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, February 24, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Sunday February 24 2008 - (813)

Sunday February 24 2008 edition
Free Internet Press is operated on your donations.
Donate Today

U.S. Governors Oppose New Medicaid Rules
2008-02-23 15:33:50
Governors of both parties strongly objected on Saturday to a half-dozen new federal Medicaid regulations that they said would shift billions of dollars in costs to the states, forcing them to consider cutbacks in services.

The rules, scheduled to take effect in the next few months, would reduce federal payments for public hospitals, teaching hospitals and services for the disabled, among others.

State officials voiced their concerns as they arrived here for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association. 

Federal health officials said the new rules were needed to end creative financing techniques that states had used to obtain excessive amounts of federal Medicaid money; but governors said the Bush administration is unilaterally reshaping Medicaid in ways that would harm some of their most vulnerable citizens. Moreover, they said, the rules are taking effect at a time when the national economic slowdown is cutting into state tax revenues.

“Governors strongly oppose the changes,” said Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont, a Republican who is chairman of the association’s Health and Human Services Committee. “The timing could not be worse.”

Read The Full Story

No Longer In Presidential Race, Richardson Is A Man Sought After
2008-02-23 15:32:20
Lots of people are calling Gov. Bill Richardson these days, “just to check in.”

Barack Obama calls every three days or so. He called on Friday of last week, but Richardson was tied up with the Legislature, so he tried again on Monday and left a message on voice mail (“following up from Friday”) before finally connecting with his defeated presidential rival late Tuesday, and then again two days later.

Richardson took a half-hour call from Bill Clinton on Tuesday and received about 10 others - a typical day - from people calling “on behalf of Hillary”: former cabinet secretaries, mutual friends, elected officials. “Heavyweight types,” Richardson calls them.

“Barack is very precise,” the governor observed, sitting in his office at the New Mexico Capitol. The Obama campaign rarely pesters him with surrogates. Obama’s approach is like “a surgical bomb,” he said, while “the Clintons are more like a carpet bomb.”

Richardson quit the presidential race on Jan. 10 and has since gone from courting voters at the grass roots to being courted himself at the highest levels. He is “genuinely torn” about any endorsement, he said, adding that he might offer one next week or perhaps not at all.

Read The Full Story

Paxson Contradicts McCain Campaign
2008-02-23 01:17:56

Broadcaster Lowell "Bud" Paxson Friday contradicted statements from Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign that the senator did not meet with Paxson or his lobbyist before sending two controversial letters to the Federal Communications Commission on Paxson's behalf.

Paxson said he talked with McCain in his Washington, D.C., office several weeks before the Arizona Republican wrote the letters in 1999 to the FCC urging a rapid decision on Paxson's quest to acquire a Pittsburgh television station.

Paxson also recalled that his lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, likely attended the meeting in McCain's office and that Iseman helped arrange the meeting. "Was Vicki there? Probably," Paxson said in an interview with the Washington Post Friday. "The woman was a professional. She was good. She could get us meetings."

Read The Full Story

Clouds Gather As 'Sulky' Musharraf Retreats To His 'Mental Bunker'
2008-02-23 01:17:23

In some ways life has changed little for Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, since Monday's election. The retired general still trots out for afternoon tennis, aides say, and enjoys a game of bridge a few times a week. In the evenings he pulls on a cigar and, although he can't admit it, nurses a glass of whiskey.

Visitors still call to see him at Army House, the marble-floored Rawalpindi residence of Pakistan's military chiefs, even though he retired three months ago. "It has been renamed Presidential Lodge," said spokesman Rashid Qureshi. "The normal routine is functioning."

But outside clouds are gathering. The spectacular rout of his Pakistan Muslim League (Q) party at the polls has shorn the retired commando of his political base, leaving him isolated and exposed.

"He's been sulking," said a senior party official. "He's retreated into a mental bunker, which is not healthy. He thinks everyone is out to get him and only listens to a small circle. It's a dangerous mindset to be in at this point in time. He could decide to hit back."

Musharraf's bad mood stems from the prospect of Nawaz Sharif, the rotund prime minister from Punjab he ousted in a 1999 coup and banished to Saudi Arabia a year later, returning to power. Sharif, who controls the second biggest party in parliament, the Pakistan Muslim League (N) has vowed to oust Musharraf at the earliest opportunity. "The nation has given its verdict. The sooner he accepts it the better," said Sharif.

Read The Full Story

U.S. May Evacuate Diplomats In Serbia
2008-02-23 01:16:36

The U.S. ambassador to Serbia has asked the State Department to evacuate some diplomats from the embassy in Belgrade, following an attack on the compound.

