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.
March 31, 2006
Gold at new 25-year highs
Sectarian threats purge 30,000 Iraqis from homes
"Sattar Nawrouz, spokesman for the Ministry of Displacement and Migration, estimated 33,000 people have been uprooted by insurgents or Islamic militants bent on purging areas of Shi'ites or Sunni Arabs."
Ministry of Displacement and Migration...?
US severs all ties with Hamas
Farmers snubbed over dog microchips (NZ)
"The law would be what the Associate Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta, told parliament a couple of weeks ago, said Ms Clark: 'One law for all dogs - it's very hard to make exceptions for some'.
Ms Mahuta said the success of a nationwide system for electronic dog identification relied on as many dogs as possible having a tiny microchip inserted under their skin."
Terrorist Surveillance Act Introduced in Senate
"A bill recently introduced in the Senate would legalize warrantless wiretapping at the President's discretion.
Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) introduced the bill, popularly named the Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006, on March 16, 2006.
The bill was co-sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
According to a press release by Senator DeWine, the bill would allow the President to authorize wiretapping on international communications by American citizens suspected of being affiliated with a terrorist organization. All the President has to have is probable cause and a belief that surveillance of the individual is necessary to protect national security."
Intel committee sidelined on wire-tapping
"And that is significant because some on the intelligence committee -- though they would not speak for the record -- say important changes need to be made to the DeWine bill.
Most controversially, they believe the bill should authorize the use of this new surveillance tool to protect the country against threats other than terrorism.
The DeWine bill would create a list of terrorist organizations designated by the president. Anyone that the government has probable cause to believe may be 'an agent or member ... affiliated with ... or working in support of' one of those groups is liable to be wiretapped.
'Why restrict it to terrorist groups?' pondered one committee insider. 'There are criminal organizations or nation states that might also pose a serious enough threat to warrant inclusion.'
The bill mandates a review of the program by the Attorney General every 45 days, as at present. But some are fretting that the reviews -- which require a certification for each wiretap -- will create an undue administrative burden."
Fairfax Co. Takes Part in Unusual Wastewater Experiment
"Fairfax County is taking part in an unusual White House drug study. Wastewater from communities throughout the Potomac River Basin is being tested for the urinary byproducts of cocaine.
White House officials believe the wastewater testing will lead to a more accurate index of how many people use drugs than traditional survey research."
Woman Gets $100 Ticket for BUSHIT Bumpersticker
March 26, 2006
Bush's Requests for Iraqi Base Funding Make Some Wary of Extended Stay
"Questions on Capitol Hill about the future of the bases have been prompted by the new emergency spending bill for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last week with $67.6 billion in funding for the war effort, including the base money.
State Department and Pentagon officials have insisted that the bases being constructed in Iraq will eventually be handed over to the Iraqi government."
Rumsfeld says 'misstated' facts on planted Iraq news
"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Tuesday he was mistaken when he stated last week that the U.S. military had stopped paying Iraqi newspapers to publish pro-American articles."
US indicts FARC over £14bn cocaine cartel
"The United States has declared judicial war on Colombian rebels, issuing indictments for 50 guerrilla leaders, accusing them of running the world's biggest drug cartel and shipping £14 billion worth of cocaine.
In an unprecedented legal action Alberto Gonzales, the US Attorney General, listed 50 members of the Revolutionary Armed forces of Colombia (FARC) that would be requested for extradition to face drugs trafficking charges.
'We see this as recognition of the clear relationship between terrorism and narcotrafficking,' said Camilo Ospina, the Colobian defence minister. 'This shows that a big decision has been made to carry out the final battle against narcotrafficking and terrorism.'"
Lobbyist Abramoff gets subpoenaed in Boulis murder case
"The attorney for murder suspect Anthony 'Big Tony' Moscatiello filed paperwork this week asking to question Abramoff and Long Island businessman Adam Kidan about the SunCruz Casino founder's gangland-style slaying. Broward Circuit Judge Michael Kaplan granted the request Thursday after prosecutors agreed to it."
Fliers Can't Balk at Search
"The court did not, however, decide whether a passenger could refuse a search more invasive than a pat down -- such as a cavity search."
New Details of U.S. Moon-Base Project Reveal Nuclear Intentions
"The first steps toward building a manned lunar base and eventually sending astronauts to Mars quietly unfolded in recent days, as NASA issued a call to industry and academia for proposals on how to best proceed with those projects. Although President Bush in January revealed his preliminary intentions to jump-start future U.S. space missions, The Peacock Report (TPR) this week obtained planning documents revealing the possibility of constructing nuclear power plants on the moon, where 'both human and robotic agents' would operate technology production facilities.
NASA has begun searching for a contractor to first devise a Lunar Base Report, which would provide specifications and graphic renderings of a conceptual lunar base. The creation of what are known as 'In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) production facilities,' which would extract mineral and other resources from the moon and Mars to produce materials, also will be addressed via the report. Additionally, it would evaluate the potential role of private, commercial ventures in outer space."
Legalise cannabis party seeking Arab vote
"While the main parties compete over who can best handle the Palestinian issue and the economy, Israel's Green Leaf Party is seeking entry into the Knesset on a legalise cannabis platform.
Polls show that young voters, disillusioned with the main parties, may give Green Leaf its first foothold in parliament during the elections on Tuesday."
March 20, 2006
Japan's rich buy organs from executed Chinese prisoners
"Beijing does not reveal how many people it executes, but analysts estimate as many as 8,000 people are killed each year. Reports of Chinese authorities removing organs from executed prisoners have been circulating since the mid-1980s, when the development of a drug called Cyclosoporine-A made transplants a newly viable option for patients."
New Zealand: Plan to tag and number children
"The Government is examining a proposal to have children tagged and numbered in a central database to stem abuse and failure at school.
Personal details of every New Zealand child, including welfare and health concerns, would be entered into the database, to be shared by schools, social agencies and health authorities.
It would be similar to Scottish and British initiatives, with a single ID number issued for each child, enabling authorities to be alerted to potential problems.
Social Development Minister David Benson-Pope said he had sought advice on setting up such a scheme here."
Bill would allow warrantless spying
"The bill would allow the NSA to eavesdrop, without a warrant, for up to 45 days per case, at which point the Justice Department would have three options. It could drop the surveillance, seek a warrant from FISA's court, or convince a handful of House and Senate members that although there is insufficient evidence for a warrant, continued surveillance 'is necessary to protect the United States,' according to a summary the four sponsors provided yesterday. They are Mike DeWine (Ohio), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and Olympia J. Snowe (Maine)."
Ask - it shall be given,
Pay - and ye shall receive!
New Orleans Admits to SAF Attorneys They Have Seized Guns
"In a stunning reversal, the City of New Orleans revealed today to attorneys representing the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association that they do have a stockpile of firearms seized from private citizens in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The disclosure came as attorneys for both sides were preparing for a hearing in federal court on a motion filed earlier by SAF and NRA to hold the city in contempt. Plaintiffs' attorneys traveled to a location within the New Orleans city limits where they viewed more than 1,000 firearms that were being stored."
March 6, 2006
I apologise for the lack of recent updates - necessary hardware upgrades have required my attention over the last couple of weeks. I anticipate finishing the work within a week and posts will resume shortly afterwards.
Btw - I heard it straight from Lester the mouse - the saltypig may have updated his blog sometime recently...