Saturday, May 07, 2011



Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:




Educators for a Democratic Union/EDU

Occupy the State Capitol May 9-13. Bring signs that say:

- Tax the Rich and the Corporations

- Fully Fund Public Education and Public Services

- California for All: Transfer the Wealth to the Bottom

The California Teachers' Association (CTA) has declared a "State of Emergency" in public education and public services and issued a call to all unions and their allies to support a Week of Action, May 9 - 13, to occupy the Capitol in Sacramento. The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) has also endorsed this action. United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) is getting involved locally and in Sacramento!

Educators for a Democratic Union (EDU) is asking for a concerted effort to kick off the week of action by having as many of our unions, community members and parents allies join us by occupying the Capitol on Monday, May 9th. Consider coming for as much of the week as you can: EDU hopes to turn out huge numbers on Monday May 9! Call UESF at 956-8373 to ask about transportation to Sacramento.

For educators, public workers and recipients of public services, the "state of emergency" in California is no surprise. Public workers at all levels have seen cuts to our livelihoods: furloughs, pay cuts, and layoffs. Residents and students have seen services cut and tremendous increases in fees, while attempts to stave the bleeding are usually regressive local tax options.

The Republican party and their more extreme Tea Party allies blame public workers and portray the public sector as a drag on economic growth and efficiency. Currently Republicans are calling for a firm $25 billion in cuts. Democrats tell us to live within our means and tighten our belts. Jerry Brown is pushing for $12 billion in cuts and $12 billion in largely regressive tax extensions on sales, income and vehicle fees. Public debate is only beginning to address corporate responsibility, an unfair and unfixed tax system -- and a horrifying and increasing unfair distribution of wealth. NOW IS THE TIME to mobilize independently and build a coalition around defense of public service and progressive taxation.

The $25 billion budget shortfall has a solution!

- Raise the income tax on the wealthiest 1% by 4% = $20 billion

- Increase the corporate tax rate by just 4% = $4 billion.

- Institute an Oil Company Severance Tax = another $1 billion.

Even if you think that Jerry Brown and the Democrats current "alternative" is reasonable or a "necessary evil" -- you probably agree with BUILDING an ALTERNATIVE; a CALIFORNIA for ALL.

There is the wealth in California to fully fund parks, water systems, schools, public transportation, etc. EDU asks you to join us in resisting a discourse and a system that tells us poverty is the only choice: user fees, less services, more unemployment, ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE -- for us, for other public workers, for our students and their families.

There is an alternative: Tax the Rich. And then help us bring the debates and on-going organizing & coalition-building back to the local level, regional and state levels, Empowerment, not poverty; Build the alternative: California for all.

To work with EDU on "Tax the Rich/Fight Cuts/Fight for Public Education" and public service/community coalition efforts, please contact:

Andy Libson at: &/or 415-336-5034

If you are an SF teacher and are interested in Educators for a Democratic Union,
The next EDU meeting is:

Thursday May 19th, 4:30 at the Glen Park Library; 2825 Diamond Street


Thursday May 12th
Campaign to End Wage Theft Launch
9:30 AM Press Event at SF City Hall
10 AM Public Hearing

Join the Progressive Workers Alliance to launch our campaign to end wage theft-because everyone has the right to be paid for the hours they work. For a San Francisco of opportunity and progress, it's time to say no more wage theft!

Friday, May 13th
State of Emergency Statewide Actions to Defend Public Education and Services
4:00 pm Rally at SF Civic Center Plaza

August 5-7th
National Jobs with Justice Conference
Washington, DC
Help build the movement for worker's rights and social justice locally and nationally by supporting Jobs with Justice San Francisco!


Save the Date!

Kent State University
Kent, Ohio
June 24-26, 2011

Working people across the country -- from Wisconsin and Ohio to New York, Oregon, and California -- are facing unprecedented attacks by corporations and the rich with the help of the federal, state and local politicians that they fund.

The corporate agenda is clear: It is to bust unions and cut workers' pay and benefits -- both in the private and public sectors. It is to erode and privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It is to dismantle the public sector and social services by denying funds for job creation, education, health care, environmental protection, and rebuilding the infrastructure. It is to ensure that taxes on the wealthy are constantly lowered while the bite on workers and the poor is constantly increased. It is to perpetuate U.S. wars and occupations whenever it serves the interests of the multinationals. It is to divide the working class by race, gender, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation. It is also to limit and restrict constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties. The list goes on.

In state capitals, communities and workplaces across the country, workers are fighting back. But if we're going to be successful in pushing back the attacks on collective bargaining, stopping the budget cuts and concessions, creating jobs, and defending social services and education, we need to build unity within our movement, including forging stronger ties with labor's allies: communities of color, students and youth, single-payer advocates, environmentalists, antiwar activists, immigrant rights supporters, and other progressive forces.

Relying on politicians to defend us -- the so-called "friends of labor" -- has proven to be disastrous. During the past three decades, working people have suffered a dramatic decline in their standard of living while the rich have amassed an unprecedented amount of wealth at the top, regardless of which of the major parties was running the government. We have had every combination imaginable: Republicans occupying the White House with a majority in Congress, Democrats occupying the White House with a majority in Congress, or some kind of "divided government." But in each case the result for working people has been the same: conditions got worse for workers while the corporations prospered even more. Why should we continue this vicious cycle?

The working class has the power to put an end to this situation. And as the debate over the debt and the deficit intensifies, the need has never been greater for an organized campaign to demand "No Cuts, No Concessions!" whether in regard to social programs or workers' wages and benefits. We say place the burden for solving the financial crises squarely where it belongs: on the rich. They caused the crisis, let them pay for it!

The Emergency Labor Network (ELN) was initiated earlier this year at a historic meeting of 100 union leaders and activists from around the country. Join us June 24-26, 2011 at Kent State University in Ohio for a national labor-community conference to spur the campaign to build a more militant fight-back movement and to launch a national campaign for an alternative agenda for working people. Together we can move forward on both fronts.

This conference is open to all who agree with its purpose, as explained in this Call. To register for the conference, please go to our website at If you prefer to register offline, write or call 216-736-4715 for a registration form.

For more information, e-mail or call 216-736-4715.


Oct. 7 - Protest, March & Die-In on 10th Anniversary of Afghanistan War
Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, 4:30-6:30pm
New Federal Building, 7th & Mission Sts, SF
Protest & Die-In on 10th Anniversary of Afghanistan War

End All the Wars & Occupations-Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Libya, Haiti . . .
Money for Jobs, Healthcare & Schools-Not for the Pentagon

Friday, October 7, 2011 will be the exact 10th anniversary of the U.S./NATO war on the people of Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of Afghani people have been killed, wounded and displaced, and thousands of U.S. and NATO forces killed and wounded. The war costs more than $126 billion per year at a time when social programs are being slashed.

The true and brutal character of the U.S. strategy to "win hearts and minds" of the Afghani population was described by a Marine officer, quoted in a recent ANSWER Coalition statement:

"You can't just convince them [Afghani people] through projects and goodwill," another Marine officer said. "You have to show up at their door with two companies of Marines and start killing people. That's how you start convincing them." (To read the entire ANSWER statement, click here)

Mark your calendar now and help organize for the October 7 march and die-in in downtown San Francisco. There are several things you can do:

1. Reply to this email to endorse the protest and die-in.
2. Spread the word and help organize in your community, union, workplace and campus.
3. Make a donation to help with organizing expenses.

Only the people can stop the war!

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
2969 Mission St.


[Some of these videos are embeded on the BAUAW website: or]


Epidemiologist, Dr. Steven Wing, Discusses Global Radiation Exposures and Consequences with Gundersen
Epidemiologist, Dr. Steven Wing and nuclear engineer, Arnie Gundersen, discuss the consequences of the Fukushima radioactive fallout on Japan, the USA, and the world. What are the long-term health effects? What should the government(s) do to protect citizens?

Epidemiologist, Dr. Steven Wing, Discusses Global Radiation Exposures and Consequences with Gundersen from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.


New Video - Lupe Fiasco ft. Skylar Grey - 'Words I Never Said'
Thu, Apr 28 2011

Lupe Fiasco addresses some heavy issues in the latest video for his new single, 'Words I Never Said,' featuring Skylar Grey. In the 5 minute and 45 second dose of reality, Lupe tackles issues such as the war on terrorism, devastation, conspiracy theories, 9/11 and genocide. From the opening lyrics of "I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullsh*t", Lupe doesn't hold back as he voices his socio-political concerns.

"If you turn on TV all you see's a bunch of what the f-ks'
Dude is dating so and so blabbering bout such and such
And that ain't Jersey Shore, homie that's the news
And these the same people that supposed to be telling us the truth
Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist
Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn't say s-t
That's why I ain't vote for him, next one either
I'm a part of the problem, my problem is I'm peaceful."

Skylar Grey (who also lends her vocals to Dirty money's 'Coming Home' and Eminem's 'I Need A Doctor') does an excellent job of complementing the Alex Da Kid produced track.


BREAKING ALERT: Mass Arrests, Tear Gas, Sound Weapons used Against WIU Students


Union Town by Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman


MAY DAY 1886-International Workers Day


Labor Beat: We Are One - Illinois



"He broke the law!" says Obama about Bradley Manning who has yet to even be charged, let alone, gone to trial and found guilty. How horrendous is it for the President to declare someone guilty before going to trial or being charged with a crime! Justice in the U.S.A.!

Obama on FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest... San Francisco, CA. April 21, 2011-Presidential remarks on interrupt/interaction/performance art happening at fundraiser. Logan Price queries Barack after org. FRESH JUICE PARTY political action.


More troops join anti-government protests in Yemen
More soldiers have been joining anti-government protests on the streets of the capital Sana'a.

More at The Real News


W.E. A.L.L. B.E.: Miss. Medical Examiner Dr. Adel Shaker On Frederick Carter Hanging (4/19/2011)


Egyptian Soldiers Join Protest Demanding End to Military Dictatorship
Adam Hanieh: Class struggle in Egypt enters a new stage

More at The Real News


Row over Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning treatment (12Apr11)


AP writer--State Department on Human Rights Abuse of Bradley Manning


Max Romeo - Socialism Is Love


Cuba: The Accidental Eden

[This is a stunningly beautiful portrait of the Cuban natural environment as it is today. However, several times throughout, the narrator tends to imply that if it werent for the U.S. embargo against Cuba, Cuba's natural environmet would be destroyed by the influx of tourism, ergo, the embargo is saving nature. But the Cuban scientists and naturalists tell a slightly different story. But I don't want to spoil the delightfully surprising ending. It's a beautiful film of a beautiful country full of beautiful, articulate and well-educated]

Watch the full episode. See more Nature.


VIDEO: SWAT Team Evicts Grandmother

Take Back the Land- Rochester Eviction Defense March 28, 2011


B. D. S. [Boycott, Divest, Sanction against Israel]
(Jackson 5) Chicago Flashmob


Afghans for Peace


The Kill Team
How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses - and how their officers failed to stop them. Plus: An exclusive look at the war crime photos censored by the Pentagon
Rolling Stone
March 27, 3011

Afghans respond to "Kill Team"




The Kill Team Photos More war crime images the Pentagon doesn't want you to see

'Death Zone' How U.S. soldiers turned a night-time airstrike into a chilling 'music video'

'Motorcycle Kill' Footage of an Army patrol gunning down two men in Afghanistan






Frederick Alexander Meade on The Prison Industrial Complex


BP Oil Spill Scientist Bob Naman: Seafood Still Not Safe


Exclusive: Flow Rate Scientist : How Much Oil Is Really Out There?


Iraq Veterans Against the War in Occupied Capitol, Madison, WI


Stop LAPD Stealing of Immigrant's Cars

On Februrary 19, 2011 Members of the Southern California Immigration Coalition (SCIC) organized and engaged in direct action to defend the people of Los Angeles, CA from the racist LAPD "Sobriety" Checkpoints that are a poorly disguised trap to legally steal the cars from working class people in general and undocumented people in particular. Please disseminate this link widely.




WikiLeaks Mirrors

Wikileaks is currently under heavy attack.

In order to make it impossible to ever fully remove Wikileaks from the Internet, you will find below a list of mirrors of Wikileaks website and CableGate pages.

Go to


Labor Beat: Labor Stands with Subpoenaed Activists Against FBI Raids and Grand Jury Investigation of antiwar and social justice activists.
"If trouble is not at your door. It's on it's way, or it just left."
"Investigate the Billionaires...Full investigation into Wall Street..." Jesse Sharkey, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union


Oil Spill Commission Final Report: Catfish Responds


Free Bradley Manning


Domestic Espionage Alert - Houston PD to use surveillance drone in America!


Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks


Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale


Flashmob: Cape Town Opera say NO


"Don't F*** With Our Activists" - Mobilizing Against FBI Raid




Mumia Wins Decision Against Re-Imposition Of Death Sentence, But...
The Battle Is Still On To
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610



Carlos* was only 14 years when he was locked up in a California youth prison. Growing up in a rough neighborhood in Northern CA, there were few resources for him or his younger brothers. Carlos was swept up by gangs and ended up serving a 10 year sentence in Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), leaving his siblings and childhood behind.

For 10 long years, our state spent millions of dollars to lock him up in a cell. Meanwhile, the state spent a tiny fraction of that amount providing an inadequate education to his younger brothers.

When Carlos was finally released earlier this year, he returned to a neighborhood that hasn't changed. Resources for youth are still scarce. He worries about his little brothers growing up in a society that would rather lock them up than invest in their educations and future.

Carlos' experience is only one example of why California ranks near the bottom in education spending and performance, but we're #1 in prison spending. DJJ drains much-needed resources from California's schools and the vital community programs that would help our State thrive. It's time to close the expensive, abusive DJJ and redirect those resources into our schools.

Join Books Not Bars in calling on Governor Brown to protect our schools by closing the Division of Juvenile Justice.

On May 10, join Books Not Bars, teachers, students, and other concerned Californians at the Capitol to save our schools. For more information or if you plan on attending, please contact Jennifer Kim at, or (510) 285-8234.

If you can't join us in person, take action now, then sign up for join our online rally next Tuesday by sending Gov. Brown an email now.

Justice for families.

Sumayyah Waheed
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

*Carlos' name has been changed to protect his privacy.

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights | 510.428.3939
1970 Broadway, Suite 450 | Oakland, CA | 94612


Defend our liberties! In solidarity, buy a Civil Liberty Bond today
Committee to Stop FBI Repression Defend Our Civil Liberties!
PO Box 14183, Minneapolis MN 55414 Buy a Civil Liberty Bond Today! An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

Dear Friends,

Statements of support and actions taken by your organization are deeply appreciated. Thank you!

Do you want another way to actively support the defense of our Civil Liberties and the antiwar and international solidarity activists targeted by the FBI in the current sweep of repression?

Civil Liberty Bonds are perfect birthday or holiday or any-day gifts! For organizations and for individuals.

Civil Liberty Bonds are available in denominations of $10, $25, $50, $100, $250 & $500. They may be purchased online and printed directly from the website by clicking on this link: Civil Liberty Bonds.  Or from a link that appears in the upper right corner on the home page that takes you directly to the Civil Liberty Bond page.

Show your visible support for Civil Liberties. Buy a Civil Liberty Bond for your organization! Civil Liberty Bond can a gift to a liberty-loving individual or presented to honor a courageous organization like yours. Or a bond may be framed to hang on wall in an office or home to boldly declare, as it says: Material Support for the defense of freedom of speech, thought and action in the service of solidarity and peace. The bearer is entitled "as are we all" to a future free from harassment and repression.

All 23 of the targeted activists say that they will not cooperate with this witch hunt against the movements so many of us have worked to build. The U.S. attorney is working to put these activists in prison. Whether some of them are indicted, or others are jailed for refusing to testify, the threat is very real. We will carry forward the fight for our right to speak out, organize and to stand in solidarity with those who want freedom.

We invite your organization to purchase a Civil Liberty Bond to help with legal expenses for the subpoenaed activists. National Lawyers Guild attorneys are donating countless hours of time and expertise to ensure the protection of First Amendment rights. As the legal processes continue and several more people have been subpoenaed, the costs of legal office staff, court fees, and supplies are mounting.

Please also forward this request to purchase bonds to your membership via a special mailing or your regular communications. Remember that Civil Liberty Bonds are perfect birthday or holiday or any-day gifts!

Gratitude for your solidarity can hardly be expressed in words. Thank you for your continuing support of our Civil Liberties and those who are specifically targeted by the FBI. Your support is essential for all of us.


the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis MN Â 55414

P.S. Don't forget to go to Stop and sign the Pledge to Resist!


Please forward and otherwise distribute this message!

Committee to Stop FBI Repression


Abolish the Death Penalty Blog

Abolish the Death Penalty is a blog dedicated to...well, you know. The purpose of Abolish is to tell the personal stories of crime victims and their loved ones, people on death row and their loved ones and those activists who are working toward abolition. You may, from time to time, see news articles or press releases here, but that is not the primary mission of Abolish the Death Penalty. Our mission is to put a human face on the debate over capital punishment.
You can also follow death penalty news by reading our News page and by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

1 Million Tweets for Troy! April 12, 2011

Take Action! Tweet for Troy!

The state of Georgia is seeking to change the drugs they use to carry out executions so they can resume scheduling execution dates, including that of Troy Davis, a man with a strong claim of innocence. Doubts in the case persist, including the fact that no physical evidence links him to the murder, most of the witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony and newer testimony implicates a different person (including an eyewitness account).

The Davis case has already generated hundreds of thousands of emails, calls, and letters in support of clemency, including from leaders such as the Pope, Jimmy Carter and former FBI chief Bill Sessions. We need to continue to amass petitions in support of clemency, demonstrating the widespread concern about this case and what it represents.

Please help us send a message to Georgia officials that they can do the right thing - they can intervene as the final failsafe by commuting Davis' sentence. Please help us generate 1 million tweets for Troy Davis!

Share this tweet alert with your friends and family that care about justice and life as soon as you can.

More information about the case is available at

Here are some sample tweets:

When in doubt, don't execute!! Sign the petition for #TroyDavis!

Too much doubt! Stop the execution! #TroyDavis needs us!

No room for doubt! Stop the execution of #TroyDavis . Retweet, sign petition

Case not "ironclad", yet Georgiacould execute #TroyDavis ! Not on our watch! Petition:

No murder weapon. No physical evidence. Stop the execution! #TroyDavis petition:

7 out of 9 eyewitnesses recanted. No physical evidence. Stop the execution of Troy Davis #TroyDavis



In a recent New York Daily News Poll the question was asked:

Should Army pfc Bradley Manning face charges for allegedly stealing classified documents and providing them for WikiLeaks?
New York Daily News Poll Results:
Yes, he's a traitor for selling out his country! ...... 28%
No, he's a hero for standing up for what's right! ..... 62%
We need to see more evidence before passing judgment.. 10%

Sign the Petition:

We stand for truth, for government transparency, and for an end to our tax-dollars funding endless occupation abroad...

We stand with accused whistle-blower
US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning

Stand with Bradley!

A 23-year-old Army intelligence analyst, Pfc. Manning faces decades in prison for allegedly leaking a video of a US helicopter attack that killed at least eleven Iraqi civilians to the website Wikileaks. Among the dead were two working Reuters reporters. Two children were also severely wounded in the attack.

In addition to this "Collateral Murder" video, Pfc. Manning is suspected of leaking the "Afghan War Diaries" - tens of thousands of battlefield reports that explicitly describe civilian deaths and cover-ups, corrupt officials, collusion with warlords, and a failing US/NATO war effort.

"We only know these crimes took place because insiders blew the whistle at great personal risk ... Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal," noted Barack Obama while on the campaign trail in 2008. While the President was referring to the Bush Administration's use of phone companies to illegally spy on Americans, Pfc. Manning's alleged actions are just as noteworthy. If the military charges against him are accurate, they show that he had a reasonable belief that war crimes were being covered up, and that he took action based on a crisis of conscience.

After nearly a decade of war and occupation waged in our name, it is odd that it apparently fell on a young Army private to provide critical answers to the questions, "What have we purchased with well over a trillion tax dollars and the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan?" However, history is replete with unlikely heroes.

If Bradley Manning is indeed the source of these materials, the nation owes him our gratitude. We ask Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John M. McHugh, and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General George W. Casey, Jr., to release Pfc. Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him.

Bulletin from the cause: Bradley Manning Support Network
Go to Cause
Posted By: Tom Baxter
To: Members in Bradley Manning Support Network
A Good Address for Bradley!!!

We have a good address for Bradley,

"A Fort Leavenworth mailing address has been released for Bradley Manning:

Bradley Manning 89289
830 Sabalu Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

The receptionist at the military barracks confirmed that if someone sends Bradley Manning a letter to that address, it will be delivered to him."

This is also a Facebook event!/event.php?eid=207100509321891


The Arab Revolutions:
Guiding Principles for Peace and Justice Organizations in the US
Please email endorsement to

We, the undersigned, support the guiding principles and demands listed in this statement. We call on groups who want to express solidarity with the Arab revolutions to join our growing movement by signing this statement or keeping with the demands put forward herewith.


The long-awaited Arab revolution has come. Like a geologic event with the reverberations of an earthquake, the timing and circumstances were unpredictable. In one Arab country after another, people are taking to the street demanding the fall of monarchies established during European colonial times. They are also calling to bring down dictatorships supported and manifested by neo-colonial policies. Although some of these autocratic regimes rose to power with popular support, the subsequent division and subjugation of the Arab World led to a uniform repressive political order across the region. The Arab masses in different Arab countries are therefore raising a uniform demand: "The People Want to Topple the Regimes!"

For the past two decades, the Arab people witnessed the invasion and occupation of Iraq with millions killed under blockade and occupation, Palestinians massacred with the aim to crush the anti-Zionist resistance, and Lebanon repeatedly invaded with the purposeful targeting of civilians. These actions all served to crush resistance movements longing for freedom, development, and self-determination. Meanwhile, despotic dictatorships, some going back 50 years, entrenched themselves by building police states, or fighting wars on behalf of imperialist interests.

Most Arab regimes systematically destroyed the social fabric of civil society, stifled social development, repressed all forms of political dissent and democratic expression, mortgaged their countries' wealth to foreign interests and enriched themselves and their cronies at the expense of impoverishing their populations. After pushing the Arab people to the brink, populations erupted.

The spark began in Tunisia where a police officer slapped and spat on Mohammad Bou Azizi, flipping over his produce cart for not delivering a bribe on time. . Unable to have his complaint heard, he self-immolated in protest, igniting the conscience of the Tunisian people and that of 300 million Arabs. In less than a month, the dictator, Zine El Abedine Ben Ali, was forced into exile by a Tunisian revolution. On its way out, the regime sealed its legacy by shooting at unarmed protestors and burning detention centers filled with political prisoners. Ben Ali was supported by the US and Europe in the fight against Islamic forces and organized labor.

Hosni Mubarak's brutal dictatorship fell less than a month after Tunisia's. The revolution erupted at a time when one half of the Egyptian population was living on less than $2/day while Mubarak's family amassed billions of dollars. The largest population recorded in Egyptian history was living in graveyards and raising their children among the dead while transportation and residential infrastructure was crumbling. Natural gas was supplied to Israel at 15% of the market price while the Rafah border was closed with an underground steel wall to complete the suffocation of the Palestinians in Gaza. Those who were deemed a threat swiftly met the fate of Khalid Said. 350 martyrs fell and 2,000 people were injured.

After Egypt and Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan exploded in protest. Some governments quickly reshuffled faces and ranks without any tangible change. Some, like Bahrain and Yemen, sent out their security forces to massacre civilians. Oman and Yemen represent strategic assets for the US as they are situated on the straits of Hormuz and Aden, respectively. Bahrain is an oil country that hosts a US military base, situated in the Persian Gulf. A new round of US funded blood-letting of Arab civilians has begun!

Libyan dictator Qaddafi did not prove to be an exception. He historically took anti-imperialist positions for a united Arab World and worked for an African Union. He later transformed his regime to a subservient state and opened Libya to British Petroleum and Italian interests, working diligently on privatization and political repression. He amassed more wealth than that of Mubarak. In the face of the Libyan revolution, Qaddafi exceeded the brutality of Ben Ali and Mubarak blind-folding and executing opponents, surrounding cities with tanks, and bombing his own country. Death toll is expected to be in the thousands.

Qaddafi's history makes Libya an easy target for imperialist interests. The Obama administration followed the Iraq cookbook by freezing Libyan assets amounting to 30% of the annual GDP. The White House, with the help of European governments, rapidly implemented sanctions and called for no-fly zones. These positions were precipitated shortly after the US vetoed a resolution condemning the illegal Israeli colonization of the West Bank. Special operations personnel from the UK were captured by the revolutionary commanders in Ben Ghazi and sent back. The Libyan revolutionary leadership, the National Council clearly stated: "We are completely against foreign intervention. The rest of Libya will be liberated by the people ... and Gaddafi's security forces will be eliminated by the people of Libya."

