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 .

Monday, January 26, 2009

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Monday January 26 2009 - (813)

Monday January 26 2009 edition
Free Internet Press is operated on your donations.
Donate Today

Bush Legacy Leaves Uphill Climb For U.S. National Parks
2009-01-25 16:37:31
Kate Cannon gazed across the high red desert to the snowy La Sal Mountains rising in sharp relief at the horizon. That view of uninterrupted nature is what draws nearly a million yearly visitors to this remote part of southeast Utah.

"Look at the mountains," said Cannon, superintendent of Arches and neighboring Canyonlands national parks. "You can see them. Part of the majesty of this country is the grand sweeping views. The visitors do love it."

Cannon has been focusing on this view after the federal Bureau of Land Management decided in November to auction oil and gas leases on 360,000 acres of public land in Utah, including 93 parcels on or near the boundaries of these parks and nearby Dinosaur National Monument.

The leasing decision was put on hold by a judge Jan. 17, after protests from the park service and environmentalists who complained that the view from the famed sandstone arches and spires would be despoiled by the new roads, heavy equipment, drilling platforms and veil of dust that would accompany the exploration for fossil fuels.

It is only a temporary victory on the heels of what some in the park service see as a string of defeats in which the nation's parks often acquiesced to the encroachment of commercial interests and energy projects during the eight years of the Bush administration. Among the recently approved projects is a uranium mine two miles from a Grand Canyon visitors center.

Read The Full Story

Global Warming A Challenge For Conservation
2009-01-25 16:37:08

At the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Maryland's Eastern Shore, sea-level rise threatens to drown the brackish marsh on which migrating shorebirds depend. In Northern California, the shrinking snowpack has reduced stream flows that sustain the delta smelt, a federally threatened fish species. Higher summer temperatures in northern Minnesota have depressed the birthrates of the area's once-populous moose, and just 20 inhabit the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge that was designed in part to shelter them.

As climate change begins to transform the environment in the United States and overseas, policymakers and environmentalists are realizing that the old paradigm of setting aside tracts of land or sea to preserve species that might otherwise disappear is no longer sufficient. It was an idea that worked in 1872, when one of the reasons cited for establishing Yellowstone National Park was to help preserve the few remaining buffalo.

Yet as temperatures rise and animals and even plants migrate to more hospitable habitats, fixed boundaries set years ago no longer provide the protection some species need. Experts are exploring new strategies, focusing on such steps as protecting migration corridors, collecting and transplanting seeds, making sanctuary boundaries flexible and managing forests in novel ways.

"We have focused on one single principle: You protect the place where the animals live," said Lawrence A. Selzer, president and chief executive of the Conservation Fund. "That's fine as long as everything's static."

Now, with rapid change, federal agencies, including the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are beginning to draft management policies that take global warming into account.

Read The Full Story

Radio Spreads Taliban's Terror Message In Pakistan Region
2009-01-25 03:00:03
Every night around 8 o’clock, the terrified residents of Swat, a lush and picturesque valley a hundred miles from three of Pakistan’s most important cities, crowd around their radios. They know that failure to listen and learn might lead to a lashing - or a beheading.

Using a portable radio transmitter, a local Taliban leader, Shah Doran, on most nights outlines newly proscribed “un-Islamic” activities in Swat, like selling DVDs, watching cable television, singing and dancing, criticizing the Taliban, shaving beards and allowing girls to attend school. He also reveals names of people the Taliban have recently killed for violating their decrees - and those they plan to kill.

“They control everything through the radio,” said one Swat resident, who declined to give his name for fear the Taliban might kill him. “Everyone waits for the broadcast.”

International attention remains fixed on the Taliban’s hold on Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal areas, from where they launch attacks on American forces in Afghanistan but, for Pakistan, the loss of the Swat Valley could prove just as devastating.

Unlike the fringe tribal areas, Swat, a Delaware-size chunk of territory with 1.3 million residents and a rich cultural history, is part of Pakistan proper, within reach of Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the capital.

