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, March 09, 2008

[Disarmed] Free Internet Press Newsletter - Sunday March 9 2008 - (813)

Sunday March 9 2008 edition
Free Internet Press is operated on your donations.
Democrat Wins Hastert's Seat In Illinois
2008-03-09 03:56:28
A longtime Republican district fell to the Democrats Saturday when a wealthy businessman and scientist snatched former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's congressional seat in a closely watched special election.

Democrat Bill Foster won 53 percent of the vote compared to 47 percent for Republican Jim Oberweis. With all 568 precincts reporting, Foster had 52,010 votes to Oberweis' 46,988.

"Tonight our voices are echoing across the country and Washington will hear us loud and clear, it's time for a change," Foster told cheering supporters Saturday evening.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen said Foster's win is a rebuke of the Bush administration and of the Republican's apparent presidential nominee, John McCain, who helped raise money for Oberweis.

Read The Full Story

New Research Confirms Antarctic Thaw Fears
2008-03-09 03:55:43

New research confirms that ice sheets in West Antarctica are thinning at a far faster rate than in past millennia. Although scientists are divided as to the cause of the melt, many feel it is directly related to global warming.

The boom must have been deafening last fall as the gigantic chunk of ice finally broke off from the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica. For almost a year, the creaks and groans from the river of ice had presaged the birth of a new, expansive iceberg. And finally it was there - 34 kilometers long by 20 kilometers wide, an area almost as great as that of New York City.

As dramatic as the iceberg birth was, it has become a common spectacle in recent years. The gigantic ice shelf that extends into the ocean off of West Antarctica is crumbling - and the glaciers on the continent behind the ice shelf are flowing with increasing speed toward the sea. Concern among scientists is increasing just as quickly. Should the melt-rate continue, or accelerate, many experts fear that the resulting rise in the ocean level could be catastrophic.

Just what is behind the meltdown, however, is not entirely clear. Whereas it is not difficult to pinpoint global warming caused by human activity for increasing temperatures in the Arctic, the southern end of the planet is more difficult. The western side of the continent is thawing out wherever one looks, but on the eastern side, not much is happening.

Read The Full Story

More Nevada Surgery Clinics To Be Cited
2008-03-09 03:54:55
A statewide inspection of outpatient surgery centers like the one believed to have spread hepatitis C to its patients has uncovered dangerous practices at four other clinics, a health official said Friday.

The state swore to quickly inspect all 50 Nevada outpatient surgery centers after it was discovered the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada spread the blood-borne virus to at least six patients by reusing syringes and sharing vials of medication.

Of the 18 clinics inspected by Friday, three in northern Nevada and one in Las Vegas will be cited and fined for improper disease prevention techniques, said state health division chief Mike Willden.

Willden said there was no evidence that the clinics were responsible for any outbreaks of disease.

The Gastrointestinal Diagnostic Center in Las Vegas will be cited for repeatedly reusing syringes, he said. Willden could not say whether the center also reused medication vials. Clark County pulled the center's business license, shutting it down shortly after the announcement.

Read The Full Story

Serbia In Crisis As Prime Minister Quits Over Kosovo Independence
2008-03-09 03:50:57

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica dramatically resigned Saturday, saying his government had collapsed over the issue of Kosovo's declaration of independence last month. Plunging the country into a new political crisis, he said he would call national elections for May 11.

Kostunica had previously conceded that his government was in "deep crisis", accusing his coalition partners of giving up on defending Serbia's claim to Kosovo in favor of better ties with the West, which backs Kosovo's secession.

Serbia - with the strong support of Russia - has said it would never accept Kosovo's independence.

Kostunica had wanted his coalition allies to reject closer ties with the European Union, many of whose members have recognized Kosovo. Serbia's President, Boris Tadic, opposed him, arguing Serbia can protect its claims to Kosovo only by joining the E.U.

Read The Full Story

Set Clocks Forward This Weekend
2008-03-08 21:49:30
Time to trade an hour's sleep for more sunlight in the evenings.

Most people will set their clocks forward one hour this weekend. Officially the change to daylight saving time should be made at 2 a.m. Sunday, local time, though many folks will reset their clocks and watches before going to bed Saturday night.

The shift also serves as a reminder to install new batteries in warning devices like smoke detectors and hazard warning radios.

In areas that observe daylight time, standard time will return on Nov. 2.

