Saturday, January 27, 2007

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST January 27, 2007

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CBS News

Obama Calls For Universal Health Care

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2007

(AP) Every American should have health care coverage within six years,Democratic Sen. Barack Obama said Thursday as he set an ambitious goal soonafter jumping into the 2008 presidential race.

"The time has come for universal health care in America," Obama said at aconference of Families USA, a health care advocacy group.

"I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the nextpresident, we should have universal health care in this country," theIllinois senator said.

Obama was previewing what is shaping up to be a theme of the 2008 Democraticprimary. His chief rivals, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards,also are strong proponents of universal health care and have promised tooffer their plans.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Jan. 27, 2007

Many obstacles standing in way of Padilla trial
From the defendant's competency for trial to the government's treatment ofhim, the Jose Padilla trial is fraught with hurdles that threaten to delaythe proceedings -- or cancel them completely.

Associated Press

When Jose Padilla was whisked from a Navy brig to Miami after 3 ½ years ofsolitary confinement as an enemy combatant, his lawyers and civil libertiesgroups jubilantly declared that Padilla's rights as a U.S. citizen werefinally being upheld and his day in court was near.

More than a year after he stepped off a government helicopter into thebright Florida sunshine, two things are clear: His rights are beingprotected, and it's not at all certain if and when he might actually standtrial on terrorism charges.

Federal prosecutors say there are at least two dozen major legal issues thatmust be resolved before trial can begin, ranging from whether Padilla ismentally competent to stand trial to a variety of challenges to evidence,expert witnesses and the validity of wiretaps used to intercept thousands oftelephone conversations.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Jan. 27, 2007


Some of the major issues yet to be resolved before trial can start in theterrorism case against alleged al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla and twocodefendants, according to court documents and lawyers involved in the case:

. Competency: Padilla's attorneys want a federal judge to decide whether heis mentally competent to stand trial. Two experts hired by the defense sayhe suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his 3 ½ yearsin isolated military custody as an enemy combatant. Those experts say he isunable to assist in his defense, exhibits paranoid tendencies, has frequentfacial tics and is often ''hypervigilant.'' The Bureau of Prisons isconducting an evaluation that is due in mid-February.

. Torture: Padilla claims he was tortured during his years in militarycustody, saying among other things that he was forced to stand in painfulstress positions, given LSD or some other drug as a ''truth serum,''subjected to loud noises and noxious odors and forced to endure sleepdeprivation, extreme heat and cold, and harsh lights. His lawyers want theentire case dismissed for this alleged ''outrageous government conduct,''which U.S. officials deny.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Jan. 27, 2007

Who, or what, will succeed U.S. supremacy?


DAVOS, Switzerland -- This year's focus of the World Economic Forum -- aconference with more than 2,400 global political, economic and culturalleaders -- is on ''the shifting power equation.'' This is another way ofsaying that global economic and political power is fragmenting and that theAmerican unipolar moment is gone.

There is no sense of triumphalism from non-Americans here at the slowdecline of U.S. power, nor is there any anointed successor. This year isunlike Davoses past, which extolled American economic and technologicalprimacy (late 1990s) or the rise of Asia, or the hope for a powerful UnitedEurope that would rival the United States.

This is a chastened Davos, with no country or region being lionized, and afrisson of unease about the political future. A survey of participantsshowed that 61 percent believed that the next generation will live in a lesssafe world.



South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

January 27, 2007

`Vice' rebuffed Iran's offer of help

No wonder Vice President Dick Cheney likes to stay mostly out of sight.Anyone else who had done as much harm would want to hide too.

Now comes word that Cheney wrecked a chance for the United States to improverelations with Iran and perhaps get some help in stabilizing Iraq. Iranoffered such help in 2003, a former State Department official told the BBC,and also offered to make its nuclear program more transparent and drop itsmilitary support for Hezbollah and Hamas. It asked for relatively little inreturn.

The State Department wanted to accept the offer, but Cheney opposed eventalking to a member of the "Axis of Evil." A golden opportunity was lost,and America remains mired in Iraq and on a collision course with Iran.

When history assesses the Bush administration, it will not be kind to thepresident. But it will reserve its lowest marks for the vice president.


The Washington Post

Diverse Voices To Denounce Iraq Troop Plan

By Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 27, 2007; B01

Tens of thousands of demonstrators from across the country are expected toconverge in Washington today to urge the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraqas President Bush is proposing to send more troops in an effort to stabilizethe country.

They plan to rally on the Mall, march around the north side of the Capitoland send a strong message to the government.

The event, which authorities said could draw 100,000 people, starts with arally at 11 a.m. Among those expected to address the crowd are Jane Fonda,Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon and Jesse Jackson.

The march, organized by the group United for Peace and Justice, is scheduledto start at 1 p.m.

It will proceed eastward toward the Capitol along Constitution Avenue, headsouth on First Street NE, then make a U-turn and retrace the route beforepassing the western front of the Capitol and returning to the Mall alongFourth Street SW.


