Saturday, May 12, 2007





[ Note that the Democratic Party "friends of Labor" are
fully supporting this theft of Iraqi oil by their friends
in the oil corporations. If the Iraqi government acts
to break the Iraqi oil workers strike will Speaker Nancy
Pelosi protest and withdraw support from the law?
Don't hold your breath! - Howard Keylor,]

in solidarity with the oil workers of Iraq

450 Golden Gate Ave.

The Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions has put the Iraqi
government on notice that it intends to strike on
Monday , May 14th to demonstrate the union's strong
opposition to the proposed oil (theft) law now
pending action by the Iraqi parliament.

The Bush administration and Congress have made adoption
of the oil law one of the "benchmarks" of "progress"
and Iraqi "cooperation." The law has been unanimously
and strongly condemned and rejected by all of Iraq's
major labor federations. If adopted, it would allow
foreign oil corporations to obtain contracts to exploit
up to 2/3 of Iraqi oil reserves for as long as 30 years
and to reap the lion's share of the profits earned
on that oil. It makes a mockery of Iraqi sovereignty
and would deprive the Iraqi people of the resources
they require to rebuild their shattered nation.

The leadership of the Democratic Party has embraced
this oil law and put it into the supplemental funding
bill as one of the benchmarks by which the Iraqi
government will be measured. In doing so, they have
become complicit in a backdoor effort to privatize
Iraq's publicly owned oil resources - second largest
in the world.

The Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq has given the
Oil Ministry a list of demands in addition to their
opposition to the oil law relating to wages and working
conditions. They delayed their strike from Friday
to Monday to give the Oil Ministry time to respond.



Demonstration called by U.S. Labor Against the War
and Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice
[For more info visit
or or call 510 847 8657]


Hold the date and Spread the word:



Thursday, May 17th, 4 - 6 p.m.

U.S. Court of Appeal Building at
7th and Mission Streets
San Francisco

Mumia is Innocent--Free Mumia!

For Labor Action to Free Mumia!

End the Racist Death Penalty!

On May 17th, 2007, oral arguments
will be heard in federal court in
Philadelphia on what could be the
last appeal of death-row journalist
Mumia Abu-Jamal, known as the "Voice
of the Voiceless."

The evidence shows--Mumia Abu-Jamal
is an innocent man. He has been on
death row in Pennsylvania for 25 years,
victim of a police and prosecutorial
frame-up and a racist judge. He continues
to serve the movement for human rights
as a journalist writing and broadcasting
from prison.

Come out on May 17th in SF to support
Mumia at this critical time!

Demonstrate with the Labor Action Committee
To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 Oakland CA 94610. 510 763-2347,

Sponsored by: The Mobilization to Free Mumia
Abu-Jamal (Northern California);
International Concerned Family and Friends
of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Coalition (NYC); Chicago Committee to Free
Mumia Abu-Jamal; Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal,
Bay Area United Against War, and many others!







A Member of the
NEW ORLEANS COMMUNITY Residing in the Bay Area


TUESDAY MAY 22nd - 7pm

$5-10 sliding scale donation –
no one turned away for lack of funds

(near 19th Street BART Station)

Sponsored By The Bay Area Labor
Committee For Peace & Justice/USLAW
For more info: 510-540-0845


Students to Pelosi: immediate withdrawal from Iraq

*** Please forward widely ***

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi:

We are students from Bay Area colleges and universities
and part of the Campus Antiwar Network. We are concerned
about the state of the war and occupation in Iraq as well
as the effect that this is having on our schools and our
communities. We are furthermore concerned that the debate
about the war has been hamstrung by political maneuvering
rather than principled commitments to peace and justice.
In that vein, we believe that any meaningful solution
in the Middle East requires the following:

1) Immediate withdrawal of all US forces, personnel,
and contractors from Iraq

2) Iraqi control over Iraq: no permanent military
bases, no control over Iraqi oil, no US intervention
in their political process

3) Full funding of veterans’ benefits and health care,
including mental health care

4) Reparations to the Iraqi people

5) Ban on the use of depleted uranium munitions in Iraq

6) Redistribution of the war budget towards jobs
and education

The current standoff between you and the President brings
us no closer to withdrawal. Your House Spending Bill
is not a good solution. It would have allowed tens
of thousands of troops to remain in Iraq, kept military
bases open nearby, and would have authorized the President
to intervene again on the pretext of combating al-Qaeda.
It appears to us that the Democratic controlled Congress
is putting its election hopes above the needs of US
citizens and Iraqis. It’s time that you implement
legislation calling for a full and unconditional
withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Furthermore,
any lasting solution involves that all of our above
demands be met.

Speaker Pelosi, you are the representative of a city
that overwhelmingly has proven that it not only wants
the military out of Iraq, but wants a reduction in US
militarism overall. In 2004, over two-thirds of San
Francisco voters made it policy to demand that the
troops in Iraq be brought “safely home now” by voting
for Proposition N. In 2006 San Francisco proved that
it wants military recruiters out of our public schools
and funds diverted away from war and into education
by voting for Proposition i. Not only are your San
Francisco voters demanding that you meet the above
demands, the nation has turned against the war.
Whether you purport to represent your home district
or the nation as a whole in your role as Majority
Speaker, you can take meaningful action today.
We demand that you do so.

Finally, we would like a forum where you address the
concerns of students with respect to the war in Iraq
at the early part of the fall semester. We would like
to work with your office to make sure that such an
event can take place and help not only to voice the
concerns of students but also to make clear your
positions on the war in Iraq. We look forward to your
immediate and full response.


Campus Antiwar Network chapters at UC Berkeley,
San Francisco State University,
and City College San Francisco

Charles Jenks
Chair of Advisory Board
Traprock Peace Center
103 Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342


LAPD vs. Immigrants (Video)


Dr. Julia Hare at the SOBA 2007


"There comes a times when silence is betrayal."
--Martin Luther King




1) Groups request LAPD records involving rally
By Patrick McGreevy
Times Staff Writer
May 10, 2007,0,552959.story

2) In Guilty Plea, OxyContin Maker to Pay $600 Million
May 10, 2007

3) Questions Raised on Afghan Death Toll
Filed at 7:57 a.m. ET
May 10, 2007

4) Marine Testifies to Urinating on Body
May 10, 2007

5) Germany Conducts Raids Ahead of G-8 Summit
"FRANKFURT, May 9 — Four weeks before leaders of the world’s
big industrial nations are to gather at a Baltic Sea resort
in northern Germany, the police conducted sweeping raids
on Wednesday on the offices and homes of left-wing campaigners
whom they suspected of planning to disrupt the meeting."
May 10, 2007

6) U.S. Report Cites Lightning and Old Cable in Mine Blast
May 10, 2007

7) The Role of an F.B.I. Informer Draws Praise as Well
as Questions About Legitimacy
May 10, 2007

8) Michael Moore faces U.S. Treasury probe
Filmmaker under investigation for taking
people to Cuba for new movie
AP Movie Writer
May 10, 2007,0,3487565.story?coll=bal-entertainment-headlines

9) New York City Renters Cope With Squeeze
May 10, 2007

10) Guild Calls On US To Extradite Posada To Venezuela
Posting to International Wire of Scoop
Press Release: US National Lawyers Guild
Date: Friday, 11 May 2007
Time: 10:27 am NZT

11) On Carrier in Gulf, Cheney Warns Iran
May 11, 2007

12) British Officers Won’t Be Disciplined Over Shooting
May 11, 2007

13) Haiti: Migrants Say Boat Was Rammed
May 11, 2007

14) Free Ride for a Likely Killer
By Eugene Robinson
Friday, May 11, 2007; A19

15) The Millions Left Out
Op-Ed Columnist
May 12, 2007

16) Open Letter from Michael Moore to U.S. Treasury
Secretary Henry Paulson
May 11, 2007

17) Armored vehicles' rising use by police
raises community concerns
The Associated Press
May 9, 2007


1) Groups request LAPD records involving rally
By Patrick McGreevy
Times Staff Writer
May 10, 2007,0,552959.story

A coalition of 85 civic leaders and groups formally requested
Wednesday that the Los Angeles Police Department make public
all internal records involving the May Day immigrants' rally
in MacArthur Park — including communications between Mayor
Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William J. Bratton.

The rally ended when police officers in riot gear moved
to clear the park after a small group of people began
throwing bottles and rocks at them. The scuffle resulted
in 24 civilians, including 10 media workers, being struck
by police-fired foam projectiles and hand-wielded batons.

The written demand, which cites the California Public
Records Act, was sent by groups, newspapers and individuals
including the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional
Law, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational
Fund, La Opinion newspaper, the Mexican American Bar Assn.
and Maria Elena Durazo, secretary-treasurer of the Los
Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO.

The letter to Bratton and top leaders of the city's civilian
Police Commission requests copies of all videotapes of the
incident, policy documents, the names of all officers involved,
communications on the use of force at the event, and memos
between elected city officials including the mayor and
the LAPD brass.

"This will definitely help prevent any coverup," said Peter
A. Schey, president of the Center for Human Rights and
Constitutional Law. "What is quite likely is the LAPD
will not be eager to share with the public records that
did not reflect well on the department."

LAPD officials said Wednesday that they had not
reviewed the letter but were committed to being
as open as possible about the MacArthur Park incident.

"It will be transparent," Sgt. Lee Sands said of the
departmental review. "As the chief has said, transparency
is something we believe in."

Bratton has already removed the two top command officers
who oversaw the police response that day in the park.

However, the request is likely to force a legal
confrontation because it seeks records evaluating
the actions of individual officers involved. The
department has refused to make such documents public
in the last year, citing a court decision that it
believes designates such documents as confidential
personnel records.

Recognizing the conflict, the letter makes an appeal
for special handling of the records.

"This request does not seek purely confidential
information the disclosure of which would significantly
impair any ongoing criminal investigation," the letter
says. "On the other hand, in order to promote full
transparency and the public's understanding regarding
the events of May 1, 2007, we respectfully request
that you waive any legal exemptions that may otherwise
be available to block full disclosure of your records.
We believe that such full disclosure is critically
important to the safety and protection of the rights
to free speech and freedom of assembly of Los Angeles

Bob Baker, president of the police officers union,
said the notion that the department would hide information,
when the independent Police Commission and its inspector
general are on the case, was "preposterous."

