business groups who opposed the Service and its environmental decision making in court. Some of these internal documents later surfaced as evidence in lawsuits filed against the Service

Another Leader in a Former Soviet Republic Poisoned

by Ron Synovitz Kyrgyzstan's Prime Minister Almaz Atambaev recently added his name to a growing number of cases of real or suspected poisonings of political figures in former Soviet republics

Bush Risking Another Terror State by Supporting Musharraf

by Ivan Eland Given Musharraf's unenthusiastic pursuit of al Qaeda in Pakistan, why does the United States continue to support him? The answer is mainly a fear of 'instability' -- read, any change of leadership in a nuclear weapons state. The United States fears that the only alternative to Musharraf in a nuclear-armed Pakistan is the Islamic militants; but this outcome is actually more likely if the unpopular United States continues to zealously back Musharraf

Pentagon Doles Out Post-9/11 Aid With Little Oversight

by Jim Lobe Foreign countries regarded as strategic allies in the 'war on terror' have received billions of dollars in new military and security assistance since 9/11, much of it with little oversight, according to the Center for Public Integrity

Declassified Reports Show Intel Agencies Clearly Warned of Post-War Risks

by Jim Lobe Two major studies prepared by the U.S. intelligence community and distributed to senior officials in every relevant agency two months before Washington's invasion of Iraq warned of many of the problems that have turned the U.S. occupation there into the worst foreign policy crisis since at least the Vietnam War

Harry Fodder: An Open Letter to England's Prince

by Amir Soltani Sheikholeslami The Observer quotes another Sunni insurgent declaring that 'as soon as the prince arrives, the race will be on to seize him as a trophy,' presumably by trading their trophy for the release of captured insurgents, the withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq, or perhaps your poor grandmother's collection of ill-gotten Mughal jewels

Stressed, Suicidal Soldiers Facing Another Tour in Iraq

by Aaron Glantz The VA's Inspector General issued a report estimating that 1,000 veterans under its care commit suicide every year. The report also found that vets are at increased risk of suicide because many VA clinics don't have 24-hour care or adequate mental health screening, and lack properly trained personnel

At 3 Months, Few Say Troop "Surge" is Working

by Jim Lobe While killings in Baghdad itself may be down compared to late last year, they have been steadily creeping upwards over the last two months, according to published reports. Even the super-protected Green Zone -- the nerve center of U.S. operations and the Iraqi government -- has become increasingly insecure

Dems Give in to Bush on Iraq War Funding

by Ellen Massey The new legislation, expected to make it to the president's desk by Friday, dropped several key provisions that Bush had objected to in the earlier version of the supplemental spending bill, including troop readiness requirements that would require the president to ensure that troops sent to Iraq were properly trained, equipped and rested

Pentagon Had Plans to Take Over Iraqi Media After Invasion

by Jim Lobe In the run-up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon planned to create a 'Rapid Reaction Media Team' designed to ensure control over major Iraqi media while providing an Iraqi 'face' for its efforts

Hate Crimes Against Immigrants Rise Following Rights Marches

by Roberto Lovato During the immigrant rights marches last week, plots to attack immigrants with grenades and semi-automatic weapons were uncovered in Alabama, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Immigrant advocates say this indicates a very dangerous trend they believe is fueled by an anti-immigrant climate

Apocalyptic Times for the GOP Faithful

by Joe Conason For many of the religious right's true believers, the nomination of Giuliani or Romney would represent the ultimate humiliation

The GOP Plan to Keep Out the Vote

by Michael Winship What's the real motive for knocking off those eight, now nine, maybe more U.S. attorneys -- Republican appointees all -- apparently replaced for insufficient fealty to the Bushie party line? In part, the truth may be lurking in the upcoming 2008 elections

Women's Vote a Risk for Hillary

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Many women vehemently say that they want to see more women get into office and are more likely to vote for a woman candidate. Yet in the 2006 American National Election Study Pilot Test, women sounded as if they would be much harsher in judging a woman candidate's political ability. In other words, they want more women officeholders, but they will hold them to a higher standard than men

Study Finds Bill O'Reilly Bashes Every 6.8 Seconds

Bill O'Reilly may proclaim at the beginning of his program that viewers are entering the 'No Spin Zone,' but a new study by Indiana University media researchers found that the Fox News personality consistently paints certain people and groups as villains and others as victims to present the world, as he sees it, through political rhetoric

Immigration Rights Protests Marked by Police Violence

by Roberto Lovato With the increased raids, arrests and imprisonment since last year's immigration march, Tuesday's massive protest was more sober and serious. The stakes are higher now: the most immigrant-friendly bill is far from what many undocumented immigrants want

