Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Canada Faces Threat From Terrorists

An official with Canada's spy agency has said that potential terrorists already reside inside the country, and that some have been schooled in al-Qaida training camps. Jack Hooper, the deputy director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, spoke in Ottawa to a legislative committee studying Canada's involvement in Afghanistan.
Canadian Security Intelligence Service Deputy Director Jack Hooper
Hooper told the lawmakers Canada faces a threat from home-grown terrorists. He said that all the circumstances which produced the London transit bombing are present now in Canada. Hooper said that many of the home-grown terrorists are Canadian citizens.
He also cautioned that his agency has been able to investigate only 10 percent of the immigrants who have come to Canada during the past five years from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Let's Deport Neil Young" Is Sweeping the Nation!

Let’s deport Neil Young for treason

And pull his CDs from the stores

He believes rock-and-roll gave him the power

To slam our President, Country and more

His treasonous words are criminal

The Crazy Horse belongs up North

Let’s deport Neil Young for treason

Seal the boarders, and guard the shores

History has an example

From Abe Lincoln, bless his soul,

Abe shipped a treasonous reporter

To Neil’s homeland - of Toronto

Let’s deport Neil Young for treason

His fame has gone to his head

He claims to support our fighting kids,

Then mocks the freedom for which they are dead

Neil lives safe and wealthy in our Country

In a “Mansion on the Hill”

That hill is free today, of course,

Because of blood our soldiers spilt

I fought in Desert Storm, Neil Young

But hippies don’t pay to hear me

I fought authority like you when I was young,

But you, you’re over sixty

As an American Veteran I have paid my dues

And I value the freedom I live in

I have earned the right as an American to say

Let’s deport Neil Young for treason

Thanks To Aaron At MangDiddles

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Minutemen Installing Border Fence

Scores of volunteers gathered at a remote ranch Saturday to help a civilian border-patrol group start building a short security fence in hopes of reducing illegal immigration from Mexico. The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps plans to install a combination of barbed wire, razor wire, and in some spots, steel rail barriers along the 10-mile stretch of private land in southeastern Arizona. They hope it prompts the federal government to do the same along the entire Arizona border. President Bush has pledged to deploy as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to strengthen enforcement at the border. The guardsmen would fill in on some behind-the-lines Border Patrol jobs while that agency's force is expanded.
Minuteman volunteers build a fence along the U.S./Mexican border near Palominas Saturday.
But the Minutemen have said it's not enough. The group's founder, Chris Simcox, said they want a secure fence and they're starting at the site where his first patrols began in November 2002. Rancher John Ladd and his son, Jack, were hopeful the effort would limit the illegal immigrants and drug runners who have cut the small fence along the property or just driven over it to cross into the U.S. "We've been fighting this thing for 10 years with the fence, and nobody will do anything," Jack Ladd said. Most of the day was dedicated to speeches from politicians and Minutemen leaders and celebrating large donations the Minutemen group has been receiving. Minuteman spokeswoman Connie Hair said it would take up to three weeks to build the estimated $100,000 fence. So far, the group has raised $380,000 for more border fences, she said. Timothy Schwartz of Glendale, Ariz., who was among at least 200 volunteers gathered, said he wants to see a fence along the border from California to Texas. "We're not going to stop," Schwartz said. "We're going to stay here with a group and keep building." Quetzal Doty of Sun Lakes, Ariz., a retired U.S. diplomatic consular officer, brought his wife, Sandy, to the event. He said he's convinced the Minutemen and most Americans aren't anti- immigrant. "They're just anti-illegal," said Doty. "The Minutemen walk the extra mile to avoid being anti-immigrant and that's what we like about the organization and what got us interested."

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Station Owner Shoots Out Tires Of Customer Who Forgot His Wallet At Home

Deputies arrested a store owner accused of shooting out two tires on a customer's vehicle after the customer said he had no money to pay for gasoline, spokesman Jason Ard of the Livingston Parish Sheriffs Office said. The motorist had pumped $36.50 worth of gasoline, then discovered he didn't have the money to pay for it, Ard said. An argument with the store owner followed.When the motorist tried to leave, the grocery store owner fired a shot that hit one of the customer's tires, then fired a second shot into another tire after the driver pulled back into the parking lot, deputies said. Deputies booked Nardeep S. Bhullar, 25, the owner of Singhs Grocery, with aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and illegal discharge of a firearm. Deputies also booked Chaz R. Watkins, 18, of Holden with theft of gasoline, Ard said.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

School Bans Sesame Street Gang T-Shirts

Brockton High School has banned certain T-shirts featuring Sesame Street characters. But these aren't typical pictures of Big Bird and the crew. In some, Bert and Ernie are standing in a gang posture, armed with automatic weapons. Others feature Oscar the Grouch emerging from his garbage can, wielding a nine-millimeter handgun. Principal Susan Szachowicz says only a few of the shirts appeared, but that was enough for the school to ban them because of the violent, pro-gang message. She says the T-shirts also violate the school's dress policy.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Iran Test-Fires Long-Range Missile