"They are getting into personnel records, which state
law prohibits," he said.

Karin Wang, vice president of the Asian Pacific American
Legal Center of Southern California, said her group
joined in sending the letter as a precautionary measure.
She said she had faith in the Police Commission providing
oversight, but thought it would help for community groups
to get involved.

"We think it's important to hold the process accountable,"
she said.

Also Wednesday, a coalition of immigrant rights groups
filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the LAPD
alleging that officers violated the constitutional rights
of demonstrators in MacArthur Park.

The lawsuit, brought by the Multi-Ethnic Immigrant
Workers Organizing Committee, other organizations and
individuals, seeks damages and a court order barring
the police department from "disrupting the exercise
of 1st Amendment rights in public assemblies and marches"
and unreasonably using baton strikes and less-lethal
munitions to disperse demonstrators.

It also alleges that an announcement made from a police
helicopter that the immigrant rights demonstration had
been declared an unlawful assembly was inaudible to
most people in the park. The order was given in English,
according to the lawsuit, "despite the fact that both
the neighborhood where the rally was held and most of
the rally participants are primarily Spanish-speaking."


2) In Guilty Plea, OxyContin Maker to Pay $600 Million
May 10, 2007

ABINGDON, Va., May 10 — The company that makes the narcotic
painkiller OxyContin and three current and former executives
pleaded guilty today in federal court here to criminal charges
that they misled regulators, doctors and patients about the
drug’s risk of addiction and its potential to be abused.

To resolve criminal and civil charges related to the drug’s
“misbranding,” the parent of Purdue Pharma, the company that
markets OxyContin, agreed to pay some $600 million in fines
and other payments, one of the largest amounts ever paid by
a drug company in such a case.

Also, in a rare move, three executives of Purdue Pharma,
including its president and its top lawyer, pleaded guilty
today as individuals to misbranding, a criminal violation.
They agreed to pay a total of $34.5 million in fines.

OxyContin is a powerful, long-acting narcotic that provides
relief of serious pain for up to 12 hours. Initially,
Purdue Pharma contended that OxyContin, because of its
time-release formulation, posed a lower threat of abuse
and addiction to patients than do traditional, shorter-
acting painkillers like Percocet or Vicodin.

That claim became the linchpin of the most aggressive
marketing campaign ever undertaken by a pharmaceutical
company for a narcotic painkiller. Just a few years
after the drug’s introduction in 1996, annual sales
reached $1 billion. Purdue Pharma heavily promoted
OxyContin to doctors like general practitioners, who
had often had little training in the treatment of
serious pain or in recognizing signs of drug abuse
in patients.

But both experienced drug abusers and novices, including
teenagers, soon discovered that chewing an OxyContin
tablet or crushing one and then snorting the powder
or injecting it with a needle produced a high as powerful
as heroin. By 2000, parts of the United States,
particularly rural areas, began to see skyrocketing
rates of addiction and crime related to use of the drug.

More details about the plea agreements were expected
to be announced at a news conference this afternoon
in Roanoke, Va., by John L. Brownlee, the United States
attorney for the Western District of Virginia. “Misbranding”
is a broad statute that makes it a crime to mislabel
a drug, fraudulently promote it or market it for
an unapproved use.

In a proceeding this morning in United States District
Court here, both Purdue Pharma and the three executives
acknowledged that the company fraudulently marketed
OxyContin for six years as a drug that was less prone
to abuse, as well as one that also had fewer narcotic
side effects.

In a statement, the company said: “Nearly six years
and longer ago, some employees made, or told other
employees to make, certain statements about OxyContin
to some health care professionals that were inconsistent
with the F.D.A.-approved prescribing information for
OxyContin and the express warnings it contained about
risks associated with the medicine. The statements also
violated written company policies requiring adherence
to the prescribing information.”

“We accept responsibility for those past misstatements
and regret that they were made,” the statement said.

The time period covered by the guilty pleas runs from
late 1995, when the Food and Drug Administration approved
OxyContin for sale, to mid-2001, when Purdue Pharma, faced
with both public criticism and regulatory scrutiny, dropped
its initial marketing claims for the drug.

Federal officials said that internal Purdue Pharma
documents show that company officials recognized even
before the drug was marketed that they would face stiff
resistance from doctors who were concerned about the
potential of a high-powered narcotic like OxyContin
to be abused by patients or cause addiction.

As a result, company officials developed a fraudulent
marketing campaign designed to promote OxyContin as
a time-released drug that was less prone to such problems.
The crucial ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, a narcotic
that has been used for many years. But unlike other
medications like Percocet that contain oxycodone along
with other ingredients, OxyContin is pure oxycodone,
with a large amount in each tablet because of the
time-release design.

The drug has proven to be valuable in treating serious,
long-lasting pain.

Purdue Pharma acknowledged in the court proceeding today
that “with the intent to defraud or mislead,” it marketed
and promoted OxyContin as a drug that was less addictive,
less subject to abuse and less likely to cause other narcotic
side effects than other pain medications.

For instance, when the painkiller was first approved,
F.D.A. officials allowed Purdue Pharma to state that
the time-release of a narcotic like OxyContin “is believed
to reduce” its potential to be abused.

But according to federal officials, Purdue sales
representatives falsely told doctors that the statement,
rather than simply being a theory, meant that OxyContin
had a lower potential for addiction or abuse than drugs
like Percocet. Among other things, company sales officials
were allowed to draw their own fake scientific charts, which
they then distributed to doctors, to support that misleading
abuse-related claim, federal officials said.

Between 1995 and 2001, OxyContin brought in $2.8 billion
in revenue for Purdue Pharma, a closely held company
based in Stamford, Conn. At one point, the drug accounted
for 90 percent of the company’s sales.

As part of the plea agreement, Purdue Frederick, a holding
company for Purdue Pharma that is also closely held, pleaded
guilty to a felony charge of misbranding OxyContin. Of the
$600 million the company agreed to pay in criminal and civil
penalties, some $470 million represents fines to federal
and state agencies. The remaining $130 million represents
payments to settle civil litigation brought by patients
and other private plaintiffs.

Purdue Pharma has also agreed, among other things, to subject
itself to independent monitoring of its practices. The three
top former and current Purdue Pharma executives pleaded
guilty to criminal misdemeanor charges of misbranding,
a charge that does not require prosecutors to show knowledge
or intent on the executives’ part. However, the three
individuals ran Purdue Pharma during the period in question.

Those executives are: Michael Friedman, the company’s
president, who agreed to pay $19 million in fines; Howard
R. Udell, its top lawyer, who agreed to pay $8 million;
and Dr. Paul D. Goldenheim, its former medical director,
who agreed to pay $7.5 million.

In a separate statement, Purdue said: “Mr. Friedman,
Dr. Goldenheim (while at Purdue) and Mr. Udell neither
engaged in nor tolerated the misconduct at issue in this
investigation. To the contrary, they took steps to prevent
any misstatements in the marketing or promotion of OxyContin
and to correct any such misstatements of which they
became aware.”


Psychiatrists, Children and Drug Industry’s Role
May 10, 2007


3) Questions Raised on Afghan Death Toll
Filed at 7:57 a.m. ET
May 10, 2007

SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan (Reuters) - At least 40 civilians
were killed in an air strike in Afghanistan by foreign forces,
witnesses said on Thursday, but the U.S.-led coalition said
only rebels were hit and it knew of no other casualties.

The deaths on Tuesday in the southern province of Helmand,
if confirmed, would raise the civilian toll at the hands
of foreign troops to 110 in the past two weeks.

``Foreign troops are killing Afghans every day, but our
government has closed its eyes and does not see our casualties,''
local resident Haji Ibrahim said.

Helmand governor, Assadullah Wafa, said earlier 21 civilians,
including women and children, were killed in Tuesday's air
strike in Sangin district -- a major opium-growing area
and the scene of a large anti-Taliban operation by
foreign troops.

The U.S.-led coalition said its troops and Afghan soldiers
on patrol in the area had come under fire on Tuesday
and there were no reported injuries to any civilians.

``During the 16-hour battle, Afghan National Army and
coalition forces fought through three separate enemy ambush
sites while dozens of Taliban fighters ... reinforced enemy
positions,'' the coalition said in a statement.

It estimated 200 Taliban fighters were involved in the clash,
in which one coalition soldier died, and said the air strikes
destroyed three rebel compounds and an underground tunnel

Governor Wafa said the Taliban hid in civilian homes during
the air strike and that they must take responsibility
for the deaths.

Residents disputed that Taliban fighters were involved.
''There were no Taliban in our area,'' Mohammad Rahim,
a resident of Sangin, told Reuters by phone, adding he
had seen 24 bodies in three houses.

One resident said President Hamid Karzai should travel
to Sangin and see for himself the civilian casualties.

Civilian deaths are a growing issue for Karzai who is also
under pressure over the country's slow economic recovery
and rampant corruption since the Taliban's overthrow in 2001.

Karzai has repeatedly urged the troops to avoid civilian
casualties while hunting militants, to stop searching
people's houses and to coordinate attacks with his

Last week, Karzai said the patience of Afghans was running
out over civilian killings by foreign troops.

Irate Afghans in the east and west, the scenes of last
month's operations by coalition forces, have protested
against civilian casualties reported by Afghan officials,
and demanded the withdrawal of foreign forces and Karzai's

A U.S. military commander on Tuesday apologized for the
deaths of 19 civilians in the east. They were killed
by U.S. troops early last month.


4) Marine Testifies to Urinating on Body
May 10, 2007

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., May 9 — A marine testified
on Wednesday that he urinated on the bloody remains
of one of five unarmed Iraqi men in Haditha whom his
squad leader fatally shot in late 2005 moments after
a roadside bomb had killed one of their comrades.

The marine, Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz, said at a hearing
here that he had acted in anger over the death of Lance
Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, known as T.J., whose convoy was
hit by a bomb planted by Sunni Arab insurgents.

“I know it was a bad thing what I done, but I done
it because I was angry T.J. was dead,” Sergeant Dela
Cruz said in a monotone.

The Iraqis had driven up to the site of the bombing,
drawing suspicion from the squad leader, Staff Sgt.
Frank Wuterich, and his men, military investigators
have said.

Under a grant of immunity, Sergeant Dela Cruz testified
that Staff Sergeant Wuterich had ordered the five unarmed
Iraqis out of their car and fired six to eight rounds
into them as they stood with arms raised.