The Washington Post

What North Korea Really Wants

By Robert Carlin and John W. Lewis
Saturday, January 27, 2007; A19

Those who think that dealing with North Korea is impossible are wrong.Unfortunately, those who think that it is, in fact, possible to deal withNorth Korea often are not much closer to the truth. The basic problem isthat people of both views simply haven't figured out what it is that theNorth really wants.

We tend to confuse North Korea's short-term tactical goals with its broaderstrategic focus. We draw up list after list of things we think might appealto Pyongyang on the assumption that these will constitute a "leveragedbuyout," finally achieving what we want: the total, irreversibledenuclearization of North Korea.

But this list of "carrots" (energy, food, the lifting of sanctions) does notinclude what the North thinks it must have. It can, of course, help keep theprocess on track and moving ahead, and it could help cement a final deal andhold it together through the inevitable political storms. But these thingsare not the ends that North Korea seeks.


The Washington Post

Saturday, January 27, 2007; 1:46 AM

(p)U.N. Approves Resolution Condemning Holocaust Denying(/p)

(p) By Bill Brubaker(/p)

(p)Washington Post Staff Writer(/p)

(p)The United Nations General Assembly today approved a resolution, draftedby the United States and co-sponsored by 103 countries, that condemnsdenials of the Holocaust.(/p)

(p)The resolution came six weeks after a conference in Tehran, organized byIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, questioned whether six million Jewswere exterminated during World War II.(/p)

(p)Ahmadinejad and the conference were not mentioned in the resolution,which "condemns without any reservation any denial of the Holocaust" and"urges all member states unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaustas a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to thisend."(/p)

(p) The conference, which drew 67 Holocaust skeptics and deniers from 30nations, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, was widelydenounced.(/p)


The Washington Post

In Race for Iowa, Clinton Has to Make Up Ground
With Caucus a Year Away, Polls Show She's Behind in the State

By Anne E. Kornblut and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, January 27, 2007; A02

DES MOINES, Jan. 26 -- When New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton arriveshere for her first presidential campaign events this weekend, she willencounter unfamiliar terrain -- a landscape where she is not the perceivedfront-runner for the Democratic nomination.

Although Clinton appears formidable at the national level, she has not builtup a lead in Iowa, home of the first caucuses of the 2008 campaign nextJanuary. Most recent polls of Iowa Democrats have shown former senator JohnEdwards of North Carolina in the lead, with Clinton in a pack that includesIllinois Sen. Barack Obama and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack.

"This is anyone's race to win, including obviously Governor Vilsack, who isvery familiar with the landscape here," said newly elected Iowa Gov. ChetCulver (D), who met with Clinton shortly after she arrived Friday afternoonbut who is remaining neutral. "That's the wonderful thing about the caucusprocess. The winner will have to earn it."


The Washington Post

Tortured Man Gets Apology From Canada

By Doug Struck
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, January 27, 2007; A14

MONTREAL, Jan. 26 -- The prime minister of Canada apologized Friday to MaherArar and agreed to give $9 million in compensation to the Canadian Arab, whowas spirited by U.S. agents to Syria and tortured there after being falselynamed as a terrorism suspect.

Arar, 36, a former computer engineer who was detained while changing planesat a New York airport in 2002 and imprisoned in a Syrian dungeon for 10months, said after the announcement that he "feels proud as a Canadian."

"We cannot go back and fix the injustice that occurred to Mr. Arar," PrimeMinister Stephen Harper said in issuing the formal apology in Ottawa."However, we can make changes to lessen the likelihood that something likethis will ever happen again." The head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Policeresigned over the affair, and the government has pledged to increaseoversight of its intelligence agencies.


Norway May End Ban On Stem Cell Research
by The Associated Press

Posted: January 26, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Oslo) Norway's government proposed lifting a national ban on using humanembryonic stem cells for research, saying Friday that the change might helpfind cures to a broad range of diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Embryonic stem cells have the ability to become any tissue in the body,leading scientists to see them as a possible source of medicalbreakthroughs. But the research typically involves the destruction of frozenembryos created for in vitro fertilization, a step that stirs passions overthe beginning of life.

Norwegian biotechnology law from 2003 bars use of fertilized eggs or stemcells taken from them in research, and requires eggs left over afterassisted pregnancies to be destroyed.

The proposed law would allow research on such eggs under strict legal andethnical limits, including consent from the parents and approval from anational ethics panel, the government proposal said.


The Washington Post

Supreme Court TV

By Dahlia Lithwick
Sunday, January 28, 2007; B02

The justices of the Supreme Court have served hard time in the makeup chairin recent months. John Paul Stevens and John G. Roberts Jr. gave prime-timeinterviews to ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg; Ruth Bader Ginsburg chatted withCBS's Mike Wallace in chambers; and Stephen G. Breyer has logged almost asmuch time on camera as Lindsay Lohan -- including a sit-down with CharlieRose and a gig on "Fox News Sunday." And Roberts, the chief justice, is partof a documentary airing on PBS next week.

Even some of the justices who are reluctant to talk on camera have been moreamenable to speaking on the record lately. Breyer and Antonin Scalia engagedin a wide-ranging public debate in December that is available on the Web.And ABC's Crawford Greenburg secured interviews with nine justices for hernew book, "Supreme Conflict." Nine justices. That's a far cry from "TheBrethren."


