Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Rooster Posted by Picasa

October 17, 2005. Sunset in New Dehli, India. Posted by Picasa

Morning Papers - It's Origins

Rooster "Crowing"



1701 the Collegiate School of Connecticut -- later Yale University -- was chartered.

1888 the public was first admitted to the Washington Monument.

1926 Rock'n roll star Chuck Berry is born in St. Louis.

1930 Laura Ingalls became the first woman to fly across the United States as she completed a nine-stop journey from Roosevelt Field, N.Y., to Glendale, Calif.

1936 the first generator at Boulder (later Hoover) Dam began transmitting electricity to Los Angeles.

1945 Paul Robeson is awarded the Spingarn Medal for distinguished achievement in theatre and concert stage.

1948 Playwright Ntozake Shange is born Paulette Williams in Trenton, NJ.

1951 Writer Terry McMillan, known for her novels "Waiting to Exhale" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back", is born in Port Huron, MI.

1961 Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who will become a leading figure in contemporary jazz and classical music, is born in New Orleans, LA

1962 Uganda won autonomy from British rule.

1967 Latin American guerrilla leader Che Guevara was executed while attempting to incite revolution in Bolivia.

1975 Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1985 the hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise liner surrendered after the ship arrived in Port Said, Egypt.

Missing in Action



Reconstruction costs could go beyond $5bn: UN & EU to take up issue: FO
By Qudssia Akhlaque
ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: Pakistan on Monday declared that the reconstruction cost of areas affected by the devastating October 8 earthquake could go well beyond the initial estimate of $5 billion.
This was stated by Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam at a weekly news briefing here in the afternoon.
“The process of damage assessment has not completed but it may go well beyond the initial estimate of US$5 billion,” Ms Aslam said while answering questions.
Underscoring that the earthquake was the worst-ever disaster in Pakistan’s history, she said: “The essential infrastructure in the affected area of 28,000 sqkm has been destroyed, including medical facilities, government buildings and schools affecting between 3.5 million and 4 million people who need shelter and food.”


Quake relief resumes, more deaths feared

MUZAFFARABAD, Oct 17: Vital helicopter flights carrying food, blankets and tents to untold numbers of survivors of the earthquake in northern Pakistan resumed on Monday as lashing rains, which compounded their misery, ended.
However, many are likely to die before help can reach them in the remnants of remote mountain villages cut off by landslides and buckled roads with winter approaching rapidly.
“We saw rows of people in a really bad way with suppurating wounds. They need urgent treatment,” Sean Keogh, a doctor with the British medical aid group Merlin, said after a three-day trek up the badly hit Neelum valley of Azad Kashmir.
“There are 1,000 to 2,000 significantly wounded that need surgical treatment,” he said. “Wounds are pouring puss, patients are going to get septic and die.”
With the valley’s road swept away by landslides, nobody knows how many people need help in its upper reaches north of Muzaffarabad, Keogh said.


PM unveils 12-point rehabilitation plan
By Nasir Iqbal
ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Monday launched a 12-point plan for the relief and rehabilitation of earthquake-stricken areas of AJK and NWFP and said the government was committed to turning this adversity into an opportunity for development.
Prime Minister Aziz was speaking at the Jammu and Kashmir Council which was attended, among others, by AJK President Sardar Mohammad Anwar Khan and AJK Prime Minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan.
Mr Aziz, who is also the chairman of the council, asked those involved in relief and rescue operations to focus on moving survivors from mounds of rubbles to tents and decent transitional shelters as quickly as possible.
This will ultimately help in moving towards construction of model cities for permanent settlement of homeless people while accounting for concerns regarding the “titling” issue.


Base camp turned into medical centre
By Our Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: The health ministry’s disaster management committee has decided to strengthen its main camp in Muzaffarabad by providing specialist services along with necessary surgical apparatus to quake-ravaged victims.
At a meeting presided over by Health Minister Mohammad Nasir Khan on Monday, the committee decided to convert the Muzaffarabad base camp into a patient referral centre to help reduce the burden on hospitals in Islamabad and Rawalpindi hospitals, which have been overstretched because of the constant flow of patients.
Until Monday, the civil hospitals of Islamabad and Rawalpindi had received 9,165 patients, all of whom required immediate medical care and surgery. Out of these, 3,286 patients had been transferred to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims). The hospital is currently housing 1,037 patients.


