Top news 11/16/04

U.S. Marines Rally Round Iraq Probe Comrade

Reuters - Tue Nov 16,10:37 AM ET
U.S. Marines rallied round a comrade under investigation for killing a wounded Iraqi during the offensive in Falluja, saying he was probably under combat stress in unpredictable, hair-trigger circumstances.

Election Law @ Moritz - Potential Problems in Ohio (Current Litigation)ABC, Fox, CBS, etc. Sue Blackwell?,American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. et al v. Blackwell U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Case No. 1:04-cv-0075" Blackwell did not permit exit polls to be conducted within 100 feet of polling places

Middle East
Fixing the problem of Falluja
: "The enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He lives in Falluja. And we're going to destroy him Lt Col Gareth Brand"

"Government looking at military draft lists Government looking at military draft lists By ALMA WALZER The Monitor McALLEN, November 15, 2004 — It’s taken one year, seven months and 19 days of combat in Iraq for the Lone Star State to lose 100 of its own. Texas is the second state, after California, to lose 100 service members, according to The Associated Press. With continuing war in Iraq and U.S. armed forces dispersed to so many other locations around the globe, Americans may be wondering if compulsory military service could begin again for the first time since the Vietnam War era. The Selective Service System (SSS) and the U.S. Department of Education now are gearing up to compare their computer records, to make sure all men between the ages of 18 and 25 who are required to register for a military draft have done so. The SSS and the education department will begin comparing their lists on Jan. 1, 2005, according to a memo authored by Jack Martin, acting Selective Service director. While similar record checks have been done periodically for the past 10 years, Martin’s memo is dated Oct. 28, just a few days before the Nov. 2 presidential election, a hard-fought campaign in which the question of whether the nation might need to reinstate a military draft was raised in debates and on the stump. It took several more days, until Nov. 4, for the document to reach the Federal Register, the official daily publication for rules and notices of federal agencies and organizations. The memo was also produced after the U.S. House voted 402-2 on Oct. 5, against House Resolution 163, a bill that would have required all young people, including women, to serve two years of military service. Under federal law, a military draft cannot be started without congressional support. About 94 percent of all men are properly registered for a draft, according to Richard Flahavan, associate director of the office of public and intergovernmental affairs for SSS.

In Sudan, a Sense of Abandonment (washingtonpost.com) NEW AL-JEER SUREAF, Sudan -- The Bush administration has called it genocide. Other governments have labeled it ethnic cleansing and the world's worst humanitarian crisis. There have been calls for collective action and promises of relief. There have been somber reminders of the slaughter in tiny Rwanda a decade ago and solemn vows not to let such a thing happen here, in Africa's largest country. But months later, the displaced inhabitants of Darfur, in western Sudan, find themselves consoled by little more than words. No Western country has been willing to commit troops to a small peacekeeping mission mounted by the African Union, while aid donors have been distracted by the conflict in Iraq, and U.N. sanctions have been frozen by diplomatic disputes

F U G O P : British Redeployment Fiasco: "Reuters: As Scottish Nationalist Party leader Alex Salmond said public grief over the deaths would soon turn to anger. 'The Black Watch has been sent in to do an impossible job -- that is 800 Scottish soldiers replacing 4,000 American marines.

Aid Worker Hassan Believed Slain in Video
AP - 23 minutes ago
Margaret Hassan, the British aid worker kidnapped after decades of helping Iraqis, is believed to have been murdered by her captors, a British government official said Tuesday, based on a video that showed a hooded militant shooting a blindfolded woman in the head

Europe's First Moon Mission Successful
AP - Tue Nov 16, 3:48 PM ET
A fuel-efficient, compact spacecraft has made it into lunar orbit, signaling Europe's first successful mission to the moon and putting the inexpensive probe on course to study the lunar surface, officials said Tuesday