Iran conducted a test launch Tuesday night of the Shihab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which is capable of reaching Israel and US targets in the region, Israel Radio reported. The test came hours before Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with US President George W Bush in Washington to discuss the Iranian threat. Military officials said it was not clear if this most recent test indicated an advance in the capabilities of the Shihab 3. They said the test was likely timed to coincide with the Washington summit and with comments made by Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah during celebrations in Beirut marking the 6th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon. "What deters the enemy from launching an aggression is the resistance's continuous readiness to respond," Nasrallah told scores of supporters. "Northern Israel today is within the range of the resistance's rockets. The ports, bases, factories and everything is within that range."
Iran's Shihab-3 missile
The Shihab test was only "partly successful," according to news reports. The nature of the difficulties was not clear. The Iranians have been working to extend the Shihab 3's current maximum range of 1,300 kilometers. A year ago, they successfully tested a solid fuel motor for the missile. In December, Israel's defense against an Iranian ballistic missile strike, the Arrow 2 missile system, succeeded in intercepting an incoming rocket simulating an Iranian Shihab 3 at an altitude higher than in the previous 13 exercises. Maj. Elyakim, commander of the Arrow missile battery at Palmahim, told The Jerusalem Post last month that the missile crews were always on high alert, but that they were recently instructed to "raise their level of awareness" because of developments on the Iranian front. The Arrow missile, he said, could intercept and destroy any Iranian missile fired at Israel, including ones carrying non-conventional warheads. Experts believe that if Iran is attacked by Israel or the US, Teheran would respond by firing long-range ballistic missiles at Israel.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

80 Taliban Rebels Killed In U.S.-Led Coalition Attack

Up to 80 Taliban rebels and at least 16 civilians were killed yesterday during a coalition air and ground attack on a village in southern Afghanistan, officials and witnesses said. The U.S.-led coalition said it called in warplanes after troops who were trying to capture insurgents in Kandahar province came under fire, while a governor said some of the militants had hidden in locals' houses. Bloodied men, women and children who streamed into a nearby hospital using vehicles that withstood the bombing said dozens of civilians died and scores more were wounded. The air strike came amid some of the worst violence since the 2001 fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan. About 300 people have been killed in the past week, about twice the number reported killed in Iraq."Coalition forces conducted a significant operation early this morning in the Kandahar region near the village of Azizi that resulted in the unconfirmed deaths of possibly up to 80 Taliban members," according to a coalition statement. "The purpose of this morning's operation was to detain individuals suspected of terrorist and anti-Afghanistan activities. However, during the operation, coalition forces encountered organized armed opposition. "Ground and close air support assets engaged the extremists, who were firing on coalition troops and endangering innocent civilians." The coalition said it was investigating reports of civilian deaths. Its troops "only targeted armed resistance, compounds and buildings known to harbor extremists," according to the statement. Kandahar provincial Gov. Asadullah Khalid told reporters that at least 16 civilians were killed and 15 were wounded in the attack. "There were reports that the Taliban were in this village, but when the US planes started bombardment, the Taliban used the people's houses as a front. That's why there were civilian casualties," Mr. Khalid said at the main hospital in Kandahar city, 20 miles east of the bombed area. An 18-year-old with wounds to his face and chest said there had been Taliban members in the village, but they disappeared when the bombs started to fall. "One hit my house. I was wounded, and my two brothers were killed," said the teenager, who gave only his first name, Azizullah. He also said he had seen scores of dead and wounded on his way to the hospital. There have been several major battles with insurgents during the past week, including a clash in Panjwayi on Wednesday and Thursday, which Mr. Khalid said left 100 Taliban members dead. Insurgents also carried out three suicide bombings. Separately, Afghan and coalition forces said Monday that they had arrested a midlevel Taliban leader who was a rebel commander for Helmand province, during an operation Friday in neighboring Uruzgan province. Mullah Mohibullah was responsible for a Taliban ambush on Friday that killed one U.S. soldier and wounded several others, it said.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Iraq’s Neighbours Hail New Government

