The Plug Nickel Times is proud to bring you archived 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.

September 1-15, 2004

September 14, 2004

Scores die in Iraq in wave of attacks

Dozens killed in massive Baghdad blast

Tal Afar blockade is lifted after Turks protest to U.S.

Turkey warns US on Tal Afar assault
"Turkey has threatened to halt cooperation with Washington in Iraq if US forces continue to attack the mostly Turkmen-populated town of Tal Afar."

Iraq: Signs of desperation
"It is a telling indication of the problems in Iraq that the US State Department wants to switch money earmarked for water, sewage and electricity improvements to the training of Iraqi security forces."

Attackers blow up multiple oil pipelines in Iraq

9/11 investigation spawns whistleblower movement
"More than two dozen former and current government employees have joined forces since the 9/11 commission issued its final report and recommendations in July. Most of the whistleblowers met or learned of each other through the 9/11 investigation, and several gave testimony to the commission or Congress. Ironically, they are now highly critical of the commission's final report, saying it does not reflect testimony they gave, offers misguided recommendations and fails to hold any individuals accountable."

What's up with Dick Cheney?
"Talking about European nations and the war on terror, Cheney said, and I quote: 'I think some have hoped that if they kept their heads down and stayed out of the line of fire, they wouldn't get hit. I think what happened in Russia now demonstrates pretty conclusively that everybody is a target. That Russia, of course, didn't support us in Iraq, they didn't get involved in sending troops there, they've gotten hit anyway.'"

Schwarzenegger Bans Rifle in Support of Gun Control
Breaking with Republican lawmakers who oppose gun control and a Hollywood film career filled with gun play, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill banning .50-caliber BMG rifles, an aide said on Tuesday."

Attempt to dump mental screening fails
"As has been reported, the New Freedom Initiative recommends screening not only for children but eventually for every American. The initiative came out of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, which President Bush established in 2002. Critics of the plan say it is a thinly veiled attempt by drug companies to provide a wider market for high-priced antidepressants and antipsychotic medication, and puts government in areas of Americans' lives where it does not belong."

Six-year prison term for gun-rights activist
"Gun-rights activist Rick Stanley, a Denver businessman and former Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate, was sentenced to six years in prison Friday for threatening two judges."

On Fed Payroll, Hackers Seek to Save America
"Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Idaho lab last month launched a new cyber security center where expert hackers such as Larsen test computing vulnerabilities. Spread across 890 square miles in a remote area of eastern Idaho, INEEL gives experts access to an entire isolated infrastructure such as the one Larsen hacked into."

September 13, 2004

40 Generators Confiscated From Man Suspected Of Gouging
"Palm Bay police officers confiscated 40 portable generators from a man this weekend suspected of price gouging, according to a report."
"Charges are pending an investigation, which is under way to determine the ownership of the generators."

Teacher In Trouble For Ripping Bible
"Burley High's Karen Christenson said she was trying to illustrate a point about censorship, as her sophomore students read Ray Bradbury's novel "Fahrenheit 451," which is set in a future society that commands all literature be burned."

September 12, 2004

Insurgent rockets pound Baghdad

US missile attack kills 13 civilians in Iraq

US Air Strikes on Falluja Kill 7 Iraqis - Doctor

New Spasm of Violence Sweeps Iraq, Killing 110

Surge of Baghdad Violence Leaves 60 Dead

Protests turn deadly in Afghanistan

US troops kill warlord's supporters after Karzai sacks 'Lion of Herat'

Thousands Protest Gaza Evacuation Plan
"Tens of thousands of Jewish settlers and their backers demonstrated in Jerusalem on Sunday against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate all settlements from Gaza and four West Bank enclaves in a rally held against a backdrop of assassination threats and warnings of civil war."

North Korea in mushroom cloud riddle
"The United States and Britain were last night trying to discover the cause of a huge mushroom cloud spotted over North Korea. US officials played down fears that it might have come from a nuclear test. However, the White House was reported to have received an intelligence briefing that Pyongyang could be preparing to carry out a test."

Clergy arrests in China denounced by Vatican

Fears Grow of Wider Spread of Nuclear Weapons

Secret Service Not Coddling Hecklers

September 10, 2004

U.S. Troops Lay Siege to Iraqi City
"Despite criticism from Turkey and Shiite leaders, U.S. commanders insisted they will maintain their blockade of Tal Afar for as long as it takes to subdue what they said were foreign fighters holed up there. The campaign was part of a recently launched American effort to restore government authority to lawless areas of the country - either through negotiation or by force."

