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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Wednesday February 13 2008 - (813)

Wednesday February 13 2008 edition
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Women Who Say They Were Assaulted In Iraq By Co-Workers Unable To Find Justice
2008-02-13 03:30:45
Mary Beth Kineston, an Ohio resident who went to Iraq to drive trucks, thought she had endured the worst when her supply convoy was ambushed in April 2004. After car bombs exploded and insurgents began firing on the road between Baghdad and Balad, she and other military contractors were saved only when Army Black Hawk helicopters arrived.

But not long after the ambush, said Ms. Kineston, she was sexually assaulted by another driver, who remained on the job, at least temporarily, even after she reported the episode to KBR, the military contractor that employed the drivers. Later, she said she was groped by a second KBR worker. After complaining to the company about the threats and harassments endured by female employees in Iraq, she was fired.

“I felt safer on the convoys with the Army than I ever did working for KBR,” said Ms. Kineston, who won a modest arbitration award against KBR. “At least if you got in trouble on a convoy, you could radio the Army and they would come and help you out. But when I complained to KBR, they didn’t do anything. I still have nightmares. They changed my life forever, and they got away with it.”

Ms. Kineston is among a number of American women who have reported that they were sexually assaulted by co-workers while working as contractors in Iraq but now find themselves in legal limbo, unable to seek justice or even significant compensation.

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Editorial: Unnecessary Harm
2008-02-13 03:29:47
Intellpuke: The following editorial appears in the New York Times edition for Wednesday, February 13, 2008.

The Bush administration’s decision to put six detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on trial before military tribunals and to seek the death penalty is both a betrayal of American ideals and simply bad strategy. Instead of being what they could and should be - a model of justice dispensed impartially, surely and dispassionately - the trials will proceed under deeply flawed procedures that violate this country’s basic fairness. The intense negative attention they will receive will do enormous damage to what is left of America’s standing in world opinion.

There is good reason to believe that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and the five others may have been responsible for horrific acts. If convicted, they should be jailed for life, but that should happen under due process. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the administration has made clear that it wants to give people accused of terrorism as few rights as the Supreme Court will let it get away with.

This week’s announcement is a reminder that those rights will be so limited in the military tribunals that the credibility of any verdict will be undermined. Prosecutors will be able to use evidence obtained by improper means, including by torture. The rules will be stacked in the government’s favor, so hearsay evidence that would not be allowed in civilian courts may be allowed. Prosecutors may rely on classified evidence that the defendants will not be able to challenge. Defendants may not be allowed to call important witnesses.

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Lockheed Martin Secures Contract To Expand Biometric Data Base
2008-02-13 03:28:53

The FBI Tuesday announced the award of a $1 billion, 10-year contract to Lockheed Martin to develop what is expected to be the world's largest crime-fighting computer database of biometric information, including fingerprints, palm prints, iris patterns and face images.

Under its contract to build Next Generation Identification (NGI), the Bethesda, Maryland, contractor will expand on the FBI's electronic database of 55 million sets of fingerprints and criminal histories used by law enforcement and other authorities. The aim is to make the query and results process quicker, more flexible and more accurate.

Lockheed built and maintains the fingerprint database.

"NGI will give us bigger, better, faster capabilities and lead us into the future," said Thomas E. Bush III, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

Privacy advocates said that the work is proceeding before the technologies have been proven. "Congress needs to do a better job of assessing how taxpayer dollars are being spent, particularly on programs that impact the privacy rights of Americans," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

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Obama Garners Three More Primary Wins, McCain Bolsters Lead Over Huckabee
2008-02-12 23:37:13
Barack Obama piled up three more victories Tuesday - in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia - establishing the onetime underdog as the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Obama stacked his wins on top of a string of victories over the weekend, pushing his record to 8-0 since he and Clinton effectively fought to a draw a week earlier on Super Tuesday. Obama's performance puts a breeze at his back and increases pressure on the suddenly struggling Clinton to reverse her fortunes in the next two weeks, when voters in another half-dozen states go to the polls.

