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 .

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Tuesday September 2 2008 - (813)

Tuesday September 2 2008 edition
Free Internet Press is operated on your donations.
Donate Today

Al-Qaeda Has Free Movement In Pakistan, Top Official Concedes
2008-09-02 03:21:20
Pakistan's top security official Monday admitted that al-Qaeda's leadership moved freely in and out of the country and vowed that "no mercy" would be shown to extremists based in its tribal territory that borders Afghanistan.

In the past, Pakistan has been heavily criticized for rejecting evidence that al-Qaeda was largely based in the country and for denying that the tribal territory was used as a safe haven for Afghan insurgents.

Rehman Malik, the interior ministry chief, revealed that al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al Zawahiri and his wife had been in Mohmand, part of the tribal area. Most of time, Malik said Zawahiri was mainly in Afghanistan's Kunar and Paktia provinces.

"We certainly had traced him (Zawahiri) at one place, but we missed the chance. So he's moving in Mohmand and, of course, sometimes in Kunar, mostly in Kunar and Paktia," Malik told reporters in Islamabad.

Malik, a politician who was put in charge of the interior ministry after his Pakistan People's Party emerged as the largest group in a coalition government that formed after elections in February, gave no further details on Zawahiri's movements. In the past, Islamabad has refuted suggestions that Zawahiri and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden were hiding in Pakistan.

Read The Full Story

Palin's Small Alaska Town Secured Big Federal Funds
2008-09-02 03:20:55
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog group.

There was $500,000 for a youth shelter, $1.9 million for a transportation hub, $900,000 for sewer repairs, and $15 million for a rail project - all intended to benefit Palin's town, Wasilla, located about 45 miles north of Anchorage.

In introducing Palin as his running mate on Friday, Sen. John McCain cast her as a compatriot in his battle against wasteful federal spending. McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, hailed Palin as a politician "with an outstanding reputation for standing up to special interests and entrenched bureaucracies - someone who has fought against corruption and the failed policies of the past, someone who's stopped government from wasting taxpayers' money."

McCain's crusade against earmarks - federal spending sought by members of Congress to benefit specific projects - has been a hallmark of his campaign. He has said earmarks are wasteful and are often inserted into bills with little oversight, sometimes by a single powerful lawmaker.

Palin has also railed against earmarks, touting her opposition to a $223 million bridge in the state as a prime credential for the vice presidential nomination. "As governor, I've stood up to the old politics-as-usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the big oil companies, and the good-ol'-boy network," she said Friday.

Read The Full Story

Editorial: Mr. McCain And Iraq
2008-09-02 03:20:20
Intellpuke: This editorial appeared in the New York Times edition for Monday, Sept. 1, 2008.

Senator John McCain’s rival, Senator Barack Obama, once was a lonely voice demanding the withdrawal of all combat forces by mid-2010.

But now, Iraq’s leaders are pushing a timetable that would have American troops out in 2011.

Even President Bush - who had long scorned the notion of a withdrawal deadline as defeatist - looks set to go along. Iraq’s leaders are demanding that Mr. Bush accept that deadline in exchange for legalizing the continued American military presence in the country.

That leaves Mr. McCain as the stubborn man out.

While the war is no longer front-page news, thousands of Americans are still fighting and dying there. The war is costing American taxpayers $10 billion a month - that is $10 billion that cannot be spent on health care, education and many other urgent priorities.

Mr. McCain told veterans on Aug. 11 that he would end the war, but intended to “win it first” and assured them that “victory in Iraq is finally in sight.”

He needs to explain what he means by victory. A free and democratic Iraq, as Mr. Bush originally promised? That would take generations. Even after spending nearly $700 billion, the United States will be lucky to leave behind a marginally functioning central government in a very fragile country.
Read The Full Story

Oil Prices Take Sharp Drop As Gustav Weakens
2008-09-01 14:42:19
Oil prices fell sharply Monday as weather forecasters said Hurricane Gustav was weakening as it advanced toward Louisiana.