Russia repeats warning on pre-emptive anti-terror strikes
"'I think we are absolutely justified in carrying out pre-emptive strikes against terrorist cells and their temporary bases, including those located abroad,' Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency."

Two Germans charged as South Africa's nuclear smuggling probe widens

British man sentenced for his link to coup plot
"A Zimbabwe court jailed a British former special services officer, Simon Mann, for seven years on Friday in a case linked to a foiled coup plot in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea."

Head of British inquiry team says Iraqi WMD evidence was 'very thin'
"The head of an inquiry team which examined British intelligence failures ahead of the invasion of Iraq spoke out Tuesday for the first time since issuing a damning report in July, describing the evidence which led Britain to war as 'very thin'."

Israeli whistleblower Vanunu: 'I would like to be a Palestinian citizen'

Terrorists Still Plan to Disrupt Election, Ridge Claims
"Ridge said every day that goes by without incident gives authorities more time to make the country safer."

US Intelligence Soldier Pleads Guilty to Iraq Abuse

Kerry Tells Bush 'Get Real,' Extend Weapon Ban
"Kerry said as a hunter and outdoorsman he would never try to change the Second Amendment to the Constitution giving Americans the right to bear arms."

Pentagon okays Halliburton purchasing policies and practices
"Halliburton's KBR subsidiary received government approval Thursday for its purchasing policies and practices in servicing a huge Pentagon logistics contract."

Inventor of DNA fingerprint testing warns flaw could lead to miscarriages of justice

Conn. city uses scanners to nab criminals
"This city is among the first in the nation to use infrared scanners that read license plates on moving and parked cars, giving officials immediate access to a database of police and tax records in their hunt for criminals and tax delinquents."

Suspected terrorist call draws officers
"A suspected terrorist situation Thursday morning that drew a swarm of law enforcement cruisers to a northern Durham gas station turned out to be nothing more than a family videotaping its vacation from New York."

Cannabis May Have Long-Term Benefit for MS
"The findings of a short, 15-week trial of MS patients published last year were inconclusive because although patients reported relief in muscle stiffness, rigidity and mobility, the findings could not be confirmed by physiotherapists."
Who's being treated here... the patients or the physiotherapists...?

Schwarzenegger Signs Bill Banning Sex with Corpses

September 9, 2004

At least 57 Iraqis killed in US-led assaults on insurgents
"As helicopters and planes flew overhead, the US army sealed off Tall Afar after 13 hours of bombardment and fierce fighting that the head of the local hospital said had left 45 people dead and more than 80 wounded."
"US troops announced through loudspeakers that for five days, residents would not be allowed to enter the town, which they charge is infested with fighters who infiltrated from Syria."

US bombing kills more Falluja civilians
"US air strikes have killed at least 12 Iraqi civilians in the town of Falluja in a third successive night of bombing."

AP: Thousands of Iraqis Estimated Killed
"U.S. officials said they didn't have the resources to track civilian deaths during the U.S.-led occupation,"

Taliban Say Attack Shows They Can Strike at Will

Pakistan jets pound tribal area

Russia's second Afghanistan
"After 10 years of trying to control Chechnya primarily by military force, punctuated by a period of withdrawal from 1996 to 1999, Russia still has not been able to realize its aim of ruling the republic through a compliant local political leadership. At present, the situation in Chechnya is deteriorating so badly that Moscow is increasingly faced with a series of options, all of which are unfavorable to its strategic and security interests."

West Bank, Gaza under closure; six Palestinians killed

U.S. doesn't condemn Israel for new settlement tenders
"Deputy State Department Spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters that the administration was studying the details of the tenders and looking into exactly what is involved and where the new units with be built. He said that he could not say whether the tenders constituted a breach of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s commitments to freeze settlement construction."

U.S. Hid Dozens of Iraqi Prisoners, Investigators Say
"The United States may have kept up to 100 'ghost detainees' in Iraq off the books and concealed from Red Cross observers, a far higher number than previously reported, an Army general told Congress on Thursday."

