Saturday, April 30, 2005

N.M. School Locked Down After a Huge Burrito Was Mistaken for Weapon

A call about a possible weapon at a middle school prompted police to put armed officers on rooftops, close nearby streets and lock down the school. The drama ended two hours later when the suspicious item was identified as a 30-inch burrito filled with steak, guacamole, lettuce, salsa and jalapenos and wrapped inside tin foil and a white T-shirt.
....
Russell said the mystery was solved after she brought everyone in the school together in the auditorium to explain what was going on."The kid was sitting there as I'm describing this (report of a student with a suspicious package) and he's thinking, 'Oh, my gosh, they're talking about my burrito.'"

The burrito was part of Morrissey's extra-credit assignment to create commercial advertising for a product. "We had to make up a product and it could have been anything. I made up a restaurant that specialized in oddly large burritos," Morrissey said.

Link to ABC News.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

HEAVY TRASH INSTALLS VIEWING PLATFORMS AT LOS ANGELES GATED COMMUNITIES


On April 24, 2005, Heavy Trash volunteers deposited bright orange viewing platforms in front of three Los Angeles gated communities; Brentwood Circle, Park La Brea and Laughlin Park. The purpose of these viewing platforms is to draw attention to the phenomenon of gated communities -- the fastest growing form of housing in the United States. "There are now more than 1 million homes behind such walls in the greater Los Angeles area alone," according to Setha Low, a professor at the City University of New York.

Link to heavytrash press release.
Link

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

U.S. Considers Toughening Stance Toward Venezuela



As President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela veers toward greater confrontation with Washington, the Bush administration is weighing a tougher approach, including funneling more money to foundations and business and political groups opposed to his leftist government, American officials say.

But it has found no allies so far in its attempts to isolate the Venezuelan leader, and it has grown more and more frustrated by Mr. Chávez's strident anti-American outbursts and policies that seem intended to fly in the face of Washington. On Sunday, Mr. Chávez ended a 35-year military cooperation agreement and ordered out four American military instructors he accused of fomenting unrest.

Link to NY Times (free registration required).

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Water project cancelled.


Nuradeen Ghreeb, a civil engineer, dreamed of bringing clean drinking water to his hometown, Halabja, but the United States canceled its planned water project there this week.
Christoph Bangert/Polaris, for The New York Times
Nuradeen Ghreeb, a civil engineer, dreamed of bringing clean drinking water to his hometown, Halabja, but the United States canceled its planned water project there this week.

By JAMES GLANZ

Published: April 16, 2005








HALABJA, Iraq, April 11 - For years Nuradeen Ghreeb has dreamed of bringing clean drinking water to his hometown. That town happens to be Halabja, where 17 years ago he and his parents cowered in a basement as Saddam Hussein's airplanes attacked with chemical weapons, killing at least 5,000 people.

But on Sunday, Mr. Nuradeen learned that his dream was over, because the United States had canceled the water project it had planned here as part of a vast effort to rebuild Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Ordinarily a quiet and reserved civil engineer, he sat on one of his beloved water pipes on hearing the news and wept, his tears glistening in the afternoon sun.

"If the Americans think that training the Iraqi Army comes before clean drinking water for the people of Halabja," he said quietly, "then we can't expect anything from them."

Link to NYT

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Teachers and Classmates Express Outrage at Arrest of Girl, 16, as a Terrorist Threat

...

According to a government document provided to The New York Times by a federal official earlier this week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has asserted that both girls are "an imminent threat to the security of the United States based on evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers." No evidence was cited, and federal officials will not comment on the case.

...

"I just can't fathom this," said her art teacher, Kimberly Lane, who has repeatedly called the youth detention center but like Ms. Carr was not allowed to speak to the girl, who has no lawyer. Among the unanswered questions they raised was why, if she was really a suspect, no F.B.I. agent had shown up to search her school locker or question her classmates, who sent her letters of support.

Link to the New York Times

Friday, April 08, 2005

Massacre in Rio Getting Little Attention

...

But even by the brutal standards of Nova Iguacu, last week's massacre of 30 people apparently by a band of rogue policemen was shocking, starting with the severed head thrown over the gate of a police station.

"It's beyond shocking really," said Tim Cahill, a researcher from the London office of the human rights group Amnesty International who arrived to investigate the slayings. "It just shows how cheap human life has become."

...

AP story here.