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November 2006

November 30, 2006

US carried out madrasah bombing
"'We thought it would be less damaging if we said we did it rather than the US,' said a key aide to President Pervez Musharraf. 'But there was a lot of collateral damage and we’ve requested the Americans not to do it again.'"

Police target dangerous suspects before they can offend   (UK)
"Criminal profilers are drawing up a list of the 100 most dangerous murderers and rapists of the future even before they commit such crimes, The Times has learnt.

The highly controversial database will be used by police and other agencies to target suspects before they can carry out a serious offence. Pilot projects to identify the highest-risk future offenders have been operating in five London boroughs for the past two months."

The nursery rhyme police - parents to take lessons in reading and singing   (UK)

British Police Probe Ex-Spy's Poisoning

Cracked it!
"Three million Britons have been issued with the new hi-tech passport, designed to frustrate terrorists and fraudsters. So why did Steve Boggan and a friendly computer expert find it so easy to break the security codes?"

Colombian Government Shaken By Lawmakers' Paramilitary Ties
"The government of President Álvaro Uribe is being shaken by its most serious political crisis yet, as details emerge about members of Congress who collaborated with right-wing death squads to spread terror and exert political control across Colombia's Caribbean coast."

Your details could be logged at the till   (AU)
"Everyday transactions such as buying a store gift card or playing pokies could lead to your details being recorded on a government database under a crackdown on money laundering and terrorism.

Top law firms, privacy groups and shopping giant Westfield fear low-risk and low-value items such as gift cards, phone cards and toll road passes could be subject to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Bill, which was passed in the House of Representatives last night."

China Admits Selling Prisoners' Organs
"Speaking at a national conference of transplant surgeons in Guangzhou last week, Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu admitted, 'Apart from a small portion of traffic victims, most of the organs from cadavers are from executed prisoners,' according to the China Daily, a state-run English-language newspaper published in Beijing."

China sentences Web porn king to life in prison

1 in 32 Americans in jails, on parole
"A record 7 million people - or one in every 32 American adults - were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, according to the Justice Department. Of those, 2.2 million were in prison or jail, an increase of 2.7 percent over the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday."

Struggling U.S. dollar triggers currency concerns

Gonzales attacks ruling against domestic spying
"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales contended Saturday that some critics of the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program were defining freedom in a way that presents a 'grave threat' to U.S. security."

Federal judge rejects request for NSA wiretapping records
"The National Security Agency is not required to release details about its secret wiretapping program, a federal judge said this week.

The People for the American Way Foundation, a liberal advocacy group, sued to obtain records under the Freedom of Information Act. The group sought to find out how many wiretaps were approved and who reviewed the program.
The NSA denied the request for documents, saying the records would jeopardize national security. The advocacy group argued that the law can't be used to protect the government from disclosing details about illegal programs.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle disagreed, saying in her Nov. 20 memorandum opinion that even if the program is ultimately determined to be illegal, it doesn't change the fact that the materials are classified and are not covered by the FOIA."

Rendition Survivor Appeals Case Against CIA Officials
"A federal appeals court heard arguments here Tuesday from civil rights advocates trying to reinstate a landmark lawsuit against the CIA over alleged human rights abuses.

Federal attorneys argued vigorously to keep the case from going to trial.

The lawsuit, originally filed last December on behalf of German citizen Khaled El-Masri, claims former CIA director George Tenet and other unnamed CIA officials violated due-process and human rights protections by facilitating his capture, torture and prolonged secret detention. Under the CIA’s 'extraordinary rendition' program, Macedonian government agents abducted El-Masri in 2004 and eventually helped to transport him to a prison in Afghanistan, the suit alleges."

CIA Acknowledges 2 Interrogation Memos
"After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence of two classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detention policies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

But CIA lawyers say the documents - memos from President Bush and the Justice Department - are still so sensitive that no portion can be released to the public."

Global Hawk to Fly 1st Mission Over U.S.
"They've become a fixture in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan, a new breed of unmanned aircraft operated with remote controls by 'pilots sitting in virtual cockpits many miles away.
'This landmark flight has historic implications since it's the first time a Global Hawk has not only flown from Beale, but anywhere in the United States on an official Air Combat Command mission,' base spokesman Capt. Michael Andrews said in a statement."