Iraq’s neighbours hailed the formation of the new government in Baghdad after months of tortuous negotiations, with Iran saying it was determined to improve ties with Iraq. “Iran welcomes the formation of the new Iraqi government and we are determined to expand and solidify our brotherly relations with Iraq,” foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters in Tehran. Jordan’s King Abdullah II telephoned Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to congratulate him, calling the new government “a significant step towards building a new Iraq that would be able to fulfil the aspirations of its people for a better life, democracy, pluralism and stronger national unity”. The king also told Talabani that Amman is keen on helping Iraq restore security in a country battling a Sunni-led insurgency. Jordanian Prime Minister Maaruf Bakhit told new Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that Amman was determined to bolster ties with Baghdad on various fronts.
Jalal Talabani
In Damascus, Prime Minister Mohammed Naji Otri congratulated Maliki on forming his government and reaffirmed “Syrian support for Iraq and its wish to accord all possible help”. Otri, whose government has been accused by Washington of helping fuel the insurgency, also said he hoped the new government will bring stability and security to Iraq, according to the official SANA news agency. Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum meeting in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, called the new government “a step on the right path towards achieving security and stability”. Although the government was finally formed on Saturday, more than five months after the December 2005 election, the cabinet is still without either a defence or interior minister. Mussa added that he hoped the development would speed up preparations for an Arab League-sponsored Iraqi conference aimed at defusing sectarian tension. The pan-Arab body plans to hold the conference in Baghdad on June 20. It was meant to have taken place earlier this year, but was delayed as Iraqi politicians continued to bicker over the line-up of the new government and the choice of prime minister. In Tehran, Mr Asefi said Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will visit Baghdad soon. His trip would be the first high-level visit to Iraq by an Iranian official since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election win in June last year. Former foreign minister Kamal Kharazi visited Iraq in May 2005. The new Iraqi administration is the first full-term government since the end of the Saddam regime, and is a broad coalition aimed at uniting a country torn by daily violence and facing a lack of basic necessities.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tip Leads Border Patrol To 91 Illegals In Truck

Border Patrol agents discovered 91 Illegal entrants who were smuggled into the country in the back of a box truck southwest of Sonoita. The Border Patrol received a call from a concerned citizen about possible illegal activity, said Jesus Rodriguez, a spokesman for the agency's Tucson sector. The caller said they believed the truck was picking up illegal entrants. Border Patrol agents from Nogales and Sonoita pulled the truck over on Highway 82 around Milepost 26, at which time the driver got out and ran into the brush, Rodriguez said. Inside the truck, agents found 91 illegal entrants, most of whom were from Mexico but some were from Central America, he said. No injuries were reported and the driver of the truck was not found, Rodriguez said. The illegal entrants were detained and taken to the Nogales processing center.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

North Korea Preparing Missile Launch

North Korea moved a missile to a launch site this month, but there has been no credible intelligence yet that the country is preparing to test-fire it, South Korean and Japanese officials said today. Reports that North Korea may be getting ready to test-launch a type of ballistic missile that some analysts say could reach the United States come amid moves by Washington to improve relations with the reclusive state. Test-firing a long-range missile would drastically escalate tension in Northeast Asia and beyond and would likely set back international efforts to persuade North Korea to disarm and open up to the outside world. Two Japanese news organizations reported today that movement has been observed near a missile base in northeastern North Korea since earlier this month, quoting unidentified South Korean government officials who cited satellite photographs.Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that the officials said a missile, possibly a Taepodong-2 ballistic missile, had been brought to the site. U.S. officials say the 116-foot-long Taepodong-2 has a firing range of 9,300 miles and could reach as far as the U.S. mainland. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso told a parliamentary committee the government was aware of North Korea's missile movement. "In fact, we understand that [the missile] has been brought to the site," he said, "but we are not sure about any subsequent moves." Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said his government didn't expect an immediate test. The U.S. military in South Korea and the State Department in Washington had no immediate comment. U.S. officials are considering ways to improve relations with North Korea once it returns to international talks on ending its nuclear weapons program, but said Thursday they are dangling no new incentives to restart the stalled talks.A news agency reported that top advisers to President Bush have recommended beginning negotiations on a peace treaty on a parallel track with the disarmament talks. The White House urged North Korea to return to the multilateral talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, which began in 2003. "Unfortunately, you can't have anything new until North Korea has taken the first step of going back to the six-party talks," White House spokesman Tony Snow said. "We've been very clear, North Korea comes back to the table, we proceed from that point on." North Korea shocked the world in 1998 by launching a Taepodong-1 missile over its territory and into the Pacific Ocean. The North said it was an attempt to put a satellite in orbit. North Korea announced a moratorium on long-range missile tests in 1999 but has since test-fired short-range missiles many times, including two in early March.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Billboard Touts Americas Immigration Position

The debate over immigration is extending to a billboard on I-95 in Miami. The Alliance says it has erected a billboard that states: "Stop the Invasion Secure Our Borders" at 79th Street facing south. The conservative citizen activist group, which put its first billboard up in Dallas, this week is adding Atlanta and Miami, with future plans for Phoenix, Georgia and Louisiana. Ron De Jong, the group's communications director, said Alliance had two reasons for choosing South Florida. "No. 1, we chose it because we have a very strong grassroots presence in Florida. We have a great deal of support coming out of Florida for such a board." The second reason is "South Florida has a major influx of illegal aliens - and legal, as well - but we're not opposed to legal immigrants," he said, adding that the group likes legal immigrants. De Jong said he has a relative active in the construction industry in South Florida who has been frustrated trying to figure out whether documentation provided by workers is accurate."I feel for those kinds of companies, but those other companies that don't care and will take anybody - those are the ones we are taking exception to," he said. The group's president, Steve Elliott, plans to be in Miami on Thursday to unveil the billboard, but De Jong said motorists can already see it.'s Web site pitches visitors to sponsor billboards at the rate of $25 a square foot. The group opposes what it calls an amnesty proposal for illegal immigrants by the Senate. President George W. Bush, in a speech Monday night, outlined what appeared to be middle ground between the Senate and the sterner House proposals to deal with immigration.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Senate Endorses Border Fence

