Thursday, December 22, 2005

Millions awarded to Wal-Mart employees who were denied lunch breaks

OAKLAND, California (AP) -- A California jury on Thursday awarded $172 million to thousands of employees at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. who claimed they were illegally denied lunch breaks.

The world's largest retailer was ordered to pay $57 million in general damages and $115 million in punitive damages to about 116,000 current and former California employees for violating a 2001 state law that requires employers to give 30-minute, unpaid lunch breaks to employees who work at least six hours.

Link to CNN.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dogs laugh, and it calms other dogs down

Researchers at the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service in Washington state say sometimes a bark is just a bark — but a long, loud panting sound has real meaning.

They say the long, loud pant is the sound of a dog laughing, and it has a direct impact on the behavior of other dogs.

Link to ABC News

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Controversy grows in Europe over CIA jail network

Six countries have launched judicial investigations, Europe's top human rights watchdog has begun a probe, and the European Union has formally asked Washington to clarify reports that the Central Intelligence Agency's network of clandestine jails extends to Europe.

Link to Christian Science Monitor

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Private security guard video shows Iraq murders

A "trophy" video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.

Link to Telegraph UK

Monday, November 21, 2005

1286 children still missing after Katrina

As Katrina fades from public attention, the pain of separation continues for families wrenched apart during the upheaval of the evacuation.

There are some happy outcomes for sure. Twelve-year-old Emil, 8-year-old Ronell, 8-year-old Ronald and 3-year-old Treneka were separated from their parents when the family left the New Orleans Superdome in September. The parents hoped the children were with friends but could not find them for two weeks. Finally a social worker and staff of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) located the children, who were staying with family friends in Dallas. Those children were reunited with their parents in a relatively short period, but now two and a half months after Hurricane Katrina, there are still nearly 1,300 missing children registered with the NCMEC.

Link to AlterNet

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Former FEMA director still being paid

Brown told congressional investigators Monday that he is being paid as a consultant to help FEMA assess what went wrong in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according to a senior official familiar with the meeting.

Brown also said he wished he had pushed more forcefully -- and earlier -- for federal troops to be brought in to restore order in New Orleans, the official told CNN.

Link to

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Police confiscate firearms from New Orleans residents, but not from private security guards

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 8 - Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.

No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.

Link to nytimes (requires free registration)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Navy Pilots Who Rescued Victims Are Reprimanded

"We're not technically a search-and-rescue unit, but we're trained to do search and rescue," said Lieutenant Shand, a 17-year Navy veteran.

Flying over Biloxi and Gulfport and other areas of Mississippi, they could see rescue personnel on the ground, Lieutenant Udkow said, but he noticed that there were few rescue units around the flooded city of New Orleans, on the ground or in the air. "It was shocking," he said.

Seeing people on the roofs of houses waving to him, Lieutenant Udkow headed in their direction. Hovering over power lines, his crew dropped a basket to pick up two residents at a time. He took them to Lakefront Airport, where local emergency medical teams had established a makeshift medical center.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Shand landed his helicopter on the roof of an apartment building, where more than a dozen people were marooned. Women and children were loaded first aboard the helicopter and ferried to the airport, he said.

Returning to pick up the rest, the crew learned that two blind residents had not been able to climb up through the attic to the roof and were still in the building. Two crew members entered the darkened building to find the men, and led them to the roof and into the helicopter, Lieutenant Shand said.

Recalling the rescues in an interview, he became so emotional that he had to stop and compose himself. At one point, he said, he executed a tricky landing at a highway overpass, where more than 35 people were marooned.

Lieutenant Udkow said that he saw few other rescue helicopters in New Orleans that day. The toughest part, he said, was seeing so many people imploring him to pick them up and having to leave some.

"I would be looking at a family of two on one roof and maybe a family of six on another roof, and I would have to make a decision who to rescue," he said. "It wasn't easy."

Link to nytimes (requires free registration)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

FEMA delayed sending aid

The top U.S. disaster official waited hours after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast before he proposed to his boss sending at least 1,000 Homeland Security workers into the region to support rescuers, internal documents show.

Part of the mission, according to the documents obtained by the Associated Press, was to "convey a positive image" about the government's response for victims.

Link to AP story at Contra-Costa Times

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

U.S. agency blocks photos of New Orleans dead

NEW ORLEANS, Sept 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. government agency leading the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina said on Tuesday it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from the flooded New Orleans area.

Link to Reuters.

Barbara Bush:

"....image that's sort of scary is, they all want to stay in Texas....and so many of the people in the arenas here, you know were, uh, were underpriveledged anyway. This is, this is working very well for them."

Link to NPRs MarketPlace.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

New Orleans' Times-Picayune: an open letter to the president

Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.

Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.

We’re angry, Mr. President, and we’ll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That’s to the government’s shame.

Link to Times-Picayune

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Falluja Floods the Superdome by Frank Rich

AS the levees cracked open and ushered hell into New Orleans on Tuesday, President Bush once again chose to fly away from Washington, not toward it, while disaster struck. We can all enumerate the many differences between a natural catastrophe and a terrorist attack. But character doesn't change: it is immutable, and it is destiny.

As always, the president's first priority, the one that sped him from Crawford toward California, was saving himself: he had to combat the flood of record-low poll numbers that was as uncontrollable as the surging of Lake Pontchartrain. It was time, therefore, for another disingenuous pep talk, in which he would exploit the cataclysm that defined his first term, 9/11, even at the price of failing to recognize the emerging fiasco likely to engulf Term 2.

Link to NYTime (free registration required).

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Chief Justice Rehnquist dies

Link to Reuters.

Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans' mayor to feds: 'Get off your asses'

The following is a transcript of WWL correspondent Garland Robinette's interview with Nagin on Thursday night. Robinette asked the mayor about his conversation with President Bush:

NAGIN: I told him we had an incredible crisis here and that his flying over in Air Force One does not do it justice. And that I have been all around this city, and I am very frustrated because we are not able to marshal resources and we're outmanned in just about every respect.

Link to

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Frank Rich: The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan

CINDY SHEEHAN couldn't have picked a more apt date to begin the vigil that ambushed a president: Aug. 6 was the fourth anniversary of that fateful 2001 Crawford vacation day when George W. Bush responded to an intelligence briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" by going fishing. On this Aug. 6 the president was no less determined to shrug off bad news. Though 14 marine reservists had been killed days earlier by a roadside bomb in Haditha, his national radio address that morning made no mention of Iraq. Once again Mr. Bush was in his bubble, ensuring that he wouldn't see Ms. Sheehan coming. So it goes with a president who hasn't foreseen any of the setbacks in the war he fabricated against an enemy who did not attack inside the United States in 2001.

Link to NYTimes

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Robertson Suggests U.S. Kill Venezuela's Leader

Chavez assassination row erupts

President Hugo Chavez and his Cuban host Fidel Castro
A row has erupted over a call by US religious broadcaster Pat Robertson for the US to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

"If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Mr. Robertson said Monday on his show, "The 700 Club." "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Link to BBC (with video)
Link to NYTimes (with video)(free registration required)

Former CIA middle east specialist calls women's social rights "not critical to the evolution of democracy"

Reuel Marc Gerecht is the Director of the Middle East Initiative at the Project for the New American Century

MR. GERECHT: Actually, I'm not terribly worried about this. I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women's social rights as much as possible. It certainly seems clear that in protecting the political rights, there's no discussion of women not having the right to vote. I think it's important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then. In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they're there. I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into perspective.

Link to "Meet the Press" transcript

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Soldier 'instructed' to abuse Abu Ghraib prisoners

One of the US soldiers convicted of mistreating prisoners at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison says his superiors made it clear those incarcerated were to be abused.

Sergeant Javal Davis was sentenced to six months in jail after admitting to having deliberately stepped on the hands and feet of handcuffed prisoners.

In an interview aired on Channel 7, Sgt Davis said he was instructed to make life as unpleasant as possible for those he was guarding.

Link to ABC News, Australia

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Photo essay of nationwide vigils

The most extensive photo archive of Wednesday night's vigils.

Michael Berg, father of slain businessman Nick Berg, who was beheaded in Iraq in 2004, holds a sign at Rodney square in downtown Wilmington, Del., in support of 'peace mom' Cindy Sheehan on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005. Sheehan, whose soldier-son was killed in Iraq, has sparked the support of anti-war movements all over the country including a group from Wilmington, since Aug. 6, 2005 when she began a vigil near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. (AP Photo/The News Journal, Ron Soliman)


People line a street along Milwaukee's lake front during a candle light vigil in support of "peace mom" Cindy Sheehan Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash).

Link to (note: due to the high number of images load time is long, please be patient)

Dead Man's Family Criticize London Police

LONDON (AP) - London's police commissioner came under criticism Thursday for reportedly stalling an investigation into the fatal shooting of a Brazilian man mistaken for a bomber.
But a leaked report made by public by Britain's ITV television Tuesday into Menezes' death suggested the initial police statements about what happened that day were riddled with inaccuracies.

Link to The Guardian.

She reopened debate about war, and, boy, is she hearing about it

Vacaville resident Cindy Sheehan camped out near President Bush's vacation ranch in Crawford, Texas, in the hope of inspiring a national conversation about the war.