“I watched him shooting, sir, at the Iraqis,” Sergeant
Dela Cruz said. He walked around the car to inspect
the bodies, he said. “They were dead.”

From 10 feet away, the sergeant said, he sprayed the
bodies with automatic fire and then urinated on the
bullet-ripped head of one man.

Sergeant Dela Cruz said that Staff Sergeant Wuterich
had told the squad, “If anybody asks, they were running
away, and the Iraqi Army shot them.” Staff Sergeant
Wuterich’s lawyers have said he fired on the five
civilians after they ran from the car and defied
his order to stop.

Marine prosecutors charged Staff Sergeant Wuterich,
Sergeant Dela Cruz and two other marines in December
with murder in the killings of a total of 24 Iraqi
civilians in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005. Last month,
in exchange for Sergeant Dela Cruz’s testimony,
prosecutors dropped all five counts of unpremeditated
urder that he faced.

Four Marine officers are also charged in the case,
accused of failing to investigate the civilian deaths
properly. Wednesday was the second day of a hearing
to determine if enough evidence exists to refer the
charges against one of those officers to a court-martial.


5) Germany Conducts Raids Ahead of G-8 Summit
"FRANKFURT, May 9 — Four weeks before leaders of the world’s
big industrial nations are to gather at a Baltic Sea resort
in northern Germany, the police conducted sweeping raids
on Wednesday on the offices and homes of left-wing campaigners
whom they suspected of planning to disrupt the meeting."
May 10, 2007

FRANKFURT, May 9 — Four weeks before leaders of the world’s
big industrial nations are to gather at a Baltic Sea resort
in northern Germany, the police conducted sweeping raids
on Wednesday on the offices and homes of left-wing campaigners
whom they suspected of planning to disrupt the meeting.

The raids, in which 900 police officers searched 40 sites
in half a dozen cities, amounted to a show of force against
potentially violent protesters at the meeting of the
Group of 8.

Like other countries that have been the host in recent
years for this gathering, Germany is nervous about
a repetition of the riots in Genoa, Italy, in 2001, when
the police killed a demonstrator.

Federal prosecutors said they were investigating 18 people
suspected of belonging to a group that they said was
planning fire-bombings and other attacks to disrupt
the meeting in Heiligendamm, an expensive, out-of-the-way
resort on a stretch of coast in the former East Germany.

Prosecutors did not announce any arrests, but they said
the people on their list were suspected of carrying out
fire-bombings and other, less severe attacks in Hamburg
and Berlin in the last two years.

The Interior Ministry said it would tighten controls
at border crossings to stop troublemakers from entering
Germany — a tactic it used successfully last summer
during the World Cup soccer tournament. Normally, Germany’s
borders with its European Union neighbors are wide open.

“We want to distinguish between those who come to demonstrate
peacefully and those who plan violence,” said Christian
Sachs, a ministry spokesman. He characterized the security
precautions as the most extensive for one event in Germany
since World War II.

Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to welcome the leaders
of Britain, Canada, Italy, France, Japan, Russia and the
United States to the three-day meeting on June 6. She
is setting an agenda that includes topics as varied
as climate change and Africa. But terrorism is also
likely to be on the minds of the leaders.

At the last Group of 8 meeting in Western Europe, held
in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July 2005, the leaders had
barely settled in when news came of deadly bombings
on the London transit system.

Germany has been on edge about new terrorist threats
since last month, when the Interior Ministry said it
had learned that a radical Islamic group was plotting
to strike an American installation here. The United
States tightened security at its embassy in Berlin
and other diplomatic buildings.

“That threat was absolutely serious,” said Rolf Tophoven,
a German counterterrorism expert.

Mr. Sachs said there was no evidence linking that threat
to the Group of 8 meeting. The authorities say they are
more worried about radical antiglobalization groups,
which have used the Internet to mobilize tens of thousands
of protesters at previous Group of 8 meetings, even
those held in similarly remote locations.

German authorities are leaving little to chance. They
have constructed a 7.5-mile, $17 million fence that will
cut off access to Heiligendamm. Local residents have
complained bitterly about the concrete-and-barbed-wire
barrier, which some have likened to a new Berlin Wall.

Nine naval ships will patrol the waters off the resort,
while 16,000 local police officers and 1,100 soldiers
will guard the perimeter, keeping protesters several
miles from the meeting. Protest organizers said the
security measures eclipsed those for President Bush’s
visit last July to the same part of Germany.

Monty Schädel, a local organizer of the demonstrations,
said antiglobalization forces in Germany had been
subjected to intense surveillance by the police in
recent weeks. “Whenever three or four people get
together for a meeting, the police are watching,”
he said.

The organizers have told the police to expect 100,000
demonstrators in Rostock and other towns near the
meeting. Mr. Schädel said the actual turnout could
range from 50,000 to 150,000 people.

Germany has had relatively little trouble with radical
leftist groups since the 1970s and 1980s, when the Red
Army Faction, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang,
carried out more than 30 assassinations.

But as the meeting draws closer, tensions are rising.
Protesters recently splashed paint on a hotel
in Heiligendamm. In December, a car belonging
to a senior Finance Ministry official was set on fire.


6) U.S. Report Cites Lightning and Old Cable in Mine Blast
May 10, 2007

BUCKHANNON, W.Va., May 9 — A lightning bolt was the likely
cause of the Sago Mine explosion last year that killed
12 miners, a 16-month federal investigation has concluded.

The report, issued Wednesday by the Mine Safety and Health
Administration, is the fourth to say that lightning traveled
more than two miles on the ground before igniting methane
gas in an abandoned section of the mine. Two reports
by the State of West Virginia and one by the mine’s owner
drew the same conclusion.

There was, however, one new element in the federal report.
It said that a section of old pump cable left in the mine
allowed an electromagnetic pulse from the lightning
to create an arc, touching off the explosion.

Although he did not rule out other possible causes,
Richard Stickler, the assistant secretary of labor
for mine safety, called the lightning theory the
“most likely.”

While Mr. Stickler said at a news conference here that
“safety was not a top priority with this operation,”
he also said that none of the 149 safety violations
found by investigators “could be identified as the
cause of the accident.”

The federal report drew an angry response from
relatives of the victims.

“I can’t tell where the coal company ends and M.S.H.A.
begins,” Deborah Hamner, the widow of a miner, George
Hamner, said, referring to the mine agency.

Some of the relatives, who are suing the owners of the
mine, the International Coal Group, suggested that the
lightning explanation is intended to help the company
by supporting its argument that the blast resulted from
an “act of God.” It will also help regulators avoid
accountability, they said.

Geraldine Bruso, who was among a group of relatives
(and the sole survivor of the blast, Randal McCloy Jr.)
who met with the federal officials before the news
conference, called the report “a waste of time.”

“It could be lightning, but it’s all theories right now,”
said Ms. Bruso, whose brother Jerry Groves died in the
mine. “You can probably go through the whole report
and not get anything out of it.”

The United Mine Workers of America, which issued its
own report in March that attributed the blast to a roof
collapse or friction caused by falling rocks, also dismissed
the new findings. Cecil E. Roberts, the president of the
union, said in a statement that the federal agency’s
findings were “far-fetched” and “unsupported by physical
evidence found and examined in the mine.”

In its report, the agency said that a number of factors
contributed to the accident, including slow response time,
high levels of flammable methane gas inside a sealed-off
section of the mine, and inadequately built seals used
to close off the abandoned area. But the report added that
even if the seals had complied with federal requirements,
“the forces generated by the explosion would have completely
destroyed them.”

The accident, the nation’s deadliest mining disaster in
four decades, prompted state and federal officials to push
for new mine safety laws. Congress eventually enacted
measures requiring mining companies to provide extra
oxygen to workers, and more rescue teams in case of

Federal officials also announced an “emergency temporary
standard” requiring that mine seals be built to withstand
at least twice as much explosive force as is now required.

The explosion occurred in January 2006 about 260 feet
underground in a section of the mine that had been sealed
off with foam blocks.

The report noted that although the owner of the mine had
apparently tried to remove all the cables from that section
of the mine, it left behind a 1,300-foot piece.

The report also raised the possibility that an unrecorded
lightning strike occurred just above the sealed section.

Daniel Heyman reported from Buckhannon, W.Va., and Anahad
O’Connor from New York.


7) The Role of an F.B.I. Informer Draws Praise as Well
as Questions About Legitimacy
May 10, 2007

It was August 2006 when one of the young Muslim men accused
of plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix first broached
the idea, according to the authorities. Talking to an
informer who was secretly taping the exchange, the young
man said that he thought he could round up six or seven
other men willing to take part, and that a rocket-propelled
grenade might be the most effective weapon, the authorities

And he had one more notion: He wanted the informer to
lead the attack, according to a federal complaint. “I am
at your services,” the young man is quoted as telling
the informer, who had presented himself as an Egyptian
with a military background.

That moment, recorded on tape and submitted in federal
court this week in Camden, N.J., as the authorities
charged six Muslim men in the plot, captures something
of the complexity of using informers in terror investigations.
The informer, sent to penetrate a loose group of men
who liked to talk about jihad and fire guns in the woods,
had come to be seen by the suspects as the person who
might actually show them how an act of terror could
be carried off.

Indeed, over the months that followed, as the targets
of the investigation spoke with a sometimes unfocused
zeal about waging holy war, the informer, one of two
used in the investigation, would tell them that he could
get them the sophisticated weapons they wanted. He would
accompany them on surveillance missions to military
installations, debating the risks, and when the men
looked ready to purchase the weapons, it was the
nformer who seemed to be pushing the idea of buying
the deadliest items, startling at least one of
the suspects.

Since 9/11, law enforcement officials have praised
the work of such informers, saying they have been
doing exactly what they should be doing — gaining
access to the world of a possible threat, playing
along to see just how far suspects were willing
to go, and allowing the authorities to act before
the potential terrorists did.

In the case of the men arrested this week, the
authorities have been emphatic: The men were prepared
to kill, and to die in the effort, and the informer
was vital to preventing any loss of life.

“Their intentions and motivation were obviously well
established before the investigation began,” said
Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the United States
attorney in New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie,
who announced the arrests of the men on Tuesday.

The authorities made the arrests and ended the
operation, officials said, because the men were
at last ready to acquire the weapons they had sought.