The U.S. Senate endorsed a plan to build a roughly 370 miles of triple-layered fencing along the border with Mexico as a proposed immigration reform bill moves forward. By a 83-16 votes, senators also approved a proposal to build some 800 km of vehicle barriers along the border as part of the plan. Although it was seen as a significant victory for conservative Republicans who call for deportation of all the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country, it is unlikely that they can stop the passage of the overall immigration reform bill. The bill authorizes additional spending on border security, a guest worker program, an eventual opportunity at citizenship for most of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country, and tougher enforcement of laws prohibiting hiring of illegal workers.Backers of the bill on Tuesday defeated two amendments that would have gutted the Senate bill. President George W. Bush, who supports the bill in principal, gave the debate momentum on Monday by announcing the deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops to southwestern border states to support the Border Patrol. Senate passage of the bill appears likely by the end of the month. Opponents of the bill are planning other amendments but said the big fight will occur when negotiators try to merge the Senate bill with the House's version which will make all illegal immigrants criminals.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ward Churchill Accused Of Academic Fraud! ("No Shit, Sherlock!")

An investigation of a professor who likened some of the Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi found serious cases of misconduct in his academic research, including plagiarism and fabrications, a University of Colorado spokesman said. One member of the five-person investigative committee recommended that ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill be fired, and four recommended he be suspended, university spokesman Barrie Hartman said. Churchill, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, declined comment. The professor touched off a firestorm with an essay relating the 2001 terrorist attacks to U.S. abuses abroad.
Ward Churchill
The essay referred to some World Trade Center victims as "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, who carried out Adolf Hitler's plan to exterminate European Jews during World War II. University officials had earlier determined Churchill could not be fired for his comments about the terrorist attacks, but they launched an inquiry into allegations about his research. The committee's 125-page report said Churchill falsified, fabricated and plagiarized some of his research, did not always comply with standards for listing other authors' names and failed to follow accepted practice for reporting results. The decision on his future at the university will be made by school officials later this year. Churchill has said if he is fired, he will sue.
Natsu Saito
Churchill's wife, Natsu Saito, who also teaches in the ethnic studies department, said she had resigned her tenured teaching position at the school but said she and Churchill have no plans to leave Boulder. Saito said she will resume teaching at Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta, where she has been on the faculty since 1994. She has been on leave from Georgia State since January 2004 while teaching ethnic studies at CU. Saito said she would commute to Atlanta to teach at the Georgia State law school. In her resignation letter, Saito accused the university of reneging on promises to her and the department, ignoring racial harassment of the department and individuals, and treating Churchill unfairly. She said her decision to resign was not prompted by the pending report.

Why Our Schools Never Have Any Money

Six metro school superintendents left their positions this year for various reasons, but the compensation they received is causing controversy. Former Minneapolis Superintendent Thandiwe Peebles resigned in January after allegations of misconduct. Despite those allegations, her departure cost the district nearly $250,000. State Auditor Pat Anderson has been a vocal critic of superintendent compensation. She says the compensation packages can reward poor performance. "You're essentially paying people for poor performance," she says. Her office analyzed the severance terms in the contracts of 19 Minnesota School superintendents and concluded that the average severance pay is $73,000.However, several superintendents are under contracts that offer severance packages that are significantly more valuable. Orono's superintendent would receive as much as $140,000, Bloomington�s nearly $160,000, Burnsville�s approximately $176,000 and Farmington�s superintendent would receive $193,000. Rosemount's superintendent's severance package would be highest, at $203,000. "So they're leaving, breaking their own contracts, and leaving Minnesota with several hundred thousand dollars in taxpayers' money," Anderson says.Bob Lowe of The Minnesota School Boards Association says there just aren't enough qualified people who want to deal with the politics and job insecurity involved in being a superintendent. As a result, school districts compete by offering large severance packages. Lowe says his organization has been encouraging districts to put more caps on what a superintendent can earn if they leave. "We like to see contracts in this day and age written so that individuals have and want to stay and not want to leave," Lowe says. Lowe adds that many of the perks in contracts started more than 20 years ago when superintendent base salary was required to be less than the governor's. That law has since changed, but large severance packages continue.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Canada Wants To Extend Mission In Afghanistan To 2009

