Wednesday, May 07, 2008

BAUAW NEWSLETTER - THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2008

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ILWU May Day Protest--San Francisco
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BspANxukBgg

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PLEASE, CIRCULATE THIS MESSAGE WIDELY.

NO on state Prop. 98!

San Francisco Tenants Union (415) 282-5525 www.sftu.org

Wealthy landlords and other right-wing operatives placed Prop. 98 on the state ballot. This is a dangerous and deceptive measure. Disguised as an effort to reform eminent domain laws and protect homeowners, Prop. 98 would abolish tenant protections such as rent control and just-cause eviction laws, and would end a number of other environmental protection and land use laws.

SAVE RENT CONTROL! NO ON PROP. 98!
http://leftinsf.com/blog/index.php/archives/2492

We All Hate that 98!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Phrt5zVGn0

[The catch is, that while it's true that the landlord can increase rents to whatever he or she wants once a property becomes vacant, the current rent-control law now ensures that the new tenants are still under rent-control for their, albeit higher, rent. Under the new law, there simply will be no rent control when the new tenant moves in so their much higher rent-rate can increase as much as the landlord chooses each year from then on!!! So, no more rent-control at all!!! Tricky, huh?...BW]

Prop 98, a statewide measure on the June 3 ballot will end rent control and just cause eviction protections for renters. San Francisco will see massive displacement and the city will change forever if 98 passes.

READ ALL OF PROP. 98 at: http://yesprop98.com/read/?_adctlid=v%7Cwynx8c5jjesxsb%7Cwziq39twoqov52

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Stop fumigation of citizens without their consent in California
Target: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Joe Simitian, Assemblymember Loni Hancock, Assemblymember John Laird, Senator Abel Maldonado
Sponsored by: John Russo
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-fumigation-of-citizens-without-their-consent-in-california

Additional information is available at http://www.stopthespray.org

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Rock for Justice-Rock for Palestine
FREE outdoor festival
May 10th, 2008
Civic Center, San Francisco

Please make your tax-deductible donation, payable to 'Palestine Right to Return Coalition' or 'PRRC/Palestine Solidarity Concert'

Mail to:

Local Nakba Committee (LNC)
PO Box #668
2425 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

For more information about, the Palestine Right of Return Coalition, see: www.al-awda.org.

For regular concert updates see our website at: http://www.araborganizing.org/concert.html

You can donate online at the Facebook Cause 'Nakba-60, Palestine Solidarity Concert' at: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/causes/19958?h=plw&recruiter_id=6060344

List of confirmed artists:

Dam, featuring Abeer, aka 'Sabreena da Witch'–Palestinian Hip-Hop crew from Lid (1948, Palestine).

Dead Prez

Fred Wreck–DJ/Producer, for artists Snoop Dogg, Hilary Duff,
Brittany Spears and other celebs.

Ras Ceylon –Sri Lankan Revolution Hip Hop

Arab Summit:
Narcicyst - with Iraqi-Canadian Hip Hop group Euphrates
Excentrik- Palestinian Producer/Composer/MC
Omar Offendun- with Syrian/Sudani Hip Hop group The N.o.m.a.d.s
Ragtop- with Palestinian/Filipino group The Philistines
Scribe Project – Palestinian/Mexican Hip Hop/Soul Band

Additional artists still pending confirmation.

Points of Unity for Concert Sponsorship

An end to all US political, military and economic aid to Israel.

The divestment of all public and private entities from all Israeli corporations and American corporations with subsidiaries operating within Israel.

An end to the investment of Labor Union members' pension funds in Israel.
The boycott of all Israeli products.

The right to return for all Palestinian refugees to their original towns, villages and lands with compensation for damages inflicted on their property and lives.

The right for all Palestinian refugees to full restitution of all confiscated and destroyed property.

The formation of an independent, democratic state for its citizens in all of Palestine.

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National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation
natassembly.org

Dear Antiwar Activists,

You are invited to attend a special Bay Area meeting of antiwar activists who support or want to learn more about the National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation. The meeting is set for:

Saturday, May 17, 2:00 P.M.
ILWU Local 6 Hall
255 Ninth Street, near Howard, San Francisco

The National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation (website: natassembly.org) is planning an open national antiwar conference in Cleveland, Ohio on June 28-29 at the Crown Plaza Hotel.

To date almost 450 local, state and national organizations and prominent individuals have endorsed this first open antiwar conference. The complete list is on the website as well as the conference statement of purpose, schedule, workshops and all the rest.

Conference endorsers include the Cleveland AFL-CIO, the San Francisco and Los Angeles teachers unions, the Progressive Democrats of America, Veterans for Peace, Cindy Sheehan, Howard Zinn, Jonathan Hutto, U.S. Labor Against the War, National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles Country Federation of Labor/AFL-CIO, The Iraq Moratorium, Green Party of Ohio, Mumia Abu-Jamal, New England United Against the War, Peace and Freedom Party, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, Greater Boston Stop the War Coalition, Ohio State Council/Here/Unite, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee, Thomas Merton Center/Pittsburgh, the ANSWER Coalition, Middle East Children's Alliance, San Jose Peace and Justice Center, National Education Peace and Justice Caucus, Connecticut United for Peace, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement/Sacramento and hundreds of others.

The purpose of the Bay Area meeting is to promote support for and attendance at the Cleveland conference, to update the progress toward a united antiwar movement, and to seek new endorsers for the conference.

The National Assembly was formed as a network aimed at fostering a united, mass action-oriented, independent and democratic antiwar movement to Bring the Troops Home Now.

Speakers at the Cleveland conference include national leaders of the major antiwar coalitions, UFPJ (Leslie Cagan), ANSWER (Brian Becker), Jeremy Scahill, Navy Petty Officer Jonathan Hutto, Donna DeWitt, Pres., South Carolina, AFO-CIO, Cindy Sheehan (via satellite hookup) as well as leaders of several of the nation's most prominent antiwar and social justice groups.

The National Assembly was formed as an effort to achieve unity in action among the broad forces in the antiwar movement in order to close the gap between the mass antiwar sentiment and the still modest numbers that actively participate in the movement's activities.

As the Statement of Purpose states:

"We therefore invite everyone, every organization, every coalition, everywhere in the U.S. - all who oppose the war and occupation - to attend an open democratic U.S. national antiwar conference and join with us in advancing and promoting the coming together of an antiwar movement in this country with the power to make a mighty contribution toward ending the war and occupation of Iraq now.

"Everyone is welcome. The objective is to place on the agenda of the entire U.S. antiwar movement a proposal for the largest possible united mass mobilization(s) in the future to stop the war and end the occupation."

The San Francisco meeting is initiated by representatives of the Bay Area groups that participate on the 40-person Coordinating Committee of the National Assembly.

These include:

Paul George, Director, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center
Patty Mote, National Network on Cuba
Tom Lacey, Peace and Freedom Party
Alan Benjamin, Executive Board, San Francisco Labor Council
Jeff Mackler, founder, Mobilization for Peace, Jobs and Justice
Todd Chretien, International Socialist Organization
Bill Leumer, Workers International League
Millie Phillips, Socialist Organizer

Join us in Cleveland on June 28-29 for the conference.
Crown Plaza Hotel
Sponsored by the National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation
P.O. Box 21008; Cleveland, OH 44121; Voice Mail: 216-736-4704; Email: NatAssembly@aol.com

The Call for National Assembly:
http://natassembly.org/thecall/

List of Endorsers:
http://natassembly.org/thecall/

Endorse the conference:
http://natassembly.org/endorse/

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For Immediate Release
UPDATE: SIXTH AL-AWDA CONVENTION TO MARK 60 YEARS OF PALESTINIAN NAKBA
Embassy Suites Hotel Anaheim South, 11767 Harbor Boulevard,
Garden Grove, California, 92840
May 16-18, 2008

The 6th Annual International Al-Awda Convention will mark a devastating event in the long history of the Palestinian people. We call it our Nakba.

Confirmed speakers include Bishop Atallah Hanna, Supreme Justice Dr. Sheikh Taiseer Al Tamimi, Dr. Adel Samara, Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Dr. Ghada Karmi, Dr. As'ad Abu Khalil, Dr. Saree Makdisi, and Ramzy Baroud. Former Prime Minister of Lebanon Salim El Hos and Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar have also been invited.

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-685-3243
Fax: 360-933-3568
E-mail: info@al-awda. org
WWW: http://al-awda. org

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC) is the largest network of grassroots activists and students dedicated to Palestinian human rights. We are a not for profit tax-exempt educational and charitable 501(c)(3) organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States of America. Under IRS guidelines, your donations to PRRC are tax-deductible.

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ARTICLES IN FULL:

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1) Success Breeds Failure
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Op-Ed Columnist
May 5, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/05/opinion/05krugman.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

2) Helping the Unemployed
Editorial
May 5, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/05/opinion/05mon1.html?hp

3) Racial Disparities Persist as Drug Arrests Rise
By ERIK ECKHOLM
May 6, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/us/05cnd-disparities.html?hp

4) Few Details on Immigrants Who Died in Custody
By NINA BERNSTEIN
May 5, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/05/nyregion/05detain.html?hp

5) U.A.W. Strikes G.M. Kansas Plant
By REUTERS
Filed at 11:49 a.m. ET
May 5, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/business/business-gm-strike.html?ref=business

6) Death by Detention
Editorial
May 6, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/opinion/06tue1.html?hp

7) Police Data Shows Increase in Street Stops
By AL BAKER
May 6, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/nyregion/06frisk.html?ref=nyregion

8) US Navy Deploys Around Latin America
By Lamia Oualalou
Le Figaro
Monday 28 April 2008
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050208G.shtml

9) Bell Protesters Block Traffic Across City
By Thomas J. Lueck
Updated, 5:23 p.m.
May 7, 2008, 4:32 pm
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/protesters-assail-acquittal-of-officers-in-sean-bell-case/index.html?hp

10) Failings of One Brooklyn High School May Threaten a Neighbor’s Success
By SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN
On Education
May 7, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/education/07education.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

11) Utah Mine Disaster Was Preventable, Report Says
By IAN URBINA
May 9, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/09/us/08cnd-mine.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

12) Confrontation in Lebanon Appears to Escalate
By NADA BAKRI and GRAHAM BOWLEY
May 8, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/world/middleeast/09lebanon.html?ref=world

13) After 60 Years, Arabs in Israel Are Outsiders
By ETHAN BRONNER
May 7, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/world/middleeast/07israel.html?em&ex=1210392000&en=4959633618223351&ei=5087%0A

14) Police Beating of Suspects Is Taped by TV Station in Philadelphia
By JON HURDLE
May 8, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/us/08philadelphia.html?ref=us

15) Oil Giants to Settle Water Suit
By JAD MOUAWAD
May 8, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/business/08oil.html?ref=us

16) Productivity Increases as Debts Accumulate
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 8, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/business/08econ.html?ref=business

17) Psychiatry Handbook Linked to Drug Industry
Tara Parker-Pope on Health
May 6, 2008, 12:54 pm
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/psychiatry-handbook-linked-to-drug-industry/
Study Finds a Link of Drug Makers to Psychiatrists
By BENEDICT CAREY
April 20, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/20/health/20psych.html?scp=3&sq=tufts+drug+firms+&st=nyt

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1) Success Breeds Failure
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Op-Ed Columnist
May 5, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/05/opinion/05krugman.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Cross your fingers, knock on wood: it’s possible, though by no means certain, that the worst of the financial crisis is over. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that as markets stabilize, chances for fundamental financial reform may be slipping away. As a result, the next crisis will probably be worse than this one.

Let’s look at the story so far.

After the financial crisis that ushered in the Great Depression, New Deal reformers regulated the banking system, with the goal of protecting the economy from future crises. The new system worked well for half a century.

Eventually, however, Wall Street did an end run around regulation, using complex financial arrangements to put most of the business of banking outside the regulators’ reach. Washington could have revised the rules to cover this new “shadow banking system” — but that would have run counter to the market-worshiping ideology of the times.

Instead, key officials, from Alan Greenspan on down, sang the praises of financial innovation and pooh-poohed warnings about the growing risks.

And then the crisis came. Last August, as investors began to realize the scope of the mortgage mess, confidence in the financial system collapsed.

