1. The mysterious Oregon owner of a private jet that Human-rights activists say the CIA used to ferry terrorism suspects has let his business license lapse... .C'mon... It could happen. Scott Caplan registered the Gulfstream V under the name Leonard Bayard. Who does not exist. (Now that's 'extraordinary' rendition!).
2. Believe It Or Not: Faith-based logging? The federal government is losing money on logging roadless areas burned in 2002. Now ask me how the private sector is making out on these timber sales...
3. More than 1,000 Intel employees in Oregon got the news this week that their jobs are gone. "Restructuring", you know.
4. Can I Get A Witness: The Oregonian and eye-witnesses who posted accounts on Portland Indymedia apparently attended completely different World Can't Wait demonstrations yesterday. The Oregonian reported the protest as "loud but orderly", ten arrests and no injuries. A witness posted on indymedia, "I have been to many protests, witnessed countless acts of police brutality, but none compare to what I saw today... Friends of mine were trampled by horses, beaten with billy clubs and pepper sprayed severely."
5. There may be more charges in the Hewlett-Packard pipeline.
6. The House Ethics Committee (The operative word here is not 'Ethics', as one might wish, but 'House'. That's the key to understanding why this Committee has no doubt already exonerated former Representative - and pervert - Mark Foley.) has opened an "expansive" investigation into the sex scandal complete with subpoenas and all. (This makes it look like a real investigation in much the same way that the 9/11 Commission made treason into terror.)
7. Seventeen thousand residents of a suburban Raleigh North Carolina enclave had to flee their homes after a hazardous materials fire. EQ Industrial Services is a hazardous waste plant that housed a lethal brew of chemicals. (This was clearly an accident, but it begs the question, 'If the nation is crawling with terrorist, why wasn't there more oversight at the EQ facility?'
8. Gay marriage advocates are appealing a State Appeals Court ruling upholding California's ban on same-sex weddings. The decision - if it stands - would be a critical defeat for the cause of equal rights.
9. The War On Snacks: Bill Clinton is fighting school snacks.
10. European Union and US negotiators reached an interim deal on sharing trans-Atlantic air passenger data for anti-terror investigations. The A/P story reads, "This concluded arduous talks that highlighted divisions over privacy rights." (Translation: The US strong armed the EU negotiators into accepting American violations of travelers' privacy and civil rights.)
11. Chile's single-parent President, Michele Bachelet has come out clearly in support of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela's bid for the temporary seat on the UN Security Council.
12. World Can't Waste: Angry Ivorians crowded the streets of the Ivory Coast capital, Abidjan protesting the toxic waste that was dumped in communities across their cities. Originally the government had agreed to pay for medical care for those sickened by the poisoning. That offer has been withdrawn.
13. The UN says that three African nations will not be allowed to sell some of the 60 metric tones of ivory. The one-time ivory sale has been postponed because UN environment officials claim they need more information on the status of the African elephant populations and on poaching rates.
14. Approximately 130 Georgians were deported from Russia after being accused of immigration offences. Moscow police have also asked schools to release lists of pupils with Georgian surnames (Is that a whiff of 'ethnic cleansing' in the air?) and inquiries into Georgian-owned businesses. Ominous...
15. Rafael Correa, Ecuador's populist candidate, might just win the up-coming presidential election.
16. The Whole World Is Watching: A Texas magistrate has recommended that Luis Posada Carriles be freed because he has not been designated a terrorist. Carriles planned the 1976 bombing of a Cuban plane in which about 130 people were killed, he was involved in the fiasco that was the Bay of Pigs invasion, he has been a CIA operative for many years and many would just straight-up call the man an assassin. But terrorist? No. Nope. Anybody who would attack and kill pro-Castro Cubans is a friend of this administration's. Today is the 30th anniversary of the downing of the plane. This is hypocrisy of a caliber never seen before by other nations. This flaunts national, international and the laws of human decency (I'm fairly certain Gawd and Nature are outraged as well). This tells the world that we are engaged in a global campaign of subjugation and that out hands are so soaked in blood, no self-respecting foreign national would shake them.
17. The cause of the Cuban Five will be supported by the Mexican Committee of Solidarity with Cuba. The action takes place this weekend in Mexico City and we'll keep you posted.
18. Global Warming is spreading drought and extending the deadly reach of desertification.
19. A solid majority of American soldiers returning from the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan say that US armed forces are stretched too thin - not to mention dead or maimed...
20. Ministers from six of the world's heavy hitters are gathering in London to discuss what to do about Iran. Yes, they'll all be there, except Iran...
21. China has beamed a ground-based laser at US spy satellites zipping about collecting data on what? Clandestine Gucci knock-off factories? The latest numbers from the Ling Hua Collective's pig husbandry program? The lunch specials from that place on the corner in downtown Huang Gian, you know the one I mean... ? What this does tell us, is that any twelve-year old geek slouched in an Internet café anywhere in the Solar System could take out the US Missile Defense System.