Read The Full Story

Obama Presents A Challenge For Al-Qaeda
2009-01-25 02:56:48

Soon after the November election, al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader took stock of America's new president-elect and dismissed him with an insulting epithet. "A house Negro," said Ayman al-Zawahiri.

That was just a warm-up. In the weeks since, the terrorist group has unleashed a stream of verbal tirades against Barack Obama, each more venomous than the last. Obama has been called a "hypocrite," a "killer" of innocents, an "enemy of Muslims." He was even blamed for the Israeli military assault on Gaza, which began and ended before he took office.

"He kills your brothers and sisters in Gaza mercilessly and without affection," an al-Qaeda spokesman declared in a grainy Internet video this month.

The torrent of hateful words is part of what terrorism experts now believe is a deliberate, even desperate, propaganda campaign against a president who appears to have gotten under al-Qaeda's skin. The departure of George W. Bush deprived al-Qaeda of a polarizing American leader who reliably drove recruits and donations to the terrorist group.

With Obama, al-Qaeda faces an entirely new challenge, experts say: a U.S. president who campaigned to end the Iraq war and to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and who polls show is well liked throughout the Muslim world.

Read The Full Story

Pope Benedict XVI Reinstates Four Excommunicated Bishops
2009-01-25 02:54:59
Pope Benedict XVI, reaching out to the far-right of the Roman Catholic Church, revoked the excommunications of four schismatic bishops on Saturday, including one whose comments denying the Holocaust have provoked outrage.

The decision provided fresh fuel for critics who charge that Benedict’s four-year-old papacy has increasingly moved in line with traditionalists who are hostile to the sweeping reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s that sought to create a more modern and open church.

A theologian who has grappled with the church’s diminished status in a secular world, Benedict has sought to foster a more ardent, if smaller, church over one with looser faith.

While the revocation may heal one internal rift, it may also open a broader wound, alienating the church’s more liberal adherents and jeopardizing 50 years of Vatican efforts to ease tensions with Jewish groups.

Among the men reinstated Saturday was Richard Williamson, a British-born cleric who in an interview last week said he did not believe that six million Jews died in the Nazi gas chambers. He has also given interviews saying that the United States government staged the Sept. 11 attacks as a pretext to invade Afghanistan.

Read The Full Story

In Rural Alaska, Villagers Suffer In Near Silence
2009-01-25 16:37:20
As the temperature plunged to minus-40 degrees last month, Nastasia Wassilie waited.

The 61-year-old widow had run out of wood and fuel oil, and had no money to buy more. Nor was there much food in the house; but people here in rural Alaska try to take care of themselves. Her sister would come to help. Surely she would.

Nearly three days later, when neighbors learned of Wassilie's plight, the Tribal Council put out a call on the VHF radio that is the lifeline for most of the far-flung Yupik Eskimo villages along this remote stretch of the Kuskokwim River.

People who had enough gas for their snowmobiles immediately set off across miles of tundra, hauling firewood back to Wassilie's small house. A few offered helpings of dry fish, which most families keep in the larder for winter.

There was little more they could do. Nearly every one of Tuluksak's roughly 500 residents is performing a perilous balancing act between food and fuel - the building blocks of survival in a frigid winter that still has months to go.

Read The Full Story

Obama To Quickly Tighten Financial Regulatory Rules
2009-01-25 03:00:26
The Obama administration plans to move quickly to tighten the nation’s financial regulatory system.

Officials say they will make wide-ranging changes, including stricter federal rules for hedge funds, credit rating agencies and mortgage brokers, and greater oversight of the complex financial instruments that contributed to the economic crisis.

Broad new outlines of the administration’s agenda have begun to emerge in recent interviews with officials, in confirmation proceedings of senior appointees and in a recent report by an international committee led by Paul A. Volcker, a senior member of President Obama's economic team.

A theme of that report, that many major companies and financial instruments now mostly unsupervised must be swept back under a larger regulatory umbrella, has been embraced as a guiding principle by the administration, said officials.