Read The Full Story

Countrywide Financial Said To Be Under Investigation By Government Agencies
2008-03-08 21:48:47
Federal agencies have opened a criminal inquiry into Countrywide Financial for suspected securities fraud as part of the continuing fallout over the mortgage crisis, government officials with knowledge of the case said on Saturday.

The Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are looking at whether officials at Countrywide, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, misrepresented its financial condition and the soundness of its loans in security filings, said the officials.

The investigation - first reported on Saturday in the Wall Street Journal - is at an early stage, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss ongoing criminal matters. It is unclear whether anyone will ultimately be charged with a crime.

Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the F.B.I., declined on Saturday to confirm whether the agency had started an investigation of Countrywide related to its securities filings.

Read The Full Story

Determining Age Of Universe Becomes More Precise
2008-03-08 21:47:39

The universe is 13.73 billion years old, give or take 120 million years, astronomers said last week.

That age, based on precision measurements of the oldest light in the universe, agrees with results announced in 2006. Two additional years of data from a NASA satellite known as the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe have narrowed the uncertainty by tens of millions of years.

“Everything is tightening up and giving us better and better precision all the time,” said Charles L. Bennett, a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University and the leader of the group analyzing the data. “It’s actually significantly better than previous results. There is all kinds of richness in the data.”

About 380,000 years after the Big Bang, the universe cooled enough for protons and electrons to combine into hydrogen atoms. That released a burst of light, which over the billions of years since has cooled to a bath of microwaves pervading the cosmos.

Read The Full Story

Bush Vetoes Bill Banning Waterboarding
2008-03-08 14:43:05

President Bush said Saturday that he has vetoed legislation meant to ban the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics because it "would take away one of the most valuable tools on the war on terror."

In his weekly radio address, Bush said, "This is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe."

Congress approved an intelligence authorization bill that contains the waterboarding provision on slim majorities, far short of the two-thirds needed to override a presidential veto.

Bush's long-expected veto reignites the Washington debate over the proper limits of the U.S. interrogation policies and whether the CIA has engaged in torture by subjecting prisoners to severe tactics, including waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning.

Read The Full Story

Wyoming Democrats Turn Out In Record Numbers For Caucuses
2008-03-08 14:42:28
Sen. Barack Obama took the lead over rival Hillary Rodham Clinton in early returns as Democrats deluged caucuses in Wyoming Saturday, straining the ability of party officials to accommodate crowds.

Obama led Clinton 57 percent to 40 percent with 6 of 23 counties reporting as they vied for the next prize in their extraordinarily tight Democratic presidential nomination race.

During the first caucuses of the day, it appeared the state's Democrats were showing up in record numbers. In 2004, a mere 675 people statewide took part in the caucuses.

Twelve national convention delegates are at stake in 23 county caucuses across the state, a small but critical prize in the close race for the party's nod. The epic battle between Clinton and Obama has given the state's Democrats -  outnumbered more than 2-to-1 by Republicans - a relevancy they haven't experienced in a presidential race in nearly 50 years.

Read The Full Story

Serbia's Prime Minister Dissolves Government
2008-03-08 14:41:37
Serbia's prime minister dissolved the government Saturday and called for new elections after clashing with his pro-Western coalition partners over Kosovo and European Union membership.

Vojislav Kostunica said that he will convene a government session Monday that will propose to parliament that new elections be held May 11.

He accused pro-Western ministers of failing to support his efforts to preserve Kosovo as part of Serbia.

''There was no united will to clearly and loudly state that Serbia can continue its path toward the E.U. only with Kosovo,'' said Kostunica.

The new elections could determine whether Serbia continues toward the E.U. or takes a more isolationist approach reminiscent of Yugoslavia in the 1990s under the late strongman Slobodan Milosevic. 

Read The Full Story

Fired U.S. Attorney Says Colleague Told Him Politics Was Behind His Ouster
2008-03-08 01:20:11
A longtime protege of President Bush told former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias that he was fired for political reasons and that he shouldn't fight his ouster, Iglesias says in a new book.

"This is political," Iglesias recalls Texas U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton telling him shortly after he was ousted. "If I were you, I'd just go quietly."

Iglesias, a former U.S. attorney in New Mexico, is one of nine federal prosecutors whose firings triggered a yearlong controversy at the Justice Department and led to the resignations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and 11 other Justice Department officials.

Iglesias cites the exchange with Sutton in his upcoming book, "In Justice," as further evidence that he was forced out because Republicans were displeased with his refusal to prosecute Democrats.