I believe we’ve been lucky to have Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman during these trying times. He may lack Mr. Greenspan’s talent for impersonating the Wizard of Oz, but he’s an economist who has thought long and hard about both the Great Depression and Japan’s lost decade in the 1990s, and he understands what’s at stake.

Mr. Bernanke recognized, more quickly than others might have, that we were in a situation bearing a family resemblance to the great banking crisis of 1930-31. His first priority, overriding every other concern, had to be preventing a cascade of financial failures that would cripple the economy.

The Fed’s efforts these past nine months remind me of the old TV series “MacGyver,” whose ingenious hero would always get out of difficult situations by assembling clever devices out of household objects and duct tape.

Because the institutions in trouble weren’t called banks, the Fed’s usual tools for dealing with financial trouble, designed for a system centered on traditional banks, were largely useless. So the Fed has cobbled together makeshift arrangements to save the day. There was the TAF and the TSLF (don’t ask), there were credit lines to investment banks, and the whole thing culminated in March’s unprecedented, barely legal Bear Stearns rescue — a rescue not of Bear itself, but of its “counterparties,” those who were on the other side of its financial bets.

It’s still far from certain whether all this improvisation has resolved the crisis. But it was the right thing to do, and for the moment things seem to be calming down.

So two cheers for Mr. Bernanke. Unfortunately, his very success — if he has succeeded — poses another problem: it gives the financial industry a chance to block reform.

We now know that things that aren’t called banks can nonetheless generate banking crises, and that the Fed needs to carry out bank-type rescues on their behalf. It follows that hedge funds, special investment vehicles and so on need bank-type regulation. In particular, they need to be required to have adequate capital.

But while our out-of-control financial system has been bad for the country, it has been very good for wheeler-dealers, who collect huge fees when things seem to be going well, then get to walk away unscathed — indeed, often with large severance packages — when things go wrong. They don’t want regulations that would stabilize the economy but cramp their style.

And now that the financial clouds have lifted a bit, the pushback against sensible regulation is in full swing. Even the Fed’s very modest proposal to curb abusive mortgage lending with new standards is under fire, and there are worrying signs that the Fed may back down.

Maybe a Democratic sweep in November can revive the cause of financial reform, but right now it looks as if we’ll soon return to business as usual.

The parallel that worries me is what happened a decade ago, after the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management failed, temporarily causing the whole financial system to freeze up.

Through luck and skill, that crisis was contained — but rather than serving as a warning, the episode nurtured the false belief that the Fed had all the tools it needed to deal with financial shocks. So nothing was done to remedy the vulnerabilities the L.T.C.M. crisis revealed — the same vulnerabilities that are at the heart of today’s much bigger crisis.

And if we don’t fix the system now, there’s every reason to believe that the next crisis will be bigger still — and that the Fed won’t have enough duct tape to hold things together.

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2) Helping the Unemployed
Editorial
May 5, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/05/opinion/05mon1.html?hp

Americans don’t have to wait for the statistics to know these are very hard times. For the fourth month in a row, the economy lost jobs in April. The economists said the contraction was not as bad as expected — 20,000 jobs were shed versus an anticipated loss of 75,000. Not as bad as expected is cold comfort.

The latest employment report shows other deepening problems for American workers, including slower wage growth, cutbacks in hours, a sharp increase in the number of part-timers who would prefer full-time work and lengthening spells of unemployment.

The White House response to the pain is to wait and see if things get even worse before calling for help for the unemployed. On Friday President Bush said that his administration had anticipated the slump and would combat it with tax rebates that were passed last February as part of the economic stimulus package.

There is no guarantee, however, that the rebates — which are just now being distributed — will spur the economy as hoped. Rather than spend the money, many indebted consumers are likely to use it to pay down debt, and some people, justifiably fearful of job loss, are likely to save it.

Besides, there’s no more time to wait and see. In April, the number of Americans who had been out of work for at least 27 weeks (26 weeks is when unemployment benefits run out) rose to 1.35 million workers. In the past year, 2.74 million jobless workers have exhausted their benefits.

Job loss is clearly a hit to families’ finances and, in the aggregate, to consumer spending and economic growth. Job loss coupled with the exhaustion of unemployment benefits leads not only to personal desperation, but will further damage consumer confidence, already sorely tested by the housing bust, the credit crunch and soaring prices for food and gasoline.

What is needed — now — is for Congress to extend jobless benefits for people who exhaust their initial 26 weeks of payments. Research is unequivocal that bolstered jobless benefits are more effective stimulus than tax rebates. They also have the advantage of being targeted to people in need.

The extension could be attached to the supplemental spending bill for the Iraq war, which may come before Congress as early as this week. Predictably, President Bush is balking, mainly because of his wrongheaded belief that tax cuts are the best solution to all problems.

The White House has also asserted that with the overall unemployment rate hovering around 5 percent, joblessness is not yet bad enough to warrant an extension of unemployment benefits. But in prior recessions, benefits had already been extended when long-term unemployment reached the current level. And in recent recessions, the unemployment rate didn’t peak until the recession was basically over. Waiting for the rate to rise before extending benefits is almost sure to result in offering too little help, too late — deepening the pain of the recession.

Congress erred by not extending unemployment benefits in last February’s stimulus package. Lawmakers and Mr. Bush now have a second chance to fix that mistake. They must not squander it.

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3) Racial Disparities Persist as Drug Arrests Rise
By ERIK ECKHOLM
May 6, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/us/05cnd-disparities.html?hp

More than two decades after President Ronald Reagan escalated the war on drugs, arrests for drug sales or, more often, drug possession are still rising. And despite public debate and limited efforts to reduce them, large disparities persist in the rate at which blacks and whites are arrested and imprisoned for drug offenses, even though the two races use illegal drugs at roughly equal rates.

Two new reports, issued Monday by the Sentencing Project in Washington and by Human Rights Watch in New York, both say the racial disparities reflect, in large part, an overwhelming focus of law enforcement on inner-city drug use, with arrests and incarceration the main weapon.

But they note that the murderous crack-related urban violence of the 1980s, which spawned the drug war, has largely subsided, reducing the rationale for a strategy that has sowed mistrust in the justice system among many blacks.

In 2006, according to federal data, drug-related arrests climbed to 1.89 million, up from 1.85 million in 2005 and 581,000 in 1980.

More than four in five of the arrests were for possession of banned substances, rather than for their sale or manufacture. Four in 10 of all drug arrests were for marijuana possession, according to the latest F.B.I. data.

Apart from crowding prisons, one result is a devastating impact on the lives of black men, who are nearly 12 times as likely to be imprisoned for drug convictions than white men, according to the Human Rights Watch report.

Others are arrested for possession of small quantities of drugs and later released, but with a permanent blot on their records anyway.

“The way the war on drugs has been pursued is one of the biggest reasons for the growing racial disparities in criminal justice over all,” said Ryan S. King, a policy analyst with the Sentencing Project, who wrote its report, which focuses on the differential arrest rates, not only between races but also among cities around the country. Some cities pursue urban, minority drug use far more intensively than do others.

Both Democratic presidential candidates, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, have strongly condemned the wider racial disparities in arrests and incarceration during their campaigns, although neither has said how to end them.

Two-thirds of those arrested for drug violations in 2006 were white and 33 percent were black, although blacks made up 12.8 percent of the population, F.B.I. data show. National data are not collected on ethnicity, and arrests of Hispanics may be in either category.

“The race question is so entangled in the way the drug war was conceived,” said Jamie Fellner, a senior counsel at Human Rights Watch and the author of the group’s report.

“If the drug issue is still seen as primarily a problem of the black inner city, then we’ll continue to see this enormously disparate impact,” she said.

Her report cites federal data from 2003, the most recent available on this aspect, indicating that blacks constituted 53.5 percent of all who entered prison for a drug conviction.

Some crime experts say that the disparities exist for sound reasons. For example, said Heather MacDonald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York, blacks and Hispanics are more often involved than whites in the distribution and sale of heroin and cocaine. .

Ms. MacDonald said it made sense for the police to focus more on fighting visible drug dealing in the inner city, largely involving minorities, than on hidden use in suburban homes, more often by whites, because the urban street trade is more associated with violence and other crimes and impairs the quality of life.

“The disparities reflect policing decisions to use drug laws to try and reduce violence and to respond to the demand by law-abiding residents in poor neighborhoods to clean up the drug trade,” she said.

But what urban people need is not more incarceration but improved public safety, Mr. King said. “Arresting hundreds of thousands of young African-American men hasn’t ended street-corner drug sales.”

A shift of resources toward drug treatment and social services rather than wholesale incarceration, he asserted, would do more to improve conditions in blighted neighborhoods.

Limited efforts have been made to shift policies in ways that may reduce racial differences. Many states are experimenting with so-called “drug courts,” which send users to treatment rather than prison. This does not, however, affect arrest rates, which have lifelong consequences even for those who are never convicted or imprisoned.

The police in a few cities including Seattle, Oakland, Calif., and Denver have said they are spending fewer resources on arrests for lower-lever offenses like marijuana possession.

In December, the United States Sentencing Commission amended the federal sentencing guidelines for convictions involving crack cocaine, which is more often used by blacks, somewhat reducing the length of sentences compared to those for convictions involving powder cocaine. But mandatory and longer sentences for crack violations remain embedded in federal and state laws.

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4) Few Details on Immigrants Who Died in Custody
By NINA BERNSTEIN
May 5, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/05/nyregion/05detain.html?hp

Word spread quickly inside the windowless walls of the Elizabeth Detention Center, an immigration jail in New Jersey: A detainee had fallen, injured his head and become incoherent. Guards had put him in solitary confinement, and late that night, an ambulance had taken him away more dead than alive.

But outside, for five days, no official notified the family of the detainee, Boubacar Bah, a 52-year-old tailor from Guinea who had overstayed a tourist visa. When frantic relatives located him at University Hospital in Newark on Feb. 5, 2007, he was in a coma after emergency surgery for a skull fracture and multiple brain hemorrhages. He died there four months later without ever waking up, leaving family members on two continents trying to find out why.

Mr. Bah’s name is one of 66 on a government list of deaths that occurred in immigration custody from January 2004 to November 2007, when nearly a million people passed through.

The list, compiled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after Congress demanded the information, and obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, is the fullest accounting to date of deaths in immigration detention, a patchwork of federal centers, county jails and privately run prisons that has become the nation’s fastest-growing form of incarceration.

The list has few details, and they are often unreliable, but it serves as a rough road map to previously unreported cases like Mr. Bah’s. And it reflects a reality that haunts grieving families like his: the difficulty of getting information about the fate of people taken into immigration custody, even when they die.

Mr. Bah’s relatives never saw the internal records labeled “proprietary information — not for distribution” by the Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the New Jersey detention center for the federal government. The documents detail how he was treated by guards and government employees: shackled and pinned to the floor of the medical unit as he moaned and vomited, then left in a disciplinary cell for more than 13 hours, despite repeated notations that he was unresponsive and intermittently foaming at the mouth.

Mr. Bah had lived in New York for a decade, surrounded by a large circle of friends and relatives. The extravagant gowns he sewed to support his wife and children in West Africa were on display in a Manhattan boutique.

But he died in a sequestered system where questions about what had happened to him, or even his whereabouts, were met with silence.

As the country debates stricter enforcement of immigration laws, thousands of people who are not American citizens are being locked up for days, months or years while the government decides whether to deport them. Some have no valid visa; some are legal residents, but have past criminal convictions; others are seeking asylum from persecution.

Death is a reality in any jail, and the medical neglect of inmates is a perennial issue. But far more than in the criminal justice system, immigration detainees and their families lack basic ways to get answers when things go wrong.

No government body is required to keep track of deaths and publicly report them. No independent inquiry is mandated. And often relatives who try to investigate the treatment of those who died say they are stymied by fear of immigration authorities, lack of access to lawyers, or sheer distance.

Federal officials say deaths are reviewed internally by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which reports them to its inspector general and decides which ones warrant investigation. Officials say they notify the detainee’s next of kin or consulate, and report the deaths to local medical authorities, who may conduct autopsies. In Mr. Bah’s case, a review before his death found no evidence of foul play, an immigration spokesman said, though after later inquiries from The Times, he said a full review of the death was under way.

