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, June 08, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Sunday June 8 2008 - (813)

Sunday June 8 2008 edition
Free Internet Press is operated on your donations.
Donate Today

Japan's Energy Chief Warns G8 That Oil Prices Could Spur Global Recession
2008-06-08 03:09:55
Japan's energy chief launched a meeting of ministers from the world's top industrialized nations Sunday by warning that soaring oil prices could trigger a global recession if they're not checked.

The Group of Eight rich nations met in northern Japan with representatives from China, India and South Korea to discuss oil and gas markets, energy investment, energy security and climate change amid deepening concerns about the world economy.

Oil prices made their biggest single-day surge on Friday, soaring $11 to $138.54 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, an 8 percent increase. On the same day, the United States announced a rise in unemployment.

"The situation regarding energy prices is becoming extremely challenging," Akira Amari, Japan's trade and energy minister, warned his colleagues Sunday. "If left unaddressed, it may well cause a recession in the global economy."

Five top energy consumers - the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and India - urged oil producers on Saturday to boost output to meet growing demand, while pledging to develop clean energy alternatives and increase efficiency.

Read The Full Story

Britons' Natural Gas Bills To Rise $720 Per Home
2008-06-08 03:09:28

Gas bills will rise by 43 per cent in the next 12 months and electricity by 21 per cent, an average £360 ($720) per home, because of a sudden surge in market prices, industry experts are warning.

Wholesale gas prices, the prices energy companies buy at, soared to a record high on Friday, taking the increase since the beginning of the year to 76 per cent.

To restore the balance between wholesale prices and those that householders pay, the average gas and electricity bills a year will have to increase to £1,410 ($2,820), almost £500 ($1,000) more than a year ago.

"The last time wholesale gas prices broke above retail gas prices was three years ago, in June 2005," said Joe Malinowski of"In the following 18 months energy bills rose by a record 47 per cent. A very similar thing is going to happen this time around, except that the money value of the increase is going to be even higher."

Read The Full Story

Running In Circles Over Carbon
2008-06-08 03:08:15
Cutting carbon dioxide emissions is a fine idea, and a lot of companies would be proud to do it. But they would prefer to be second, if not third or fourth.

This is not a good way to get started in fighting global warming.

As efforts to pass a global warming bill collapsed in the Senate last week, companies that burn coal to make electricity were looking for a way to build a plant that would capture its emissions. There is a will and a way - several ways, in fact - to do just that.

Capturing carbon from these plants may become a lot more important soon. Emissions from coal-fired power plants already account for about 27 percent of American greenhouse emissions, but as prices for other fuels rise, along with power demand, utilities will burn more coal. And if cars someday run on batteries, a trend that $4-a-gallon gasoline will accelerate, then the utilities will burn even more fuel to generate the electricity to recharge those batteries.

Read The Full Story

Iraq Prime Minister Maliki Visiting Iran
2008-06-07 20:29:40
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki traveled today to Iran on a mission to improve relations between the countries at a time when U.S. officials have accused Tehran of arming Shiite Muslim militia groups fighting the Americans and Iraqi security forces.

Maliki, who was expected to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday, is on his third visit to Iran since taking office in May 2006. His trip comes after fighting this spring in Baghdad and the southern city of Basra pitted Iraqi security forces against the Mahdi Army militia loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr.

U.S. officials have accused Iran of training and arming splinter factions of Sadr's movement, pointing to large caches of Iranian-made weapons found since March as proof of Tehran's interference. A Mahdi Army commander told The Times this spring that militia factions were getting weapons from Tehran.

In Iraq, most Shiite political figures have strong ties to Iran dating to their time in exile after they fled Saddam Hussein's rule in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Read The Full Story

U.S. Justice Dept. Urged To Investigate If Bush Administrations Officials Committed Crimes In Authorizing Harsh Interrogation Me
2008-06-07 17:39:01

Nearly 60 U.S. House Democrats yesterday urged the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to examine whether top Bush administration officials may have committed crimes in authorizing the use of harsh interrogation tactics against suspected terrorists.

In a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, the lawmakers cited what they said was "mounting evidence" that senior officials personally sanctioned the use of waterboarding and other aggressive tactics against detainees in U.S.-run prisons overseas. An independent investigation is needed to determine whether such actions violated U.S or international law, the letter stated.