France Elects Nationalist, Anti-Immigrant Sarkozy

by Julio Godoy Nicolas Sarkozy's triumph in the French presidential elections could open the way for deep political and social changes, not unlike those that began with the era of Margaret Thatcher in Britain in the 1980s

Retrial for Mumia Abu-Jamal?

by Adrianne Appel After nearly two decades of appeals, on May 17 a U.S. federal court of appeals took its first step towards possibly ordering a new trial for Abu-Jamal, one of the best-known among the country's 3,500 death row inmates. The decision of the panel of judges is expected to take several months in what has become one of the most controversial death penalty cases of all times

Palestine Ripping Apart in Hamas, Fatah Civil War

by Peter Hirschberg The language on a timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq voted out of the House-Senate conference committee this week contains large loopholes that would apparently allow U.S. troops to continue carrying out military operations in Iraq's Sunni heartland indefinitely

Media Loves Using Religious Soundbites, Study Finds

by Eli Clifton Conservative religious leaders were found to be interviewed, on average, 2.8 times more often than progressives, 3.8 times more often on the television news networks, and 2.7 times as often in the major newspapers

Blair Leaves With Legacy Tied to History's View of Bush

Analysis by Sanjay Suri Through all this, Blair is seen not as acting on his own, but out of a decision to go with Bush. And if Bush has gone into trouble, or led his troops into it, Blair has simply kept company. Blair's biggest mistakes have been those he borrowed from Bush. And for a leader, following a mistake can be worse than leading on

Darfur Activists Target Wall St. Investors

by Michael Deibert Modeled on divestment campaigns that targeted apartheid-era South Africa in the 1980s, the Darfur disinvestment initiative has scored some notable successes in recent months

Sadr Fighting Kurds for Power in Baghdad

by Ali al-Fadhily Local policemen believe that the Shia militia, operating out of the Ministry of Interior as they have been for over two years now, also attempted to provoke a fight between the Kurdish unit in Baghdad and the local community in the area they were deployed, which is heavily Sunni. Two weeks ago Mehdi army members attacked the Kurdish unit. It is unknown if anyone was killed or wounded from either side, since orders from both the leaders of the Kurds and the Mehdi army ceased media coverage of the event

Iraq's Ethnic Minorities Face Obliteration

by Bill Weinberg Last month the massacre of 23 Yazidis -- one of Iraq's numerous micro-ethnic groups-- spotlighted a little known aspect of war in that country: how more and more minority groups are now threatened with extinction. Iraq now ranks second to Sudan as the country where minorities are at greatest risk, according to the London-Minority Rights Group International

Lebanon in Worst Violence Since 1990 End of Civil War

Emergency aid workers have been fired upon as they struggle to evacuate injured and dead Palestinians from Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in north Lebanon as fighting between the Lebanese Army and militants from Fatah al-Islam continued in the worst internal violence to hit Lebanon since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war

Beware Murdoch's 'Necessary Promises'

by Joe Conason What Murdoch usually guarantees, before sacking and burning an institution like Dow Jones, is editorial independence and freedom from political or commercial manipulation. Such promises are -- as Murdoch reportedly told an editor at The Times of London, who had heard similar assurances from him -- not worth the paper they are printed on

GOP's Reaganesque Tall Tales

by Joe Conason Sensing their own smallness, contemporary politicians often seek to puff themselves up by appealing to myth and legend. For Republicans, there is no mythology more appealing than that of Ronald Wilson Reagan, as the party's presidential candidates eagerly demonstrated during their May 3 debate in the library that bears his name

Tenet's Share of the Shame

by Joe Conason Tenet played the stooge over and over again during those months. In October 2002, he signed the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, a fatally skewed assessment of the dangers posed by that ruined country. In January 2003, he let the White House pretend that Iraq was seeking to obtain uranium from Africa. And in February 2003, as Secretary of State Colin Powell presented a series of bogus assertions to the United Nations and forever disgraced himself and his country, Tenet sat behind him in silent, nodding confirmation of those falsehoods

House Panel Tackles Bush Meddling With Science-Based Policies

by J.R. Pegg Bush administration officials at the Interior Department have repeatedly manipulated science in order to weaken protections for endangered species, former agency officials and environmentalists told the House Resources Committee

