Top News 11/18/04

Top 11/17/04 Iraq
Iraq: Urgent action needed to prevent war crimes - news.amnesty - Amnesty International:
Recent reports from Falluja raise serious concerns that grave violations of the laws of war protecting both civilians and combatants who are no longer taking part in hostilities (hors de combat) are taking place. According to the US television network NBC, US Marines left five wounded Iraqi men in a mosque after a battle. The next day, last Saturday, another group of Marines entered the mosque, and an NBC reporter saw one Marine shoot in the head, one of the wounded Iraqi men who was lying on the ground, with no visible weapons near him. The fate of the four other Iraqis is unclear. US authorities have stated that that they have removed form the battlefield one soldier and that they will conduct an investigation into this incident. However, urgent measures must also be taken to prevent any violations Amnesty International said today. 'Unequivocal orders for the proper treatment of unarmed and wounded insurgents must be issued or reinforced to all US and Iraqi military and civilian personnel. US and Iraqi forces should be clear that under international law they have an obligation to protect and provide necessary medical attention to wounded insurgents who are no longer posing a threat, as well as to civilians,' said Amnesty International."

Rare Blood Infection Surfaces in Injured U.S. Soldiers

Reuters - 1 hour, 29 minutes ago
An unexpectedly high number of U.S. soldiers injured in the Middle East and Afghanistan are testing positive for a rare, hard-to-treat blood infection in military hospitals, Army doctors reported on Thursday. A total of 102 soldiers were found to be infected with the bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii. The infections occurred among soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and three other sites between Jan. 1, 2002, and Aug. 31, 2004

U.S. May Have Found Fallujah Militant Base
U.S. troops sweeping through Fallujah on Thursday found what appeared to be a command center used by followers of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and a U.S. general expressed confidence the battle for the city has "broken the back of the insurgency..

Election woes
Official Orders Recount in Washington State Race
The race, between Christine Gregoire, 57, a Democrat who is the state attorney general, and Dino Rossi, 45, a Republican businessman and former state senator, has been surprisingly close for the past two weeks. With all 2.9 million votes counted Wednesday evening, Mr. Rossi was ahead by by 261 votes, triggering an automatic recount.

Yahoo! News - Exit poll data will be delayed
On future election days, news organizations that pay for surveys of voters leaving polling places won't see results until late afternoon or early evening. The goal is to avoid a repeat of what happened this Election Day, when leaked information from exit polls was posted by Internet commentators known as bloggers about 1 p.m. ET. That was just minutes after the data had been given to the five television networks that, along with the Associated Press, formed a consortium to pay for exit polls and count votes during major elections. Sheldon Gawiser, chairman of the polling consortium's steering committee and NBC's director of elections, said Wednesday that in future elections, no data will be sent to the networks and AP until at least 4 p.m. ET. The "first wave" of data that bloggers posted this year, he said, was just too raw to be valuable to "people who don't know what they're dealing with."

A Rockin' Youth Vote: 52 % of eligible voters ages 18 to 29 went to the polls:
Voter turnout for this year's presidential election was the highest since 1968. But one notable achievement was in the youth vote. Some 52 percent of eligible voters ages 18 to 29 went to the polls, compared with 42 percent four years ago, and 35 percent in 1996. In 10 battleground states.. turnout of that age group was an amazing 64 percent, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the University of Maryland.

Big Voter Turnout Seen Among Young People
Under-30 voters came through in big numbers this year, with more than 20 million casting a ballot for president, researchers found. The turnout bested their 2000 showing by more than nine percentage points and heartened activists who worked to get young voters to the polls. 

Election Worker Refuses to Lie for Voting Software Company
April 2004

Wendy Orange works for Election Systems and Software, known as ES&S, which sold Marion County its voting system.Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler revealed Tuesday that the company installed illegal software before last November's election. Orange is the ES&S project manager for Marion County. She's the one who blew the whistle on ES&S for installing illegal software, the same software used to tabulate November's election results "The company with which the Marion County election board has contracted to provide its voting machines and software has willfully and purposely deceived me and the Marion County election board by installing uncertified election software and then ordering their employee to withhold that information from me," said Sadler at a Tuesday press conference.But Wendy Orange didn't withhold that information. Her husband, Doug Orange, used to work for ES&S as Johnson County's project manager. He was fired after refusing a superior's order to zero the counters on voting machines at the courthouse instead of the polls. "I felt those procedures were illegal," said Orange.