Opposition seeks debate on crisis management ‘failure’
By Amir Wasim
ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: Opposition members have submitted an adjournment motion in the National Assembly seeking a debate on crisis management failure in the wake of the October 8 earthquake, sources told Dawn on Monday.
The sources said that 12 members, belonging to the People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-N, had submitted the motion under Rule 92 of the Rules and Procedure for Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 1992.
“The government has failed to organize the crisis management as seen practically on Oct 8 at the time of earthquake disaster causing casualties of thousands of innocent citizens. This has caused grave concern among the public throughout the country. The matter is very serious in nature and needs discussion on the floor of the house adjourning the normal business of the National Assembly,” the motion stated.


BD bans hardline Islamic group
DHAKA, Oct 17: Bangladesh on Monday banned Harkatul Jihad Al Islami, the third Islamic militant group to be outlawed this year, branding it a “self-confessed terrorist outfit”.
“Based on the existing information, the Bangladesh government has banned Harkatul Jihad Al Islami,” the home ministry said in a statement.
“Harkatul Jihad Al Islamic is a self-confessed terrorist outfit. Its activities are very sensitive and it is identified as a terrorist outfit,” it added.
The ban follows the Oct 1 arrest of alleged leader of the organisation Mufti Abdul Hannan from a residence in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka.


Partial lunar eclipse in Pakistan
KARACHI, Oct 17: Partial lunar eclipse occurred in the country on Monday. According to meteorological department here, the eclipse started at 2:51pm and continued till 7:15pm. The greater eclipse was visible at 5:03. The partial lunar eclipse was also visible in most parts of the world.—APP


Miami Herald

Inflation soars on surge in energy prices
Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Inflation at the wholesale level last month soared by the largest amount in more than 15 years, reflecting the surge in energy prices that occurred following the Gulf Coast hurricanes.
The Labor Department reported that wholesale prices jumped 1.9 percent in September, led by surging prices for gasoline, natural gas and home heating oil after the widespread shutdowns of refineries and oil platforms along the Gulf Coast. Food prices, which had been declining, posted the biggest increase in 11 months as the price of eggs shot up by a record amount.


King Tut exhibit to draw huge crowds
King Tut will make a big splash at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale when the exhibition opens in December. Will the high ticket price and anticipated crowds be worth it?
Expectations for King Tut are nothing short of monumental at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, where the exhibit opens in December.
With ticket sales set to begin Tuesday, museum administrators have readied themselves for record attendance in the hundreds of thousands and an elevated profile as one of only four museums in the nation to present the blockbuster show.
''It has all the makings of a huge success for us,'' director Irvin Lippman said.


Tropical Storm Wilma could threaten Florida
Tropical Storm Wilma -- that's right, the first ''W'' storm in history -- strengthened Monday in the Caribbean and was expected to become a hurricane Tuesday.
The 21st named storm of 2005 tied the record for the most storms in an Atlantic season, exhausted the official list of names and could pose a threat to Florida by this weekend.
A hurricane watch already covered the Cayman Islands. A tropical storm warning was posted for western Honduras.
''I don't think anybody ever thought we would be at this point,'' Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center in West Miami-Dade County, said of the extraordinarily busy season.


The Times of India

Terrorists gun down J-K minister, 2 more
SRINAGAR: Even as India tries to assess the real extent of losses suffered by damage caused by quake in Kashmir, two militants burst into the fortified Srinagar home of junior education minister Ghulam Nabi Lone and gunned him down.
Terrorists, disguised as policemen sneaked into a highly guarded area here on Tuesday and shot dead the minister in a daring attack that also claimed three other lives.
Two policemen and one of the attackers also died and five others were injured in the gunfight, which came less than a day after suspected rebels shot dead a prominent communist politician in Kashmir.


