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October 1-15, 2005

October 12, 2005

Ex-Iraqi Officials Sought in $1B Theft
"Iraq has issued arrest warrants against the defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over the alleged disappearance or misappropriation of $1 billion in military procurement funds, officials said Monday."

Chavez tax collectors shut down multinationals
"Venezuela's tax authority, citing alleged irregularities, has ordered the temporary closure of the local offices of US-based computer groups IBM and Microsoft and those of several other multinationals.

Mobile telephone manufacturers Nokia, Ericsson and Siemens, as well as car parts maker Bosch Rexroth and assembler Honda Motor, were also told by the government of President Hugo Chavez to close for 24-48 hours."

Bush wants authority to order military quarantine of Americans

Marines: Looking for a Few Good Aliens?
"This week, a general court martial is to begin at Parris Island, South Carolina, for a U.S. Marine recruiter accused of selling and delivering counterfeit documents to illegal aliens in order for them to join the service."

The Real Crime: 1,000 Errors in Fingerprint Matching Every Year

Polk County Web site operator arrested on obscenity charges
"A Polk County man who operates a pornographic Web site that also displays disturbing images of Iraqi and Afghan war dead sent in by U.S. troops has been arrested on 300 obscenity-related charges.

Polk authorities arrested Chris Wilson, 27, of Edgewood Drive in Lakeland, said his attorney, Larry Walters. Sheriff's officials said Wilson was being held at the Polk County Jail with bail set at $151,000."

Army probes online photos of war dead
"The Army has opened an investigation into whether American troops have sent gruesome photographs of Iraqi war dead to an Internet site where the soldiers were given free access to online pornography, military officials say."

Road to digital drivers' licenses chaotic

China bear bile farmer eaten by own animals

October 1, 2005

British hand over control of Basra
"British forces have handed over their main base in the city of Basra to the Iraqi military to allow it to take over the main security duties there."

China sets new rules on Internet news
"'The state bans the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest,' the official Xinhua news agency said in announcing the new rules, which took effect immediately."

US anti-drugs plane shot down
"The plane was owned by the US State Department, said Gregory Lagana, spokesman for Dyncorp, a US company paid by the State Department to fumigate coca crops in Colombia. Lagana declined to say who the pilot worked for."

Navy Secretly Contracted Jets Used by CIA
"A branch of the U.S. Navy secretly contracted a 33-plane fleet that included two Gulfstream jets reportedly used to fly terror suspects to countries known to practice torture, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

At least 10 U.S. aviation companies were issued classified contracts in 2001 and 2002 by the obscure Navy Engineering Logistics Office for the 'occasional airlift of USN (Navy) cargo worldwide,' according to Defense Department documents the AP obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Two of the companies - Richmor Aviation Inc. and Premier Executive Transport Services Inc. - chartered luxury Gulfstreams that flew terror suspects captured in Europe to Egypt, according to U.S. and European media reports."

Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Photos

Bill calls for collecting DNA of suspects held by feds
"Suspects arrested or detained by federal authorities could be forced to provide samples of their DNA that would be recorded in a central database under a provision of a Senate bill to expand government collection of personal data.

The controversial measure was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week and is supported by the White House, but has not gone to the floor for a vote. It goes beyond current law, which allows federal authorities to collect and record samples of DNA only from those convicted of crimes."

FBI to get veto power over PC software?
"According to the three-page document, to preserve the openness that characterizes today's Internet, 'consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.' Read the last seven words again.

The FCC didn't offer much in the way of clarification. But the clearest reading of the pronouncement is that some unelected bureaucrats at the commission have decreeed that Americans don't have the right to use software such as Skype or PGPfone if it doesn't support mandatory backdoors for wiretapping. (That interpretation was confirmed by an FCC spokesman on Monday, who asked not to be identified by name. Also, the announcement came at the same time as the FCC posted its wiretapping rules for Internet telephony.)"

Homeowners beware: Crooks spraying weeds   (AZ)
"Well, for those who don't appreciate the excruciating art of bureaucratese, a weed is a pest and as such comes under the ever-watchful eye of the Structural Pest Control Commission. Under the law, a person cannot kill any but his own weeds unless he has a qualifying party license, an applicator's license and a Pest Control business license. And only then, if said person actually owns and occupies the land on which said weeds appear.

Folks, I don't make this stuff up."

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