Federal Communications Commission: Establishment of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau

Four Were Framed With The FBI's Help
"When a flurry of gunshots ended Edward 'Teddy' Deegan's misspent life more than 40 years ago, there should have been no mystery about who pulled the trigger.
Thousands of recently disclosed U.S. Justice Department records show that the FBI, in order to cultivate Flemmi and Barboza as informants, allowed them to frame four innocent men for the Deegan murder."

Homeland Security Watchdog Ups Estimates for Virtual Border Fence
"Electronic monitoring and other steps for enhancing surveillance along the southwestern border could cost 15 times the initial $2 billion estimate, the Homeland Security Department's inspector general says."

Woman, 92, Dies in Shootout With Police

Informant in shooting of elderly woman has string of drug arrests

"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, polkers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you'd be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur -- what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked. The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!"
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956

Army Game Proves U.S. Can't Lose
"The new PC title, Future Force Company Commander, or F2C2, is a nifty God-game that puts players in the driver's seat of 18 systems at the heart of the military's new net-centric warfare approach. The Army added the game to its recruiting tool kit last month as a high-tech follow-up to its successful America's Army shooter.

It's an impressive game, simulating weaponry the military is actually using or building, gamers say. But the gameplay is designed so it's hard to lose: The equipment holds up awfully well and the enemy doesn't learn from experience."

Organisers go a joint too far in record bid
"A plan to roll and smoke the world's largest joint was cancelled at short notice in Amsterdam when the organisers realised they could be breaking the law.

'We have now read the small print and realise there could be problems,' Thijs Verheij, one of the organisers, was quoted as saying by ANP news agency after consulting Dutch drugs laws.

The group had wanted to roll a 1.5-metre long pure-weed joint, stuffed with 500 grams of marijuana and containing no tobacco, and smoke it in a bar."
I don't recall any similar concerns at the last big event like this...?

W library in record book
"Eager to begin refurbishing his tattered legacy, the President hopes to raise $500 million to build his library and a think tank at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Bush lived in Dallas until he was elected governor of Texas in 1995.
The legacy-polishing centerpiece is an institute, which several Bush insiders called the Institute for Democracy. Patterned after Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Bush's institute will hire conservative scholars and "give them money to write papers and books favorable to the President's policies," one Bush insider said."

Bush gives go-ahead for building 'Bush Center' in Israel
"United States President George Bush was informed on Tuesday of an initiative to establish a center under his name in Israel, as a sign of gratitude for his support for the country and its security.

Outgoing Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Ayalon asked Bush for the go-ahead to establish such a center during a farewell meeting with the president and his deputy, Dick Cheney.

Bush told Ayalon that 'freedom' would be a worthy subject for the center to focus on."

November 15, 2006

Alarm as innocent people fill DNA database   (UK)

US Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons
"The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the 'alternative interrogation methods' that their captors used to get them to talk.

The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release - even to the detainees' own attorneys - 'could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage.' Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation techniques and foil government efforts to elicit information about their methods and plots, according to government documents submitted to US District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Oct. 26."

Bush presses domestic surveillance bill as Democrats balk

US: Immigrants May Be Held Indefinitely
"Immigrants arrested in the United States may be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism and may not challenge their imprisonment in civilian courts, the Bush administration said Monday, opening a new legal front in the fight over the rights of detainees.

In court documents filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., the Justice Department said a new anti-terrorism law being used to hold detainees in Guantanamo Bay also applies to foreigners captured and held in the United States."

House Passes ‘Terrorism’ Act Against Animal Activists
"Monday afternoon, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that reclassifies unlawful animal-rights tactics as terrorism under certain conditions, even if they are non-violent.

As reported by The NewStandard just hours before the House took its voice vote on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), the bill will classify civil disobedience actions - such as blockades, property destruction, trespassing, and the freeing of captive animals - as terrorism."

U.S. Plans to Screen All Who Enter, Leave Country

49 Million U.S. Adults Notified Of Data Breaches: Study
"An estimated 49 million U.S. adults have been told over the last three years that their personal information has been lost, stolen or improperly disclosed, a research firm said Friday."

NYC: Gambling Web Site Brings 24 Charges
"Criminal charges have been brought against more than two dozen individuals and corporations in four states in connection with a billion-dollar-a-year gambling Web site, authorities said Wednesday.
Ryan said arrests had been made in four states, and 'we have initiated a $500 million asset forfeiture case,' one of the largest in state history."

Mid-flight sexual play lands US couple afoul of anti-terrorism law

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