PM condemns killing of Lone
NEW DELHI: Strongly condemning the "dastardly" killing of Jammu and Kashmir Minister Ghulam Nabi Lone, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said efforts to disturb peace in the state would be thwarted.
"The Prime Minister condemned the dastardly attack and said efforts to hamper earthquake relief work and disturb peace in the state will be thwarted", PM's Media Adviser Sanjaya Baru said.
The Prime Minister has sent his condolences to the family members of Lone and spoken to Tarigami enquiring about his welfare, Baru said.


2 outfits stake claim in Lone's killing
[ TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2005 01:54:57 PM ]
Citibank NRI Offer


Ansari blames Hindu Mahasabha for Mau riots
BALLIA: Local independent MLA Mukhtar Ansari, against whom a case has been lodged for inciting riots in Mau, blamed the Hindu Mahasabha for communal tension in the city on Tuesday.
"The district unit of the Hindu Mahasabha got active on Friday morning after tension gripped the town over a minor incident which led to riots in the town," he claimed.
Ansari said the ambit of inquiry ordered by the state government to fix responsibility for the riots should also probe the role of Hindu Mahasabha as well as its MP from Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath.


India is certainly not corrupt!
LONDON: India continues to languish at the half-way point on the international index of corruption, even as corruption grew in rich countries as well as poorer ones, the world's most authoritative anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) has said, just weeks before the recently ratified United Nations Convention against Corruption comes into force.
Of 159 countries surveyed, India secured a lowly spot at number 88 of the most corrupt places on the planet, along with unlikely companion countries such as Gabon, Mali, Moldova, Tanzania and Iran.
In the process, India narrowly missed the marginally higher place secured by the apparently less corrupt Dominican Republic, Mongolia, Romania, Armenia, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


India-Russia naval exercises begin
VISAKHAPATNAM: The Indian and Russian navies began joint exercises on Tuesday, though Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov had to skip the inaugural ceremony since water logging at the airport prevented them from landing at this port city.
"They were unable to go as the airport is still water-logged because of heavy rains over the weekend. But the exercise is on as planned," said a navy spokesperson.
The exercises, christened INDRA-2005, are being conducted on the eastern seaboard off the Visakhapatnam coast. The first joint exercise INDRA-2003 was held in 2003.
The Russian Navy has sent its Pacific Fleet's flagship, the missile cruiser Varyag, anti-submarine ships Admiral Tributs and Admiral Panteleyev, tanker Pechenega and tugboat Kalar for the exercises...


NAACP meeting on student suspensions moved to Caleb Center
Officials with the NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Advancement Project are holding a public hearing tonight to listen to grievances from students, parents and educators throughout Miami-Dade.
According to the groups' findings, black students are disproportionately suspended, arrested and expelled compared to their white classmates.


Miers backed ban on most abortions
Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers pledged support in 1989 for a constitutional amendment banning abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother, according to material given to the Senate on Tuesday.
As a candidate for the Dallas city council, Miers also signaled support for the overall agenda of Texans United for Life - agreeing she would support legislation restricting abortions if the Supreme Court ruled that states could ban abortions and would participate in "pro-life rallies and special events."
Miers made her views known in a candidate questionnaire the White House submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is expected to hold hearings on her Supreme Court nomination next month. The one-page questionnaire was filled out, but unsigned, although the Bush administration affirmed its authenticity.


Angelina may be the next Bond girl
[ TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2005 12:46:03 PM ]
Citibank NRI Offer
LONDON: Oscar winning actress Angelina Jolie is in the fray to be the new Bond girl.
According to 'Ananova.com', producers are keen to sign her up to play Vesper Lynd, a Russian double agent who beds Bond in the upcoming movie "Casino Royale".
A source said that "Angelina is simply perfect for the part of the ultimate Bond girl." The other actresses in the running are Kelly Brook and Jessica Alba. Rumors also abound that Sienna Miller might join the cast.


