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.

May 2006

May 27, 2006

Afghan president orders inquiry into U.S. bombing that killed civilians
"Newly reported fighting, meanwhile, killed 19 more people, including three police officers and 12 militants who died in a firefight and three health care workers killed by a roadside bomb. The deaths pushed the toll in a week of violence to 305, most of them militants, according to Afghan and coalition figures.

Those figures are difficult to confirm independently because many of the villages are closed off by authorities or are in remote areas."

British legislation to enforce encryption key disclosure
"Part 3 of the RIP Act gives the police powers to order the disclosure of encryption keys or force suspects to decrypt encrypted data. Anyone who refuses to hand over a key to the police would face up to two years of imprisonment. Under current antiterrorism legislation, terrorist suspects now face up to five years for withholding keys."

Police begin knife amnesty   (UK)
"A nationwide knife amnesty begins across the country today - the first of its kind for 10 years. For the next five weeks - until June 30 - people will be able to hand in all bladed instruments without fear of reprisal."

US sets up £215m deal for Afghan arms - from Russia

Classified military spending reaches highest level since Cold War
"Classified, or 'black,' programs now appear to account for about $30.1 billion, or 19 percent, of the acquisition money the Defense Department is requesting for fiscal year 2007, according to Steven M. Kosiak, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, an independent policy-research organization.

Bush turns to big military contractors for border control

Attorney Gen.: Reporters Can Be Prosecuted

1,000 go to prison weekly
"The U.S. prison population grew to 2.18 million in 2005, keeping the United States firmly ahead of anyone else for the largest prison population. From July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005, an average of 1,085 people went to jail each week, a growth of 2.6 percent. The study, conducted by the Census of Jail Inmates, showed this was the largest increase since 1997."

Justice Department Probe Foiled
By the Justice Department.

Requests for Corporate Data Multiply - Businesses Juggle Law-Enforcement Demands For Information About Customers, Suppliers
"Since 2001, the pressure on them has grown as the amount of electronic information provided to or compiled by companies has grown to include everything from customer names and addresses to shopping preferences and pastime activities. The Departments of Homeland Security, Defense and Justice as well as the CIA have increasingly viewed this data as a veritable treasure trove that can be tapped to help thwart crimes and identify potential terrorist attacks in the making."

Data on 26.5 million veterans stolen from home

NYC Mayor Advocates U.S. Worker Database
"'You don't have to work - but if you want to work for a company you have to have a Social Security card,' he said. 'The difference is, in the day and age when everybody's got a PC on their desk with Photoshop that can replicate anything, it's become a joke.'

The mayor said DNA and fingerprint technology could be used to create a worker ID database that will 'uniquely identify the person' applying for a job, ensuring that cards are not illegally transferred or forged."

Arizona Legislature OKs Immigration Bill
"The plan would resurrect a proposal to criminalize the presence of illegal immigrants by expanding the state's trespassing law to let local authorities arrest those who sneak into the country.
A first offense would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Subsequent offenses would be a felony carrying a sentence of at least three years in prison.The bill would require businesses to fire employees whose Social Security numbers are invalid."

Lawmakers lower the bar on petty crimes
"Thinning the plethora of Arizona's felony laws will shrink the number of felons, he says, and make us all safer.

Not surprisingly, not everyone agrees. Among them is Kathleen Mayer, a deputy Pima County attorney who fought the felony reductions at the Legislature, crime by crime. 'I'm just glad the list wasn't longer,' she says.
At the same time, getting tough on crime hasn't completely lost its caché. Attempts to turn illegal aliens into felons is a prime example--one that just may break the corrections bank, 'There are an estimated 350,000 to 400,00 undocumented aliens in Arizona,' Downing says. 'And our current prison population is only at 33,000.'"

Defunding Amendment Failed
"There were only 34 votes for the Ron Paul amendment to the US House Agriculture Appropriations Bill 5384 to defund the USDA's proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS)."

Marry or get out, US town tells unwed parents
"The brewing controversy in Black Jack, a town of 6,800 in the central state of Missouri, began unfolding earlier this year when Olivia Shelltrack and Fondray Loving were denied an occupancy permit after moving into a four-bedroom house they had purchased.

Local officials told the couple that the fact they were not married and had three children, one from Shelltrack's previous relationship, did not fit the town's definition of 'family'.

A Black Jack ordinance prohibits more than three people from living together in a single family home unless they are related by 'blood, marriage or adoption'."