Her plea for Bush to explain what "noble cause" her son Casey died for in Iraq last year also has inspired a national conversation about Sheehan. And her name has become shorthand for what people think of the war.


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Link to San Francisco Chronicle.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff indicted

Link to CNN.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

IKEA goes organic

IKEA started their project by launching organic coffee, followed by strawberry/ orange jam and blue cheese. The coming winter IKEA will launch organic snaps (schnapps), and the meat sauce that will be served at the Ikea restaurants will also be certified organic.

Link to Øresund Food Excellence

Art prankster sprays Israeli wall

Secretive "guerrilla" artist Banksy has decorated Israel's controversial West Bank barrier with satirical images of life on the other side.

The nine paintings were created on the Palestinian side of the barrier.

One depicts a hole in the wall with an idyllic beach, while another shows a mountain landscape on the other side.

Banksy's spokeswoman Jo Brooks said: "The Israeli security forces did shoot in the air threateningly and there were quite a few guns pointed at him."

Link to BBC.

Banksy painting on Israel's security barrier

Mother of soldier who died in Iraq camping out to speak to Bush

Ms. Sheehan has vowed to camp out on the spot until Mr. Bush agrees to meet with her, even if it means spending all of August under a broiling sun by the dusty road. Early on Sunday afternoon, 25 hours after she was turned back as she approached Mr. Bush's ranch, Prairie Chapel, Ms. Sheehan stood red-faced from the heat at the makeshift campsite that she says will be her home until the president relents or leaves to go back to Washington.

Link to New York Times.

Monday, August 08, 2005

CIA commander: U.S. let bin Laden slip away

[I]n a forthcoming book, the CIA field commander for the agency's Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, says he and other U.S. commanders did know that bin Laden was among the hundreds of fleeing Qaeda and Taliban members. Berntsen says he had definitive intelligence that bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora—intelligence operatives had tracked him—and could have been caught. "He was there," Berntsen tells NEWSWEEK.

Link to Newsweek, via Slate.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Bolton appointed US envoy to UN

US President George W Bush has formally appointed John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations, without waiting for approval from the Senate.
John Bolton
Mr Bolton will be in his job for the opening of the General Assembly

Mr Bush called Mr Bolton a "talented and successful diplomat", who would help strengthen the organisation. He said Democrats had forced him to bypass Congress, using "shameful delaying tactics" to prevent a vote.

Link to BBC News

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Undercover Student Reporter Busts Recruiters

The premise was simple: McSwane would try to join the Army as a high school dropout with an insatiable fondness for marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms. No matter how stoned and stupid McSwane acted, a pair of recruiters wouldn't wouldn't let him go.

McSwane's claim of being a dropout didn't discourage his recruiters either. He was encouraged to take a high school equivalency diploma exam, which McSwane deliberately failed. That's when he said one recruiter introduced him to the "home-school option."

McSwane was told to order a phony diploma and transcripts from an online diploma mill.


Monday, May 30, 2005

Cheney "offended" by Amnesty International report

"Frankly, I was offended by it," Cheney said in the videotaped interview. "For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don't take them seriously."

AP story here.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Chiapas Training Center Given Sasakawa Prize at World Health Assembly

Geneva, May 19, 2005 (PAHO)—The Center for Training and Education in Ecology and Health for Peasants in Chiapas, Mexico, today at the World Health Assembly received the Sasakawa Health Prize for 2005 for its outstanding work in health development.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Army recruitment halts for a day

After David McSwane, a seventeen-year-old Colorado high school student reported that Army recruiters helped him obtain a fake diploma and a drug detoxification kit to circumvent regulations, the Army has ordered a one day "recruiting stand down" to address ethical issues in recruiting. Along with McSwane's complaint, other reports of aggressive tactics have recently surfaced. Link to Seattle Times, link to New York Times.

Monday, May 09, 2005

A brief history of the U.S.' involvement with Saddam Hussein

An independent project by Eric Blumrich.

Picture 5

Link to iFilm.

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


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.

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.


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.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

from the New York Times:

SINCE 1977, the United States State Department has issued an annual global report card called the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

The document has long been a thorn in the side of authoritarian governments, including China's, which responds with a nettled review of its own, called "The Human Rights Record of the United States," the 2004 version of which was recently released.

link to full text of the report in English at China's People's Daily.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Iraqi 'justice' by television

An Iraqi confesses on TV to attacking US forces
'Self-confessed' insurgents are portrayed as morally bankrupt

Every night the government-run al-Iraqiya television station carries lengthy confessions, under interrogation, from people like Ibrahim, who it says are captured insurgents.

The broadcasts have stirred a lot of interest among the Iraqi people, but unease among foreign observers who see it as an echo of the ousted Baathist regime's discredited practices.