As the case goes forward, the role of the main informer
will almost surely be contested. Over the years, informers
in terror cases have become the focus of efforts by
defense lawyers and others to call into question the
legitimacy of the investigations. They have often
sought to show that informers engaged in entrapment.

“The police are allowed to use some enticement in cases,”
said Troy Archie, a lawyer for one of the six men charged,
Dritan Duka. “But it depends how far they go.”

Certainly, the work of informers can sometimes seem
murky. In one instance, the informer who was the main
witness in a major terror financing case in Brooklyn
in 2005 almost did not make it to the witness stand
after he set himself on fire in front of the White
House to protest his compensation by his F.B.I. handlers.
The informer helped win a conviction, but wound up being
prosecuted himself for writing bad checks while working
for the F.B.I.

In the criminal complaint they filed against the six men
in New Jersey, federal prosecutors took the step
of including information about an earlier problem
involving their main informer. Prosecutors acknowledged
that the informer, two months before he became involved
in the Fort Dix case, had misled investigators in order
to protect a friend.

The prosecutors added that “the F.B.I. has been able
to independently corroborate the information provided”
by the informer in this case through recordings and
surveillance tapes.

The complaint captures only a small portion of the
interactions between the informer and the six suspects
during the 14 months they were associated. Defense
lawyers assigned yesterday to represent two of the
central figures in the case objected to what they
called the selective excerpts of conversations
submitted by the prosecutors.

“The prosecutors have put out only snippets of
conversations, rather than the entire context
of conversations,” said Rocco C. Cipparone, who
represents another of the six, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer.

However, a close reading of even the limited material
in the criminal complaint suggests a relationship in
which some of the suspects never fully trusted the
informer, but nonetheless shared secrets with him about
a wide assortment of illicit plans and illegal weapons.

Without doubt, in most of the instances described
in the complaint, the informer seems to be merely
facilitating the menacing plans of the suspects
or following along. But on some occasions, the
informer appears to have played a slightly more
provocative role.

He first struck up an acquaintance with Mr. Shnewer,
a cabdriver, in March 2006, two months after a store
clerk alerted the authorities that a man had asked
him to make a DVD copy of a videotape that appeared
to be a terrorist training exercise.

The complaint suggests that the informer quickly
began to establish a rapport with Mr. Shnewer,
apparently one of the group’s leaders. The informer
was shown terror training videotapes, included
in talks about obtaining weapons and invited
to be the group’s tactical leader in any assault.
He later went with Mr. Shnewer on trips to scout
a variety of military targets.

Months elapsed without significant developments.
The complaint indicates that in October 2006, seven
months after the informer first entered the ranks
of the men, it might have been the informer who
helped jump-start another suspect, Serdar Tatar,
who still had not followed through on his promise
to get a map of the base from his father’s pizzeria
near Fort Dix. The two men were discussing Fort Dix,
the complaint said, when the informer “expressed
anger at the United States.”

“You want to make them pay for something that they
did,” Mr. Tatar said to the informer, according
to the complaint. “O.K., you need maps?”

Soon, Mr. Tatar provided the map, the complaint says.

In November, it was the informer who volunteered
that he might have a source who could provide
the machine guns and heavier arms the men had
long been talking about.

“Shnewer expressed interest,” the complaint says.

By early this year, the complaint asserts, the informer
accompanied the men to a shooting range in the Poconos,
and later practiced assault maneuvers with them using
paintball guns. During those exercises, the suspects
mused about obtaining explosives and whether to attack
a warship when it was docked in Philadelphia.

Eljvir Duka, one of three brothers among the suspects,
offered a rationale for their planned attacks, saying,
according to the complaint, that when someone threatened
“your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad.”

But no specific dates were discussed or plans committed to.

And when efforts to finally get the more potent weapons
seemed close to producing results, the informer presented
a list of possible arms that could now be bought. The
list included fully automatic machine guns and rocket-
propelled grenades. But it was the men who scaled back
their ambitions.

In fact, one of the suspects, Dritan Duka, seemed taken
aback by the informer’s listing of the heavy artillery.
Mr. Duka appeared to ask the informer if there was
anything more he should know about the informer’s background
or intentions, including whether he was religious. Asked why
he seemed alarmed, Mr. Duka said to the informer, “There was
some stuff on the list that was heavy.” And he added
an expletive.


Religion Guided 3 Held in Fort Dix Plot
May 10, 2007


8) Michael Moore faces U.S. Treasury probe
Filmmaker under investigation for taking
people to Cuba for new movie
AP Movie Writer
May 10, 2007,0,3487565.story?coll=bal-entertainment-headlines

LOS ANGELES -- Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore
is under investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department for
taking ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers to Cuba for a segment
in his upcoming health-care documentary "Sicko,"
The Associated Press has learned.

The investigation provides another contentious lead-in for
a provocative film by Moore, a fierce critic of President
Bush. In the past, Moore's adversaries have fanned publicity
that helped the filmmaker create a new brand of opinionated
blockbuster documentary.

"Sicko" promises to take the health-care industry to task
the way Moore confronted America's passion for guns in
"Bowling for Columbine" and skewered Bush over his
handling of Sept. 11 in "Fahrenheit 9/11."

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control
notified Moore in a letter dated May 2 that it was conducting
a civil investigation for possible violations of the U.S.
trade embargo restricting travel to Cuba. A copy of the
letter was obtained Tuesday by the AP.

"This office has no record that a specific license was
issued authorizing you to engage in travel-related transactions
involving Cuba," Dale Thompson, OFAC chief of general
investigations and field operations, wrote in the
letter to Moore.

In February, Moore took about 10 ailing workers from the
Ground Zero rescue effort in Manhattan for treatment in Cuba,
said a person working with the filmmaker on the release
of "Sicko." The person requested anonymity because Moore's
attorneys had not yet determined how to respond.

Moore, who scolded Bush over the Iraq war during the 2003
Oscar telecast, received the letter Monday, the person said.
"Sicko" premieres May 19 at the Cannes Film Festival and
debuts in U.S. theaters June 29.

Moore declined to comment, said spokeswoman Lisa Cohen.

After receiving the letter, Moore arranged to place a copy
of the film in a "safe house" outside the country to protect
it from government interference, said the person working
on the release of the film.

Treasury officials declined to answer questions about the
letter. "We don't comment on enforcement actions," said
department spokeswoman Molly Millerwise.

The letter noted that Moore applied Oct. 12, 2006, for
permission to go to Cuba "but no determination had been
made by OFAC." Moore sought permission to travel there
under a provision for full-time journalists, the letter

According to the letter, Moore was given 20 business
days to provide OFAC with such information as the date
of travel and point of departure; the reason for the Cuba
trip and his itinerary there; and the names and addresses
of those who accompanied him, along with their reasons
for going.

Potential penalties for violating the embargo were not
indicated. In 2003, the New York Yankees paid the government
$75,000 to settle a dispute that it conducted business
in Cuba in violation of the embargo. No specifics were
released about that case.

"Sicko" is Moore's followup to 2004's "Fahrenheit 9/11,"
a $100 million hit criticizing the Bush administration
over Sept. 11. Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" won the
2002 Oscar for best documentary.

A dissection of the U.S. health-care system, "Sicko"
was inspired by a segment on Moore's TV show "The Awful
Truth," in which he staged a mock funeral outside a health-
maintenance organization that had declined a pancreas
transplant for a diabetic man. The HMO later relented.

At last September's Toronto International Film Festival,
Moore previewed footage shot for "Sicko," presenting
stories of personal health-care nightmares. One scene
showed a woman who was denied payment for an ambulance
ride after a head-on collision because it was not

Moore's opponents have accused him of distorting the
facts, and his Cuba trip provoked criticism from
conservatives including former Republican Sen. Fred
Thompson, who assailed the filmmaker in a blog
at National Review Online.

"I have no expectation that Moore is going to tell
the truth about Cuba or health care," wrote Thompson,
the subject of speculation about a possible presidential
run. "I defend his right to do what he does, but Moore's
talent for clever falsehoods has been too well documented."

The timing of the investigation is reminiscent of the
firestorm that preceded the Cannes debut of "Fahrenheit 9/11,"
which won the festival's top prize in 2004. The Walt
Disney Co. refused to let subsidiary Miramax release the
film because of its political content, prompting Miramax
bosses Harvey and Bob Weinstein to release "Fahrenheit 9/11"
on their own.

The Weinsteins later left Miramax to form the Weinstein Co.,
which is releasing "Sicko." They declined to comment
on the Treasury investigation, said company spokeswoman
Sarah Levinson Rothman.

Copyright © 2007, The Associated Press


Statement in Response to Bush Administration's
Investigation of 'SiCKO'
In The News
'SiCKO,' Michael Moore's new movie, will rip the band-aid
off America's health care industry. Premiering at the Cannes
Film Festival in just one week and opening across the U.S.
on June 29th, 'SiCKO' will expose the corporations that
place profit before care and the politicians who care only
about money. Our health care system is broken and, all too
often, deadly. The efforts of the Bush Administration
to conduct a politically motivated investigation of Michael
Moore and 'SiCKO' will not stop us from making sure the
American people see this film.
On September 11, 2001 this country was attacked. Thousands
of Americans responded with heroism and courage, toiling
for days, weeks and months in the ruins at Ground Zero.
These 9/11 first responders risked their lives searching
for survivors, recovering bodies, and clearing away toxic
rubble. Now, many of these heroes face serious health
issues -- and far too many of them are not receiving
the care they need and deserve. President Bush and the
Bush Administration should be spending their time trying
to help these heroes get health care instead of abusing
the legal process to advance a political agenda.
-- Meghan O'Hara, Producer, SiCKO


9) New York City Renters Cope With Squeeze
May 10, 2007

Like the legions of aspiring poets, tap dancers and musicians who
came before her, Nina Rubin, a 29-year-old graduate of Wesleyan
University, has struggled to find halfway decent housing in New York.
Earlier this year, she ended up in her most unusual home yet:
an office.

After taking a job as an instructor at Outward Bound, Ms. Rubin,
along with some of her co-workers, settled into the top floor of the
organization's Long Island City headquarters. She camped out in a
bunk bed; others converted nearby office cubicles into sleeping
spaces, or pitched tents on the building's roof. To create some
privacy, they hung towels and sheets around their bunks.

