Thursday, June 30, 2005

United Nations Starts Prison Ship Rumours

The United Nations says it has learned of allegations that the US is secretly detaining terrorists on American military ships. The special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, said the claims were Rumours at this stage, but urged the US to co-operate with an investigation.(Rumours) He said the UN wants lists of the places of detention and those held. (Rumours) The comments come five days after the UN cryed about the US of stalling on their demands to visit Guantanamo Bay. Investigators have been asking to visit the jail in Cuba so they can make up allegations of human rights abuse. The UN said for over a year there had been no response to its requests, and it would begin to make things up over alleged abuses with or without US co-operation. Washington had yet to grant their request, Mr Nowak said. He told reporters there were a number of allegations from anti-American sources that the US was holding terrorists in secret places of detention, including vessels abroad.(Rumours) He said that according to the Rumours, the ships were believed to be in the Indian Ocean. Mr Nowak said the Rumours of secret detention camps were very serious, amounting to enforced disappearances. (Rumours)

"The Lost Liberty Hotel"

Justice David H. Souter
Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land. Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner. On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home. Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land. The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged." Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans. "This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development." Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

South Korea Says North Korea Has Cut International Phone Lines

South Korea's spy agency said that North Korea has cut most of its international phone lines since late March over concerns that sensitive information about its society will flow out of the isolated country, a news report said. Spy agency officials told a closed-door session of the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee that international phone connections had been cut at most of the North's trading companies and at government agencies, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported. Since April, even people with permits to make international calls can only do so under the strict surveillance of security officials, it said. Spy agency officials said the steps were taken to eliminate sources of instability ahead of the 60th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, as well as the 60th anniversary of the founding of its Workers' Party. North Korean authorities also are struggling to deal with rising crime following economic reforms in 2002, as well as illegal trading of foreign currency. In the last three years, the North has scaled back elements of its centrally planned economy and begun allowing some prices to be set by the market.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Ever Hear Of A Purse?

A Quincy woman who apparently stuffed $46,950 in cash in her bra before trying to board a plane to Texas for plastic surgery has sued a federal agency, demanding the return of her money.
The money was seized from Ileana Valdez, 26, after a security check at a metal detector at Logan International Airport on Feb. 3. Valdez told authorities she was heading to Texas for plastic surgery on her buttocks and breasts. "I don't know why she was carrying it (the cash) in her bra," said Boston lawyer Tony V. Blaize, who filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boston on behalf of Valdez. In her suit, Valdez said a male Drug Enforcement Administration agent told her she had a nice body and didn't need surgery — and then seized the cash, claiming it was drug money. Valdez, a single mother said in her suit that she has no criminal record and earned the money by selling her Dorchester business and two parcels of property in Boston's Jamaica Plain section. Anthony Pettigrew, a spokesman for the DEA in Boston, said he could not comment on the lawsuit. But he said federal asset forfeiture laws allow agents to seize suspected drug profits.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Club Gitmo Prisoner Torture Witnessed By Politicians

US military guards are taking extraordinary new measures to make terrorist detainees confess at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
Interrogrators at the base are spending hours reading Harry Potter books to the inmates in an effort to crack them. The bizarre punishment was revealed yesterday by US politicians who toured the prison compound and reported conditions there have improved. The politicians witnessed interrogations, inspected cells and ate the same lunch of chicken with orange sauce, rice and okra given to detainees. They watched interrogators grilling three individual terror suspects including one session where a female interrogator took the unusual approach to wear down a detainee – reading a Harry Potter book aloud for hours. The detainee turned his back and put his hands over his ears.
In another session, they quizzed a man who defence officials said was a Saudi national and admitted al-Qaeda member who was picked up in Afghanistan and knew nine of the September 11 hijackers. UN investigators have cited "persistent and credible" reports of "serious allegations of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees". But the politicians reported None of the interrogators touched detainees, backing White House claims they are well treated.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Philippine Court Sentences 7 Terrorists To Death

A Philippine court sentenced to death seven suspected members of the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militant group for the kidnapping and murder of farmers on the southern island of Basilan in 2001. Six of the convicted men were present when the court in Basilan read portions of the 60-page verdict sentencing the militants to die by lethal injection. The court also ordered them to pay the families of their victims 200,000 pesos ($3,600) each. The other convicted man remains at large. "I am happy we have applied the full force of the law," said state prosecutor Ricardo Cabaron. "The agony of the victims' families was finally relieved." Dozens of soldiers and policemen guarded the small courthouse on the island, a stronghold of the small, radical Abu Sayyaf group blamed for a string of kidnappings and murders of foreign and domestic tourists in the early 2000s. "The accused and their families wept and embraced each other after the court handed down the decision," Cris Puno, a Basilan provincial official, told reporters. Puno said the sentences on Wednesday stemmed from an Abu Sayyaf raid on a farm near the town of Lamitan in August 2001. The gunmen, disguised as soldiers, abducted a group of farm workers and later beheaded nine of them. Another hostage was shot dead while two other captives escaped unhurt. The Abu Sayyaf has waged a bloody war in the country for a decade and has been blamed for a string of deadly bombings on transport systems, including the February 2004 ferry attack that killed about 100 people. In April last year, a Manila court handed down death sentences against 17 Abu Sayyaf members for the abduction of 20 tourists from a resort in Palawan in 2001. The U.S. government has the Abu Sayyaf on its blacklist of terrorist organizations.
Abu Sayyaf member