But critics, including many in Congress, say this piecemeal process leaves too much to the agency’s discretion, allowing some deaths to be swept under the rug while potential witnesses are transferred or deported. They say it also obscures underlying complaints about medical care, abusive conditions or inadequate suicide prevention.

In January, the House passed a bill that would require states that receive certain federal money to report deaths in custody to their attorneys general. But the bill is stalled in the Senate, and it does not cover federal facilities.

The only tangible result of Congressional concern has been the list of 66 deaths, which names Mr. Bah and many other detainees for the first time, but raises as many questions as it answers.

For Mr. Bah’s survivors, the mystery of his death is hard to bear. In Guinea, his first wife, Dalanda, wept as she spoke about the contradictory accounts that had reached her and her two teenage sons through other detainees, including some who speculated that Mr. Bah had been beaten.

In New York, a cousin who is an American citizen, Khadidiatou Bah, 38, said she was unable to bring a lawsuit, in part because other relatives were afraid of antagonizing the authorities.

“They don’t want to push the case, or maybe they will be sent home,” she said. “This guy was killed, and we don’t know what happened.”

Lingering Questions

The list of deaths where Mr. Bah’s name surfaced is often cryptic. Along with 13 deaths cited as suicides and 14 as the result of cardiac ailments, it offers such causes as “undetermined” and “unwitnessed arrest, epilepsy.” No one’s nationality is given, some places of detention are omitted, and some names and birth dates seem garbled. As a result, many families could not be tracked down for this article.

But when they could be, they posed more disturbing questions.

In California, relatives of Walter Rodriguez-Castro, 28, said they were rebuffed when they tried to find out why his calls had stopped coming from the Kern County Jail in Bakersfield in April 2006. Then in June, his wife went to his scheduled hearing in San Francisco’s immigration court and learned that he had been dead for many weeks, his body unclaimed in the county morgue.

The coroner found that Mr. Rodriguez-Castro, a mover from El Salvador in the country illegally, had died of undiagnosed meningitis and H.I.V., after days complaining of fever, stiff neck and vomiting. The cause of death on the government’s list: “unresponsive.”

Immigration authorities said on Friday that the case was now under review, but would not answer questions about it or other deaths on the list. Sgt. Ed Komin, a spokesman for the jail, said the death had been promptly reported to immigration officials, who were responsible for notifying families.

Four sons in another family, in Sacramento, described trying for days to get medical care for their father, Maya Nand, a 56-year-old legal immigrant from Fiji, at a detention center run by the Corrections Corporation in Eloy, Ariz. Mr. Nand, an architectural draftsman, had been ailing when he was taken into custody on Jan. 13, 2005, apparently because his application for citizenship had been rejected, based on an earlier conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence. In collect calls, the sons said, he told them that despite his chest pains and breathing problems, doctors at the detention center did not take his condition seriously.

The Corrections Corporation said he had been seen and treated “multiple times.” But a letter to the family from an immigration official said his treatment was for a respiratory infection. The letter said that Mr. Nand was taken to an emergency room on Jan. 25, where congestive heart failure was diagnosed, and that he “suffered an apparent heart attack while at the hospital.” He died on Feb. 2, 2005, shackled to a hospital bed in Tucson.

Boubacar Bah had more going for him than many detainees. He had a lawyer and many friends and relatives in the United States, and his detention center in New Jersey was one of the few frequented by immigrant advocates.

But three days after he suffered a head injury in detention last year, no one in his New York circle knew that he was lying comatose in a Newark hospital, where he had already been identified as a possible organ donor.

“Thank you for the referral,” an organ-sharing network wrote on Feb. 3, 2007, according to hospital records. “This patient is a potential candidate for organ donation once brain death criteria is met.”

Four days after the fall, tipped off by a detainee who called Mr. Bah’s roommate in Brooklyn, relatives rushed to the detention center to ask Corrections Corporation employees where he was.

“They wouldn’t give us any information,” said Lamine Dieng, an American citizen who teaches physics at Bronx Community College and is married to Mr. Bah’s cousin Khadidiatou.

On the fifth day, they said, a detention official called them with the name of the hospital. There they found Mr. Bah on life support, still in custody, with a detention guard around the clock.

“There was one guard who knew Boubacar,” Ms. Bah said. “He told me on the down-low: ‘This guy, you have to fight for him. This guy was neglected.’ ”

Within the week, word of the case reached a reporter at The Times, through an immigration lawyer who had received separate calls from two detainees; they were upset about a badly injured man — named “something like Aboubakar” — left in an isolation cell and later found near death.

But advocacy groups said they were unaware of the case. And Michael Gilhooly, the spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said that without the man’s full name and eight-digit alien registration number, he could not check the information.

For those who knew Mr. Bah, it was hard to understand how such a man could lie dying without explanations.

“Everybody liked Boubacar,” said Sadio Diallo, 48, who has a tailor shop in Flatbush, Brooklyn, where he and Mr. Bah had shared an apartment with fellow immigrants since arriving in 1998. “He’s a very, very, very good man.”

For six years, Mr. Bah had worked for L’Impasse, a clothing store in the West Village, sewing dresses that sold for up to $2,000 with what a former manager, Abdul Sall, called his “magic hands.” Mr. Bah often spent Sundays at the Bronx townhouse his cousins had inherited from the family’s first American citizen, a seaman who arrived in 1943.

In Africa, Mr. Bah’s earnings not only supported his first wife, sons and ailing mother, but in Guinean tradition, allowed him to wed a second wife, long distance. It was his longing to see them all again after eight years that landed him in detention. When he returned from a three-month visit to Guinea in May 2006, immigration authorities at Kennedy Airport told him that his green card application had been denied while he was away, automatically revoking his permission to re-enter the United States. An immigration lawyer hired by his friends was unable to reopen the application while Mr. Bah waited for nine months in detention, records showed.

Mr. Bah died on May 30, 2007, after four months in a coma. His lawyer, Theodore Vialet, requested detention reports and hospital records under the Freedom of Information Act. But by the time the records arrived last autumn, the idea of a lawsuit had been dropped.

So Mr. Vialet just filed the records away — until a reporter’s call about a name on the list of dead detainees prompted him to dig them out.

After the Fall

There are 57 pages of documents, some neatly typed by medics, some scrawled by guards. Some quote detainees who said Mr. Bah was ailing for two days before his fall on Feb. 1, and asked in vain to see a doctor.

The records leave unclear exactly when or how Mr. Bah was injured in detention. But they leave no doubt that guards, supervisors, government medical employees and federal immigration officers played a role in leaving him untreated, hour after hour, as he lapsed into a stupor.

It began about 8 a.m., according to the earliest report. Guards called a medical emergency after a detainee saw Mr. Bah collapse near a toilet, hitting the back of his head on the floor.

When he regained consciousness, Mr. Bah was taken to the medical unit, which is run by the federal Public Health Service. He became incoherent and agitated, reports said, pulling away from the doctor and grabbing at the unit staff. Physicians consulted later by The Times called this a textbook symptom of intracranial bleeding, but apparently no one recognized that at the time.

He was handcuffed and placed in leg restraints on the floor with medical approval, “to prevent injury,” a guard reported. “While on the floor the detainee began to yell in a foreign language and turn from side to side,” the guard wrote, and the medical staff deemed that “the screaming and resisting is behavior problems.”

Mr. Bah was ordered to calm down. Instead, he kept crying out, then “began to regurgitate on the floor of medical,” the report said. So Mr. Bah was written up for disobeying orders. And with the approval of a physician assistant, Michael Chuley, who wrote that Mr. Bah’s fall was unwitnessed and “questionable,” the tailor was taken in shackles to a solitary confinement cell with instructions that he be monitored.

Under detention protocols, an officer videotaped Mr. Bah as he lay vomiting in the medical unit, but the camera’s battery failed, guards wrote, when they tried to tape his trip to cell No. 7.

Inside the cell, a supervisor removed Mr. Bah’s restraints. He was unresponsive to questions asked by the Public Health Service officer on duty, a report said, adding: “The detainee set up in his bed and moan and he fell to his left side and hit his head on the bed rail.”

About 9 a.m., with the approval of the health officer and a federal immigration agent, the cell was locked.

The watching began. As guards checked hourly, Mr. Bah appeared to be asleep on the concrete floor, snoring. But he could not be roused to eat lunch or dinner, and at 7:10 p.m., “he began to breathe heavily and started foaming slightly at the mouth,” a guard wrote. “I notified medical at this time.”

However, the nurse on duty rejected the guard’s request to come check, according to reports. And at 8 p.m., when the warden went to the medical unit to describe Mr. Bah’s condition, the nurse, Raymund Dela Pena, was not alarmed. “Detainee is likely exhibiting the same behavior as earlier in the day,” he wrote, adding that Mr. Bah would get a mental health exam in the morning.

About 10:30 p.m., more than 14 hours after Mr. Bah’s fall, the same nurse, on rounds, recognized the gravity of his condition: “unresponsive on the floor incontinent with foamy brown vomitus noted around mouth.” Smelling salts were tried. Mr. Bah was carried back to the medical unit on a stretcher.

Just before 11, someone at the jail called 911.

When an ambulance left Mr. Bah at the hospital, brain scans showed he had a fractured skull and hemorrhages at all sides of his swelling brain. He was rushed to surgery, and the detention center was informed of the findings.

But in a report to their supervisors the next day, immigration officials at the center described Mr. Bah’s ailment as “brain aneurysms” — a diagnosis they corrected a week later to “hemorrhages,” without mentioning the skull fracture. After Mr. Bah’s death, they wrote that his hospitalization was “subsequent to a fall in the shower.”

The nurse, Mr. Dela Pena, and the physician assistant, Mr. Chuley, said that only their superiors could discuss the case. The Public Health Service did not respond to questions, and the Corrections Corporation said medical decisions were the responsibility of the Public Health Service.

Mr. Bah’s cousins demanded an autopsy, but the Union County medical examiner’s confidential report was not completed until Dec. 6. It was sent to the county prosecutor’s office only as a matter of routine, because the matter had been classified as an “unattended accident resulting in death.”

Prosecutors said they did not investigate. “According to the report, Bah suffered a fall in the shower,” Eileen Walsh, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors, said in an e-mail message. “We are not privy to any other bits of information.”

In the home movies Mr. Bah made of his last journey home, he is only a fleeting presence: a slim man with a shy smile. But without his support, relatives in Africa say they have little money for food and none for his sons’ schooling.

His body went back to Guinea in a sealed coffin.

“I stayed here seven years, waiting for him,” his second wife, Mariama, said in French, recalling their long separation and the brief reunion that led to the birth of their son, now a toddler, while Mr. Bah was in detention.

“I wanted them to open the casket,” she added, “to know if it was him inside. Until today, I cry for him.”

Margot Williams contributed reporting.

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5) U.A.W. Strikes G.M. Kansas Plant
By REUTERS
Filed at 11:49 a.m. ET
May 5, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/business/business-gm-strike.html?ref=business

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp union workers at a Kansas assembly plant making the hot-selling Chevrolet Malibu went on strike Monday morning, the automaker and the union said.

The plant in Fairfax, Kansas, employs about 1,800 hourly workers who walked out at 9 a.m. CDT Monday morning. The strike came after GM and United Auto Workers Local 31 failed to reach agreement on plant-level rules following a four-year national contract approved last year.

The Kansas strike is one of several labor disputes to hit GM in recent weeks, crimping production for the No. 1 U.S. automaker and threatening some of its better-selling vehicles.

GM shares fell 3 percent after news of the strike broke.

UAW workers remain on strike at GM's Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan where the company builds its crossover vehicles, like the Buick Enclave.

GM makes the 2008 Malibu in Kansas and at a second plant in Orion, Michigan. UAW workers at the Michigan plant also assemble the Pontiac G6 and have reached a local contract agreement with GM.

The Malibu has been a commercial and critical success for GM at a time of slumping overall demand, selling for higher prices on average and at a faster rate than the model it replaced since its launch late last year.

"We are disappointed that UAW Local 31 has taken the strike action at Fairfax," GM spokesman Dan Flores said. "From a GM perspective, we are going to remain focused on reaching an agreement as soon as we can and hope this is a very short disruption."

The union notified GM of the strike deadline on Sunday.

