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Other Important News

A few items of potentially good news today …

Obama limits ex-presidents’ discretion on records

By MARK SHERMAN
January 21, 2009
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has issued an executive order that limits the ability of former presidents to block the release of sensitive records of their time in the White House.

Obama’s action Wednesday in his first full day in office overturns an earlier order issued by George W. Bush.

Obama said former presidents may ask to have certain documents kept private, but they no longer may compel the National Archives to do so.…

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UN chief relieved about Gaza, urges Israel withdrawal

Sat Jan 17, 2009
By Louis Charbonneau
ReutersUK

BEIRUT, Jan 17 (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday he was relieved about an Israeli ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and urged the Jewish state to withdraw all of its troops as soon as possible.

“I am relieved that the Israeli government has decided to cease hostilities as of midnight GMT,” Ban told reporters. “This should be the first
step leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza,” he said, adding that he wanted the withdrawal “as soon as possible”.…

Day 20 of Israel’s Genocidal Slaughter of Gaza

Kucinich: UN should investigate Israeli Gaza strikes
by Nick Juliano
RawStory.com

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) called for an independent investigation to be led by the United Nations into the recent eruption of violence between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza strip that has killed scores of innocent civilians.

Monday brought a third day of Israeli bombing Gaza in what the state is calling its “all-out” war on Hamas. So far, 345 people have been killed by the bombs.…

New information sheds more light on GOP IT guru’s tragic death

January 13, 2009
by Larisa Alexandrovna
RawStary.com

New information surrounding the December plane crash which killed GOP internet consultant Michael Connell casts doubt on some of the rumors and speculation surrounding his death but doesn’t close the books on the circumstances surrounding the Republican technology star’s tragic end.

Michael Connell, a high-level IT guru for the Republican National Committee and the US Chamber of Commerce, died Dec. 19, 2008 at 5:53 PM ET when his airplane crashed near Ohio’s Akron-Canton airport.…

Former Navy Pilot Cautions Congress: Arrogance Endangering American Lives

by Janice Matthews
911truth.org (link to article)

911truth.org was contacted this week by Charles W. (Bill) White, of Houston, who provided extensive information to Russ Baker in the writing of his explosive new Bush dynasty historical expose, Family Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America. More about him is in his letter to Senator Levin, below, wherein he expresses grave concern for the safety of nearly 6,000 Sailors and Marines who will carry out their duties aboard the Navy’s new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS  George H.W.

Obama-Bush teams to stage ‘disaster’ exercise

21 hours ago
AFP at www.google.com/hostednews

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The outgoing White House administration will next week hold a joint “disaster scenario” exercise with top members of
the incoming team of president-elect Barack Obama, US officials said Friday.

“I’m not going to go into the details of it, but it is a disaster scenario where the government would be very much tested,” White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

“It is an exercise scenario, a hypothetical scenario that is designed to test and tax the capabilities of the federal government,” he added.…

WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (3-part video)

Dec 15, 2008
by David Chandler
Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth (AE911Truth.org)

In its draft report, released in August 2008, NIST attempted to cover up evidence that WTC7 fell at freefall, but the coverup was transparent. In its final report, released in November 2008, NIST finally acknowledged freefall, but couched it in a bizarre framework that continues to deny its clear significance. Part I [of this video] chronicles NIST’s attempted obfuscation and eventual admission of freefall.…

Richard Falk: Understanding the Gaza Catastrophe

by Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories
Huffingtonpost.com

For eighteen months the entire 1.5 million people of Gaza experienced a punishing blockade imposed by Israel, and a variety of traumatizing challenges to the normalcy of daily life. A flicker of hope emerged some six months ago when an Egyptian arranged truce produced an effective ceasefire that cut Israeli casualties to zero despite the cross-border periodic firing of homemade rockets that fell harmlessly on nearby Israeli territory, and undoubtedly caused anxiety in the border town of Sderot.…

ISRAEL, STOP NOW!!! US gives Israel free reign on whether to invade Gaza

AFP
Friday January 2, 2009

Image of Thous Shalt Not KillThe United States gave Israel free reign Friday on whether to send troops into the Gaza Strip, insisting that the key to a ceasefire is an Israeli demand for Hamas to permanently halt rocket fire.