The televised confessions, on a programme called "Terror in the Hands of Justice", are shown at prime time every night, and are clearly aimed at shocking the Iraqi public.

Link to BBC.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Congressman calls for IRA to disband



Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams, center, wearing glasses, is welcomed as he arrives, Saturday, March 12, 2005, in Cincinnati. Adams went to the United States on Saturday in search of foreign support, but back home in Northern Ireland a controversy over the IRA's killing of a Catholic man refused to go away. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

DUBLIN, Ireland -- In a major departure, Sinn Fein's leading backer in the U.S. Congress called Sunday for the Irish Republican Army to disband because it was standing in the way of peace in Northern Ireland.

Representative Peter King, who for more than two decades has been an ardent supporter of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, accused the outlawed IRA of making a series of poor decisions that have fueled growing hostility within Irish-American circles.

King said IRA activities were preventing a potential new power-sharing deal between Sinn Fein, which represents most Catholics in Northern Ireland, and Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists, the territory's major British Protestant party.

AP story here.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Children as young as 11 were held at Abu Ghraib

US held youngsters at Abu Ghraib
A US military intelligence officer leads an Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib
The US military says no children suffered abuse at Abu Ghraib
Children as young as 11 years old were held at Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison at the centre of the US prisoner abuse scandal, official documents reveal.

Brig Gen Janis Karpinski, formerly in charge of the jail, gave details of young people and women held there.

Her assertion was among documents obtained via legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The Pentagon has admitted juveniles were among the detainees, but said no child was subject to any abuse.

Brig Gen Karpinski made her remarks in an interview with a general investigating the abuses at the prison.

AP story here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Taco Bell, tomato pickers reach agreement

A group of tomato pickers from Florida announced an end to a boycott of Taco Bell yesterday after the fast-food chain and its parent company agreed to meet demands to improve wages and working conditions for the farmworkers.

In what both sides called an unprecedented agreement, the fast-food company said it will increase the amount it pays for tomatoes by a penny per pound, with the increase to go directly to workers' wages. Taco Bell said it will help the farmworkers' efforts to improve working and living conditions.
Washington Post story here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

John Bolton chosen as U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

WASHINGTON (AP) - John R. Bolton, President Bush's choice to be U.N. ambassador, once said it wouldn't matter if 10 stories of the world body's headquarters simply vanished. He has also said the United States is the world's only real authority.

AP story at the Guardian here.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Carlos Mesa pondrá su renuncia hoy ante el Congreso de Bolivia

Solecito "No habrá muertos sobre mi espalda", dice, y reta a Evo Morales a gobernar el país

Solecito Se mantienen los bloqueos carreteros; alteños ratifican su decisión de radicalizar el paro

Solecito Manifestaciones de apoyo al mandatario en La Paz y anuncian movilizaciones para este lunes

La Paz, 6 de marzo. El presidente de Bolivia, Carlos Mesa, anunció este domingo en un mensaje radiotelevisado que presentará el lunes su renuncia a su investidura ante el Congreso nacional en medio de un rebrote de las demandas sociales y del llamado a la radicalización de los bloqueos en todo el país.

"He decidido presentar a la consideración del país, a la consideración de ustedes ciudadanos de Bolivia, como manda la Constitución, mediante el Congreso nacional, mi renuncia al cargo de presidente de la República", señaló Mesa en un mensaje desde el palacio de gobierno.

Link to La Jornada.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

2nd test, this time with title

this is an audio post - click to play
this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, March 04, 2005

OFW's Remit a Record 8.5 Billion Dollars in 2004

According to the Philippine Central Bank remittances by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), reached an all time high in 2004. A total of 8.5 billion dollars were sent home to the Philippines from cities and towns around the globe. From the Americas, the EU, the Middle East, and Asia, OFWs remitted their hard-earned cash, and in the process kept the country's economy afloat. This loyal army of overseas benefactors, forced by cruel circumstance to leave their towns and barrios and travel to the far reaches of our planet just to earn a living wage and feed their family, has once again delivered--as expected.

Link to

Cuban Cardinal Questioned By Homeland Security

Cuba's highest ranking Catholic official Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the Archbishop of Havana, released a statement yesterday confirming weekend press reports that he was harassed by Homeland Security officers in the Miami International Airport last Friday when he arrived on a charter flight from Havana. News reports said that Ortega was questioned about issues unrelated to his travel, including his views on the Castro government and the U.S. economic blockade on the island. Ortega said that an agent indicated that he was opening a file on Ortega reserved for "dangerous persons" and that in order to enter the U.S., the Cardinal had to answer his questions. The Cardinal carries a diplomatic passport issued by the Vatican and has a multiple entry visa issued by the U.S. State Department.

Link to Periodico 26 Las Tunas, Cuba.