Iraq's Tigris Becoming a River Graveyard

Every day local police haul bodies from the Tigris bearing signs of torture. Locals who live near the river constantly see floating bodies. The situation is even worse in Suwayrah, a southern area of the capital, where the government has built barriers with huge iron nets to trap plants and garbage dropped in the river but now this is also a barrier for bodies

After Thousands Have Died, Tenet Comes Clean

by Robert Scheer Tenet's high crime -- and it is just that -- was that he knew of this treachery from the start, yet never exposed it to Congress or the public

Welcome to Grandpa's World, Baby Cheney

by Robert Scheer Perhaps they knew not what they did, but the picture the White House released of Vice President Dick Cheney, coming as close as he does to a smile, and his beaming wife, Lynne, cradling their newborn grandson, Samuel David Cheney, was a milestone in the nation's struggle for human rights for all. Never again will it be possible for conservative Republicans to shun homosexuals in any facet of American life without appearing outrageously hypocritical

Worse Than Watergate, Part II

by Robert Scheer Gonzales is just another lightweight zealot exploited by the Cheney White House. Not that Gonzales isn't a thoroughly loathsome character deserving of Senate rebuke and worse. He has been party to dragging this nation down in the eyes of the world, ordering and justifying torture while shredding the limitations on imperious governance that have been the hallmark of American liberty. Yet while the man has been associated with a pernicious assault on our freedoms, he has never been the independent actor, but rather a dutiful toady carrying out the wishes of a tightly monitored White House with the blessings of the president

Bush has to Ignore Iran's Nukes to Bailout Iraq

by Robert Scheer Great. Tehran's religious fanatics have moved closer to the potential for nuclear conflagration, and what can bully-boy Bush do about it? Nothing. He shot his wad gambling on the invasion of Iraq, a nation that didn't pose a WMD threat, and now needs Iran -- which the United Nations fears may pose a real threat -- to bail us out in Baghdad

Bush Alums Reap Their Reward

by Robert Scheer To understand why scum consistently rises to the surface of the Bush administration, it is best to refer to the wisdom contained in the final memoir of the late, great Kurt Vonnegut. In an excerpt published in 2006, Vonnegut observed that 'George W. Bush has gathered around him ... most frighteningly, psychotic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences'

Hate Radio Uses U.S. Muslim Poll to Stir Fears

by Hasan Zillur Rahim A recent Pew Research Center poll found that one in four Muslim youth in the U.S. think blowing oneself up to kill others can in some way be rationalized. But the stats hardly mean that thereีs a jihad brewing in America

The Other Bush Legacy: A New Cold War With Russia

by Conn Hallinan The current brouhaha over a U.S. plan to deploy anti-ballistic missiles (ABM) in Poland has nothing to do with a fear that Iran will attack Europe or the U.S. with nuclear tipped Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM). It has a great deal to do with the Bush Administration's efforts to neutralize Russia's and China's nuclear deterrents and edge both countries out of Central Asia

Romney Can't Escape Questions About Mormon Church

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Al Sharpton's recent comment against Mitt Romney and the Mormon Church caused a minor firestorm. That he backed down and apologized to the church, however, does not mean that the Mormon Church didn't have a shameful past

Immigration Bill: The Compromise Everyone Hates

by Eli Clifton Kennedy's high-profile support of the bill has been met with a lukewarm response from the Democratic Party with a number of senators and representatives expressing concern with the bill's harsh treatment of existing illegal immigrants and a guest worker system that falls short of providing full rights and benefits to workers

Her Majesty and the Commander Guy

by Michael Winship This is a woman who saw the wartime devastation of the London Blitz firsthand. A woman who was a driver for the military and whose children were in the service. A woman whose own grandson, Prince Harry, will soon be on duty in Iraq. None of these experiences or anything like them have been shared by our head of state or his offspring

Lebanon Refugee Camp Left Devastated

Heavy bombardment on Friday of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp by the Lebanese army killed at least four civilians and injured dozens, with eyewitnesses describing scenes of devastation after the military's week-long clashes with Islamist militants in the once densely populated camp

LAPD Blinks in Confrontation With Immigrants

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson The immigrant reform movement managed to do something that no one in Los Angeles had seen or even believed could happen. It forced the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles city officials to back down

Southern Ocean Nears CO2 Saturation Point, Say Researchers

by Stephen Leahy Climate change has arrested the Southern Ocean's ability to absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, researchers announced Thursday. This is the first evidence of the long-feared positive feedbacks that could rapidly accelerate the rate of climate change, pushing impacts to the extreme end of the scale.