Demands of the Solidarity Movement with Arab Revolutions

1. We demand a stop to US support, financing and trade with Arab dictatorships. We oppose US policy that has favored Israeli expansionism, war, US oil interest and strategic shipping routes at the expense of Arab people's freedom and dignified living.

2. We support the people of Tunisia and Egypt as well as soon-to-be liberated nations to rid themselves of lingering remnants of the deposed dictatorships.

3. We support the Arab people's right to sovereignty and self-determination. We demand that the US government stop its interference in the internal affairs of all Arab countries and end subsidies to wars and occupation.

4. We support the Arab people's demands for political, civil and economic rights. The Arab people's movement is calling for:

a. Deposing the unelected regimes and all of its institutional remnants
b. Constitutional reform guaranteeing freedom of organizing, speech and press
c. Free and fair elections
d. Independent judiciary
e. National self-determination.

5. We oppose all forms of US and European military intervention with or without the legitimacy of the UN. Standing in solidarity with the revolution against Qaddafi, or any other dictator, does not equate to supporting direct or indirect colonization of an Arab country, its oil or its people. We therefore call for:

a. Absolute rejection of military blockades, no-fly zones and interventions.
b. Lifting all economic sanctions placed against Libya and allowing for the formation of an independent judiciary to prosecute Qaddafi and deposed dictators for their crimes.
c. Immediately withdrawing the US and NATO troops from the Arab region.

6. We support Iraq's right to sovereignty and self determination and call on the US to immediately withdraw all occupation personnel from Iraq.

7. We recognize that the borders separating Arab nations were imposed on the Arab people by the colonial agreements of Sykes-Picot and the Berlin Conference on Africa. As such, we support the anti-Zionist nature of this revolution in its call for:

a. Ending the siege and starvation of the Palestinian people in Gaza
b. Supporting the right of the Palestinian people to choose their own representation, independent of Israeli and US dictates
c. Supporting the right of the Lebanese people to defend their country from Israeli violations and their call to end vestiges of the colonial constitution constructed on the basis of sectarian representation
d. Supporting the right of the Jordanian people to rid themselves of their repressive monarchy
e. Ending all US aid to Israel.


Committee to Stop FBI Repression
to Fitzgerald, Holder and Obama

The Grand Jury is still on its witch hunt and the FBI is still
harassing activists. This must stop.
Please make these calls:
1. Call U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald at 312-353-5300 . Then dial 0
(zero) for operator and ask to leave a message with the Duty Clerk.
2. Call U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder 202-353-1555
3. Call President Obama at 202-456-1111

Suggested text: "My name is __________, I am from _______(city), in
______(state). I am calling _____ to demand he call off the Grand Jury
and stop FBI repression against the anti-war and Palestine solidarity
movements. I oppose U.S. government political repression and support
the right to free speech and the right to assembly of the 23 activists
subpoenaed. We will not be criminalized. Tell him to stop this
McCarthy-type witch hunt against international solidarity activists!"

If your call doesn't go through, try again later.

Update: 800 anti-war and international solidarity activists
participated in four regional conferences, in Chicago, IL; Oakland,
CA; Chapel Hill, NC and New York City to stop U.S. Attorney Patrick
Fitzgerald's Grand Jury repression.

Still, in the last few weeks, the FBI has continued to call and harass
anti-war organizers, repressing free speech and the right to organize.
However, all of their intimidation tactics are bringing a movement
closer together to stop war and demand peace.

We demand:
-- Call Off the Grand Jury Witch-hunt Against International Solidarity
-- Support Free Speech!
-- Support the Right to Organize!
-- Stop FBI Repression!
-- International Solidarity Is Not a Crime!
-- Stop the Criminalization of Arab and Muslim Communities!

Background: Fitzgerald ordered FBI raids on anti-war and solidarity
activists' homes and subpoenaed fourteen activists in Chicago,
Minneapolis, and Michigan on September 24, 2010. All 14 refused to
speak before the Grand Jury in October. Then, 9 more Palestine
solidarity activists, most Arab-Americans, were subpoenaed to appear
at the Grand Jury on January 25, 2011, launching renewed protests.
There are now 23 who assert their right to not participate in
Fitzgerald's witch-hunt.

The Grand Jury is a secret and closed inquisition, with no judge, and
no press. The U.S. Attorney controls the entire proceedings and hand
picks the jurors, and the solidarity activists are not allowed a
lawyer. Even the date when the Grand Jury ends is a secret.

So please make these calls to those in charge of the repression aimed
against anti-war leaders and the growing Palestine solidarity
Email us to let us know your results. Send to

**Please sign and circulate our 2011 petition at

In Struggle,
Tom Burke,
for the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

FFI: Visit or email or call
612-379-3585 .
Copyright (c) 2011 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights

Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55415


Call for EMERGENCY RESPONSE Action if Assange Indicted,

Dear Friends:

We write in haste, trying to reach as many of you as possible although the holiday break has begun.......This plan for an urgent "The Day After" demonstration is one we hope you and many, many more organizations will take up as your own, and mobilize for. World Can't Wait asks you to do all you can to spread it through list serves, Facebook, twitter, holiday gatherings.

Our proposal is very very simple, and you can use the following announcement to mobilize - or write your own....


An emergency public demonstration THE DAY AFTER any U.S. criminal indictment is announced against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Spread the word and call people to come out, across the whole range of movements and groups: anti-war, human rights, freedom of information/freedom of the press, peace, anti-torture, environmental, students and youth, radicals and revolutionaries, religious, civil liberties, teachers and educators, journalists, anti-imperialists, anti-censorship, anti-police state......

At the Federal Building in San Francisco, we'll form ourselves into a human chain "surrounding" the government that meets the Wikileaked truth with repression and wants to imprison and silence leakers, whistleblowers and truthtellers - when, in fact, these people are heroes. We'll say:


New Federal Building, 7th and Mission, San Francisco (nearest BART: Civic Center)
4:00-6:00 PM on The Day FOLLOWING U.S. indictment of Assange

Bring all your friends - signs and banners - bullhorns.

Those who dare at great risk to themselves to put the truth in the hands of the people - and others who might at this moment be thinking about doing more of this themselves -- need to see how much they are supported, and that despite harsh repression from the government and total spin by the mainstream media, the people do want the truth told.

Brad Manning's Christmas Eve statement was just released by his lawyer: "Pvt. Bradley Manning, the lone soldier who stands accused of stealing millions of pages secret US government documents and handing them over to secrets outlet WikiLeaks, wants his supporters to know that they've meant a lot to him. 'I greatly appreciate everyone's support and well wishes during this time,' he said in a Christmas Eve statement released by his lawyer...." Read more here:

Demonstrations defending Wikileaks and Assange, and Brad Manning, have already been flowering around the world. Make it happen here too.
Especially here . . .

To join into this action plan, or with questions, contact World Can't Wait or whichever organization or listserve you received this message from.

World Can't Wait, SF Bay



Write to Lynne Stewart at:

Lynne Stewart #53504 - 054
Unit 2N
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TEXAS 76127

Visiting Lynne:

Visiting is very liberal but first she has to get people on her visiting list; wait til she or the lawyers let you know. The visits are FRI, SAT, SUN AND MON for 4 hours and on weekends 8 to 3. Bring clear plastic change purse with lots of change to buy from the machines. Brief Kiss upon arrival and departure, no touching or holding during visit (!!) On visiting forms it may be required that you knew me before I came to prison. Not a problem for most of you.

Commissary Money:

Commissary Money is always welcome It is how Lynne pay for the phone and for email. Also for a lot that prison doesn't supply in terms of food and "sundries" (pens!) (A very big list that includes Raisins, Salad Dressing, ankle sox, mozzarella (definitely not from Antonys--more like a white cheddar, Sanitas Corn Chips but no Salsa, etc. To add money, you do this by using Western Union and a credit card by phone or you can send a USPO money order or Business or Govt Check. The negotiable instruments (PAPER!) need to be sent to Federal Bureau of Prisons, 53504-054, Lynne Stewart, PO Box 474701, Des Moines Iowa 50947-001 (Payable to Lynne Stewart, 53504-054) They hold the mo or checks for 15 days. Western Union costs $10 but is within 2 hours. If you mail, your return address must be on the envelope. Unnecessarily complicated? Of course, it's the BOP !)

The address of her Defense Committee is:

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216
For further information:
718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Please make a generous contribution to her defense.


Help end the inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning!

Bradley Manning Support Network.

Contact the Marine Corps officers above and respectfully, but firmly, ask that they lift the extreme pre-trial confinement conditions against Army PFC Bradley Manning.
Forward this urgent appeal for action widely.

Sign the "Stand with Brad" public petition and letter campaign at - Sign online, and we'll mail out two letters on your behalf to Army officials.

Donate to Bradley's defense fund at

"The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention", by Glenn Greenwald for, 15 December 2010

"A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning", by attorney David E. Coombs, 18 December 2010

"Bradley Manning's Life Behind Bars", by Denver Nicks for the Daily Beast, 17 December 2010

Bradley Manning Support Network

Courage To Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
Oakland, CA 94610


In earnest support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange:

We here undersigned express our support for the work and integrity of Julian Assange. We express concern that the charges against the WikiLeaks founder appear too convenient both in terms of timing and the novelty of their nature.

We call for this modern media innovator, and fighter for human rights extraordinaire, to be afforded the same rights to defend himself before Swedish justice that all others similarly charged might expect, and that his liberty not be compromised as a courtesy to those governments whose truths he has revealed have embarrassed.



Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper
Chronicle Editorial
Monday, December 13, 2010

Death penalty -- Kevin Cooper is Innocent! Help save his life from San Quentin's death row!

- From Amnesty International USA
17 December 2010
Click here to take action online:

To learn about recent Urgent Action successes and updates, go to

For a print-friendly version of this Urgent Action (PDF):


Free the Children of Palestine!
Sign Petition:

Published by Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition on Dec 16, 2010
Category: Children's Rights
Region: GLOBAL
Target: President Obama
Web site:

Background (Preamble):

According to Israeli police, 1200 Palestinian children have been arrested, interrogated and imprisoned in the occupied city of Jerusalem alone this year. The youngest of these children was seven-years old.

Children and teen-agers were often dragged out of their beds in the middle of the night, taken in handcuffs for questioning, threatened, humiliated and many were subjected to physical violence while under arrest as part of an ongoing campaign against the children of Palestine. Since the year 2000, more than 8000 have been arrested by Israel, and reports of mistreatment are commonplace.

Further, based on sworn affidavits collected in 2009 from 100 of these children, lawyers working in the occupied West Bank with Defense Children International, a Geneva-based non governmental organization, found that 69% were beaten and kicked, 49% were threatened, 14% were held in solitary confinement, 12% were threatened with sexual assault, including rape, and 32% were forced to sign confessions written in Hebrew, a language they do not understand.

Minors were often asked to give names and incriminate friends and relatives as a condition of their release. Such institutionalized and systematic mistreatment of Palestinian children by the state of Israel is a violation international law and specifically contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Israel is supposedly a signatory.


We, the undersigned call on US President Obama to direct Israel to

1. Stop all the night raids and arrests of Palestinian Children forthwith.

2. Immediately release all Palestinian children detained in its prisons and detention centers.

3. End all forms of systematic and institutionalized abuse against all Palestinian children.

4. Implement the full restoration of Palestinian children's rights in accordance with international law including, but not limited to, their right to return to their homes of origin, to education, to medical and psychological care, and to freedom of movement and expression.

The US government, which supports Israel to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars a year while most ordinary Americans are suffering in a very bad economy, is bound by its laws and international conventions to cut off all aid to Israel until it ends all of its violations of human rights and basic freedoms in a verifiable manner.


"Secret diplomacy is a necessary tool for a propertied minority, which is compelled to deceive the majority in order to subject it to its interests."..."Publishing State Secrets" By Leon Trotsky
Documents on Soviet Policy, Trotsky, iii, 2 p. 64
November 22, 1917


To understand how much a trillion dollars is, consider looking at it in terms of time:

A million seconds would be about eleven-and-one-half days; a billion seconds would be 31 years; and a trillion seconds would be 31,000 years!

From the novel "A Dark Tide," by Andrew Gross

Now think of it in terms of U.S. war dollars and bankster bailouts!


For Immediate Release
Antiwar movement supports Wikileaks and calls for and independent, international investigation of the crimes that have been exposed. We call for the release of Bradley Manning and the end to the harassment of Julian Assange.
For more information: Joe Lombardo, 518-281-1968,,

Antiwar movement supports Wikileaks and calls for and independent, international investigation of the crimes that have been exposed. We call for the release of Bradley Manning and the end to the harassment of Julian Assange.