Flores said GM would look at its options in terms of production for the Malibu, but the priority was to resolve the dispute at the Kansas plant.

GM is negotiating with the UAW at other plants where talks have been extended indefinitely. Those plants include a transmission facility in Warren, Michigan; a stamping plant near Grand Rapids, Michigan; and a stamping plant in Mansfield, Ohio.

About 30 GM facilities have also been idled or partly idled due to a UAW strike against supplier American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings that has run for more than two months. That strike has cut production of GM's slow-selling full-sized pickup trucks and SUVs.

GM shares fell 3.02 percent, or 70 cents, to $22.50 in late morning New York Stock Exchange trading.

(Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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6) Death by Detention
Editorial
May 6, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/opinion/06tue1.html?hp

A chilling article by Nina Bernstein in The Times on Monday recounted the secrecy, neglect and lack of oversight that are a few of the shameful symptoms of the booming sector of the nation’s prison industry — the detention of undocumented foreigners.

Ms. Bernstein chronicled the death of Boubacar Bah, a tailor from Guinea who was imprisoned in New Jersey for overstaying a tourist visa. He fell and fractured his skull in the Elizabeth Detention Center early last year. Though clearly gravely injured, Mr. Bah was shackled and taken to a disciplinary cell. He was left alone — unconscious and occasionally foaming at the mouth — for more than 13 hours. He was eventually taken to the hospital and died after four months in a coma.

Nobody told Mr. Bah’s relatives until five days after his fall. When they finally found him, he was on life support, soon to become one of the 66 immigrants known to have died in federal custody between 2004 and 2007. Mr. Bah’s family still does not know the full story of when or how he suffered his fatal injuries.

It is shameful, though hardly a surprise, that they remain in the dark. There is no public system for tracking deaths in immigration custody, no requirement for independent investigations. Relatives and lawyers who want to unearth details of such tragedies have found the bureaucracy unresponsive and hostile. In the case of Mr. Bah, records were marked “proprietary information — not for distribution” by the Corrections Corporation of America, a private company that runs the Elizabeth Detention Center and many others under contract with the federal government.

Secrecy and shockingly inadequate medical care are hardly the only problems with immigration detention. Immigrants taken into federal custody enter a world where many of the rights taken for granted by people charged with real crimes do not exist. Detainees have no right to legal representation. Many are unable to defend or explain themselves, or even to understand the charges against them, because they don’t speak English and lack access to lawyers or telephones.

What standards do exist for the treatment of immigrants in federal custody are only recommendations. A detainee, family member or lawyer who finds a violation has no way to force the government to correct it.

As authorities at the federal and local level continue rounding up illegal immigrants in these harsh days of ever-stricter enforcement, the potential for abuse will continue to grow — largely out of sight. Although immigration law is every bit as complex as tax law — and the consequences for violators more dire — the detention system seems designed to sacrifice thoughtful deliberation and justice to expediency and swift deportation.

Many detainees may have a valid defense — and at any rate have committed only administrative violations such as overstaying a visa or entering the country without authorization. Yet their cases are handled with a toxic mixture of secrecy and inattention to basic rights. This mistreatment of a vulnerable population, which advocates for immigrants trace to the roundups of Muslims after 9/11 and the subsequent clamor for tougher immigration laws, is hostile to American values and disproportionate to the threat that these immigrants pose.

Congress has failed repeatedly to enact meaningful immigration reform, and the prospects in the next year or so are slim. It can act on this. The government urgently needs to bring the detention system up to basic standards of decency and fairness. That means lifting the veil on detention centers — particularly the private jails and the state prisons and county jails that take detainees under federal contracts — and holding them to the same enforceable standards that apply to prisons. It also means designing a system that is not a vast holding pen for ordinary people who pose no threat to public safety, like the 52-year-old tailor, Boubacar Bah.

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7) Police Data Shows Increase in Street Stops
By AL BAKER
May 6, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/nyregion/06frisk.html?ref=nyregion

Despite criticism about aggressive policing, New York City police officers stopped more people on the streets during the first three months of 2008 than during any quarter in the six years the Police Department has reported the data.

The 145,098 stops from January through March — up from 134,029 during the same quarter a year earlier — led to 8,711 arrests and put the Bloomberg administration on course for the highest annual total. The numbers also reflect an increased reliance on a practice that has become an emotional flashpoint, particularly after the fatal police shooting of Sean Bell in 2006.

Street stops have gradually increased, to 508,540 in 2006 from 97,296 in 2002, according to departmental statistics. Because more than half of those stopped were black, the increases led some police critics to suggest that minorities were being unfairly singled out, though the police reject such claims.

Last year, there was a dip in the number of stops, to 468,932. If the numbers for the first quarter of 2008 continue apace, the Police Department could end the year with about 600,000 street stops.

“It’s a record number, there’s nothing even close,” said Christopher T. Dunn, the associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who has mapped the quarterly numbers provided by the Police Department.

Mr. Dunn’s analysis shows that the next highest tally of stops for a single quarter was 136,851, in the first three months of 2006.

To police officials, the practice of stopping civilians on the streets, to question and search them — sometimes looking for illegal guns — is just one of many crime-suppression tactics. The increased number shows that the department is standing by its strategy as a worthy practice, people in and outside of city government said.

“Stop-and-questioning or stop-and-frisks of individuals in connection with suspected criminal activity is an essential law enforcement tool,” said Assistant Chief Michael Collins, a police spokesman. “The number of stops conducted by police officers is driven by the situations they encounter on patrol.”

He added: “A look at the data classified by the race and gender of those stopped indicates that the percentages are nearly identical to last year. The data indicates no racial bias in the stops, but it does show a relationship between the percentage of individuals stopped and the descriptions of suspects as provided by crime victims or, in the case of murder, surviving witnesses.”

Peter F. Vallone Jr., the chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, said: “The increase in numbers is a surprise to me because a politically correct reaction to the Bell trial might be to cut back on police and civilian interaction and to cut back on efforts to get illegal guns off the streets. But to the mayor’s and the police commissioner’s credit, they have not done that.”

The new quarterly numbers were released on Monday by Mr. Vallone’s office after police officials turned them over to the City Council on Friday. The new numbers show that 50.8 percent of the people stopped were black. That is consistent with the percentage stopped in prior years, Mr. Dunn said. About a fourth of the city’s residents are black, according to 2006 data.

Mr. Vallone raised the issue at a hearing Monday on other proposals to require more reporting by the police on firearms discharges and other matters.

The guidelines for monitoring stop-and-frisk encounters were set in a city law signed in 2001, and in a federal court case settled by the Bloomberg administration in 2004. Police officials now give the City Council a report, four times a year, disclosing how many people are stopped and questioned by officers — and sometimes frisked — and the reasons for the stops.

Those reports do not include all the data the department compiles on street stops, however, and Mr. Dunn said the civil liberties group needed access to all the data to determine whether race played a role.

After the department rejected the Council’s requests to turn over that database, the civil liberties group sued for access to it in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. The New York Times, the New York City Bar Association and 21 scholars from across the country have filed briefs in support of the suit. The case is pending.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has said his officers do not practice racial profiling in making the stops. The department gave the database to the RAND Corporation, a private nonprofit organization, for an outside analysis, and to the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, an organization based at the University of Michigan and financed by the Department of Justice, to format and distribute crime data to academic researchers.

The results of the RAND analysis were released in November and found “small racial differences in the rates of frisk, search, use of force and arrest.”

Mr. Dunn said the department appeared to have been emboldened by the RAND report.

“The numbers are troubling both because of the number of people stopped and because blacks continue to be, overwhelmingly, the ones who are stopped,” Mr. Dunn said. “Someone outside the Police Department, like the mayor’s office, the City Council or the Justice Department has now got to step in and demand a public accounting of the department’s stop-and-frisk practices.”

The police have said that while a large percentage of the street stops involve black people, an even larger percentage of crimes involve suspects described as black by their victims.

Mr. Dunn said less than 20 percent of the stops were attributable to a police officer’s response to a report about a suspect. “The vast majority of stops are the result of a police officer spontaneously stopping someone because of something they claim to have observed on the street,” he said.

Andrew Case, a spokesman for the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, said that even as stops have increased, the number of complaints about them has remained relatively steady.

“When we find misconduct for bad stops, we have seen lower and lower levels of discipline, and that might reduce the disincentives for committing bad stops,” he said. “The idea is that if officers are not worried about being punished, they might have less to fear if a stop is questionable.”

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8) US Navy Deploys Around Latin America
By Lamia Oualalou
Le Figaro
Monday 28 April 2008
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050208G.shtml

Choosing to confront the rise in power of left-leaning governments in its backyard, the United States is recreating the Fourth Fleet.

It's now official: The Pentagon is going to resuscitate its Fourth Fleet, with the mission of patrolling Latin American and Caribbean waters. Created during the Second World War to protect traffic in the South Atlantic, the structure was dissolved in 1950. "By reestablishing the Fourth Fleet, we acknowledge the immense importance of maritime security in this region," declared Adm. Gary Roughead, head of the Pentagon's naval operations.

Based in Mayport, Florida, the fleet will operate under the double orders of the American Navy and the Army's Southern Command, responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean. Vice Adm. Joseph Kernan will command the fleet, which should include a nuclear aircraft carrier.

According to Alejandro Sanchez, an analyst at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a research center on Latin America based in Washington, "the reestablishment of the Fourth Fleet is more of a political than a military gesture, designed to confront the rise in power of left-leaning governments in the region." The Pentagon does not trouble to camouflage its intentions: "the message is clear: whether local governments like it or not, the United States is back after the war in Iraq," Sanchez explains.

"New Threats"

De facto,, Washington's military influence in the region has diminished considerably since September 11, 2001, and the launch of the "war against terrorism." Concentrated on the Middle Eastern arc of crisis, the Pentagon did not pay much attention to the political upsets in its own backyard. Leftist governments, now broadly in the majority in Latin America, reproach the United States with the support it gave the dictatorships that reigned over several decades and to the ultra-neo-liberal policies those dictatorships applied.

While Washington assures that its sole interest in the region is combating "new threats" (terrorism, drug trafficking and the Maras gangs of Central America), Latin American people often see it as the pursuit of "imperialist" interests dictated by energy needs. The tensions between Washington and the radical presidents of the sub-continent's main oil and gas producers (Venezuela, Equator and Bolivia) accentuate that perception.

As a sign of defiance, almost all Latin American countries have refused to sign the American Serviceman Protection Act, a treaty that prevents legal pursuit of American soldiers for crimes committed abroad.

The plan to install a military base in Paraguay, close to Bolivian gas fields, was denounced by Brazil and Argentina. Ecuador has made it known that the American military base installed in Manta until 2009 will not be allowed to renew its mandate. Worse still, Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has relaunched the idea of a South American Defense Council, explicitly excluding all United States intervention.

Washington's sidelining comes at a time when new sources of conflict are arising in the region, as, for example, the one that pits Colombia on one side and Ecuador and Venezuela on the other, or that between Bolivia and Chile over sea access. An arms race is underway in the region, where governments have taken advantage of the economic revival to reequip their armies, neglected since the 1970s.

American arms manufacturers are no longer alone in this market: some European countries, but especially China, Russia and Iran, are trying to get a footing in a region that also attracts them for its natural resource and energy potential.

Translation: Truthout French language editor Leslie Thatcher.

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9) Bell Protesters Block Traffic Across City
By Thomas J. Lueck
Updated, 5:23 p.m.
May 7, 2008, 4:32 pm
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/protesters-assail-acquittal-of-officers-in-sean-bell-case/index.html?hp

Several hundred protesters briefly shut down traffic at entrances to the Queensboro Bridge, the Triborough Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge and the Holland Tunnel and Queens-Midtown Tunnel this afternoon as part of a coordinated series of protests over the acquittal of three New York City police detectives in the fatal shooting of Sean Bell in 2006.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who coordinated the protests, was among dozens and perhaps hundreds of people who were arrested by the police — nearly all of them in an orderly fashion — for blocking traffic. The protesters expressed outrage over a Queens judge’s decision on April 25 to acquit the three detectives — Michael Oliver, Gescard F. Isnora and Marc Cooper — over the November 2006 death of Mr. Bell, who died in a hail of police bullets outside a nightclub in Jamaica, Queens, hours before he was to have been married.