The ambassador, Cameron Munter, had asked the department to implement an "ordered departure" for all non-essential personnel and the dependants of all American staff at the embassy, a state department spokesman, Sean McCormack, said. He said the request was being reviewed but that it would "likely be approved". There are between 80 and 100 Americans working at the embassy.

U.S. diplomats around the Balkans are on the alert for more anti-American violence after Serb rioters torched the Belgrade embassy, causing as-yet undetermined damage and drawing fierce condemnation from Washington.

The declaration of independence by the former Serbian province of Kosovo has increased tensions across the region. And new mass demonstrations are expected following recognition of Kosovo by the U.S. and other western countries.

Read The Full Story

Arizona's U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi Indicted In Land Deal
2008-02-23 01:15:55
U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Arizona) used his position in Congress to influence a federal land-exchange deal, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs, according to an indictment released Friday.

The 35-count indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Tucson, Arizona, also accuses Renzi of separately embezzling corporate funds to bankroll his first House campaign.

The indictment makes Renzi the fourth sitting lawmaker to face federal charges since 2005 in the Justice Department's  continuing crackdown on public corruption, and it represents a fresh blow to congressional Republicans struggling with numerous allegations of ethical wrongdoing in their ranks.

Renzi joins as targets of Justice Department prosecution convicted GOP Reps. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (California)  and Robert W. Ney (Ohio), as well as Democratic Rep. William J. Jefferson (Louisiana), who is awaiting trial on bribery charges.

Renzi, who was indicted along with two alleged co-conspirators after a federal investigation that took at least 16 months, is accused of conspiracy, money laundering and other crimes.

Read The Full Story

2 Moderate Earthquakes Rattle U.S., Mexico Border
2008-02-23 01:13:53
The U.S. Geological Survey says two earthquakes have rattled a desert area straddling the U.S.-Mexico border. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage on the U.S. side.

The first quake struck Friday morning in an area about 16 miles south of the Mexican border town of Mexicali. Its magnitude was measured at 4.8.

The second quake hit three minutes later about 5 miles farther south. It measured at 4.4.

Read The Full Story

Commentary: The Lost Treasure Of Machu Picchu
2008-02-23 15:33:35
Intellpuke: The following commentary was written by Elian e Karp-Toledo, former first lady of Peru and now a visiting lecturer at Stanford University in California. In her commentary, Ms. Karp-Toledo asks why Yale University refuses to return artifacts taken - on loan - from Machu Picchu in 1912 and 1914-15. Her commentary follows:

Sure, it seemed like a great idea when, last September, President Alan Garcia of Peru reached a preliminary agreement with Yale about the disposition of more than 350 artifacts taken from Machu Picchu. Everyone hoped the settlement might be a break for cultural understanding in the cloudy skies of international cooperation. News reports suggested that Yale would return more than 350 museum-quality artifacts, plus several thousand fragments thought to be of interest mainly to researchers - all of which were taken from the mountaintop Inca archaeological complex nearly a century ago - and that legal title to all the artifacts, even those to be left at Yale for research, would be held by Peru.

But having finally obtained a copy of the agreement, I can see that Yale continues to deny Peru the right to its cultural patrimony, something Peru has demanded since 1920.

When, in 1912 and 1914-15, the explorer Hiram Bingham III excavated the treasures from Machu Picchu - ceramic vessels, silver statues, jewelry and human bones - and took them from Peru, it was supposed to be a loan for 12 months (a period that was later extended a half-year). The National Geographic Society, which co-sponsored Bingham’s explorations, has acknowledged that the artifacts were taken on loan and is committed to seeing them returned to Peru.

From 2001 to 2006, when my husband, Alejandro Toledo, was president of Peru, I participated in negotiations with Yale over the artifacts. Peru requested the return of everything Bingham had removed from Machu Picchu, and President Toledo, with the support of both the National Geographic Society and Senator Christopher Dodd, of Connecticut, discussed the request directly with the president of Yale, Richard C. Levin. Those talks broke down, however, when Yale refused to accept our first condition: recognition that Peru is the sole owner of the artifacts. The university also would not allow us to conduct an inventory of the pieces, under the pretext that the archaeologist we had selected was not qualified.

Read The Full Story

B-2 Stealth Bomber Crashes In Guam
2008-02-23 15:32:00
A B-2 stealth bomber plunged to the ground shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on Saturday, the first time one crashed, but both pilots ejected safely, said Air Force officials.

The aircraft was taking off with three others on their last flight out of Guam after a four-month deployment, part of a continuous U.S. bomber presence in the western Pacific. After the crash, the other three bombers were being kept on Guam, said Maj. Eric Hilliard at Hickham Air Force Base in Hawaii.