Canada's new minority Conservative government plans to extend the country's 2,300-soldier mission in Afghanistan by two years to 2009, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and opposition politicians said. They said Parliament would hold a six-hour debate on the matter starting at 3pm (1900 GMT) on Wednesday and then stage a vote. When contacted by Reuters, the chief spokeswoman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper declined to comment. "They want a two-year extension to the mission," said a spokesman for Bill Graham, leader of the official opposition Liberal Party.Canada's troops, based in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, were supposed to return home in February 2007. Four soldiers died in a roadside bomb blast on April 22, bringing to 16 the number of Canadians who have died in Afghanistan since the September 11 attacks. The deaths sparked calls for a parliamentary debate on what Canada is doing in Afghanistan, something which Harper, who took office in January, has refused to do, saying it would only undermine the troops' morale. An Ekos poll provided to Reuters last week showed support among Canadians for the mission in Afghanistan had slipped but was still relatively solid despite the latest casualties.

Manila Pledges To Flush Out Abu Sayyaf Rebels From Hideouts

The Philippines military is confident it can flush out Abu Sayyaf guerrillas from forest hideouts but says the insurgents might try to bomb cities as the tide turns against them. Marines Brigadier-General Juancho Sabban said that a year-long campaign to gain the trust of the Tausug people on the southern island of Jolo, the heartland of Abu Sayyaf, had been rewarded with information about the group’s bases. “So far, the big and decisive battle has not yet happened but with the support of the local people it is inevitable,” Sabban said in an interview. “In our assessment they are on the run.” Sabban said military raids were forcing Abu Sayyaf cells to scatter to remote parts of Jolo and keep on the move. “Any organisation that is dying needs to be resuscitated by conducting terrorist activities,” he said. “We are applying pressure here. So, they will try and plan a bombing in Davao or Manila or Zamboanga but our security forces are aware of this.The Marines chief was speaking at a one-day clinic held by US and Philippine military medics for local people in the town of Luuk on Jolo, 900km south of Manila. Manila is fighting insurgencies by communist rebels and several Muslim groups which have killed more than 160,000 people since the late 1960s. The government is holding talks with the largest Islamic insurgent group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and has said it expects to sign a peace deal this year. Abu Sayyaf, the smallest but most ruthless of the four Muslim rebel organisations, works and trains with Jemaah Islamiah, al Qaeda’s franchise in Asia, in remote southern locations like Jolo. Since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has helped the Phlippines hunt Abu Sayyaf and stop its islands being used as sanctuaries for militant groups.The Philippines constitution bars foreign troops from going into combat on its territory but several hundred US military advisers and trainers are deployed at any one time in the southern region to help local units. Washington is also pouring millions of dollars into humanitarian works in places like Jolo, where bitter memories of atrocities by American colonial forces a century ago still linger. The money helps the Philippines military to build schools, roads and wells, boosting the threadbare local economy and helping to win villagers over. Sabban says the joint effort has borne fruit in Jolo, where fierce battles between the army and rebels displaced tens of thousands of people last year. Abu Sayyaf, believed to number about 400, bombed a karaoke stall and a shop on Jolo this year, and the group is blamed for the Philippines’ worst such attack, an explosion of a ferry in February 2004 that killed more than 100 people. Before the ferry attack, the group was notorious for kidnapping and beheading Filipino and foreign tourists.

Monday, May 15, 2006

God Attacks Senator Kennedy

A plane carrying U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy from western Massachusetts to his home on the coast was struck by lightning and had to be diverted to New Haven, Conn., his spokeswoman said. The eight-seat Cessna Citation 550 plane lost all electrical power, including communications, and the pilot had to fly the plane manually, according to spokeswoman Melissa Wagoner. No one was hurt.The Democrat had just delivered the commencement address at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams and was on his way to his Cape Cod home when the plane was struck around 4 p.m., she said. The jet landed safely at New Haven at 4:11 p.m., said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Murray. A report was filed with the agency, which will look into the incident, she said. Kennedy planned to stay in Connecticut overnight because he was scheduled to return to western Massachusetts on Sunday to deliver a commencement address at Springfield College, Wagoner said.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Its About Time!