Mr. Sharpton and his National Action Network coordinated the protests, which were to include five locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as protests in Chicago and Atlanta.

The largest protest site appeared to be outside the New York City police headquarters in Lower Manhattan, where hundreds of protesters began gathering around 3 p.m. Mr. Sharpton emerged around 4:15 p.m., joined by Mr. Bell’s fiancĂ©e, Nicole Paultre Bell, as well as Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield, two friends who were shot and injured along with Mr. Bell. Leading a large crowd, they gathered on a traffic island in Centre Street, in front of the city’s Municipal Building, and blocked the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. They sat down and prayed, blocking traffic, until the police began a mass arrest of protesters starting around 4:40 p.m. Police officers placed plastic “zip cuffs” on the wrists of the protesters, taking the men and women away separately.

Earlier in the afternoon, a smaller crowd of about protesters gathered on the East Side of Manhattan near the entrance to the Queensboro Bridge. Around 3:30 p.m. they stepped onto the lanes of the bridge, blocking traffic for about 30 minutes. The Rev. Dock Johnson, pastor of Community Baptist Church in South Ozone Park, Queens, kneeling with both arms extended and wearing a pin-striped suit, a leather cap and sunglasses, led the protesters, who sat down in the middle of the traffic lanes. After they resisted police orders to disperse, the protesters — including Mr. Johnson — were placed in plastic handcuffs and arrested.

Also on the East Side of Manhattan, around the same time, 100 protesters marched east on 34th Street before turning north of Second Avenue. A group of about 40 formed a line across the entrance to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and formed a line, chanting. They blocked traffic for about 10 minutes until about 20 were arrested; the remainder continued their protest but stopped blocking traffic.

Uptown, a group of about 150 protesters gathered on 125th Street, Harlem’s main thoroughfare, and briefly blocked traffic leading to the Triborough Bridge; several dozen protesters were arrested.

A crowd of about 200 people gathered in Brooklyn, many of them blocking the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge; a city official said that 23 were arrested. About 100 protesters marched toward the entrance of the Holland Tunnel and blocked traffic; about 13 were arrested.

Reporting was contributed by Sewell Chan, David Giambusso, C. J. Hughes, Colin Moynihan, Sharon Otterman and Karen Zraick.

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10) Failings of One Brooklyn High School May Threaten a Neighbor’s Success
By SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN
On Education
May 7, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/education/07education.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Set just a few subway stops apart in blue-collar Brooklyn, drawing from a similar pool of new immigrants and American-born blacks, two high schools spent the past decade careering toward opposite destinies. The question now is whether the failure of one will destroy the success of the other.

Since the late 1990s, Lafayette High School in the Bath Beach neighborhood graduated fewer than half its students, posted dismal scores on standardized tests and, in the view of federal civil rights officials, “deliberately ignored” a series of bias attacks against Chinese-American students, including a valedictorian.

The principal appointed in 2005 to improve the school shut down its program for gifted students and, in front of the assembled faculty, likened Lafayette to a Nazi death camp. Finally, at the end of 2006, the Department of Education announced that it would close Lafayette and transform it into five mini-schools.

Meanwhile, just to the south on the border of Coney Island, John Dewey High School, with its progressive style of curriculum, was sending top students to Ivy League universities. It paid teachers extra to serve beyond their normal classroom hours in tutoring and study “resource centers.”

Such efforts culminated last fall when the Department of Education gave Dewey a B in the first round of school report cards. U.S. News & World Report, in its ranking of American high schools, awarded Dewey a silver medal, putting it in the top 505 nationally. The designation particularly reflected Dewey’s success in educating low-income and minority students.

Over the years, the disparity between Lafayette and Dewey has led hundreds of New York’s teenagers to vote with their feet. As they scorned Lafayette, with the school filling barely half its seats, they thronged to Dewey, which, according to the Department of Education’s own statistics, by 2004 had swollen to about 3,400 students, 130 percent of capacity.

All of which brings us to the complicated present and to that question about failure and success. With only three of the five mini-schools at Lafayette now open, department officials say, enrollment in the Lafayette building has declined to 720, from 1,320 last year. New admissions from the Lafayette area to Dewey, especially of ninth graders, have risen by one-third over the same period, but overall enrollment has declined since 2004, bringing the school to about 118 percent of capacity, they say. (The total number of Lafayette-zoned students in Dewey, though, has remained stable.)

Faculty members, students and administrators at Dewey say that the students coming from Lafayette are academically deficient, although Education Department statistics show that the current crop of ninth graders performed essentially similarly to previous cohorts on the citywide reading test. Still, the perception at Dewey is that Lafayette students did not choose Dewey for its quality, but landed there by default because they did not qualify for any of the Lafayette building’s mini-schools. With the overcrowding, Dewey students and staff members say, in many periods of the day there are several hundred students with no assigned room, often roaming the halls. A round of budget cuts this year sharply reduced staffing of the “resource centers.”

“When I was first here, we had no discipline problems,” said Chung Chan, a social studies teacher for the past 11 years, who recently won a national award from Williams College. “But since Lafayette began to close down, we’ve had an influx of students who are unprepared. It’s destroying our entire school.”

James Harmon, another veteran in the social studies department, echoed Mr. Chan’s words. “We’re left with all the kids nobody else would take,” he said. “The kids who are running amok are the kids with 1’s on the reading test.”

Mr. Harmon was referring to the lowest possible mark on the standardized reading test taken by eighth graders, and Dewey has indeed increased the number of its remedial classes over the past two years.

The nadir for Dewey came in March, when a student — not newly admitted from Lafayette — was spotted by classmates and a teacher handling a gun and the building was put under police lockdown for several hours. Though the weapon was never located and no charges were ever brought against the student, a heightened sense of disruption continues.

“During my calculus class, there are constantly people who open the door, come into the room, say some nonsense and leave,” said Elizabeth Piligromova, 17, a senior who has been admitted to Harvard. “There are more police here than I’ve ever seen in my life. It feels like a jail. It doesn’t feel like a school.”

The Department of Education says that in the long run, an improved Lafayette will relieve the pressures on Dewey, that a revamping of Lafayette is the solution to Dewey’s woes.

“What will make the biggest difference for Dewey is having a successful academic environment at Lafayette,” said Garth Harries, chief executive for portfolio development at the Education Department. Earlier in the same telephone interview, he made a similar point: “It would have been irresponsible not to close Lafayette. It’s absolutely important that Lafayette become an attractive place to go to school, which is why we closed it.”

ON the subject of Dewey’s overcrowding, Mr. Harries called it “absolutely a priority to bring enrollment down.” But he also laid the blame with Dewey’s administrators for not assigning all students to a specific room every period.

“There are many schools that are over capacity, and more over capacity than Dewey, and they can program their students so everyone has a place to be,” he said. “I would be surprised that a school that has just 118 percent utilization has that many students unprogrammed. It’s the responsibility of the school.”

Barry Fried, Dewey’s principal, said he already has the school library and resource centers filled with otherwise unassigned students. He has put Dewey’s ninth graders on staggered schedules, starting and ending slightly later than the rest of the student body. The warm spring weather has provided a temporary respite, because students can pass their free periods on Dewey’s campus rather than in its hallways.

And though department officials predict a positive resolution to Dewey’s current stresses, the degree of cynicism within the school cannot be underestimated. Having seen education officials already announce closings of so many other Brooklyn high schools — Wingate, Tilden, South Shore, Canarsie, Prospect Heights, Jefferson — they fear that Dewey is being set up to fail in order to justify its shutdown.

Mr. Harries said such a scheme is “absolutely not the case.” But in this difficult year at Dewey, conspiracy theories thrive.

Samuel G. Freedman is a professor of journalism at Columbia University. His e-mail is
sgfreedman@nytimes.com.

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11) Utah Mine Disaster Was Preventable, Report Says
By IAN URBINA
May 9, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/09/us/08cnd-mine.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

The general manager and possibly other senior staff at the Crandall Canyon Mine near Huntington, Utah, where 9 miners died in August 2007, hid information from federal mining officials that could have prevented the disaster and should face criminal charges, according to a Congressional investigation whose results were released Thursday.

The report also said that the mining company should never have submitted a request to remove coal from the section of mine where the collapse occurred, and that federal mining officials should not have approved the proposal, because of foreseeable dangers.

The Congressional committee conducting the investigation sent a referral letter late last month to the Department of Justice asking the department to investigate whether the mine manager, Laine W. Adair, on his own or in conspiracy with others from the mining company, willfully concealed facts or made intentionally false statements to federal mining investigators about the condition of the mine before the August disaster.

On Aug. 6, roof supports in a section of the mine gave way in a major collapse that registered 3.9 on the Richter scale and left six miners fatally entombed. Ten days later, three more miners who were working as rescuers died after more tunnels fell.

The deaths were avoidable, the 150-page report said, because five months before the August disaster in the north section of the mine, a similar collapse had occurred in a southern section, offering clear “red flags” indicating that the mine was unstable.

Rather than informing federal mining officials about the March collapse, the report said, the mine operator cleaned up the site and went on with work in a nearby section.

“Even after the near-disaster in March, the company forged ahead with plans to do the same kind of retreat mining in the South Barrier that it had done, with nearly catastrophic consequences, in the North Barrier,” said Rep. George Miller, Democrat from California and chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, which conducted the investigation.

Aside from the instability indicated by the March collapse, known as a bump or bounce, the report said that notes from 2004 from the federal Bureau of Land Management, which owns the land where Crandall Canyon is located and leased it to the mine operator, clearly indicated that the mine had become unsafe and that pillars had already begun deteriorating.

“It is quite possible that, had Mine Safety and Health Administration known the full severity of the March bump, M.S.H.A. would not have approved the subsequent development and retreat mining of the South Barrier,” the report said.

This conclusion about the cause of the disaster contradicts Robert E. Murray, the chief executive of the Murray Energy Corporation, which owns and operates the mine. Mr. Murray has adamantly insisted that the initial fatalities were not foreseeable because the collapse was caused by an earthquake rather than by mining operations.

Federal mining officials, who have publicly expressed skepticism that an earthquake caused the collapse, are due to release their own investigation report in June.

Murray Energy did not respond to a request for comment on the Congressional report.

At the time of the disaster, the mining company was conducting retreat mining, a risky type of extraction that requires miners to remove coal from the very pillars that hold up the tunnels, allowing controlled roof collapses. Aside from missing clear warnings, mine operators seemed to have tried to conceal their own culpability, the report said.

Deposed by the committee, one federal mining official, Allyn Davis, who inspected photographs of the mine after the March bump, said that the images differed significantly from the description of the event given to him by the mine manager, Laine Adair.

“The photos that I saw and the description I got from Laine Adair don’t match,” said Mr. Davis, according to a criminal referral letter sent by the committee to the Department of Justice asking for further investigation.

In a letter to the Congressional committee, Mr. Adair’s lawyer wrote, “Mr. Adair has earned an impeccable reputation in the mining industry as a hard-working, straightforward person devoted above all to the safety of miners and fairness in his treatment of others.”

The Congressional investigation, however, found that rather than informing officials at the Mine Safety and Health Administration of the March bump immediately after it occurred, Crandall Canyon officials instead contacted officials at the Bureau of Land Management.

“This is curious,” said Mr. Miller, the committee chairman. “While the Mine Safety and Health Administration is responsible for safety, Bureau of Land Management is responsible for ensuring a profit. The mine operator called Bureau of Land Management.”

All five employees of the companies associated with the mine who were called to testify before the committee, including Mr. Murray, invoked invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to cooperate. Three current or former federal mining officials and one official from the Bureau of Land Management were also asked to give depositions; all of them complied.

The six miners who were killed in the Aug. 6 collapse remain entombed at the site.

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12) Confrontation in Lebanon Appears to Escalate
By NADA BAKRI and GRAHAM BOWLEY
May 8, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/world/middleeast/09lebanon.html?ref=world

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The decision by the Lebanese government to shut down a private telephone network operated by the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah was an act of war and Hezbollah would defend itself, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, said on Thursday.

The comments were among Mr. Nasrallah’s strongest since the beginning of Lebanon’s months-long political crisis and may signal a new level of confrontation between Hezbollah and its supporters and the Western-backed government. Tensions have escalated in recent days, and clashes and gunfire continued on the streets of Beirut on Thursday as Hezbollah tried to enforce a general strike called by labor unions.