The New York Times

January 27, 2007

The Bait-and-Switch White House

We often wonder whether there is a limit to the Bush administration'sobsession with secrecy, its assault on the rule of law, its disdain for thepowers of Congress, its willingness to con the public and its refusal toheed expert advice or recognize facts on the ground. Events of the past weeksuggest the answer is no.

In his State of the Union speech, Mr. Bush stuck to his ill-conceived plansfor Iraq, but at least admitted the situation was dire. He said he wanted towork with Congress and announced a bipartisan council on national security.

That lasted a day. By Wednesday evening, Vice President Dick Cheney was onCNN contradicting most of what Mr. Bush had said. We were left asking, onceagain, Who exactly is running this White House?

While Mr. Bush has been a bit more forthright lately about how badly thingshave gone in Iraq, Mr. Cheney spoke of "enormous successes" there andrefused to pay even curled-lip service to consulting Congress. Whatevervotes Congress takes on Iraq, Mr. Cheney said, "it won't stop us."


The New York Times

January 27, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
Daffy Does Doom

Dick Durbin went to the floor of the Senate on Thursday night to denouncethe vice president as "delusional."

It was shocking, and Senator Durbin should be ashamed of himself.

Delusional is far too mild a word to describe Dick Cheney. Delusionaldoesn't begin to capture the profound, transcendental one-flew-over daftness of theman.

Has anyone in the history of the United States ever been so singularly wrongand misguided about such phenomenally important events and continued toinsist he's right in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary?

It requires an exquisite kind of lunacy to spend hundreds of billionsdestroying America's reputation in the world, exhausting the U.S. military,failing to catch Osama, enhancing Iran's power in the Middle East andsending American kids to train and arm Iraqi forces so they can work againstAmerican interests.


Technology Review

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Discovering the Surface of Greenland
A new Discovering the Surface of Greenland--and betterinsight into future sea-level increases.

By David Talbot

Greenland holds enough water to raise global sea levels seven meters, andsouthern Greenland is already showing accelerated melting. But the rate ofthis melting and other ice dynamics are poorly understood, partly becauseGreenland's surface is so inscrutably white and featureless in ordinarysatellite images. Now, a new image-processing approach gives a clearer viewof subtle inland features, providing sharper clues into glacialmovements--and better insight into future sea-level increases.

The technology starts with as many as 94 red and infrared images of the sameregion, taken by two NASA satellites, called Terra and Aqua, that have polarorbits and cross Greenland several times a day. Each raw image--a measure oflight from the surface--has a resolution of 250 meters per pixel. But byaligning and averaging values within areas of pixel overlap among multipleimages of the same area, researchers at the National Snow and Ice DataCenter at the University of Colorado at Boulder tightened the resolution toas little as 100 meters per pixel and roughly quadrupled contrastsensitivity.

As one example of a payoff, researchers are finally getting a clear pictureof a 600-by-50-kilometer eyedropper-shaped ice formation informally known asNEGIS (for Northeast Greenland Ice Stream). This massive feature--which issliding toward the sea at a few hundred meters per year--wasn't even knownto science until 1991.


Hang It Up, Obama -- It's Hillary's Nomination
by Matt Towery
Posted Jan 18, 2007

People often ask me who will be the Democratic nominee for president in2008. I always answer without a trace of hesitation: "Hillary Clinton."

Usually they look stunned. Whether they are rabidly pro-Hillary or rabidHillary-haters from the GOP side of the fence, it makes no difference. Theyall seem to be buying into the misguided notion that Sen. Clinton is socontroversial that she is entirely unelectable.

Partly thanks to that belief, "Obama mania" is sweeping the nation vianewspaper and magazine headlines, and television news shows.

Like it or don't like it, but trust me: Hillary will win the Democraticnomination.

For one thing, Obama is a red herring. Sure, it's a novel and refreshingconcept that a highly appealing black man could leapfrog to the head of theDemocratic ticket. But black is not the key color here, green is.


Forwarded from Susan Frishkorn
Tri-County -

Published on Friday, January 26, 2007 by The Nation

Impeachment: The Case in Favor
by Elizabeth Holtzman

Approximately a year ago, I wrote in this magazine that President George W.Bush had committed high crimes and misdemeanors and should be impeached andremoved from office. His impeachable offenses include using lies anddeceptions to drive the country into war in Iraq, deliberately andrepeatedly violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) onwiretapping in the United States, and facilitating the mistreatment of USdetainees in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the War Crimes Act of1996.

Since then, the case against President Bush has, if anything, beenstrengthened by reports that he personally authorized CIA abuse ofdetainees. In addition, courts have rejected some of his extreme assertionsof executive power. The Supreme Court ruled that the Geneva Conventionsapply to the treatment of detainees, and a federal judge ruled that thePresident could not legally ignore FISA. Even Attorney General AlbertoGonzales's recent announcement that the wiretapping program would from nowon operate under FISA court supervision strongly suggests that Bush's priorclaims that it could not were untrue.

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1 comment:

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