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 .

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Sunday January 27 2008 - (813)

Sunday January 27 2008 edition
Free Internet Press is operated on your donations.
Donate Today

Barack Obama Is Big Winner In South Carolina
2008-01-27 03:02:17
Sen. Barack Obama, of Illinois, won the South Carolina Democrat primary in a landslide Saturday, attracting a biracial coalition that gave his candidacy a much-needed boost as the Democratic presidential race moves toward a 22-state showdown on Feb. 5.

Obama trounced Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, of New York, in the first Southern primary of the 2008 campaign, winning 55 percent of the vote to Clinton's 27 percent. Former senator John Edwards, of North Carolina,was third with 18 percent.

After a bitter and racially charged campaign in which former president Bill Clinton became the center of controversy, Obama won with overwhelming support from African Americans and attracted about a quarter of the white vote, according to exit polling.

"After four great contests, in every corner of this country, we have the most votes, the most delegates and the most diverse coalition of Americans that we've seen in a long, long time," Obama told an enthusiastic crowd of supporters in Columbia who interrupted his victory speech with chants of "Yes, we can!" and "Race doesn't matter!"

Read The Full Story

Commentary: This Reckless Greed Of The Few Harms The Future Of The Many
2008-01-27 03:01:25
Intellpuke: The following commentary was written by Will Hutton and appears in The Observer's edition for Sunday, January 27, 2008. In his commentary, Mr. Hutton writes: "The government must act firmly to control an industry that destabilizes all our lives with its naked pursuit of huge profits." His commentary follows:

Never in human affairs have so few been allowed to make so much money by so many for so little wider benefit. Across the globe, societies and governments have been hoodwinked by a collection of self-confident chancers in the guise of investment bankers, hedge and private equity fund partners and bankers who, in the cause of their monumental self-enrichment, have taken the world to the brink of a major recession. It has been economic history's most one-sided bargain.

Last week's financial panic was further evidence of the extreme foolhardiness with which global finance has been organized and managed. There was the biggest one-day fall in Wall Street since September 11, which spilled over into every world stock market and the largest single cut in American interest rates for 25 years as an emergency attempt to stop the rout. A new crisis emerged in an obscure American insurance business (monoline, it is called). To cap it all, there was the £3.7 billion bank fraud at Societe Generale.

The growing realization of how exposed the financial system is - and from transactions that should never have taken place - is reinforcing the mounting credit crunch, which, in turn, is spooking stock markets. The U.S. economy is weakening while in Britain new mortgage lending is at a 10-year low. The staples of a settled life - jobs, pensions and house prices - are all under threat.

The availability of credit is one of the fundamental pillars of any economic system. Like the delivery of gas, electricity and water, finance should be regarded as a utility and after the credit-crunch disasters of the 1930s, following the free-market 1920s, it was regulated as one. But Anglo-American financiers have used the theories of the free-market fundamentalists to argue that it should be liberated from such regulatory "shackles" and again run as a business like any other.

Read The Full Story

John Edwards Vows To Fight On
2008-01-27 03:00:44

In a quiet moment of an otherwise-fiery Democratic debate Monday, Barack Obama reflected on the frenzy sparked by seemingly every one of his and Hillary Rodham Clinton's utterances.

"I'm not entirely faulting the media," offered Obama. "There's no doubt that in a race where you've got an African American and a woman," then, after an uncomfortable pause, he continued, "and John ..."

The camera flashed to former senator John Edwards, smiling bashfully amid a chorus of audience laughter, the white man on a presidential stage that until this year was dominated by white men.

"Who could have imagined 20 years ago, 15 years ago, the white guy in the race would be the afterthought?" presidential historian Robert Dallek asked last night. "It's amazing."

Read The Full Story

Pakistan Rebuffs Secret U.S. Plea For CIA Buildup
2008-01-27 02:59:35
The top two American intelligence officials traveled secretly to Pakistan early this month to press President Pervez Musharraf to allow the Central Intelligence Agency greater latitude to operate in the tribal territories where al-Qaeda, the Talibanand other militant groups are all active, according to several officials who have been briefed on the visit.

In the unannounced meetings on Jan. 9 with the two American officials - Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, and Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director - Musharraf rebuffed proposals to expand any American combat presence in Pakistan, either through unilateral covert C.I.A. missions or by joint operations with Pakistani security forces.

Instead, Pakistan and the United States are discussing a series of other joint efforts, including increasing the number and scope of missions by armed Predator surveillance aircraft over the tribal areas, and identifying ways that the United States can speed information about people suspected of being militants to Pakistani security forces, said officials.

