Free Internet Press

Uncensored News For Real People This is a mirror site for our daily newsletter. You may visit our real site through the individual story links, or by visiting .

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Wednesday October 17 2007 - (813)

Wednesday October 17 2007 edition
Free Internet Press is operated on your donations.
Donate Today

Drug-Resistant Germ Is Spreading In U.S.
2007-10-17 03:03:28
Drug-resistant staph germ's toll is higher than thought.

A dangerous germ that has been spreading around the country causes more life-threatening infections than public health authorities had thought and is killing more people in the United States each year than the AIDS virus, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

The microbe, a strain of a once innocuous staph bacterium that has become invulnerable to first-line antibiotics, is responsible for more than 94,000 serious infections and nearly 19,000 deaths each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated.

Although mounting evidence shows that the infection is becoming more common, the estimate published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Associationis the first national assessment of the toll from the insidious pathogen, said officials.

"This is a significant public health problem. We should be very worried," said Scott K. Fridkin, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC.

Other researchers noted that the estimate includes only the most serious infections caused by the germ, known as methicillin-resistant S taphylococcus au reus (MRSA).

Read The Full Story

Genocide Resolution Losing Votes In U.S. House
2007-10-17 03:03:04
Worried about antagonizing Turkish leaders, House members from both parties have begun to withdraw their support from a resolution backed by the Democratic leadership that would condemn as genocide the mass killings of Armenians nearly a century ago.

Almost a dozen lawmakers had shifted against the measure in a 24-hour period ending Tuesday night, accelerating a sudden exodus that has cast deep doubt over the measure’s prospects. Some made clear that they were heeding warnings from the White House, which has called the measure dangerously provocative, and from the Turkish government, which has said House passage would prompt Turkey to reconsider its ties to the United States, including logistical support for the Iraq war.

Until Tuesday, the measure appeared on a path to House passage, with strong support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It was approved last week by the House Foreign Affairs Committee but, by Tuesday evening, a group of senior House Democrats had made it known that they were planning to ask the leadership to drop plans for a vote on the measure.

“Turkey obviously feels they are getting poked in the eye over something that happened a century ago and maybe this isn’t a good time to be doing that,” said Representative Allen Boyd, a Florida Democrat who dropped his sponsorship of the resolution on Monday night.

Read The Full Story

Neighboring Nations Join Call Against Attack On Iran
2007-10-17 03:01:59
Putin, at Tehran talks, cites Caspian solidarity.

Visiting Iran on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his opposition to any military attack on the country in response to its controversial nuclear program.

No Caspian Sea country should let its territory be used by other countries "for aggressive or military operations against another Caspian state," said Putin, who is attending a meeting in Tehran of the leaders of the five countries that border the inland sea.

The leaders jointly made a similar statement, signaling the opposition of Iran's neighbors to any military action by the United States or its allies.

None of the adjacent countries had indicated willingness to support such a strike. But as tensions rise over Iran's uranium enrichment program, which Washington and some of its allies contend masks a weapons program, there has been speculation in the region that the United States might want to use bases in Azerbaijan to attack Iran.

Read The Full Story

Libya And Vietnam Elected To 2-Year Terms On U.N. Security Council
2007-10-17 02:59:35
Libya and Vietnam, countries once shunned by the West, were elected overwhelmingly on Tuesday to two-year terms on the Security Council starting Jan. 1.

The 192 members of the General Assembly also selected Burkina Faso, Costa Rica and Croatia to the powerful panel through secret balloting.

Burkina Faso, Libya and Vietnam ran unopposed to represent their regions and won on the first ballot.

Other contenders for the Latin American and European seats - the Dominican Republic and the Czech Republic - withdrew their candidacies after earlier voting.

The Dominican Republic and the Czech Republic withdrew after a second ballot gave Costa Rica 119 votes to 70 for the Dominican Republic and put Croatia ahead of the Czech Republic by 106 to 81. Their withdrawal was greeted by sustained applause in the General Assembly Hall, likely a sign of relief at the cooperative spirit of the outcome.

Read The Full Story

Putin Warns Against Military Action In Middle East Region
2007-10-16 16:54:57
Russia President Vladimir V. Putin told a summit meeting of five Caspian Sea nations in Iran Tuesday that any use of military force in the region was unacceptable and in a declaration the countries agreed that none of them would allow their territories to be used as a base for launching military strikes against any of the others.

“We should not even think of making use of force in this region,” said Putin.