Friday, June 24, 2005

Minnesota Man Connected To Al Qaeda

Terrorist Mohammed Warsame
A Minneapolis man faces new charges connected to terrorism. Mohammed Warsame, 31, is accused of helping Osama bin Laden's terrorism network. The former student at Minneapolis Community and technical college is believed to have once shared a meal with Osama bin Laden. He now faces a total of five charges after a federal grand jury has just indicted him. Warsame moved to Minnesota in 2002 from Afghanistan to be with his wife and child. Last year, he was accused of conspiring to support Al Qaeda. Now a federal grand jury has also indicted him for providing support and resources to the terrorist group. He also faces three new charges of making false statements to federal investigators.
False statement number one: telling them that since 1995, he only traveled to Saudi Arabia and Somalia - when, in fact, they say, he traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan for military training.
False statement number two: Warsame claimed he didn't have any subsequent contact with al Qaeda after moving to Minnesota - but in truth, they claim, he maintained frequent contact.
False statement number three: that he did not send money to support the terrorist organization - investigators claim he actually wired $2 thousand to an associate.
Warsame will now have to be arraigned in federal court. A date hasn't been set yet. If he's convicted on all charges, he could get up to 45 years in prison and more than a million dollars in fines.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Quran Versus Bible In North Carolina Courts

The courts are about to be taken to court themselves this week when the request to let Muslims swear in under oath on a Quran versus a Bible will take place in a North Carolina courtroom. The Greensboro Islamic Center donated copies of the Quran to Guilford County and were rejected. W. Douglas Albright, Guilford's Senior Resident Superior Court judge tells the Associated Press, "An oath on the Quran is not a lawful oath under our law." The state's judges will be meeting at a conference this week in Asheville and Wrightsville Beach to discuss the situation. Syidah Mateen, who tried to donate the Muslim terror books says, "This is a diverse world, and everybody does not worship or believe the same." And just because the Quran influences its Followers to kill Americans doesnt mean we should dismiss it out of hand.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Army Deserter Apologizes For Leaving Army For North Korea In 1965

U.S. Army deserter Charles Jenkins left his boyhood home for Japan Tuesday, a day after Apologizing for his more than 40-year-old decision to abandon his post for life in North Korea. Jenkins, along with his wife, two daughters and a few others, left his sister's home shortly after 3 a.m. No one in the party spoke as they got into a red van and drove off under a near-full moon for an afternoon flight from Dulles International Airport to Tokyo. From there he was expected to head to a Japanese island where he now lives. At a news conference Monday, Jenkins said his decision to defect to communist North Korea in 1965 was wrong. "I let my soldiers down. I let the U.S. Army down. I let the government down, and I made it very difficult for my family in the United States to live," Jenkins said. The 65-year-old Jenkins said he lived in harsh conditions in North Korea. While there, he thought he would never again see his mother, Pattie. They were reunited last week. Jenkins was a 24-year-old sergeant with the U.S. Army's 1st Calvary Division when he left the squad he was leading on patrol in the Demilitarized Zone and walked into North Korea on July 5, 1965. While he appeared in North Korean propaganda films and taught English, Jenkins said North Korean agents were never able to break him and he was never brainwashed. On Monday, he called North Korean leader Kim Jong Il "an evil man." "He only believes in one thing – his own personal luxury life," he said. Jenkins remained in North Korea after his Japanese-born wife, who had been kidnapped from Japan in 1978, returned to her home country in 2002. The couple was reunited last year in Japan, where he was court-martialed and served 25 days in a U.S. military jail. Jenkins' wife, Hitomi Soga, called for more attention in the United States and Japan to the plight of Japanese abductees she said remain in North Korea. "There are still people in North Korea who were abducted, and I want more people from Japan and America to pay attention and help solve this problem," Soga said through an interpreter. The couple – along with their two daughters, who accompanied them on their visit to North Carolina – have no plans to move permanently back to the United States. Jenkins has said the primary purpose of his weeklong trip was to visit his ailing mother and make a final visit to his homeland. "He's certainly not a hero. He didn't get a parade coming home," Michael Cooke, of Raleigh, a boyhood friend and Vietnam veteran, said Monday. "What he did was a despicable thing." But Cooke said he spent more than two hours Friday night catching up with Jenkins, his family and three other old friends from their days as boys in Rich Square, a town about 30 miles southeast of Weldon. Cooke brought along old photos and a copy of the 1954 Rich Square telephone book to help remember names long forgotten. They spent no time asking Jenkins why he deserted, or about how he lived for decades in one of the world's most isolated countries. "We didn't get into any of that heavy stuff," Cooke said. "We didn't get an apology." The most telling moment of their reunion, Cooke said, was seeing the joy in Jenkins' 91-year-old mother's eyes. "Ms. Jenkins seemed as happy as she could be to have her son home," he said.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Illegal Meat At The Glory Hole

