PlayStation 3 Now in Stock!

A resource for historians and journalists, since 2004

Maravot News of the World
6:09 AM – San Francisco
Tue, Apr 3, 2007
(last post)

Contact us Privacy Policy
About Maravot News & Links

Search Engines Accoona
AOL Netfind Lycos
Webcrawler Yahoo 
technorati (searches blogs)
Archive: Way Back Machine

Get $10 Free when you use Google Checkout!

E-tracking Terrorists

Most Wanted Terrorists
Rewards for
Terrorism Knowledge Base
Tracking –daily translations of Arabic blogs – links to US emergency preparedness & terrorist watch organizations

Faces of the Fallen – Iraq

US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq

Trends, Iraq Casualties

US Fatalities City Map
Coalition Fatalities by location across time.

Metric Conversion

kilometer: 0.6214 mile
meter: 39.37 inches
centimetre: 0.3937 inch
millimetre: 0.03937 inch
foot: 30.48 cm
Br. stone: 14 pounds
kilogram: 2.2046 pounds
litre: 1.0567 US quarts
hectare: 2.471 acres
– 1 djerib (Turkey)
– 1 jerib (Iran)
– 1 gong qing (China)
0° Celcius: = 32° F

Chart showing National Debt & Annual Deficits with Presidents. Democrat administrations are blue, Republican in Red. Green reflects projected Bush debt. Click chart for larger image.

2006 update (2.25.06)

The Chart Showing the National Debt above is still valid: "The debt to the penny,"
The debt projection for 2009 is now $10.3 Trillion. Deficit for 2006 is $435 Billion.
OMB Budget FY2007
Interest on Debt 2006
Federal Debt 2006
Fed. Budget Summary 2006

Western News
Worth frequent visits

Village Voice
Time Magazine
The New Yorker magazine
Vanity Fair
Aviation Week
Arch. & Prehistory news
New Scientist
Aral Sea Disaster
Media Matters
information please
DOD News (en français) (en français)
Spiegel Online
La Repubblica.It (Spain) (Bulgaria)
NIS News (Holland)
BBC News
Sky News (London)
The Independent
Belfast Telegraph (Canada)
National Public Radio
New York
Washington Post
Washington Times
ABC News
Fox News


CBS News
WWLTV – New Orleans
Detroit Free Press (Freep)
LA Times

San Francisco Chronicle
Marinscope Newspapers
Financial Times
Radio Free Europe
Radio News America
Democracy Now, radio & TV
The Guardian, Nigeria
Business Day (S. Africa)


International Agencies – News

IRIN News, Africa & Asia
Power & Interest News Report : network to improve women's rights in Islam

Osama bin Laden fatwas.
This monster's own words will
lead to his destruction
Definition of fatwa (fatwah)
Maravot News Comment




August 1996

Maps of interest
Click on maps for larger image
Russia, Belarus & neighbors
Israel-Iraq & neighbors
Iran-Afghanistan-Pak.-India; Gulf of Hormuz oil lane Iran threatens to block
Kazakhstan & neighbors

Historical map of Israel. Figure 2 shows the area allocated to
Israel by the UN in 1948. Compare to Israel' s map below of its security wall.

Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view or here for interactive link.

Middle East Watch

Middle East Times

Al-jazeera, Azerbaijan
kurdistanobserver (Iraq)
Iran Focus

Iran Daily (Iran)

Middle East Newsline
Jerusalem Post
Palestine Chronicle (Lebanon)

Daily Star (Lebanon) (Qatar)
Saudi Post
Yemen Daily
Arab News
Dar Al Hayat
Khaleej Times,Yemen

Russia & Ukraine Watch

Moscow (Ukraine)

East Asia Watch
Daily Times,com. pk
South Asia Tribune
India Express

Indo-Asian News Service

New Kerala (India)

Hindustan Times

xinhuanet (

Asia Times (Hong Kong)
China Daily

Shenzhen Daily
CRI online (China)
Big News Network
Korea Herald

Kyodo News

Japan Times

Japan Today (

Daily Yomiuri (Japan)

The Star (Malaysia

The Jakarta Post

Bangkok Post

The Nation (Bangkok)
Kashmir Times
Press Trust of India

Daily News (Sri Lanka)

LankaPage (Sri Lanka) (Phillipines)

More newspapers

Click on image for org. to impeach Bush & Cheney.

Relevant Works by Mel

The Romance of Anais, an Arthurian-style tale written 1996 describing how Bush got us in the mess in Iraq with a short commentary on the
Chang-an cheat
Tapestry of One – on the creed of Buddha,
Duty & Profit, Nov. 1994
Against Leviathan, Jan. 1993
Immoral Coercion, Dec. 1994
Philistia Triumph thou
because of me
, Dec. 1993
Quest for Human Dignity, July 1994
What Price Justice? Sept. 1992

Maravot News is not responsible for the content of any links
from this site.

News Headlines & Trends

04.01.07 UK embassy in Tehran hit by violent protest

April 1 – Iranian students threw rocks and firecrackers at the British Embassy in central Tehran today during a rowdy protest over 16 detained sailors and Marines. Witnesses reported hearing up to eight small blasts and seeing smoke rising from inside the Embassy compound but a spokesman for the Foreign Office said that nobody had been hurt and nothing was damaged during the protest.

Reports from the Iranian capital were confused but at least 200 students and hardliners staged a rowdy protest outside the Embassy, throwing rocks and firecrackers, although they were prevented by police from entering the compound. A report that they also threw petrol bombs could not be confirmed.

04.01.07 UK: Armed forces' suicides surpass combat deaths

April 1 – More servicemen and women have committed suicide over the past two decades than have died in military action, according to new figures. The latest death toll for those in the armed forces who have taken their own lives has risen to 687 compared with 438 killed during active service in major conflicts such as the Gulf, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. [More>>]

04.01.07 Suicide raid on Afghan army kills 4 children

KABUL (Reuters) April 1 – Four children were killed in a suicide bomb attack on an Afghan army convoy in the east of the country on Sunday, police said, while Taleban guerrillas hanged three men after accusing them of spying for British troops. With the approach of spring, violence has surged in Afghanistan in recent weeks, following the bloodiest period last year since the Talebanıs ouster from power in 2001. [More>>]

04.01.07 Egypt reports 3rd bird flu case in 1 day

CAIRO, March 31 – The Egyptian Health Ministry Saturday said a new human bird flu case was discovered in northern Egypt, which was the third case reported in this populous nation in one day, the official news agency MENA reported. Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman Abdel-Rahman Shahin said the new case, a 4-year-old girl named Mariam Abdel-Fattah, was founded in Qalyubiya governorate, about 40 km north of Cairo. Shahin said Abdel-Fattah was admitted to hospital with high temperature after exposure to infected birds, adding that she was receiving the antiviral drug Tamiflu and her condition was stable. Earlier in the day, Egypt announced two human bird flu cases. One was a four-year-old boy and the other seven-year-old boy. [More>>]