"Every week that goes by, people get a little more comfortable with him and he gets a little stronger," said Paul Maslin, a Democratic pollster unaligned in the race. But, he cautioned, "This thing is not over."

On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain of Arizona moved closer to clinching the nomination, winning Maryland and Virginia over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. But McCain struggled in Virginia, where a strong turnout of evangelical Christian voters helped buoy Huckabee, a favorite of religious conservatives.
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Leaked U.N. Report: CO2 Emissions From Shipping 3 Times What Was Thought
2008-02-12 23:36:36

The true scale of climate change emissions from shipping is almost three times higher than previously believed, according to a leaked United Nations study, the Guardian newspaper reports.

The study calculates that annual emissions from the world's merchant fleet have already reached 1.12 billion tons of CO², or nearly 4.5% of all global emissions of the main greenhouse gas.

The report suggests that shipping emissions - which are not taken into account by European targets for cutting global warming - will become one of the largest single sources of man-made CO² after cars, housing, agriculture and industry. By comparison, the aviation industry, which has been under heavy pressure to clean up, is responsible for about 650 million tons of CO² emissions a year, just over half that from shipping.

Until now, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has estimated shipping emissions to be a maximum 400 million tons, but the new draft report by a group of international scientists is a more sophisticated measure, using data collected from the oil and shipping industries for the International Maritime Organization, the U.N.  agency tasked with monitoring pollution from ships. It not only shows emissions are much worse than feared, but warns CO² emissions are set to rise by a further 30% by 2020.

Contacted about the contents of the report, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, said: "This is a clear failure of the system. The shipping industry has so far escaped publicity. It has been left out of the climate change discussion. I hope [shipping emissions] will be included in the next U.N. agreement. It would be a cop-out if it was not. It tells me that we have been ineffective at tackling climate change so far."

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Spielberg Walks Out On Beijing Olympic Games In Protest Over Darfur
2008-02-12 23:32:00

Steven Spielberg has resigned as artistic adviser to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, in protest at China's failure to distance itself from genocide and human rights abuses in Darfur.

The Oscar-winning director, who had been working since last year to help choreograph the games' opening ceremony, had previously warned Beijing that he would withdraw unless it did more to distance itself from the violence.

In a statement released Tuesday night, the director said: "I find that my conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual. At this point, my time and energy must be spent not on Olympic ceremonies but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Darfur."

Hollywood stars have been at the forefront of an international campaign linking China to violence in the Darfur region of Sudan, saying that money and weapons from Beijing have helped fuel a conflict that has claimed 200,000 lives and forced 2.5 million people from their homes.

Spielberg, who directed the Holocaust drama "Schindler's List" and founded an educational foundation dedicated to teaching young people about the genocidal crimes of the Nazis - has also come under criticism from Darfur activists, who have accused him of double standards for working so closely with a partner of the Sudanese government.

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G.M. Reports $722 Million Quarterly Loss
2008-02-12 14:13:02
General Motors reported a $722 million fourth-quarter loss on Tuesday and offered more buyouts to all 74,000 of its unionized employees in another bid to keep its turnaround from stalling.

The loss translated into $1.28 a share, compared with a profit of $950 million, or $1.68 a share, in the period a year earlier. The swing was attributed to a drastically slowing vehicle market and big losses at its finance arm, the General Motors Acceptance Corporation. 

Fourth-quarter revenue was $47.1 billion, down from $50.8 billion in 2006, because the company has since sold 51 percent of G.M.A.C. and now only counts revenue from its remaining stake. Automotive revenue was $46.7 billion in the quarter, up $3 billion from a year ago.

Excluding what G.M. said were one-time items, profit was $46 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with an adjusted profit of $180 million, or 32 cents a share, in the period a year earlier.