Pope Endorses "Miracle Pills" by Naming New Saint

by Fabiana Frayssinet and Mario Osava The belief in the miracle pills -- tiny pieces of rice paper printed with prayers, that people swallow -- arose from Friar Galvao's practice of reportedly healing people by giving them small pieces of paper rolled into pills, containing written prayers. His canonization was based on two recent cases. In 1990, a four-year-old girl suffering from severe liver and kidney problems caused by hepatitis recovered against all odds after swallowing the miracle pills. And in 1999, a woman with a uterine malformation that had led to three miscarriages gave birth in what the Vatican called a 'scientifically inexplicable' case after taking the pills and praying to Friar Galvao.

Florida Angers Dems and Repubs With Plans for Earliest Primary in Nation

by Mark Weisenmiller Both national committees have threatened to cut in half the number of delegates that Florida can send to the Democratic and Republication national conventions in 2008. In addition, both parties have formally told the state's Democratic and Republican leaders that holding a primary before Feb. 5, 2008, is disallowed

Bush Breaks Neo-con Taboo With Short Iran Meetup

by Joe Conason For most Americans, who now wish we had never invaded Iraq, the notion of expanding that extraordinarily lethal mistake into neighboring Iran and Syria must seem insane. Yet those same brilliant neo-conservative strategists who brought us the war in Iraq and constantly urge its escalation exist in their own special reality. They speak of military hostilities against Iran and Syria with anticipation rather than apprehension

Guest Workers Fired After Protesting 'Slave' Conditions

by David Bacon Signal put the Indian guest workers to work in the yard alongside U.S. workers doing the same job -- welding and fitting. The company claims it pays workers from India the same wages as domestic employees. The guest workers say they were promised $18 an hour, but many were paid only half that, after the company said they were unqualified. Out of their wages, workers pay an additional $35 per day to stay in a labor camp Signal set up inside the yard

30,000 Trapped in Palestinian Refugee Camp as Lebanon Fighting Rages

by Jackson Allers More than 30,000 residents of a refugee camp in northern Lebanon remain trapped due to fighting between Lebanese Army units and members of a Sunni Islamist group, Fatah al-Islam. The fighting has continued for three days, and Palestinian factions inside Lebanon have been in a quandary as to how to assist the civilians stranded inside the densely populated Nahr el-Bared refugee camp

Stalin's Bunker to Become Putin's Mall

by Chloe Arnold Twenty-two floors beneath street level, near the Taganskaya metro station in central Moscow, lies a labyrinth of winding alleys and echoing caverns. It used to be a top-secret bunker, built by Josef Stalin in the 1950s as a weapons cache, fuel depot, and shelter for up to 3,000 troops and civilians

Falwell Leaves Legacy of Intolerance, Christian Zionism

by Bill Berkowitz Falwell also had a significant impact on U.S. foreign policy over the last 30 years, and was one of the founding fathers here of so-called Christian Zionism -- the belief that the modern state of Israel is the fulfillment of Biblical 'End Times' prophecy and thus deserving of political, financial and religious support

African Americans Losing Faith in Public Education

by Carolyn Goossen Among the findings of a statewide survey of Californian's thoughts on the state's public education system, is the fact that African Americans are steadily losing faith in the system

Darfur Activists Say Bush Sanctions on Sudan Will do Little

by Jim Lobe Bush ordered the implementation of his long-awaited 'Plan B' against Sudan here May 29, but activists said the new sanctions were unlikely to induce Khartoum to permit the long-delayed deployment of a joint African Union (AU)-UN force of 23,000 peacekeeping troops and police to Darfur

Fumbled Execution Puts Lethal Injection Method on the Hot Seat

by Mark Weisenmiller A botched execution by lethal injection in Florida in December has raised to new levels the controversy surrounding capital punishment and focused attention on this method of carrying out a death sentence

Wolfowitz World Bank Projects Also Under Scrutiny

Analysis by Anil Netto Loans, however, continued to be awarded to countries with poor human rights records, especially Pakistan, and Bank staff are known to have complained at the speed with which he was pushing them to get into lending to Iraq. The Bank showed no concern for human rights in its lending, only concern about corruption, and that too defined in a biased way, so there is no sign that the Bank was moving away from building up more odious debt

Wolfowitz Has Only Himself to Blame for Bank Ouster

Analysis by Emad Mekay Disgraced World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who announced his resignation Thursday, may insist that his staff and the Bank's directors ganged up on him because of his role in the Iraq war, but analysts and a Bank source say the ouster was mostly self-inflicted

Wolfowitz Resigns From World Bank

by Emad Mekay World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who has been warding off accusations of favoritism and nepotism at the Washington-based institution, will resign effective Jun. 30, the first president ever to be forced out