Note: "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles," record in the year A.D. 671 "This year happened that great destruction among the fowls." In A.D.664 it records "...This same year there was a great plague in the island Britain..." One may wonder whether Britain saw the bird flu then.
Mel Copeland

03.31.07 UK voices concern at Iran 'sabre-rattling'

BREMEN, Germany (Reuters) March 31 – Britain said on Saturday it was concerned at Iranian "sabre-rattling" about possibly putting captured British naval personnel on trial and for the first time voiced regret that the incident had occurred. Iran's ambassador to Moscow was quoted as saying the 15 Britons captured eight days ago may face trial for illegally entering the Islamic Republic's territorial waters. But he later denied having made the comments, Iran's IRNA news agency said. Britain insists the sailors were seized in Iraqi waters and Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said such talk worried her. "Obviously, I am concerned. It is not the first person to have made sabre-rattling noises," she told reporters after a European Union foreign ministers' meeting in Germany. [More>> ; See related stories,, March 31, "Moscow calls for UN probe into capture of UK seamen by Iran." : MOSCOW, March 30 (RIA Novosti – The United Nations secretariat should conduct an independent investigation into the detention of 15 British seamen by Iran, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Friday. "Taking into account that the British side insists that its servicemen were fulfilling their UN Security Council mandate, we believe the UN Secretariat should prepare an independent report on the incident shortly," the ministry said following a meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Yakovenko and British Ambassador to Russia Tony Brenton..., March 31, "Iran army chief warns of Israeli 'suicide attack' " : TEHERAN - A top Iranian army official warned Arab states neighbouring Israel against a ³Zionist suicide attack² in the summer, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Saturday. "The Zionists plan to carry out a suicide plot in the summer," it quoted Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, Iranıs armed forces joint chief of staff, as saying. "I warn Islamic brothers and leaders in countries neighbouring the occupied land that they are seriously threatened by this Zionist suicide attack," the general said. He predicted that an Israeli attack would start from Lebanon and Syria and proceed to Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia..., March 31, "Iran: Decision to withhold information due to fear of US, Israeli attack" : Iran is blaming the US and Israel for its decision to withhold information from the outside world on its nuclear program, saying in a confidential letter obtained Friday that their alleged war mongering led it to curtail cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency..., March 31, "Death chants in Tehran voice resentment of 'the little Satan' " : Ahmad Khatami, Tehran's thickset leader of Friday prayers, gesticulated in the air as he rebuked Britain. The thousands of people sitting before him are regime loyalists, representing the fifth of Iranians who always vote conservative. A thundering salavat, an invocation of God, his prophet and the imams, greeted Mr. Khatami's more robust statements, followed by chants of "Death to America! Death to England!" As the crowd poured out, the worshippers expressed their defiance and anger at America's smaller ally, nicknamed "the little Satan" ...

03.31.07 Olmert talks of 'comprehensive peace' with Arabs

March 31 – Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, yesterday held out the prospect that Israel could make a "comprehensive peace" with its Arab neighbors – including the Palestinians – "within five years." Mr. Olmert, struggling to keep politically afloat after the Lebanon war, used a series of upbeat interviews ahead of the Passover holiday to extend a positive, if heavily qualified, welcome to this week's Arab League Summit in Riyadh. The Riyadh summit sought to relaunch the five-year-old, Saudi-inspired Beirut initiative promising pan-Arab recognition of Israel in return for a two-state solution, based on a withdrawal to 1967 borders. [More>>]

03.31.07 'Country being secularized in enlightenment name,' says Fazi

LAHORE, Pakistan, March 31 – Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Maulana Fazlur Rehman said Saturday that in the name of enlightenment, the conspiracies are being hatched to make the country secular; the people and ulema would foil these attempts. According to a statement issued here from the Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) office, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) would speed up its struggle within and without the parliament for the promulgation of Nizam-e-Mustafa.

The opposition leader said that capitalistic and feudal systems are stumbling blocks in the way of the promulgation of the Islamic system. The country is faced with a myriad of crises and the promulgation of Nizam-e-Mustafa presents solution to all these problems; MMA is putting up a great effort for it, he added.
[> ; See related story,, March 30, "Scores killed in Pakistan clashes."]

03.31.07 Maoists attack police station in Bihar

SITAMARHI, Bihar (PTI) March 31 – Over 400 rebels of the banned CPI-Maoist blew up a bridge, laid siege to a block office and a police station and engaged policemen in a fierce gun battle at Riga in Bihar's Sitamarhi district. Superintendent of Police M R R Nair said more than 400 rebels blew up a bridge near Dheng, snapping road links with Riga, and marched towards the block office and police station. They later exchanged fire with commandos of the Bihar Military Police (BMP) and Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) posted at the police station. [More>>]

03.31.07 Civilian deaths mount in Mogadishu

March 31 – Violence has continued in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, for a third day, in what the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has called "the worst fighting in more than 15 years." Corpses lay in the streets on Saturday, as ongoing fighting and mortar fire made it difficult to retrieve bodies or tally the dead. Residents said hundreds were believed to have been killed across the city of one million people. [More>>]

3.31.07 Two infected with bird flu in Egypt

March 31 – Two more children from impoverished southern Egypt have been infected with the deadly avian flu virus, raising to 31 the number of cases reported. Ibrahim Mahmud Helmi, 4, from Qena and Mahmud Mohammed Shalabi from Sohag, both poor provinces in the Nile valley, were diagnosed with the flu and transferred to Cairo for treatment. Their cases come hard on the heels of reports of two other children stricken on Tuesday, making for at least half a dozen infections of children in the south by the H5N1 virus in March. [More>> ; See related stories,, March 31, "Two more Indonesians die of bird flu." and, March 31, "Kuwait culls 1.5 million birds to fight bird flu."]

03.28.07 Space fireball just misses jetliner

SANTIAGO, Chile, March 28 – Pilots of a Chilean commercial aircraft approaching the Auckland airport in New Zealand said they spotted flaming space debris falling past their jet, the LAN Chile airline reported Wednesday. The airline said in a brief communique that the pilot, who was not identified, "made visual contact with incandescent fragments several kilometers away" on Monday.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on its Web site that pieces of a Russian satellite had narrowly missed the jet. It quoted New Zealand aviation authorities as saying that they had been warned by Russian officials two weeks ago that orbiting debris would be entering the atmosphere, but that the Russians had apparently miscalculated the entry time.

The reference to the Russians may have been linked to the scheduled atmospheric re-entry of an unmanned Progress cargo ship. The craft was cast off from the international space station on Tuesday, in preparation for next month's arrival of a crew aboard a fresh Soyuz spaceship. However, the Russian space agency said the Progress was jettisoned on schedule, well after the reported fireball, and the coordinates for that re-entry did not match up with reports from the LAN Chile crew.