Michael Moore Today

Cheney's Office Is A Focus in Leak Case
Sources Cite Role Of Feud With CIA
By Jim VandeHei and Walter Pincus /
Washington Post
As the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name hurtles to an apparent conclusion, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has zeroed in on the role of Vice President Cheney's office, according to lawyers familiar with the case and government officials. The prosecutor has assembled evidence that suggests Cheney's long-standing tensions with the CIA contributed to the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame.
In grand jury sessions, including with New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Fitzgerald has pressed witnesses on what Cheney may have known about the effort to push back against ex-diplomat and Iraq war critic Joseph C. Wilson IV, including the leak of his wife's position at the CIA, Miller and others said. But Fitzgerald has focused more on the role of Cheney's top aides, including Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, lawyers involved in the case said.
One former CIA official told prosecutors early in the probe about efforts by Cheney's office and his allies at the National Security Council to obtain information about Wilson's trip as long as two months before Plame was unmasked in July 2003, according to a person familiar with the account.


CIA leak probe 'widening to include use of intelligence'
By Caroline Daniel and Edward Alden /
Financial Times
Evidence is building that the probe conducted by Patrick Fitzgerald, special prosecutor, has extended beyond the leaking of a covert CIA agent's name to include questioning about the administration's handling of pre-Iraq war intelligence.
According to the Democratic National Committee, a majority of the nine members of the White House Iraq Group have been questioned by Mr Fitzgerald. The team, which included senior national security officials, was created in August 2002 to “educate the public” about the risk posed by weapons of mass destruction on Iraq.


A Look at U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq
By The Associated Press Mon Oct 17, 5:44 PM ET
As of Monday, Oct. 17, 2005, at least 1,976 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the
Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,533 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers. The figures include five military civilians.
The AP count is 14 higher than the Defense Department's tally, last updated at 10 a.m. EDT Monday.
The British military has reported 96 deaths; Italy, 26; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 17; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Slovakia, three; Denmark,
El Salvador, Estonia, Thailand and the Netherlands, two each; and Hungary, Kazakhstan and Latvia one death each.
Since May 1, 2003, when
President Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, 1,837 U.S. military members have died, according to AP's count. That includes at least 1,424 deaths resulting from hostile action, according to the military's numbers.


23 Administration Officials Involved In Plame Leak
The cast of administration characters with known connections to the outing of an undercover CIA agent:
Karl Rove
I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby
Condoleezza Rice
Stephen Hadley
Andrew Card
Alberto Gonzales
Mary Matalin
Ari Fleischer
Susan Ralston
Israel Hernandez
John Hannah
Scott McClellan Dan Bartlett
Claire Buchan
Catherine Martin
Jennifer Millerwise
Jim Wilkinson
Colin Powell
Karen Hughes
Adam Levine
Bob Joseph
Vice President Dick Cheney
President George W. Bush
(Comment on this page here.)
Karl Rove
Senior Advisor to President Bush (2001-2005); Deputy White House Chief of Staff (2005-Present)
ADMINISTRATION, ROVE ORIGINALLY DENIED ANY INVOLVMENT IN THE LEAK: Asked on 9/29/03 whether he had “any knowledge” of the leak or whether he leaked the name of the CIA agent, Rove answered “no.” That same day, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, after having “spoken to Karl,” asserted that “it is a ridiculous suggestion” to say Rove was involved in the leak. In August 2004, Rove maintained, “I didn’t know her name and didn’t leak her name.” [ABC News,
9/29/03; White House Press Briefing, 9/29/03; RawStory; Newsweek, 7/11/05]
ROVE SPOKE WITH TIME REPORTER MATT COOPER: In a conversation with Time reporter Matt Cooper — a conversation that Rove insisted be kept on “deep background” — Rove instructed Cooper, “Don’t get too far out on Wilson.” Rove then identified Valerie Plame as “Wilson’s wife” who “works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction].” According to Cooper, his conversation with Karl Rove was the first time he had heard anything about Wilson’s wife. Additionally, Rove told Cooper that further information discrediting Wilson and his findings would soon be declassified and ended the phone conversation by saying “I’ve already said too much.” [Time,
ROVE SPOKE WITH COLUMNIST ROBERT NOVAK: A week prior to publishing his column which outed undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame, Robert Novak spoke with Karl Rove. In the 7/8/03 conversation with Rove, Novak brought up Plame’s role at the CIA, and Rove confirmed for the reporter that Plame worked at the CIA: “I heard that too,” said Rove. [NYT,