Putin’s comments and the declaration come at a time when France and the United States have refused to rule out military action to halt Iran’s nuclear energy program, which they believe masks a desire to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its program is solely for peaceful purposes.

Asked this morning about Putin’s remarks, Tony Fratto, the deputy White House press secretary, said simply, “That sounds like a good policy.”

Putin arrived in Tehran Tuesday for meetings with Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and leaders from three other nearby Caspian Sea nations that have rich oil and gas resources, promising to use diplomacy to try to resolve the international debate over Iran’s nuclear program.

Read The Full Story

Editorial: On Bonuses And Leaving Iraq
2007-10-16 16:54:22
Intellpuke: The following editorial appears in the New York Times edition for Tuesday, October 16, 2007.

There are new signs that an American military in distress is reshaping itself to cope with the destructive fallout of Iraq -  and to look beyond it, even as President Bush insists on dispatching Americans to go on fighting and dying there. Young officers have been offered big cash bonuses to stay in an Army struggling to retain them. The Marines, meanwhile, are trying to move out of Iraq and into Afghanistan, a more popular mission where they could focus on America’s real enemies - al-Qaeda and its allies, the Taliban - instead of trying to police a civil war.

The unprecedented bonuses - up to $35,000 - are a sign of desperation. Lengthy and repeated tours in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan have created critical shortages of younger officers in such important specialties as military intelligence, aviation - and even in the infantry as more and more men and women choose to leave the service rather than re-enlist. The Washington Post reported that when its expansion plans are factored in, the Army is projecting a shortage of 3,000 captains and majors annually through 2013.

What does it tell you when the Marines are considering shifting their mission to Afghanistan? Perhaps it’s too glib to say that they see a failing fight in Iraq and are trying get out while they can, but it’s certainly not good news for Pentagon war planners or the rest of America.

Read The Full Story

China Warns U.S. On Dalai Lama Visit
2007-10-16 16:53:49
Chinese officials warned the United States today not to honor the Dalai Lama, saying a planned award ceremony in Washington, D.C., for the Tibetan spiritual leader would have “an extremely serious impact” on relations between the countries.

Speaking at a Foreign Ministry briefing and on the sidelines of the Communist Party’s ongoing 17th National Congress, the officials condemned the Dalai Lama as a resolute separatist and said foreign leaders must stop encouraging his “splittist” mission.

“Such a person who basely splits his motherland and doesn’t even love his motherland has been welcomed by some countries and has even been receiving this or that award,” Tibet’s Communist Party boss, Zhang Qingli, told reporters during the congress.

“We are furious,” said Zhang. “If the Dalai Lama can receive such an award, there must be no justice or good people in the world.”

The Dalai Lama, a Nobel laureate, has lived in exile since the Chinese army crushed an uprising in his homeland in 1959 and is revered as the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists. He is scheduled to receive the Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday after President Bush receives him at the White House Tuesday.

Read The Full Story

Millions Of Homeowners In Northern States Losing Policies As Home Insurers Canceling Them Over Storm Fears
2007-10-16 03:42:07
It is 1,200 miles from the coastline where Hurricane Katrina touched land two years ago to the neat colonial-style home here in Garden City, New York, where James Gray, a retired public relations consultant, and his wife, Ann, live. But this summer, Katrina reached them, too, in the form of a cancellation letter from their home-insurance company.

The letter said that “hurricane events over the past two years” had forced the company to limit its exposure to further losses; and that because the Grays’ home on Long Island was near the Atlantic Ocean - it is 12 miles from the coast and has been touched by rampaging waters only once, when the upstairs bathtub overflowed - their 30-year-old policy was “nonrenewed,” or canceled.

The Grays signed with a new company, but their case attracted the attention of consumer advocates and, in turn, the New York insurance commissioner, Eric R. Dinallo.

Dinallo’s sharp rebuke last month of the Grays’ company, Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, reflected a shift in how public officials view a new reality in the homeowners’ insurance business, say advocates.

Read The Full Story

India's Tigers Threatened By Poaching And Population Spread
2007-10-16 03:38:50
Development, new law on tribal rights add to pressure.

With homemade muskets, Lakhan and his brothers tracked one of India's endangered Bengal tigers as it slunk along the forested trails and lakes of Ranthambhore National Park, not far from Lakhan's village. Then, under cover of night, one of them fired a bullet into the chest of the howling cat.

"Hunger," said the wiry Lakhan, pointing to his concave stomach, which was covered by a white lungi, or skirt-like wrap. "That's why I did it. That scenario hasn't changed much. My heart pounds when we kill a tiger. But we have pressures."