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Putin Threatens To Aim Missiles At Ukraine If It Joins NATO
2008-02-12 14:12:25

Russia could redirect its missiles towards Ukraine if the country joined NATO, Vladimir Putin warned Tuesday.

The president said he would be forced to target Russian rockets at Ukraine in response to a possible deployment of a U.S. missile shield in the eastern European country.

"I am not only terrified to utter this, it is scary even to think that Russia … would have to target its offensive rocket systems at Ukraine," he said.

If Kiev agrees to sign up to NATO, it could host U.S. anti-missile defenses on Ukrainian soil.

The mood proved more amicable between the two neighbors moments earlier when an agreement had been reached to end the gas dispute.

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Russia Court Shuts University That Displeased Putin
2008-02-12 14:11:49

The Kremlin was accused Monday of mounting an unprecedented attack on academic freedom after one of Russia's top universities was closed.

The European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP) has been forced to suspend its teaching after officials claimed that its historic buildings were "a fire risk". On Friday a court ordered that all academic work cease, classrooms be sealed and the university's library shut.

Academics at the EUSP said the move was politically motivated - and followed a row last year over a program funded by the European commission to improve the monitoring of Russian elections. The university accepted a three-year, £500,000 ($1 million) European Union grant to run a project advising Russia's political parties on matters such as how to ensure elections are not rigged.

Last October, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, launched a vitriolic attack on the EUSP - which has close links with universities in the U.K. and U.S. - accusing it of being an agent of foreign meddling.

On January 31, the EUSP's academic council bowed to Kremlin pressure and abandoned the monitoring project.

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U.S. Credit Crisis Spreads Beyond Subprime Loans
2008-02-12 03:15:08

The credit crisis is no longer just a subprime mortgage problem.

As home prices fall and banks tighten lending standards, people with good, or prime, credit histories are falling behind on their payments for home loans, auto loans and credit cards at a quickening pace, according to industry data and economists.

The rise in prime delinquencies, while less severe than the one in the subprime market, nonetheless poses a threat to the battered housing market and weakening economy, which some specialists say is in a recession or headed for one.

Until recently, people with good credit, who tend to pay their bills on time and manage their finances well, were viewed as a bulwark against the economic strains posed by rising defaults among borrowers with blemished, or subprime, credit.

“This collapse in housing value is sucking in all borrowers,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's 

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Commentary: Iraq's Tidal Wave Of Misery: The First History Of The Planet's Worst Refugee Crisis
2008-02-12 03:14:16
Intellpuke: This commentary was written by Michael Schwartz and appeared on the web site edition for Sunday, February 10, 2008. Mr. Schwartz, professor of sociology at Stony Brook University, has written extensively on popular protest and insurgency. The following report on the Iraqi refugee crisis is from his forthcoming TomDispatch book, "War Without End: The Iraq Debacle in Context" (Haymarket Books, June 2007). His work on Iraq has appeared on numerous Internet sites, including TomDispatch, Asia Times, Mother Jones and ZNET. His commentary follows:

A tidal wave of misery is engulfing Iraq - and it isn't the usual violence that Americans are accustomed to hearing about and tuning out. To be sure, it's rooted in that violence, but this tsunami of misery is social and economic in nature. It dislodges people from their jobs, sweeps them from their homes, tears them from their material possessions, and carries them off from families and communities. It leaves them stranded in hostile towns or foreign countries, with no anchor to resist the moment when the next wave of displacement sweeps over them.

The victims of this human tsunami are called refugees if they wash ashore outside the country or IDPs ("internally displaced persons") if their landing place is within Iraq's borders. Either way, they are normally left with no permanent housing, no reliable livelihood, no community support, and no government aid. All the normal social props that support human lives are removed, replaced with nothing.

Overlapping Waves of the Dispossessed

In its first four years, the Iraq war created three overlapping waves of refugees and IDPs.