"This [new] information indicates that the Bush administration may have systematically implemented, from the top down, detainee interrogation policies that constitute torture or otherwise violate the law," it said. The letter was signed by 59 House Democrats, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Michigan) and House Intelligence Committee members Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) and Jerrold Nadler (D-New York). 

The request was prompted in part by new disclosures of high-level discussions within the Bush administration that reportedly focused on specific interrogation practices. Some of the new detail was contained in a report last month by the Justice Department's Inspector General, which described a series of White House meetings in which the controversial tactics were vigorously debated.

Read The Full Story

Sportscaster Jim McKay Dies At 86
2008-06-07 17:38:16
Jim McKay elegantly covered competitions from badminton to barrel jumping. Yet he may best be remembered for that grim day at the Munich Olympics when he broke the news with three simple words: "They're all gone."

The groundbreaking sportscaster died Saturday of natural causes at his farm in Monkton, Maryland. He was 86.

McKay was the one who spanned the globe to bring television viewers the constant variety of sports on ABC's influential "Wide World of Sports," where he told of "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."

A far different kind of agony awaited in 1972 when word came down in Munich, Germany, that Palestinian terrorists had kidnapped 11 Israeli athletes. McKay was summoned from a day off, hurriedly putting clothes over a bathing suit to anchor ABC's coverage of the drama as the games stood still.

The commando raid to free the hostages ended awfully. McKay told the world. Later, at the closing ceremony, he read a poem by A.E. Housman, "To an Athlete Dying Young."

Read The Full Story

Pentagon Investigates At Least 7 Defense Contracts For Charities
2008-06-07 03:35:27

The federal investigation of contracting arrangements between the Pentagon and tax-exempt defense firms in Pennsylvania includes multiple deals that go as far back as 2002 and involve more money than was previously known, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post. 

The FBI and the Pentagon's Defense Criminal Investigative Service issued subpoenas two months ago seeking information about a small intelligence firm called Commonwealth Research Institute, or CRI, and its parent company, Concurrent Technologies. Both firms are registered nonprofit charities based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Concurrent was established two decades ago and has almost $250 million a year in revenue. Most of its research, program management and other work is for the Pentagon. It also has received more than $226 million in congressionally directed funding known as earmarks in recent years. CRI is a little-known subsidiary with a handful of employees, several of them working as intelligence consultants to the military.

One focus of the investigation is the Air Force's office for security, counterintelligence and special program oversight, which used CRI to hire help for technical studies and research support. Investigators retrieved computers and contracting records from that office to see whether work was properly awarded, according to people familiar with the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The federal subpoenas demanded information about at least seven contracts, according to documents and those sources. Contracting documents obtained by the Washington Post show that four of the contracts, worth up to $130 million, were awarded to Concurrent over several weeks in May and June 2002. Investigators also are examining a Concurrent deal in 2006 that was worth up to $45 million.

Read The Full Story

Ex-Treasurer Embezzled $500,000 From Republican National Congressional Committee
2008-06-07 03:34:50

The former treasurer of a key Republican campaign committee embezzled more than $500,000 over a five-year period, using it to fund mortgage payments and a six-figure remodeling of his Bethesda, Maryland, home, according to court documents filed Friday.

The papers were filed by federal prosecutors in an attempt to force the former treasurer, Christopher J. Ward, to forfeit his home to the government.

The government alleges that Ward, who had worked for National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) since the 1990s, made numerous unauthorized diversions of funds from its accounts and joint accounts set up with Senate Republicans. He often shifted money into his personal account just as payments for his mortgage or home remodeling were due, according to the court filing.

Ward, who was fired earlier this year, has not been charged with a crime, but the civil action filed yesterday seeks to seize his home in the 6300 block of Massachusetts Avenue. Such efforts prevent subjects of investigations from selling properties that were allegedly part of their crimes and hiding the proceeds.

Read The Full Story

Burma Junta Begins Evicting Cyclone Victims From Shelters
2008-06-07 03:34:00
Within a week of the storm that flooded the delta here last month with waves as high as 20 feet, the monasteries in this village were swarming with 14,000 people who had lost their families, homes and livelihoods.

Now those refugees are all but gone.

A week ago, Myanmar’s state-run media were comparing the visits of the junta leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, to government-run refugee camps, like the neat rows of blue tents outside Labutta, to “parents’ loving kindness and good will toward their offspring.” The junta promised the United Nations that tight restrictions on aid workers - which were worsening the effects of a storm that left 134,000 dead or missing - would be eased.