03.28.07 UK asks Security Council to back call on Iran to release troops

March 29 – Britain asked the UN Security Council on Wednesday to support a call for the immediate release of 15 sailors and marines captured by Iran, council diplomats said. South Africa's UN Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, the current council president, said Britain had circulated a press statement to the 14 other council members which would be discussed on Thursday. The statement says the 15 sailors and marines were operating in Iraqi waters, under a mandate from the Security Council and at the request of Iraq, and supports calls for their immediate release, according to council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the text was not released. [More>>]

Editorial note: A "UN mandated mission" involves the spectre of Iran's act of war against the United Nations. Such acts in previous times resulted in the First Iraq War under Bush I, and the Korean War. This seems to be the signal now being sent to Iran, together with the increased presence of aircraft carriers off Iran's coast. A report early in the week said that the carrier force was accompanied by a French warship.

Mel Copeland

03.28.07 How Britons were conned by Iranian gunboat trick

March 29 – The speed and cunning shown by the Revolutionary Guards suggests that their action was premeditated. The British sailors and marines being held by Iran were ambushed at their most vulnerable moment, while climbing down the ladder of a merchant ship and trying to get into their bobbing inflatables. Out of sight of their warship and without any helicopter cover, their only link to their commanders was a communications device beaming their position by satellite. That went dead as they were captured. One theory is that it was thrown overboard to prevent the Iranians getting hold of the equipment and the information it contained. The Ministry of Defence released the coordinates of the searched vessel yesterday to prove that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards made an unprovoked and improper attack in Iraqi waters. [More>> ; See also, March 29, "Blair and Bush vent anger at Iran's TV footage of hostages." and, March 24, "Diplomatic battle stepped up over sailors held by Iran" : ...An unnamed foreign ministry official was quoted by state television accusing the sailors and Marines of a "blatant aggression into Iranian territorial waters." The developments coincide with United Nations deliberations over possible sanctions against Iran over its refusal to abandon work on producing enriched uranium needed to build a bomb. But plans for Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to address the UN Security Council in New York today were cancelled amid claims - denied by the US - that visas had been obstructed.

The naval boarding party was taken at gunpoint by the Iranians after carrying out a routine search of a large cargo dhow which they suspected of smuggling in the northern Persian Gulf. The US 5th Fleet, which operates with British forces off Iraq, said the capture was carried out by Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval forces off the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway which divides Iran and Iraq. The US Navy said later that the Iranians radioed the British to say no harm had come to the sailors and that they were seized because they were in Iranian waters...The seizure of the boarding party carried echoes of an incident in June 2004 when a party of eight Marines and sailors were held for three days after being seized by the Iranians in the Shatt al-Arab. The then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said the group - paraded blindfold on Iranian TV - had been "forcibly escorted" by the Iranians into Iranian territorial waters...

03.28.07 Saudi king slams 'illegitimate occupation' of Iraq

RIYADH (AFP) March 28 – Saudi King Abdullah, whose country is a close US ally, slammed Wednesday the "illegitimate foreign occupation" of Iraq in an opening speech to the annual Arab summit in Riyadh. UPDATE: The White House insisted Wednesday that King Abdullah was wrong to say the US military presence in Iraq is an "illegitimate foreign occupation."

"The United States is in Iraq at the request of the Iraqis and under a United Nations mandate. Any suggestion to the contrary is wrong," said National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe. US State Department spokesman Tom Casey stressed that the Security Council had several times renewed its mandate for the US presence in Iraq. "There is no question in our mind that our forces are there in a legal and legitimate capacity in every sense of the word," Casey said.

03.28.07 Bush offers Putin olive branch over shield – Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) March 28 – US President George W. Bush offered on Wednesday to give Moscow a detailed explanation of his plans for an anti-missile shield in Europe, the Kremlin said, as Washington tried to cool Russian anger over the scheme. Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the planned shield in a telephone conversation on the day the Czech Prime Minister said he was opening talks with the United States on hosting part of the missile defence system. [More>>]

03.28.07 Antartic ice sheet thinning – scientists

HOUSTON, Texas (Reuters) March 29 – Apiece of the Antarctic ice sheet the size of Texas is thinning, possibly due to global warming, and could cause the world's oceans to rise significantly, polar ice experts say. They said "surprisingly rapid changes" were occurring in Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, which faces the southern Pacific Ocean, but that more study was needed to know how fast it was melting and how much it could cause the sea level to rise.

The warning came in a joint statement issued at the end of a conference of US and European polar ice experts at the University of Texas in Austin. The scientists blamed the melting ice on changing winds around Antarctica that they said were causing warmer waters to flow beneath ice shelves. The wind change appeared to be the result of several factors, including global warming, ozone depletion in the atmosphere and natural variability.
[More>> ; see also related stories:, March 27, "Common fungicide causes long-term changes in mating behavior" : Female rats avoid males whose great-grandmothers were exposed to a common fruit crop fungicide, preferring instead males whose ancestors were uncontaminated, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have discovered. Their research shows that environmental contamination could affect the evolution of wildlife through changes in mating behavior..., March 29, "Study: Dinosaur demise does not spur species" : The big dinosaur extinction of 65 million years ago didn't produce a flurry of new species in the ancestry of modern mammals after all, according to a new huge study that challenges a keystone theory about life in Thursday's issue the Nature. Scientists who constructed a massive evolutionary family tree for mammals found no sign of such a burst of new species at that time among the ancestors of present-day animals. Only mammals with no modern-day descendants showed that effect.

"I was flabbergasted," said study coauthor Ross MacPhee, curator of vertebrate zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. At the time of the dinosaur demise, mammals were small, ranging in size between shrews and cats. The long-held view has been that once the dinosaurs were gone, mammals were suddenly free to exploit new food sources and habitats, and as a result they produced a burst of new species. The new study says that happened to some extent, but that the new species led to evolutionary dead ends. In contrast, no such burst was found for the ancestors of modern-day mammals like rodents, cats, horses, elephants and people. Instead, they showed an initial burst between 100 million about 85 million years ago, with another between about 55 million and 35 million year ago, researchers reported. [More>>], March 29, "Retreating Himalayan icefields threatening drought in Bangladesh." : Notorious for its annual floods, Bangladesh may seem the last place in the world to worry about a drying up of the rivers that flow from the Himalayas. But the country is as much at risk from drought as it is from flooding. Already farmers who used to grow rice have turned to farming prawns because the water in their fields has turned so salty nothing will grow there...

03.28.07 Islamic financing draws interest from Asia

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 – The rising price of crude oil is allowing oil-producing Muslim nations to flex their economic muscle, while their capital is estimated to have swelled to more than $12.5 trillion. Islamic nations' mutual fund capital pool now exceeds $300 billion, and the aggregate value of their sovereign and corporate Sukuk, Arabic for Islamic bonds, has reached $50 billion. According to the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Center, the global market capitalization of the Dow Jones Islamic Index has now exceeded $10 billion.