While Outward Bound officials stress that they view these cubicles
and tents as temporary housing solutions, Ms. Rubin, who has since
moved to Vermont for a short while, was grateful for a free place.

As the apartment-hunting season begins, fueled by college graduates
and other new arrivals, real estate brokers say radical solutions
among young, well-educated newcomers to the city are becoming more
common, because New York's rental market is the tightest it has been
in seven years. High-paid bankers and corporate lawyers snap up the
few available apartments, often leading more modestly paid
professionals and students to resort to desperate measures
to find homes.

While young people in New York have always sought roommates to make
life more affordable, they are now crowding so tightly into doorman
buildings in prime neighborhoods like the Upper East Side that they
may violate city codes.

They are doing so in part because the vacancy rate for Manhattan
rentals is now estimated at 3.7 percent, according to data collected
by Property and Portfolio Research, an independent real estate
research and advisory firm in Boston. It is expected to shrink to 3.3
percent by the end of this year and to 2.9 percent by 2011.

"It's only going to get more difficult to rent an apartment in New
York City," said Andy Joynt, a real estate economist with the
research firm. "While rents continue to rise, it's not sending people
out of the city. There's still enough of a cachet," he said.

While New York City has always had a vacancy rate lower than most
other cities, rental prices jumped last year by a record 8.3 percent.
Some potential buyers, scared by the national slowdown in housing
sales, decided to rent instead of buy. The housing crunch has also
been exacerbated by the steady growth of newcomers.

The relocation division of the brokerage company Prudential Douglas
Elliman had found homes for 4,000 families moving to the New York,
New Jersey and Connecticut area in 2006, a 15 percent jump from the
year before, and many of them wanted to live in Manhattan.

Stephen Kotler, executive vice president of the division, said he
expected business to increase by 15 percent again this year, based on
the requests he has already received from banks, consumer-products
companies and media firms. Even though his clients can afford high
rents, he said, they do not have many choices.

"There's going to be limited inventory and a lot of demand," Mr.
Kotler said. "There just hasn't been enough rental product built," he
said, as, developers have said that the price of land and the costs
of construction in the last few years have made it impractical to
build rental buildings. They have instead focused on condominiums.

Renters without high salaries have not been shut out of the market.
They are squeezing in extra roommates or making alterations as never
before much to the frustration of landlords. The rents for
one-bedroom apartments in Manhattan average $2,567 a month, and
two-bedrooms average $3,854 a month, according to data from Citi
Habitats, a large rental brokerage company, but rents tend to be far
higher in coveted neighborhoods like the Upper West Side and TriBeCa.

Because landlords typically require renters to earn 40 times their
monthly rent in annual income, renters of those average apartments
would need to earn at least $102,680, individually or combined, to
qualify for a one-bedroom and $154,160 to afford a two-bedroom.

Young people making a fraction of those salaries are doubling up in
small spaces and creating housing code violations, said Jamie
Heiberger-Jacobsen, a real estate lawyer with her own practice. She
is representing landlords in 26 cases that claim overcrowding or
illegal alterations in elevator buildings in Murray Hill, the Upper
East and Upper West Sides and the Lower East Side. A year ago, she
handled a half-dozen such cases.

Ms. Heiberger-Jacobsen said she was seeing the overcrowding not only
in tenement-type buildings, but also in doorman buildings. "It really
does create fire hazards," she said. "You can't just have beds all
over the place."

But more renters are finding that they cannot afford to stay in the
city without resorting to less conventional living arrangements. For
the last five years, Mindy Abovitz, 27, a drummer and graphic
designer, has been living with four roommates in a 1,500-square-foot
loft with one bathroom in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which has become a
haven for young people, that rents for $2,600 a month.

Her rent is a bargain, she said, because comparable spaces now cost
as much as $4,500 a month. To accommodate everyone, the roommates
created five bedrooms out of three by building walls from drywall and
lumber. Then they soundproofed the walls with carpet padding to limit
the noise.

Dividing the space has been an affordable solution, Ms. Abovitz said,
though the loft becomes crowded when she and her roommates get ready
for work or prepare meals. "The kitchen and the bathroom are where
you find the most traffic," she said.

Students on tight budgets find it especially tough to find housing.
Last fall, Kate Harvey, a part-time nanny and a junior at N.Y.U., and
eight friends saved on rent by camping out in vacant offices at
Michael Stapleton Associates, a downtown explosive-detection security
firm. For nearly three months, they told the guards at 47 West Street
that they were interns, even as they trudged in near midnight or
pattered through the lobby at 10 a.m. in pajamas and slippers.

Ms. Harvey's father, George Harvey, who is the chief executive of
Michael Stapleton Associates, had lent them the space, which included
two kitchens and two baths, after his company moved into a new office
before the lease on its old one expired.

They sneaked furniture into the 11th floor on the freight elevator,
squeezed three beds into the former chief executive's office and
turned filing cabinets into clothing drawers. One student pitched a
tent. They brought their cat, Sula, past the front desk. They knew
pets were allowed, they said, because the company had allowed
bomb-sniffing dogs.

While most of the students who were interviewed said that they came
from families that were fairly comfortable financially, they said
that area rents were so high that they could not afford both housing
and tuition.

"It was nine girls and a cat," Ms. Harvey said, sipping on steamed
milk in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse. "At least three of the nine
would have had a really hard time paying for school and staying there."

Mr. Harvey said his daughter told him that some friends had spent the
summer sleeping on friends' couches and even in the N.Y.U. library
because they could not afford rent.

"They were in some tough financial situations," Mr. Harvey said. "It
occurred to me that all this space was going to waste."

Now Ms. Harvey and two roommates from the office are looking for a
new place to live. Each can spend up to $800 a month. Ms. Harvey has
been searching the Craigslist Web site for apartments, but so far she
has had no luck.

She says she is hopeful that they will eventually find something in
Brooklyn, perhaps in the outer reaches of Park Slope. "We're
definitely going to have to expand our definition of Park Slope,"
she said.


10) Guild Calls On US To Extradite Posada To Venezuela
Posting to International Wire of Scoop
Press Release: US National Lawyers Guild
Date: Friday, 11 May 2007
Time: 10:27 am NZT

National Lawyers Guild Calls On U.S. To Extradite Posada To
Venezuela For Trial On Terrorism Charges Or Prosecute Him In
U.S. Or International Court

On Tuesday May 8, U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone
dismissed perjury charges against Luis Posada Carriles. Posada
is a Cuban-born terrorist and long-time CIA agent who boasted
of helping to detonate deadly bombs in Havana hotels 10 years
ago, and was the alleged mastermind of a 1976 bombing of a civilian
Cuban airplane that killed 73 people. He escaped from a Venezuelan
prison where he was being tried for his role in the first in-air
bombing of a civilian airliner. Posada entered the U.S. in March
2005 using false papers and was held in El Paso for lying to
Immigration and Customs officials. On April 19, 2007 he was released
on bail despite being a flight risk. On Tuesday, all outstanding
charges were dismissed, canceling his trial which was set to
begin May 11.

National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn said, "The release
of Posada and the mistreatment of the Cuban Five illustrate the
hypocrisy of the Bush administration, which incessantly touts
its 'war on terror.' Bush defines terrorism selectively, as its
suits his political purposes."

By releasing Posada, the U.S. government has violated Security
Council resolution 1373, passed in the wake of the September
11, 2001 attacks. That resolution mandates that all countries
deny safe haven to those who commit terrorist acts, and ensure
that they are brought to justice. These provisions of resolution
1373 are mandatory, as they were adopted under Chapter VII of
the UN Charter. The U.S. government has also violated three treaties
that require it to extradite Posada to Venezuela for trial or
try him in U.S. courts for offenses committed abroad.

Rep. William Delahunt has called for a congressional hearing
to examine the U.S. government's role in promoting impunity in
the Posada case. Delahunt sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto
Gonzales requesting an explanation as to why the Justice Department
did not invoke the USA Patriot Act to declare Posada a terrorist
and detain him, stating, "The release of Mr. Posada puts into
question our commitment to fight terrorism."

Five men, known as the Cuban Five, peacefully infiltrated criminal
exile groups in Miami to prevent terrorism against Cuba. The
Five turned over the results of their investigation to the FBI.
But instead of working with Cuba to fight terrorism, the U.S.
government arrested the five Cubans and tried and convicted them
of conspiracy-related offenses. A three-judge panel of the U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta reversed their convictions,
finding they could not receive a fair trial in Miami. In August
2006, a majority of the full circuit rejected the earlier ruling
and sent the matter back to the panel where further appeals are
pending. The U.S. media has been irresponsibly silent on the
case of the Cuban Five and the irregularities of the trial.

The National Lawyers Guild calls on the U.S. government to extradite
Luis Carriles Posada to Venezuela to stand trial for the deadly
terrorist bombing of the Cuban airliner, or prosecute him in
U.S. courts or a competent international tribunal.


11) On Carrier in Gulf, Cheney Warns Iran
May 11, 2007

Vice President Dick Cheney used the setting of an aircraft
carrier in the Persian Gulf to deliver a stern message
to Iran today, warning that the United States would not
allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons or gain the upper
hand in the Middle East.

“With two carrier strike groups in the Gulf, we’re sending
clear messages to friends and adversaries alike,” he said,
in a speech on board the U.S.S. John C. Stennis.

The United States “will stand with others to prevent Iran
from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region,”
he said.

The aircraft carrier was about 20 miles off the coast
of Abu Dhabi, one of the United Arab Emirates, according
to a pool report provided by journalists traveling with
Mr. Cheney. Mr. Cheney traveled to the Emirates following
a two-day visit to Iraq, and will be making other stops
in the Middle East on his week-long trip.

Mr. Cheney’s message seemed particularly pointed because,
according to the pool report and the Associated Press,
the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is scheduled
to visit Abu Dhabi himself in the next few days.

Mr. Cheney said today that the United States was determined,
in the event of any crises in the region, to keep the sea
lanes of the Gulf open.

His speech to American service members on board the carrier
also seemed intended to reassure them that a strong
American presence would be maintained in the region
for some time.

“I want you to know that the American people will not
support a policy of retreat,” Mr. Cheney said. “We want
to complete the mission, we want to get it done right,
and then we want to return home with honor.”