Water fights are banned, drought police tell clowns
"Circus clowns have been warned to stop throwing water at each other or risk violating a drought order.
Mr Burton said: 'I think my clowns are secretly smirking because it means they get to stay dry but I am annoyed. It means we will have to rely on mime gags instead.'"

May 15, 2006

Official: national card due by 2010
"Australians will need a photo identity card within four years to receive Medicare and welfare payments but will not be forced to carry it at all times.

The new 'smart card' will contain 'enhanced security' and replace 17 existing cards for Medicare benefits, family tax, child-care and unemployment payments, pensions, Austudy and pharmaceutical and transport concessions."

U.S. Orders Ban of Arms Sales to Venezuela
"The United States is imposing a ban on arms sales to Venezuela because of what it says is a lack of support by President Hugo Chavez's government for counterterrorism efforts, the State Department said Monday."

Brazil gang takes on state
"The unprecedented series of attacks on law enforcement that has left as many as 74 people dead and more than 40 prisons under the control of rioting inmates marks the dramatic resurgence of a criminal gang in São Paulo. It also signals a new power struggle between police and organized crime in Brazil's biggest state, warn analysts and human rights experts.

The weekend attacks were carried out by the First Capital Command (PCC), a gang formed in the 1990s in São Paulo's notorious prison system to demand better conditions. But the PCC's audacious and ongoing attacks beyond the prison walls show they have the means to confront the state, says Renato Simoes, a human rights expert who has followed the rise of the group."
Wonder if this could have any bearing on the matter?

UK: London Seeks to Ban Old Cars
"London, UK Mayor Ken Livingstone is looking to use Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to ban old vehicles from entering the city's proposed 'Low Emission Zone.'"

U.S. Fights Redress for CIA Kidnapping "Mistake"
"The U.S. government has again invoked the 'state secrets' privilege, arguing that a public trial of a lawsuit against a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for abducting and imprisoning a German citizen would lead to disclosure of information harmful to U.S. national security.
Addressing reporters after the hearing concluded, Bellinger said that provisions in the torture convention that prohibit transferring detainees to countries where they could be tortured do not apply to detainee 'transfers that take place outside of the United States'. He added, however, that the U.S. has 'as a policy matter, applied exactly the same standards' to such transfers."

NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls
"The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
'It's the largest database ever assembled in the world,' said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA's activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency's goal is 'to create a database of every call ever made' within the nation's borders, this person added."

Fonegate part of fed spying
"The federal government's massive grab of nearly all the nation's phone records was just a small part of a vast array of official 'data mining' projects whose legality has come into question.

In two reports since 2004, the Government Accountability Office said 52 of the 128 government agencies surveyed had either carried out or planned such projects - resulting in 199 separate efforts to collect information."

Security Issue Kills Domestic Spying Probe
"The government has abruptly ended an inquiry into the warrantless eavesdropping program because the National Security Agency refused to grant Justice Department lawyers the necessary security clearance to probe the matter."

Feds Want Hacker's Genetic Code
"Hacker Adrian Lamo is in trouble again, this time for failing to give the federal government his DNA.

On Tuesday, federal probation officer Michael Sipe filed a notice of violation in a Northern California court accusing Lamo of refusing to submit a blood sample, in violation of Sipe's instructions and a 2-year-old federal law.

'He reported to the probation office as instructed; however, he refused to provide a blood sample for DNA testing, in violation of the general condition of supervision requiring compliance with federal law,' the filing reads.
The FBI's Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, was created to catalog violent criminals and sexual predators. But the 2004 Justice for All Act expanded the system to include samples from all newly convicted federal felons, including drug offenders and white-collar criminals."

Georgia immigration bill signed by governor
"Georgia governor Sonny Perdue has signed an immigration bill, which includes provisions affecting Georgia employers. The bill requires that public employers and contractors or subcontractors of public employers register in the federal work authorization program (the BASIC pilot program) to verify information of all new employees. The provision is effective July 1, 2007 for public employers, contractors, or subcontractors with 500 or more employees, July 1, 2008 for those with 100 or more employees, and July 1, 2009 for those with fewer than 100 employees."

The Prisoner returns on Sky One
"Sky One today confirmed plans for a big budget remake of cult 1960s classic The Prisoner, with former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston tipped to resurrect another iconic role by taking the lead."