On Tuesday, the government said that it would send troops to shut down a telephone network operated by Hezbollah in south Lebanon and the southern suburbs of Beirut.

“This decision was a declaration of war and the start of war on the resistance and its weapons,” Mr. Nasrallah said, speaking via satellite at a news conference convened by Hezbollah in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

“Our response to this decision is that whoever declares or starts a war, be it a brother or a father, then it is our right to defend ourselves and our existence,” he said.

However, Mr. Nasrallah left open the door for some negotiations by saying that it would stop the strike if the government’s forces left the streets of Beirut and the government reversed its decision on the telephone network.

The government has said it would prosecute those responsible for operating the network, which was mainly used for communication between Hezbollah members during the war with Israel in 2006. It also accused the militant group of placing several spy cameras on a road outside the Beirut airport to monitor pro-government officials. The cabinet dismissed the airport’s director of security, a figure close to Hezbollah.

As the country remained mired in its worst political crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, tension has worsened in recent days.

On Thursday, parts of the city were still shut down, and roads were still blocked by burning tires and garbage cans set on fire by Hezbollah supporters and other opponents of the government.

They were trying to enforce a strike protesting government economic policies and demanding higher minimum wages. Roads to the airport were still closed, and only one plane managed to leave Beirut on Thursday.

For 17 months, Lebanon has struggled through a political standoff between the Hezbollah-led opposition which is supported by Iran and Syria and the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who is backed by the West and Saudi Arabia. The impasse has left the country without a president since November.

Many of the clashes in recent days have been in mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods. Armed civilians were visible on some streets.

“God is with the Sunnis,” shouted government supporters. “The Shiite blood is boiling,” responded Hezbollah followers from across the street. Lebanese army troops in riot gear stood between them.

In other parts of the city, Lebanese troops in armored personnel carriers raced among neighborhoods trying to contain the fighting and shooting in the air to disperse crowds.

“This is the first day of the civil war,” said a government supporter who gave his name as Omar, in a Sunni neighborhood. “They are the aggressors, and they will be buried here.”

A few miles away, supporters of Hezbollah vowed to continue the protest until Mr. Siniora’s government fell.

“We are staying here,” said a protester who gave his name as Abu Rish. “We have money and support from Iran and Syria and we can go on like this for another 50 years.”

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13) After 60 Years, Arabs in Israel Are Outsiders
By ETHAN BRONNER
May 7, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/world/middleeast/07israel.html?em&ex=1210392000&en=4959633618223351&ei=5087%0A

JERUSALEM — As Israel toasts its 60th anniversary in the coming weeks, rejoicing in Jewish national rebirth and democratic values, the Arabs who make up 20 percent of its citizens will not be celebrating. Better off and better integrated than ever in their history, freer than a vast majority of other Arabs, Israel’s 1.3 million Arab citizens are still far less well off than Israeli Jews and feel increasingly unwanted.

On Thursday, which is Independence Day, thousands will gather in their former villages to protest what they have come to call the “nakba,” or catastrophe, meaning Israel’s birth. For most Israelis, Jewish identity is central to the nation, the reason they are proud to live here, the link they feel with history. But Israeli Arabs, including the most successfully integrated ones, say a new identity must be found for the country’s long-term survival.

“I am not a Jew,” protested Eman Kassem-Sliman, an Arab radio journalist with impeccable Hebrew, whose children attend a predominantly Jewish school in Jerusalem. “How can I belong to a Jewish state? If they define this as a Jewish state, they deny that I am here.”

The clash between the cherished heritage of the majority and the hopes of the minority is more than friction. Even more today than in the huge half-century festivities a decade ago, the left and the right increasingly see Israeli Arabs as one of the central challenges for Israel’s future — one intractably bound to the search for an overall settlement between Jews and Arabs. Jews fear ultimately losing the demographic battle to Arabs, both in Israel and in the larger territory it controls.

Most say that while an end to its Jewish identify means an end to Israel, equally, failure to instill in Arab citizens a sense of belonging is dangerous as Arabs promote the idea that, 60 years or no 60 years, Israel is a passing phenomenon.

“I want to convince the Jewish people that having a Jewish state is bad for them,” said Abir Kopty, an advocate for Israeli Arabs.

Land is an especially sore point. Across Israel, especially in the north, are the remains of dozens of partly unused Palestinian villages, scars on the landscape from the conflict that gave birth to the country in 1948.

Yet some original inhabitants and their descendants, all Israeli Arab citizens, live in packed towns and villages, often next to the old villages, and are barred from resettling them while Jewish communities around them are urged to expand.

One recent warm afternoon, Jamal Abdulhadi Mahameed drove past kibbutz fields of wheat and watermelon, up a dirt road surrounded by pine trees and cactuses, and climbed the worn remains of a set of stairs, declaring in the open air: “This was my house. This is where I was born.”

He said what he most wanted now, at 69, was to leave the crowded town next door, come to this piece of uncultivated land with the pomegranate bushes planted by his father and work it, as generations had before him. He has gone to court to get it.

He is no revolutionary and, by nearly any measure, is a solid and successful citizen. His children include a doctor, two lawyers and an engineer. Yet, as an Arab, his quest for a return to his land challenges a longstanding Israeli policy.

“We are prohibited from using our own land,” he said, standing in the former village of Lajoun, now a mix of overgrown scrub and pines surrounded by the fields of Kibbutz Megiddo. “They want to keep it available for Jews. My daughter makes no distinction between Jewish and Arab patients. Why should the state treat me differently?”

The answer has to do with the very essence of Zionism — the movement of Jewish rebirth and control over the land where Jewish statehood first flourished more than 2,000 years ago.

Maintaining a Haven

“Land is presence,” remarked Clinton Bailey, an Israeli scholar who has focused on Bedouin culture. “If you want to be present here, you have to have land. The country is not that big. What you cede to Arabs can no longer be used for Jews who may still want to come.”

A Palestinian state is widely seen as a potential solution to tensions with the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank, but any deep conflict with Israel’s own Arab citizens could prove much more complex.

Antagonism runs both ways. Many Israeli Arabs express solidarity with their Palestinian brethren under occupation, while others praise Hezbollah, the anti-Israel group in Lebanon, and some Arabs in Parliament routinely accuse Israel of Nazism.

Meanwhile, several right-wing rabbis have forbidden Jews from renting apartments to Arabs or employing them. And a majority of Jews, polls show, favor a transfer of Arabs out of Israel as part of a two-state solution, a view that a decade ago was thought extreme.

Arabs here reject that idea partly because they prefer the certainty of an imperfect Israeli democracy to whatever system may evolve in a shaky Palestinian state. That is part of the paradox of the Israeli Arabs. Their anger has grown, but so has their sense of belonging.

In fact, the anxious and recriminating talk on both sides may give a false impression of constant tension. There is a real level of Jewish-Arab coexistence in many places, and the government has recently committed itself to affirmative action for Arabs in education, infrastructure and government employment.

“We know that they need more land, that their children need a place to live,” said Raanan Dinur, director general of the prime minister’s office. “We are working on building a new Arab city in the north. Our main goal is to take what are today two economies and integrate them into one economy.”

Still, there is a concern that time is short.

Mr. Mahameed and his fellow villagers will arrive at the Supreme Court in July with the goal of obtaining 50 acres of their families’ former land that sits uncultivated except for pine trees planted by the Jewish National Fund.

Their story is part of a larger one: After the United Nations General Assembly voted in late 1947 for two states in Palestine, one Arab and one Jewish, local Arab militias and their regional supporters went on the offensive against Jewish settlements, in anger over the United Nations’ support for a Jewish state. Zionist forces counterattacked. Hundreds of Palestinian villages, including Lajoun, were evacuated and mostly destroyed.

Palestinian Arabs became refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza, then under Egypt’s supervision. But some, like Mr. Mahameed, stayed in Israel. They were made citizens and were promised equality, but never got it.

Those who had left or had been expelled from their villages were not permitted back and have spent the past 60 years often a few miles away, watching their land farmed or built upon by newcomers, many of them refugees from Nazi oppression or Soviet anti-Semitism.

In 1953, the Israeli Parliament retroactively declared 300,000 acres of captured village land to be government property for settlement or security purposes.

Mr. Mahameed and his 200 fellow complainants live in the crowded town of Um el-Fahm near their former land.

“Our claim is that since the land has not been used all these years, there was no need to confiscate it,” said Suhad Bishara, a lawyer with Adalah, a Haifa-based group devoted to Israeli Arab rights.

She lost that argument in the district court, which agreed with the government that the pine trees and a water treatment plant in Lajoun constituted settlement. For her, the ruling is part of a long tradition of trickery by Israel’s legal and political systems that have nearly always come down against expanding Arab land use.

Ms. Bishara says Arabs occupy only a tiny percentage of Israel, despite making up one-fifth of its population. The government said it could not provide an estimate of the land use.

Still, it is not hard to detail the gap between Arabs and Jews in nearly every area — health, education, employment — and in government spending. Three times as many Arab families are below the poverty line as Jewish ones, and a government study five years ago called for removing “the stain of discrimination.”

Mr. Dinur of the prime minister’s office has taken an interest in the issue and has met several times with Arab leaders. He says it may be possible one day for some Arabs to return to their native villages, but only as part of a process of integration and regional reconciliation. Otherwise, he says, Israeli Jews will fear that the Arabs’ goal will be to take back all the territory lost in the 1948 war.

Regional Tensions

For many Israelis, the challenge posed by the Arabs cannot be separated from what they see as the risks in the region — the increased influence of Iran, the growth of Islamic radicalism, the concern that another war in Lebanon or Gaza is not far away.

Michael Oren, a senior fellow at the Shalem Institute, a research group in Jerusalem, said that when the army prepares for war, it includes in the plan how to handle the possibility of Israeli Arabs rising up against the state.

Many also believe — and here Jews and Arabs seem to agree — that without a solution to the Palestinian dispute over the West Bank and Gaza, internal tensions will not abate. And given the pessimism about the peace talks with the Palestinians, the forecast does not look bright.

For many Israeli Jews who long resisted the idea of a Palestinian state, it was the realization that they were losing the demographic battle to Palestinians that turned them around. But of course the population challenge also comes from Israel’s Arabs.

Israeli Arabs are aware of the contest. And some figure time is on their side.

“Israel is living within the Arab-Islamic circle,” Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement of Israel, said in an interview. “It is important to look at the Jewish percentage in that larger context over the long term.”

Abdulwahab Darawshe, a former member of Israel’s Parliament and the current head of the Arab Democratic Party, sat in his Nazareth office recently and said: “No matter what happens, we will not leave here again. That was a big mistake in 1948. Yet our identity is becoming more and more Palestinian. You cannot cut us from the Arab tree.”

Asked his plans for Israel’s Independence Day, he said, “I will take a shovel and work the land around my olive trees.”

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14) Police Beating of Suspects Is Taped by TV Station in Philadelphia
By JON HURDLE
May 8, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/us/08philadelphia.html?ref=us

PHILADELPHIA — About 12 police officers were videotaped on Monday beating three men stopped in response to a drug-related shooting, and six of the officers have been removed from patrols, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said Wednesday.

In the incident, captured by a Fox TV helicopter, officers surrounded a car carrying the three men. They were pulled from the car, and two were kicked and punched on the ground by officers on the driver’s side. The third man was beaten by other officers on the passenger side.

The incident, on Monday night, in the Hunting Park section followed the shooting death of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, 39, a 12-year member of the force, on Saturday in the nearby Port Richmond section.

Sergeant Liczbinski was pursuing three robbery suspects. The police arrested a man sought in the case late Wednesday night, the Associated Press reported. Another was arrested on Sunday, and a third was fatally shot by an officer shortly after the officer’s killing, The A.P. said.

Mr. Ramsey said at a news conference that the police were under great “stress and pressure” after Sergeant Liczbinski’s death. He is the third Philadelphia officer to be killed in the line of duty in the last two years.

But, Mr. Ramsey added, there was no excuse for the behavior on the videotape.

The video is being examined to try to identify more officers involved in the beatings. Mr. Ramsey said he expected more officers to be reassigned to administrative duties as a result.