A Juneau homeless shelter has stopped serving donated bear meat after learning the state prohibits nonprofit groups from accepting wild game meats such as bear, fox and walrus."We didn't know that it is illegal," said Jetta Whittaker, executive director of the Glory Hole. For years, the shelter accepted bear meat to supplement its meals for the homeless. The meat went into many recipes, including burgers, casseroles and spaghetti. But last year, Whittaker learned that serving it was contrary to rules set by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. This year, it has meant turning down five offers of bear meat. "That was 250 pounds of ground meat I could use for spaghetti sauce," said Bob Thompson, operations manager of the shelter. "We are protein-poor." The Glory Hole rarely gets offers of deer because venison is more palatable to most people while bear meat has a stronger, wild smell, Whittaker said. Some of the people served by the Glory Hole said they miss meat of any kind. David Kelley, who is staying at the shelter, said he appreciates the three meals a day but he is tired of eating starchy vegetables. "I will eat whatever you put in front of me," Kelley said. "But you cannot live by starches alone."

Monday, June 20, 2005

US Asks Kim Jong-Il To Put Up Or Shut Up

South Korea activists protest North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il
The United States said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il should match words with action after he indicated that his hardline communist state could return to stalled nuclear disarmament talks in July. “Statements are one thing, real action is another,” a State Department official said as he underlined the need for caution over Kim’s remarks. South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-Young told reporters after talks with Kim in Pyongyang that the leader told him North Korea could return to the six-party talks in July if Washington “recognizes and respects” his country as a dialogue partner. Kim was also quoted saying Friday that North Korea would rejoin the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and open up to international inspectors once the nuclear standoff with the outside world was resolved. “Let’s just put it in the proper perspective. It is statement for public consumption,” said the State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Even if what Kim exactly stated was the truth, “until there is a little bit more meat to the bones, we are not going to start jumping up and down and waving arms,” the official said, adding there should be, for example, “signs from the Chinese that there is really something in the works.”

Friday, June 17, 2005

Close Vote Expected As Iranians Go To The Polls

The Iranian elections are underway. This has been a hotly contested election, pitting many different factions against one another.
To most westerners it may seem like a typical election: the conservatives vs. liberals, traditional value vs. new values, and younger voters vs. older voters. In some ways it is a typical election but in many more, it's not. The apparent front-runner is veteran Iranian politician Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He's held the job before and he's viewed a conservative with realistic views. He's mobilized his political machine and people have been handing out bumper stickers and other standard election paraphernalia. He sees a future with the United States but he's not expected to win dramatically and many watchers expect to see him in a run off. The real ruling authority in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants high voter turnout to keep accusations of undemocratic behavior at bay. This has been an issue because over 1000 people requested to run for president, now only 7 are actually in the race and all have to be approved by the Ayatollah to get in the race. The outgoing president, Mohammed Reza Khatami, known as a reformist president tried many reforms to make Iran a more free society but the ruling theocrats denied him.
The other major candidates in this election include two other and possibly a third. The first is education minister Mostafa Moin. He's a reformist in the same thread as Khatami and served in his administration. Next would be Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, a conservative former police chief. He's gotten some strong backing in recent weeks. A third possible candidate would be Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He's a conservative and the mayor of Tehran. Voting age is young in Iran at 14 and the youth vote is expected to play a crucial role. Some are calling for a boycott of the vote because a high voter turn out would lend legitimacy to the government. Many young people in Iran are anxious for a more open society and want more involvement with the U.S., a move that is unlikely to happen until the nuclear crisis is resolved and well behind both nations. To the United States, this election won't mean much until the nuclear issue is resolved and that probably won't change much until the theocracy shifts. As part of the "Axis of Evil", Iran has been on the U.S. short list for some time now. People are still wary because of the hostage crisis back during the Carter administration. If ties are to be developed between the two nations once again, the powers that be on both sides must make some major changes.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bush Aides Report 'Increasing Doubts' North Korea Will Give Up Nuclear Arms Program