"I couldn't believe what I was hearing: a U.S. attorney all but admitting that a colleague was being hung out to dry for reasons that had nothing to do with performance or professionalism," he wrote in a draft of the book, which McClatchy obtained.

Read The Full Story

Commentary: The Other Side Of The McCain Lobbyist Scandal
2008-03-08 01:19:34
Intellpuke: The following commentary was written by Jerold M. Starr, author of "Air Wars: The Fight To Reclaim Public Broadcasting", and first appeared on The Nation's website edition for Tuesday, March 4, 2008.

I don't know whether Senator John McCain had sex with lobbyist Vickie Iseman, but I do know, first hand, that he broke the rules while doing the bidding of media mogul Lowell "Bud" Paxson, a major contributor to McCain's 2000 presidential campaign. McCain's staff lied it about it then and they are inventing new lies even now.

I was the leader of the campaign opposing the transfer of Pittsburgh's second public television station (Channel 16), along with $17.5 million, to a conservative televangelist ministry so that Paxson could expand his network into the Pittsburgh market. In fact, I wrote a well-reviewed book in 2000 about the entire case, "Air Wars: The Fight to Reclaim Public Broadcasting".

Since this man could well be the next President of the United States, his character should be of concern to all people of this country.

In 1994, local media revealed that Pittsburgh's public station WQED had piled up millions of dollars of debt due to obvious malfeasance and, according to our informants, possible embezzlement. By 1996, new CEO George Miles' solution to this problem was to commercialize and sell off Channel 16. Along with activist Linda Wambaugh, I organized the Save Pittsburgh Public Television campaign to advocate a solution that would have both addressed the debt and saved the station.

Read The Full Story

Lawyer Missing After Criticizing China's Human Rights Record
2008-03-08 01:18:02

A prominent human rights lawyer is missing, presumed detained by the authorities, amid a crackdown on dissent ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

Teng Biao - who has defended AIDS activists, Falun Gong practitioners and farmers fighting for their land - was last seen on Thursday, being bundled into a black car outside his home in Beijing.

He had recently been warned by police that he would be detained unless he stopped talking to the foreign media and writing about human rights abuses in the runup to the Olympics.

Shortly before he went missing, Teng told the Guardian that his passport had been seized, his phone bugged and his emails checked by the authorities.

He was warned that he also faced getting fired from his job as a lecturer at the China University of Political Science and Law and risked detention.

Read The Full Story

'Worst Storm Of Winter' To Hit U.K. This Weekend
2008-03-08 01:15:32

People are being warned to stay indoors Sunday night and avoid unnecessary journeys, with winds of up to 80 mph expected to tear through parts of the U.K.

Forecasters warned of coastal flooding as spring tides coincide with what could be the strongest storm of the winter.

Wales and the south of England are expected to bear the brunt of the storm-force winds tomorrow night, but other parts of the U.K. may also be affected, with winds up to 50 mph.

A band of exceptionally low pressure was due to bring heavy rain and severe gales across the country, said Meteogroup U.K.

Read The Full Story

Whaling Protester Says He Was 'Shot' By Japanese Coast Guard
2008-03-08 01:15:00

The leader of an anti-whaling environmental group claimed Friday that he had been shot by Japanese coastguard officers while on his ship in the Southern Ocean and had survived only because he was wearing a protective vest.

Paul Watson, captain of the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin, claimed a bullet struck him above the heart and that he had video footage of the ship's doctor removing it from his protective vest. Two other crew members were injured, the marine conservation group said. One injured his hip as he tried to dodge incoming "flash grenades", and another received bruises to the back when one of the grenades exploded behind him.

"I felt this impact on my chest," Watson told Australian radio. "I found a bullet buried in the Kevlar vest that I wear. It bruised my shoulder but it would have hit my heart if I didn't have the vest."

Japanese officials said no shots had been fired. Tomohiko Taniguchi, a foreign ministry spokesman, said the mother ship, the Nisshin Maru, had warned Watson and his crew that it would retaliate with flash grenades unless they stopped throwing "stink bombs" containing butyric acid.

"The Nisshin Maru was attacked four times today," Taniguchi told the Guardian. "After the second wave of attacks Sea Shepherd was warned that if they threw more acid then the whaling ship would retaliate. But no bullets were fired."