Arafat left mystery on PLO's holdings
Chicago Tribune - Tue Nov 16, 9:40 AM ET
The Palestinian leader's obsessive and singular control over far-flung assets has some wondering whether millions--or billions--will ever be found

hooting in Iraq Mosque Angers Muslims
AP - 22 minutes ago
The fatal shooting of a wounded and apparently unarmed man in a Fallujah mosque by a U.S. Marine angered Sunni Muslims in Iraq on Tuesday and raised questions about the protection of insurgents once they are out of action

British-Iraqi Hostage Hassan Probably Killed
Reuters - Tue Nov 16, 3:07 PM ET
British-Iraqi aid worker Margaret Hassan has probably been killed by kidnappers, her family said on Tuesday after a video apparently showing her being shot in the head was sent to an Arab television station.

Kerry Says He's Not Ruling Out Another Run
AP - 49 minutes ago
Sen. John Kerry, who has $45 million left from his record-breaking Democratic campaign, hinted on Tuesday that he may try again for the presidency.

U.S., Iraqis Regain Some Ground in Mosul
AP - 37 minutes ago
U.S. and Iraqi troops recaptured police stations and secured bridges in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday in an offensive aimed at pushing out fighters supporting the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.

Probe: Iraq U.N. Cash Sent to Bombers' Kin
AP - 12 minutes ago
Saddam Hussein diverted money from the U.N. oil-for-food program to pay millions of dollars to families of Palestinian suicide bombers who carried out attacks on Israel, say congressional investigators who uncovered evidence of the money trail.

Nov. Ranks 2nd in U.S. Deaths in Iraq Open this result in new window
AP via Yahoo! News - 28 minutes ago
U.S. deaths in Iraq this month are approaching 100, making it the second-deadliest month since American forces invaded the country in March 2003, Pentagon records show.

US in 27th place on global social progress index - 11-11-2004
The United States ranks 27th in a study of social progress worldwide due to social service budget cuts and chronic poverty plaguing major US cities, a University of Pennyslvania report found

Wholesale prices post the biggest increase since 1990 - Nov. 16, 2004: "Wholesale prices soar PPI shows biggest jump in nearly 15 years, driven by surging energy costs; is inflation back? November 16, 2004: 2:18 PM EST By Chris Isidore, CNN/Money senior writer NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Wholesale prices posted their biggest rise in nearly 15 years in October, lifted by soaring energy costs, the government reported Tuesday, setting off inflation alarm bells just as oil prices have started retreating."The producer price index (PPI), which measures prices before they reach consumers, leaped 1.7 percent last month, the biggest jump since January 1990, the Labor Department said. That compares with a 0.1 percent rise in September. The inflation reading came in well above even the highest forecasts on Wall Street.

TIME.com: Bordering On Nukes? -- Nov. 22, 2004
Masri also said al-Qaeda has considered plans to "smuggle nuclear materials to Mexico, then operatives would carry material into the U.S.," according to the report, parts of which were read to TIME. Masri says his family, seeking refuge from al-Qaeda hunters, is now in Iran.

Boston.com / News / Education / K-12 / Evolution foes see opening to press fight in schools: "Evolution foes see opening to press fight in schools By Raja Mishra, Globe Staff
November 16, 2004 A long-running American cultural clash has flared yet again, with a trial in suburban Atlanta this month over teaching evolution in public schools. Several Georgia parents are challenging a local school board's decision to require biology textbooks to include a prominently placed label stating that evolution is ''not a fact.'
F U G O P : Gulf War Syndrome Caused by Sarin? Gulf War Syndrome Caused by Sarin? The BBC is reporting that Gulf War syndrome is related to low level exposure to Sarin gas. A leaked US Department of Veterans Affairs' Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses report finds that GWS sufferers have neurological damage consistent with low level Sarin exposure and "lower levels of an enzyme which breaks down sarin-like compounds.
Cleveland.com: NewsFlash - Enough money raised for a statewide recount: "The recount would be conducted after the election results are certified in early December. Libertarian Michael Badnarik and the Green Party's David Cobb said on Monday they raised more than $150,000 in four days, mostly in small contributions. Ohio law requires payment of $10 per precinct for a recount, or $113,600 statewide. Badnarik and Cobb said they aren't trying to overturn President Bush's 136,000-vote victory in Ohio, but just want to ensure that all votes were counted properly in the face of concerns about Election Day irregularities. 'Our bottom line is to stand up for the integrity of the voting process because the voting process is the heart of the democratic process,' said Blair Bobier, spokesman for Cobb. Bobier said it will be worth the price to ensure the final outcome can be trusted."