It all began with the Coalition Provisional Authority, which the Bush administration set up inside Baghdad's Green Zone and, in May 2003, placed under the control of L. Paul Bremer III. The CPA immediately began dismantling Iraq's state apparatus. Thousands of Baathist Party bureaucrats were purged from the government; tens of thousands of workers were laid off from shuttered, state-owned industries; hundreds of thousands of Iraqi military personnel were dismissed from Saddam's dismantled military. Their numbers soon multiplied as the ripple effect of their lost buying power rolled through the economy. Many of the displaced found other (less remunerative) jobs; some hunkered down to wait out bad times; still others left their homes and sought work elsewhere, with the most marketable going to nearby countries where their skills were still in demand. They were the leading edge of the first wave of Iraqi refugees.

As the post-war chaos continued, kidnapping became the country's growth industry, targeting any prosperous family with the means to pay ransom. This only accelerated the rate of departure, particularly among those who had already had their careers disrupted. A flood of professional, technical, and managerial workers fled their homes and Iraq in search of personal and job security.

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Editorial: Gates, Truth And Afghanistan
2008-02-12 03:13:04
Intellpuke: The following editorial appears in the New York Times edition for Tuesday, February 12, 2008.

By the Bush administration’s standards, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was remarkably candid last week: acknowledging that popular opposition in Europe to the Iraq war was making it harder to persuade European governments to send more troops or take more risks to salvage Afghanistan.

Nearly everything about President Bush’s botched war of choice in Iraq has made it much harder to win Afghanistan’s war of necessity. The fact that Mr. Gates is permitted such truth-telling is a measure of how bad things have gotten in Afghanistan and how much the United States needs more outside help.

To help beat back a resurgent Taliban, countries like Germany, France, Spain and Italy must agree to send more combat troops and lift restrictions on where and how their forces would operate - including bars on deployments to the south where the fighting is heaviest. The United States and Europe also need to come up with more cash and a better nation-building strategy. All these problems need to be addressed before the spring when a new Taliban offensive is likely.

A NATO failure would obviously be devastating for Afghanistan’s people, but it also would be dangerous for Europe, which relies on the alliance as its principal means of deterrence and defense. The intra-NATO resentments have gotten so bitter that Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, has said that he will withdraw his 2,500 troops - the Canadians have suffered heavy losses - as scheduled next year, unless other members ante up another 1,000 troops.

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CBS News Journalist, Iraqi Translator Abducted In Basra
2008-02-12 03:12:07
A Western journalist and his Iraqi interpreter working for CBS News were missing Monday after being abducted outside their hotel in the southern city of Basra, said Iraqi police.

According to an Iraqi police report, the two had been missing since Sunday evening. It said eight SUVs arrived at their hotel earlier in the day and their occupants asked to see the guest list. Later, when the journalists left the hotel, two SUVs were waiting for them and took them away, said the police report.

In a statement issued Monday in New York, CBS said two journalists working for the network in Basra were missing. It did not give their names.

"All efforts are underway to find them, and until we learn more details, CBS News requests that others do not speculate on the identities of those involved," it said, adding that the journalists' families had been notified.

Violence has subsided in Iraq in the last year, but abductions for financial gain or political purposes are common.
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U.S. Senate Approves Expansion Of Surveillance, Immunizes Telecoms
2008-02-13 03:30:26

The Senate Tuesday approved a sweeping measure that would expand the government's clandestine surveillance powers, delivering a key victory to the White House by approving immunity from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that cooperated with intelligence agencies in domestic spying after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

On a 68 to 29 vote, the Senate approved the reauthorization of a law that would give the government greater powers to eavesdrop in terrorism and intelligence cases without obtaining warrants from a secret court.

The Senate's action, days before a temporary surveillance law expires Friday, sets up a clash with House Democrats, who have previously approved legislation that does not contain immunity for the telecommunications industry. The chambers have been locked in a standoff over the immunity provision since the House vote Nov. 15, with President Bush demanding the protection for the industry.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the president "will not sign another extension" of the temporary law, a decision that could force congressional leaders to reconcile their differences this week.