Spy-scandal lobby blitz - AIPAC secures wide backing after secrets charges
"That intense and frantic lobbying effort, which began on the eve of the GOP convention and continued unabated in New York, led dozens of lawmakers of both parties to testify to AIPAC's integrity before they had been briefed by the FBI investigators on the details of the case. Some lawmakers, however, stressed that they rose to AIPAC's defense without any prompting from the group."

White House Draws Fire From Congress, Officials Over Leak of FBI Probe
"the White House is drawing criticism from congressmen and Jewish communal officials over the FBI investigation into allegations that officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee illegally transferred secret information to Israel."

A Web Of Intrigue: Inside the Israel espionage investigation

Cheney Again Links Saddam to Al Qaeda

Flight ID Rules Fuel Fresh Furor
"Justice Department lawyers made the request to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Friday, saying that if the requirement to demand ID exists, it would be in a security directive that is classified as "sensitive security information" that it could not reveal in open court."

The Rise of the Homeland Security State - Fortress Big Apple, Revisited
"The RNC gave the NYPD (coordinating with the feds) a perfect opportunity to stockpile weapons systems, high-tech equipment, and surveillance devices. It allowed them to refine, perfect, and implement new tactics (someday, perhaps, to be thought of as the "New York model") for use penning in or squelching dissent. It offered them the chance to write up a playbook on how citizens' legal rights and civil liberties may be abridged, constrained, and violated at their discretion. In short, it gave them a free hand to transform New York City into a true homeland security statelet."

US army to take back Halliburton's $13bn contract after costs dispute
"The contract to provide housing, food and other services to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, potentially worth $13bn (£7.2bn), is expected to be broken into smaller parts and opened to competitive bids in the next few months."

U.S. Officers Unable to Vet Visa-Seeking Saudis -NYT
"The report, released on Thursday, said nine of the 10 officers assigned to screen visa applications in Saudi Arabia did not speak or read Arabic,"

Young Republicans
"TalkLeft has brought to everyone's attention a video from New York ABC affiliate Channel 7 that shows a young Republican kicking a female protester inside Madison Square Garden. At the time the Young Republican assaulted the protester she was being restrained by three Secret Service agents. The agents, in an attempt to keep her out of view of cameras - and her message away from convention viewers - were holding her down, pressing her against the ground. As the protester lay there, held down by three law enforcement officers, this Young Republican assaulted her. He kicked her, literally, while she was down."

Door-handle tests targeted
"Three men are challenging searches made of their homes after police, without search warrants, tested their front door handles for drug traces. The tests allegedly revealed microscopic drug particles, which officers then cited in requests for search warrants."

Yellow Tomato Causes Legal Dilemma
"Police investigating the fruit, thrown by an unemployed protestor at the premier of the state of Brandenburg, said on Thursday they have concluded it was a yellow tomato. Had it been a soft red one, the man would have faced a lesser charge of causing malicious damage. A harder, green tomato could carry the tougher charge of bodily harm."

September 7, 2004

US marines say up to 100 insurgents killed in Fallujah air strikes
"Smoke mushroomed into the sky. War planes strafed the industrial zone The general hospital had received a undetermined number of casualties and panic swept the city, the reporter added."

Dozens killed in Sadr City clashes

Israelis Mount New Gaza Raid After Strike on Hamas

Peace activist held as 'danger to Israel'

Israel vows to pursue Hamas leaders after Gaza strike

Hamas vows to exact bloody revenge after deadly Israeli strike

Cheney suggests a Kerry victory could invite a terrorist attack
"Vice President Dick Cheney charged Tuesday that Senator John Kerry was so dangerously weak on terrorism that if he were elected president, 'we’ll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States.'"

Senators introduce sweeping 9/11 legislation
"In addition, DHS must establish minimum standards for birth certificates, drivers' licenses and personal identification cards - a move that critics say is the first step toward creating a controversial national identification card."
(9/11 Commission Report Implementation Act of 2004 in PDF format)

Detainee hearings descend into farce

Confiscation of Registered Guns Begins in Illinois

GAO: Scully should lose pay for withholding estimates
"Paying Scully -- who has since left the administration -- violates the law that bans the use of appropriated funds to pay the salary of an official who prohibits another federal employee from providing information to Congress, GAO found. While Congress was debating the Medicare bill earlier this year, Scully threatened to fire chief Medicare actuary Rick Foster if he gave the cost estimates to lawmakers."