Read The Full Story

Ex-Pentagon Official Blames Colleagues On Iraq War
2008-03-09 03:56:09

In the first insider account of Pentagon decision-making on Iraq, one of the key architects of the war blasts former secretary of state Colin Powell, the CIA retired Gen. Tommy R. Franks and former Iraq occupation chief L. Paul Bremer for mishandling the run-up to the invasion and the subsequent occupation of the country.

Douglas J. Feith, in a massive score-settling work, portrays an intelligence community and a State Department that repeatedly undermined plans he developed as undersecretary of defense for policy and conspired to undercut President Bush'spolicies.

Among the disclosures made by Feith in "War and Decision," scheduled for release next month by Harper Collins, is Bush's declaration, at a Dec. 18, 2002, National Security Council meeting, that "war is inevitable". The statement came weeks before United Nations weapons inspectors reported their initial findings on Iraq and months before Bush delivered an ultimatum to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.Feith, who says he took notes at the meeting, registered it as a "momentous comment."

Although he acknowledges "serious errors" in intelligence, policy and operational plans surrounding the invasion, Feith blames them on others outside the Pentagon and notes that "even the best planning" cannot avoid all problems in wartime. While he says the decision to invade was correct, he judges that the task of creating a viable and stable Iraqi government was poorly executed and remains "grimly incomplete."

Read The Full Story

Northern Europe Experiences Record Warm Winter
2008-03-09 03:55:23

This has been the warmest-ever winter in parts of Scandinavia, where dog sled owners have faced snow shortages, ski races have been cancelled and Baltic Sea ice is at an all-time low. Germany has also seen an unusually mild winter.

Dogsled operators in Tromso Villmarkssenter are once again showing a certain optimism. "At the moment, we're able to offer our dogsled tours on a regular basis," says a sled dog handler named Agneta.

That hasn't always been the case this winter. From mid-December to mid-January, there was so little snow in northern Norway that the sleds had to be kept in their sheds. Instead of dog sledding, tourists could go on hikes in the coastal mountains with the temporarily unemployed huskies.

"Now we hope that at least the snow will stay on the ground for a while," says Agneta. Even now, there still isn't that much snow. But at least the locals in Tromso can take comfort in the fact that it is reasonably cold for the moment.

Read The Full Story

Update: Human Rights Lawyer Released By China's Police
2008-03-09 03:53:52
A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer was released Saturday after two days of secret police detention.

Teng Biao, 34, said police questioned him about articles calling for an independent and fair legal system that he has written for his blog and overseas Chinese Web sites. China's Communist Party controls the judiciary, which routinely imprisons dissidents after convicting them in secret trials.

"I was released around 1:40 this afternoon, and they put me down at a place near my home," Teng said in a telephone interview. "The police were from the Beijing Public Security Bureau, but they don't allow me to tell any more details."

Teng has defended dissidents and been an outspoken critic of human rights abuses in China, especially as international scrutiny has increased ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games, which open here Aug. 8.

Witnesses said Teng was forced into a black Jetta without license plates after he had driven home Thursday evening, according to his wife, who reported him missing that night.

Read The Full Story

Obama Wins Wyoming Caucuses
2008-03-08 21:49:45
Senator Barack Obama continued his string of victories in caucus states on Saturday, beating Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Wyoming by a wide margin.

The victory, while in a state with only 18 delegates, was welcome news for the Obama campaign as it sought to blunt Clinton’s momentum coming off her victories in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday. Clinton had campaigned here in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Friday, a day after her husband and daughter, signaling the stakes every contest holds in the fierce battle for the Democratic nomination.

Party officials reported extremely high turnout at caucus sites across the state. More than 1,500 residents of Laramie County came to cast votes at the caucus site in downtown Cheyenne, filling the auditorium. Hundreds more waited outside for hours until they could enter and vote.

Wyoming Democrats, usually a lonely bunch in an overwhelmingly Republican state, basked in their moment in the spotlight.

Read The Full Story

U.S. Senate Committee Seeks Audit Of Iraq Oil Money
2008-03-08 21:49:04
Two senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have requested a full accounting of how Iraq is spending its soaring oil revenues, amid starkly conflicting estimates of how much the country has invested in rebuilding its broken infrastructure and providing basic services to its citizens.

The request, sent Friday to David M. Walker, the top official at the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), estimates that Iraqi oil revenues could skyrocket above $56 billion in 2008, largely because of the rising price of oil.

This enormous influx of cash comes as the United States has been reducing spending on the reconstruction effort. Since the invasion in 2003, the United States has invested close to $50 billion in reconstruction, but the effort has achieved at best mixed results when measured by improvements in the lives of Iraqi citizens.