Read The Full Story

French Rally Behind Rogue Trader
2008-01-27 02:58:19
He committed fraud on a massive scale, but France is lauding Jerome Kerviel as a national hero who took on the system.

He is the man who nearly broke the bank ... and who is fast becoming a hero to millions of his compatriots.

Jerome Kerviel, the 31-year-old trader whose fraudulent stock market transactions last week cost his employer, Societe Generale, £3.7 billion ($7.4 billion), was Saturday in a Paris police station after being taken into custody around 2 p.m. by French financial police, who drove him, hidden in the back of a Renault, past journalists and photographers waiting at the gates. His face has not been glimpsed in public since the scandal broke; it's now known that he had left his own flat and laid low at his brother Olivier's. His home and his workplace were both searched by police this weekend.

Lawyers for Kerviel said Saturday that their client was "entirely prepared to co-operate with the authorities".

Read The Full Story

Broken Spy Satellite To Crash To Earth Soon
2008-01-26 21:06:02
a US spy satellite has lost power and propulsion and could hit the Earth in late February or March. Government officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret. None of the coverage speculates on how big the satellite is, but Wikipedia claims that US spy satellites in the KH-11 class, launched up to the mid-90s, are about the size of the Hubble â€" which is 43 ft. long and weighs over 12 tons.
Read The Full Story

Reviewer Of Subprime Loans To Help Investigation
2008-01-26 15:37:22

A company that analyzed the quality of thousands of home loans for investment banks has agreed to provide evidence to New York state prosecutors that the banks had detailed information about the risks posed by subprime mortgages -  information that prosecutors believe was not disclosed to investors.

Clayton Holdings, a company based in Connecticut that vetted home loans for many investment banks, has agreed to provide important documents and the testimony of its officials to the New York attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo,  in exchange for immunity from civil and criminal prosecution in the state.

The agreement, which was confirmed by Cuomo’s office and Clayton, could advance an investigation that the attorney general started almost a year ago. It could provide evidence against investment banks that profited handsomely during the housing boom by buying mortgages from lenders and packaging the loans into securities bought by pension funds, insurance companies and other investors.

At issue is whether the banks had information about the riskiness of  mortgages that they withheld from investors.

Read The Full Story

Big Turnout For Democrats In South Carolina Vote
2008-01-26 15:36:36
Democratic voters were taking their turn Saturday in the first Southern primary of the presidential campaign, the final contest before the race expands into a state-by-state battle for the party’s nomination.

As Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Senator John Edwards made last-minute appeals for support, thousands of their volunteers waved signs on street corners, manned telephone banks and drove voters to polling stations that opened across the state at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.

Party officials were predicting a record-setting turnout, but early indications were difficult to gauge with voting taking place for the first time in recent memory on a weekend. Four years ago, about 290,000 people voted in the presidential primary here, but officials are predicting that as many as 350,000 voters could participate this time.

With 45 delegates to the Democratic National Convention at stake, which will be divided among the candidates, South Carolina offers the most diverse contest to date in the party’s nominating season. Black voters, party officials predict, will make up at least half of the electorate.

Read The Full Story

FCC Want To Fine ABC $1.4 Million For 2003 'NYPD Blue' Episode
2008-01-26 15:35:49
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Friday proposed a $1.43 million indecency fine against ABC television stations for a 2003 episode of "NYPD Blue", the second-largest proposed indecency fine against a television broadcaster ever.

The agency proposed a $27,500 fine against 52 ABC-owned and affiliate stations in the Central and Mountain time zones, which broadcast the episode before 10 p.m., when the FCC's authority to police the airwaves for indecency expires each day.

The episode in question, aired Feb. 25, 2003, contained a scene featuring a woman and a young boy. In the scene, the woman disrobes in a bathroom. She is shown in full dorsal (rear) nudity, and the side of one breast is shown.

Under the FCC's indecency statutes, over-the-air radio and television stations are prohibited from broadcasting "patently offensive" material of a sexual or excretory nature from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., when children are most likely to be watching. ABC stations in the Eastern and Pacific time zones were not fined because the episode appeared after 10 p.m. in those regions. The FCC's indecency statutes do not extend to cable and satellite programming.

Read The Full Story

Mob Violence Is Tearing Kenya Apart
2008-01-26 15:34:51
Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, may seem calm, but anarchy reigns just two hours away.

In Nakuru, furious mobs rule the streets, burning homes, brutalizing people and expelling anyone not in their ethnic group, all with complete impunity.