"Islamic private capital investments, especially among the Middle East's high net worth individuals, are now at $1.5 trillion and are expected to reach $2 trillion by 2010," the MIFC said. "Today, Islamic finance represents multi-billion dollar industries, and has a presence in many countries, and more recently, there has been widening participation by established financial centers," Prime Minister Badawi of Malaysia said yesterday at the Global Islamic Financial Forum currently being held in Kuala Lumpur. "There are more than 200 Islamic financial institutions, some of which are global players, offering an extensive range of Shariah compliant products and services to a broad spectrum of consumers and businesses that transcend beyond the Muslim world," he added.

03.28.07 Luxury paid public toilet at Akihabara draws crowds

TOKYO, March 29 – A luxury paid public toilet built at the new Akihabara shopping district in Tokyo is doing good business, drawing more than 30,000 customers in just half a year. The toilet, which has 160 square meters of floor space and features changing rooms and a computer corner with access to the Internet, is said to be popular with both tourists and trendy youths. [More>>]

03.28.07 San Francisco bans plastic shopping bags

March 29 – San Francisco has become the first American city to ban plastic bags from large supermarkets and chemists' shops – attracting the applause of environmentalists but also scepticism from business owners and many heartland Americans who feel that the quintessential "Left Coast" city has once again dived off the deep end. San Francisco's board of supervisors – the equivalent of a city council – voted 10 to 1 in favour of the ban, which would oblige supermarkets with annual turnover of more than $2m (£1m) to implement the change within six months and pharmacies with more than five outlets to do so within a year.

The bill's sponsors hope to see a major switch to biodegradable, compostable plastic made from corn starch as opposed to the most prevalent current kind made from oil products. Some critics worry, however, that supermarkets will resort instead to paper, which will impact the environment in a different way because of it will require more trees to be chopped down.
[More>> ]

03.28.07 Britons seized inside Iraqi waters, says MoD

March 28 – The 15 British service personnel captured by Iran were well within Iraqi territorial waters when they were seized, the Ministry of Defence said today. At a briefing in London, the MoD said it "unambiguously contested" claims from Tehran that the UK vessel carrying the sailors and marines had strayed into Iranian waters. Vice Admiral Charles Style told reporters the craft was in fact 1.7 nautical miles inside the Iraqi part of the Shatt al Arab waterway, which forms the border between the two countries. Admiral Style said the Iranians gave two different positions for the Royal Navy boarding party – the first inside Iraqi territorial waters. And he said the party had been "ambushed" after the search of their vessel and that their detention was "unjustified and wrong." [More>> ; See also, March 28, "Blair: Time to increase pressure on Iran to release navy crew."]

03.28.07 'Reagonomics' pioneer faces jail term for fraud

March 28 – Once he was the poster child of "Reaganomics," the workaholic whizz-kid who masterminded the trickle-down, supply side economic revolution launched by the 40th US President, before he spectacularly fell into disgrace with his boss. Now, however, David Stockman risks a far greater disgrace: conviction and a prison term for fraud, false accounting and obstruction of justice in the downfall of the car components company he ran before it went bankrupt in 2005. That strange circle was completed on Monday as Mr. Stockman, 60,and three fellow defendants surrendered to a federal court in Manhattan. There, they entered not-guilty pleas to charges that carry a maximum of 30 years in jail.

The alleged offences relate to the management of Collins & Aikman, which was acquired in 2001 by Heartland Industrial Partners, a private equity firm founded by Mr. Stockman. Four years later, Collins & Aikman went bankrupt, brought down, as Mr. Stockman claims, by the larger crisis engulfing the Detroit car-makers that were its prime clients. Mr. Stockman and his codefendants are accused of duping potential lenders into committing funds into a failing Collins & Aikman by cooking its books to make it look much sounder than it was.
[More >>]

Editorial note: History has a tendency to record trends, and the allegations relevant to Stockman shed light on the Republican ethics begun with Reagan. At the time, during my 2 1/2 year correspondence with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. (Firing Line Debate, National Review magazine), Ronald Reagan introduced America to the concept of a presidency running a government with a credit card mentality – nefariously duping Americans in the belief that "only our children have to pay for the debt." The Reagan / Bush regime doubled the US national debt during their terms of office, using the false thesis of "Reaganomics," which was another version of the failed program called "trickle-down economics," introduced by President Hoover. In the 1930's, as has been evidenced today, giving more money to the rich only results in the rich getting richer. The Reagan-Bush estates have once again demonstrated the failure of trickle-down economics. That the author of Reagan's economic assault on the American system is charged with corruption is no surprise. My conversation – that of a liberal with the "patron saint of the Republicans" – with Buckley was recorded in a work, "Duty & Profit." The argument in Duty & Profit was founded on the belief that the US National Debt was sinking this country (as the Titanic taking on water). One of the effects of irresponsible borrowing to fund our government is discovered in the rise of mortgage rates. Those who have lost their homes because of rising interest rates can thank the Federal Reserve who raise rates to sell bonds to pay the interest on the national debt. Interest on the national debt is the largest single expense in the US budget. I argued to Mr. Buckley that Americans have been paying the rich interest on our national debt and the rich pocket the money and don't share it with us. Defense used to be the major expense in the US budget. In earlier times that was a worthwhile expense, but the current Bush administration has cast some doubts as to who is benefited through defense expenditures as well. Bush and his cohort Cheney are accused of launching a war in Iraq for oil (money). The Stockman story only provides a wrap on the overall corruption of the recent Republican administrations.

Mel Copeland

03.28.07 Israel should accept Arab plan or face 'lords of war'

LONDON (AFP) March 28 – Israel will be at the mercy of the "lords of war" if it does not accept an Arab proposal to recognize its existence in exchange for its withdrawal to pre-1967 borders, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said in an interview published Wednesday. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Prince Saud Al Faisal also dismissed the prospect of any further diplomatic overtures to Israel. "What we have the power to do in the Arab world, we think we have done," Saud told the Telegraph from Riyadh, where a two-day summit aiming to revive the dormant peace plan opens Wednesday. [More>> ; See, March 28, "Accept peace plan or face war, Israel told."]