President George W. Bush isconsidering substantially increasing the presence of National Guard troops on the country's borders with Mexico. Bush will push next week for a broad overhaul of the nation's immigration laws and plans to tighten security on the borders, and he is expected to use a prime-time television address Monday to outline his plans and then visit the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday to highlight the problem of illegal immigration. National Guard troops are already deployed under state emergency declarations in New Mexico and Arizona, and administration officials are exploring ways to allow governors to deploy troops across state lines to help seal the porous borders with Mexico.White House officials were intentionally vague on the National Guard deployment, instead emphasizing a plan to hire more contractors to fill administrative posts with the Border Patrol so more agents could be deployed to the frontiers. Pentagon officials emphasized that any military support would be limited. "Any additional (Defense Department) support for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations would be temporary in nature and allow CBP to recruit and train additional personnel," military spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith was quoted as saying. The number of illegal immigrants in the United States is estimated at up to 12 million, and rallies in recent months have brought millions of them to the streets of Washington, Los Angeles,Dallas, Chicago and other cities.The House of Representatives passed a bill last December that would make illegal immigrants felons and build hundreds of miles of fence along the Mexican border without offering avenues to legality for undocumented workers. Senate leaders meanwhile have agreed to take up the issue of immigration again, more than a month after a bipartisan compromise measure collapsed, and are preparing for difficult negotiations with the House. The Senate bill would tighten border security, create a guest worker program and the unfavorable conception of granting illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.

Friday, May 12, 2006

British Terror Attacks Prevented

British police and intelligence officers have prevented three terrorist attacks in Britain since the deadly transit bombings in July, a top government official said.
Home Secretary John Reid, speaking in the House of Commons, did not indicate whether he counted the failed bombing attempts on July 21 among the three. Four suspected would-be bombers and a number of other people were arrested after bombs failed to explode at three Underground stations and aboard a bus. A report released by a Parliamentary committee said several plots had been intercepted following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and before the deadly transit bombings in London on July 7, but gave no details on numbers.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Racist University of Minnesota Instructor

Comments a University of Minnesota instructor made at a rally are causing controversy about what is and is not considered racist. Susana De Leon, an activist and part-time instructor of Mexican-American studies, was involved in a verbal confrontation at the rally in Owatonna. "Yes, people from Europe are wet backs man... their backs so wet because they had to cross an ocean to get here," De Leon said at the rally. De Leon is also an immigration attorney who led the rally in Owatonna. She added that it is not possible for minorities to be racist against white people.Nathan Smit, of the Minnesota Coalition for Immigration Reduction, says he felt her comments were racist toward white people. "It actually almost hurt my feelings," Smit said. De Leon said the confrontation escalated because members of the immigration group were being intimidating. "Eventually they came and shove a sign in my face, and they're murmuring under their breathe the most terrible racist things," De Leon said. "So there's a point, yes, I take the sign and I take it away." Another member of the immigration reduction group said it was De Leon who escalated the confrontation with her words. "I would never say those things to anybody, even if I didn't like them," said Paul Westrum. "But the thing is, because she's a minority she thinks she can get by with it." Vivian Jenkins Nelson, a diversity expert from the Inter-race Institute and author of the "Diversity Dictionary", would not condemn De Leon's language, but did say it was not helpful. "There are much bigger conversations that need our attention and effort than name calling at a rally somewhere," Jenkins Nelson said.Westrum and Smit said her language would be considered racist if a white person had used those terms. But Westrum is more angry that she is paid by the public."I'd like to see her services terminated," he said. University officials declined requests for an interview, but they said state employees have the same freedoms of speech and have the right to participate in political and social protests.

Manila Set To Open Base For Australia

The Philippines and Australia will soon sign a security pact allowing Australian troops to be stationed in the South-east Asian nation, the Philippine defence minister said. Avelino Cruz, who is in Malaysia to attend a meeting of South-east Asian defence ministers, said the Philippines hoped to sign similar agreements with other South-east Asian nations to strengthen the battle against terrorism. “I have talked to most of the defence ministers in Asean and I have broached to them the idea of a status of forces agreement in order that we can conduct joint exercises against terrorism or for disaster response,” Cruz said. Annual meetings of defence ministers planned by the 10-country Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) would be a tremendous boost in helping to hammer out such agreements, he added.
Avelino Cruz
“If Asean were a chariot, the defence ministers’ meetings will be an additional stallion to push it forward,” Cruz said. A status of forces agreement (Sofa) with Australia would allow thousands of Australian soldiers to participate in annual military exercises with the United States. “With respect to Australia, the negotiating partners have met twice, and I’ve seen the almost final draft and the issues are easily surmountable, and I think probably in a month or so that should be completed and signed and executed,” Cruz said. Canberra, which has shown deep concern over the activities of Islamic militants in the southern Philippines since the 2002 Bali bombing, already provides training for about 60 Philippine soldiers a year in Australia. A handful of Australian police officers is based in the Philippines to train counterparts in bomb-investigation methods. Cruz said the Philippines also hoped to sign similar agreements with Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. “The next step will be, after I send them a formal letter, to constitute negotiating panels for those Asean members who are keen to enter into a SOFA with the Philippines,” he added. The Philippines will launch a new security pact with the United States on May 24 to jointly fight militants, bird flu, piracy, natural disasters and other threats, Cruz said. The United States, a former colonial ruler of the South-east Asian country, has been a major source of military aid for the poorly funded Philippine armed forces, in the form of training and hardware such as rifles, gunboats and helicopters. Washington has poured in more than $300m in security assistance since 2000. The two countries had agreed to create a legal framework for cooperation on issues outside a defence treaty that dates to the 1950s, said Cruz, who was President Arroyo’s lawyer before she named him defence secretary in August 2004.

