The Plug Nickel Times is proud to bring you website links to news information that you may not find through your local media. All links are offsite unless otherwise noted - followed links should open in another browser window. Links can become dated or otherwise fail to function, for this reason we quote the actual headline of an article. This may allow you to find an alternate copy of the article through a news index or search engine. Some sites we link to may require a registration process to view an article - this website may be useful to you in those instances. Comments, corrections and submissions are welcome - an email link is at the bottom of the page.
February 1-15, 2005
February 15, 2005
Russian arms sale to Syria on course
Bush Wants $82B More for Iraq, Afghan Costs
'Star Wars' missile defense system fails again
"Although mock ballistic missile launched Sunday from Alaska without problems, the interceptor designed to shoot it down failed to launch from the Ronald Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean."
Database giant gives access to fake firms: ChoicePoint warns more than 30,000 they may be at risk
"Criminals posing as legitimate businesses have accessed critical personal data stored by ChoicePoint Inc., a firm that maintains databases of background information on virtually every U.S. citizen, MSNBC.com has learned.
The incident involves a wide swath of consumer data, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, credit reports and other information. ChoicePoint aggregates and sells such personal information to government agencies and private companies."
Donor Was Promised Ambassadorship
"The aggressive job campaign of businessman Duane Acklie - detailed in the Nebraska gubernatorial files of new Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns - provides a rare window into donors, their access and their rewards."
February 11, 2005
Over 50 Dead in Iraq Carnage as Rumsfeld Visits by Prof. Juan Cole
Iraqi police suffer sustained attacks
Deadly cases of mistaken IDs
"The incident on the sunny afternoon of Jan. 25 was one of a half-dozen such over several weeks in the Mosul area, according to soldiers. On three occasions, troops shot and killed civilians: a dump truck driver, a mother and father, and a young girl. In two incidents, the cars sped away, leaving their passengers' fates unknown. This time, the incident along the street the Army calls 'Dixie' was just a frighteningly close call.
'Based on the possibility of what they could have done to us and because we didn't know who was in the car,' said Turner, 'what happened today as a precaution was justified.'"
Most shootings aren't publicized (Iraq)
9/11 Report Cites Many Warnings About Hijackings
"In the months before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal aviation officials reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations, according to a previously undisclosed report from the 9/11 commission."
DHS budget puts administration on collision course with lawmakers, airlines
"The budget would create a new Office of Screening Coordination and Operations, which would take over credentialing and vetting programs now administered by the Transportation Security Administration. Programs the new office would administer include the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology system, Secure Flight, Registered Traveler, the Transportation Worker Identification Credentialing program, Crew Vetting, Credentialing Start-up and the Alien Flight School program.
'We must continue to rise to new levels of protection and look for innovative ways to consolidate and integrate existing security functions to more effectively serve our overall mission. And this year's budget will ensure that we do just that,' acting DHS Secretary James Loy said Monday while releasing the budget."
Dubya Wants $400 Million for Payoffs to Iraq Allies
"President Bush is asking Congress to set up a $400 million fund to reward nations that have taken political and economic risks to join U.S.-led coalitions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The White House announced the fund, dubbed the 'solidarity initiative,' after Bush's meeting Wednesday with Aleksander Kwasniewski, the president of Poland, a nation that is to receive one-fourth of the money."
Iraq Deposits Five Billion Dollars with US Federal Reserve
Parents protest radio ID tags for students
"This latest adaptation of radio frequency ID technology was developed by InCom Corp., a local company co-founded by the parent of a former Brittan student, and some parents are suspicious about the financial relationship between the school and the company. InCom plans to promote it at a national convention of school administrators next month.
InCom has paid the school several thousand dollars for agreeing to the experiment, and has promised a royalty from each sale if the system takes off, said the company's co-founder, Michael Dobson, who works as a technology specialist in the town's high school. Brittan's technology aide also works part-time for InCom."
Clovis man charged for indecent bumper stickers
"The case came to the attention of police when the young son of Clovis Detective Kirk Roberts saw the stickers as his family arrived at the restaurant where Young works.
'The only reason I'm getting charged with this is because some overzealous, churchgoing detective got offended by it, and got even more offended by it by the fact that I didn't take it off after he threatened me,' Young said."
Bush administration asks Supreme Court to block use of hallucinogenic tea by NM church
"The appeal from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales argues that a lower court was wrong to allow the Brazil-based O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal to import and use the hoasca tea as part of its religious services."
A loaf of bread and a jug of wine, and thou...
February 9, 2005
Stories from Fallujah by Dahr Jamail
The Abu Ghraib Scandal You Don't Know
Outsourcing Torture by Jane Mayer
"The secret history of America’s 'extraordinary rendition' program"
Bush Pays Halliburton For Services Never Rendered
"As of June 2004, the Government Accounting Office estimated that more than $1 billion in taxpayer money had been wasted due to illegal overcharges by contractors in Iraq, since the onset of the war. Furthermore, experts say that once the total is calculated correctly, the losses could very well add up to billions more."
United States still deploys some 480 nuclear weapons in Europe, report finds
February 6, 2005
Rice warns Iran against provoking Israel
Rumsfeld: U.S. military 'stressed'
"'Numbers are interesting, but they're not determinative,' Rumsfeld said."
Principal bans 'anti-military,' 'anti-American' materials
"A Cookeville (Tenn.) High School administrator said Veterans for Peace and a Quaker group can't come back into his school with materials considered 'anti-American' and 'anti-military.'
The war veterans, some who also belong to the Quaker group, were allowed into the school during a September fair for organizations. They set up a table with books about U.S. wars and offered photocopied fliers and pamphlets from both organizations about the war in Iraq and military careers and alternatives."
Infamous Idaho outlaw is released
"Idaho's most infamous outlaw, Claude Dallas, killed two state officers in a remote desert 24 years ago in a crime that brought him notoriety as both a callous criminal and a modern-day mountain man at odds with the government."
Ethiopia concert honours Bob Marley
February 3, 2005
Guerrillas Kill 11 as Mosul & Ninevah Demonstrate
Iraq officials admit irregularities in poll
Jerusalem land seizures 'illegal'
"Israel's attorney general has told the government to call an immediate halt to confiscating Palestinian property in East Jerusalem under a 1950 land law."
US extends Guantanamo abuse probe
"The US military has extended its investigation into allegations of prisoner abuse at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre by four weeks.
The extension came amid fresh disclosers of videotapes showing US prison guards punching detainees, tying one to a bed for questioning and forcing a dozen to strip from the waist down."
Canada to counter Patriot Act
"The government will revamp the wording of future federal contracts with the aim of countering U.S. powers, granted under anti-terrorism laws, to tap into personal information about Canadians.
The move is intended to prevent the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation from seeing sensitive Canadian data the government supplies to American firms doing business with federal departments in Ottawa."