Docudharma Times Saturday Dec.1

This is an Open Thread: Chit chat is welcome

Headlines for Saturday December 1: Witness Names to Be Withheld From Detainee : Estimate of AIDS Cases In U.S. Rises: A ‘difficult day’ ends peacefully : In Iraq, U.S. shifts its tone on Iran: Jordan’s Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA

USA

Witness Names to Be Withheld From Detainee

By WILLIAM GLABERSON

Published: December 1, 2007

Defense lawyers preparing for the war crimes trial of a 21-year-old Guantánamo detainee have been ordered by a military judge not to tell their client – or anyone else – the identity of witnesses against him, newly released documents show.

The case of the detainee, Omar Ahmed Khadr, is being closely watched because it may be the first Guantánamo prosecution to go to trial, perhaps as soon as May.

Defense lawyers say military prosecutors have sought similar orders to keep the names of witnesses secret in other military commission cases, which have been a centerpiece of the Bush administration’s policies for detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Estimate of AIDS Cases In U.S. Rises

New Test Places the Rate Of Infection 50 Percent Higher

By David Brown

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, December 1, 2007; Page A01

New government estimates of the number of Americans who become infected with the AIDS virus each year are 50 percent higher than previous calculations suggested, sources said yesterday.

For more than a decade, epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have pegged the number of new HIV infections each year at 40,000. They now believe it is between 55,000 and 60,000.

A ‘difficult day’ ends peacefully

Hostages taken at a Clinton office in N.H.

By David Abel and Scott Helman

Globe Staff / December 1, 2007

ROCHESTER, N.H. – A man wearing what looked like a bomb beneath his sweater and tie walked into Hillary Clinton’s campaign office yesterday, taking three staff members, a volunteer, and an infant hostage, forcing the closure of the senator’s campaign offices throughout Iowa and New Hampshire, and paralyzing this small city on the Maine border, authorities said.

After a 5.5-hour standoff, in which all the hostages were released, Leeland E. Eisenberg walked out of the office on North Main Street with his arms up, slowly removed his sweater, and pulled off the faux bomb duct-taped to his waist. Members of the New Hampshire State Police SWAT team ordered him to the ground and handcuffed him. He was charged with kidnapping, reckless endangerment, and criminal threatening, authorities said.

Middle East

In Iraq, U.S. shifts its tone on Iran

Officials have backed off the accusations of arms smuggling and agreed to talk. It could be each side needs the other.

By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

December 1, 2007

BAGHDAD — Not long ago, U.S. military officials in Iraq routinely displayed rockets, mortars and jagged chunks of metal to reporters and insisted that they were Iranian-made arms being fired at American bases. Collaboration between Tehran and Washington on stabilizing Iraq seemed doubtful at best.

In the last two months, though, there has been a shift in U.S. military and diplomatic attitudes toward Iran. Officials have backed away from sweeping accusations that the Iranian leadership is orchestrating massive smuggling of arms, agents and ammunition. Instead, they have agreed to a new round of talks with Iranian and Iraqi officials over security in Iraq. The meeting is expected to take place this month.

Jordan’s Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA

Foreign Terror Suspects Tell of Torture

By Craig Whitlock

Washington Post Foreign Service

Saturday, December 1, 2007; Page A01

AMMAN, Jordan — Over the past seven years, an imposing building on the outskirts of this city has served as a secret holding cell for the CIA.

The building is the headquarters of the General Intelligence Department, Jordan’s powerful spy and security agency. Since 2000, at the CIA’s behest, at least 12 non-Jordanian terrorism suspects have been detained and interrogated here, according to documents and former prisoners, human rights advocates, defense lawyers and former U.S. officials.

Europe

Blast shakes Ukrainian mine

KIEV, Ukraine – An explosion early Saturday shook the coal mine where 100 people died in a methane blast two weeks ago, injuring five miners but causing no deaths, an industrial safety official said.

All 385 people who were underground at the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk at the time of the explosion have been evacuated, said Marina Nikitina, a local officer of Gosgorpromnadzor, the country’s industrial safety agency. She said five miners were injured, two of them gravely.

The Nov. 18 blast at Zasyadko was the worst coal-mining disaster in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history.

Italy paralysed by worst strikes in 25 years

By Peter Popham in Rome

Published: 01 December 2007

Italy came to a standstill yesterday as the country’s biggest strike in a quarter of a century halted all public transport, in a protest demanding more investment by the government.