On Saturday, hundreds of men prowled a section of the city with six-foot iron bars, poisoned swords, clubs, knives and crude circumcision tools. Boys carried gladiator-style shields and women strutted around with sharpened sticks.

The police were nowhere to be found. Even the locals were shocked.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said David Macharia, a bus driver.

Read The Full Story

As The Great Lakes Water Levels Drop, Hardship Flows
2008-01-27 03:01:54
A decade ago, Chicago winters meant monumental ice hillocks and caves forming along the lakeshore, skirted by interlocking ice sheets like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

Today, it is rare to see more than a thin frozen shelf or a few small ice floes sloshing in Lake Michigan below the city's skyline.

Decreased ice cover on the Great Lakes, probably caused by increasing air and water temperatures and high winds, is a major culprit in lowering water levels, which have hurt the shipping industry, forced lakeside power plants to extend their cooling pipes, frustrated recreational boaters, dried up wetlands and left coastal landowners with docks extending over yards of unsightly muck.

In September, Lake Superior broke its 81-year-old low-water record by 1.6 inches, and last month it was a foot below its seasonal average. It appeared that Lake Michigan and Lake Huron would log record lows for January until storms helped levels stay above the marks set in the 1960s.

The low water has forced freighters that haul iron ore, steel, limestone and other raw materials to lighten their loads and change their routes to avoid running aground in shallow harbors and waterways.

Read The Full Story

Romney, McCain Trade Barbs In Florida
2008-01-27 03:00:58
Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, accused former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney of having once supported a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, sparking an angry demand for an apology from Romney, who called the statement "dishonest".

Both Republicans abandoned all pretense of civility as they campaigned across central Florida in advance of the state's primary Tuesday. Recent polls show a dead heat between McCain and Romney, and the winner here will gain a huge advantage as the nomination fight moves to 21 states a week later.

Stumping in For Myers on Saturday, McCain went on the attack first, linking Romney with Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (New York): "If we surrender and wave a white flag, like Senator Clinton wants to do, and withdraw, as Governor Romney wanted to do, then there will be chaos, genocide, and the cost of American blood and treasure would be dramatically higher."

He added to reporters that "one of my opponents wanted to set a date for withdrawal that would have meant disaster."

Read The Full Story

In More U.S. Court Cases, Combat Trauma Is Taking The Stand
2008-01-27 03:00:17

When it came time to sentence James Allen Gregg for his conviction on murder charges, the judge in South Dakota took a moment to reflect on the defendant as an Iraq combat veteran who suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“This is a terrible case, as all here have observed,” said Judge Charles B. Kornmann of United States District Court. “Obviously not all the casualties coming home from Iraq or Afghanistan come home in body bags.”

Judge Kornmann noted that Gregg, a fresh-faced young man who grew up on a cattle ranch, led “an exemplary life until that day, that terrible morning.” With no criminal record or psychiatric history, Gregg had started unraveling in Iraq, growing disillusioned with the war and volunteering for dangerous missions in the hope of getting killed, he testified.

Nonetheless, the judge found that Gregg’s combat trauma had not rendered him incapable of comprehending his actions when he shot an acquaintance in the back, fled the scene, and then pointed the gun at himself as a SWAT team approached - the helmeted officers “low crawling,” Gregg testified, and looking “like my own soldiers turning on me.”

Read The Full Story

Jaguars At Risk As The U.S. Blocks Its Border With Mexico
2008-01-27 02:59:06

America's determination to halt illegal immigration across its border with Mexico is set to claim an unusual victim - the jaguar.

The U.S. government has just vetoed a plan to save the species, Panthera onca, one of the world's most endangered, and beautiful, large cats - and activists blame the Bush administration for its determination to cut illegal immigration from Mexico.

"The U.S. is building a wall along the border to keep out immigrants, but that would stop jaguars crossing the border and entering the U.S. We wanted to set up refuges over here and create breeding populations that might save the species, but the government has said 'no way'. It doesn't want anything interfering with that wall," said Kieran Suckling, of the U.S. Center for Biological Diversity. "Yet the U.S. is the animals' best hope of avoiding extinction. Its numbers are declining alarmingly today. But now that chance has been blocked - for political reasons."

Read The Full Story

Washington Post's Walter Pincus Wins Weintal Prize
2008-01-27 02:56:43
Walter Pincus, a reporter covering intelligence for the Washington Post's national news staff, has been awarded a special citation for his decades of "scooping the competition" by the judges of the Edward Weintal Prize for International Reporting.