Still, the American military and State Department continue to finance a wide range of relatively small reconstruction projects as well as training and equipment for Iraqi military forces.

Read The Full Story

Pakistani Lawyers Demand Release Of Judges
2008-03-08 21:48:29
Beside racks of hanging meat and barrows of oranges in the alleys of the old town here in Rawalpindi, Aitzaz Ahsan, leader of the lawyers movement in Pakistan, was back on the campaign trail on Saturday, calling for the release of top justices from house arrest.

Fresh from being released after four months in detention, Ahsan said the recent parliamentary elections were not enough proof that President Pervez Musharraf's government was dedicated to democracy. He insisted that the next step had to be the release of the former chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was fired along with the rest of the Supreme Court during a state of emergency imposed by Musharraf on Nov. 3. Chaudhry and nine other justices remain under house arrest.

“Our struggle is to make Pakistan a state where the judiciary is independent, and what Musharraf did to the chief justice is an example of how under him no judge is ever independent,” Ahsan said to a crowd of lawyers who chanted for  Musharraf’s resignation.

The warmth of the reception for Ahsan and his rallying cry for Chaudhry was evident Saturday, with shoppers and storekeepers smiling as they recognized him, stepping up to shake his hand and showering him with pink rose petals.

Read The Full Story

Malaysia's Governing Coalition Suffers Electoral Defeats
2008-03-08 21:47:13
Malaysia’s governing coalition, which has run this multi-racial country without any major challenges for the past four decades, suffered a string of election defeats in crucial constituencies on Saturday, including the relatively prosperous industrial state of Penang.

Early results showed that the coalition of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi retained a parliamentary majority and would be able to form the next government.

But the unexpected significant gains by opposition parties, both in national parliamentary elections and in votes for state legislatures, are a challenge to the longstanding paternalistic practices of a government that controls the mainstream media, bans most street protests, bars students from taking part in politics and jails political opponents without trial.

“I don’t think Malaysian politics will ever be the same again,” said Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy prime minister who was expelled from the governing party a decade ago and is now one of the leaders of the opposition. “There is a wave, an outcry for democratic reform.”

Read The Full Story

A Global Need For Grain That Farms Can't Fill
2008-03-08 14:42:52
Whatever Dennis Miller decides to plant this year on his 2,760-acre farm, the world needs. Wheat prices have doubled in the last six months. Corn is on a tear. Barley, sunflower seeds, canola and soybeans are all up sharply.

“For once, there’s great reason to be optimistic,” said Miller.

Yet the prices that have renewed Miller’s faith in farming are causing pain far and wide. A tailor in Lagos, Nigeria, named Abel Ojuku said recently that he had been forced to cut back on the bread he and his family love.

“If you wanted to buy three loaves, now you buy one,” said Ojuku.

Everywhere, the cost of food is rising sharply. Whether the world is in for a long period of continued increases has become one of the most urgent issues in economics.

Read The Full Story

Doctor: Eli Lilly Waited Too Long To Warn About Schizophrenia Drug
2008-03-08 14:42:04
Eli Lilly, the drug maker, could and should have warned physicians as early as 1998 about the link between Zyprexa, its best-selling schizophrenia medicine, and diabetes,an expert witness told jurors Friday in a lawsuit that claims that Zyprexa has caused many mentally ill people to develop diabetes.

Instead, Lilly hid Zyprexa’s risks from doctors to protect the drug’s sales, according to the witness, Dr. John Gueriguian. Lilly waited until 2007 to add strong warnings to Zyprexa’s label to reflect the drug’s tendency to cause severe weight gain and blood sugar changes.

Lilly put “profit over concern of the consumer,” Dr. Gueriguian said Friday near the end of four hours of testimony.

Zyprexa, a drug for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, is by far Lilly’s top-selling product, with worldwide sales of $4.8 billion last year.

Read The Full Story

Federal Reserve To Make $200 Billion Available To Lenders
2008-03-08 01:20:27

The U.S. Federal Reserve took strong action Friday to restore order to frazzled lending markets while a new report showing unexpected job losses underscored the toll that credit markets are taking on the economy.

The Federal Reserve said it will make $200 billion available to financial institutions in an effort to ease a crisis of confidence that is making it harder for families and businesses to borrow money.

The world's financial plumbing is so clogged that the central bank sees a need for new steps to clean it out to prevent severe damage. Mounting panic in the credit markets is making it harder for Americans to get mortgages and is increasing the rates they must pay on credit cards and auto loans. Even solid businesses are finding it difficult to raise money to expand.