Arizona County Uses Posse To Crack Down On Illegal Immigrants

Just what we needed. The flamboyant Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County (the Phoenix area), will now have his deputies start arresting illegal immigrants. More precisely, Sheriff Joe is deploying his volunteer — and fully armed — posse to do the job. The detentions will be made under a new law that the Sheriff says renders the undocumented guilty of smuggling themselves illegally into the county. Arpaio has been making headlines for the last decade: first by locking up his prisoners in a tent city; then by issuing them pink underwear, striped uniforms and green-colored bologna sandwiches.
Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio
When interviewed a few of years ago he got angry when a reporter referred to him as only the meanest Sheriff in the country. He slammed his desk saying, "I'm the damned meanest Sheriff in the world!"

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pentagon Halts Deployment Of 3500 Troops To Iraq

Pentagon officials said 3,500 fresh US troops will not deploy to Iraq as had been planned for early May, as commanders monitor security on the ground. "The Second Brigade, First Infantry Division, based in Schweinfurt, Germany, will not begin its deployment to Iraq in early May as scheduled," the Defense Department said in a statement. The statement said the decision would "not affect the current number of US troops in Iraq, which is numbering approximately 133,000".Commander of the coalition forces, General George Casey, recommended last year substantial troop reductions for 2006. In late April, he said that selection of new Iraqi Prime Minister Jawad al-Maliki was an important milestone in that respect. The Pentagon statement said that more than 254,000 Iraqi troops have been trained and equipped.

Monday, May 08, 2006

240 Australian Troops To Be Stationed In Afghanistan

Australia will send a 240-strong military team to Afghanistan to work with a Dutch-led reconstruction project in the country's troubled south-central region, Prime Minister John Howard said. "The 240 personnel will begin going to Afghanistan in July and will proceed in appropriate numbers at an appropriate pace... over the weeks and months following that," Howard told reporters. The deployment of Australian personnel to Afghanistan's Uruzgan province was announced in February, but Howard said the size and composition of the force had now been determined following discussions with the Netherlands. The Netherlands, which will lead the reconstruction team, has committed some 1,400 troops to the project.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard (L) and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.
Howard said the deployment was a "further reminder of our very strong commitment to the coalition effort in Afghanistan" despite the dangers of operating in the violence-wracked central Asian nation. "The situation in Afghanistan requires a continued strong coalition presence," he said. "Like all operations in that country there is danger. The situation in Afghanistan still remains in a number of parts of the country quite fraught." Howard said the latest deployment was a reinforcement of the commitment the Australian government made in 2001, when it was part of the US-led coalition force which ousted the fundamentalist Taliban regime harbouring Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Australia later withdrew its soldiers only to redeploy 190 elite special forces troops again in 2005 to counter growing rebel attacks. Australian special forces in Afghanistan have come under fire from militants since their deployment last year, with four soldiers so far wounded fighting anti-government elements. Defence Minister Brendan Nelson said while the new deployment would cost about 270 million dollars (208 million US) it would not over-extend Australia's military commitments, which also include some 900 troops stationed in Iraq. "Whilst Afghanistan is remote for Australia, this is very much in the interest of the next generation fighting terrorism in this country," he said. The government would not deploy troops unless it could sustain the operation as well as run operations in other areas if need be, he said. "If, under any other circumstances, we are required to deploy, whether it's in our region or remoter parts of the world, we are ready, willing and able," Nelson said.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Air America to Lose Flagship

Air America Radio will lose its New York flagship station, WLIB-AM, on Aug. 31. While the left-leaning radio network’s original lease for the Inner City station ran out March 31, Air America Radio managed to get an extension which only lasts until Aug. 31, according to an informed source.Through an agreement with ICBC, WLIB will be operated as a joint venture and programmed by P1, a company run by former Clear Channel and Jacor Communications executive Randy Michaels. Michaels is expected to program a progressive-talk format, but replace Air America Radio’s network programming with more local programming. A likely addition to the new lineup: Ed Schultz, the left-of-center talker syndicated by P1.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Navy Chaplain May Face Court-Martial For Praying

A Chaplain stationed at Naval Station Norfolk said he could face court-martial for praying in uniform outside the White House. Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt said he prayed at a March 30 protest opposing Department of Defense rules forbidding military chaplains from invoking the name of Jesus Christ. He's accused of violating an order not to appear in uniform at news conferences in support of personal or religious issues.
Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt
The issue seems to hinge on whether his praying at the event was permissible participation at a bona fide religious service. Klingenschmitt is rejecting non-judicial punishment in favor of trial by court-martial. In addition, he's filing a complaint against the Navy claiming the threat of punishment against him amounts to religious harassment and he's appealing to the White House to end what he claims are the military's attempts to take reprisals against a whistle-blower.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mass Transit On Alert