The Weintal Prize annually recognizes outstanding journalists covering diplomacy and international affairs. The 2008 prize was awarded to Margaret Warner of PBS's "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" and Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Pincus, 75, has reported for the national staff since 1975, when he rejoined the paper after working for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the New Republic. He was one of eight Post reporters whose coverage of the launch of the war on terrorism won a 2002 Pulitzer Prize. 

Read The Full Story

Growing Number Of Americans Hit Health Insurance Benefit Limits
2008-01-26 15:37:35

A small but growing number of American families beset by major medical problems are learning the hard way that simply having health insurance is sometimes not enough.

Those who need organ transplants or who have hemophilia, Gaucher disease or other costly chronic illnesses can easily rack up medical bills that blow through the lifetime benefits cap of $1 million or more that is a standard part of many insurance policies.

That has left some very sick people facing health-care tabs of hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, prompting their families to turn to the government for help or to scramble to change jobs or even divorce for no other reason than to qualify for new health insurance. And it has led some advocates for the chronically ill to plan a new lobbying effort to persuade Congress to require insurers to increase lifetime caps to as high as $10 million.

Statistics on how many people exceed the lifetime caps are hard to come by, but advocates note that the amount of many caps hasn't changed in decades, or at least has not kept up with health-care inflation and the sky-high cost of life-saving new therapies, making it more likely that people will reach the limit.

Read The Full Story

Editorial: The FISA Follies, Redux
2008-01-26 15:36:52
Intellpuke: The following editorial appears in the New York Times edition for Saturday, January 26, 2008.

The Senate (reportedly still under Democratic control) seems determined to help President Bush violate Americans’ civil liberties and undermine the constitutional separation of powers. Majority Leader Harry Reid is supporting White House-backed legislation that would expand the administration’s ability to spy on Americans without court supervision and ensure that the country never learns the full extent of Mr. Bush’s illegal wiretapping program.

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA - which Mr. Bush decided to ignore after 9/11 - requires a warrant to intercept telephone calls and e-mail messages between people in the United States and people abroad.

It needed updating to keep pace with technology, and the technical fixes were included in a bill that Congress passed last summer. The problem was that Mr. Bush managed to add measures that sharply undercut the court’s role in monitoring eavesdropping. Fortunately, lawmakers gave them an expiration date of Feb. 1.

Read The Full Story

News Analysis: Israel's Experimental Pressure Strategy Backfires
2008-01-26 15:36:13
When Hamas blew large holes in Gaza's border with Egypt, allowing thousands of Palestinians a chance to stock up on medicines, food and consumer goods, it also blew a large hole in the Israeli policy, backed by Washington, of squeezing the population of Gaza in the hope that they would turn actively against Hamas.

As Israeli leaders pushed Egypt to close the border and fumbled for an effective response, the apparent Hamas success put Egypt into a bind and further undermined the chances that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Fatah faction could succeed in negotiating a peace treaty - let alone by the time President Bush leaves office.

Early efforts by Egypt on Friday to reseal the border failed when Hamas broke through more areas of the border wall with bulldozers, and Palestinians continued to move easily into Egypt on Saturday, sometimes with cars and trucks.

The confrontational tactics of Hamas, the Palestinian branch of Egypt’s opposition and banned Muslim Brotherhood, also presented a difficult quandary for Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak. The plight of the Palestinians, especially those in Gaza, is a deeply emotional issue for Egyptians and other Arabs, an issue often promoted and sometimes manipulated by Arab leaders and Arabic satellite channels like Al Jazeera.

Read The Full Story

American Woman Kidnapped In Afghanistan
2008-01-26 15:35:16
Gunmen kidnapped a burqa-clad American aid worker and her driver in southern Afghanistan's largest city early Saturday, snatching the woman from a residential neighborhood as she was on her way to work.

Cyd Mizell worked in Kandahar for the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation. Jeff Palmer, the aid group's international director, said the group had not been contacted by the kidnappers and that he did not know their identity or demands.

Asadullah Khalid, the provincial governor, blamed the kidnappings on the "enemy of Islam and the enemy of Afghanistan." Khalid said the 49-year-old American was wearing a burqa when she was taken.

Several foreigners - including 23 South Koreans, two German construction workers and two Italian journalists - have been kidnapped in Afghanistan in the last year, but kidnappings of Americans are rare.

A professor at Kandahar University, Mohammad Gul, said Mizell taught English language lessons at the university and embroidery lessons at a girl's school.

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