On Thursday in Iraq, Mr. Cheney spoke to American troops
stationed near Saddam Hussein’s birthplace, Tikrit,
telling them in somber tones that they still had
a tough fight ahead of them.

His assessment stood in stark contrast to the one he made
two years ago, when he declared in an interview with CNN
that the insurgency in Iraq was in its “last throes.”

The United States remains at odds with Iran over its nuclear
program, which Iran says is peaceful, but which America
and its Western allies say is intended to build weapons.
The Bush administration has also expressed concerns about
Iranian involvement in Iraq; officials have said that
weapons are being smuggled into Iraq from Iran and that
the insurgents who assemble and placing bombs in Iraq
may be getting training in Iran. The Iranian government
denies sponsoring or encouraging terrorism.

Mr. Cheney visited the U.S.S. John C. Stennis before,
in March 2002, at a time when he was trying to build
support for the invasion of Iraq, the A.P. noted.

Today, standing in front of five F-18 Super Hornet
warplanes and a huge American flag on the hangar deck
of the carrier, Mr. Cheney spoke to some 3,500 service
members, according to the A.P. He sounded a hard line,
saying the United States must hold firm in Iraq and
confront Iran if necessary, the agency reported.

His tour of the Middle East will also include visits
to Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Alissa J. Rubin contributed reporting for this
article from Baghdad.


12) British Officers Won’t Be Disciplined Over Shooting
May 11, 2007

LONDON, May 11 — An official police oversight body ruled
on Friday that 11 officers involved in the fatal shooting
of a 27-year-old Brazilian electrician they allegedly
mistook for a terrorist would not face disciplinary

Jean Charles de Menezes died at a subway station in
Stockwell, south London, when officers shot him seven
times in the head on July 22, 2005 — one day after an
alleged failed terror attack on the London transit system.

The city was in a state of high tension after an earlier
attack on July 7 when four suicide bombers killed
52 victims. At the time, the police gave the impression
that Mr. de Menezes had behaved suspiciously but
later revised their account of the killing.

In a statement, the Independent Police Complaints
Commission said 11 “frontline firearms and surveillance
officers involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes
at Stockwell Underground Station on 22 July 2005 will
not face a disciplinary tribunal.”

The ruling incensed the dead man’s family.

Patricia da Silva Armani, Mr. de Menezes’ cousin, said
the Complaint’s Commission’s ruling was “disgraceful”.

“They are letting the police get away with murder,” she
said in a statement. “First officials killed my cousin,
then they lied about it and now the officers are walking
away without any punishment. It is a travesty of justice
and another slap in the face for our family.”

“The police officers lives go on as normal while we
exist in turmoil, fighting to get the answers and justice
we deserve,” she said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is a government
-funded body set up in 2004 as an independent body
investigating police behavior.

Referring to Mr. de Menezes in a written statement, Nick
Hardwick, the head of the Complaints Commission, said:
“I cannot see anything he could or could not have
consciously done differently that would have allowed him
to escape. The grief and anger of his family is entirely
understandable and as I have been powerfully reminded -
remains unassuaged.”

The Commission said it would postpone a ruling on the
behavior of four more senior officers until after a trial,
scheduled for October, at which the office of London’s
Metropolitan Police Commissioner will face charges under
health and safety laws.

Mr. Hardwick said he had been struck by “the challenges
facing officers” at Stockwell subway station following
the July 7 attacks.

“Set along side this is the fate of Jean Charles and
the anguish of his family. He was shot in the head seven
times by Metropolitan Police Service officers on his
way to work. He was entirely innocent,” he said.

But Mr. Hardwick continued: “On the basis of the evidence
I have available to me now or any development that might
reasonably be foreseen, I have concluded that there
is no realistic prospect of disciplinary charges being
upheld against any of the firearms or surveillance
officers involved.”

The Justice4Jean Campaign, an organization of the
dead man’s family and friends, said the Complaints
Commission’s ruling “effectively says police officers
can act above the law, free to take human life without
facing a full legal investigation like anyone else.”

Shami Chakrabarti, director of a civil rights group
called Liberty, complained that the Complaints Commission
had been slow to act.

“The public is still none the wiser as to the adequacy
of police guidance on lethal force,” she said. “The
Menezes tragedy happened nearly two years ago. Have
the public, police or victim’s family been well-served
by such inordinate delay?”


13) Haiti: Migrants Say Boat Was Rammed
May 11, 2007

Survivors of a capsizing last week that killed at least
61 Haitian migrants say a patrol boat from Turks and Caicos,
a British territory in the West Indies, rammed them, towed
them into deeper water and abandoned their overturned
sailboat in the shark-infested waters. They said their
boat, loaded with an estimated 160 people, was minutes
away from the territory when the patrol boat rammed them
in the predawn darkness. The Turks and Caicos government
has said it will not comment until two investigations
are completed. Britain’s Foreign Office also declined
to comment. At the United Nations in New York, Michèle
Montas, a Haitian who is the spokeswoman for Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon, described the capsizing as “a tragedy”
and said “it could have been avoided.” She said the issue
was between the Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti.


14) Free Ride for a Likely Killer
By Eugene Robinson
Friday, May 11, 2007; A19

The Bush administration says that its zero-tolerance policy against
terrorism applies to all suspected evildoers, not just Muslim
evildoers, and that its zero-tolerance policy against Cuba is a
principled position, not just an exercise in pandering to the
implacable anti-Castro exiles in Miami. On both counts, evidence
suggests otherwise.

The fact is that Luis Posada Carriles, an accused terrorist who
entered the United States illegally and was taken into custody, is
not being kept in solitary confinement and dragged out for occasional
waterboarding. As of this writing, he is a free man.

Posada, 79, has long been suspected of opposing Fidel Castro's regime
with violence. He was accused of masterminding the 1976 midair
bombing of a civilian Cuban airliner, a terrorist act that killed 73
people. He is also suspected of involvement in a series of bombings
of Havana hotels and nightclubs in 1997; several people were injured
and one, an Italian tourist, was killed.

Terrorism, our government constantly reminds us, is the scourge of
our times. So why is a man described by our government as "an
unrepentant criminal and admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and
attacks on tourist sites" looking forward to a hero's welcome in
Miami from his old Bay of Pigs comrades?

Posada sneaked into the country in 2005 and had the temerity to
advertise his presence by giving a news conference. After some
dithering, Homeland Security officials took him into custody. He was
indicted in January on federal charges of immigration fraud, alleging
that he lied about how he entered the United States.

On Tuesday, in El Paso -- where Posada had been held -- U.S. District
Judge Kathleen Cardone dismissed the indictment against Posada,
saying the government had resorted to unconstitutional "trickery" in
gathering its evidence against him. It was Cardone's dismissal order
that set Posada free.

Cardone found that in Posada's formal immigration interview after the
feds whisked him away in 2005, the government failed to provide
adequate translation of the questions and answers. What the
government contended were lies about how Posada had made his way into
the United States looked more like misunderstandings, Cardone

It's worth pointing out that this isn't the first time Posada has
used his allegedly poor command of English as an excuse: He claims he
didn't understand what he was saying years ago when he boasted to a
reporter of his role in the Havana bombings.

So was the judge snookered into letting a hardened terrorist walk on
a technicality? Not really. It's more the case that the judge refused
to play along.

Cardone's point was that if the government really wanted to keep
Posada behind bars because he was a career terrorist, prosecutors
should have prosecuted him as a terrorist. Then, faster than you can
say "Patriot Act," authorities could have made him disappear into the
netherworld of indefinite detention where terrorism suspects named
Muhammad are kept.

I'll wager that the evidence against Posada, which I find compelling,
is more solid than the secret evidence against most of the detainees
at Guantanamo. But Posada's alleged crimes were against the Castro

George W. Bush's stance toward Cuba has been even more hardheaded and
counterproductive than the policies of his predecessors. This
administration has tightened the travel ban, increased economic
pressure and made a show of planning for a post-Castro Cuba.

Meanwhile, Castro (apparently recovering slowly from intestinal
surgery) and his brother, Ra?l, are as firmly in power as ever. The
administration's hard-line tactics have accomplished less than
nothing -- in Cuba, at least. The zero-tolerance policy toward the
Castro government has been popular, however, among the most strident
exiles in Florida -- the old men who will greet Posada when he goes
home to Miami and a comfortable retirement.

A grand jury in New Jersey reportedly is investigating Posada's
alleged involvement in the Havana hotel bombings, and it's possible
that he will someday face a new indictment. Meanwhile, our government
has given Castro another cause celebre for billboards and

The administration is about to increase funding for its broadcasts
into Cuba, even though they are seen and heard by few Cubans because
Castro's people have gotten so good at jamming them. The message is
that the United States opposes the Castro regime but offers a hand of
friendship to the Cuban people.

That's a tough idea to sell when our government won't call a
terrorist a terrorist -- and when a bitter old man who probably
killed scores of Cuban civilians is allowed to walk free.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company The Washington Post


15) The Millions Left Out
Op-Ed Columnist
May 12, 2007

The United States may be the richest country in the world,
but there are many millions — tens of millions — who are
not sharing in that prosperity.

According to the most recent government figures, 37 million
Americans are living below the official poverty threshold,
which is $19,971 a year for a family of four. That’s one
out of every eight Americans, and many of them are children.

More than 90 million Americans, close to a third of the
entire population, are struggling to make ends meet
on incomes that are less than twice the official poverty
line. In my book, they’re poor.

We don’t see poor people on television or in the
advertising that surrounds us like a second atmosphere.
We don’t pay much attention to the millions of men and
women who are changing bedpans, or flipping burgers
for the minimum wage, or vacuuming the halls of office
buildings at all hours of the night. But they’re there,
working hard and getting very little in return.

The number of poor people in America has increased
by five million over the past six years, and the gap
between rich and poor has grown to historic proportions.
The richest one percent of Americans got nearly 20 percent
of the nation’s income in 2005, while the poorest
20 percent could collectively garner only a measly
3.4 percent.

A new report from a highly respected task force on poverty
put together by the Center for American Progress tells us,
“It does not have to be this way.” The task force has made
several policy recommendations, and said that if all were
adopted poverty in the U.S. could be cut in half over
the next decade.