A stronger dollar also helped reverse the course for oil prices, which had risen by nearly $3 a barrel earlier in the session.

Still, precautions due to Gustav prompted companies to shut down drilling and refining operations in the Gulf Coast region.

By afternoon in Europe, light, sweet crude for October delivery was down $2.24 to $113.22 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, it reached a high of $118.25 before retreating.

On Friday, the contract fell 13 cents to settle at $115.46 a barrel.

Read The Full Story

Russia Warns West On Giving Support To Georgia
2008-09-01 14:41:57
Russia warned the West on Monday against supporting Georgia's leadership, suggesting that the United States carried weapons as well as aid to the ex-Soviet republic and calling for an arms embargo until the Georgian government falls.

The remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his spokesman came as European Union leaders delicately approached their relations with Russia, weighing how to punish Moscow for its invasion of Georgia without isolating the continent's major energy supplier.

The latest Russian rhetoric was likely to anger the United States and Europe and enrage Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who has said Russia's goal all along has been to remove him from power.

"If instead of choosing their national interests and the interests of the Georgian people, the United States and its allies choose the Saakashvili regime, this will be a mistake of truly historic proportions," said Lavrov.

At the European Union emergency summit talks, leaders debated a draft statement condemning Russia for putting relations with the E.U. "at a crossroads" and urging it "not to isolate" itself from Europe.

Read The Full Story

Study: Bypass Better Than Stents In Long Term
2008-09-01 14:41:20
For heart patients with clogged arteries, the choice between bypass surgery or an angioplasty may come down to one question: How many procedures would you like to have?

In research presented Monday at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Munich, Germany, experts concluded that while bypass surgery and angioplasty offer comparable results, patients who have angioplasties are twice as likely to require another procedure within a year.

"If you don't want to have another heart operation for at least a decade, you should pick the surgery," said Dr. Heinz Drexel, professor of medicine at the University of Innsbruck in Austria and spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology. Drexel was not connected to the research.

"But that means you have to have your chest cracked open," he said.

When arteries become blocked, doctors have two main options. Traditionally they have done a bypass surgery, which reroutes blood vessels to detour around blockages.

Read The Full Story

Hurricane Gustav Batters Louisiana's Southern Coast
2008-09-01 14:40:35
Hurricane Gustav rammed ashore against the depopulated southern coast of Louisiana this morning, weakened but still dangerous as it aimed west of New Orleans with high winds and volatile storm surges.

Gustav roared into the mainland near the small town of Cocodrie just after 10 a.m. CDT, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported. The storm had reduced in strength overnight to a Category 2 storm, driving sustained winds of 110 miles an hour that bent trees, spawned funnel clouds and filled the air with slanting rain and flying debris.

The hurricane's diminished assault and its westward arc away from New Orleans raised hopes among public officials that after Sunday's unprecedented evacuation of 2 million people, the region might be spared the devastation unleashed three years ago by Hurricane Katrina.

Many hurricane veterans remained cautious about the possibility of storm surges that could overwhelm the city's levees, still wary from Katrina's flooding in 2005 and now worried by the oncoming destructive flank behind Gustav's eye.

"We're not out of the woods yet, that's the main message," New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said in an interview with WWL-TV. "We still have critical hours between today and tonight."

Read The Full Story

Putin Saves TV Crew From Escaped Tiger
2008-09-01 14:39:36
Russians are lauding Prime Minister Vladimir Putin after he reportedly save scientists and a film crew from an escaped tiger in the Russian Far East. The tiger was no match for the judo champion and former KGB agent with a tranquilizer rifle.

In an act of bravery that could (almost) be made for TV, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin saved a Russian film crew from an enormous escaped tiger in eastern Russia Sunday, adding yet another set of images to his cultivated portfolio of manliness.

The incident took place in a national park in Russia's Far East, where Putin was visiting a team of scientists involved in a conservation project to save the endangered Amur tiger, the world's largest cat, which can reach lengths of 10 feet (three meters) from head to tail.

"We probably came too close to her," said Violetta Sergeyeva, a film director from Rossiya, Russia's main television station. "She suddenly got loose and rushed us. A miracle saved us."