03.28.07 Kabul suicide attack 'kills four'

March 28 – Four people have been killed and 12 wounded after a Taliban suicide bombing near Afghan security force vehicles in the center of the capital, Kabul. The blast targeted Kamaludin Khan Achikzay, an intelligence director who was driving to work, according to a statement by the Afghan intelligence services. Achikzay was unhurt by the bombing. [More>>]

03.28.07 Gunmen kill 45 Iraqis after deadly bombings

MOSUL (AFP) March 28 – Forty-five Iraqi men were shot dead execution-style in the northern town of Tal Afar in reprisal attacks for two devastating bombings that killed 75 people, a medic said on Wednesday. "We received 45 bodies of handcuffed and blindfolded men from Al Wahada neighborhood overnight. They were killed yesterday just after the bomb," a doctor at Tal Afar hospital told AFP on condition of anonymity. The Iraqi army has slapped a strict curfew on the town, deployed armored vehicles in downtown Tal Afar and banned even police from moving, an army officer said, also on condition of anonymity. The bodies were found in the Sunni area of Wahada after a massive suicide truck bombing ripped through a Shiite district of the town on Tuesday, one of two bombings that left a total of 75 people dead. [More>> ; See also, March 28, "Iraqi police arrested after 50 men 'executed.']

03.28.07 Bird flu kills three, raising death toll to 69

JAKARTA (AP) March 28 – Three Indonesians died of bird flu, the health minister confirmed Wednesday, raising the country's death toll to 69. "Local tests for three patients came back positive," Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari told reporters. A 22-year-old woman died Saturday in Southern Sumatra's city of Palembang, followed by a 15-year-old boy Sunday in the West Java town of Bandung, and a 40-year-old man early Wednesday in East Java's capital of Surabaya, said Nyoman Kandun, a seniorhealth ministry official. Bird flu has killed at least 169 people since it began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in 2003, hitting Indonesia the hardest, according to WHO. [More>>]

03.28.07 Howard rules out climate measures that cost jobs

March 28 – Prime Minister John Howard has guaranteed that no coal miners will lose their jobs as a result of measures used to cut greenhouse emissions, standing firm in the face of fresh calls to adopt clean coal technology. Former World Bank chief economist Sir Nicholas Stern, author of the world's most comprehensive report on climate change, said today that Australia – as a rich country – needed to take a lead on dealing with damaging climate change.

Australia could be a global leader on international action and help rid the world of the problem of "free riders," Sir Nicholas told Canberra's National Press Club. Sir Nicholas made global headlines last year following the release of his report for the British Government, which estimated that the cost of inaction on addressing climate change could be up to 20 times greater than the costs of early action estimated at about 1 per cent of global wealth.

03.27.07 The accidental candidate – Vanity Fair's flashback of an article October 2000

(April 2007 issue) George W. Bush's dream job has always been baseball commissioner. So why is he running for president? Try a father's heartbreak, a mother's revenge, and the blindly competitive streak that has surfaced whenever failure loomed: at school, in business, at home, or, now, in the biggest game of his life.

by Gail Sheehy

October 2000 – The Miami Air charter belches ominously before takeoff from La Guardia to Detroit in late June. The pilot mumbles something about a compressor stall, "nothing to be alarmed about." After a 20-minute delay, it is Governor George Bush himself who saunters down the aisle toward the press section. He rolls back on his heels and throws his hands up in the air. "Haaay, don't worry about it." Big grin. "This is the optimistic campaign."

He leans against a reporter's seat with one hand poised on his hip, confident, handsome, infectiously informal, full of energy and benign mischief. His face is a constant play of expressions, most of them clownish or mocking. "Anybody got any questions?"

"I do," I call out, raising my hand.

"Nooo real questions." He thrusts out his hands in halt mode. "Just chatting." And he launches into a marathon of small talk for over an hour. Bush knows full well the value of cultivating the press. He has a little tease for each reporter: "Hey, are you gonna give me glass half full or half empty?" Or "What about you—will you be stalkin' me, too?" It's a more jolly campaign than most. Bush sets the tone: "We're like a little old travelin' family—the whole experience."

A day later, flying from Cleveland to Austin, I ask Bush if he has any reaction to the new "civil union" law upheld by the Vermont Supreme Court allowing gays the rights and responsibilities of married couples.

"I missed that," he says. "Is that like gay marriage?" He wrinkles his nose.

...Once, after his mother banished him from the golf course, she turned to Hannah and declared, "That boy is going to have optical rectosis." What did that mean? "She said, 'A shitty outlook on life.' " Even if he loses, his friends say, he doesn't lose. He'll just change the score, or change the rules, or make his opponent play until he can beat him.
[Full story>>]

03.27.07 Senate signals support for Iraq timeline

WASHINGTON (AP) March 27 – The Democratic-controlled Senate narrowly signaled support Tuesday for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by next March, triggering an instant veto threat from the White House in a deepening dispute between Congress and commander in chief. Republican attempts to scuttle the nonbinding timeline failed, 50-48, largely along party lines.

The vote marked the Senate's most forceful challenge to date of the administration's handling of a war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,200 U.S. troops. It came days after the House approved a binding withdrawal deadline of Sept. 1, 2008, and increased the likelihood of a veto confrontation this spring.

03.27.07 Truck bombs kill 63 Iraqis in Tal Afar

BAGHDAD (CBS/AP) March 27 – Two truck bombs struck markets in Tal Afar on Tuesday, killing at least 63 people and wounding 150, and suspected Sunni insurgents tried to ambush ambulances carrying the dozens of wounded in the second attack on the predominantly Shiite city in four days. The bombings in Tal Afar, about 90 miles from the Syrian border, highlighted the resurgent violence in a city President George W. Bush held out as a symbol of US success a year ago. [More>>]

03.27.07 Suicide car bomb kills 17

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) – March 27 – A suicide car bomb exploded outside a restaurant frequented by Iraqi police on a main road north of Ramadi, killing 17 people and wounding dozens more today, a source at Ramadi hospital said. The source said a high-ranking police officer was among the many policemen killed and wounded in the blast. The blast targeted an area where local Sunni Arab tribes have taken a stand against al-Qaeda, the latest in a string of such attacks in the western province of Anbar in recent months. US commanders say police and army recruitment in Anbar has risen sharply in Anbar since several tribes agreed to back efforts to fight al-Qaeda in the mainly Sunni Arab province that has been a hotbed of the anti-American insurgency. [> ; See also, March 27, "Car bomb kills Iraq police."]