Monday, October 17th, 2005
Slater man heads to gulf region to aid hurricane victims
By Eric Coley /
Marshall Democrat-News
Last week, Slater resident Archie Wayne Blumhorst decided to head to the Gulf Coast region to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Blumhorst loaded up his old Ford pickup with items that he and his wife, Wanita, gathered either through their own contributions or donations from area residents who found out about the Blumhorsts' plans to help the hurricane victims.
The items that Blumhorst took with him include washers and dryers, microwaves, bedding and cases of ibuprofen.
Wanita explained that her husband is a member of the Veterans For Peace organization and that she is a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.


DeLay Will Likely Be Booked This Week
Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas - Rep. Tom DeLay will likely be booked in a Texas county jail this week despite attempts by his attorneys to bypass the fingerprinting and mug shot process.
The former House majority leader was forced to step down from the post last month when he was indicted by a Texas grand jury. DeLay initially was charged with conspiracy to violate the election code and days later was indicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money in an alleged illegal scheme to funnel corporate money to Republican Texas legislative candidates.


Bush Refuses to Discuss CIA Leak Probe
By Pete Yost /
Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- With the CIA leak investigation nearing an end, President Bush on Monday declined to say whether he would remove an aide under indictment.
"There's a serious investigation," the president said. "I'm not going to prejudge the outcome of the investigation." He commented in response to reporters' questions during a meeting with Bulgaria's president, Georgi Parvanov.


For all you folks out there in the White House Press Corps, could you please ask Scott McClellan what his definition of “is” is?
You see, George and his Press Secretary may have been a little over-zealous a couple years ago in their comments about the Valerie Plame leak. They may be regretting things they once said. They be looking to play games with words.
Two years ago the White House said it would deal with whomever leaked Plame’s name -- which was classified information -- to the press.
September 30th, 2003 George W. Bush said, “If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.”


I hope I don't sound like I am talking in circles. I don't support this war and no candidate I vote for will either.

I never got the feeling from Senator Clinton that she supported the Iraq War so much as she supported the troops engaged in the war. I do believe she as do many of the Democrats favor a time table for withdrawal. Senator Clinton is not running for President although she is qualified. She is currently running for a return to her Senate seat. That's important and from most polls she has the support of the voters of New York.

I think Senator Clinton can be a viable candidate for President along with Former Senator John Edwards, Senator Kerry and many other fine candidates including some very good Governors, including Governor Richardson, Gov. Rendell, Gov. Easley and Gov. Napolitano. As a matter of fact Janet Napolitano has a rather challenging and effective Governorship. Also of interest but has never shown interest in running for President is Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer. I imagine there are a few House members as well.

I think Senator Clinton is an interesting prospect and certainly one that would find accepting the responsibility of the White House with ease. I also believe she, as other moderate legislators, is coming more and more to realize a Time Table of withdrawal from Iraq is necessary for the Iraqis to step up and take their country's security realistically and responsibly.

Supporting Hillary
...a message from Cindy Sheehan
I would love to support Hillary for President if she would come out against the travesty in Iraq. But I don't think she can speak out against the occupation, because she supports it.
I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again: As I won't support a pro-war Republican.
This country wants this occupation to end. The world wants the occupation to end. People in Iraq want this occupation to end.
Senator Clinton: taking the peace road would not prove you are weak. Instead, it would prove that you are the strongest and wisest candidate. As a mom, as an American, as a patriot: I implore you to have the strength and courage to lead the fight for peace.


