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.
July 16-31, 2005
July 31, 2005
Recent events in Iraq from Prof. Juan Cole at Informed Comment
Constitution Unfinished as Deadline Looms - 17 Dead in Violence Saturday
Sunnis Demonstrate in Baghdad - As Bombings Kill 28, wound 46, with 3 US Soldiers Dead - 1 Million Iraqis say "US Out"!
Attacks in Baqubah, Mansur - Train, Pipeline bombed
"We Regard Falluja As a Large Prison"
Uzbekistan evicts United States from air base
"Uzbekistan has told the United States to quit a military base that has served as a hub for missions to Afghanistan since shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks, a Pentagon spokesman said on Saturday.
A notice to leave Karshi-Khanabad air base, also known as K2, was delivered on Friday by a courier from the Uzbek Foreign Ministry to the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, the Washington Post reported in its Saturday edition, citing an unnamed senior U.S. official involved in Central Asia policy."
Leaked emails claim Guantanamo trials rigged
"Leaked emails from two former prosecutors claim the military commissions set up to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay are rigged, fraudulent, and thin on evidence against the accused.
Two emails, which have been obtained by the ABC, were sent to supervisors in the Office of Military Commissions in March of last year - three months before Australian detainee David Hicks was charged and five months before his trial began."
Taser shocks ruled cause of death
"A Chicago medical examiner has ruled that shocks from a Taser were responsible for the death of a man in February, marking the first time that the electronic stun gun has been named as the primary cause of death.
This is the latest challenge to Scottsdale-based Taser International's claim that its stun guns have never caused a death or serious injury and comes a week after an Illinois police department filed a class-action lawsuit claiming Taser misled law enforcement agencies about the safety of its weapon."
July 27, 2005
Afghans hurl stones at U.S. troops, try to break down gate at base in Bagram
Italian court issues more warrants for CIA agents
"In a further strain on Italian-U.S. relations, an appeals court in Milan issued arrest warrants today for six more purported CIA operatives accused of helping plan the 2003 kidnapping of a radical Egyptian Muslim cleric, a court official said.
Last month, a lower court issued warrants for 13 alleged CIA operatives but turned down requests to arrest another six."
UK Police: Man Killed Unrelated to Probe
"The man shot and killed on a subway car by London police in front of horrified commuters apparently had nothing to do with this month's bombings on the city's transit system, police said Saturday in expressing their 'regrets.'
The man, whose identity has not been released, was shot Friday at a subway station in the south London neighborhood of Stockwell. Witnesses said the man appeared to be South Asian and was wearing a heavy padded coat when police chased him into a subway car, pinned him to the ground and shot him in the head and torso."
Bolivia To Get Riot Gear, Emergency Ops Center From U.S. -- More Trouble on the Horizon?
"The U.S. State Dept. recently issued a call to riot-gear manufacturers to submit proposals for equipment that it hopes to ship to the Government of Bolivia by July 31."
Pentagon Blocks Release of Abu Ghraib Images: Here's Why
U.S. defies order to give up Abu Ghraib abuse photos
"Lawyers for the Defense Department are refusing to cooperate with a federal judge's order to release secret photographs and videotapes related to the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal.
The lawyers said in a letter sent to the federal court in Manhattan late Thursday that they would file a sealed brief explaining their reasons for not turning over the material, which they were to have released by Friday."
White House threatens veto on detainee policies
The White House on Thursday threatened to veto a massive Senate bill for $442 billion in next year's defense programs if it moves to regulate the Pentagon's treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations at Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere. The Bush administration, under fire for the indefinite detention of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and questions over whether its policies led to horrendous abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, put lawmakers on notice it did not want them legislating on the matter."
Dept. of the Army - Obtaining Information From Financial Institutions
"(a) Purpose. This part provides DA policies, procedures, and restrictions governing access to and disclosure of financial records maintained by financial institutions during the conduct of Army investigations or inquiries."
Woman Convicted of Groping Screener
"A federal jury heard the case against retired teacher Phyllis Dintenfass, who also allegedly shoved the screener during the search at the Outagamie County Regional Airport in Appleton in September 2004.
Dintenfass, 62, faces up to a year in federal prison and $100,000 in fines. The judge set sentencing for Nov. 1."
N.Y. Diabetes-Tracking Plan Draws Concern
"By pinpointing problem patients, then intervening ever so slightly in their care, Frieden said the city can improve thousands of lives. 'I don't think we can afford not to do anything,' he said."
Is Your Printer Spying On You?
"Imagine that every time you printed a document, it automatically included a secret code that could be used to identify the printer -- and potentially, the person who used it. Sounds like something from an episode of "Alias," right?
Unfortunately, the scenario isn't fictional. In an effort to identify counterfeiters, the US government has succeeded in persuading some color laser printer manufacturers to encode each page with identifying information. That means that without your knowledge or consent, an act you assume is private could become public. A communication tool you're using in everyday life could become a tool for government surveillance. And what's worse, there are no laws to prevent abuse."
'Universal Democracy' Is the Goal As Congress Eyes New Legislation
"When senators return to Washington this September, they will be set to consider new legislation that would commit America to ending tyranny the world over."
July 21, 2005
Scores killed in Iraq bombing wave
Iraq conflict claims 34 civilian lives each day as 'anarchy' beckons
Detained Iraqis suffocate in police van
"Nine Iraqi bricklayers detained by security forces on suspicion of involvement with armed fighters have suffocated to death while held for more than 14 hours in a police van.