03.27.07 Iraq law to lift ban on Baathists

March 27 – The Iraqi government plans to bring in a new law to allow former members of ex-president Saddam Hussein's Baath party to return to official posts. The law creates a three-month period for the ex-members to be challenged, after which they will be immune from prosecution over the Saddam era. If ratified, it will replace the de-Baathification programme that was created to eject key party members. The US has long argued the new law is needed to win over minority Sunnis. [More>>]

03.27.07 Sewage 'tsunami' kills 4 in Gaza

UMM AL NASR, Gaza Strip (AFP) March 27 – At least four Palestinians drowned in a tsunami of raw sewage Tuesday when a water treatment reservoir burst, flooding a village in the northern Gaza Strip. The deluge, triggered by the collapse of a septic system that aid organizations had long warned was dangerously overburdened, submerged dozens of homes in the Bedouin farming village of Umm Al Nasr beneath a cesspool of foul-smelling effluent. Two women, one more than 70 years old, and two toddlers aged one and two died in the flood. Fifteen people were injured and scores more are still missing, according to Palestinian medics. [More>>]

03.27.07 Moscow warns US Iran policy may spark 'clash of civilizations'

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) March 27 – Moscow urges the United States to avoid escalating tensions around Iran over its nuclear program as it could lead to a "clash of civilizations," the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. Washington has been pushing for tougher international sanctions against Iran, which it suspects of pursuing a nuclear weapons program. The UN Security Council passed a new resolution Saturday introducing further sanctions on Iran. "The international community should not risk escalating the situation around Iran and should wait for the US to make a good-faith effort to normalize relations with Tehran," the Foreign Ministry said in a foreign policy review signed by the president. [More>> ; See related stories:

msnbc.msn, March 27, "US launches show of force in Persian Gulf.", March 27, "PM warns of 'different phase' in Iran crisis.' ", March 27, "US long worried that Iran supplied arms in Iraq" : More than 20 months ago, the United States secretly sent Iran a diplomatic protest charging that Tehran was supplying lethal roadside explosive devices to Shiite extremists in Iraq, according to American officials familiar with the message. The July 19, 2005, protest — blandly titled "Message from the United States to the Government of Iran" — informed the Iranians that a British soldier had been killed by one of the devices in Maysan Province in eastern Iraq.

The complaint said that the Shiite militants who planted the device had longstanding ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran, and that the Revolutionary Guards and Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia had been training Iraqi Shiite insurgents in Iran and supplying them with bomb-making equipment. "We will continue to judge Iran by its actions in Iraq," the protest added.

Iran flatly denied the charges in a diplomatic reply it sent the following month, and it continues to deny any role in the supply of the lethal weapons. But the confidential exchange foreshadowed the more public confrontation between the Bush administration and Iran that has been unfolding since December...

03.27.07 Ordinary customers flagged as terrorists

March 27 – Private businesses such as rental and mortgage companies and car dealers are checking the names of customers against a list of suspected terrorists and drug traffickers made publicly available by the Treasury Department, sometimes denying services to ordinary people whose names are similar to those on the list.

The Office of Foreign Asset Control's list of "specially designated nationals" has long been used by banks and other financial institutions to block financial transactions of drug dealers and other criminals. But an executive order issued by President Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has expanded the list and its consequences in unforeseen ways. Businesses have used it to screen applicants for home and car loans, apartments and even exercise equipment, according to interviews and a report by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area to be issued today.

"The way in which the list is being used goes far beyond contexts in which it has a link to national security," said Shirin Sinnar, the report's author. "The government is effectively conscripting private businesses into the war on terrorism but doing so without making sure that businesses don't trample on individual rights."

03.27.07 Exclusive: Parents buying body armor for children after teen murders

LONDON, March 27 – Scores of worried parents are buying body armor for their children in a desperate attempt to keep them safe as street violence escalates. A firm that supplies stab- and bullet-proof vests to government agencies around the world has sold 60 jackets, at a cost of between £300 to £425, to concerned parents who have flooded the company with inquiries after several murders of teenagers on London streets. The company has received more than 100 calls from parents in the capital over the past few weeks. The company, VestGuard UK, usually gets one or two calls of this type per year. The fatal stabbings of Adam Regis, killed three days after 16-year-old Kodjo Yenga, are the latest in a series of violent incidents involving teenagers in recent months. [More>>]

03.27.07 Darfur aid relief 'close to collapse,' UN chief warns

March 27 – Aid relief for Darfur's displaced millions is on the brink of collapse, the UN's new humanitarian chief has warned. Sir John Holmes, on a trip to Sudan's troubled Darfur region, told The Independent that attacks on aid workers had reached new levels. He warned that one more major security incident could lead to aid agencies pulling out. "Then we will have a catastrophe on our hands," he said.

Sir John, who took over from Jan Egeland as the UN emergency relief co-ordinator at the beginning of the month, said morale among humanitarian workers in Darfur was "very low." Sudan is increasingly reluctant to issue visas for international aid workers, while those in Darfur are increasingly subjected to attacks from the government-backed Janjaweed militia and rebel groups alike.

03.27.07 Australian group captures 'monster' toad the size of a small dog

DARWIN, Australia (AP) March 27 – An environmental group dedicated to wiping out a toxic toad species that has killed countless Australian animals said Tuesday it has captured a "monster" specimen the size of a small dog. The volunteer-run organization, Frogwatch, picked up the 40-centimeter-long (15-inch-long) cane toad during a raid on a pond outside the northern city of Darwin late Monday. With a body the size of a football and weighing nearly 1 kilogram (2 pounds), the "monster toad'' is among the largest specimens ever captured in Australia, according to Frogwatch coordinator Graeme Sawyer. "It's huge, to put it mildly," he said. "The biggest toads are usually females but this one was a rampant male ... I would hate to meet his big sister."

Cane toads were imported from South America during the 1930s in a failed attempt to control beetles on Australia's northern sugar cane plantations. The poisonous toads have proven fatal to Australia's delicate ecosystems, killing millions of native animals from snakes to the small crocodiles that eat them. As part of its so-called "Toad Buster" project, Frogwatch conducts regular raids on local water holes, blinding the toads with bright lights then scooping them up by the dozen.

03.27.07 UAE and India look to future

NEW DELHI, March 27— If the UAE and India join forces and work together, there can be no doubt that they will be Number 1 in many spheres. This was the emphatic message His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, delivered in the Indian capital yesterday, while addressing the captains of the Indian business and industry...The visiting UAE leader, who was accompanied by a high-level delegation of UAE ministers, top business leaders and others, also underlined the fact that the ³fulcrum of power² now seems to be shifting to the region. And, he added, there should also be no doubt that when the UAE and India join hands in any sphere of common interest, they will be a new power to reckon with. [Full story>>]

03.26.07 Al Qaeda leader, two aides arrested in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, March 26 – Iraqi security forces on Monday confirmed the arrest of an Al Qaeda leader and two of his aides in western Baghdad, according to a report by the Voices of Iraq news agency. A force from 3rd Brigade raided Abu Ghraib area and arrested Ahmad Farhan and two of his close associates last Tuesday,ı Baghdad security plan spokesman Qassem Atta told a press conference in the city.

Atta played video footage showing Farhan, an emir (leader) of the international terrorist network, confessing to his ties with a wanted man called Abu Omar Al Baghdadi. "I receive support from Syria and Jordan and have got four groups with an emir and 25 members for each," Farhan said in the videotaped confession. Atta said Farhan acknowledged his direct responsibility for 300 killings and 200 kidnappings, adding 17 hostages were freed and four kidnappers were arrested in Abu Ghraib.