apple juice 2.0 » Mandate? Pffft!: "11/11/2004 Mandate? Pffft! Okay, Something we’ve all been hearing about is the broad victory by president bush! A clear mandate! Most votes ever! Hogwash! I say. Okay, the last one is true, he did get the most votes ever in a presidential election. Do you know who got the second most votes in american history? John Kerry. It was the closest win for an incumbent president since woodrow wilson. So when you hear people talking about this as if there was a massive landslide victory, be sure to get up and deliver a verbal smackdown to the tune of: “51% is hardly a mandate!” Nearly half of us don’t agree with: * Lying to the American people about the reasons for going to Iraq. * Destroying the environment in the name of oil and gas exploration. * Recklessly cutting taxes while we are in the depths of an enormous debt. I could go on, there are many more reasons, but it is clear that many people don’t care about these things, and don’t care what I have to say about it. But, thanks for passing the buck to my unborn children! That’ll be really fun for them

US attack on Iran 'inconceivable'
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said it is "inconceivable" that America would try to bomb Iran. There has been speculation about whether the newly re-elected George Bush will be more hawkish over Iran. Pointing to talks with Tehran, Mr Straw said: "I don't see any circumstances in which military action would be justified against Iran, full stop." Mr Straw said President Bush's re-election gave the world the chance to make new progress on Middle East peace. No more war? After months of talks, Iranian president Mohammad Khatami this week said Iran was ready to pledge not to pursue nuclear weapons. But he wants recognition of Iran's right to peaceful nuclear technology.

: "DC OFFICIALS HOLD SECRET MEETING; WOULD BE ILLEGAL IN MOST STATES COMMON DENOMINATOR - D.C. elected officials and other high-level government managers are gathering in private meetings with representatives of several special-interest groups at a secluded conference center more than 50 miles from Washington to set an agenda for the District's schools. Lodging, meals and other amenities during the two-day event, billed as a 'retreat,' are being paid for government officials and other participants by the Fannie Mae Foundation, the Kimsey Foundation and the Foundation for the National Capital Region. The entire D.C. Board of Education, including the two new members elected on Nov. 2 and at least one of two student members, is expected to participate in the private meetings. Among other city officials expected to participate are Mayor Anthony A. Williams, Deputy Mayor Neal Albert, D.C. City Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp, D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) Superintendent Clifford B. Janey, City Administrator Robert Bobb, At-Large Councilwoman Carol Schwartz, Ward 3 Councilwoman Kathy Patterson and Ward 4 Councilman Adrian Fenty. About 130 individuals, including city officials, are expected to attend. A "working agenda" for the meetings, obtained by The Common Denominator, says the participants will engage in "defining the agenda for DCPS for the next year" and "pro-actively planning for success in the endeavor - what must be done, how it must be done, and what we each must do in the months ahead.". . . The Common Denominator's request to attend the conference was denied by organizers, who said no members of the news media were being permitted to attend or participate. Unlike most states, which require almost all discussions of public policy by members of an elected governing body to be held in public, District of Columbia law requires only that a final vote on public business be conducted in a meeting that is open to the public. Expected to participate, in addition to city officials, are representatives from several charter schools, nonprofit groups, dues-paying community associations and business organizations. These include the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, Federal City Council, Appleseed Foundation, D.C. VOICE, SHAPPE, D.C. Congress of PTAs, Parents United, 21st Century School Fund, Teach for America, ACORN and the Community Foundation


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