Three other suspects, who survived the ordeal of being locked up in a van in the sun, were taken to hospital on Monday morning where they were to be interviewed by officials who are investigating the case, an Interior Ministry official said."
Livingstone blames West for stirring terrorism
"Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, today blamed Western interference overseas for the growth of Islamic extremism and for creating the conditions to drive terrorists to commit acts such as the London bombings.
Asked about the causes of Islamic fundamentalism and violence, Mr Livingstone said that the meddling of Western governments in the Middle East to protect oil supplies was a contributing factor.
'I think we have just had 80 years of Western intervention in predominantly Arab lands because of the Western need for oil,' the Mayor told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning."
Clarke presses for EU fingerprint plan (UK)
"The home secretary, Charles Clarke, is to press today's emergency European counter-terrorism summit to adopt a plan to compulsorily fingerprint all EU citizens who already carry identity cards.
The scheme is a crucial part of a 10-point anti-terrorism package that includes the retention of email and phone records for up to three years which Mr Clarke will propose when he chairs the emergency summit called in the wake of the London bombings."
Treaty gives CIA powers over Irish citizens
"Under 'instruments of agreement' signed last week by Justice Minister Michael McDowell, Ireland and the US pledged mutual co-operation in the investigation of criminal activity. It is primarily designed to assist America's so-called 'war on terror' in the wake of the September 11 atrocities.
The deal was condemned yesterday by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) as 'an appalling signal of how the rights of Irish citizens are considered by the minister when engaging in international relations'. The ICCL said it appeared to go far beyond even what has been agreed between EU countries."
Guantanamo detainees on hunger strike
"Fifty-two prisoners at the US Guantanamo Bay terror suspects camp in Cuba have launched a hunger strike, apparently in protest at their detention, military authorities said today.
Joint Task Force Guantanamo, which is in charge of the camp, said the 52 prisoners had so far refused at least nine consecutive meals."
Bush sees London attacks as reason for Patriot Act
Rove leak is just part of larger scandal
"In 2002 President Bush, having decided to invade Iraq, was casting about for a casus belli. The weapons of mass destruction theme was not yielding very much until a dubious Italian intelligence report, based partly on forged documents (it later turned out), provided reason to speculate that Iraq might be trying to buy so-called yellowcake uranium from the African country of Niger. It did not seem to matter that the CIA advised that the Italian information was 'fragmentary and lacked detail'."
House poised to reauthorize USA Patriot Act
"The House of Representatives, ignoring protests from civil liberties groups and some conservatives, moved on Thursday to renew the USA Patriot Act giving the government unprecedented powers to investigate suspected terrorists."
NYers to NYPD: 'I Do Not Consent to Being Searched'
"Reacting to the NYPD's announcement Thursday afternoon that police would randomly - but routinely - search the bags of commuters, one concerned New Yorker quickly created a way for civil libertarians to make their views black-and-white.
In a few outraged moments, local immigrant rights activist Tony Lu designed t-shirts bearing the text, 'i do not consent to being searched.'"
Scientists worried by riot control ray gun
Nonetheless, despite all provocations - it just sat there...
Governors object to states involvement in ID card
"Fees for a new driver's license could triple. Lines at motor vehicles offices could stretch out the door. Governors warned yesterday that states and consumers would bear much of the burden for a terrorism-driven push to turn licenses into a national ID card.
The latest law - and an earlier version that had passed last year - have brought complaints from civil liberties advocates that the new cards' reliance on biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints or retinal scans, would threaten privacy. They have warned that the documents can be stolen or altered, making identity theft easier, and that the cards could let government track people's travels.
But governors were more concerned about the bottom line, for their budgets and for their citizens. Huckabee's prediction: 'Lines longer, price higher, frustration certainly greater.'"
Big Brother Could Be Tracking You
"Racing to fill in the gaps where GPS can't reach, companies are experimenting with various wireless technologies. Solutions can't come too soon. The federal government has charged mobile-phone companies, even the ones that are Internet-based, to make their phones capable of being located when a user dials 911 for help."
Finger Scanning At Disney Parks Causes Concern
"The addition of finger scanning technology at the entrances of Walt Disney World theme parks for all visitors has caused concern among privacy advocates, according to a Local 6 News report.
Tourists visiting Disney theme parks in Central Florida must now provide their index and middle fingers to be scanned before entering the front gates."
States Close in on Internet Tax Collection
"Meeting in Chicago last week, the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP) took its most significant step to date to implement the collection of sales taxes on online purchases, a potential $20 billion-a-year bonanza for cash-strapped states."
September 11 Victim Families who Fought to Create the 9/11 Commission Declare it a Failure on the First Anniversary of the 9/11 Report
"On Friday, July 22, 2005, one year to the day after the release of the '9/11 Commission Report,' Project Censored founder, Dr. Peter Phillips will lead a National Press Club briefing entitled 'The Failure of the 9/11 Commission Report and the Mainstream Media's Disregard.' The briefing will feature scores of detailed examples of the Commission's flawed findings, self-censorship, misrepresentations and conflicts of interest that call the accuracy and integrity of their entire investigation into doubt."
Joe Vialls Passed Away Today
July 18, 2005
Apologies for the extended absence - postings will resume tomorrow or the following day.