May 9, 2006

Gold hits $700 for first time since 1980

Under U.S. pressure, Mexico president seeks review of drug law
"After intense pressure from the United States, President Vicente Fox has asked Congress to reconsider a law it passed last week that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs as part of a larger effort to crack down on street-level dealing."

Debate far from over for Mexico's drug bill
"Much to the relief of many in Washington, Mexican President Vicente Fox decided last week not to sign into law a bill that would drop criminal charges for possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs.

But Mexican lawmakers pledged Monday to keep pushing for the decriminalization bill, saying they could override Mr. Fox's veto. The bill has proved controversial, sparking debate in both the US and Mexico over how best to battle drug trafficking and use."

Bolivian land plan scares foreign farmers
"Unnerved by the Bolivian government's occupation of privately held oil and natural gas fields, foreign farmers in the Andean country are increasingly alarmed by the government's expected next step: a plan to redistribute Bolivia's land.

In an effort to reduce the wide gaps in prosperity that long have plagued Bolivia, a landlocked country that is the poorest in South America, President Evo Morales has suggested that an ambitious land redistribution would follow his decision last week to nationalize the energy industry.
The main targets of the plan are the country's 'latifundistas' - wealthy landowners with vast tracts of idle, unfarmed land often acquired by force or illegal means. The plan, Salvatierra said, seeks to reclaim illegally obtained parcels, plus redistribute 'non- productive' land so it fulfills a social and economic function. Legitimate landowners, he added, have nothing to fear because the government 'will respect the rights of private investors who work and own the land legally.'"
Oh shit - another successful democracy!

Surveillance society: The DNA files   (UK)
"More than 51,000 innocent children have had DNA samples lodged on a national police database - more than twice the figure previously admitted by ministers. The children, including 30 under the age of 10, have had DNA swabs taken even though they have never been charged with or cautioned for an offence.
Civil liberties campaigners are warning that the scheme, which currently holds the genetic data of more than three million people, is an attempt to create a database 'by stealth'. This has been denied by senior police officers who argue that it is a vital crime-fighting tool.

The DNA of around 700,000 children has already been recorded by police, a figure that includes 24,000 people still under the age of 18 who have been arrested by police but never convicted of a crime.

However, the Home Office has now admitted that their original estimate of 'innocent' children on the database did not include an extra 27,000 people who are now adults but whose details were entered on to the database when they were children."

Rumsfeld developing revisionist habits
"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tried to rewrite history last week when he denied making prewar claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction."

Army Documents Show Senior Official Reportedly Pushed Limits on Detainee Interrogations
"New Army documents released by the American Civil Liberties Union today reveal that Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez ordered interrogators to 'go to the outer limits' to get information from detainees. The documents also show that senior government officials were aware of abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan before the Abu Ghraib scandal broke."

Feds' Watch List Eats Its Own
"What do you say about an airline screening system that tends to mistake government employees and U.S. servicemen for foreign terrorists?

Newly released government documents show that even having a high-level security clearance won't keep you off the Transportation Security Administration's Kafkaesque terrorist watch list, where you'll suffer missed flights and bureaucratic nightmares."

FCC approves Net-wiretapping taxes

Hawaii Gives Up on Gas Price Controls
"The island state whose drivers pay the highest pump prices in the nation has given up on price caps after an eight-month, first-in-the- nation experiment. Some complained that the restrictions actually led to higher prices, because oil companies knew they could charge up to the maximum allowed.

'In a lot of people's minds, they thought the gas cap wasn't working,' said Republican state Sen. Paul Whalen, a strong supporter of the price controls. 'It was hard to generate lots of support for it because we're paying more than we ever were before.'"

Lighting up with young kids in vehicle banned under bill   (AR)
"Mathis’ bill amends a section of existing law that requires children who are under the age of 6 and weigh less than 60 pounds to ride in a 'safety seat properly secured to the vehicle,' according to Arkansas Code Annotated 27-34-104. Breaking that law can mean a fine of between $25 and $100.

Mathis’ bill simply bans smoking in all motor vehicles carrying children who are restrained in those seats. The bill carries a $25 fine, which can be waived if drivers prove they have entered a smoking cessation program.

Violating the bill would be a 'primary offense,' Mathis said, meaning police could use violations of the bill to justify pulling someone over.

'And I’m tickled to death about it,' Mathis said."

Search Now:
In Association with




Site by    ©2003-7