03.26.07 Senator Clinton says she would support another attempt for Universal health care

March 26 – Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., participated in "Good Morning America's" town hall in Iowa this morning with anchor Robin Roberts. She took questions from Iowans and people from across the country on issues like health care and veteran's care. This is what she said.

The War in Iraq

Clinton began the session by answering questions on the Iraq War.

: Today, the Senate is set to debate a measure that would call for withdrawing America's combat troops from Iraq. And, in a historic vote, the House of Representatives Friday passed a bill that called for American troops to be out of Iraq by the end of the summer 2008. You've said that if this president doesn't end the war, if you are president you will. Would you sign such a bill if you were president?

Clinton: Yes, I'm hoping that we can get it passed in the Senate...We're working very hard to persuade our Republican colleagues to start this path toward getting out of Iraq...Perhaps [the president will] work with us to extricate us from Iraq...If I were president, I would certainly work with Congress to do that. [More>>]

03.26.07 Police arrest another terror suspect; seize 12.5 kilograms explosives

SURABAYA, Indonesia, March 26 – Police Monday arrested a terror suspect and seized 12.5 kilograms of TNT, explosive material, in a house in the second largest Indonesian city of Surabaya, East Java. MetroTV television reported that Achmad Sahrul Umam alias Khoirul was arrested in a crowded residential area on Jl. Simo Gunung Baru Jaya Blok D III/74 in the provincial capital of Surabaya.

Neighbors of Khoirul said that they never thought that Khoirul was a member of terror group. Last week, the police also found more than 500 kilograms of explosive materials, hundreds of bullets, and dozens of firearms in Central Java town of Sidoharjo, Central Java. The police also killed one suspected terrorist and detained several others both in Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces.

03.26.07 Iran limits cooperation with IAEA after sanctions

TEHRAN (Reuters) March 26 – Iran said on Sunday it would limit cooperation with the UN's nuclear watchdog and vowed not to halt its atomic programme "even for one second" following new financial and arms sanctions. The UN Security Council unanimously approved the sanctions on Saturday for Tehran's refusal to suspend its programme, but major powers also offered new talks and renewed an economic and technological incentive package offer.

An Iranian government spokesman said Iran would limit its cooperation with the UN watchdog, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, in retaliation. "Iran will not stop its peaceful and legal nuclear trend even for one second because of such an illegal resolution," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on his Web site "The Iranian nation will not forget those who backed and those who rejected (the resolution), while adjusting its international relations," he said without indicating what that adjustment in ties would entail.

03.26.07 China, Venezuela to advance mutually beneficial energy cooperation

CARACAS (Xinhua) March 25 – China focuses on achieving mutual benefits when carrying out economic cooperation with Venezuela, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) said here Sunday. Li Changchun, who flew in here for a goodwill visit to Venezuela Sunday afternoon, paid a visit to the office of CNPC America Ltd. in Venezuela immediately after his arrival in Caracas. After listening to a briefing about the company's operation in Venezuela and in other parts of the world, Li said Chinese companies should procede from the win-win principle of mutual benefits to carry out economic cooperation outside China. He called for the Chinese companies to help their host countries develop resources, promote employment and develop social welfare. Li especially asked CNPC to elevate the level of cooperation by introducing advanced technology and equipment to Venezuela. [More>>]

03.26.07 We will go ahead with Iran project: India

NEW DELHI (PTI) March 26 – Ignoring US objections, India on Monday said it will go ahead with the proposed gas pipeline project with Iran. "Talks are going on. When I was in Iran, I had mentioned categorically that we are interested in the pipeline and negotiations on the pricing are going on," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told a TV channel. His response came when asked to comment on US objections to the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline.

US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, during a visit to New Delhi last week, had said Washington was opposed to India having the pipeline project with Iran as it was against his country's law. India has maintained that feasibility aspects like pricing and commercial viability will be the only factors guiding the trilateral project that is estimated to be of the tune of USD 7.4 billion.
[> ; See more details, , and related story,, March 26, "India, US in crucial talks on nuclear deal."]

03.26.07 Iran: If US starts war with us, it won''t be the one that finishes

(Reuters) March 26 – A senior Iranian military official warned the United States against launching any attack on the Islamic Republic, a news agency reported on Monday, two days after the United Nations imposed new sanctions on Iran. "If America starts a war against Iran, it won't be the one who finishes it," Morteza Saffari, naval forces commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency. "Our people will not even allow one American soldier to enter our country," Saffari said. International tension over Iran's disputed nuclear program has risen in recent days, sending oil and gold prices higher. The West suspects Iran is seeking to make atom bombs, a charge Tehran denies. [More>> ; See also, March 26, "Iran rebuffs Blair's plea for release of captives." and, March 26, "US troops 'would have fought Iranian captors' ": A senior American commander in the Gulf has said his men would have fired on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard rather than let themselves be taken hostage. In a dramatic illustration of the different postures adopted by British and US forces working together in Iraq, Lt-Cdr Erik Horner – who has been working alongside the task force to which the 15 captured Britons belonged – said he was "surprised" the British marines and sailors had not been more aggressive...

03.26.07 London asks Moscow to help release 15 sailors detained in Iran

RYAZAN (RIA Novosti) March 26 – Britain has asked Russia to help win the release of 15 sailors detained by Iranian authorities March 23 for allegedly entering Iranian waters. British Ambassador Anthony Brenton said his country is holding consultations with Russia on the issue and hopes the sailors will soon return, stressing that the UK is doing everything possible to secure their release. Brenton answered questions while participating in the presentation of a project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the Ryazan hydropower plant, which the UK supplied with special equipment. The British Ministry of Defense said Iran detained 15 Royal Navy sailors and marines from the HMS Cornwall in Iraqi territorial waters, which in accordance with a UN Security Council mandate under Resolution 1723 was inspecting ships in the Persian Gulf. [More>>]

03.26.07 Deadly weekend for US troops, Iraqis

BAGHDAD (CBS/AP) March 26 – Roadside bombs killed five US soldiers in Iraq on Sunday, including four in a single strike in a volatile province northeast of the capital, the military said. Four US soldiers were killed and two others were wounded, according to a statement, when an explosion struck their patrol in Diyala province, a religiously mixed area that has seen fierce fighting in recent months.

A roadside bomb also killed a soldier and wounded two others as they were checking for bombs on a road in northwestern Baghdad, the military said. Sunday's deaths raise to at least 3,239 the members of the US military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003 — 114 of those since the security operation started on Feb. 14, according to an Associated Press count. In comparison, 123 US troops deaths were reported in the 40 days preceding the start of the plan. Also Sunday, a senior security official and an aide to Iraq's Sunni deputy prime minister told the Associated Press that a suicide attack against the Sunni official on Friday was likely an inside job.
[More>> ; See also, March 26, "Bodyguard accused in failed hit on Iraq deputy PM."]