Los Angeles Times

Winds, Heavy Rain Drench SoCal, Tying Up Commutes
By Eric Malnic and Wendy Thermos, Times Staff Writers
An Alaskan storm that pummeled Southern California overnight with hail, heavy rain and erratic winds created slick roads and long commutes for freeway drivers this morning.
Officials canceled flood warnings at 8:30 a.m. as the rain continued to taper off. It was the first significant rainfall of the season.
(image placeholder)
"The flash flood warning has expired," National Weather Service meteorologist Dessa Emch said this morning. "There's still a flood watch in effect through this afternoon for the burn areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties."
As of 5 a.m., rainfall at Burbank was 1.51 inches over the last 48 hours. In downtown Los Angeles, 1.06 inches were recorded.


U.S. Labor Is in Retreat as Global Forces Squeeze Pay and Benefits
By David Streitfeld, Times Staff Writer
Workers at auto parts maker Delphi Corp. will be asked this week to take a two-thirds pay cut. It's one of the most drastic wage concessions ever sought from unionized employees.
Workers at General Motors Corp., meanwhile, tentatively agreed on Monday to absorb billions of dollars in healthcare costs. Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler employees are certain to face similar demands.
The forces affecting Delphi and GM workers are extreme versions of what's occurring across the American labor market, where such economic risks as unemployment and health costs once broadly shared by business and government are being shifted directly onto the backs of American working families.


Emergency Phone Service Lost in Several Cities
By a Times Staff Writer
A phone equipment failure early this morning left tens of thousands of residents across parts of Long Beach, the South Bay, Southeast Los Angeles County and northern Orange County without phone service, including the ability to call 911 from their land-line telephones.
The disruption began about 2:20 a.m. for Verizon Communications customers in Long Beach, according to company spokesman Bill Kula said. Service was affected in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Artesia, Downey, Bellflower and Westminster, Kula said.
The heavy rains in Los Angeles played no part in the outage, Kula said. Technicians were working to restore power, he said.


Hurricane Wilma Headed Toward Florida
From Associated Press
MIAMI -- Tropical Storm Wilma strengthened into a hurricane today on a path that could threaten storm-battered Florida, tying the record for the most hurricanes to form in an Atlantic season.
Wilma is the 12th hurricane of the season, the same number reached in 1969, the highest since record-keeping began in 1851. At 11 a.m. EDT, Wilma had top sustained wind of near 75 mph, just above the 74 mph threshold to be a hurricane.
Long-range forecasts show Wilma could hit western Cuba or Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula before heading into the Gulf of Mexico by Friday. The storm could also spare those countries while passing through the Yucatan Channel. Either way, computer models showed Wilma turning northeastward and bearing down on Florida during the weekend.
It is forecast to become a Category 3 hurricane with wind exceeding 111 mph by Thursday, forecasters said.


Steve Lopez:
Points West
Offering Compassion, Not a Cure
There is no such thing as skid row disease. But if there were, Lonnie Whitaker, 49, would have it bad. He hobbles into the office of Dr. Dennis Bleakley, lowers himself onto a chair and goes through the long list of what ails him.
He has seizures, tested positive for TB, had hepatitis that might have been from a used needle, just got out of prison, hears voices and can barely walk.
"From my hips all the way down to my feet, it's like it don't wanna wake up," Whitaker says, telling the doctor he was in a car accident four years ago and was initially diagnosed as paraplegic. Until recently, he used a wheelchair.
It's a grim list, but nothing Bleakley, 63, hasn't heard a hundred times.


30,000 strokes to go
It's a marathon swim from Catalina to the mainland. James Rainey jumps in as one man tackles the open-water adventure.
By James Rainey, Times Staff Writer
The darkness spreads around us — black as obsidian and even as a slate. Faint flickerings from the stars above and the lights of the Southern California coast offer a meek challenge. But as the moon sets behind Santa Catalina Island, sea and sky unite, nearly obliterating the horizon.
It seems a cruel prank to dump a man into the open ocean in this void — outfitted only with a swimsuit, goggles and cap — and then to watch as he struggles to swim back to the distant shore.