The Bush administration's top negotiators with North Korea said Tuesday that they harbored "increasing doubts" that President Kim Jong Il's government was ready to give up its nuclear weapons program in return for security guarantees and economic incentives.
The envoys, noting that there had been five sessions of talks between an American and a North Korean official at the United Nations in the last 10 months, rejected the idea that more incentives or one-on-one talks would be likely to revive serious negotiations. "I think the real issue here is not that they don't know the benefits, but they simply haven't made the fundamental decision whether they want to give up on being a nuclear state," said Christopher Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, speaking at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Mr. Hill appeared with Joseph DeTrani, special envoy to the talks with North Korea. The talks, which are sponsored by China and also include Russia, Japan and South Korea as participants, have been boycotted by the government in Pyongyang for nearly a year. Led by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, several Democratic senators asked whether it was time to shift tactics and offer direct economic incentives to the North - energy and economic assistance have been discussed, but only from Japan and South Korea - or to hold direct talks between the United States and North Korea. Both Mr. Hill and Mr. DeTrani argued that they did not think either tactic would work, based on their analysis of the North's thinking and the fact that there had been repeated one-on-one contacts in New York. But they also said the administration was willing to consider various unspecified options to revive the talks. In separate comments, Mr. Hill appeared to express more frustration than other administration officials have in the past over China's refusal to exert more economic leverage on North Korea.
Pressed by the committee's Republican chairman, Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, to talk about China's role, Mr. Hill said, "Mr. Chairman, I agree with you that China has been reluctant to use the full range of leverage that we believe China has." He noted that China's trade and investment with North Korea had actually gone up in recent years, in part because North Korea's trade with Japan had gone down. South Korea has also increased its trade and investment. He acknowledged further that without support from South Korea and China, it would be very difficult to impose economic or political penalties on North Korea to get it to change its behavior. Neither nation has supported imposing such penalties. Mr. Hill and Mr. DeTrani also clarified the issue of security guarantees for North Korea, disputing a suggestion by Mr. Biden that the Bush administration withhold such guarantees if North Korea did not improve its human rights record. "As I understand your proposal, security assurances are only, quote, 'provisional' until other issues are addressed, right?" Mr. Biden asked. "Once their nuclear program's eliminated, they will get permanent security assurances," Mr. DeTrani replied. He added, however, that "we are not prepared to have a fully normalized relationship in the absence of movement on these other issues," referring to North Korea's authoritarian practices and brutal suppression of dissent. Mr. DeTrani's comments were significant, because although President Bush has said the administration has "no intention" of attacking North Korea, many conservatives in the administration and in Congress oppose any security guarantees without progress on human rights or even an ousting of Mr. Kim's government. Underscoring the importance that the administration attaches to North Korea's human rights record, the White House said Tuesday that Mr. Bush met Monday with a defector from North Korea, Kang Chol-Hwan, whose memoir, "The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in a North Korean Gulag," recounts his suffering at the hands of the North Korean government. Imprisoned with his family at age 9 in 1977, Mr. Kang was released a decade later, and subsequently escaped to South Korea, where he now works as a journalist and is a vocal critic of the Kim government. Mr. Bush has read Mr. Kang's book and wanted to meet with him in person, said Frederick Jones, a spokesman for the National Security Council. Mr. Lugar, among others on the Senate committee, pressed Mr. Hill and Mr. DeTrani to put pressure on China and South Korea to allow more refugees into their country, especially those escaping punishment for political reasons. Both nations have been reluctant to do so for fear of security problems in their countries and out of concern about angering North Korea. Mr. DeTrani said the administration had made "some progress" on that issue.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

'One Way Or Another' North Korea Will Lose Its Nukes!

The Bush administration, under fire for what critics call its failed North Korea policy, expressed confidence that "one way or another" Pyongyang ultimately would give up its nuclear weapons. "One way or another they're not going to have these systems," Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said, the top US diplomat dealing with Pyongyang.
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill
"And so the real issue for them is what are the terms under which they'll give them up," he said. Mr Hill's two-hour appearance before the US Senate Foreign Relations panel kept the focus on unsuccessful US diplomatic efforts to revive six-party negotiations on North Korea's nuclear program, which Pyongyang has boycotted for one year. He reiterated the US position that other options remain under discussion and added a dose of reality to recent optimism that Pyongyang may soon come back to the table. Mr Hill said Pyongyang seems to be "testing our mettle ... testing to see whether we're going to get into endless arguments with our partners. They're waiting to see whether we're going to start negotiating with each other and with ourselves to sweeten the pot for them and so they feel there's some advantage in waiting". Leading opposition Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware said US policy was a failure. The North bore prime responsibility for the nuclear crisis, he said, but "this administration has also made a series of poor choices, in my view, and has not ... pursued the policies that stand a realistic chance of mitigating and ultimately reversing North Korea's threat". Mr Hill disagreed that a year-long impasse in six-party negotiations on the North's nuclear ambitions should prompt change in the US negotiating proposal, unveiled during the last six-party round in June 2004. With US frustration building over the nuclear stalemate, a senior Pentagon official last week suggested the administration would soon decide whether to escalate pressure on Pyongyang and take the case to the United Nations Security Council.(I am banging my head on the wall) Mr Hill said the United States reserves the right to do so in the future "but it is not something we're planning to do now". He said the administration was considering other options for dealing with the nuclear crisis but did not give details.

Australia And Pakistan Sign Anti-Terror Agreement

Pakistan and Australia are due to sign an agreement to fight terrorism. The signing of the treaty will be witnessed by Pakistan's President, Pervez Musharraf, who is visiting Canberra. President Musharraf, says he believes Osama Bin Laden is still alive and sympathisers are probably helping him hide in Pakistan. Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, says Pakistan is a key partner for Australia in the fight against terror. He says "That Memorandum of Understanding will lead to further cooperation in areas like law enforcement, information exchanges." "Exchanges on financial operations, border control. Transport security and so on."

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

North Pole, Being Fed Up With Canada, Moves Out

Canada is saying goodbye to the north magnetic pole as it drifts off into international waters. The magnetic pole usually moves about 10 to 12 kilometres per year, but about 20 years ago it sped up to about 40 kilometres per year. Scientists say Canadians may need to adjust to the fact that our pole is now headed straight toward Russia.
"Yeah, it's going to be a bit of a blow to the Canadian psyche to have it move off out of Canadian territory," says Larry Newitt, the head of Natural Resources Canada geomagnetic laboratory in Ottawa which measured the pole's location earlier this year. "But, at least for the immediate future, it will be closer to Canada than to any other country." Hewitt says the pole should reach Russia by 2050, but there is a possibility it will slow down, or even turn around and come back. The north magnetic pole is thought to have been in Canadian jurisdiction since the 1600s. The north magnetic pole an invisible point where the force of the Earth's magnetic field is directed vertically downward.

