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 16-28, 2005

February 28, 2005

Iraq Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 115

UK troops 'beat relatives of Camp Breadbasket captives'
"Relatives of Iraqis tortured by British soldiers revealed last night how they were also arrested and brutally beaten simply for asking questions.

The Independent on Sunday can reveal that the Iraqi civilians were punched and kicked after arriving at Camp Breadbasket to find out why friends and relatives had been detained."

U.S. Court Orders 'Enemy Combatant' Freed
"A U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday that President Bush has no authority to order an American citizen jailed indefinitely as an enemy combatant, and ordered terrorism suspect Jose Padilla be released within 45 days."

Gonzales urges extension of Patriot Act
"Three years after its passage, Mr. Gonzales said, the Patriot Act has helped prevent more terror attacks by lowering the bureaucratic wall that separated law enforcement from the intelligence community and ensuring that law enforcement could battle terrorism by deploying many legal tools long used against drug smugglers, mobsters and other criminals.
He said as the department pursues justice -- from fighting the war on terror to combating violent crime, from prosecuting corporate fraud to protecting and enforcing civil rights -- its mission remains clear: 'to expand freedom, extend opportunity and protect human dignity and equal justice for all.'"

Jury acquits border-watch group member
"A member of a self-styled border-watch group was acquitted by a federal jury of charges that he threatened three Border Patrol agents during a confrontation that he said never happened.

Defense attorney Jason Hannan said the agents' accusations against Casey James Nethercott were 'politics, pure and simple. They were just trying to get rid of him.'

Nethercott, a member of the group Ranch Rescue, which seeks to stop illegal immigrants from entering the United State, spent five months in federal custody after he was accused of trying to intimidate the federal agents, who had been trying to pull him over in a smuggling investigation Aug. 31."

Nazi salute lands British scientist in airport prison
"A British scientist who gave the Nazi salute in an argument with an airport worker in Germany yesterday was arrested and fined £175."

February 26, 2005

Bomb Blasts in Tikrit, Haglaniyah, Mosul Produce Dozens of Casualties

Pentagon Seeking Leeway Overseas
"The Pentagon is promoting a global counterterrorism plan that would allow Special Operations forces to enter a foreign country to conduct military operations without explicit concurrence from the U.S. ambassador there, administration officials familiar with the plan said."

Canada Says Will Stay Out of U.S. Missile Defense

Lufthansa May Sue Over Bush Visit Flight Disruption
"Lufthansa had to cancel 92 flights, affecting 5,730 passengers, as a consequence of air traffic restrictions, said spokesman Thomas Jachnow in a telephone interview. Delays to another 330 flights totaled around 300 hours. Jachnow said losses went 'well into the millions,' though he declined to elaborate.
About 14,000 police officers helped to protect Bush, said Ernst Scharbach, spokesman for the Rhineland-Palatinate police's labor union. Police were brought in from as far away as Schleswig- Holstein, Germany's northernmost state, and Brandenburg, the state encircling the capital Berlin."

Bank of America says tapes with customer data lost
"Bank of America Corp. has lost computer data tapes containing personal information on 1.2 million federal employees, including some members of the U.S. Senate.

The lost data includes Social Security numbers and account information that could make customers of a federal government charge card program vulnerable to identity theft."

February 23, 2005

'Brooklyn's Abu Ghraib': Terror suspects allege abuse

Mainz residents told not to take a peek at president
"For residents of Mainz, George W. Bush's seven-hour visit to Germany on Wednesday and his short meeting with Gerhard Schroder, chancellor, will mean one of two things: a headache or a holiday.
In a contemporary echo of the Lady Godiva legend, anyone living on the route of the presidential motorcade is being discouraged from taking a peek at the 60- to 80-strong column of vehicles conveying the US president. In police leaflets, residents have been asked to keep their windows shut and stay clear of balconies 'to avoid misunderstandings'."

ID Theft Victims Could Lose Twice
"The recent security breach at data aggregator ChoicePoint that exposed at least 145,000 consumers to identity theft and renewed a call for regulation of the data industry will likely leave victims of the breach twice bitten -- first from the identity theft itself and second from thwarted attempts to recover damages for their losses if they decide to seek recourse.

Legal experts say that people who suffered losses as a result of the breach will find it difficult to get compensation from ChoicePoint for selling their personal data to con artists, even if the victims can prove that ChoicePoint was negligent in screening customers who purchased their data. That's because courts have been unwilling to penalize companies when victims of identity theft are not their direct customers."

February 21, 2005

U.S. Starts New Offensive Against Rebels by John Burns
with Ramadi photo essay compiled by John Young
"Three months after American forces recaptured the insurgent stronghold of Falluja in the biggest operation of the war, the Marine division that led the assault said Sunday that it had started a new offensive against insurgents in Ramadi, Falluja's twin city, on the Euphrates about 75 miles west of Baghdad."
(interesting details to the photos - particulary row 1, column 2 and row 2)
Additional Ramadi photos here

Spy Agency Specializes in Lay of the Land
"The little-known NGA - previously called the National Imagery and Mapping Agency - once focused exclusively on foreign targets as both an intelligence service and a combat support group.

But it has played a growing domestic role since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as part of its mission to identify the 'what and where' of anything on Earth that could affect national security - even pro football."

Conn. residents fight for homes
"On Tuesday, the court will hear an appeal from Kelo and about a dozen other holdout owners of property near Fort Trumbull State Park. They are trying to prevent the city of New London from seizing their land to clear the way for a private development project that would include a hotel, a conference center and offices. The city has argued that redeveloping 90 acres along the river and near a new Pfizer research plant would give a much-needed economic boost to the city of about 26,000 people, where the unemployment rate of 7.6% is about twice the state's rate."

Fat police lock up Chris  (UK)

February 20, 2005


It Never got Weird Enough for Me! HST

February 19, 2005

Forty dead in Iraq violence

Detainee Coerced Into Dropping Charges of Abuse Before Release
"The American Civil Liberties Union today released files obtained from the Army revealing previously undisclosed allegations of abuse by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the documents are reports that a detainee who was beaten and seriously injured was forced to drop his claims in order to be released from custody.

'The torture of detainees is too widespread and systemic to be dismissed as the rogue actions of a few misguided individuals,' said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. 'The American public deserves to know which high-level government officials are ultimately responsible for the torture conducted in our name.'"

Gonzales Seeks to Reinstate Obscenity Case
"The Bush administration said Wednesday it would seek to reinstate an indictment against a California pornography company that was charged with violating federal obscenity laws."

Government says it seized art exhibit items as "immoral"
"Fake passports created as part of an Austrian artist's exhibit have been confiscated by U.S. government authorities, museum officials said Tuesday.

Officials at the Contemporary Arts Center opened the display, portraying an imaginary country called 'State of Sabotage,' as scheduled last weekend. They said they regard the seized items as works of art and are trying to persuade the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to return them to the artists."

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