September 6, 2004

US air strike near Fallujah: marines

Bombing Near Fallujah, Clashes in Najaf by Juan Cole

U.S. Tanks Pound Rebel-Held Iraqi Town - Witnesses

Car Bomb Near Rebel Iraqi City Kills 7 U.S. Marines
"A car bomb attack on a U.S. patrol outside the rebel-held city of Falluja on Monday killed seven American marines and three Iraqi National Guardsmen,"

Violence May Force Iraq to Bypass Hotspots in Election
"Iraq remains on course to hold landmark elections in January, but violence could force authorities to exclude hotspots such as the western city of Fallouja from voting, a top U.S. general said here Sunday."

Bush wants to shift $3.3 billion to strengthen Iraq security
"Funds would be diverted from rebuilding projects"

Turning the heat on Tehran

At least 14 killed in IAF missile strike in Gaza

Official Campaign Opens in Afghan Presidential Poll

Georgia to boost Iraq contingent in October: defence minister
"During a 30-minute meeting with US officers, Baramidze thanked the US military for providing Georgian soldiers with uniforms, food, body armour, transport and ammunition. 'We have many brave people, but not many resources ... In these circumstances we are only able to send what is most dear to us, live soldiers,'"
300 of 'em...

South African investigators confiscate containers in nuclear probe
"The Johannesburg-based Afrikaans daily Beeld said 11 large crates were taken from Meyer's company in Vanderbijlpark, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Johannesburg on Saturday. Quoting unnamed sources, the newspaper said South African officials, under the supervision of a IAEA team dismantled what it described as a suspected uranium enrichment plant."

Critics slam Cambodia's plans for compulsory military service
"The Council of Ministers on Friday approved a law that will oblige men aged 18 to 30 to serve 18 months. Co-defence minister Tea Banh said this would inject fresh blood into the ageing military."

Brazil Government Criticizes New York Times Report
"Less than four months after causing an uproar by almost expelling a New York Times reporter, the Brazilian government criticized the U.S. newspaper on Monday for a report on a controversial proposal to oversee the country's journalists."

Learning from 9/11, Secret U.S. Watch Post Overhauled
"Cheyenne Mountain supports its mission, using satellites and other high-tech sensors to monitor space and the skies for incoming threats as small as a tennis ball."
"Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining!"

Bush: OB-GYNs Kept from 'Practicing Their Love'
"President Bush offered an unexpected reason on Monday for cracking down on frivolous medical lawsuits: 'Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country.'"

"A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts."
George Orwell - Politics and the English Language

Study Links TV to Teen Sexual Activity
"The study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development."
Ah, the old 'chicken and egg' conumdrum...

September 5, 2004

US forces battle Iraqi rebels as hundreds of suspects seized

Baghdad sewage plant offers example of problems in Iraqi reconstruction

Guerrillas disguised as construction worker plotted Russia school attack

British businessman selling arms to Sudan: report
"John Knight, a businessman from Kent, south England, stands to make 2.25 million pounds (3.3 million euros, four million dollars) by providing Sudan with enough hardware to equip a small army, the newspaper said. Knight, who has close links with Britain's defence ministry, is believed to have breached European Union and British sanctions by organising the deal, it said."

FBI painting ugly picture
"the current investigation is one indication of growing concerns that U.S. national security and foreign policy have been gravely compromised, or even hijacked, by a small but powerful group of Bush administration neocons. The concern is that this group, with the aid of Vice-President Dick Cheney, helped to engineer the Iraq war at least in part to destroy an enemy of Israel."

FBI probes Jewish sway on Bush government
"The FBI investigation into the Pentagon mole affair has expanded beyond data analyst Larry Franklin's immediate circle to encompass the entire issue of Jewish influence on the neoconservative part of the administration."

Auto insurer cuts rates for drivers in monitoring project

Drug Recycling Offers Alternative to Imports

September 4, 2004

Iraq War Continues into Month 17 - Dozens Killed, nearly 100 wounded in Multiple Clashes, Bombings by Juan Cole

Iraq extends Al-Jazeera ban

September 3, 2004

Police repel worshippers in pair of Iraq holy cities
"Police blocked roads and fired warning shots Friday in an effort to keep worshippers from entering mosques in the holy cities of Najaf and Kufa, the sites of recent violent clashes."