Army Deserter To Visit US After 40 Years

A coward who deserted his Army unit and fled to North Korea has left his home in northern Japan to visit the United States. It will be Charles Jenkins' first trip back to the U-S in four decades. He's scheduled to fly to Washington with his two daughters Tuesday after spending a night in Tokyo. Jenkins says he has no intention of moving back to the U-S but he would like to see his 91-year-old mother, who lives in a North Carolina nursing home. Jenkins turned himself in and served 25 days in a U-S military jail in Japan last year after a court-martial. After spending decades in North Korea, Jenkins had moved to Japan nearly a year ago to be with his Japanese wife. His plight made headlines in Japan because his wife had been kidnapped by North Korean agents in 1978.
Charles Jenkins, deserted his Army unit 40 years ago and fled to North Korea, right, and his Japanese wife Hitomi Soga prepare to board a ship at a port in Sado, northern Japan. The two are en route to the U.S. for his first visit since turning himself in.


Derrick Scott New
New, Derrick Scott - Loving Son, Brother, & Friend 4/27/1988 - 6/10/2005 Survived by parents, Philip New and Kathy Kane; sisters, Danielle and Vanessa; niece Aliyah; grandmothers, Lois Vadnais and Ruth New; and many uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. Derrick will also be greatly missed by his church family and youth group at Community Covenant Church in North Minneapolis. Services will be held at ST. PAUL REFORMATION LUTHERAN CHURCH, 100 N. Oxford St., St. Paul, on Wednesday, June 15 at 12 PM. Interment Roselawn Cemetery. Visitation at MUELLER-BIES FUNERAL HOME-ROSEVILLE, 2130 N. Dale St at County Rd B from 4-8 PM Tuesday and at the church from 11 AM Wednesday until time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Derrick Scott New Memorial Fund, c/o TCF National Bank 2100 N. Snelling Ave., Roseville, MN 55113-6459.

Monday, June 13, 2005

US Backs Arroyo, Says Coup Rumors Not Credible

The Philippine security forces were on alert for anti-government demonstrations expected on Independence Day anniversary on Sunday, but President Gloria Arroyo said she was uncowed by threats against her rule. Marines were guarding highways around the capital Manila, while riot police were on standby at vital installations, officials said. Left-wing groups and those allied with the political opposition threatened mass protests on Independence Day to call for Arroyo's ouster. However anti-government rallies on Saturday failed to draw the mass support organisers had hoped for. About 2,000 people from various opposition groups converged on the Manila post office in what was a relatively peaceful demonstration. Opposition senators have called on Arroyo to resign amid allegations that she rigged last year's presidential polls to beat Fernando Poe, the country's most popular action star and a friend of deposed president Joseph Estrada. Poe died of natural causes in December, while Estrada, whom Arroyo replaced in 2001 after a military-backed popular revolt ousted him, remains in detention over corruption charges. The President has resisted the calls for her resignation, and called for unity. "I am calling on everyone to do away with dirty politics and focus our energies to improve the economy," Arroyo said in a speech to mark the country's independence from Spanish rule 107 years ago. "My countrymen, the flag is the symbol of power and determination. Mark it in stone, I will show this power and determination to uphold democracy and guide the country in the right direction." Opposition groups have released taped conversations they alleged were of Arroyo and an elections commissioner plotting to cheat in the May 2004 polls. Her family members have also been accused of accepting bribes from operators of an illegal numbers game called jueteng, the same allegations that were the basis for Estrada's impeachment and ouster.
Philippines President Gloria Arroyo

At a reception for diplomats on Saturday Arroyo vowed to maintain stability and asked for their support. She noted that she had worked hard to bring the country "back on the world map" and took her role "very seriously." "I have felt the political heat, but I'm still in the kitchen. I'm still in the kitchen because that's where I belong, to continue to make the tough choices to turn this economy around and no one will deter me from that mission," she said. She accused her critics of creating the image that the country was "nothing more than a private sandbox for political intrigue." This view, she said, was "dangerous and irresponsible" as she challenged the opposition to present a viable alternative to her leadership.
The United States expressed its "unequivocal" support for embattled President Gloria Arroyo and said there appeared to be no real danger of a coup despite persistent rumors. The US government however would oppose "any extra-constitutional or extra-legal efforts to any way undermine" Arroyo's government, The US Embassy said.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Condolences To My Good Friend Little V. On The Loss Of Her Brother

A St. Paul high school student has died after being punched at a party, police said.
Derrick Scott New
17-year-old Derrick S. New was pronounced dead at Regions Hospital in St. Paul early Friday morning. Police said New was attending a party in Como Park, near Horton and Hamline Avenues Thursday night with as many as 100 other high school aged people. Around 11:30 p.m., police said New got involved in a fight with another 17-year-old male about a piece of property. Witnesses told police New was punched in the face by the other male and became unresponsive. New was transported to the hospital, where he died. The Ramsey County Medical Examiners Office will perform an autopsy on him. The 17-year-old suspect was arrested and is being held at the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center.