The United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC) calls for the release of Bradley Manning who is awaiting trial accused of leaking the material to Wikileaks that has been released over the past several months. We also call for an end to the harassment of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks and we call for an independent, international investigation of the illegal activity exposed through the material released by Wikileaks.

Before sending the material to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning tried to get his superiors in the military to do something about what he understood to be clear violations of international law. His superiors told him to keep quiet so Manning did the right thing; he exposed the illegal activity to the world.

The Afghan material leaked earlier shows military higher-ups telling soldiers to kill enemy combatants who were trying to surrender. The Iraq Wikileaks video from 2007 shows the US military killing civilians and news reporters from a helicopter while laughing about it. The widespread corruption among U.S. allies has been exposed by the most recent leaks of diplomatic cables. Yet, instead of calling for change in these policies, we hear only a call to suppress further leaks.

At the national antiwar conference held in Albany in July, 2010, at which UNAC was founded, we heard from Ethan McCord, one of the soldiers on the ground during the helicopter attack on the civilians in Iraq exposed by Wikileaks (see: ). He talked about removing wounded children from a civilian vehicle that the US military had shot up. It affected him so powerfully that he and another soldier who witnessed the massacre wrote a letter of apology to the families of the civilians who were killed.

We ask why this material was classified in the first place. There were no state secrets in the material, only evidence of illegal and immoral activity by the US military, the US government and its allies. To try to cover this up by classifying the material is a violation of our right to know the truth about these wars. In this respect, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange should be held up as heroes, not hounded for exposing the truth.

UNAC calls for an end to the illegal and immoral policies exposed by Wikileaks and an immediate end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and an end to threats against Iran and North Korea.


Courage to Resist needs your support
By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist.

It's been quite a ride the last four months since we took up the defense of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning. Since then, we helped form the Bradley Manning Support Network, established a defense fund, and have already paid over half of Bradley's total $100,000 in estimated legal expenses.

Now, I'm asking for your support of Courage to Resist so that we can continue to support not only Bradley, but the scores of other troops who are coming into conflict with military authorities due to reasons of conscience.

Please donate today:

"Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning has been defending and supporting our Constitution."
-Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower

Iraq War over? Afghanistan occupation winding down? Not from what we see. Please take a look at, "Soldier Jeff Hanks refuses deployment, seeks PTSD help" in our December newsletter. Jeff's situation is not isolated. Actually, his story is only unique in that he has chosen to share it with us in the hopes that it may result in some change. Jeff's case also illustrates the importance of Iraq Veterans Against the War's new "Operation Recovery" campaign which calls for an end to the deployment of traumatized troops.

Most of the folks who call us for help continue to be effected by Stoploss, a program that involuntarily extends enlistments (despite Army promises of its demise), or the Individual Ready Reserve which recalls thousands of former Soldiers and Marines quarterly from civilian life.

Another example of our efforts is Kyle Wesolowski. After returning from Iraq, Kyle submitted an application for a conscientious objector discharge based on his Buddhist faith. Kyle explains, "My experience of physical threats, religious persecution, and general abuse seems to speak of a system that appears to be broken.... It appears that I have no other recourse but to now refuse all duties that prepare myself for war or aid in any way shape or form to other soldiers in conditioning them to go to war." We believe he shouldn't have to walk this path alone.

Jeff Paterson
Project Director, Courage to Resist
First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq
Please donate today.

P.S. I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Of course, now is also a perfect time to make a end of year tax-deductible donation. Thanks again for your support!

Please click here to forward this to a friend who might
also be interested in supporting GI resisters.


Add your name! We stand with Bradley Manning.

"We stand for truth, for government transparency, and for an end to our tax-dollars funding endless occupation abroad... We stand with accused whistle-blower US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning."

Dear All,

The Bradley Manning Support Network and Courage to Resist are launching a new campaign, and we wanted to give you a chance to be among the first to add your name to this international effort. If you sign the letter online, we'll print out and mail two letters to Army officials on your behalf. With your permission, we may also use your name on the online petition and in upcoming media ads.

Read the complete public letter and add your name at:

Courage to Resist (
on behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network (
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610


Committee to Stop FBI Repression
P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Dear Friend,

On Friday, September 24th, the FBI raided homes in Chicago and Minneapolis, and turned the Anti-War Committee office upside down. We were shocked. Our response was strong however and we jumped into action holding emergency protests. When the FBI seized activists' personal computers, cell phones, and papers claiming they were investigating "material support for terrorism", they had no idea there would be such an outpouring of support from the anti-war movement across this country! Over 61 cities protested, with crowds of 500 in Minneapolis and Chicago. Activists distributed 12,000 leaflets at the One Nation Rally in Washington D.C. Supporters made thousands of calls to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Solidarity statements from community organizations, unions, and other groups come in every day. By organizing against the attacks, the movement grows stronger.

At the same time, trusted lawyers stepped up to form a legal team and mount a defense. All fourteen activists signed letters refusing to testify. So Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Fox withdrew the subpoenas, but this is far from over. In fact, the repression is just starting. The FBI continues to question activists at their homes and work places. The U.S. government is trying to put people in jail for anti-war and international solidarity activism and there is no indication they are backing off. The U.S. Attorney has many options and a lot of power-he may re-issue subpoenas, attempt to force people to testify under threat of imprisonment, or make arrests.

To be successful in pushing back this attack, we need your donation. We need you to make substantial contributions like $1000, $500, and $200. We understand many of you are like us, and can only afford $50, $20, or $10, but we ask you to dig deep. The legal bills can easily run into the hundreds of thousands. We are all united to defend a movement for peace and justice that seeks friendship with people in other countries. These fourteen anti-war activists have done nothing wrong, yet their freedom is at stake.

It is essential that we defend our sisters and brothers who are facing FBI repression and the Grand Jury process. With each of your contributions, the movement grows stronger.

Please make a donation today at (PayPal) on the right side of your screen. Also you can write to:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

This is a critical time for us to stand together, defend free speech, and defend those who help to organize for peace and justice, both at home and abroad!

Thank you for your generosity! Tom Burke


Short Video About Al-Awda's Work
The following link is to a short video which provides an overview of Al-Awda's work since the founding of our organization in 2000. This video was first shown on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the fundraising banquet of the 7th Annual Int'l Al-Awda Convention in Anaheim California. It was produced from footage collected over the past nine years.
Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, depends on your financial support to carry out its work.

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!


Support the troops who refuse to fight!


D. ARTICLES IN FULL (Unless otherwise noted)


1) Japan Orders Nuclear Plant to Suspend Operations
May 6, 2011

2) The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
UNAC (United National Antiwar Committee) statement
UNAC at P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054

3) Health Crisis Rocks the Gulf in Aftermath of the Spill, But Feds and BP Turn a Blind Eye
By Brad Jacobson, AlterNet
Posted on May 2, 2011, Printed on May 7, 2011

4) The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
May 6 -8, 2011

5) Drone Strike in Yemen Was Aimed at Awlaki
May 6, 2011

6) Face That Screamed War's Pain Looks Back, 6 Hard Years Later
"The military also set strict rules for embedded journalists that kept many graphic images from the public eye; the military asked Mr. Hondros to leave his embed assignment after he shot the pictures of Samar."
May 7, 2011

[This photograph so moved me that it was an inspiration to an intaglio print that I made. I used the photograph as a sculptural border to my print titled, "We must save our beautiful children." The print was displayed at a California Society of Printmakers (CSP) show in Sausalito, CA in 2009. I have been a member of the CSP for many years. --Bonnie Weinstein]

7) Presidential Spotlight Shines on the Commandos Who Work in the Shadows
May 6, 2011

8) Drone Strike Said to Kill at Least 8 in Pakistan
May 6, 2011

9) Payrolls Show Strong Growth but Jobless Rate Rises
May 6, 2011

10) Looming Layoffs at Schools Imperil Bloomberg's Legacy
May 6, 2011

11) U.S. Warns Schools Against Checking Immigration Status
May 6, 2011

12) Price of Crude Oil Falls Again, but Analysts Warn It Will Remain at Lofty Levels
May 6, 2011


1) Japan Orders Nuclear Plant to Suspend Operations
May 6, 2011

TOKYO - The Japanese prime minister said Friday that he had ordered a nuclear plant in central Japan closed until it could build stronger defenses against earthquake and tsunami risks in the region.

Nuclear safety advocates have long warned that the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant, about 120 miles southwest of Tokyo, lies on a part of the Japanese coast especially prone to seismic activity. The government's own experts estimate that there is a close to 90 percent chance of an earthquake of about magnitude 8.0 hitting the area within the next 30 years.

In 2009, Hamaoka's operator, Chubu Electric Power, decommissioned the plant's two oldest reactors after deciding that upgrading them to withstand the earthquake risks would be too costly. Those reactors were built in the 1970s, around the same time as those at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was ravaged in the March 11 quake and tsunami.

The operator argued that the remaining three reactors, built in the 1980s, were safe enough to withstand a major earthquake. But the crisis at Fukushima has heightened concerns over the risks posed by quakes and tsunamis to the scores of reactors in operation in Japan.

"I have asked Chubu Electric to halt all its reactors at Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at a press conference late Friday. "This is the result of considering the tremendous repercussions a major accident at Hamaoka would have on the entire Japanese society," he said.

Mr. Kan suggested that Chubu Electric would be asked to strengthen its defenses, for example by bolstering its sea walls, before a restart could be authorized.

"More than anything, I have the safety and security of the Japanese people in mind," he said.

Environmental groups quickly lauded Mr. Kan's decision, and urged the Japanese government to consider halting all 55 reactors in the earthquake-prone nation.

"Greenpeace welcomes Prime Minister Kan's request to close Hamaoka, one of the most dangerous nuclear reactors in Japan," said Junichi Sato, executive director in Japan for the environmental organization.

"The government must continue to close and decommission existing plants, cancel all new reactors," he said. "Only then can the Japanese people feel their government is truly putting their safety first."

At Fukushima Daiichi, workers have been struggling to bring the plant's most-damaged reactors under control after the tsunami knocked out all power to the facility. Three of the reactors overheated and suffered hydrogen explosions. The plant is operated by Tokyo Electric Power, known here as Tepco.

On Thursday, Tepco workers entered one of the reactors for the first time since the explosions to install a ventilator to help lower radiation levels in the reactor building.

Another nuclear facility operated by Tepco, the Kashiwazaki-Kariya Nuclear Power Plant on the Sea of Japan coast, was damaged in a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in 2007. Fire broke out at one of the reactors, though it was quickly put out, and Tepco officials said there had not been a widespread release of radiation.

The plant was shut down for almost two years for repairs and inspections. Since then, four of its seven reactors have been restarted.


2) The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
UNAC (United National Antiwar Committee) statement
UNAC at P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054

(Please forward widely)

The U.S. government has used the pretext of finding Osama bin Laden to justify their invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Now that bin Laden is dead, they can no longer claim this motive. Our demand remains the same: Bring the troops home NOW!

The Obama Administration does not intend to end military operations. The war apparatus of weaponry, drones, bases, mercenaries, and reliance on highly secret special forces like JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) to do its dirty work with no oversight by Congress or the public has increased along with an escalating war budget. Violence and war are the conflict resolution methods preferred by the U.S. leadership.

In pursuit of oil and domination, the U.S. so-called "War on Terror" has caused the deaths of tens of thousands Afghans, well over a million Iraqis, as well as the loss of 6,000 U.S. soldiers. To pay for this bloodshed and destruction, the U.S. has spent trillions of dollars to expand the war machine and benefit the rich that could have gone for jobs, education, health care and green energy alternatives. As poll after poll has demonstrated, the U.S. population has turned against these wars and wants the troops brought home.

President Obama is using the assassination of bin Laden to re-legitimize U.S. militarism and to build up popular support for U.S. military actions abroad and his own re-election at home. The country is put on high alert to create an atmosphere of heightened fear and anger, a tactic frequently used when Americans turn against government policies. Soon after President Obama announced the killing of bin Laden, hyper-patriotic flag waving demonstrations broke out on campuses, in front of the White House and even at baseball games.

The jingoistic atmosphere engendered by Obama's extra-judicial assassination of bin Laden has put Muslim Americans in jeopardy. It has increased Islamophobia across America. After the announcement of bin Laden's murder, racists defiled a mosque in Portland, Maine with the slogan "Osama today, Islam tomorrow." In Oregon, a Muslim center had to cancel an event after receiving threats. Mosques across the country, fearful of attacks, have increased security. This is the ugly impact at home of the so-called "War on Terror" abroad. UNAC urges the entire antiwar movement to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters against these racist attacks.