A visit to villages here in the Irrawaddy Delta, hit hardest by the May 3 cyclone, suggests that the reality has been different - and that the story of the death and destruction, compounded by the junta’s actions, has been neither fully told nor even fully seen.

Even as the junta publicly praised its own largess, it more quietly began evicting destitute families from monasteries and sending them back to their villages for “reconstruction” and a life of isolation. It then began shutting down its own refugee camps.

Read The Full Story

Psychiatrists Fail To Reveal Full Pay From Pharmaceutical Industry
2008-06-08 03:09:43

A world-renowned Harvard University child psychiatrist whose work has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful anti-psychotic medicines in children earned at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drug makers from 2000 to 2007 but for years did not report much of this income to university officials, according to information given Congressional investigators.

By failing to report income, the psychiatrist, Dr. Joseph Biederman, and a colleague in the psychiatry department at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Timothy E. Wilens, may have violated federal and university research rules designed to police potential conflicts of interest, according to Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa. Some of their research is financed by government grants.

Like Dr. Biederman, Dr. Wilens belatedly reported earning at least $1.6 million from 2000 to 2007, and another Harvard colleague, Dr. Thomas Spencer, reported earning at least $1 million after being pressed by Grassley’s investigators. Even these amended disclosures may understate the researchers’ outside income because some entries contradict payment information from drug makers, Grassley found.

In one example, Dr. Biederman reported no income from Johnson & Johnson for 2001 in a disclosure report filed with the university. When asked to check again, he said he received $3,500, but Johnson & Johnson told Grassley that it paid him $58,169 in 2001, Grassley found.

The Harvard group’s consulting arrangements with drug makers were already controversial because of the researchers’ advocacy of unapproved uses of psychiatric medicines in children.

Read The Full Story

Severe Storms Bring Tornadoes, Floods To U.S. Midwest
2008-06-08 03:08:35
Severe storms crippled central Indiana with as much as 10 inches of rain Saturday and spawned tornadoes that ripped up roofs and flipped tractor-trailers in Wisconsin and the Chicago, Illinois, suburbs.

The floods in Indiana threatened dams, inundated highways and forced the Coast Guard to rescue residents from swamped homes. Rising waters forced the evacuation of more than 100 patients and doctors from a hospital south of Indianapolis.

To the northwest, Chicago-area residents ran for cover as tornadoes touched down throughout the region. About 25,000 customers in Chicago's southern suburbs were without power late Saturday, said ComEd spokeswoman Judy Rader.

Wisconsin had a few tornado injuries, and at least one injury was reported near Chicago. Indiana had been spared any reported deaths or injuries due to flooding.

Read The Full Story

Five Feared Dead In Tokyo Stabbing Rampage
2008-06-08 03:06:13
As many as five people might have died and at least 10 more were wounded after a man went on a knife rampage through Tokyo's popular electronics district on Sunday, said a fire department official.

The man, identified as a 25-year-old member of one of Japan's yakuza crime syndicates, began shouting and stabbing passers-by in the Akihabara area, NHK television reported, showing footage of several ambulances stopped in the district's crowded streets.

At least 15 people were stabbed and as many as five might have died, said an official for the Tokyo Fire Department.

Read The Full Story

Clinton Asks Supporters To Back Obama
2008-06-07 17:39:17
Intellpuke: There are two articles here on Sen. Clinton's speech announcing her withdrawal from the contest to be the Democratic nominee for U.S. President. The first article is the Washington Post's article on Sen. Clinton's speech, in which she unreservedly gave her support to Sen. Barack Obama. The New York Times' article follows the Post article.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the most successful female presidential candidate in U.S. history, officially left the race on Saturday with a forceful promise to help elect Sen. Barack Obama - and a powerful declaration that, even in defeat, a gender barrier had been crossed.

Four days after Obama secured the delegates to win the Democratic nomination, Clinton gave him her unqualified endorsement, finally putting to rest questions about whether she would help unite the party for the general election. In generous and at times soaring terms, Clinton described her cause as united with Obama's, saying that only electing him would achieve the goals of universal health care, a strong economy and the end of the war in Iraq.

"We may have started on separate journeys, but today our paths have merged," said Clinton. She discouraged rehashing the long and divisive Democratic primary campaign, instead asking her supporters - some of whom, still resentful, booed when she mentioned her former rival during the speech - to "take our energy, our passion, our strength and to do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States."