"The House is risking national security by delaying action," said Fratto. "It's increasingly clear Congress will not act until it has to, and a second extension will only lead to a third."

House leaders vowed again Tuesday to oppose the telecom immunity provision until the White House releases more information about the controversial warrantless surveillance program it initiated shortly after the terrorist attacks.

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Panel Cites Drop In Pentagon's Attention To Security Of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal
2008-02-13 03:29:32

The U.S. Defense Department is displaying a "precipitous decrease in attention" to the security and control of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, according to a Defense Science Board task force that examined the broader causes behind the U.S. flight in August of a B-52 bomber that inadvertently carried six cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

"The decline in DoD focus has been more pronounced than realized and too extreme to be acceptable," the task force said in a report released Tuesday by its chairman, retired Air Force Gen. Larry D. Welch, at a Senate Armed Service Committeehearing.

Welch, who served in the 1980s as head of the Strategic Air Command and later as Air Force chief of staff, told the senators about his concern that "the nation and its leadership do not value the nuclear mission and the people who perform that mission."

The six cruise missiles, which were mistakenly believed to be carrying dummy warheads, were loaded on an Air Force B-52 and flown 1,400 miles from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.  

"No one knew where they were, or even missed them, for over 36 hours," said Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Michigan), chairman of the Senate committee. "This entire episode really is a wake-up call."

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Australia Offers An Apology To Aborigines
2008-02-13 03:28:40
Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd opened a new chapter in Australia’s tortured relations with its indigenous peoples on Wednesday with a comprehensive and moving apology for past wrongs and a call for bipartisan action to improve the lives of Australia’s Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

“The Parliament is today here assembled to deal with this unfinished business of the nation, to remove a great stain from the nation’s soul, and in a true spirit of reconciliation to open a new chapter in the history of this great land, Australia,” Rudd told Parliament.

This was “Government business, motion No. 1,” the first act of Rudd’s Labor government, which was sworn in Tuesday after a convincing electoral win over the 11-year administration of John Howard, who had for years refused to apologize for the misdeeds of past governments.

Rudd’s apology was particularly addressed to the so-called Stolen Generations, the tens of thousands of indigenous children who were removed, sometimes forcibly, from their families in a policy of assimilation that only ended in the 1970s.

In some states it was part of a policy to “breed out the color,” in the words of Cecil Cook, who held the title of chief protector of Aborigines in the Northern Territory in the 1930s.

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Clinton Loses Another Top Campaign Aide
2008-02-12 23:36:56
Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's deputy campaign manager resigned Tuesday, the latest departure in a staff shake-up following a string of losses to Barack Obama.

In an e-mail message to staffers obtained by the Associated Press after Clinton lost the Virginia primary Tuesday, Mike Henry said he was stepping down to allow campaign manager Maggie Williams to build her own staff. Williams replaced Patti Solis Doyle during the weekend. Solis Doyle had recruited Henry to join the campaign last year.

"Out of respect for Maggie and her new leadership team I thought it was the best thing to do," Henry wrote. "As someone who has managed campaigns, I share the unique understanding of the challenges that the campaign will face over the next several weeks. Our campaign needs to move quickly to build a new leadership team, support them and their decisions and make the necessary adjustments to achieve the winning outcome for which we have all worked so hard for over a year now."

It was unclear whether Henry was forced out.
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The Great Green Land Grab
2008-02-12 23:36:01
Fancy your own swath of rainforest or snow-capped peak? From Britain to Botswana, the Philippines to Patagonia, there is an explosion of individuals, charities, even billionaire financiers buying up vast areas of land in the name of protecting environments. But is private ownership the way to save them? Guardian environment editor John Vidal tries to answer that question in the following article.

Click! I have just bought 10 square centimeters of rainforest for a few pennies on the net. Click click! That's 0.2 square feet of Patagonia coastline saved from mining. Click click click! A friend has just given me as a present 1 square mile of the Palmyra atoll, wherever that is.