The administration will no doubt use the 'successful' mission to justify further secrecy, denying any kind of democratic oversight over U.S. foreign policy. It sets a precedent for saying the U.S. has the right to attack anyone that the administration designates an enemy at any place, any time and legitimizes secret renditions, torture and indefinite incarceration without trial. These increased Executive powers are included in current legislation and reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act and must be opposed.

Our democracy, civil rights, and civil liberties are threatened. They will argue that the need for secrecy makes it even more important to prosecute Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and WikiLeaks for publicizing documents that expose the lies and criminal behavior of the government. On top of that, it will be used to further authorize FBI harassment and grand jury probes against antiwar and Palestine solidarity activists. All of these victims of the U.S. government are put in further jeopardy by the atmosphere created by the assassination of bin Laden. Eventually those fighting the massive cutbacks and attacks on unions will become the victims of this restriction of our civil liberties.

The extra-judicial assassination of bin Laden, like the NATO bombing of Libya, is clearly designed to remind the masses of workers and students rising up in the Middle East against U.S.-backed dictators that Washington is still boss. It is also an attempt to roll back the growing opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan by war-weary working people in the U.S. There is no possibility that this assassination will bring security, democracy, or peace in the Middle East or America.

We will not be intimidated. In spite of U.S. grandstanding and the wars without end, millions of people around the world are throwing off the yoke of years of repression and claiming their right to determine their own destiny. The Arab Spring shows that people will not allow fear and militarization to suppress the yearning for freedom. People across the U.S. are not fooled by government lies and have turned against the wars and occupations. The unions and their supporters in the thousands in Wisconsin stood up against the corporate-controlled state government to fight back against the attack on collective bargaining and the cut backs of social services. Their actions inspired many and others will follow.

This is the time to forge unity and to step up our opposition to U.S. wars and occupations. We must stand with those who are victimized and those who struggle for freedom and a better life. We need to build a movement independent of all political parties that mobilizes powerful mass actions to challenge reactionary government policies. We need to march and continue to march until we meet our goals of peace and justice.

Bring the Troops, War Contractors, Mercenaries and War Dollars Home NOW!
U.S. Out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya NOW!
NO to Islamophobia!
Hands Off the Arab Spring!


3) Health Crisis Rocks the Gulf in Aftermath of the Spill, But Feds and BP Turn a Blind Eye
By Brad Jacobson, AlterNet
Posted on May 2, 2011, Printed on May 7, 2011

Contrary to many national stories covering the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a health crisis in the region has developed among exposed workers and residents. And it's not so "mysterious."

In recent meetings with public health, medical and chemical experts in Louisiana -- the Gulf state hardest hit by the worst offshore oil spill in history -- AlterNet found a striking symmetry between debilitating chronic symptoms being reported among those sickened and the known effects of chemicals in the toxic brew of oil, dispersant and burned crude to which they were exposed.

One year later, persistent coughing, wheezing, headaches, fatigue, loss of balance, dry itchy eyes, runny nose, nosebleeds, rectal bleeding, skin lesions, gastrointestinal pain, cardiac arrhythmia and memory loss are common complaints -- all consistent with exposure to chemicals released in the water and air since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast.

In addition to these physical heath issues, mental health experts are finding an increase in associated psychological distress, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, which are fueled by converging concerns over health, loss of livelihood and general insecurity about the future.

While long-term studies are underway, such as the National Institute of Health's projected 10-year monitoring of 55,000 cleanup workers, experts stressed both the need for those affected to be assessed for chemical exposure immediately and lamented the lack of access to medical doctors trained to diagnose and treat such exposure.

Nearly every source AlterNet interviewed in Louisiana called the health situation "a mess" and said it is not being adequately addressed.

Current Manifestations of Physical and Psychological Impacts

Dr. Mike Robichaux, a highly regarded ear, nose and throat doctor in Raceland, Louisiana, is seeing many of the most commonly reported physical symptoms, and some more unique, in scores of patients he's treated pro bono at night, working nearly round the clock after regular office hours.

On average, Robichaux, who's also a former state senator, said he sees four or five new patients a week with health complaints that manifested after the oil spill.

Recently, he's found a spike in "absolutely fantastic" amounts of memory loss. He said it took him awhile to figure it out because many of his patients we're forgetting to mention the problem until their wives asked Robichaux if they'd discussed it.

University of Maryland School of Medicine neurologist Lynn Grattan, who was in Raceland to begin a study on Robichaux's patients, said of their memory loss, "It's nothing we've ever seen before."

Additionally, Robichaux is detecting a pattern of extremes in blood sugar levels that he hasn't observed in his thirty-seven years of practicing medicine.

"People are coming in with dizziness and they're having these bizarre symptoms of heart rates racing up and down," he said. "Their blood sugars are shooting way up and then screeching down in a much more exaggerated fashion than anything I've ever seen."

He believes "there's no question" these symptoms and others he's treating are attributable to the oil and dispersant because "it's such an exaggerated thing" and virtually all of his patients say they had none of these health problems before the spill.

James Diaz, director of environmental and occupational health sciences at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, said he's "not surprised at all" by many of the current chronic symptoms being reported -- respiratory, dermatologic, ocular and neurological -- because they are consistent with exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds, chemicals in crude oil and dispersants.

Diaz, who worked for 16 years as an occupational medical doctor on an emergency flight team that treated injured offshore oil workers and is an expert on chronic and carcinogenic effects of chemical exposure, believes the "most serious" early phase chronic illnesses will be neurological.

"These agents are water soluble, attack the irritative membranes," he explained, "Then when they get into the body, they're lipophilac, which means they love to concentrate in tissues that have a lot of fat -- the brain, the covering of nerves."

Diaz said that, as opposed to respiratory, skin and ocular disorders, there are few options for treating neurological disorders, which include reported symptoms such as balance issues and memory loss.

"Once we get into central nervous system disorders, there's not a lot we can do," he said grimly.

Since late last year, Wilma Subra, a chemist and microbiologist in New Iberia, Louisiana, has analyzed approximately 150 blood samples of sickened workers and residents across the Gulf Coast -- from New Iberia to the Florida Panhandle -- and has found alarming elevated levels of toxic chemicals consistent with those in BP crude, including benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene.

Subra, a McArthur Genius Award-winning environmental scientist and former consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency, analyzed these samples serving as technical advisor to the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN).

She and Marylee Orr, executive director of LEAN, continue to receive calls daily from cleanup workers, divers and coastal residents whose list of ailments continues to grow but mirror most of the respiratory, dermatological, ocular and neurological disorders repeatedly reported to AlterNet in its meetings with sources in Louisiana.

"Marylee and I have been the voice of the fishers [who volunteered in the cleanup] from the very beginning, when they weren't protected, they weren't trained," said Subra. "Now we're the voice of the sick people."

A recently published health survey of 954 Louisiana residents living in seven oil-impacted coastal communities found that nearly three-quarters of those who believed they were exposed to crude oil or dispersant reported feeling symptoms. Nearly half of all respondents reported an "unusual increase in health symptoms" consistent with exposure, including coughing, skin and eye irritation, and headaches.

Tulane University's Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy and the environmental justice group Louisiana Bucket Brigade, both based in New Orleans, jointly conducted the on-the-ground survey.

Sophia Curdumi, the program manager of Tulane's Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy and a public health researcher at the university who took part in the survey, said that the symptoms the residents described to her and her colleagues were remarkably consistent with what she's hearing elsewhere.

"Skin rashes, a lot of upper respiratory issues, increased mucous, coughing, perpetual runny nose," Curdumi said. "I've had folks say that they've had to start using inhalers were they didn't have to before. And eye problems -- itchy, runny eyes. Headaches. And fatigue."

She continued, "Fatigue is the one thing that keeps coming up. People are just saying, 'I'm so tired, my husband's so tired, everyone's so exhausted all the time.'"

Curdumi then noted that such fatigue might be attributable to a combination of chemicals in the environment and also the increased stress because their livelihoods are in jeopardy.

Howard Osofsky, head of the psychiatry department at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, supported Curdumi's insight.

Regarding attendant psychological manifestations from the disaster, Osofsky said that it's difficult to pinpoint how much is related to stress and how much is related to environment.

"But certainly there are symptoms which can be related to stress," he said. "We're seeing high percentages of people reporting fatigue, difficulty sleeping, headaches, stomach aches, back aches, pains in their legs."

Osofsky, who is a co-author of the April New England Journal of Medicine report on the effects of the Gulf oil spill, also pointed out that he's finding expected "elevated quantities" of post-traumatic stress, generalized anxiety disorders, symptoms of depression, increase in use of alcohol and family difficulties, such as a spike in domestic violence.

"These symptoms seem to be greater the more the family was disrupted by the oil spill," he said, adding, "We see irritability, we see anger, we see the tremendous uncertainty of what's going to happen with their lives."

Elmore Rigamer, a psychiatrist who is director for Catholic Charities in New Orleans, which is performing ongoing mental health outreach to the most oil-affected coastal communities in Louisiana, is witnessing this firsthand.

He said anxiety over livelihood is a primary concern of these residents, who have one main skill: fishing. The astonishing number of them who've yet to return to the only work they've ever known supports his assessment.

As of March 31, out of 466 heads of household interviewed by Catholic Charities during outreach in the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemine, Jefferson and Lafayette, nearly 80 percent said they have not been able to return to fishing.

"When your income is gone and you don't have a lot of reserves or flexibility in working in other places, a lot of anxiety and depression come with that," Rigamer said.

"If that continues," he noted, "then naturally that spills over into the family -- problems with substance abuse, alcohol primarily, and family fractiousness and quarrels and it ripples through to the children."

Rigamer said he's also witnessed the convergence of psychological and physical impacts in these communities, in which many have reported upper respiratory problems they say they've never had prior to the spill or preexisting conditions, such as asthma, which have grown much worse since.

Too Few Doctors Trained to Diagnose and Treat Exposure

A dearth of doctors with the proper medical background to diagnose and treat patients for chemical exposure, experts roundly cited, is another critical factor in the Gulf health crisis.

Private physicians like Dr. Robichaux in Raceland and those in Gulf area clinics and hospitals might be treating people who complain of symptoms they attribute to chemicals from the oil spill. But most of these doctors are only treating the symptoms, primarily with antibiotics and corticosteroids, which, if they have any effect, often merely alleviate symptoms temporarily without addressing the underlying cause of illness.

"Things that are carrying me are just corticosteroids," said Robichaux. "I mean that's about all I can give to these guys with their respiratory problems. I'll give them a shot of cortisone and put them on antibiotics."

If he administers cortisones by mouth it could cause G.I. tract problems, which some of them have as well, so he's forced to give them injections instead.

Robichaux said he regularly observes patients "getting better and worse, better and worse, better and worse" and openly acknowledges the limitations of what he can provide.

Studies of the long-term effects on people exposed to oil and dispersants from the Gulf oil spill, which have only just begun recently, are cold comfort to Robichaux, his patients and others suffering or seeking relief for those who are.

"We're worried about treating people that are sick today," he said.

To date, however, no major funding -- whether from BP or the federal government -- has addressed the needs of those sickened by the oil spill in the immediate term.

James Diaz of LSU, who recently published a report in the peer-reviewed Journal of Disaster Medicine that predicts potential chronic health effects from the Gulf oil spill, stressed that everyone exposed, heavily or lightly, should be screened by physicians trained to treat chemical exposure.

He said this is necessary not only for their immediate health but also to prevent potential catastrophic illnesses in the future.

Diaz pointed out that studies of two prior oil spills, the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska and the 2002 Prestige oil spill off the coast of Spain, provide peer-reviewed, evidence-based results on some of the long-term health effects of exposure to these chemicals. He cited these studies in his Journal of Disaster Medicine report.

One study, for example, found that 14 years after the Exxon-Valdez spill, workers with high exposure to weathered crude oil and dispersants had a significant increase in respiratory disease, neurological disorders and multiple chemical sensitivities.

A study of fishermen exposed to crude oil and dispersants during the Prestige oil spill found significantly increased levels of persistent lower respiratory tract problems, biomarkers of chronic airway injury and DNA damage two years after the spill.

"We ought to be looking at molecular biomarkers that could alert us to the potential for chronic disease, whether it's an inflammatory disease or a malignant disease," said Diaz, who also lamented the scarcity of physicians trained to treat chemical exposure.

"In other words," he emphasized, "we ought to be practicing secondary see if there is an indicator, a warning sign, for the develop of the disease process."

The primary long-term danger of exposure to chemicals in the crude oil and dispersants, he explained, is DNA damage, which could result in chronic inflammation and multiple forms of cancer over time, including cancer of the lungs, liver, kidney, blood and colon.

Citing chemist Wilma Subra's analysis of blood samples for chemical markers related to the oil spill, Diaz said that such analyses are only helpful in aggregate with assessing immunological, molecular biomarkers, which provide the only definitive window into what is actually occurring inside the body.