That miracle happened to be Putin, who - clad in camouflage fatigues and desert combat boots - availed himself of a tranquilizer rifle and found his mark. After sedating the beast, Putin went on to assist the scientists as they measured the tiger's enormous canine fangs and fitted a satellite transmitter around its neck.

Read The Full Story

Question Of Usefulness Lingers For Cholesterol Drug Vytorin
2008-09-02 03:21:10

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) approved a new type of cholesterol-lowering medicine in 2002, it did so on the basis of a handful of clinical trials covering a total of 3,900 patients. None of the patients took the medicine for more than 12 weeks, and the trials offered no evidence that it had reduced heart attacks or cardiovascular disease, the goal of any cholesterol drug.

The lack of evidence has not stopped doctors from heavily prescribing that drug, whether in a stand-alone form sold as Zetia or as a combination medicine called Vytorin. Aided by extensive consumer advertising, sales of the medicines reached $5.2 billion last year, making them among the best-selling drugs in the world. More than three million people worldwide take either drug every day.

Yet there is still no proof that the drugs help patients live longer or avoid heart attacks. This year Vytorin has failed two clinical trials meant to show its benefits. Worse, scientists are debating whether there is a link between the drugs and cancer. 

Researchers reported last month that patients in three clinical trials had a 40 percent higher chance of dying from cancer if they took Vytorin instead of a sugar pill or another medicine, although the leader of that study says the finding might be due to chance.

Now some prominent cardiologists say that the evidence has swung so decisively against the drugs that they should not be sold. “The only place people should be taking it is in a clinical trial,” Dr. Allen J. Taylor of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center said of Zetia. (Vytorin is a single pill that combines Zetia with a statin, an older form of cholesterol-lowering medicine whose effectiveness and safety are not in question.)

Read The Full Story

Private Lawyer Hired To Represent Palin In Monegan Inquiry
2008-09-02 03:20:41

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin - Republican John McCain's pick for vice president - now has a private lawyer representing her and others in the governor's office in an investigation into the firing of her public safety commissioner

It wasn't immediately clear who hired and who is paying for Thomas Van Flein, who is with a large Alaska law firm.

The Alaska Legislature approved spending up to $100,000 to investigate the circumstances surrounding the firing of the commissioner, Walt Monegan. He has said he believes he was pushed out at least in part because he had refused to fire a state trooper who is Palin's ex-brother-in-law and who the family considered dangerous and a "loose cannon."

"We have been retained to represent the Governor and the Governor's Office relative to the Legislative Council's investigation into the termination of Mr. Monegan ...," Van Flein wrote in a Friday letter to Steve Branchflower, the special counsel hired by the Legislature.

Van Flein said he wants the investigation handled by the state's three-member Personnel Board, not the Legislature. He also asked for all witness statements, documents and other materials collected in the course of the investigation.

Read The Full Story

Russia And The West: The Cold Peace
2008-09-01 14:42:36
The European Union is struggling to find a common position on Russia - as is the rest of the West but, so far, diplomatic bluster has been the name of the game. What should the world do about Russia's new-found bravado?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel loves the Russians. When she goes on vacation, she likes to have one with her, preferably a big thick novel by Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky. She also loves Russian, and back in the former East Germany, Merkel learned the language so well that she won a Russian contest. One of her favorite words is “terpeniye,” which she translates as “the ability to suffer.”

Love and suffering. Currently, the chancellor is feeling a bit of both, at least that is what she said last week during a visit to Estonia. Despite all the suffering connected with the latest outbreak of Russian imperialism in Georgia, she said that we should not forget that there are reasons to love Russia. She also said that if Russia were to send its military into Estonia, the country would be covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, meaning that an armed attack against one NATO member is considered an attack against them all. Were that to ever happen, it would be the second time that this article was invoked, the first time being when the alliance offered its assistance to the U.S. after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. War, of course, would be the result.