The tremendous number of people in poverty is an enormous
drag on the U.S. economy. And one of the biggest problems
is the simple fact that so many jobs pay so little that
even fulltime, year-round employment is not enough to raise
a family out of poverty. One-fifth of the working men
in America and 29 percent of working women are in such

Peter Edelman, a Georgetown law professor who was
a co-chairman of the task force, said, “An astonishing
number of people are working as hard as they possibly
can but are still in poverty or have incomes that are
not much above the poverty line.”

So the starting point for lifting people out of poverty
should be to see that men and women who are working are
adequately compensated for their labor. The task force
recommended that the federal minimum wage, now $5.15
an hour, be raised to half the average hourly wage in
the U.S., which would bring it to $8.40.

The earned-income tax credit, which has proved very
successful in supplementing the earnings of low-wage
working families, should be expanded to cover more workers,
the task force said. It also recommended expanded coverage
of the federal child care tax credit, which is currently
$1,000 per child for up to three children.

A crucial component to raising workers out of poverty
would be an all-out effort to ensure that workers are
allowed to form unions and bargain collectively. As the
task force noted, “Among workers in similar jobs, unionized
workers have higher pay, higher rates of health coverage,
and better benefits than do nonunionized workers.”

In a recent interview about poverty, former Senator John
Edwards told me: “Organizing is so important. We have
50 million service economy jobs and we’ll probably have
10 or 15 million more over the next decade. If those jobs
are union jobs, they’ll be middle-class families. If not,
they’re more likely to live in poverty. It’s that strong.”

The task force made several other recommendations, including
proposals to ease access to higher education for poor
youngsters, to help former prisoners find employment,
to develop a more equitable unemployment compensation
system, and to establish housing policies that would make
it easier for poor people to move from neighborhoods
of concentrated poverty to areas with better employment
opportunities and higher-quality public services.

Mr. Edelman, an adviser on social policy in the Clinton
administration, stressed that there is no one answer
to the problem of poverty, and that in addition to public
policy initiatives, it’s important to address the “things
people have to do within their own communities to take
responsibility for themselves and for each other.”

But he added, “It is unacceptable for this country, which
is so wealthy, to have this many people who are left out.”


16) Open Letter from Michael Moore to U.S. Treasury
Secretary Henry Paulson
May 11, 2007

Secretary Henry Paulson
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20220

May 11, 2007

Secretary Paulson,

I am contacting you in light of the document sent to me dated
May 2, 2007, which was received May 7, 2007 indicating that
an investigation has been opened up with regards to a trip
I took to Cuba with a group of Americans that included some
9/11 heroes in March 2007 related to the filming of my next
documentary, on the American Healthcare system. SiCKO, which
will be seen in theaters this summer, will expose the health
care industry’s greed and control over America’s political

I believe that the decision to conduct this investigation
represents the latest example of the Bush Administration
abusing the federal government for raw, crass, political
purposes. Over the last seven years of the Bush Presidency,
we have seen the abuse of government to promote a political
agenda designed to benefit the conservative base of the
Republican Party, special interests and major financial
contributors. From holding secret meetings for the energy
industry to re-writing science findings to cooking the
books on intelligence to the firing of U.S. Attorneys,
this Administration has shown time and time again that
it will abuse its power and authority.

There are a number of specific facts that have led me
to conclude that politics could very well be driving
this Bush Administration investigation of me and my film.

First, the Bush Administration has been aware of this
matter for months (since October 2006) and never took
any action until less than two weeks before SiCKO is
set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and a little
more than a month before it is scheduled to open in the
United States.

Second, the health care and insurance industry, which
is exposed in the movie and has expressed concerns about
the impact of the movie on their industries, is a major
corporate underwriter of President George W. Bush and
the Republican Party, having contributed over $13 million
to the Bush presidential campaign in 2004 and more than
$180 million to Republican candidates over the last two
campaign cycles. It is well documented that the industry
is very concerned about the impact of SiCKO. They have
threatened their employees if they talk to me. They
have set up special internal crises lines should I show
up at their headquarters. Employees have been warned
about the consequences of participating in SiCKO. Despite
this, some employees, at great risk to themselves, have
gone on camera to tell the American people the truth
about the health care industry. I can understand why
that industry's main recipient of its contributions --
President Bush -- would want to harass, intimidate and
potentially prevent this film from having its widest
possible audience.

And, third, this investigation is being opened in the
wake of misleading attacks on the purpose of the Cuba
trip from a possible leading Republican candidate for
president, Fred Thompson, a major conservative newspaper,
The New York Post, and various right wing blogs.

For five and a half years, the Bush administration has
ignored and neglected the heroes of the 9/11 community.
These heroic first responders have been left to fend
for themselves, without coverage and without care.
I understand why the Bush administration is coming
after me -- I have tried to help the very people they
refuse to help, but until George W. Bush outlaws
helping your fellow man, I have broken no laws and
I have nothing to hide.

I demand that the Bush Administration immediately end
this investigation and spend its time and resources
trying to support some of the real heroes of 9/11.


Michael Moore


17) Armored vehicles' rising use by police
raises community concerns
The Associated Press
May 9, 2007

PITTSBURGH — After six people were shot in the city's Homewood
neighborhood in less than 24 hours, Pittsburgh police rolled
in with a 20-ton armored truck with a blast-resistant body,
armored rotating roof hatch and gunports.

No guns or drugs were seized and no arrests made during the
sweep in the $250,000 armored vehicle, paid for with Homeland
Security money. But the show of force sent a message.

Whether it was the right message is a matter of debate.

With scores of police agencies large and small buying armored
vehicles at Homeland Security expense, some criminal-justice
experts warn that their use in fighting everyday crime could
do more harm than good and represents a post-Sept. 11
militaristic turn away from the more cooperative community-
policing approach promoted in the 1990s.

When the armored truck moved through the Homewood neighborhood
late last year, people came out of their homes to take a look.
Some were offended.

"This is really the containment of crime, not the elimination,
because to eliminate it you have to address some of the social
problems," said Rashad Byrdsong, a community activist.

Law-enforcement agencies say the growing use of the vehicles
helps ensure police have the tools they need to deal with
hostage situations, heavy gunfire and acts of terrorism.

But police are also putting the equipment to more routine
use, such as the delivering of warrants to suspects believed
to be armed.

"We live on being prepared for 'what if?' " said Pittsburgh
Sgt. Barry Budd, a member of the SWAT team.

Critics say the appearance of armored vehicles in high-crime
neighborhoods may only increase tensions by making residents
feel as if they are under siege.

Most departments do not have "a credible, justifiable reason
for buying these kinds of vehicles," but find them appealing
because they "tap into that subculture within policing that
finds the whole military special-operations model culturally
intoxicating," said Peter Kraska, a professor at Eastern
Kentucky University and an expert on police militarization.
The military-style approach "runs a high risk of being very

Peter Moskos, a criminologist at the John Jay College
of Criminal Justice in New York, said police departments
would be better off hiring people with different language
skills if the goal is to root out terrorism.

"It does worry me when cops try to be more militarylike,
because an armored car is not going to stop a terrorist,"
he said.

In Pittsburgh, a city of about 370,000 with pockets of mostly
drug- or gang-related crime, the armored truck made by Lenco
Industries Inc. of Pittsfield, Mass., has been used about
four times a month, Budd said.

He said the vehicle was bought primarily to be used in hostage
situations and when officers are wounded. On Sunday, the truck
was deployed when Pittsburgh's SWAT team responded to a report
of an armed man holed up in a home. The standoff ended peacefully.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, police in Lexington, Ky., a city
of about 280,000, have obtained two armored vehicles and two
military helicopters acquired from the Pentagon.

Police Chief Anthany Beatty said the equipment is used mostly
to fight daily crime but is also meant to protect the area's
"significant military assets" from terrorists.

Lexington's SWAT team takes its armored truck out on every
call, including the serving of warrants to armed suspects.

Police in Austin, Texas — home to about 720,000 — bought
Lenco's smaller armored vehicle, the BearCat, with a $250,000
Homeland Security grant. Lt. Vic White, who heads the
department's tactical operations, said it is deployed
every time the SWAT team is called out.

Robert Castelli, chairman of criminal justice at Iona
College in New Rochelle, N.Y., said if he were a police
chief of a force with an armored vehicle, he would order
it sent out on every SWAT call.

Castelli said armored vehicles can send a positive message
— that police are in control of the situation — and make
police better prepared to deal with more heavily armed
criminals, as well as terrorists.

Lenco Industries President Len Light said Homeland Security
grants have significantly boosted sales but would not provide
precise figures. He said the company has sold hundreds
of armored vehicles to police nationwide, and has annual
sales of about $40 million.




Thousands of Nuclear Arms Workers
See Cancer Claims Denied or Delayed
By Michael Alison Chandler and Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, May 12, 2007; A01

FOCUS | Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, US Study Finds

Filmmaker Hits Back at Inquiry Over Cuba Trip
The filmmaker Michael Moore has asked the Bush administration
to call off an investigation of his trip to Cuba to get
treatment for ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers for a segment
in his film, “Sicko.” Mr. Moore, who made the documentary
“Fahrenheit 9/11” attacking the president’s handling of the
Sept. 11 attacks, said in a letter to Treasury Secretary
Henry M. Paulson Jr. that the White House might have opened
the investigation for political reasons. In the letter,
which Mr. Moore posted on the liberal Web site the Daily Kos,
he also said: “I understand why the Bush administration
is coming after me — I have tried to help the very people
they refuse to help, but until George W. Bush outlaws
helping your fellow man, I have broken no laws and I have
nothing to hide.”
May 12, 2007

Panel Seeks End of New Jersey’s Death Penalty
May 11, 2007

Germany: Protests Over Raids
More than 5,000 people poured into the streets of several
cities to protest a crackdown on leftist groups before
a Group of 8 meeting in the city of Heiligendamm next
month. The police in Hamburg clashed with demonstrators
there, arresting eight people. Some opposition leaders
criticized the raids, saying the police were trying to
intimidate legitimate opponents of the meeting.
May 11, 2007

Indictment in ’65 Killing That Inspired March
May 10, 2007

Escalating Military Spending - Income Redistribution
in Disguise
"How escalation of war and military spending are used
as disguised or roundabout ways to reverse the new
deal and redistribute national resources in favor
of the wealthy"
By Ismael Hossein-zadeh

Profiteering at the Pump
The Great Oil Robbery
May 8, 2007

How the Inca Leapt Canyons
May 8, 2007

U.S. drug agents called 'new cartel'
From Times Wire Reports
Venezuela said it would not allow U.S. agents to carry out
counter-drug operations in the country, accusing the U.S.
Drug Enforcement Administration of being a "new cartel"
that aids traffickers.
Spokesman Brian Penn said the U.S. Embassy categorically
denies the accusation.
Washington has accused Venezuela of not cooperating in
counter-drug efforts and says cocaine shipments are
increasingly passing through the country from
neighboring Colombia.
Justice Minister Pedro Carreno said Venezuela suspended
cooperation with the DEA in 2005 after determining that
"they were moving a large amount of drugs."
May 8, 2007,1,4971793.story?coll=la-headlines-world&ctrack=1&cset=true

Rebuilding Resistance
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail
"BEIRUT, May 7 (IPS) - As reconstruction resumes in the
heavily bombed southern Beirut district Dahiyeh, the signs
are evident of a rebuilding of resistance against Israel
and the U.S.-backed government, largely by way of increased
support for Hezbollah."