Derrick New was prounounced dead around 4:30 a.m. Friday morning

Australia's Most Dangerous Man

terrorist: Faheem Hhalid Lodhi
Terrorist Faheem Khalid Lodhi will be manacled and flown into Sydney via helicopter tomorrow amid fears supporters may attempt to break him out. Lodhi will appear in Central Local Court to find out whether he will stand trial for terrorism offences. Yesterday it was revealed in State Parliament Lodhi had also been reclassified as a risk to national security - the country's first high-risk terrorist category inmate. Prison and security officials confirmed to The Daily Telegraph yesterday they were concerned Lodhi's sympathisers could attempt to free him. He is being flown from a maximum security prison - the site of which repotters agreed not to reveal. The unprecedented security follows the reclassification of Lodhi as the country's highest risk inmate - AA - the first under the new terrorism provisions. This was prompted by allegations he had been trying to recruit another inmate to "extreme Islam" while on remand. Lodhi faces possible trial for terrorism offences under Commonwealth laws, including allegations he tried to obtain bomb-making chemicals, and conducted research using satellite images and maps of military sites and infrastructure. It is also alleged by authorities the 34-year-old architect from Punchbowl worked closely with French terror suspect Willie Brigitte. Yesterday State Parliament was told Lodhi will now only be allowed to be approached by at least two security guards at a time and will have all mail photocopied and phone calls monitored. He will now almost certainly come under 24-hour surveillance, with contact to other prisoners strictly limited to one person at a time for a maximum of two hours - again under surveillance. Security background checks will be conducted on some visitors. He will be placed in the most secure correctional centres and have his food specially prepared under measures announced by the NSW Government. It is believed suspicions were raised by the prison governor and security agencies about the contact Lodhi was having with other inmates as well as visits. Lodhi is facing nine charges for allegedly planning terrorist attacks on several Sydney defence sites. It has been alleged he trained with the banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba in Pakistan and acted as a local contact for Brigitte.

North Korea Is Building More Nuclear Bombs

North Korea has a stockpile of nuclear bombs and is building more such weapons, the country's vice foreign minister Kim Gye Gwan said in an interview with a US television network. "I should say that we have enough nuclear bombs to defend against a US attack," the North Korean official told ABC News when asked how many nuclear bombs it possessed.
Asked whether Pyongyang was building more nuclear bombs, Kim said: "Yes."
Satellite file photo of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear facility.

US President George Bush and President of South Korea Roh Moo-hyun are expected to discuss the roads for the development of the relations between the two countries and ways to talk North Korea out of nuclear program on a meeting Friday

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I Aim To Please

Andrew Coffey sent me the following message:
IM helping Big Neal Promote the “live from Iraq” album and have done 2 interviews with him. The first one plays 4 songs in there entirety. The second Podcast done last night is talking about the media just wanting to talk about how they made it not the content. Check it out…If you can link that would be cool. Andrew
PS this Album is the real deal. If you get it like I think you do by looking at your site. You will like it. Im trying to get more blogs to talk about the content of what they are saying on the album.

Andrew, I believe in the cause! And I encourage everyone to check out the interviews!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Eat Me!

People Eating Tasty Animals , or PETA, member Chris Link of Norfolk, Va., top, adjusts the cellophane covering on the costume of Dezeray Rubinchik of Philadelphia, top right, during a cry for attention in front of the Statehouse, in Providence, R.I., Monday, June 6, 2005. The nudie show, in which three people placed themselves in containers resembling supermarket meat trays, was meant to identify these girls as Easy Meat. PETA member Karolina Colwill of Sioux Falls, S.D., appears center.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

So... You Think Compton Is Tough

Soldiers shoot back with Rap
As Staff Sgt. Terrance Staves dodged bullets recovering a burned-out Humvee in Baghdad's Sadr City, he heard a rocket-powered grenade zooming toward him. All he could do was hold his breath, he recalled, when it crashed into the armored Bradley vehicle sitting just feet in front of him. Back at camp, Staves went to his makeshift recording booth to vent his anger and fear by spitting rap lyrics. Some of those lyrics were used on Live From Iraq, an album he and a few other Fort Hood soldiers wrote, recorded and produced while on a one-year deployment in Iraq. On the 15-track album, soldiers voice frustration at what they call shabby equipment and the lack of support they feel from the American public. The album vigorously defends soldiers charged with crimes for actions committed during the conflict. "I had a lot of stuff happen to me," said Staves, 26, of Houston. "So for me to ... be able to get in the booth and let all my anger out was wonderful. Because sometimes you can't let all your anger out there because you might endanger yourself, your brothers or do something you're not supposed to do. It was a beautiful outlet." The group, led by Sgt. Neal "Big Neal" Saunders, was deployed with Taskforce 112 of the 1st Calvary Division at Fort Hood on March 12, 2004, and returned exactly one year later.
Army soldiers from left, Mike Thomas, Edward Gregory, Terrance Staves, Neal Saunders and Mike Davis
Within two weeks, the CD was mastered and the group had 2,000 copies made. It has sold about 1,000 copies through its Web site ( and a regional music store chain has agreed to sell it. Saunders, who spent nearly $35,000 on the project, said the soldiers don't have a group name and didn't include their names or pictures on the CD because they wanted to focus on their comrades, dead and alive. The album opens with "The Deployment," a heartbreaking tale of the moments before they left. Several soldiers' wives cried when they heard the song, Saunders said. "You would have really thought the world was coming to an end and for some of us it was," Saunders says in the song. "You were literally prying your loved ones off of you so you could make it out the door to the bus. I've never seen so much emotion in one place before." Another track, "Holdin' My Breath," discusses how they conceal the horrors of war from their families. "Dirty" is about a soldier dealing with a cheating spouse back home. "'Live from Iraq' is the writing on the wall," said Spc. Michael "Paperboi" Davis, 21, of Lanett, Ala., "It's that magnifying glass to that huge picture that's been painted since this whole thing has begun. It's the attention to detail that has been overlooked in everyday life." Saunders, of Richmond, Va., whose job in Iraq was to provide personal security for the commander, said the soldiers' superiors underestimated the seriousness of the recordings. "They just thought it was going to be a regular rap album," he said. "I think if they would have known ... they wouldn't have let it come out."