Metro and mainline stations were deserted, airports were silent, ferries remained tied up at the docks. Even driving was a challenge, with car hire companies and motorway toll booth operators joining the action and the state-run equivalent of the AA and RAC were not answering breakdown calls.

Getting away from it all on the ski slopes was not the answer as cable car operators were on strike too, as were the people who drive hearses for the nation’s undertakers.

Latin America

Lawyers: Cameraman held at Gitmo ill

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A TV cameraman imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay has developed kidney problems and was told by a doctor that he may have cancer, according to notes written by his lawyers and recently cleared for release by the U.S. military.

Sami al-Hajj, a cameraman for the Al-Jazeera TV network, underwent two medical scans but doctors did not determine what was causing blood in his urine, said the notes, which were taken by attorney Cori Crider in early November and released on Thursday.

Lawyers for al-Hajj, who was taken to Guantanamo in June 2002, say his physical and mental health have deteriorated as he continues a hunger strike that has lasted nearly a year.

Chavez urges reform for Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has urged voters to approve constitutional changes in a referendum on Sunday.

Addressing tens of thousands of supporters at a rally in Caracas, he also threatened to stop oil supplies to the US if it tried to disrupt the vote.

The reforms include allowing abolishing presidential term limits and ending the autonomy of the Central Bank.

Africa

British peers in Sudan to seek teddy teacher’s release

KHARTOUM (AFP) – Two Muslim members of Britain’s House of Lords were in Khartoum on Saturday to seek the release of a British woman teacher jailed for insulting Islam after she named a teddy bear Mohammed.

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Lord Ahmed and Baroness Warsi, from the upper house of Britain’s parliament, were to meet with Sudanese officials in a bid to free Gillian Gibbons, 54, who was jailed for 15 days on Thursday for insulting religion.

“They’re on a private visit with the (Sudanese) government,” a British embassy spokesman told AFP. “We welcome any efforts to help in the case, but we’re not involved in their programme.”

Cameroonian gorillas arrive home

Four rare gorillas have been flown from South Africa to Cameroon, five years after they were illegally smuggled to Taiping Zoo in Malaysia.

The Malaysian authorities returned the four Western Lowland gorillas to South Africa in 2004 and they have since been kept at Pretoria Zoo.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare said the “Taiping Four” will now be taken to a wildlife sanctuary.

Asia

Bhutto launches election campaign

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto launched her election campaign in troubled northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, a day after unveiling her party’s platform despite calls from other opposition groups to boycott the Jan. 8 vote.

Bhutto traveled in a bulletproof black Mercedes under police escort from the capital, Islamabad, to Peshawar where she appealed for support from ethnic Pashtuns predominant in the border region assailed by Islamic militancy.

She was greeted by hundreds of flag-waving supporters of her Pakistan People’s Party who chanted “Long Live Benazir!”

Aids cover-up as Chinese PM visits village

Jonathan Watts in Beijing

Saturday December 1, 2007

The Guardian

People with HIV-Aids in Henan province were placed under house arrest yesterday in what they say was an attempt to stop them telling the truth about the epidemic to the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao.

Wen made a rare visit to the province – one of the worst affected areas – in an apparent attempt to raise awareness about the virus. But Aids activists say his visit was stage-managed by local officials, who have long tried to cover up the scandal of entire villages being infected with HIV through the selling of unclean blood.

3 comments

    • documel on December 1, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    When you play the game of FEAR, you must throw out the whole constitution–fair judicial system is just an obvious victim.  What fascinates me is the right to bear arms remains because of the NRA.  Everyone having a gun scares the shit out of me–some of them are muslim (snark)

  1. Georgia Little Shield and her board of directors are going to see the house they want with a realtor today and next week they’ll talk to a banks about putting money down on it and getting a mortgage based on future donations.

    PRESENT donations just in the ChipIn: $35,000 (50% of goal!)

    This drive is making something REAL happen!

  2. Defense lawyers preparing for the war crimes trial of a 21-year-old Guantánamo detainee have been ordered by a military judge not to tell their client – or anyone else – the identity of witnesses against him, newly released documents show.

    Silly me! I thought there were still some parts of the United States Constitution that might survive Bushco.

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