District Attorney Lynne Abraham will decide on filing criminal charges against the officers, Mr. Ramsey said.

The new mayor, Michael A. Nutter, has emphasized reducing the violence that has given Philadelphia one of the highest murder rates in the nation.

Mr. Nutter and Mr. Ramsey are trying to overcome decades of distrust between the mostly black residents of areas like North Philadelphia and a largely white police force.

The beating victims, all from North Philadelphia, have all been charged with assault, conspiracy and recklessly endangering another person. D. Scott Perrine, a lawyer for the three, called the incident a blatant example of police brutality.

“We have not seen stuff like this since the 1960s and the 1970s in Philadelphia,” Mr. Perrine said. “These officers are criminals, and they should be prosecuted.”

He denied that his clients had any connection with the shooting of Sergeant Liczbinski, and he said the Police Department was seeking to explain the “zealousness” of the officers in the incident by saying the force as a whole was distressed and exhausted by the sergeant’s death.

The three men are being held on bail, awaiting a preliminary hearing on May 16.

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15) Oil Giants to Settle Water Suit
By JAD MOUAWAD
May 8, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/business/08oil.html?ref=us

Some of the nation’s largest oil companies have agreed to pay about $423 million in cash to settle a lawsuit brought by more than a hundred public water providers, claiming water contamination from a popular gasoline additive.

The terms of the settlement were submitted for approval in the federal court for the Southern District of New York. Under the terms of the deal, the companies also agreed to pay 70 percent of the future cleanup costs over the next 30 years.

The defendants that agreed to the settlement include BP, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Marathon Oil, Valero Energy, Citgo and Sunoco. Six other companies named in the lawsuit, including Exxon Mobil, did not agree to the deal, said Scott Summy, a lawyer at Baron & Budd and a counsel for the plaintiffs.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, which include 153 public water systems in New York, California and 15 other states, claimed that the additive, a chemical called methyl tertiary butyl ether, or M.T.B.E., was a defective product that led to widespread contamination of groundwater. The suit contended that the chemical was used by oil companies, even though they knew of the environmental and health risks that it posed.

Low levels of M.T.B.E. can make drinking water supplies unpalatable because of its “offensive taste and odor,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency has also found that the compound caused cancer in laboratory rats that were exposed to high doses.

Since the mid-1990s, hundreds of lawsuits have been brought against oil companies for their use of the chemical. This deal, if approved, would be the largest settlement to date.

M.T.B.E. has been used since 1979 to increase octane levels in gasoline, but its use became more widespread after the 1990 Clean Air Act mandated the use of an oxygenate in certain cities to reduce smog and other pollutants.

When mixed with gasoline, the additive ensured that the fuel burned more thoroughly, thereby reducing air pollution.

But after being widely adopted, it was found to corrupt groundwater. Even in small amounts, the additive makes water smell and taste like turpentine.

The use of M.T.B.E. is now banned in 23 states, including New York and California.

In 2005, some 130,000 barrels of M.T.B.E. were produced a day, representing about 1 percent of the nation’s gasoline supplies. Oil companies stopped using it in 2006.

The oil industry has fought hard to avoid penalties related to its use of the additive, arguing that it should not be forced to pay for the cleanup of a product that it was mandated to use. Estimates of the cost of a total cleanup of M.T.B.E. have run to the tens of billions of dollars.

In 2003, the Republican-dominated Congress tried to pass a provision that would have shielded M.T.B.E. manufacturers from litigation, but failed because of strong opposition in the Senate. A second attempt to add a lawsuit shield also failed during discussion of the 2005 energy bill.

“No court has ruled that gasoline with M.T.B.E. is a defective product,” said Rick Wallace, a lawyer at Wallace King Domike & Reiskin in Washington, who represents Chevron and Shell. “This settlement does not concede the point. Quite the contrary, the settling companies are prepared to vigorously defend the product.”

The high risk of lawsuits related to M.T.B.E. has prompted the oil industry to stop using it and look for another gasoline additive. That eventually led to the development and use of ethanol as an oxygenate replacement.

Peter J. Sacripanti, a lawyer representing Exxon at McDermott Will & Emery, said that Exxon did not plan to settle and would “vigorously defend” itself.

“Exxon’s position is very simple,” he said. “When it engages in conduct that injures people, it pays recompense for that. In all these cases, our conduct did not cause injury, or cause damages. Our conduct was lawful.”

The suit, first filed in 2003 by public water providers in several states, was eventually consolidated into a single federal case.

The pending case will go to trial in September in New York.

Robert J. Gordon, of Weitz & Luxenberg in New York, also represented the plaintiffs.

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16) Productivity Increases as Debts Accumulate
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 8, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/business/08econ.html?ref=business

WASHINGTON (AP) — Worker productivity rose by a better-than-expected amount in the first three months of the year while labor cost pressures eased, the Labor Department reported on Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve Board, meanwhile, reported that consumer borrowing rose in March at the fastest pace in four months, more than double the increase of the previous month.

Productivity, the amount of output for an hour of work, increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter, slightly higher than the 1.5 percent increase expected.

In a sign that inflation could be easing, labor cost pressures slowed a bit. Unit labor costs rose at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, down from a 2.8 percent rise in the final three months of last year.

While rising wages and benefits are good for employees, those increases can lead to higher inflation if businesses are forced to raise prices on their products to cover higher payroll costs. If productivity is increasing, however, businesses can finance higher wages out of the increased output.

The Federal Reserve monitors productivity trends closely, because wage escalation is often the way that inflation gets out of control.

Private economists say they believe that the weakening economy will damp inflation pressures, but that the sharp economic slowdown is occurring at the same time that energy and food prices have continued to rise.

In further evidence of the squeeze on consumers, the Federal Reserve reported on Wednesday that Americans increased their borrowing at an annual rate of 7.2 percent, compared with a 3.1 percent rate of increase in February.

The gain was much larger than economists had been expecting and reflected strong borrowing on credit cards. Credit card borrowing was up at an annual rate of 7.9 percent, compared with a 5 percent gain in February, while borrowing in the category that includes car loans jumped by 6.8 percent, compared with a 2 percent increase in February.

The increase in consumer debt totaled $15.3 billion at an annual rate in March, much bigger than the $6 billion increase that economists had been expecting.

Consumers have been moving to put more purchases on their credit cards as banks have tightened lending standards for home equity loans in response to the deepening credit crisis.

The rise in productivity in the first three months of the year occurred as the number of hours worked declined at an annual rate of 1.8 percent.

That reflected layoffs as businesses cut their payrolls in the face of an economic slowdown prompted by a steep slump in housing.

The 2.2 percent rate of productivity growth in the first quarter was up slightly from a 1.8 percent increase in the fourth quarter of last year.

Productivity for all of 2007 rose by 1.8 percent, up a bit from the 1 percent gain in 2006. Both of those increases were far below the growth levels of the past decade as productivity experienced a healthy rebound, reflecting investments that had been made in equipment to improve efficiency, like computers.

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17) Psychiatry Handbook Linked to Drug Industry
Tara Parker-Pope on Health
May 6, 2008, 12:54 pm
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/psychiatry-handbook-linked-to-drug-industry/

More than half of the task force members who will oversee the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s most important diagnostic handbook have ties to the drug industry, reports a consumer watchdog group.

The Web site for Integrity in Science, a project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, highlights the link between the drug industry and the all-important psychiatric manual, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The handbook is the most-used guide for diagnosing mental disorders in the United States. The guide has gone through several revisions since it was first published, and the next version will be the D.S.M.-V, to be published in 2012.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Web site has posted the financial disclosure of most of the 28 task force members who will oversee the revision of the D.S.M.

It’s not the first time the D.S.M. has been linked to the drug industry. Tufts University researchers in 2006 reported that 95 — or 56 percent — of 170 experts who worked on the 1994 edition of the manual had at least one monetary relationship with a drug maker in the years from 1989 to 2004. The percentage was higher — 100 percent in some cases — for experts who worked on sections of the manual devoted to severe mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, the study found. (For a Times story on that report, see below.)

The American Psychiatric Association allows members who work on the upcoming fifth edition of the handbook to accept money from drug firms. However, from the time of their appointment until the completion of the work, their annual individual income from industry sources cannot exceed $10,000. “We have made every effort to ensure that D.S.M.-V will be based on the best and latest scientific research, and to eliminate conflicts of interest in its development,” said Dr. Carolyn B. Robinowitz, president of the organization, in a press release.

The Integrity in Science group described the financial conflicts of interest by the task force members as ranging from “small to extensive,'’ including one member who over the past five years worked as a consultant for 13 drug companies, including Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Wyeth, Merck, AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Study Finds a Link of Drug Makers to Psychiatrists
By BENEDICT CAREY
April 20, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/20/health/20psych.html?scp=3&sq=tufts+drug+firms+&st=nyt

More than half the psychiatrists who took part in developing a widely used diagnostic manual for mental disorders had financial ties to drug companies before or after the manual was published, public health researchers reported yesterday.

The researchers found that 95 — or 56 percent — of 170 experts who worked on the 1994 edition of the manual, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or D.S.M, had at least one monetary relationship with a drug maker in the years from 1989 to 2004. The most frequent tie involved money for research, according to the study, an analysis of financial records and conflict-of-interest statements.

The percentage was higher — 100 percent in some cases — for experts who worked on sections of the manual devoted to severe mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, the study found. But the authors, from Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts, were not able to establish how many of the psychiatrists were receiving money from drug companies while the manual was being compiled.

Lisa Cosgrove, the study's lead author, who is a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, said that although the study could not prove that the psychiatrists' ties influenced the manual's development, "what we're saying is it's outrageous that the manual doesn't have a disclosure policy."

But other experts scoffed at the idea that commercial interests had influenced either the language or content of the manual. "I can categorically say, and I was there every step of the way, that drug-company influence never entered into any of the discussions, whatsoever," said Dr. Michael First, a psychiatry professor at Columbia, who coordinated development of the current D.S.M.

Some 400,000 mental health workers, from psychiatrists to nurses, use the manual to diagnose disorders in patients, and health insurers use the manual to determine coverage.

In recent years, critics have said that the manual has become too expansive, including diagnoses, like social phobia, that they say appear tailor-made to create a market for antidepressants or other drugs.

The study investigated the financial ties by sifting through legal files, patent records, conflict-of-interest databases and journal articles, among other records.

Twenty-two percent of the experts received consulting income in the years from 1989 to 2004, the study found, and 16 percent served as members of a drug maker's speakers bureau. Such services are typically more lucrative than research support.