Music Industry Still Sucks, 2nd Week In a Row

The Crazy Frog ringtone has held on to the top position of the UK singles charts for a second week. The new version of Axel F - the theme to the Beverly Hills Cop films - is the first mobile ringtone to make it into the charts. Coldplay's Speed of Sound single dropped from second spot to seventh. Akon's Lonely is at number two, followed by Gorillaz track Feel Good Inc. Oasis are number one in the album chart with Don't Believe The Truth. Last week, Robert Swift, from Jamster, the company that markets the Crazy Frog single promised more ringtone tracks. Mr Swift insisted: "We didn't come along and change the music industry. "It's been changing for a while and people have been in denial. And this is the sort of thing that highlights that."

Japanese, South Korean Ministers Discuss North's Nukes

Korean and Japanese defense ministers today called on North Korea to return to the Six-Party Talks aimed at ending North Korea's push for nuclear weapons. Yoshinori Ohno, the Japanese minister of state for defense, and Yoon Kwang Ung, the Korean minister for national defense, expressed confidence that North Korea will return to the talks. Both agreed that all nations of the region must exert pressure on North Korea, and that the problem with North Korea must be negotiated. The men spoke at the Shangri-La Dialogue here. The International Institute of Strategic Studies sponsors the annual defense conference. On Feb. 10, North Korea said that it possessed nuclear weapons. The country had broken away from the agreed framework negotiated in 1994, and had begun uranium enrichment in October 2003. China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States worked to negotiate a settlement with the north on nuclear disarmament and weapons proliferation. North Korea walked away from the talks, and the five nations have been trying to get the insular country to return to the discussions. Ung said the Republic of Korea will not "tolerate a nuclear weapons development program by the North Koreans under any circumstances whatsoever," and that the North Korean nuclear issue "must be peacefully resolved through dialogue." He said South Korea will continue to use inter-Korean channels to reason with North Korea. He said possession of nuclear weapons will not guarantee regime stability and will worsen North Korea's political and economic isolation. Ohno said the situation in North Korea is one of the most serious security concerns in Asia. He said the country is developing nuclear weapons and has a track record of missile proliferation. He said there is real frustration in Japan over North Korea's nuclear program and North Korea's kidnapping of Japanese citizens. "The immediate and unconditional return of North Korea to the Six-Party Talks is of the utmost importance, and is a first step toward North Korea becoming a responsible member of the international community," Ohno said. "The countries concerned will have to make sincere efforts to urge North Korea to open its doors, keep its promises and observe international rules." Both men said the resolution of the situation is important for the region. Ung said that a peaceful settlement of the North Korean nuclear issue "will not only be a cornerstone for security on the Korean Peninsula, but also another foundation for regional stability and world peace."
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers shakes hands with a member of the Japanese delegation after a bilateral meeting hosted by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld during the fourth International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Conference, the Shangri-La Dialogue, in Singapore.

Monday, June 06, 2005

South Korea Issues Travel Advisory For Tourists To Philippines

South Korea's spy agency asked its nationals traveling to the Philippines to exercise caution as a growing number of terrorist acts and accidents are taking place in the archipelago. "In Manila and Islamic-controlled places in the southern Philippines, terrorist acts are frequently occurring, so when traveling to the Philippines, South Koreans should refrain from visiting crowded places, like night clubs frequented by foreign travelers," the National Intelligence Service (NIS) said in a statement.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Iraq Terrorist Affiliated With Ansar Al-Sunnah Army Arrested

U.S. and Iraqi forces on Saturday arrested a suspected top terror leader in the volatile northern city of Mosul, police said. Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein's morale has plummeted as the gravity of the war crimes charges he faces sinks in, according to the judge who will oversee his trial. The Iraqi man, known as Mullah Mahdi, was detained with his brother, and four others following a brief clash in eastern Mosul, said Iraqi army Maj. Gen. Khalil Ahmed al-Obeidi. Al-Obeidi said the terror suspect was affiliated with the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, one of Iraq's most feared terror groups, and links to the Syrian intelligence service. "He was wanted for almost all car bombs, assassinations of high official, beheadings of Iraqi policemen and soldiers and for launching attacks against Multi-National Forces," al-Obeidi said. Iraqi and U.S. soldiers also kept up their pressure against suspected insurgents south of Baghdad, with more than 800 troops, mainly Iraqis, cordoning off districts in Latifiyah, a city in an especially violent region dubbed the Triangle of Death. The U.S. military believes insurgents behind almost daily deadly attacks in Baghdad use districts on its southern edge as staging areas. "For two years I have been suffering from these terrorists, now it is my time," Brig. Gen. Mohammed Essa Baher, an Iraqi army commander from the region whose two sons had been killed by insurgents, said on the eve of Saturday's offensive. On Friday, the Association of Muslim Scholars, an influential Sunni group with ties to some insurgents, called for an end to a weeklong counterinsurgency offensive in Baghdad, saying it overwhelmingly targets members of their religious minority and has led to the detention of hundreds of people. The interior minister has said at least 700 insurgents have been rounded up in the sweep, known as Operation Lightning, which also has killed 28 militants.
Iraqi army officers stand next to insurgents in Baghdad

