U.S. checking possibility of pumping oil from northern Iraq to Haifa, via Jordan 7 Aug 2004 | Ha’Aretz by Amiram Cohen The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem. The Prime Minister’s Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a “bonus” the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the […]
4 August 2004 | The Scotsman by HAMISH MACDONELL GREENLAND?S cover of ice is melting ten times quicker than previously thought, an increase that could lead to floods across the world, scientists have found. Newly published research shows an alarming rise in the rate of collapse of the massive Greenland ice-sheet as a result of global warming. Scientists now believe the ice-sheet is shrinking at the rate of ten metres a year, not the one metre previously thought. If the entire ice-sheet melts, the resulting flood waters would raise the level of global seas by seven metres, submerging large areas […]
[ Brown provides a nice little introduction to the “New Urbanists” here. –BL ] 4 August 2004 | USA Today by Ben Brown FRANKLIN, N.C. — What we all need is a big idea that works. We’re up to our ears in the other kind, whether it’s an attempt to purchase with blood and money stable democracy in the Middle East, or to grow an economy that ensures profits and meaningful employment at the same time. In my rural county in the mountains of North Carolina, we’re embroiled in one of those struggles that’s a miniature version of a national debate. […]
3 August 2004 | Associated Press by Mark Sherman WASHINGTON – About 5 million children have been added to government health programs since 2001, many because their parents lost employer-sponsored insurance, according to a new study. Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program provided a safety net for children whose parents’ coverage ended or became too expensive during the economic downturn at the start of the decade, said the Center for Studying Health System Change, a private research organization in Washington, D.C. "Public insurance clearly picked up the slack," the group said in its report to be released Tuesday.
3 August 2004 | USA Today by Julie Appleby The percentage of people who get health insurance through employers fell sharply from 2001 to 2003, resulting in 9 million fewer people with employer coverage after accounting for population growth, researchers said Tuesday. Unemployment and the rising cost of insurance were blamed for the falloff, which saw the percentage of people under 65 who get health insurance through employers go from 67% in 2001 to 63% in 2003. Employer coverage is the main way Americans get insurance. Health insurance coverage trends: Source 1997 1999 2001 2003 Employer 65.1% 66% 67% 63.4% […]
[ From the article: The announcement … also virtually kills a 10-year international effort to lure countries such as Pakistan, India and Israel into accepting some oversight of their nuclear production programs. –BL ]July 31, 2004 | Washington Post by Dafna Linzer In a significant shift in U.S. policy, the Bush administration announced this week that it will oppose provisions for inspections and verification as part of an international treaty that would ban production of nuclear weapons materials.
July 31, 2004 | Washington Post by Dana Milbank The White House forecast yesterday that the U.S. budget deficit for this year will be a highest-ever $445 billion, lower than the administration previously predicted but nearly 20 percent larger than last year’s record shortfall. Read the rest of the article …
by Brendan Lalor While Sudan has been in the news of late on account of somewhat meager U.N. and U.S. efforts to address the genocide, what’s less often reported are Sudan’s oil reserves. Here’s what the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy reported as of July, 2004: With the completion of a major oil export pipeline in July 1999, Sudanese crude oil production and exports have risen rapidly over the past few years. Sudan’s estimated oil reserves have doubled since 2001, with crude production reaching an estimated 345,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in June 2004. Energy Minister […]
2 August 2004 | Associated Press keyword: Wal-Mart by MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Business Writer SAN FRANCISCO — Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s compensation policies cost California taxpayers $86 million annually to provide health care and other public assistance to the retailer’s underpaid workers, according to an analysis released Monday.
4 August 2004 | Misleader.org Earlier this week, President Bush claimed “we all thought we would find stockpiles of weapons”1 in Iraq, and claimed that he had no inkling that his pre-war claims about the Iraqi threat were weak. But as a major new story released today shows, the President and other top administration officials were repeatedly warned before the invasion that its case for war was weak. The cover story for this month’s In These Times analyzes declassified government documents and intelligence reports given to the White House before the war. These documents either warned the administration about its […]
by Brendan Lalor Neil Mackay, of Scotland’s Sunday Herald, reports that “coalition forces are holding more than 100 children in jails such as Abu Ghraib. Witnesses claim that the detainees — some as young as 10 — are also being subjected to rape and torture.” Furthermore, British and German television sources, among others, indicate that detained children have been tortured in front of their parents to coerce parents’ compliance with interrogators. Torturing adults is morally bad enough, not to mention in violation of international law and of treaties which the U.S. has signed. But who could stoop even lower, to […]
by Brendan Lalor As NewsDay (3 Aug 2004) reports the death of the 1,000th “member of the U.S. military to die in battle since the World Trade Center attack,” Al Jazeera (31 July 2004) reports that 37,000 civilians were killed between the invasion of Iraq in March, 2003, and October of the same year. (This figure is significantly higher than the 11,000-13,000 documented by the Iraq Body Count Project, which “puts accuracy ahead of speed.”) As James Conachy points out on the World Socialist Web Site According to figures released last year by the US military, some 800 cruise missiles, […]
[ To usher in “democracy,” must the U.S. quell free speech? –BL ] 3 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! UPI is reporting that U.S. forces arrested a leading Sunni Iraqi official shortly after he participated in a televised debate where he criticized the upcoming National Congress which will meet in August. The arrested man was the press official for a prominent Sunni group that has called for a boycott of the Congress. According to UPI, four US military vehicles intercepted his car and took him to an unknown destination.
30 July 2004 | DemocracyNow! The average total income for CEOs at the country’s top 500 companies increased by 22 percent in 2003 — double the increase of the previous year. CEOs at four companies — Oracle, Apple, Yahoo and Colgate — received 1000 percent increases in income. Meanwhile new data from the Internal Revenue Service shows that the average U.S. income has decreased for two years in a row for the first time since World War II.
30 July 2004 | DemocracyNow! Follows-up: “Bush Coordinating War on Terror With Election” In other news, the Pakistani interior minister announced yesterday that a top member of Al Qaeda had been captured in Central Pakistan. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was on the FBI’s most wanted list in connection with the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. This marks the most significant Al Qaeda arrest since Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was detained over a year ago. Although Ghailani was arrested on Sunday, Pakistan did not announce his arrest until yesterday, on the same day of John […]