Sunday, October 16, 2005

Reporting from outside the US mainstream media

US VICE President Dick Cheney's chief of staff could face obstruction and other charges over exchanges with a New York Times reporter people close to the case said yesterday.
Prosecutors are winding up an investigation of who leaked a covert CIA operative’s identity. President George W Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, and Mr Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis Libby, were among the possible targets of the probe. Legal sources said special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was likely to decide this week whether or not to bring indictments.
While Mr Fitzgerald could try to charge administration officials with knowingly revealing the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, several lawyers in the case said he was more likely to seek charges for conspiracy and easier-to-prove crimes such as disclosing classified information, making false statements, obstruction and perjury.

The above, e-mailed by Dominick, is from "White House braced as inquiry into leaked CIA name ends" (The Irish Examiner). This is our "what's being reported outside the US mainstream media" entries. I'll note that while I understand the anger coming through in some of the e-mails, I'm not reading the article that some feel has swiped from this site. I have no interest in it. What I do have interest in is what we're putting up here and we've got everything that was recommended in this entry and the following one. Why? Because most people are focused on what they see as a rip off.

So who's suffering now? If it wasn't a rip off, it was a coincidence and that can happen. If it was a rip off, what are you going do? If it was a rip off, ___ wins twice. Once by ripping off and now because we're so focused on the nonsense of ___ that we can't focus on what we're supposed to.

My opinion (and I'm but one member, I do not control the community, believe me, I know that)
is we need to focus on the stuff that matters and ____ isn't one of them. The agreement/consensus of members who run their own sites is that ___ will never be mentioned at any of them. That won't be hard to do here. (Statements of "in fairness" came from me re: ____ in the past but anytime we've mentioned ____ the e-mails have been plentiful expressing outrage.) So let's just focus on what matters (my opinion, my hope).

Kara e-mails to note Aluf Benn and Yoav Stern's "U.S. tells Israel: Leave Syria to us" (Haaretz):

The United States has asked Israel to keep out of efforts to bring pressure to bear on Syria, and to leave things to Washington's devices. Messages in this vein have been repeated recently on a number of occasions, with U.S. officials asking Israel to stay out of things whenever their Israeli counterparts have raised the situation in Syria during talks.Government sources said yesterday that they had no knowledge of a so-called "Gadhafi package deal" that the Americans had offered Syria to bring it in from the international cold, as reported in the British Times newspaper.
[. . .]
The United States has recently stopped Syria from joining the World Trade Organization as part of its isolation policy against Damascus. For its part, the European Union is delaying the approval of the new Syria-EU Association Agreement, which would grant Syria economic and other benefits.

Skip e-mails to note "Disease threatens Guatemalan mudslide survivors" (Reuters' via Australia's ABC):

Doctors fear that overcrowding and septic water could lead to a rash of illness among survivors of a landslide that swept away a Guatemalan village this month.
Thousands of people from the Maya Indian village of Panabaj are crammed into churches and houses in the nearby village of Santiago.
The Government is racing to build temporary shelters.
"The worst problem now is the risk of epidemics," said Alfonso Verdu, coordinator of Doctors Without Borders in Guatemala.

Lynda suggests everyone think about this as Operation Happy Talk is relaunched via Iraq, from "Afghan poll staff fired over fraud" (Aljazeera):

A UN-backed election commission has dismissed about 50 of its staff for suspected fraud in last month's legislative polls, officials said, raising doubts about the legitimacy of Afghanistan's final formal step towards democracy.
About 680 ballot boxes, almost 3% of the total, have been taken out of the counting process because of suspicions they were stuffed, said Richard Atwood, chief of operations for the joint UN-Afghan election commission.
But he said, "the fraud that has occurred does not affect the integrity of the election" and ruled out a re-count.

[. . .]
Meanwhile, Afghan police have arrested two British nationals, an American and an Indian, all with fake badges for the Nato-led peacekeeping force, on weapons smuggling charges, officials said on Sunday. The men were arrested on Wednesday with two Afghans who were allegedly their accomplices, Interior Ministry spokesman Yousuf Stanizai told AFP.
"The foreign citizens are civilians and are working for a construction company. They were arrested with five AK-47 machine guns and two pistols," he said.
The men were carrying fake badges for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) of peacekeepers deployed in the capital and northern and western Afghanistan, an intelligence official said.

Dominick also notes "Quake death toll rises to 54,000" (The Irish Examiner):

OFFICIALS last night sharply raised estimates of the dead from Pakistan's monster quake to more than 54,000, while bad weather heaped more misery on hundreds of thousands of homeless survivors. A fifth of the villages in the quake zone remained cut off eight days after the quake turned the lush mountainsides of the Himalayas into a death trap.
A spokesman for the prime minister of Pakistani Kashmir said at least 40,000 people died in the earthquake on October 8. Another 13,000 were killed in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province, and about 1,350 in the part of Kashmir controlled by India.
Prime Minister Sikandar Hayat Khan Khan said: "Some people fear that the death toll could be 100,000 and they may be right."

Brenda e-mails to note "Romanians kill thousands of birds to prevent virus spreading" (

Authorities were culling thousands of domestic birds in Romania today to prevent the spread of a deadly strain of bird flu that has decimated flocks and killed dozens of people in Asia.
Officials said they were also awaiting test results from a British laboratory on samples sent from Maliuc, a village about 20 miles from Ceamurlia de Jos, where the H5N1 bird flu strain was first detected in Romania.Authorities around the world fear the H5N1 strain could mutate into a form that can be passed among people, leading to a flu pandemic which some say could potentially kill millions.

Olive e-mails to note "South Korea protests war shrine visit" (The Australian Herald Sun):

SOUTH Korea's foreign minister summoned Japan's envoy today and expressed "deep regret and disappointment" over Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's controversial visit to a war shrine.Foreign Ministrer Ban Ki-Moon summoned Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Shotaro Oshima shortly after Koizumi visited the Tokyo Yasukuni shrine that honours Japanese war dead, including 14 infamous war criminals.

Pru e-mails to note "Over 60 days on hunger strike" (Socialist Worker):

Prisoners on hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay are being shackled to their beds 24 hours a day and force fed by the US army, according to Amnesty International and lawyers representing the detainees.
Some 210 Guantanamo detainees, around 40 percent of the camp, have been on hunger strike for over 60 days in protest at the US's refusal to abide by the Geneva Conventions on rights for prisoners. Around 20 of them are being force fed.
Among them is British resident Omar Deghayes.
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