"When you hear people saying, or think to yourself, 'if only' or 'what if,' I say - please don't go there," said Clinton.  "Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward."

She continued: "Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Sen. Obama is our next president, and I hope and pray that all of you will join me in that effort."

Read The Full Story

Oil Prices Raise Costs Of Making A Broad Range Of Goods
2008-06-07 17:38:49

Surging oil prices are beginning to cut into the profits of a wide range of American businesses, pushing many to raise prices and maneuver aggressively to offset the rising cost of merchandise made from petroleum.

Airlines, package shippers and car owners are no longer the only ones being squeezed by the ever-mounting price of oil, which shot up almost $11 a barrel on Friday alone, to $138.54, a record.

Companies that make hard goods using raw materials derived from oil, like tires, toiletries, plastic packaging and computer screens, are watching their costs skyrocket, and they find themselves forced into unpleasant choices: Should they raise prices, shift to less costly procedures, cut workers, or all three?

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is trying to adapt. Its raw material of choice now is natural rubber rather than synthetic rubber, made from oil. To sustain profits, it is making more high-end tires for consumers willing to pay upwards of $100 to replace each tire on their cars.

These steps have not been enough, however, particularly now that the cost of natural rubber is also rising sharply, along with that of many other commodities. So Goodyear has raised the prices of its tires by 15 percent in just four months.

Read The Full Story

In Money Race, Obama Has The Advantage
2008-06-07 03:35:38
Sen. Barack Obama will head into the general election with the ability to raise significantly more money than his Republican opponent, an extremely rare position for a Democrat and one that could give him a huge advantage in mobilizing supporters, reaching voters and competing across the country.

Party leaders say they expect Obama to surpass the more than quarter-billion dollars he amassed during the primaries, buoyed by a fundraising list with more than 1.5 million names, an uncommon knack for attracting money online and the expected addition of scores of established bundlers who helped bankroll Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign.

Obama's advantage, which could stretch into the tens of millions over Republican Sen. John McCain, would allow the senator from Illinois to build a far more robust field operation and let him drench radio and television airwaves in a much broader array of states, including those where Democrats do not traditionally compete. He would also have enough money to enjoy the luxury of making mistakes, whereas any poor choices McCain makes would be felt much more acutely.

"From my vantage point, the enthusiasm is there, and for the first time we're seeing the [Internet] fundraising and the traditional fundraising both pulling the rope the same way," said Mitchell Berger, a Florida lawyer who helped oversee fundraising for President Bill Clinton in 1996 and for Vice President Al Gore in 2000, and who is raising money for Obama. "More than any time in my memory, Democrats are ready to go."

Read The Full Story

Water-Starved California Slows Development
2008-06-07 03:35:12
As California faces one of its worst droughts in two decades, building projects are being curtailed for the first time under state law by the inability of developers to find long-term water supplies.

Water authorities and other government agencies scattered throughout the state, including here in sprawling Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, have begun denying, delaying or challenging authorization for dozens of housing tracts and other developments under a state law that requires a 20-year water supply as a condition for building.

California officials suggested that the actions were only the beginning, and they worry about the impact on a state that has grown into an economic powerhouse over the last several decades.

The state law was enacted in 2001, but until statewide water shortages, it had not been invoked to hold up projects.

While previous droughts and supply problems have led to severe water cutbacks and rationing, water officials said the outright refusal to sign off on projects over water scarcity had until now been virtually unheard of on a statewide scale.

“Businesses are telling us that they can’t get things done because of water,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said in a telephone interview.

Read The Full Story

Zimbabwe Detains Mugabe Rival Tsvangirai Twice In Three Days
2008-06-07 03:34:11
The opposition's presidential candidate was briefly detained Friday for the second time this week as Zimbabwean authorities intensified a crackdown on political opponents and what they consider outside meddling.

Police arrested Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, while he was campaigning for the June 27 runoff election in a rural area about 400 miles south of Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. He was released two hours later without being charged.

"Tsvangirai and other party leaders were today detained again in Umzingwane," said opposition spokesman Nelson Chamisa. "He was later released and instructed to go back to Bulawayo instead of proceeding with his campaign."

Tsvangirai was detained in the same province for several hours Wednesday.

Tsvangirai's second arrest came a day after supporters of President Robert Mugabe attacked a convoy carrying several U.S. and British diplomats and authorities suspended all work by aid organizations operating in the country.

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