Saving the world's most beautiful and ecologically important places just got much cheaper and easier. Hundreds of websites run by charities, trusts, and individuals now invite people to buy up forest, field and mountain to save it from destruction and climate change at the click of a mouse. And why stop at pennies? The World Land Trust, whose patron is Sir David Attenborough, invites you to buy a whole acre of Indian elephant corridor for £50 ($100), or 2,000 square meters of the Chaco Pantanal in Brazil for £25 ($50). WLT supporters have bought 350,000 acres in Britain since 1989 - an area half the size of Derbyshire.

If you have really deep pockets, conservation gets even easier. John Eliasch, the Swedish-born businessman chosen by Gordon Brown to be his forest advisor, bought himself 400,000 acres of the Amazon rainforest for £8 million ($16 million) in 2006 and now asks supporters to help him buy up tracts of Brazil and Ecuador. His charity, Cool Earth, is asking £70 ($140) an acre, and in one year it claims to have bought 32,000 acres - to howls of disapproval from the Brazilian government, which says Eliasch is an "eco-colonialist" and that Brazilians can look after their own forests.

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Voters In 'Potomac Primary' Turn Out Early
2008-02-12 14:13:20

Voters in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia lined up early this morning to vote in the region's much-anticipated "Potomac Primary", eager to cast a ballot in one of the most closely contested and historic presidential races ever.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. in Virginia and at 7 a.m. in Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Turnout is expected to be high in all three jurisdictions, fueled by the excitement of knowing that the Democratic contest will ultimately produce either the first woman or the first African American nominee in a major party's history, and by the potential impact of the Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia contests this year.

At the Cora Kelly Recreation Center in Alexandria, Virginia, Mildred Walker said she voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton because she believes the New York senator and former first lady has the experience needed to succeed in the White House.

Walker, who is African American, said the candidacy of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama had provoked intense interest among her family and friends, most of whom were voting for him, but she decided differently. "With Barack, there's a certain pride," said the 58-year-old interior designer. "I'm glad he's in the race. But when I narrow it down, Hillary is the best one."

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Britain's Foreign Minister 'Concerned' About Fairness Of Guantanamo Trials
2008-02-12 14:12:49

Britain's Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, Tuesday opened a rift with the Bush administration by raising doubts about the fairness of U.S. military tribunals for the six men charged in connection with the September 11 attacks.

Miliband said he had "some concerns" not only about impartiality but also about the methods used to extract information from the detainees, who are being held at Guantanamo Bay.

U.S. military prosecutors said Monday they would seek the death penalty against the six, including the alleged mastermind of the plot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and the alleged would-be 20th hijacker, Mohammed al-Qahtani, as well as the alleged funders and coordinators of the attacks.

The U.S. Homeland Security secretary, Michael Chertoff, insisted defendants in the much-criticized military commissions would have "full due process" and "all the fundamental rights".

But Miliband Tuesday echoed criticism from human rights groups about whether the six men would get a fair trial.

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Health Dept.: Global Warming Could Soon Kill Thousands In U.K.
2008-02-12 14:12:05

Global warming could lead to a heatwave in the southeast of England killing 3,000 people within the next decade, a British Department of Health report said Tuesday.

It put the chances of a heatwave of that severity happening by 2017 at 25%.

Without preventive action, the report said that a nine-day heatwave, with temperatures averaging at least 27 degrees Celsius (85 degrees Fahrenheit) over 24 hours, would cause 3,000 immediate deaths, with another 3,350 people dying from heat-related conditions during the summer.

It predicted that there would be an increase in skin cancers due to increased exposure to sunlight and that, over the next half century, air pollution could lead to an extra 1,500 deaths and hospital admissions a year.

While malaria outbreaks were likely to remain rare, the report - Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2008 -  said health authorities would need to be alert to the dangers posed by possible larger outbreaks of malaria in continental Europe.