It was a clear warning to Russia, and one that fit perfectly into the tense atmosphere of last week. It was a week that seemed more diplomatically charged than any in a long time. Moscow has the world on tenterhooks.

The list of geopolitical provocations is long. Russia decided to recognize the breakaway Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Not long later, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov lashed out at each other. Mistrust was the dominant mood. Did the Americans help spark the war in Georgia? Did Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili lie to the world about the sequence of events during the war? Is he perhaps even a war criminal? Will Russia further extend its power over its neighbors?

Read The Full Story

Palin's Daughter, 17, Is Pregnant
2008-09-01 14:42:06
The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.

Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin's five children with her husband, Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. 

Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, said McCain aides.

"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us," said the Palins' statement.

"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support," said the Palins.

Read The Full Story

Madeleine Albright: 'The Russians Have Crossed A Red Line'
2008-09-01 14:41:40
Intellpuke: The following interview with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was conducted by Spiegel correspondents Gregor Peter Schmitz and Gabor Steingart.

What should the West do about Russia? Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Spiegel that the West needs to work together - and look for ways to isolate Russia internationally.

SPIEGEL: Madame Secretary, Russian troops are still in Georgia. Moscow has recognized the independence of the Georgian provinces South Ossetia and Abkhazia and promised them military assistance if necessary. Are we at the beginning of a new Cold War?

Albright: Well, we can't be at the beginning of a new Cold War. That would be a huge step backwards. On the other hand, we can't afford to stay on the sidelines in this complicated situation. With the invasion of a sovereign country, the Russians have crossed the red line. What is troubling is that Russia is behaving in a way that reminds us of the Russian empire in the 19th century - that is unacceptable in the 21st century.

SPIEGEL: If you were still U.S. Secretary of State, what would you tell the Russians?

Albright: First of all, I would have gone to Moscow, unlike the current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It is very important to be direct. I would tell them: That is not acceptable behavior - but also reassure them not to worry about security threats at their borders. I would tell them that they simply misjudged the situation. That has to be corrected.

SPIEGEL: Who would you have delivered your message to? Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin or Russian President Dmitry Medvedev?

Albright: Putin, whatever he calls himself, is in charge. There were many questions about the fact that he had given up the presidency. It is now very clear that he is still calling the shots and has created a Russia that in many ways is not compatible with the 21st century. We want to be able to have a cooperative relationship but the Russians currently make it much more complicated.

Read The Full Story

Yasuo Fukuda Resigns As Japan's Prime Minister
2008-09-01 14:40:50
Japan's chronically unpopular prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, suddenly announced his resignation after less than a year in office Monday, throwing the world's second-largest economy into political confusion.

Fukuda, in a hastily arranged evening news conference, said he was stepping down to avoid a "political vacuum" as the deeply troubled government heads into a special parliamentary session later in the month.

The 72-year-old leader made the announcement just days after unveiling $18 billion in fresh spending to shore up the flagging economy. Inflation has spiked to its highest in nearly 11 years, hurting consumer spending.

"I felt that we must particularly stress the importance of the economy," Fukuda said in the nationally televised address. "If it will help even a little bit to make the parliamentary session go smoother, I decided that it might be better for someone other than me to be in the lead."

Fukuda, whose father also served as prime minister, has suffered from chronically low approval ratings as he presided over a parliament split between the ruling party and the opposition. One poll published Monday showed his approval rating at 29 percent, down sharply over the past month.

Read The Full Story

With No Budget, California Enters Uncharted Territory
2008-09-01 14:40:13
As the California State Legislature lurched to its close Sunday with no budget in place, California toppled its own record for fiscal dysfunction.

Never in recent memory has August ended without a spending plan, so the state is now thrust into uncharted territory.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration has been busily preparing a blueprint for keeping the state afloat through the fall.

The governor told Fresno Bee editors last week that he would wait until winter to sign spending bills into law, if necessary, to get what he considers a decent budget.

That means one with a mechanism to limit future spending, with temporary taxes to help wipe out the state's $15.2 billion in red ink and without the multibillion-dollar borrowing from local government and transportation accounts that some lawmakers appear to favor.

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