Old boys end up in a fine African mess

Kerry presses Bush to declare Darfur a genocide

Historians criticize Schwarzenegger for Austrian history gaffes

CACI chief defends company's interrogation work
"In an interview, J.P. 'Jack' London called the investigation 'a very complicated topic.'"

'Secrets' Perplex Panel - Classified Data Growing to Include 'Comically Irrelevant'

Growing marijuana, with Dutch government help
"James Burton, who once served a year in U.S. federal prison, still gets a kick out of the signs at his marijuana plantation here reminding employees whom to call in the event of an emergency. The Dutch police."

September 2, 2004

U.S. Air Strike on Iraq's Falluja Kills 17: Doctors

Pipeline attack halts Iraq's northern oil exports

Putin points the finger in the wrong direction

U.N. Warns Syria Against Interfering in Lebanon
"The council voted 9-0 with six abstentions -- the minimum vote possible -- to adopt the resolution after the United States and co-sponsor France agreed under pressure not to mention Syria by name, although it is the only country with foreign forces in Lebanon."

Israel hints of military action against Syria following suicide bombing

Gaddafi tells US, China to follow his lead on nukes
"The colonel, who surprised the world in December by admitting, and renouncing, Tripoli's program of weapons of mass destruction, advised all the nuclear powers, 'the United States to China, to follow Libya's example in getting rid of their weapons of mass destruction'."

Espionage Ruled Out in Case of Bad Art (Canada)
"'We have no... information in our possession other than to indicate that they were selling art... and that's how our department dealt with it,' Ferguson said. 'Basically, they were seen as working illegally'. But the official declarations have not succeeded in quelling all public uneasiness about the art students and their motives, talk that has dogged reports of the operation on both sides of the border for more than three years."
Isn't this what Mike Rivero's always going on about...?

Wider FBI Probe Of Pentagon Leaks Includes Chalabi
"FBI counterintelligence agents are investigating whether several Pentagon officials leaked classified information to Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, according to a law enforcement official and other people familiar with the case."

FBI Informed WHouse of AIPAC Probe Two Years Ago
"President Bush's top national security advisers were told more than two years ago of an FBI investigation into whether classified information was passed to Israel by a powerful pro-Israeli lobbying group, U.S. officials said on Thursday."

Alleged Pentagon leaks may be connected to battle over Iran policy

U.S. Court Dismisses Landmark Terror Convictions

DeLay makes intense appeal for Jewish voters
"My friends, there is no Palestinian-Israeli conflict. There is only the global war on terrorism™," DeLay told the crowd at the Plaza Hotel Monday.

Things getting sticky for owner of sticker
"agents from the Secret Service recently paid Kjar a visit, telling him that his neighbors had alerted them to a potentially threatening bumper sticker on his car."
Some fascists apparently find the Constitution's only value is as tinder to light the firewood they'd make of the tree of Liberty.

September 1, 2004

U.S. Strike on Fallujah Kills 9 Civilians

UN says Iran not developing nuclear weapon, US warns Tehran is atomic threat

India plans to build long-range missiles with Israel: official

Japanese military wants fatter budget for missile defence, intelligence

Leak Probe More Than 2 Years Old
"The investigation of Franklin is coincidental to the broader FBI counterintelligence probe, which was already long underway when Franklin came to the attention of investigators, U.S. officials and sources said."

Iran-Contra, Part Deux?

U.S. Seeks to Dismiss Terror Convictions
"In a dramatic reversal, the Justice Department acknowledges its original prosecution of a suspected terror cell in Detroit was filled with a 'pattern of mistakes and oversights' that warrant the dismissal of the convictions."

Cops weave webs with nets
"In their zeal to keep protesters in line, the NYPD has added some unlikely weapons to its arsenal: plastic netting and scores of undercover cops on scooters."

Store Clerk Accepts Fake $200 Bill, Makes Change

The Incredible, Edible Egg
"Hanson said after the men were transported to the Nashua Police Department, a hazardous materials squad was activated to examine the portions of the two eggs thrown and another egg that had been squashed in one of the men’s backpacks. 'They could have injected anything into these eggs,' Hanson said. Although the five-member HAZMAT team found no evidence of foreign chemicals in the egg debris, and no weapons were found on the men, Hanson stressed that the incident was dangerous and resulted in a cost to the city."




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