03.26.07 Amazon tribesman sue Texaco

March 26 – A landmark trial is unfolding in Ecuadorian Amazon, where a group of rainforest residents is suing Texaco for $6bn in oil clean-up costs. Texaco, now part of Chevron, admits to dumping 18 billion gallons of run-off while drilling for oil in the rainforest, but the company says it did so legally and according to industry standards. Environmentalists call it the worst oil-related disaster in the world – Texaco allegedly dumped 30 times the amount of crude spilled by the Exxon Valdez. Al Jazeera's Mariana Sanchez reports that the plaintiffs say the company left hundreds of dump sites, many of them unlined, and open-air pits that ooze toxic sludge into what was once pristine rainforest. [More>>]

03.26.07 Green giants join forces to fight carbon emissions

March 25 – Forty top British companies will next week launch an unprecedented campaign to shrink Britain's carbon footprint, by cutting their own energy use and trying to turn "green consumerism into a mass movement." They will introduce promotions and new products to make it easy for people to save energy and cut emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. And they will set a "Blue Peter style" target for the total amount of carbon dioxide to be saved by the campaign.

The initiative – to be launched by Tony Blair next month – aims to counter a widespread feeling of helplessness among people who want to act to combat climate change, but fear that any contribution they make will be too small to make any difference. It is being spearheaded by some of the country's best-known brands – including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, BSkyB, HSBC, the BBC, B&Q and 02, working with the Prime Minister's office, the National Consumer Council and the Church of England. Top businessmen – such as Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco, and James Murdoch, chief executive of BSkyB – are intimately involved.

03.26.07 Aged, frail and denied care by their insurers

CONRAD, Mont. March 26 – Mary Rose Derks was a 65-year-old widow in 1990, when she began preparing for the day she could no longer care for herself. Every month, out of her grocery fund, she scrimped together about $100 for an insurance policy that promised to pay eventually for a room in an assisted living home. On a May afternoon in 2002, after bouts of hypertension and diabetes had hospitalized her dozens of times, Mrs. Derks reluctantly agreed that it was time. She shed a few tears, watched her family pack her favorite blankets and rode to Beehive Homes, five blocks from her daughterıs farm equipment dealership.

At least, Mrs. Derks said at the time, she would not be a financial burden on her family. But when she filed a claim with her insurer, Conseco, it said she had waited too long. Then it said Beehive Homes was not an approved facility, despite its state license.

03.26.07 New home sales: slowest in 6 years

NEW YORK, March 26 – Sales of new homes sank to the slowest pace in more than six years in February, as the government's latest reading of the strength of the battered real estate market showed more pricing weakness and a growing glut of homes on the market. New homes sold at an annual pace of 848,000 in February, down about 4 percent from the 882,000 rate in January, which itself was revised lower. Last month's pace was the slowest for new home sale since August 2000, just before nation fell into a recession. Economists surveyed by had forecast that sales would rebound to an annual rate of 995,000.

The supply of new homes for sale on the market rose to an 8.1-month supply from 7.3 in January. It is now taking builders 5.2 months on average to sell a completed home, the longest wait since April 2001. The median price of a new home sold in the month slipped 0.3 percent from a year earlier to $250,000, although that price reading was up from January. The nation's leading home builders have been reporting tumbling sales and earnings from the slump in home sales and prices.

On Thursday, KB Home (Charts), the No. 5 US home builder, reported earnings plunged 84 percent and warned that higher foreclosures and tighter lending standards in the broader market could prolong weakness in the sector. The CEO of D.R. Horton (Charts), the No. 2 US builder by revenue, told an investor conference earlier this month that prices and new home sales are "going to suck" in 2007.

03.26.07 Jewish settlers plan to reclaim former settlement

JERUSALEM (AFP) March 26 – Thousands of right-wing Jewish settlers were Monday planning to reoccupy a West Bank settlement cleared in August 2005 as part of Israel's so-called disengagement plan. Israel's dovish defense minister and Labor Party leader Amir Peretz has granted permission for the settlers to march on the former settlement of Homesh, but vowed no settlers will be allowed to reclaim the evacuated homes. Police said the demonstrators will have to leave the hilltop redoubt before nightfall or be forcibly removed. But settler leaders said they would remain to rebuild homes that police razed a year and a half ago. [More>>]

03.26.07 Power-sharing deal struck for Northern Ireland

March 26 – After four years of stalling and failure, power-sharing will resume in Northern Ireland after Sinn Fein met the DUP today. Power-sharing government will resume in Northern Ireland on May 8, according to an historic agreement struck between Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley at Stormont today. The Democratic Unionist leader and Sinn Fein president met face-to-face for the first time at Stormontıs Parliament Buildings to finalize a deal to resurrect devolved government in the province, which has been suspended for more than four years.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, had given Ulster's divided parties until midnight tonight to restart the government. Although that deadline will not be met, the agreement between Sinn Fein and the DUP was warmly welcomed by Downing Street today and Tony Blair accepted their request for a six-week delay to allow the parties prepare for power. "Everything we have done over the last 10 years has been a preparation for this moment," he said.

03.26.07 GSA chief is accused of playing politics

March 26 – Witnesses have told congressional investigators that the chief of the General Services Administration and a deputy in Karl Rove's political affairs office at the White House joined in a videoconference earlier this year with top GSA political appointees, who discussed ways to help Republican candidates. With GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan and up to 40 regional administrators on hand, J. Scott Jennings, the White House's deputy director of political affairs, gave a PowerPoint presentation on Jan. 26 of polling data about the 2006 elections.

When Jennings concluded his presentation to the GSA political appointees, Doan allegedly asked them how they could "help 'our candidates' in the next elections," according to a March 6 letter to Doan from Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Waxman said in the letter that one method suggested was using "targeted public events, such as the opening of federal facilities around the country."


09.11.05 When a nation lacks a competent leader it invites disaster – the legacy of Bush
08.13.05 "Using force the George W. Bush way – Bush's crusade"
11.25.04 Why the Crusade & Jihad?


*Visitor statistics on from 1& 41,128 page views in March 2007.

Privacy Policy: We do not store any personal data from you. We have no way of knowing any vital information about you – not even your name. Third-party distribution: We do not distribute information about your site usage to any third party. We are not responsible for the content of links from our site. Usage data: supplied by our Web Hosting service,, which consists of usage reports, such as page views / impressions and web pages visited, visitors' servers and geographical data (ISP's and country of origin).

Maravot's Homepage

Launched: 10.25.04 / 11.02.04
Updated: 4.03.07

Copyright © 1981-2007 Maravot. All rights reserved
Copyright © 1981-2007 Mel Copeland. All rights reserved
Background: tile from Cicero's villa (Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 B.C. - 43 B.C.)