Ohio Finds Possible Double Votes, Counts

Election officials in one Ohio county found that about 2,600 ballots were double-counted, and two other counties have discovered possible cases of people voting twice in the presidential election. Prosecutors were trying to determine Wednesday whether charges should be filed against a couple in Madison County accused of voting twice. In addition, Summit County election workers investigated possible double votes found under 18 names.  Sandusky County election officials discovered that about 2,600 ballots from nine precincts were counted twice, likely because of worker error, elections director Barb Tuckerman said. The problem was discovered when Tuckerman found that one precinct showed 131 percent of registered voters had cast ballots. A couple who voted twice in Madison County cast absentee ballots in October, then voted in person on Election Day, county elections director Gloria Herrel said. In Summit county, typically the votes were made by absentee ballot or in person, and then a second vote was cast with a provisional ballot in another precinct, elections director Bryan Williams said. Under Ohio law, people who vote twice could be charged with election fraud, falsification or illegal voting, according the Secretary of State's Office. The maximum penalty for the most severe charge is 18 months in prison. In Illinois, thousands of provisional ballots cast on Election Day did not count, in most cases for lack of evidence the voters were actually registered. The Associated Press count was based on checks of several election jurisdictions. State officials were still gathering information Wednesday on provisional ballots cast statewide, a day after the deadline to count them.

Unofficial Iowa Totals Show Bush Win
President Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry in Iowa by roughly 10,000 votes — or less than 1 percent of the 1.5 million ballots cast, according to unofficial election results

Other News
Ancient Animal Could Be Human-Ape Ancestor
A nearly 13 million-year-old ape discovered in Spain is the last probable common ancestor to all living humans and great apes, a research team says in Friday's issue of Science magazine. (No it's not Aznar - law)

Former Presidents Pay Tribute to Clinton
Top Clinton administration officials, both Presidents Bush, rock stars and ordinary admirers of Bill Clinton turned out Thursday to pay homage to "a man of compassion" at the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center

Bush Salutes Clinton at Library Opening
In a cold, drenching rain, President Bush made small talk under umbrellas with former President Clinton after praising the one-time political foe he once scorned as a man who diminished the honor and dignity of the Oval Office.

Kerry to Give Dems Leftover Campaign Cash
Under friendly fire, Sen. John Kerry likely will donate a substantial portion of his excess presidential campaign cash to help elect Democratic candidates in 2005 and 2006, advisers said Thursday.

New W Order
Powell Says Iran Is Pursuing Bomb
The United States has intelligence that Iran is working to adapt missiles to deliver a nuclear weapon, further evidence that the Islamic republic is determined to acquire a nuclear bomb, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Wednesday.

Inflation surge: Is it here to stay?
The consumer price index hit a six-month high in October, seen in the cost of items from bell peppers to FedEx packages. By Ron Scherer
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor NEW YORK – Inflation is seeping back into the economic landscape. Americans know all too well what it feels like if they drive, buy a mozzarella and tomato salad, or want to ship food treats to a son or daughter at college by UPS. Prices that had been stable for a long time now require shelling out more money. A spurt in inflation has important ramifications for the economy as a whole. The Federal Reserve, which might have been thinking about holding interest rates steady next month, might raise them instead. Higher prices may make some Americans think twice about how much to spend over the holidays. And inflation is not good for the bond market, which could ultimately push up the cost of mortgages and corporate funding. Wednesday, the government quantified some of this financial hardship, reporting that the October consumer price index rose 0.6 percent, its fastest rate since March. The uptick in consumer prices followed a report on Tuesday that October wholesale prices leaped by 1.7 percent - the highest pace in almost 15 years. Still, economists differ over the meaning of the news. Some believe it may signal continued inflation. They don't think businesses can hit the productivity button any more and absorb the costs. "This is the worst inflation since the late 1990s," says Roger Kubarych, chief economic Adviser for HVB Americas. "And the Fed was tightening considerably then."

Possible New Case of Mad Cow Disease Found
A second case of mad cow disease may have turned up in the United States but meat from the suspect animal has not entered the food chain, Agriculture Department officials said Thursday

FDA Called 'Defenseless' Against Bad Drugs
The American public is "virtually defenseless" if another medication such as Vioxx proves to be unsafe after it is approved for sale, a government drug safety reviewer told a congressional committee Thursday.