At least one B-2 bomber had taken off safely from Andersen Air Force Base but was brought back when another aircraft plunged to the ground.

There were no injuries on the ground or damage to buildings, and no munitions were on board. Each B-2 bomber costs about $1.2 billion to build.

Thick, black smoke could be seen billowing from the wreckage at Andersen, said Jeanne Ward, a resident in the northern village of Yigo who was on the base visiting her husband.

Read The Full Story

U.S. Justice Department Inquiry Focused On Waterboarding
2008-02-23 01:17:36
The U.S. Justice Department revealed Friday that its internal ethics office was investigating the department’s legal approval for waterbpardomg of al-Qaeda suspects by the Central Intelligence Agency and was likely to make public an unclassified version of its report.

The disclosure by H. Marshall Jarrett, the head of the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, was the first official acknowledgment of an internal review of the legal memorandums the department has issued since 2002 that authorized waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods.

Jarrett’s report could become the first public accounting for legal advice that endorsed methods widely denounced as torture by human rights groups and legal authorities. His office can refer matters for criminal prosecution; legal experts said the most likely outcome was a public critique of the legal opinions on interrogation, noting that Jarrett had the power to reprimand or to seek the disbarment of current or former Justice Department lawyers.

The cloak of secrecy that long concealed the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program and its legal underpinnings has gradually broken down.

Read The Full Story

European Union Wants Personal Details Of Every Traveler
2008-02-23 01:16:47

Passengers traveling between European Union countries or taking domestic flights would have to hand over a mass of personal information, including their mobile phone numbers and credit card details, as part of a new package of security measures being demanded by the British government. The data would be stored for 13 years and used to "profile" suspects.

Brussels officials are already considering controversial anti-terror plans that would collect up to 19 pieces of information on every air passenger entering or leaving the E.U. Under a controversial agreement reached last summer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the E.U. already supplies the same information [19 pieces] to Washington for all passengers flying between Europe and the U.S.

Britain wants the system extended to sea and rail travel, to be applied to domestic flights and those between E.U.  countries. According to a questionnaire circulated to all E.U. capitals by the European commission, the U.K. is the only country of 27 E.U. member states that wants the system used for "more general public policy purposes" besides fighting terrorism and organized crime.

The so-called passenger name record system, proposed by the commission and supported by most E.U. governments, has been denounced by civil libertarians and data protection officials as draconian and probably ineffective.

Read The Full Story

Airlines Switching To E-Tickets Only On June 1
2008-02-23 01:16:13

Mark your calendars: In 100 days, airlines around the world plan to stop issuing paper tickets.

The International Air Transport Association, a trade group representing 240 airlines, announced Friday that starting June 1, its members will use only electronic tickets. The airlines, which include the big U.S. carriers, account for 94 percent of international air traffic.

Exceptions will be made for small airlines that can't afford new computer systems, but they'll have to pay for the privilege.

"It's about simplifying the business," said Steve Lott, the association's spokesman. The change will make it easier and cheaper for airlines to issue tickets, he said.

Once, travelers purchased airline tickets through travel agents, and paper tickets were mailed to their homes. If you lost your paper ticket or if it was stolen, you could lose your flight.

Read The Full Story

Chavez Is Riveted On His 19th Century Idol - Simon Bolivar
2008-02-23 01:14:34
President Hugo Chavez begins his 10th year in office with inflation in Venezuela the highest in Latin Ameica, food shortages prompting rioting, crime growing and the populist leader's own popularity sliding.

Among Chavez's new priorities is proving that Simon Bolivar, the 19th-century hero who is the inspiration for his movement, was slain by corrupt oligarchs and did not succumb to tuberculosis. Historians from Caracas to London  agree that the great liberator died in his bed in Santa Marta, Colombia, fevered, sick and broken, on Dec. 17, 1830.

Now, as Venezuela's official Gazette recorded on Jan. 28, Chavez has convened a high commission, led by his vice president and composed of nine cabinet ministers and the attorney general. Their job is to exhume Bolivar's remains, which lie in a sarcophagus at the National Pantheon in downtown Caracas, and carry out the necessary scientific tests to confirm Chavez's contention - that treacherous assassins murdered Bolivar.

"This commission has been created because the executive considers it to be of great historical and cultural value to clarify important doubts regarding the death of the Liberator," said Venezuela's official Gazette.

The president's latest focus on Bolívar, the Caracas-born aristocrat whose rebel armies freed from Spanish rule what would become six Latin American countries, is understandable. Bolivar is so revered by Chavez that he calls his transformation of Venezuela a Bolivarian Revolution, has renamed the country the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and has reportedly left a chair empty at meetings to honor "the Liberator."

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