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LINKS AND VERY SHORT STORIES

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Texas: Prison Settlement Approved
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
National Briefing | Southwest
A federal judge has approved a settlement between the Texas Youth Commission and the Justice Department over inmate safety at the state’s juvenile prison in Edinburg. The judge, Ricardo Hinojosa of Federal District Court, signed the settlement Monday, and it was announced by the commission Wednesday. Judge Hinojosa had previously rejected a settlement on grounds that it lacked a specific timeline. Federal prosecutors began investigating the prison, the Evins Regional Juvenile Center, in 2006. The settlement establishes parameters for safe conditions and staffing levels, restricts use of youth restraints and guards against retaliation for reporting abuse and misconduct.
May 8, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/us/08brfs-PRISONSETTLE_BRF.html?ref=us

Michigan: Insurance Ruling
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
National Briefing | Midwest
Local governments and state universities cannot offer health insurance to the partners of gay workers, the State Supreme Court ruled. The court ruled 5 to 2 that Michigan’s 2004 ban against same-sex marriage also blocks domestic-partner policies affecting gay employees at the University of Michigan and other public-sector employers. The decision affirms a February 2007 appeals court ruling. Up to 20 public universities, community colleges, school districts and local governments in Michigan have benefit policies covering at least 375 gay couples.
May 8, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/us/08brfs-INSURANCERUL_BRF.html?ref=us

Halliburton Profit Rises
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
HOUSTON (AP) — Increasing its global presence is paying off for the oil field services provider Halliburton, whose first-quarter income rose nearly 6 percent on growing business in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, the company said Monday.
Business in the first three months of 2008 also was better than expected in North America, where higher costs and lower pricing squeezed results at the end of 2007.
Halliburton shares closed up 3 cents, at $47.46, on the New York Stock Exchange.
Halliburton said it earned $584 million, or 64 cents a share, in the three months that ended March 31, compared with a year-earlier profit of $552 million, or 54 cents a share. Revenue rose to $4.03 billion, from $3.42 billion a year earlier.
April 22, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/business/worldbusiness/22halliburton.html?ref=business

Illegal Immigrants Who Were Arrested at Poultry Plant in Arkansas to Be Deported
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Eighteen illegal immigrants arrested at a poultry plant in Batesville will be processed for deportation, but will not serve any jail time for using fake Social Security numbers and state identification cards, federal judges ruled. Magistrate Judge Beth Deere and Judge James Moody of Federal District Court accepted guilty pleas from 17 of those arrested last week at the Pilgrim’s Pride plant. Federal prosecutors dismissed the misdemeanor charges against one man, but said they planned to ask Immigration and Customs Enforcement to begin deportation proceedings against him. The guilty pleas will give the 17 people criminal records, which will allow prosecutors to pursue tougher penalties if they illegally return to the United States. They had faced up to up to two years in prison and $205,000 in fines. Jane Duke, a United States attorney, said her office had no interest in seeing those arrested serve jail time, as they were “otherwise law-abiding citizens.”
National Briefing | South
April 22, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/us/22brfs-002.html?ref=us

Coal Company Verdict in West Virginia Is Thrown Out
By ADAM LIPTAK
April 4, 2008
National Briefing | Mid-Atlantic
The State Supreme Court for a second time threw out a $50 million verdict against the coal company Massey Energy. The court decided to rehear the case after the publication of photographs of its chief justice on vacation in Monte Carlo with the company’s chief executive, Don L. Blankenship. The chief justice, Elliott E. Maynard, and a second justice disqualified themselves from the rehearing and were replaced by appeals court judges, but the vote was again 3-to-2 in favor of Massey. A third justice, Brent D. Benjamin, who was elected to the court with the help of more than $3 million from Mr. Blankenship, refused to recuse himself.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/04/us/04brfs-COALCOMPANYV_BRF.html?ref=us

Utah: Miners’ Families File Lawsuit
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
National Briefing | Rockies
April 3, 2008
A lawsuit by the families of six men killed in August in a mine cave-in claims the collapse occurred because the mine’s owners were harvesting coal unsafely. The suit, filed in Salt Lake City, says the Murray Energy Corporation performed risky retreat mining last summer. It seeks unspecified damages. Three men trying to reach the miners died 10 days after the collapse in another cave-in at the Crandall Canyon Mine.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/03/us/03brfs-MINERSFAMILI_BRF.html?ref=us

Regimens: Drug Samples Found to Affect Spending
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
Vital Signs
Having doctors distribute free samples of medicines may do exactly what drug companies hope for — encourage patients to spend more money on drugs.
A study in the April issue of Medical Care found that patients who never received free samples spent an average of $178 for six months of prescriptions. Those receiving samples spent $166 in the six months before they obtained free medicine, $244 when they received the handouts and $212 in the six months after that.
Researchers studied 5,709 patients, tracking medical histories and drug expenditures; 14 percent of the group received free samples. The study adjusted for prior and current health conditions, race, socioeconomic level and other variables.
The authors acknowledge that the study results could be partly explained by unmeasured illness in the group given samples.
The lead author, Dr. G. Caleb Alexander, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, said although free samples might save some patients money, there were other ways to economize. “Using more generics, prescribing for three months’ supply rather than one month’s and stopping drugs that may no longer be needed can also save money,” Dr. Alexander said.
April 1, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/health/policy/01regi.html?ref=health

Rhode Island: Order to Combat Illegal Immigration
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
National Briefing | New England
Linking the presence of undocumented workers to the state’s financial woes, Gov. Donald L. Carcieri signed an executive order that includes steps to combat illegal immigration. The order requires state agencies and companies that do business with the state to verify the legal status of employees. It also directs the state police and prison and parole officials to work harder to find and deport illegal immigrants. The governor, a Republican, said that he understood illegal immigrants faced hardships, but that he did not want them in Rhode Island. Under his order, the state police will enter an agreement with federal immigration authorities permitting them access to specialized immigration databases.
March 29, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/us/29brfs-002.html?ref=us

North Carolina: Ministers Say Police Destroyed Records
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
National Briefing | South
Three ministers accused a Greensboro police officer of ordering officers to destroy about 50 boxes of police files related to the fatal shooting of five people at an anti-Ku Klux Klan rally in 1979. The Revs. Cardes Brown, Gregory Headen and Nelson Johnson said an active-duty officer told them he and at least three other officers were told to destroy the records in 2004 or 2005, shortly after a seven-member panel that had been convened to research the shootings requested police files related to them. The ministers did not identify the officer who provided the information. On Nov. 3, 1979, a heavily armed caravan of Klansman and Nazi Party members confronted the rally. Five marchers were killed and 10 were injured. Those charged were later acquitted in state and federal trials. The city and some Klan members were found liable for the deaths in civil litigation.
February 27, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/us/27brfs-MINISTERSSAY_BRF.html?ref=us

Gaza: Israeli Army Clears Itself in 21 Deaths
By ISABEL KERSHNER
World Briefing | Middle East
The army said no legal action would be taken against military officials over an artillery strike in Beit Hanun in 2006 in which an errant shell hit residential buildings and killed 21 Palestinian civilians. An army investigation concluded that the shell was fired based on information that militants were intending to fire rockets from the area, an army statement said. The civilian deaths, it said, were “directly due to a rare and severe failure” in the artillery control system. The army’s military advocate general concluded that there was no need for further investigation.
February 27, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/world/middleeast/27briefs-israelistrike.html?ref=world

World Briefing | Asia
Taiwan: Tons of Fish Wash Up on Beaches
By REUTERS
About 45 tons of fish have washed up dead along 200 miles of beach on the outlying Penghu Islands after an unusual cold snap. News reports said 10 times as many dead fish were still in the water.
February 23, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/23/world/asia/23briefs-TONSOFFISHWA_BRF.html?ref=world

Zimbabwe: Inflation Breaks the Six-Figure Mark
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
World Briefing | Africa
The government’s statistics office said the inflation rate surged to a new record of 100,580 percent in January, up from 66,212 percent in December. Rangarirai Mberi, news editor of the independent Financial Gazette in Harare, said the state of the economy would feature prominently in next month’s presidential and parliamentary elections. “Numbers no longer shock people,” he said. Zimbabweans have learned to live in a hyperinflationary environment, he added, “but the question is, how long can this continue?”
February 21, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/world/africa/21briefs-INFLATIONBRE_BRF.html?ref=world

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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS AND INFORMATION

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Russell Means Speaking at the Transform Columbus Day Rally
"If voting could do anything it would be illegal!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8Lri1-6aoY

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Stop the Termination or the Cherokee Nation
http://groups.msn.com/BayAreaIndianCalendar/activismissues.msnw?action=get_message&mview=1&ID_Message=5580

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We Didn't Start the Fire
http://yeli.us/Flash/Fire.html

I Can't Take it No More
http://lefti.blogspot.com/2007_11_01_archive.html#9214483115237950361

The Art of Mental Warfare
http://artofmentalwarfare.com/pog/artofmentalwarfarecom-the-warning/

MONEY AS DEBT
http://video. google.com/ videoplay? docid=-905047436 2583451279
http://www.moneyasd ebt.net/

UNCONSTITUTIONAL
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6582099850410121223&pr=goog-sl

IRAQ FOR SALE
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6621486727392146155

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Port of Olympia Anti-Militarization Action Nov. 2007
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOkn2Fg7R8w

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"They have a new gimmick every year. They're going to take one of their boys, black boys, and put him in the cabinet so he can walk around Washington with a cigar. Fire on one end and fool on the other end. And because his immediate personal problem will have been solved he will be the one to tell our people: 'Look how much progress we're making. I'm in Washington, D.C., I can have tea in the White House. I'm your spokesman, I'm your leader.' While our people are still living in Harlem in the slums. Still receiving the worst form of education.

"But how many sitting here right now feel that they could [laughs] truly identify with a struggle that was designed to eliminate the basic causes that create the conditions that exist? Not very many. They can jive, but when it comes to identifying yourself with a struggle that is not endorsed by the power structure, that is not acceptable, that the ground rules are not laid down by the society in which you live, in which you are struggling against, you can't identify with that, you step back.

"It's easy to become a satellite today without even realizing it. This country can seduce God. Yes, it has that seductive power of economic dollarism. You can cut out colonialism, imperialism and all other kind of ism, but it's hard for you to cut that dollarism. When they drop those dollars on you, you'll fold though."

—MALCOLM X, 1965
http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=987

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A little gem:
Michael Moore Faces Off With Stephen Colbert [VIDEO]
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/57492/

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LAPD vs. Immigrants (Video)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/qws/ff/qr?term=lapd&Submit=S&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Search&st=s

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Dr. Julia Hare at the SOBA 2007
http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeo9ewi/proudtobeblack2/

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"We are far from that stage today in our era of the absolute
lie; the complete and totalitarian lie, spread by the
monopolies of press and radio to imprison social
consciousness." December 1936, "In 'Socialist' Norway,"
by Leon Trotsky: “Leon Trotsky in Norway” was transcribed
for the Internet by Per I. Matheson [References from
original translation removed]
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1936/12/nor.htm

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Wealth Inequality Charts
http://www.faireconomy.org/research/wealth_charts.html

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MALCOLM X: Oxford University Debate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmzaaf-9aHQ

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

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YouTube clip of Che before the UN in 1964
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtATT8GXkWg&mode=related&search

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The Wealthiest Americans Ever
NYT Interactive chart
JULY 15, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/business/20070715_GILDED_GRAPHIC.html

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New Orleans After the Flood -- A Photo Gallery
http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/?article=795
This email was sent to you as a service, by Roland Sheppard.
Visit my website at: http://web.mac.com/rolandgarret

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[For some levity...Hans Groiner plays Monk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51bsCRv6kI0
...bw]

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Which country should we invade next?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3g_zqz3VjY

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My Favorite Mutiny, The Coup
http://www.myspace.com/thecoupmusic

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Michael Moore- The Awful Truth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeOaTpYl8mE

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Morse v. Frederick Supreme Court arguments
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_LsGoDWC0o

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Free Speech 4 Students Rally - Media Montage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfCjfod8yuw

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'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
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,2042968,00.html

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Introducing...................the Apple iRack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-KWYYIY4jQ

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"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, below...bw]

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"200 million children in the world sleep in the streets today.
Not one of them is Cuban."
(A sign in Havana)
Venceremos
View sign at bottom of page at:
http://www.cubasolidarity.net/index.html
[Thanks to Norma Harrison for sending this...bw]

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FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein
http://www.walterlippmann.com/sylvia-weinstein-fightback-intro.html

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[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
http://web.mac.com/rolandgarret]

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Sand Creek Massacre
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FEATURED AT NATIVE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL:
http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdeennews/news/local/16035305.htm
(scroll down when you get there])
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING
WRITER/FILMMAKER DONALD L. VASICEK REPORT:
http://www.digitalcinemareport.com/sandcreekmassacre.html
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FINALIST IN DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL COMPETITION (VIEW HERE):
http://www.docupyx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=41
VIEW "THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FILM MOVIE OF THE WEEK FOR FREE HERE:
http://twymancreative.com/twymanc.html

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.

You can help. The 22-MINUTE SAND CREEK MASSACRE
DOCUMENTARY PRESENTATION/EDUCATIONAL DVD IS
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 (dvasicek@earthlink.net, 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
http://us.imdb.com/Name?Vasicek,+Don
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net
303-903-2103

"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FEATURED AT NATIVE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL:
http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdeennews/news/local/16035305.htm
(scroll down when you get there])
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING
WRITER/FILMMAKER DONALD L. VASICEK REPORT:
http://www.digitalcinemareport.com/sandcreekmassacre.html
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FINALIST IN DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL COMPETITION (VIEW HERE):
http://www.docupyx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=41
VIEW "THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FILM MOVIE OF THE WEEK FOR FREE HERE:
http://twymancreative.com/twymanc.html

SHOP:
http://www.manataka.org/page633.html
BuyIndies.com
donvasicek.com.Peace Articles at Libraryofpeace.org">

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