Saturday, June 04, 2005

U.S. Republicans Fear Seoul Could Ally With Pyongyang

A report by the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee says a nuclear test by North Korea could be followed by the two Koreas forming a confederation and demanding that U.S. troops leave the Korean Peninsula. In the report entitled, "Anticipating a North Korean Nuclear Test: What’s to Be Done to Avert a Further Crisis," the Republican Party envisages two possible scenarios for South Korea in the unlikely event of a North Korean nuclear test. In the first, Seoul will join intense diplomacy with involved nations and could deploy its army to block a North Korean attack. In that scenario, it would also buy Aegis warships and other defense weapons from the U.S. But in a second scenario, South Korea would judge it safer to form a kind of alliance with Pyongyang. "The South Korean populace, afraid of possible all-out war that could include nuclear attacks, may well opt for the confederation option,” the report said. In that event, Seoul would end up asking U.S. forces to leave Korea. A link to the report can be found on the front page of the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee homepage ( . Grand National Party (GNP) lawmaker and Yeouido Institute head Yun Kun-young passed out copies of the report within the GNP today. "By mentioning the possibility of a North-South confederation in the event of a North Korean nuclear test, [the Republican Party] reveals an extremely high level of mistrust in the South Korean government,” Yun said. “Despite the situation, our government has only shown interest in convening ministerial-level talks since giving the North 200,000 tons of fertilizer."

Friday, June 03, 2005

McCain: I 'Absolutely' Want to Be President

McCain: I 'Absolutely' Want to Be President Sen. John McCain says he "absolutely" wants to be president – but hasn’t yet decided if he’ll run in 2008. In a wide-ranging interview in the June edition of Men's Journal magazine, the Arizona Republican also reveals John Kerry "discussed" the possibility of McCain running as his vice presidential candidate. Asked point-blank if he wants to be president, McCain answered: "Absolutely. I think every member of the Senate wants to be president." McCain said he wants to gain the White House "because I think I’m qualified to help make the world a better place." As president, McCain said, his foreign policy would greatly mirror President Bush’s: "I believe we have a unique opportunity, particularly now, to spread democracy and freedom throughout the world."
McCain told Men’s Journal he’s going to wait a couple of years before making a decision on running for the White House in 2008, in part because he wants to devote his energy to the Senate. Besides he is yet unsure if the D.F.L. will let him run.
Sen. McCain

Bloodthirsty Beast Intimidates North Korea

North Korea called Vice President Dick Cheney a "Bloodthirsty Beast" on Thursday, in response to Cheney saying the North's leader Kim Jong-il was irresponsible and ran a police state. "Cheney is hated as the most cruel monster and bloodthirsty beast, as he has drenched various parts of the world in blood," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency. Washington and North Korea have been in the midst of a war of words in recent weeks, with President Bush calling the North's Kim a tyrant. Pyongyang has shot back calling Bush a half-baked man and a philistine.
Cheney said in a TV interview with CNN aired on Monday that Kim was "one of the world's more irresponsible leaders." "He runs a police state. He's got one of the most heavily militarised societies in the world," Cheney said. "He doesn't take care of his people at all. And he obviously wants to throw his weight around and become a nuclear power." Cheney's comments showed that the United States wanted to scuttle six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programs in exchange for security guarantees and economic assistance. Washington has been working to revive the talks that have been stalled for about a year. U.S. and North Korean officials had a rare, face-to-face meeting last month at the United Nations that some analysts said was a positive sign pointing to the resumption of talks. But patience is wearing thin in Washington and U.S. officials have said they may take the North Korea nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions if Pyongyang refuses to return to the table. In February, North Korea said it possessed nuclear weapons and was boycotting the six-party talks. Concerns that Pyongyang may soon conduct a nuclear test have added impetus to resume the talks that include North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. "What Cheney uttered at a time when the issue of the six-party talks is high on the agenda is little short of telling the DPRK not to come out for the talks," the North's spokesman said. DPRK is short for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. On Wednesday, South Korea's foreign minister said distrust between Washington and Pyongyang was impeding resumption of the six-party talks, adding he was not overly concerned about the heated rhetoric between the two. "Although improper words between the United States and North Korea were made recently, it is important to understand the stances of (the countries) involved in the six-way talks, rather than being nervous about those words themselves," Ban Ki-moon told a press briefing on Wednesday.
Dick Cheney shows off his "Ass Kicking" foot