He added, "What we really want to do is diagnose disease early when we can do something about it."

These tests are also crucial, he noted, to identify which people are more genetically predisposed to illness from these chemicals.

This should especially concern public health authorities in Louisiana, Diaz said, because his research has found that many regional southeastern coastal residents in the state -- those in areas who also tended to be more heavily exposed to the oil and dispersants -- do exhibit increased genetic predispositions that make them more vulnerable than the general population.

Such people have less of an ability to metabolize polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in petrochemicals and glycols in dispersants, he explained, which puts them at much greater risk for various kinds of cancer; lung, liver and kidney diseases; mental health disorders and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Insufficient Funding, Budget Cuts and Lack of Political Will Cited

Subra acknowledged the limitations of her blood sample analyses and would applaud an army of occupational doctors diagnosing and treating people across the Gulf for chemical exposure.

Unfortunately, she said, "That's not happening," and blames both a lack of money and political resolve.

In fact, Subra said, it has worked like that in some cases, such as with a Superfund site or a waste site, where she's been able to compel federal agencies to send medical specialists trained to treat issues associated with specific chemicals.

"They come down, they train the doctors, they do grand rounds and they're there for consulting," she explained, adding, "In this case, none of that is happening."

Edward Trapido, associate dean for research and professor of epidemiology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, said that people who feel they've been exposed to something "not of their own doing" might have reason to believe they would be able to receive either low-cost or no-cost treatment.

"It ought to be a priority," he said, "but at this point it hasn't been set up and I don't really expect that it will."

He cited state and federal budget cuts as at least one reason.

Trapido is currently leading an LSU study on the physical and mental health of 2,000 wives and female partners of the most heavily oil-and-dispersant exposed male cleanup workers, which has received initial funding by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

But even long-term studies such as this and the NIH oft-referenced "10-year" study of cleanup workers have no guarantee they'll be sufficiently funded and carried to completion.

In fact, Trapido revealed to AlterNet that at a recent meeting at the Institute of Medicine, he addressed the issue directly with Francis Collins, the head of the NIH, whom Trapido said had justified the projected 10-year study "on the basis that we don't have any long-term results."

Yet Trapido, who has worked at the NIH and knows intimately its vulnerability to transient -- and potentially partisan -- political appointees, as well as budgetary limitations, said that when he asked Collins if he could guarantee the NIH study will last more than five years, he replied, "No."

Diaz also disclosed to AlterNet that the NIH-funded LSU study that Trapido is leading up has thus far only received enough money to collect specimens.

"They're paying for us to collect samples from people exposed, but they're not paying for the laboratory tests," he explained. "So we're just stockpiling the blood in a repository."

Supplemental funding is needed, he said, in order to actually test any of these samples.

Many public health experts, including Trapido, also expressed frustration over the fact that the NIH has only recently begun its study, forever losing the ability to collect crucial biomarker data in the interim. On a more optimistic note, Trapido said, "I think that one of the goals of the community is to get BP to fund a clinic in the area that will treat health problems."

But he added, "Unless BP decides to fund it, there's no money."

Elmore Rigamer of Catholic Charities echoed this hope, expressing frustration with the poor physical health of the people in the coastal communities he's treating that existed even before the oil spill happened.

"I feel at a loss because the people in these communities don't have access to total healthcare," said Rigamer, which complicates his task of adequately addressing their mental health issues.

"We would still have all these horses of the apocalypse we're talking about," he continued, "but it's unthinkable to me that we have people down there who have diabetes and -- even before BP, even before they lost all their ways -- they couldn't go to a doctor because they didn't have the $70 bucks for a visit."

He continued, "So one of the legacies we would like to have is opening a clinic down there, a federally qualified health center."

But Diaz doesn't expect this anytime soon.

He cited budget cuts, too, but also that it's not in the interest of BP to provide money that would help properly diagnose and treat illnesses that may have been caused by its oil spill.

"BP doesn't want to address the healthcare impact because they're trying to limit their liability," he said. "They are trying to reach an immediate economic settlement."

Christi Julian, program manager of the Catholic Charities outreach program, said that the state received $15 million in funding from BP and provided $6.7 of that to Catholic Charities.

But the state designated this BP money to Catholic Charities on the condition that all of it is used solely to treat mental health impacts related to the Gulf oil spill, not physical ones, Julian revealed to AlterNet.

In the meantime, volunteers and outreach employees in the affected coastal communities will continue to do the heavy lifting for those sickened by the spill, with whatever they can provide.

"When somebody comes to a doctor, you are going to treat symptomatically," Rigamer said, in context to the lack of occupational medical doctors. "You're not going to let them walk out without giving them anything, knowing that you're not hitting the root cause."

Dr. Robichaux in Raceland, who is also known in these parts for his doggedness when he served as state senator, looked exhausted before his nighttime interview with AlterNet even began.

By the end, his eyes red with fatigue and large frame slightly hunched, he appeared to be struggling from crumpling over his bureau.

Beleaguered but unbowed, though, he said, "You just do the best you can do, that's all you can do."

Brad Jacobson is a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist and contributing reporter for AlterNet. You can follow him on Twitter @bradpjacobson.


4) The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
May 6 -8, 2011

Those persons who deal with these issues know that on September 11 of 2001 our people expressed its solidarity to the US people and offered the modest cooperation that in the area of health we could have offered to the victims of the brutal attack against the Twin Towers in New York.

We also immediately opened our country's airports to the American airplanes that were unable to land anywhere, given the chaos that came about soon after the strike.

The traditional stand adopted by the Cuban Revolution, which was always opposed to any action that could jeopardize the life of civilians, is well known.

Although we resolutely supported the armed struggle against Batista's tyranny, we were, on principle, opposed to any terrorist action that could cause the death of innocent people. Such behavior, which has been maintained for more than half a century, gives us the right to express our views about such a sensitive matter.

On that day, at a public gathering that took place at Ciudad Deportiva, I expressed my conviction that international terrorism could never be eradicated through violence and war.

By the way, Bin Laden was, for many years, a friend of the US, a country that gave him military training; he was also an adversary of the USSR and Socialism. But, whatever the actions attributed to him, the assassination of an unarmed human being while surrounded by his own relatives is something abhorrent. Apparently this is what the government of the most powerful nation that has ever existed did.

In the carefully drafted speech announcing Bin Laden's death Obama asserts as follows:

"...And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts."

That paragraph expressed a dramatic truth, but can not prevent honest persons from remembering the unjust wars unleashed by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan, the hundreds of thousands of children who were forced to grow up without their mothers and fathers and the parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace.

Millions of citizens were taken from their villages in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba and many other countries of the world.

Still engraved in the minds of hundreds of millions of persons are also the horrible images of human beings who, in Guantánamo, a Cuban occupied territory, walk down in silence, being submitted for months, and even for years, to unbearable and excruciating tortures. Those are persons who were kidnapped and transferred to secret prisons with the hypocritical connivance of supposedly civilized societies.

Obama has no way to conceal that Osama was executed in front of his children and wives, who are now under the custody of the authorities of Pakistan, a Muslim country of almost 200 million inhabitants, whose laws have been violated, its national dignity offended and its religious traditions desecrated.

How could he now prevent the women and children of the person who was executed out of the law and without any trial from explaining what happened? How could he prevent those images from being broadcast to the world?

Having assassinated him and plunging his corpse into the bottom of the sea are an expression of fear and insecurity which turn him into a far more dangerous person.

The US public opinion itself, after the initial euphoria, will end up by criticizing the methods that, far from protecting its citizen, will multiply the feelings of hatred and revenge against them.


5) Drone Strike in Yemen Was Aimed at Awlaki
May 6, 2011

WASHINGTON - A missile strike from an American military drone in a remote region of Yemen on Thursday was aimed at killing Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric believed to be hiding in the country, American officials said Friday.

The attack does not appear to have killed Mr. Awlaki, the officials said, but may have killed operatives of Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen.

It was the first American strike in Yemen using a remotely piloted drone since 2002, when the C.I.A. struck a car carrying a group of suspected militants, including an American citizen, who were believed to have Qaeda ties. And the attack came just three days after American commandos invaded a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed Osama bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda.

The attack on Thursday was part of a clandestine Pentagon program to hunt members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group believed responsible for a number of failed attempts to strike the United States, including the thwarted plot to blow up a trans-Atlantic jet on Dec. 25, 2009, as it was preparing to land in Detroit.

Although Mr. Awlaki is not thought to be one of the group's senior leaders, he has been made a target by American military and intelligence operatives because he has recruited English-speaking Islamist militants to Yemen to carry out attacks overseas. His radical sermons, broadcast on the Internet, have a large global following.

The Obama administration has taken the rare step of approving Mr. Awlaki's killing, even though he is an American citizen.

Troops from the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command are in charge of the mission in Yemen, with the help of the C.I.A. Over the past two years, the military has carried out strikes in Yemen using cruise missiles from Navy ships and munitions from Marine Harrier jets.

Thursday's strike was the first known attack in the country by the American military for nearly a year. Last May, American missiles mistakenly killed a provincial government leader, and the Pentagon strikes were put on hold.

More recently, officials have worried that American military strikes in Yemen might further stoke widespread unrest that has imperiled the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.


6) Face That Screamed War's Pain Looks Back, 6 Hard Years Later
"The military also set strict rules for embedded journalists that kept many graphic images from the public eye; the military asked Mr. Hondros to leave his embed assignment after he shot the pictures of Samar."
May 7, 2011

[This photograph so moved me that it was an inspiration to an intaglio print that I made. I used the photograph as a sculptural border to my print titled, "We must save our beautiful children." The print was displayed at a California Society of Printmakers (CSP) show in Sausalito, CA in 2009. I have been a member of the CSP for many years. --Bonnie Weinstein]

MOSUL, Iraq - Until the past week, Samar Hassan had never glimpsed the photograph of her that millions had seen, never knew it had become one of the most famous images of the Iraq war.

"My brother was sick, and we were taking him to the hospital and on the way back, this happened," Samar said. "We just heard bullets.

"My mother and father were killed, just like that."

The image of Samar, then 5 years old, screaming and splattered in blood after American soldiers opened fire on her family's car in the northern town of Tal Afar in January 2005, illuminated the horror of civilian casualties and has been one of the few images from this conflict to rise to the pantheon of classic war photography. The picture has gained renewed attention as part of a large body of work by Chris Hondros, the Getty Images photographer recently killed on the front lines in Misurata, Libya.

The photograph of Samar is frozen in history, but her life moved on, across a trajectory that is emblematic of what so many Iraqis have endured. In a country whose health care system has almost no ability to treat the psychological aspects of trauma, thousands of Iraqis are left alone with their torment.

Now a striking 12-year-old, Samar lives on the outskirts of Mosul in a two-story house with four other families, mostly relatives.

The household is a cramped bustle of activity as women cook and clean and children scramble about. Samar's older sister, Intisar, and her husband, an unemployed former police officer, care for her. Two of his sons are policemen, and their salaries support the extended family.

The pains of war have been visited on thousands of Iraqis, but even here Samar's story stands apart. Three years after her parents were killed, her brother Rakan died when an insurgent attack badly damaged the house where she lives now. Rakan had been seriously wounded in the shooting that killed their parents, and he was sent to Boston for treatment after Mr. Hondros's photos were published. An American aid worker, Marla Ruzicka, who helped arrange for Rakan's treatment, was herself later killed in a car bomb in Baghdad.

Intisar's husband, Nathir Bashir Ali, suspects his house was bombed by insurgents as retribution for sending Rakan to the United States. "When Rakan came back from America, everyone thought I was a spy," he said.

Samar left school last year because she was too shy and not doing well, Mr. Ali said, although Samar said she would like to return and hoped to be a doctor when she grew up. She leaves the house only on infrequent family excursions and has two friends who visit to play with dolls and chat. She spends her days cleaning, listening to music on her purple MP3 player and watching episodes of her favorite television show, the Turkish soap opera "Forbidden Love," about lovers named Mohanad and Samar.

"I am Samar," she said, wearing a long red dress and sitting on the couch next to Mr. Ali. Two of her siblings, also in the car when their parents were killed, sat nearby.

"I've taken them many times to the hospital, where they get pills" for emotional problems, Mr. Ali said. "All of them take pills."

He says Samar's 8-year-old brother, Muhammad, talks to himself when he is alone. "When we go out and see a family, they get sad," he said. Sometimes he finds the children in a room together, crying. "When they remember the accident, it's like they just died."