The nation shed 63,000 jobs in February, the Labor Department reported, the second straight month of losses and the worst monthly decline since March 2003. The construction and manufacturing industries continued to shed positions, as they have for months, but the decline broadened to include big job cuts by retailers and temporary help services.

Read The Full Story

Commentary: The Peak Oil Crisis: Polity On Trial
2008-03-08 01:19:54
Intellpuke: The following commentary is written by Tom Whipple and first appeared on the Fall Church News-Press' website edition for Thursday, March 6, 2008.

The coming storm will bring one of the most severe tests of the cohesiveness of governments and peoples that the world has known for a long time.

Over the last century, the industrial societies have built extremely complex and specialized civilizations. A simple example is that here in America only two percent of us now live on farms where they presumably are capable of readily producing their own food. Only 0.3 percent of Americans now claim to be farmers. The remaining 99+ percent of us are dependent on oil-based food processing, storage, and transport for our daily sustenance.

The fate of most of the world's peoples is going to depend on how well we, as societies - here and around the world - get our collective acts together over the coming decades and organize to survive the transition to a post-oil world.

Currently the body politic in America is paralyzed by a rough political balance between those clinging to 20th or perhaps even 19th century concerns and those who, however vaguely, understand that things must change. So far the U.S. Congress has done little to prepare for the massive changes to our economy and lifestyles that are now only a few short years away.

Some government money has been spent researching for improved sources of renewable energy, but the centerpiece of recent energy bills - ethanol and higher mpg cars - are either absurd or too little too late. The current effort to reduce a billion or two in tax breaks during a era of $100 billion oil company profits likely will founder at the hands of lobbyists or a Presidential veto. Very few among the members of Congress and those that send them there as yet have a clue as to what is about to befall us - but this too will change.

Read The Full Story

U.S. Army: Psychiatrists Needed On Warfronts
2008-03-08 01:18:43
U.S. troops on the battlefield found it harder to get the mental health care they needed last year, when violence rose in Afghanistan and new tactics pushed soldiers in Iraq farther from their operating bases.

A report the Army released Thursday recommends sending civilian psychiatrists to the warfront, supplementing members of the uniformed mental health corps.

Surveying a force strained by its seventh year of war, officials found that more than one in four soldiers on repeat tours of duty screened positive for anxiety, depression and other mental health problems. That was comparable to the previous year.

The report found more troops reported marital problems, an increased suicide rate, higher morale in Iraq, but a greater percentage of depression among soldiers in Afghanistan.

Read The Full Story

World Markets See-Saw As Dollar Hits Record Low And Oil Prices Soar
2008-03-08 01:17:37

World markets experienced another volatile day Friday, with oil prices hitting a record high and the dollar a record low as gloomy U.S. jobs data prompted fears that the world's largest economy had finally tipped into recession.

World stock and bond prices see-sawed, following a week of extreme uncertainty as investors saw the U.S. Federal Reserve step into money markets in a bid to try to prevent the sub-prime mortgage crisis sparking off a new phase in the global credit turmoil.

Oil prices, which had been setting new highs through the week, jumped to $106.31 a barrel during the day in the U.S., while London Brent crude surged to $103.98, threatening to push petrol prices at the pumps in Britain to further highs.

That will complicate the task of the chancellor, Alistair Darling, as he prepares next Wednesday's budget against a background of record petrol prices.

Read The Full Story

Latin American Crisis Resolved
2008-03-08 01:15:17
The presidents of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela on Friday agreed to end a bitter standoff that had resulted in troop deployments, a downturn in trade and a rupture in diplomatic relations.

The crisis began after Colombia bombed a rebel camp last Saturday just inside Ecuador, killing 24 guerrillas, including Luis Edgar Devia, a top commander. The strike marked the first time the army had killed a member of the directorate of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a guerrilla group that has been fighting here for 44 years.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe had come under criticism from various Latin American governments for the incursion, but at a regional summit in the Dominican Republic on Friday he heartily shook hands with Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. All three of those nations had broken relations with Colombia over the incident.

The resolution of the crisis, at a meeting of the 20-nation Rio Group, came in the form of a declaration that noted Uribe had apologized for the raid and that he promised never to violate another nation's border. "With the apology and the promise of never again violating a brother country, we have overcome this very grave crisis," said Correa, in comments that were broadcast live across much of Latin America.

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