The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country.
BERLIN: Despite strong criticism from the opposition and even its own coalition partners, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government agreed Wednesday to give Germany's police forces greater powers to monitor homes, telephones and private computers, maintaining that an enhanced reach would protect citizens from terrorist attacks.
But opposition parties and some Social Democrats who share power with Merkel's conservative bloc criticized the measures in the draft legislation, saying they would further erode privacy rights that they contend have already been undermined, after revelations of recent snooping operations conducted by Deutsche Telekom, one of the country's biggest companies.
TVNL Comment: Back to the Future....and the rise of the Third Reich!
The Financier Has Been Indicted For His Alleged Role in a Scandal Costing US Taxpayers $1.7 billion.
The US military has awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the US Justice Department. The contract to supply jet fuel to American bases in Afghanistan was awarded to the Attock Refinery Ltd, a Pakistani-based refinery owned by Gaith Pharaon. Pharaon is wanted in connection with his alleged role at the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and the CenTrust savings and loan scandal, which cost US tax payers $1.7 billion.
A Portuguese newspaper has reported on something the American corporate media remains cowardly complicit about and dare not even mention - this week's confab of nearly 200 of the world's most influential powerbrokers in Chantilly Virginia for the 2008 Bilderberg Group meeting.
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - Economic and political sanctions against Iran must be "dramatically increased" if the international community hopes to stop the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday.
The issue of Iran is expected to top the agenda of talks between Olmert and President Bush when they meet on Wednesday.
Both Olmert and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice used their speeches to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) -- the largest pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. -- to urge the international community to do more to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
TVNL Comment: Normally, lobbying groups try to influence politicians. Where AIPAC is concerned, every politico must grovel for its approval. Anyone seeking or holding a top public office in the US is required to pledge unconditional support to everything Israel does... including amass nuclear weapons to the exclusion of any other nation in the Middle East. When will anyone question Israel's role in causing so much of the unrest and frustration in the region? Probably, never.
Given the number of lives lost and the amount of money wasted, these were the moral equivalents of serious felonies. When crimes take place in other settings, eventually government officials step in. As the scandals become public, there are exposés and then prosecutions. In this case, it is the government committing the crime, and the media, in essence, covering it up.
Yes, media crimes rationalize war crimes. Both are shameful and worthy of indictment.
Official scrutiny of media practices rarely happens, partly because of Constitutional protections afforded journalists and media outlets, and partly because wronged parties have little recourse.
It is one of the oddest facts in American history that the two most important American political speeches in the twentieth century were delivered about 70 hours apart.
The most prophetic Presidential speech in American history ever delivered by a sitting President was made by a man who possessed, at least until the arrival of George W. Bush, the reputation for being the least competent verbal communicator in modern Presidential history. The other speech laid the rhetorical foundations for a foreign policy that has culminated in the worst military disaster in American history.
AIPAC maintains a virtual stranglehold over the US Congress. Critics of the Israel lobby other than Walt and Mearsheimer also contend that AIPAC essentially prevents any possibility of open debate on US policy towards Israel.
AIPAC should not be crossed. It rewards those who support its agenda, and punishes those who don't. In the end, it's all about money - specifically campaign contributions. From 2000 to 2004, according to the Washington Post, AIPAC honchos contributed an average of $72,000 each to campaigns and political committees. For pro-AIPAC politicians, money simply pours from all over the US.
Every member of the US Congress receives AIPAC's bi-weekly newsletter, the Near East Report. Walt and Mearsheimer stress that Congressmen and their staff "usually turn to AIPAC when they need info; AIPAC is called upon to draft speeches, work on legislation, advise on tactics, research, collect co-sponsors and marshal votes".
TORONTO — An experiment mating H5N1 avian flu viruses and a strain of human flu in a laboratory produced a surprising number of hybrid viruses that were biologically fit, a new study reveals.
And while none of the offspring viruses was as virulent as the original H5N1, about one in five were lethal to mice at low doses, showing they retained at least a portion of the power of their dangerous parent.
The work suggests that under the right circumstances - and no one is clear what all of those are - the two types of flu viruses could swap genes in a way that might allow the H5N1 virus to acquire the capacity to trigger a pandemic. That process is called reassortment.
TVNL Comment: Check out Presidential Directive 51 and discover what would happen in the US should a pandemic of this sort occur. Surprise, surprise....!
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