Beam It Down From the Web, Scotty
"PASADENA, Calif. — Sometimes a particular piece of plastic
is just what you need. You have lost the battery cover
to your cellphone, perhaps. Or your daughter needs to have
the golden princess doll she saw on television. Now.
In a few years, it will be possible to make these items
yourself. You will be able to download three-dimensional
plans online, then push Print. Hours later, a solid object
will be ready to remove from your printer."
May 7, 2007

Albany Parental Access Increased
A bill designed to give parents greater access to information
about their children who are in residential health facilities
was signed into law yesterday by Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The law,
spurred by the death of a 13-year-old autistic boy this year,
requires the facilities to notify parents and guardians within
24 hours of events affecting the children’s health and safety.
The boy, Jonathan Carey, died in February while under care
at the state’s Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center. The
authorities have said an aide was trying to restrain Jonathan
in a van when he stopped breathing. Two aides have been charged
with manslaughter and have pleaded not guilty.
May 7, 2007

Propaganda Fear Cited in Account of Iraqi Killings
May 6, 2007

UN scientists warn time is running out to tackle global warming
-Scientists say eight years left to avoid worst effects
-Panel urges governments to act immediately
David Adam, environment correspondent
Saturday May 5, 2007

Anti-U.S. Uproar Sweeps Italy
By David Swanson
The U.S. government has proposed to make Vicenza, Italy,
the largest US military site in Europe, but the people
of Vicenza, and all of Italy, have sworn it will never

As the Climate Changes, Bits of England’s Coast Crumble

Inspector of Projects in Iraq Under Investigation
May 4, 2007

Miami, activists in standoff after shantytown fire
Apr. 26, 2007

Gene Links Longevity and Diet, Scientists Say
May 3, 2007

Feeling Warmth, Subtropical Plants Move North
May 3, 2007

Court Rejects Limit on Bids by Convicts for DNA Tests
May 3, 2007

California Mayor Demands Inquiry
Over Immigration Protest Clash
The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio R. Villaraigosa,
demanded an investigation into a clash Tuesday between
the police and pro-immigration protesters, saying he was
“deeply concerned” by televised images of the episode.
The chief, William J. Bratton, has already said he will
open an internal inquiry into the actions of officers
who used batons and rubber bullets to clear MacArthur
Park of protesters, apparently after a small group of
people began pelting them with rocks.
May 3, 2007



The National Council of Arab Americans (NCA) demands the immediate
release of political prisoner, Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Although
Dr. Al-Arian is no longer on a hunger strike we must still demand
he be released by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). After an earlier
plea agreement that absolved Dr. Al-Arian from any further questioning,
he was sentenced up to 18 months in jail for refusing to testify before
a grand jury in Virginia. He has long sense served his time yet
Dr. Al-Arian is still being held. Release him now!



We ask all people of conscience to demand the immediate
release and end to Dr. Al- Arian's suffering.

Call, Email and Write:

1- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Fax Number: (202) 307-6777

2- The Honorable John Conyers, Jr
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5126
(202) 225-0072 Fax

3- Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

4- Honorable Judge Gerald Lee
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314
March 22, 2007
[No email]

National Council of Arab Americans (NCA)

Criminalizing Solidarity: Sami Al-Arian and the War of
By Charlotte Kates, The Electronic Intifada, 4 April 2007


Robert Fisk: The true story of free speech in America
This systematic censorship of Middle East reality
continues even in schools
Published: 07 April 2007
http://news. independent. fisk/article2430 125.ece


[For some levity...Hans Groiner plays Monk]

Excerpt of interview between Barbara Walters and Hugo Chavez

Which country should we invade next?

My Favorite Mutiny, The Coup

Michael Moore- The Awful Truth

Morse v. Frederick Supreme Court arguments

Free Speech 4 Students Rally - Media Montage


'My son lived a worthwhile life'
In April 2003, 21-year old Tom Hurndall was shot in the head
in Gaza by an Israeli soldier as he tried to save the lives of three
small children. Nine months later, he died, having never
recovered consciousness. Emine Saner talks to his mother
Jocelyn about her grief, her fight to make the Israeli army
accountable for his death and the book she has written
in his memory.
Monday March 26, 2007
The Guardian,,2042968,00.html


Introducing...................the Apple iRack


"A War Budget Leaves Every Child Behind."
[A T-shirt worn by some teachers at Roosevelt High School
in L.A. as part of their campaign to rid the school of military
recruiters and JROTC--see Article in Full item number 4,]




Defend the Los Angeles Eight!


George Takai responds to Tim Hardaway's homophobic remarks




Another view of the war. A link from Amer Jubran


Petition: Halt the Blue Angels


A Girl Like Me
7:08 min
Youth Documentary
Kiri Davis, Director, Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, Producer
Winner of the Diversity Award
Sponsored by Third Millennium Foundation


Film/Song about Angola


"200 million children in the world sleep in the streets today.
Not one of them is Cuban."
(A sign in Havana)
View sign at bottom of page at:
[Thanks to Norma Harrison for sending]



"Cheyenne and Arapaho oral histories hammer history's account of the
Sand Creek Massacre"

CENTENNIAL, CO -- A new documentary film based on an award-winning
documentary short film, "The Sand Creek Massacre", and driven by
Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho people who tell their version about
what happened during the Sand Creek Massacre via their oral
histories, has been released by Olympus Films+, LLC, a Centennial,
Colorado film company.

"You have done an extraordinary job" said Margie Small, Tobient
Entertainment, " on the Colorado PBS episode, the library videos for
public schools and libraries, the trailer, etc...and getting the
story told and giving honor to those ancestors who had to witness
this tragic and brutal is one of the best ways."

"The images shown in the film were selected for native awareness
value" said Donald L. Vasicek, award-winning writer/filmmaker, "we
also focused on preserving American history on film because tribal
elders are dying and taking their oral histories with them. The film
shows a non-violent solution to problem-solving and 19th century
Colorado history, so it's multi-dimensional in that sense. "

Chief Eugene Blackbear, Sr., Cheyenne, who starred as Chief Black
Kettle in "The Last of the Dogmen" also starring Tom Berenger and
Barbara Hershey and "Dr. Colorado", Tom Noel, University of Colorado
history professor, are featured.

The trailer can be viewed and the film can be ordered for $24.95 plus
$4.95 for shipping and handling at

Vasicek's web site,, provides detailed
information about the Sand Creek Massacre including various still
images particularly on the Sand Creek Massacre home page and on the
proposal page.

Olympus Films+, LLC is dedicated to writing and producing quality
products that serve to educate others about the human condition.


Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
7078 South Fairfax Street
Centennial, CO 80122,+Don


Join us in a campaign to expose and stop the use
of these illegal weapons


You may enjoy watching these.
In struggle


FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein


[The Scab
"After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad,
and the vampire, he had some awful substance left with
which he made a scab."
"A scab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul,
a water brain, a combination backbone of jelly and glue.
Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten
principles." "When a scab comes down the street,
men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and
the devil shuts the gates of hell to keep him out."
"No man (or woman) has a right to scab so long as there
is a pool of water to drown his carcass in,
or a rope long enough to hang his body with.
Judas was a gentleman compared with a scab.
For betraying his master, he had character enough
to hang himself." A scab has not.
"Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage.
Judas sold his Savior for thirty pieces of silver.
Benedict Arnold sold his country for a promise of
a commision in the british army."
The scab sells his birthright, country, his wife,
his children and his fellowmen for an unfulfilled
promise from his employer.
Esau was a traitor to himself; Judas was a traitor
to his God; Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country;
a scab is a traitor to his God, his country,
his family and his class."
Author --- Jack London (1876-1916)...Roland Sheppard]


Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.


Sand Creek Massacre
(scroll down when you get there])

On November 29, 1864, 700 Colorado troops savagely slaughtered
over 450 Cheyenne children, disabled, elders, and women in the
southeastern Colorado Territory under its protection. This act
became known as the Sand Creek Massacre. This film project
("The Sand Creek Massacre" documentary film project) is an
examination of an open wound in the souls of the Cheyenne
people as told from their perspective. This project chronicles
that horrific 19th century event and its affect on the 21st century
struggle for respectful coexistence between white and native
plains cultures in the United States of America.

Listed below are links on which you can click to get the latest news,
products, and view, free, "THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" award-
winning documentary short. In order to create more native
awareness, particularly to save the roots of America's history,
please read the following:

Some people in America are trying to save the world. Bless
them. In the meantime, the roots of America are dying.
What happens to a plant when the roots die? The plant dies
according to my biology teacher in high school. American's
roots are its native people. Many of America's native people
are dying from drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, hunger,
and disease, which was introduced to them by the Caucasian
male. Tribal elders are dying. When they die, their oral
histories go with them. Our native's oral histories are the
essence of the roots of America, what took place before
our ancestors came over to America, what is taking place,
and what will be taking place. It is time we replenish
America's roots with native awareness, else America
continues its decaying, and ultimately, its death.

READY FOR PURCHASE! (pass the word about this powerful
educational tool to friends, family, schools, parents, teachers,
and other related people and organizations to contact
me (, 303-903-2103) for information
about how they can purchase the DVD and have me come
to their children's school to show the film and to interact
in a questions and answers discussion about the Sand
Creek Massacre.

Happy Holidays!

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC,+Don

(scroll down when you get there])