The photo of Samar had far-reaching impact, for it was visual testimony to a particular scourge of this war: the shooting of innocent civilians as they approached American checkpoints or foot patrols, killings made possible by liberal rules of engagement aiming to protect soldiers from suicide car bombers. The image was a point of discussion at the highest reaches of the Pentagon as it considered ways to reduce civilian casualties.

The Iraq war delivered few singular images for the popular imagination, partly because the country was too dangerous for photographers to move around freely, but also because in an age of saturated media coverage and short attention spans, it may be more difficult for news images to take root in the collective memory.

The military also set strict rules for embedded journalists that kept many graphic images from the public eye; the military asked Mr. Hondros to leave his embed assignment after he shot the pictures of Samar.

Liam Kennedy, a professor at University College Dublin, researches conflict photography and uses Mr. Hondros's image of Samar in his class as one of the few photos from the Iraq war that could stand out in history, comparing it to the famous Vietnam image by the Associated Press photographer Nick Ut of a young girl running from a napalm attack.

"It really seems to say something of what's going on at the time," Professor Kennedy said. "All the arbitrariness of the violence that was going on at that time is summed up by that girl."

Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division for Human Rights Watch, keeps a copy of the photo on a bulletin board in her office in New York. She remembers crying when she first saw the photo in a newspaper, and having to explain the image to her children.

"At the time, I thought it captured perfectly the horrors of the war that was not really understood by Americans," she said. "Everything in that girl's face symbolized what I felt all Iraqis must feel."

She added, "I kept thinking, 'I wonder what life will be like for this girl?' "

Mr. Hondros spoke about the photograph in a 2007 interview with the syndicated news program "Democracy Now."

"I think one of the reasons the photo had this sort of resonance that it does is because it has a sort of empty feeling," he said. "You know, the poor girl, all alone in the world now, just standing there in the dark."

This week Samar, hugging a pillow to her chest, recalled: "He was taking pictures of me, I remember. Then he stopped, and they brought me a jacket and put me in the truck and treated the wound on my hand. And they gave me some toys."

She had never seen the picture until this week, but she said she understood that it showed the world "the sad thing that is happening in Iraq."

Near the end of the interview, she pointed to a family photograph on the wall. "I always dream about my father and mother and brother," she said.

Duraid Adnan contributed reporting.


7) Presidential Spotlight Shines on the Commandos Who Work in the Shadows
May 6, 2011

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - They are the shadowy warriors of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden: two dozen members of the Navy Seals who stormed the fortified compound in Pakistan where Bin Laden was hiding. Their identities will probably never be known; their faces will most likely never appear in photographs at the White House, on magazine covers or on television talk shows.

But on Friday, President Obama flew to this Army air base to thank them, behind closed doors, for what he called a "job well done," describing it as one of the greatest military and intelligence operations in American history.

"This has been an historic week for the life of our nation," Mr. Obama said later to a raucous rally of 2,300 soldiers, many of them just returned from Afghanistan. "The terrorist leader who struck our nation on 9/11 will never threaten America again."

During the meeting with the Seal team - which Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. also attended - Mr. Obama awarded it and other units involved in the operation with a Presidential Unit Citation, the White House said. The president also received a PowerPoint presentation on the raid, with maps, photos and a scale model of the compound, from members of the assault force. Even the trained dog used in the raid attended.

The White House released few other details of the meeting, and did not mention the highly classified members of the unit by name. But Mr. Biden mentioned them several times in his speech, telling the soldiers that earlier in the day, his granddaughter exclaimed, "My Pop is going out to see the whales!"

The public rally and the private meeting amounted to a choreographed victory lap for Mr. Obama near the end of a momentous week that began with his announcement on Sunday that commandos had killed Bin Laden.

On Thursday, Mr. Obama visited ground zero in New York and met with relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, drawing a personal link between the killing of Bin Laden and the deaths his disciples inflicted on nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center.

Speaking under a giant American flag to the troops of the 101st Airborne Division, Mr. Obama drew another connection, between the soldiers there and the commandos he called "America's quiet professionals."

"Like all of us, they could have chosen a life of ease," the president said. "But like you, they volunteered."

Describing the Seal commandos as "battle hardened" and tirelessly trained, Mr. Obama said: "When I gave the order, they were ready. And in recent days, the world has learned just how ready they were."

While the Seal team is not based here, Fort Campbell is home of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, known as the Night Stalkers. The unit, which pilots aircraft for Special Operations troops, flew the helicopters that carried the commandos to Bin Laden's compound.

Mr. Obama also linked the killing of Bin Laden to the broader war, saying it showed the progress that the United States had made in disrupting and dismantling Al Qaeda. The soldiers of the 101st Airborne, he said, were pushing back insurgents and allowing Afghans to reclaim their towns.

"The bottom line is this," he said in a statement that drew the loudest cheers of the day, "our strategy is working, and there is no greater evidence of that than justice finally being delivered to Osama bin Laden."

Among the soldiers, there was satisfaction, if not jubilation, at the killing of Bin Laden. Several said they were relieved, though most said they did not believe it would bring the Afghan war to an end any sooner.

"It helps to know that we finally got him," said Sgt. Marion Githens, who coordinated Army helicopters at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan before returning to the United States two days ago. But she said she was still ambivalent about the war. "Some days, you feel like it's not going anywhere," she said. "Other days, you think, O.K., maybe we really can help these people."

Still, other soldiers expressed gratitude that Mr. Obama had come. "It's tough coming home," said Capt. Jimos Reese, a company commander. "It does mean a lot that the president cares about you."

It was Mr. Obama's first visit to Fort Campbell, which is accustomed to visits by the commander in chief: six have come since the Vietnam War, with former President George W. Bush making three visits, including one just after Mr. Obama was elected in 2008.

The Pentagon recommended that Mr. Obama come to Fort Campbell, a senior official said, because the soldiers of the 101st Airborne had taken significant casualties, having served in a Taliban stronghold south and west of Kandahar that is some of the most lethal terrain in Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama acknowledged that service, noting that 125 soldiers from the base had died in Afghanistan. Some of the troops in the 101st Airborne, he said, had been deployed to Afghanistan three or four times.

Among those who greeted Mr. Obama at Fort Campbell was Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, a former commando in the Seals who oversaw the raid as the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command. After Mr. Obama's arrival, the president's motorcade left immediately for low buildings on the far side of the airfield, where the meeting with the Seal team and other units lasted more than an hour.

For all the celebration, there was still a somber tinge to Mr. Obama's words, as he told the troops about a letter he had received from Payton Wall, a 14-year-old girl from New Jersey who wrote to him after hearing that Bin Laden was dead, about the devastating loss of her father in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

She stood near Mr. Obama on Thursday, with her mother and sister, as he laid a wreath at the 9/11 memorial plaza.

"Every year, more and more, Payton is shining through," he said, describing how she plays lacrosse and mentors students. "For her and for all of us, this week has been a reminder of what we're about as a people."


8) Drone Strike Said to Kill at Least 8 in Pakistan
May 6, 2011

Missiles believed to have been fired by an American drone killed at least eight suspected militants and wounded four in Pakistan's tribal regions on Friday, according to a Pakistani security official and a resident in the area of the strike. Later, seven more bodies were recovered, bringing the death toll to 15, the resident said.

The attack was the first by a drone since the killing of Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, in an American helicopter-borne raid early Monday in Abbottabad, a small garrison city about a two-hour drive from the capital, Islamabad.

The drone campaign, which is run by the C.I.A., has long been a sore point with the Pakistani public for what is widely considered its violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. The government has publicly condemned the strikes, while privately tolerating them in an arrangement with the United States, which flies drones from a base inside Pakistan.

The Bin Laden raid has put new pressure on that alliance, however, coming after the killing of two Pakistanis by a C.I.A. contractor in January, and has inflamed the sovereignty issue still further.

On Thursday, the head of Pakistan's army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said another raid like the one that killed Bin Laden would not be tolerated, and he repeated a demand that the number of American troops in Pakistan be reduced "to the minimum essential."

The attack on Friday showed, however, what the Americans have insisted, that they will continue the drone campaign, which has proved to be an effective way of reaching Qaeda militants in Pakistani's tribal region on the Afghan border.

The latest attack took place at noon on Friday in Dua Toi, a village in North Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan. The village is in the Datta Khel area, about 30 miles west of Miram Shah, the regional capital. The official said four of the dead were foreign fighters, but their nationalities were not known yet.

The missiles hit a car near a roadside restaurant and a compound where the militants had been invited for lunch by commanders affiliated with Hafiz Gul Bahadar, the top commander in North Waziristan. He is a close ally of the Haqqani network and Al Qaeda, and has reached a truce with the Pakistani military, though he is involved in fighting against the NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The missiles killed five of the militants in the car. In the compound, three were killed and four were wounded.

Datta Khel is the stronghold of Mr. Bahadar, and many of the drone strikes have taken place in that area because of its high concentration of local and foreign fighters, who are involved in cross-border attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan.


9) Payrolls Show Strong Growth but Jobless Rate Rises
May 6, 2011

For three straight months, the nation's employers have delivered solid job growth, easing some concerns that the economy could be stalling.

Employers added 244,000 jobs in April, more than economists had forecast and an increase from 221,000 in March, the government reported on Friday.

As a measure of how far uphill the economic climb remains, though, the unemployment rate actually nudged up to 9 percent, from 8.8 percent a month earlier. The Labor Department uses a different survey, of households rather than employers, to calculate that rate, which tends to be volatile.

The monthly snapshot of the job market showed that government workers continued to receive pink slips, but the private sector more than picked up the slack, adding 268,000 jobs in April, the most in five years. Hiring was spread broadly, with manufacturing, retail, health care, and leisure and hospitality industries all expanding.

Including some revisions to reflect more hiring in February and March, the nation's employers have added an average of 192,000 jobs a month this year, compared with just 78,000 monthly last year.

"This is very encouraging for the sustainability of the recovery," said James F. O'Sullivan, chief economist at MF Global.

Another brighter sign was among the long-term unemployed. The number of people out of work for more than six months eased to 5.8 million, its lowest level since October 2009. Still, 13.7 million people remained without work and were still looking.

Earlier in the week, a number of reports indicated that the economy had stumbled in the days since the Labor Department compiled its survey. The biggest worry was a rise in new claims for unemployment insurance, and a survey of companies showed a slowdown in new orders and hiring.

Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist with the Economic Outlook Group, has spent most of the last year as a strong optimist, but sounds increasingly cautious.

"There are just too many economic indicators that point to an economy that has been slowing," said Mr. Baumohl, noting last week's report that output slumped to 1.8 percent in the first quarter of the year. "It almost looks like a bull that's charging through a crowd, utterly impervious to what's in front of it.

"Regretfully, I think the pace of hiring will slow down in May and June," he added. "I think in this case the job market is a lagging indicator, and I think it will probably fall off as well, as more signs point to a weakening economy."

President Obama, speaking at Allison Transmission, a maker of transmissions that is increasingly moving into hybrid products, hailed the job numbers while acknowledging headwinds from high gas prices and interruptions caused by the earthquake in Japan. "There are always going to be some ups and downs like these as we come out of a recession," he said. "But the fact is that we are still making progress.

"And that proves how resilient the American economy is, and how resilient the American worker is, and that we can take a hit and we can keep on going forward."

Manufacturing has been one of the surprising pillars of the recovery, adding back 250,000 of the 2.3 million jobs it lost during the recession. In April, it grew by 29,000 jobs, up from 22,000 in March.

A weakened dollar has helped exports, and companies are describing an increase in demand at home. Quality Float Works, a family-owned company that makes floating metal balls and valves in Schaumburg, Ill., shrank by six workers during the recession. Since the beginning of the year, it has hired two people and aims to hire two more.

Jason W. Speer, vice president and general manager, said that although high prices for energy and raw materials had temporarily made the firm hesitate, "we've been getting long-term commitments from our customers, and we have felt fairly comfortable." He added: "I can easily see hiring two or more before the end of the year, if we have no more bumps."

Economists who saw signs of lasting momentum said they did not believe a few hiccups in coming months would derail the recovery this time. "I do view this impending softness as a temporary response to the rise in oil prices," said Ian Shepherdson, chief United States economist at the High Frequency Economics research firm, "not a fundamental reversal."

Austan Goolsbee, the chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, said several signs pointed to continuing strength in hiring, including slower productivity gains after a fairly sharp run-up. After companies squeeze all they can out of their existing workers, they need to add more. "This is clearly the track you want to be on to plow your way," Mr. Goolsbee said.