But the White House said it has asked Israel to try hard to avoid civilian casualties as reserves were called up for an expected ground incursion on top of a week of air strikes that has killed more than 400 Palestinians.…

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The Right To Food

By Cernig
Wednesday Dec 24, 2008
CrooksandLiars.com

Via my Newshoggers colleague Anderson comes this:

By a vote of 180 in favour to 1 against (United States) and no abstentions, the Committee also approved a resolution on the right to food, by which the Assembly would “consider it intolerable” that more than 6 million children still died every year from hunger-related illness before their fifth birthday, and that the number of undernourished people had grown to about 923 million worldwide, at the same time that the planet could produce enough food to feed 12 billion people, or twice the world’s present population.

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Free Gaza Movement’s Aid Ship Rammed — Israeli Navy attacks and wounds Dignity in International Waters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date : 12-30-2008

For more information, please contact: (Gaza) Ewa Jasiewicz, +972 598 700 497 / freelance@mailworks.org

(Cyprus) Lubna Masarwa +357 99 081 767 / lubnna@gmail.com

(U.S.) Greta Berlin, +1 310 422 7242 / iristulip@gmail.com

(Larnaca, Cyprus, 10:00 am) On Tuesday, December 30, at 5 a.m., several Israeli gunboats intercepted the Dignity as she was heading on a mission of mercy to Gaza. One gunboat rammed into the boat on the port bow side, heavily damaging her.…

U.S. seeks 147-year sentence in torture case

Dec. 29, 2008
Associated Press

MIAMI – U.S. prosecutors want a Miami judge to sentence the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor to 147 years in prison for torturing people when he was chief of a brutal paramilitary unit during his father’s reign.

Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Charles “Chuckie” Taylor Jr., is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9 by U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. His conviction was the first use of a 1994 law allowing prosecution in the U.S.…

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With economy in shambles, Congress gets a raise

By Jordy Yager
December 17, 2008

A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay.

Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not happy about it.

“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan group.…

Why we must prosecute Bush and his administration for war crimes

It’s not about them–it’s about us

December 15, 2008
by Mike Ferner
MikeFerner.org

During the rush to get the Nuremberg Tribunals underway, the Soviet delegation wanted the tribunal’s historic decisions to have legitimacy only for the Nazis. U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Robert Jackson, serving as the chief prosecutor for the Allies, strong-armed the Soviets until the very beginning of the tribunal before changing their minds.

In his opening statement Jackson very purposely stipulated, “…Let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.”

Can there be a better reason for prosecuting George Bush and his administration for war crimes than those words from the chief prosecutor of the Nazis, a U.S.…

Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash: Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation

VelvetRevolution.us

Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush’s 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution (“VR”), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell’s activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how to tell all about his work for George Bush.…

Gaza families eat grass as Israel locks border

Marie Colvin
December 14, 2008
The Sunday Times

As a convoy of blue-and-white United Nations trucks loaded with food waited last night for Israeli permission to enter Gaza, Jindiya Abu Amra and her 12-year-old daughter went scrounging for the wild grass their family now lives on.

“We had one meal today – khobbeizeh,” said Abu Amra, 43, showing the leaves of a plant that grows along the streets of Gaza. “Every day, I wake up and start looking for wood and plastic to burn for fuel and I beg.…

End Presidential Pardons and Clemency

Wednesday, 10 December 2008
by Michael Collins

End Presidential Pardons and Clemency

An Amendment –

The president shall not have the right to grant pardons or clemency.

Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News

(Wash. DC) The prospect of the criminal in chief, George W. Bush, issuing pardons to his co-conspirators is repugnant to all citizens who’ve paid  any degree of attention over the last eight years.

He neglected his duty prior to 911 resulting in a devastating attack on the nation.…

The Government’s Argument for Deploying Troops in the U.S. is Ridiculous – Even On Its Own Terms

December 2, 2008

GeorgeWashington’s Blog

Everyone knows that deploying 20,000 troops on U.S. soil violates Posse Comitatus and the Constitution.

And everyone understands that staging troops within the U.S. to “help out with civil unrest and crowd control” increases the danger of overt martial law.

But no one is asking an obvious question: Does the government’s own excuse for deploying the troops make any sense?

As the Washington Post writes:

Before the terrorist attacks of Sept.