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Danish Arrests Over 'Plot To Kill Muhammad Cartoonist'
2008-02-12 14:11:29

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of plotting to kill a cartoonist who drew a caricature of the prophet Muhammad, Danish police said Tuesday.

Two Tunisians and one Dane of Moroccan origin were arrested in an early morning raid in Aarhus, in the west of the country. Earlier reports said five suspects had been detained.

Police officials said they made the arrests to "prevent a terror-related murder" after a long period of surveillance, but did not say which cartoonist had been targeted.

Jakob Scharf, the chief of Danish intelligence, said the 40-year-old Dane had been arrested on suspicion of violating Danish terror laws. He said the suspect would probably be released after questioning.

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Soldier, After Bipolar Treatment And Suicide Attempts, Sent Back To War Zone
2008-02-12 03:14:40
A Fort Carson, Colorado, soldier who says he was in treatment at Cedar Springs Hospital for bipolar disorder and alcohol abuse was released early and ordered to deploy to the Middle East with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

The 28-year-old specialist spent 31 days in Kuwait and was returned to Fort Carson on Dec. 31 after health care professionals in Kuwait concurred that his symptoms met criteria for bipolar disorder and "some paranoia and possible homicidal tendencies," according to e-mails obtained by a Denver, Colorado, newspaper.

The soldier, who asked not to be identified because of the stigma surrounding mental illness and because he will seek employment when he leaves the Army, said he checked himself into Cedar Springs on Nov. 9 or Nov. 10 after he attempted suicide while under the influence of alcohol. He said his treatment was supposed to end Dec. 10, but his commanding officers showed up at the hospital Nov. 29 and ordered him to leave.

"I was pulled out to deploy," said the soldier, who has three years in the Army and has served a tour in Iraq.

Soldiers from Fort Carson and across the country have complained they were sent to combat zones despite medical conditions that should have prevented their deployment.

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Clinton's Presidential Bid Hinges On Texas, Ohio
2008-02-12 03:13:35

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her advisers increasingly believe that, after a series of losses, she has been boxed into a must-win position in the Ohio and Texas primaries on March 4, and she has begun reassuring anxious donors and superdelegates that the nomination is not slipping away from her, aides said on Monday.

Clinton held a buck-up-the-troops conference call on Monday with donors, superdelegates and other supporters; several said afterward that she had sounded tired and a little down, but determined about Ohio and Texas.

They also said that they had not been especially soothed, and that they believed she might be on a losing streak that could jeopardize her competitiveness in those states.

“She has to win both Ohio and Texas comfortably, or she’s out,” said one superdelegate who has endorsed Clinton, and who spoke on condition of anonymity to share a candid assessment. “The campaign is starting to come to terms with that.” Campaign advisers, also speaking privately in order to speak plainly, confirmed this view.

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On Pakistan's Campaign Trail, The President's Allies Avoid The M-Word
2008-02-12 03:12:46

Traveling in private jets, helicopters and bulletproof limousines Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, a staunch supporter of President Pervez Musharraf, is hard on the campaign trail for Monday's Pakistani general election. Yet at his lavishly funded, tightly guarded rallies there is a striking absence: any mention of Musharraf.

An opinion poll released Monday suggests why. Musharraf's support has collapsed according to the survey by the International Republic Institute. Just 15% of Pakistanis support their president, an all-time low, and some 75% want him to resign immediately. An earlier, smaller poll by Gallup International found 81% wanted him to quit.

Technically the election is not about Musharraf, who was re-elected for five years in a legally dubious procedure in November but, as Pakistan limps from crisis to crisis - suicide bombings, soaring food prices and public anger in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination - the vote has become central to the retired general's future and, many believe, the stability of the nuclear-armed country.

The task of shoring up Musharraf's political base falls to the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, the party he cobbled together six years ago to legitimize his "managed" democracy. Yet even for loyal lieutenants such as Elahi, the "M-word" is quietly avoided.

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