Some of these actions will require legislation, while others should be achievable through regulations adopted by several federal agencies.

Officials said they want rules to eliminate conflicts of interest at credit rating agencies that gave top investment grades to the exotic and ultimately shaky financial instruments that have been a source of market turmoil. The core problem, they said, is that the agencies are paid by companies to help them structure financial instruments, which the agencies then grade.

Read The Full Story

Iraq Election Highlights Ascendancy Of Tribes
2009-01-25 02:59:24
In rugged western Iraq, once the bastion of the insurgency against the American occupation and now a freewheeling arena of electoral politics steeped in payola, the conversation in the tribal guest house in Anbar province was the equivalent of a stump speech.

"If anything happens to any of our candidates, even a scratch on one of their bodies, we will kill all of their candidates!" bellowed Hamid al-Hais, a tribal leader and party boss whose voice was like his build - husky, coarse and forceful.

"That's right," shouted another sheik, who had suggested - in jest, inshallah - that a friend resolve a dispute by strapping on explosives and blowing himself up.

"Of course!" yelled another, who had accused the governor of urinating on Anbar.

"We'll break all the ballot boxes on their heads!" Hais declared, wagging a finger.

Part sheik and part showman, with a dose of barroom humor, Hais leads a party that has helped make Iraq's provincial elections this month the first truly competitive vote in Sunni Muslim lands since the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003. By all accounts, that is a good thing. But the results of next Saturday's ballot may say less about the campaigns themselves than about the political geography of Anbar, where tribes, sprawling clans steeped in tradition and courted by the U.S. military, enjoy more power than at any time since the Iraqi monarchy was toppled half a century ago.

Read The Full Story

Editorial: Uphold The Voting Rights Act
2009-01-25 02:55:29
Intellpuke: The following editorial appeared in the New York Times edition for Satuday, January 24, 2009.

Some people claim that Barack Obama’s election has ushered in a “postracial” America, but the truth is that race, and racial discrimination, are still very much with us. The Supreme Court should keep this reality in mind when it considers a challenge to an important part of the Voting Rights Act that it recently agreed to hear. The act is constitutional - and clearly still needed.

Section 5, often called the heart of the Voting Rights Act, requires some states and smaller jurisdictions to “preclear” new voting rules with the Justice Department or a federal court. When they do, they have to show that the proposed change does not have the purpose or effect of discriminating against minority voters.

When Congress enacted Section 5 in 1965, officials in the South were creating all kinds of rules to stop blacks from voting or being elected to office. Discrimination against minority voters may not be as blatant as it was then, but it still exists. District lines are drawn to prevent minorities from winning; polling places are located in places hard for minority voters to get to; voter ID requirements are imposed with the purpose of suppressing the minority vote.

After holding lengthy hearings to document why the Voting Rights Act was still needed, Congress reauthorized it in 2006 with votes of 98 to 0 in the Senate and 390 to 33 in the House. Now, a municipal utility district in Texas that is covered by Section 5 is arguing that it is unconstitutional, and that it imposes too many burdens on jurisdictions covered by it.

Read The Full Story

Jet's Left Engine May Have Hit A Soft Body
2009-01-25 02:54:08
The battered, dented left engine of the US Airways jetliner that ditched in the Hudson River in New York City shows evidence of hitting a soft body, federal safety investigators said Saturday night.

No evidence of organic material was detected in a visual inspection by National Transportation Safety Board   investigators after the engine was finally pulled 65 feet from the river bottom on Friday.

The pilot reported the plane hit a flock of birds shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport which shut down both his jets.

This engine and the right engine, which remained attached to the Airbus A-320 after the Jan. 15 ditching, will be shipped to their manufacturer, CFM International, in Cincinnati for thorough examination by safety board investigators. Both engines will be completely torn down to examine damage, and advanced equipment will be used to search for organic material not apparent during visual inspection.

The safety board also said the left engine had dents on its inlet lip and broken and missing guide vanes.

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