The Department of Homeland Security has alerted U.S. mass transit officials to "suspicious videotaping" of European rail systems that point to a continuing terrorist interest in targeting mass transit and "possible surveillance or pre-operational planning." According to a short unclassified infrastructure security "private sector note" released Tuesday, May 2nd, DHS says a 17 minute hand held videotape by one foreign national detained in November in a major European city included footage of several stations, two routes and the interior of one "subway car." None of the footage was of tourist attractions. Information from a second suspicious videotaping, also in November 2005, was factored into the one page private sector note."Two incidents of suspicious videotaping of a European mass transit system in the last 120 days provide indications of continued terrorist interest in mass transit systems as targets, and potentially useful insight into terrorist surveillance techniques," DHS said. The contents of the 17 minute tape that appeared suspicious included the recording of station signs from inside a moving train, shooting footage of the rail car and station platform ceilings and recording trash can and stairwell locations. This footage seems to mesh with known techniques and elements of prior casing reports of planned and executed terrorist plots including the London bombing and plots against the New York City subway system. The Department of Homeland Security stresses that there is no specific or credible threat information at this time to suggest an an attack on U.S. rail systems, a spokesman said.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

16 Year Old Boy Executes His Father's Killer

A teenage Somali boy has stabbed to death his father's killer in a public execution ordered by an Islamic court. Large crowds gathered at a Koranic school in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, to watch Mohamed Moallim, 16, stab Omar Hussein in the head and throat. Hussein had been convicted of killing the boy's father, Sheikh Osman Moallim, after a row about Mohamed's education. Islamic courts have brought a semblance of order to Mogadishu, imposing Sharia law after years of rule by warlords. However there is some opposition to the courts. A group of warlords has been fighting a militia loyal to the Islamic courts, which they accuse of links to al-Qaeda. Under Sharia law those who commit murder are punishable by death. Hussein was tied to a stake and had his head covered by a bag ahead of his execution. He shouted "There is no God but Allah" as Mohamed Moallim stepped up to take his revenge. Speaking afterwards, the boy said he felt satisfied that Hussein was dead."I am happy now because I killed the man who killed my father," he told the Reuters news agency. The execution marked the first time the local court in the Bermuda district of Mogadishu had handed down a death penalty, local media reported. Residents in the nearby area have reported a drop in robberies, murder and general lawlessness since the court began its work, Radio HornAfrik said. There has been no effective central government in Somalia for 15 years, leaving warlords to fight for control of local areas.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Plans of Regime Overthrow From The Shah of Iran's Heir

Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah of Iran, told reporters that in the next two to three months he hopes to finalize the organization of a movement aimed at overthrowing the Islamic regime in Tehran and replacing it with a democratic government. He believes the cause is urgent because of the prospect that Iran may soon develop a nuclear weapon or the U.S. may use military force to preempt that. He hopes to offer a way out of this dilemma: a revolution sparked by massive civil disobedience in which the masses in the streets are backed by elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Reza Pahlavi
Pahlavi, who lives in exile in the United States, said he has been in contact with elements of the Revolutionary Guard that would be willing to play such a role, and activists who could help spark the civil disobedience. He also said that the U.S. and other governments can help by imposing “smart sanctions” on the leaders of Iranian regime, but he categorically opposes U.S. military intervention. After the revolution he envisions, Pahlavi said, he would be willing to become a constitutional monarch in Iran if an Iranian constitutional convention offered him that role. “I’m ready to serve in that capacity,” he said. “If the people so choose, it would be my greatest honor.”

Monday, May 01, 2006

14-Year-Old Kicks Abductors Sorry Ass

14-year-old is being credited with fighting off her attacker. Brittney Richardson says she was grabbed by a man last Friday night on 93rd Avenue in Westminster, after walking home from the grocery store. But her attacker quickly learned that Brittney isn't your typical teenager.
Brittney Richardson, pictured with her mother, Barb, knocked down a would-be abductor - a man in his 30s. "She did what she was taught," said her instructor, Amanda Christensen.
She has a brown belt in Karate, and she used the skills she's learned during two years of classes. "I turned and I hit him," she says. "I just knocked this guy out." She immediately ran away, and called police. Her instructors couldn't be prouder. "Brittney did exactly, step by step, what we teach," said Amanda Christensen. "This fella found out you don't mess with her." "Karate is the best thing that's ever happened in my life," she says. "I have to say that my training has been very effective." Although Brittney will have a black belt in one year, she says in many respects she's a typical teenage girl. "I'm the girl that's into boys, likes to talk on the phone, paints my nails," she says. Her would-be attacker has not yet been found. He's described as a white man in his 30's, with bleached blonde hair, and blue eyes.