Lakhan has killed three tigers in recent years and has been in jail on and off for selling their thick yellow-and-black striped coats, as well as their bones, whiskers and even their glowing amber eyes. Each tiger has fetched him more money than he can earn in six months of farming sesame for its seeds. Lakhan is from the Mogya community, a poaching tribe whose people have hunted the giant felines for centuries here in the northern desert state of Rajasthan. 

Yet just as poaching ensures the Mogyas' survival, it might also ensure the tigers' extinction.

Read The Full Story

Big Republican Donors Slow To Open Pockets
2007-10-17 03:03:16
More than a third of the top fundraisers who helped elect George W. Bush president remain on the sidelines in 2008, contributing to a gaping financial disparity between the GOPcandidates and their Democratic counterparts.

Scores of Bush Pioneers and Rangers are not working for any Republican candidate, citing discontent with the war in Iraq, anger at the performance of Republicans in Congress and a general lack of enthusiasm. More than two dozen have actually made contributions to Democrats.

Matt Fong, a former California state treasurer, 1998 U.S. Senate candidate and two-time Bush Pioneer, said that after months of disappointment in the Republican Party, he had hoped to be recharged by the new crop of presidential candidates.

"I have yet to get interested in any of them," he said. "I'm just not happy with the direction of our party. I think we have a huge credibility problem, which I have not seen any of the candidates show the ability to rise above."

Read The Full Story

Leading Iraqi Official Urges Turkey To Use Caution On Kurds
2007-10-17 03:02:51
Iraqi Vice President Hashimi takes message to Turkey.

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, on an emergency visit here Tuesday, urged Turkish officials to resolve their problems with Kurdish separatists on Turkey's border through diplomacy rather than military action.

"A political solution must be given priority to resolve this critical issue," Hashimi told reporters before meetings with Turkey's prime minister, president and foreign minister. "We can understand Turkey's anger, but what I'm aiming to achieve during my visit is a common understanding."

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members of his ruling party Tuesday that he will demand that Iraq  take greater responsibility for curbing the activities of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK, which has been operating freely in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. 

"The central government in Iraq and the [Kurdish] regional government in northern Iraq must put a thick wall between themselves and the terrorist organization," said Erdogan. "Those who are unable to distance themselves from terrorism cannot avoid being adversely affected by the struggle against terrorism."

Read The Full Story

U.S. House Bill Seeks To Protect Reporters' Confidential Sources
2007-10-17 03:00:15

The House Tuesday overwhelmingly passed first-ever federal protections for journalists pressured to reveal confidential sources, as lawmakers from both parties backed legislation that advocates for the news media have sought for a generation.

The bill, whose sponsors include conservative Republican Mike Pence (Indiana), House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Michigan) and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Virginia),was the first reporter shield law to make it to a House vote in 30 years and more than 100 attempts. President Bush threatened to veto the bill, saying the protections it would afford "could severely frustrate - and in some cases completely eviscerate - the federal government's ability to investigate acts of terrorism and other threats to national security."

Sponsors and supporters of the Free Flow of Information Act say it would provide important federal safeguards against a growing trend toward calling journalists into court in order to unmask confidential sources. The District and 49 states have versions of the protections, but there are none in federal law.

The measure passed with a veto-proof vote of 398 to 21. The Senate version of the bill, introduced by Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-New York) and Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania),was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee  on Oct. 4 but has not been scheduled for a vote in the full Senate.

Read The Full Story

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson: 'Housing Decline Still Unfolding'
2007-10-16 16:55:11
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., offered a pessimistic view of the country’s housing slump Tuesday as he called for help for hard-pressed homeowners and new mortgage regulations. But he urged Congress not to overreact by passing excessively harsh measures.

“Let me be clear: Despite strong economic fundamentals, the housing decline is still unfolding, and I view it as the most significant current risk to our economy,” Paulson said in a speech at a Georgetown University law forum. “The longer housing prices remain stagnant or fall, the greater the penalty to our future economic growth.”

Paulson said that “a first and important step” is to identify struggling borrowers early, steer them to mortgage counselors “and find a sustainable mortgage solution.”

Read The Full Story

Oil Futures Hit High Of $88 A Barrel
2007-10-16 16:54:42
Oil futures rose above $88 a barrel in New York trading Tuesday, their highest level ever, because of unrest in the Middle East.

Crude oil for November delivery rose as much as $2.07 to $88.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange  during midday trading after jumping nearly 3 percent Monday. Oil futures, which have gained $9 in the past six trading sessions, are up more than 43 percent this year.