Reporter Convicted for Protecting Source
A television reporter was convicted of criminal contempt Thursday for refusing to say who gave him an FBI videotape showing a city official taking a bribe

Condi's now a MEDIA ATTACK DOG, It's worth a read...and is an Atrocity....Now the US WANTS TO QUELL THE REST OF THE WORLD THAT MAY HAVE ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENTS...this is just part of Condi's new job....However, I have a question for our Govt. Exactly what is defined as FALSE or Biased...anyone not liking Bush or our Foreign Policies??
Senate Bill S.2845 (AKA 9/11 Bill) - SEC. 4042. ENHANCING FREE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA.
(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are fundamental human rights. (2) The United States has a national interest in promoting these freedoms by supporting free media abroad, which is essential to the development of free and democratic societies consistent with our own. (3) Free media is undermined, endangered, or nonexistent in many repressive and transitional societies around the world, including in Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East. (4) Individuals lacking access to a plurality of free media are vulnerable to misinformation and propaganda and are potentially more likely to adopt anti-American views. (5) Foreign governments have a responsibility to actively and publicly discourage and rebut unprofessional and unethical media while respecting journalistic integrity and editorial independence.
(b ) Statements of Policy- It shall be the policy of the United States, acting through the Secretary of State, to--
(1) ensure that the promotion of press freedoms and free media worldwide is a priority of United States foreign policy and an integral component of United States public diplomacy; (2) respect the journalistic integrity and editorial independence of free media worldwide; and(3) ensure that widely accepted standards for professional and ethical journalistic and editorial practices are employed when assessing international media.

Specter Wins Support for Chairmanship
Arlen Specter on Thursday won the backing of Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans to be their new chairman, surviving complaints from abortion opponents after submitting an extraordinary statement underscoring his support for Bush judicial nominees

FOXNews.com - Politics - Conspiracy Theories Abound After Election
Thursday, November 18, 2004 -  [problem] reports were attributed to voting machine problems. But those in the industry say despite problems here and there, their wares worked brilliantly this year. 'From the voting technology aspect of things, I think what this seems to suggest is that as a country, we're getting to a point where we can't take 'yes' as an answer,' Bob Cohen, spokesman for the Information Technology Association of America, said in response to the scrutiny of electronic voting machines and the criticism they faced. 'The fact is, electronic voting machines worked great "

An Open Letter to the New York Times (and by implication) the Rest of the US Media
Who are Trying to Whitewash ? the 2004 Presidential Election Scandal ?

Dear New York Times, etal,
I am neither internet enthusiast nor blogger: the term blogosphere did not even enter my vocabulary until several weeks before the 2004 election when these citizen journalists, some more legitimate than others,  began emerging as a powerful political force in the election. I am not unlike most of your readers: educator, writer, editor, translator with a PhD and a two-page publications list under my belt, in German and English. I volunteer for my local park district, where I offer performing arts programs for children and youth. All in all, I'm pretty average--not unlike the now nearly 40,000 people who've signed the electronic petition to Congress requesting an investigation of the 2004 presidential election. (Note: I do not argue for the legitimacy of all these signatures--what's a few thousand plus or minus in the greater scheme of things?). The internet is not a distant planet: I would venture to guess that it is "inhabited" or at least visited by 99.9% of your readers. These readers don't appreciate their entirely justifiable concerns about the accuracy of the electoral process being discredited and dismissed as conspiracy theorist-quackery--as eight out of nine responses printed in today's evidence.

Cross-dressing leads to homosexuality?
'Cross-Dressing' Out, Camouflage In
Reuters - Thu Nov 18, 9:47 AM ET
Camouflage was in and cross-dressing was out at a rural East Texas school district after a Christian legal group complained a long-standing school tradition of reversing social roles for a day would promote homosexuality
Except when Bush does it!
George W. Bush's Journey: The Cross Dressing Cheerleader
ANDOVER, Mass. -- Perhaps there have been other presidential candidates who have dressed in drag, flaunting their legs from beneath a (fairly short) white skirt. But George W. Bush is probably the only one who has done it in front of a camera. A photograph showing George and friends wearing wigs and employing falsies to fill out their sweaters appears in a yellowed copy of the school newspaper of Phillips Academy here in Andover, near Boston. It was 1963, and George, then a high school senior and head cheerleader, was leading a skit intended to mock rival schools.

Pink Locusts from North Africa Swarm Through Cairo
Swarms of pink locusts swept through the Egyptian capital on Wednesday, evoking the biblical description of the plagues which struck in the time of Moses
Locusts back to Egyptin 2004


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