Average hourly earnings increased by 3 cents, to $22.95, and the average workweek was flat at 34.3 hours. Heather Boushey, senior economist at the liberal Center for American Progress, said she was concerned that neither wages nor hours were moving strongly upward, as would be expected if companies were wringing all they could out of their existing workers. "We're not out of the woods," she said. "As much as I think it would be such a relief to say, 'Hey, this is the out-of-the-woods report.' "

Among job seekers, the least educated, African-Americans and teenagers continue to have the highest unemployment rates. For workers in the 55-and-over age group, the average duration of unemployment spiked to 53.6 weeks, compared with 39.4 weeks for those younger.

A weak area was government - local, state and federal - where the work force contracted by 24,000 jobs. Construction added 5,000 jobs, though mostly because of gains in heavy and civil engineering, probably helped by the remaining federal stimulus dollars devoted to infrastructure projects like highways. Most other segments of construction, including residential, shrank.

Temporary help, which has been strong, lost 2,300 jobs. Executives of two temporary services companies, Tig Gilliam, chief executive of the Adecco Group North America, and Jorge Perez, senior vice president of North America for Manpower, said companies that had relied on contract workers early in the recovery were now hiring.

Amanda Fisher, who was laid off from her hostess job at a high-end restaurant in New York City last October, applied for work with Manpower in November. After a couple of jobs in retail, she took an assignment as a customer service representative at a furniture company. Last month, the company offered her a full-time job with benefits.

"I have a real grown-up job," said Ms. Fisher, 21, who said she spent eight months out of work and was intermittently homeless early in the recession. Several of her friends, she said, were still "in terrible situations."

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: May 6, 2011

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated, in one reference, the reason for the increase in the unemployment rate. As the article noted elsewhere, the rate was based on a household survey, which showed a decline in employment; it did not reflect an increase in the number of job seekers.


10) Looming Layoffs at Schools Imperil Bloomberg's Legacy
May 6, 2011

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's threats of teacher layoffs have had a ring of déjà vu. He used the same threat last year to squeeze more money from the federal government and to press his case for abolishing the state law that protects the most senior teachers from losing their jobs.

The strategy yielded a partial victory - $800 million in stimulus money, which, when combined with a pay freeze, took layoffs off the table, but did nothing to alter the seniority law.

The law still stands, and when the mayor again raised the prospect of layoffs, skeptical observers wondered if he was running the same play all over again. But those layoffs came a big step closer to becoming reality on Friday, when the mayor put them in his executive budget, saying they were needed to balance the city's finances.

In proposing to lay off 4,100 teachers, Mr. Bloomberg turned a political third rail into fair game. He is taking on the teachers' union amid an incendiary national debate over the impact of public employees' benefits and protections on state and local governments.

Unlike Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who has called leaders of his state's teachers' union "political thugs," or Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, now nationally famous for cutting bargaining rights for most government workers, Mr. Bloomberg has, for now, aimed his public criticism elsewhere. He blamed the state during his budget presentation on Friday, saying it paid 45 percent of the city's education costs in 2008, but in the next fiscal year, it will pay only 39 percent.

Still, the union and the mayor are at odds like never before. The mayor was able to avoid giving teachers a pay raise last year, because their contract expired in October 2009. There is still no contract. And now they are facing pink slips for the first time since the 1970s.

Michael Mulgrew, the union president, described the mayor's announcement on Friday as the "smoke and mirrors" of an administration trying to save face after threatening layoffs for months. "The teachers have been hearing this since January," Mr. Mulgrew said.

After negotiating generous raises into its previous contract, the teachers' union sat out the 2009 mayoral election, and then was pressured into making important concessions last year because of the state's Race to the Top grant application, agreeing to an increase in the charter school cap and the creation of a statewide teacher evaluation system.

But it still has very powerful allies in the Democratic majority in the Assembly, which could make it difficult for Mr. Bloomberg to make headway on the seniority front. But that does not seem to dissuade City Hall from continuing to pursue changes in the law.

Speaking at City Hall on Friday, the schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, said he would continue to push the state to allow layoffs based on merit, not years of service.

"This," Mr. Walcott said, "is not about demonizing teachers."

The City Council still has to approve the budget, and while the number of layoffs will probably go down, it is unlikely all layoffs will be averted, officials said.

For Mr. Bloomberg, the layoffs risk derailing a key element of his legacy: the progress of New York City schools. Because teachers must be laid off based on seniority, new schools, a cornerstone of his education reform strategy, and schools in poor neighborhoods stand to lose the most because they tend to employ the most-junior teachers. Most, but not all, of those teachers would be replaced by more-senior teachers from elsewhere in the system, negating one of the victories the mayor eked out during negotiations over the last contract, giving principals the right to choose their own staff.

"We are not going to walk away from our education system," the mayor said on Friday.

But the task of improving the schools will definitely be more complicated if mass layoffs occur.

Class sizes will increase by an average of two students, city officials said, exacerbating overcrowding in many schools.

The uncertainty of who might be laid off and who might be transferred to other schools has been unsettling to teachers and principals, who were not notified in advance of what Mr. Bloomberg's layoff numbers would be or given any directions on what they should do before the school year ends.

There could also be cuts among teachers in the Teach for America program, which recruits young people from top colleges for short stints teaching in poor schools. Those teachers are not considered different than regular teachers, so there would probably be fewer of them next year, though some work in hard-to-fill areas like special education that are protected from job cuts.

Columbia Secondary School in Harlem, where close to half of the students come from Spanish-speaking homes, could lose 70 percent of its current teachers. Its principal, Gary Biester, wondered, "What kind of message is being delivered to the community that this school is intended to serve?"

At the Brooklyn School of Inquiry, a new citywide gifted school in Bensonhurst that could lose one-third of its teachers, the principal, Donna Taylor, said she continued to believe money would be found somehow, so she told her teachers to "take a deep breath."

"We have spent millions of dollars on making these new small schools," Ms. Taylor said. "I don't think we are going to throw it all away in a tight budget year."

Noah Rosenberg contributed reporting.


11) U.S. Warns Schools Against Checking Immigration Status
May 6, 2011

Federal officials issued a memorandum to the nation's school districts on Friday saying it was against the law for education officials to seek information that might reveal the immigration status of children applying for enrollment.

Civil liberties advocates and others have complained in recent months that many school districts are seeking children's immigration papers as a prerequisite for enrollment. Some state and local officials have also considered bills to require prospective students to reveal their citizenship or immigration status.

"We have become aware of student enrollment practices that may chill or discourage the participation, or lead to the exclusion, of students based on their or their parents' or guardians' actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status," said the memo, from Justice and Education Department officials. "These practices contravene federal law."

The letter cited a 1982 Supreme Court decision that recognized the right of all children, regardless of immigration status, to attend public school as long as they met the age and residency requirements set by state law.

"The undocumented or noncitizen status of a student (or his or her parent or guardian) is irrelevant to that student's entitlement to an elementary and secondary public school education," said the memo, signed by Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of the Justice Department; Russlynn H. Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights in the Education Department; and Charles P. Rose, that department's general counsel.

Xochitl Hinojosa, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said it was the first time her agency had issued guidance to school districts on the 1982 decision. The Education Department did not return calls seeking comment.

Civil liberties advocates, who had been asking President Obama's administration to clarify the law, hailed the memo. "We're gratified that the Department of Justice has seen fit to do the right thing, to clarify any ambiguities," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, calling the guidance "a really big deal."

Last year, Ms. Lieberman's group found that 139 districts in New York State - about 20 percent of the total - were requiring children's immigration papers as a prerequisite to enrollment, or asking parents for information that only lawful immigrants could provide.

While the group did not find any cases in which children had been turned away for lack of immigration paperwork, it warned that the requirements could deter illegal immigrant families from enrolling children for fear that their status might be reported to federal authorities.

After months of pressure from the civil liberties group, the state's Education Department sent school districts a memo strongly recommending that they not ask for information that might reveal the immigration status of enrolling students. State education officials in Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois and Nebraska have taken steps in recent years to halt similar practices, immigrant advocates said.

Despite the New York memo, some school districts there continued to press for the right to ask about immigration status, said Udi Ofer, advocacy director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

In Arizona, state lawmakers have considered a bill that would require the state's Education Department to determine the number of public school students who are unable to prove lawful presence in the United States, officials said. Last year, a legislative committee in Oklahoma favored a bill to require public schools to determine, at the time of enrollment, whether a child was born outside the United States.


12) Price of Crude Oil Falls Again, but Analysts Warn It Will Remain at Lofty Levels
May 6, 2011

HOUSTON - With the Memorial Day weekend and summer driving season coming soon, the sudden drop in oil prices could mean that drivers will find moderately lower gasoline prices at just the right moment.

But many energy analysts and economists predict that oil and gas prices will remain stubbornly high.

Supplies remain constrained by turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, oil specialists said, and there is always the possibility that conflict could cut production in Nigeria. At the same time, expanding economies like China and India continue to drive the growth in oil consumption.

"Nothing has changed, except psychology and taking profits," Allen Sinai, chief global economist of Decision Economics, a consulting firm, said of this week's selloff in the oil futures market. "This is a correction, and not a shift in trend."

Light sweet crude, the benchmark of New York trading, fell below $100 on Thursday for the first time since March, but it remains almost 30 percent higher than a year ago. At the close on Friday, oil for June delivery was down $2.62 at $97.18 a barrel.

Gasoline prices fell a fraction of a penny on Friday, according to AAA's daily gas gauge. But with the average regular gallon costing $3.98, that is still 28 cents higher than a month ago and a $1.06 more than a year ago.

Other commodities were mixed after a sharp selloff on Thursday. Gold and cocoa were higher, while silver, wheat, cotton and copper were lower again on the day.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst of the Oil Price Information Service, predicted that the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline would fall to $3.75 by Memorial Day and to $3.50 later in the summer. Those are still historically high prices, taking consumers back to a level they were paying earlier this year.

President Obama, speaking to auto plant workers in Indiana on Friday, acknowledged the public frustration over high gas prices. "We've got high gas prices that have been eating away at your paychecks and that is a headwind that we've got to confront," he said.

Meanwhile Attorney General Eric H. Holder directed a special task force to examine whether reductions in oil prices were being passed on to consumers. "Fraud or manipulation must not be allowed to prevent price decreases," Mr. Holder said in a memo.

Corrections, even sharp ones, are not unusual as commodity prices follow longer trends up. A Barclays Capital research note on Friday observed that on several occasions last year, weak economic data pushed oil prices down to $70 a barrel. "Those periods were indeed short-lived," Barclays noted, before oil prices continued their march upward.

While commodity traders move oil markets up and down from day to day, the fundamentals of supply and demand are the drivers from month to month and year to year. Though the fundamentals continue to point higher, oil prices are not expected, at least anytime soon, to return to the levels reached in 2008 when a barrel of crude neared $150 a barrel.

The Energy Department predicts moderately tightening world markets. The department last month estimated that world consumption would grow by an average of 1.5 million barrels a day in both 2011 and 2012. Despite more drilling in OPEC and non-OPEC countries, the department projected that supplies would increase to meet only roughly half the added demand this year and roughly 80 percent of the added demand in 2012.

International financial analysts and oil experts have been predicting a correction for some time in oil prices, since there are ample supplies at the moment. But many think oil prices are going higher in the second half of the year.

"Worldwide, the macro picture has not changed," said Andy Lipow, a former Amoco trader who is president of his own Houston consulting firm. "Oil demand around the world continues to increase at the same time we are experiencing a supply disruption in Libya as well as a reduction of supplies from the Gulf of Mexico."

He predicted that the price of oil would return to the $110 a barrel level by the end of the year. The Macquarie Group projected in a commodities research note this week that light sweet crude would average $110 a barrel this year, $115 in 2012 and $117 in 2013.

The military stalemate in Libya has taken over a million barrels a day of high-quality crude off the market, and oil fields and terminals have been damaged in the fighting. Meanwhile nearly half of Yemen's 260,000 barrels of daily production is offline. That is a relatively small amount, but Yemeni crude is also a high-quality product that refiners find difficult to replace.

Saudi Arabia promised earlier in the year to increase its production capacity, but it actually cut production recently, claiming that the world markets were flush. Whether the kingdom steps up production remains to be seen, and energy experts are watching closely to see what if any decisions are made on OPEC production and prices at the organization's next meeting in June.

Recent International Energy Agency and Energy Department reports predict that China, India, other developing nations and the Middle East itself will continue to consume more oil as they build factories and their middle classes add thousands of cars every week to the world fleet.

The Energy Department reported that crude inventories last week had risen by 3.4 million barrels, because American gasoline consumption has been slowing. Consumption may rebound somewhat as prices ease again, energy experts say. Meanwhile, after the earthquake in Japan, demand for oil was down by about 30,000 barrels a day. That reduction was less than expected, and Japan will almost certainly import more oil as its economy recovers and it replaces some nuclear generation with heating oil.