On an inflation-adjusted basis, today’s prices are getting close to records reached in the early 1980s when an energy crisis and the Iranian revolution pushed oil prices up to about $100 in Tuesday’s money.

This week’s surge is being fueled by the threat of a Turkish military incursion in northern Iraq. The sudden tensions in a highly volatile region gave rise to fresh concerns about further instability in the oil-rich Middle East. Iraq is the third-largest holder of known oil reserves, after Saudi Arabia and Iran. Turkey is a key passage for oil exports from Iraq and the Caspian Sea.

Read The Full Story

U.S. Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison Won't Seek Re-Election
2007-10-16 16:54:03
Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said Tuesday she will not seek re-election after her current Senate term and is weighing other options, which could include a bid for Texas governor.

''I was honest in the (2006) campaign that it was my intention to not go beyond this last term, third term,'' said Hutchison of Texas. ''I know every other option is certainly available, but I don't intend to run for a fourth term.''

She said running for Texas governor in 2010 is one option but she has not made a decision.

Hutchison was a little exasperated Tuesday with the attention to her plans.

Read The Full Story

In U.S., Drought-Stricken South Facing Tough Options
2007-10-16 03:42:31
For the first time in more than 100 years, much of the U.S. Southeast has reached the most severe category of drought, climatologists said Monday, creating an emergency so serious that some cities are just months away from running out of water.

In North Carolina, Gov. Michael F. Easley asked residents Monday to stop using water for any purpose “not essential to public health and safety.” He warned that he would soon have to declare a state of emergency if voluntary efforts fell short.

“Now I don’t want to have to use these powers,” Easley told a meeting of mayors and other city officials. “As leaders of your communities, you know what works best at the local level. I am asking for your help.”

Officials in the central North Carolina town of Siler City estimate that without rain, they are 80 days from draining the Lower Rocky River Reservoir, which supplies water for the town’s 8,200 people.

In the Atlanta, Georgia, metropolitan area, which has more than four million people, worst-case analyses show that the city’s main source of water, Lake Lanier, could be drained dry in 90 to 121 days.

Read The Full Story

Verizon Released Data Without Court Orders
2007-10-16 03:39:05
Verizon Communications, the nation's second-largest telecom company, told congressional investigators that it has provided customers' telephone records to federal authorities in emergency cases without court orders hundreds of times since 2005.

The company said it does not determine the requests' legality or necessity because to do so would slow efforts to save lives in criminal investigations.

In an Oct. 12 letter replying to Democratic lawmakers, Verizon offered a rare glimpse into the way telecommunications companies cooperate with government requests for information on U.S. citizens.

Verizon also disclosed that the FBI, using administrative subpoenas, sought information identifying not just a person making a call, but all the people that customer called, as well as the people those people called. Verizon does not keep data on this "two-generation community of interest" for customers, but the request highlights the broad reach of the government's quest for data.

Read The Full Story

Bush Administration-India Nuclear Deal May Be Near Collapse
2007-10-16 03:38:15
Internal Indian opposition appears to scuttle pact for civil nuclear cooperation pushed by Bush.

A controversial nuclear deal between the United States and India appears close to collapse after the Indian prime minister told President Bush Monday that "certain difficulties" will prevent India from moving forward on the pact for the foreseeable future.

The main obstacle does not involve the specific terms of the agreement but rather India's internal politics, including fears from leftist parties that India is moving too close to the United States, according to officials and experts familiar with the deal. Besieged over the past two months by growing opposition to nuclear energy cooperation with the United States, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated over the weekend that he would rather save his coalition government than the nuclear pact.

"What we have done with the U.S., it is an honorable deal, it is good for India, and it is good for the world," said Singh  Saturday. "But we are in the realm of politics, and within our coalition, there are differing perceptions."

Neither government appeared eager to announce the setback to what had been billed as one of the Bush administration's biggest foreign policy achievements. India's only official pronouncement was tucked at the bottom of a seven-paragraph news release on the Indian Embassy Web site outlining a telephone conversation Monday between Singh and Bush.

Read The Full Story
Original materials on this site © Free Internet Press.

Any mirrored or quoted materials © their respective authors, publications, or outlets, as shown on their publication, indicated by the link in the news story.

Original Free Internet Press materials may be copied and/or republished without modification, provided a link to is given in the story, or proper credit is given.

Newsletter options may be changed in your preferences on

Please email there are any questions.

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication:


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home