Wolfowitz Scandal Spotlights U.S. Reign at Bank

by Emad Mekay Recent White House backing for the beleaguered World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, despite the findings of an internal report that said he had violated the Bank's ethics rules, is bringing the role of the United States in running the Bank in undemocratic ways under scrutiny, with rising calls for Washington to loosen its grip on the institution

Wolfowitz Led Efforts to Cut Women's Health Programs at World Bank

by Thalif Deen As Wolfowitz's leadership hangs on a thread due primarily to charges of conflict of interest in his romantic relationship with a staffer, one of his appointees, Juan Jose Daboub, a managing director at the World Bank, was also accused of trying to eliminate references to reproductive health and family planning from a Bank strategy document. After strong protests by several European members, specifically Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Norway, the Bank's executive board decided to sustain its policy on population and women's reproductive rights in its strategy document

Charges of Dishonesty Fly at World Bank

by Emad Mekay The controversy over allegations of misconduct by World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is turning ever more sour, with Wolfowitz and former top managers, who together oversaw billons of dollars in loans to thousands of projects in developing nations, trading barbs and accusations of dishonesty

Combative Wolfowitz Slams "Circus-like" Process

by Emad Mekay Wolfowitz claimed that he was making progress raising funds for the Bank's soft-loans arm, the International Development Association (IDA). Bank officials seek replenishment for the IDA every three years. Now is the 15th round for raising such funds. European countries have suggested that they may withhold or cut down on their contributions if Wolfowitz stays on. 'If I am forced out in a circus-like process, it will only give those who are already looking for a reason not to contribute to IDA 15 the excuse they are seeking'

Black Freedmen Expelled From Cherokee Nation

by Cynthia Nelson The Cherokee Nation's vote to expel many black members, known as Freedmen, could have far-reaching effects as other tribes follow the precedent. While many critics portray the Freedmen as outsiders who take advantage of Native culture and resources, Freedmen say that it is about celebrating a part of their identity

U.S. Approval of Iraq War Hits New Low

by Jim Lobe Public disillusionment with the war in Iraq has reached record highs, according to a poll released May 24. Public support for the war continued plummeting, even as Congress moved to approve Bush's request for continued funding of the Iraq war through the end of the 2007 fiscal year

Bush Political Agenda Behind Immigration Raids

by David Bacon While workers get deported, and often must leave their children with relatives, or even strangers, don't expect to see many of their employers go to jail. Further, ICE can't, and won't, deport all 12 million undocumented workers in the country. This would quickly halt many industries. Instead, these raids have a political purpose

Iraq's Root Problem: Nobody Is Accountable

by Ali al-Fadhily Killings, crime, lack of medical care, collapse of education -- the list goes on. But with the occupation by U.S.-led forces now into a fifth year, and a supposedly democratic government in place, no one knows who to hold accountable for all that is going wrong

Mexico Drug Crackdown Spreading Organized Crime

by Gardenia Mendoza Aguilar/La Opinion, Translated by Elena Shore Mexican President Felipe Calderon has deployed federal troops to several states known as drug trafficking hot spots. As a result, organized crime has moved to less closely watched areas, in what is known as the 'cockroach effect'

It may be Bush's War, but it's now the Democrats Funding it

by Stephen Zunes The claim by Speaker Pelosi and other Democratic leaders unconditional funding was necessary to 'support the troops' and to 'not leave them in harm's way' is a lie. If they really supported the troops and wanted them out of harm's way, they would have passed legislation that would bring them home. The Democrats had other priorities, however

Melamine-Tainted Feed Now in Human Food Chain

A chemical used to make plastics that contaminated pet food, killing at least 1,950 cats and 2,200 dogs across the United States has now been detected in the human food chain. Melamine has been found in hog feed in six states and in chicken feed consumed by at least three million chickens

Bush Seeks to Shift Aid Programs from State Dept. to Pentagon

by Eli Clifton Human rights advocates have expressed concern that the new legislation represents a structural shift that would allow the Pentagon greater leeway in setting foreign policy and permit it nearly complete protection from Congressional oversight

Bush Holds Iranian Officials as Bargaining Chips

by Gareth Porter Rice argued that the administration should release the five Iranian officials, because they were no longer useful. But Wright reported that an unnamed official representing Vice President Dick Cheney had insisted on holding them, arguing that it would convey to Iran that even more Iranian officials in Iraq might be seized, and that Rice had 'gone along with the consensus' on the issue

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