Journalism at Risk

I FIND IT APPAULING THAT PIERS ARE BRINGING CRITICISM to Judith Miller in regard to being imprisoned. I am confident she 'endured' all that for a noble reason. The New York Times never 'leaned' on her to perform any differently in a matter that was a personal struggle of professional values. She came to terms with the issue which carries many shades of gray to it's moral status in prison. No one else took this issue with that brevity. There was a great deal that hung in the balance. She and her attorney needed to feel confident she was ALWAYS doing the right thing.

Giving testimony AGAINST an administration she initially trusted, as did many other journalists, to the result of potential wrong doing to the extent that they compromised the national security of her and our country is a huge change in thinking regarding a Presidency that has PROMISED and VOWED to protect this nation above all else. I don't consider Judith Miller a Liberal Martyr. Her authorship regarding WMD is testimony to that. She trusted contacts within the White House to be honest. Admittedly she was more their stenographer than a journalist critiquing the directives of the Bush Administration, however, she was never manipulative and to that end realizing she was primarily dealing with a corrupt administration what else was she supposed to do? Pull out her crystal ball and say "Ah, ha! No weapons of mass destruction."

I believe there are a lot of journalists kicking themselves over the War in Iraq. The least are those of Michael Gordon of the New York Times and Molly Bingham of Vanity Fair who risked their lives and reputations to bring the reality of Iraq to the people of this country. Molly I believe was first and then Michael; who more than likely was torn by the position of piers at The Times such as Judy Miller who had conflicting information.

The issue of corruption was never really a thought by the USA press who had witnessed and reported on 911 attempting in every way possible to hold the people of the USA together by sitting on roof tops while the towers burned and fell and still others counting the firefighters and police that were unaccounted for when the reality of 911 became too real. The loyalties of all the journalists across this nation fell with the best interest of the defense of this country and never questioned not one day the intent of this administration.

To bring this to a close without embellishment, I do believe it is too easy to criticize the women who was closest to the Bush administration during the height of fear in the USA when in fact we all have been victims of the same delusion very cleverly crafted. The delusion images the Bush White House placed in front of the American People were criticized over time but not with profound embarrassment of these men except for a documentarian who profoundly was not about to be a part of a journalist corp that was being lead down 'the wrong path' for this country. If it weren't for Michael Moore being the counter balance to this administration's penetrating propaganda we might be completely lost to corrupt and dishonesty mired in national and chronic terror.

As time has gone on more and more of the news media have come to terms with the immorality of this administration and how their crony interests come before the people they are supposed to serve. Some news media still find themselves divided to their focus and to that end they appear more schizophrenic and inflammatory than factual and purpose driven.

I don't hold Judith Miller in ridicule of any high moral content of journalism's values. Quite the contrary. She is however guilty of being an American who believed the best of her country at a time when everything was going wrong and the USA seemed under attack. I still applaud Judith and caution the profession to stop scapegoating her and The New York Times so much as look to themselves and realize they are sparring with the professions values and a lack of a Shield Law and the debate as to whether it is a vital aspect of journalism. Judith is not the issue, she is the pivot point you are all looking for to examine where the profession falls when it comes to protecting sources and issues of profound corruption that compromises national security.

The Shield Law is an issue of which needs definition and parameters that only pier review can provide as it also leads foreign journalists into conflict with governments finding themselves jailed rather than practicing their profession.

I think Judith's experience with all these dynamics offer a unique perspective to settle questions regarding the extent to which a Shield Law needs to protect and should it ever PROHIBIT a journalist from disclosing.

Some of the articles here are dated but I don't have the heart or priority to eliminate any of them.

Ottaway Newspapers to acquire Barnstable Patriot
CAMPBELL HALL, N.Y. - Ottaway Newspapers Inc. will purchase The Barnstable Patriot newspaper and related assets of Cornerstone Communications Inc.
The announcement was made today by John N. Wilcox, president and chief operating officer of Ottaway and former publisher of the Times.
"For 175 years, the Patriot has well served the seven unique villages of Barnstable, offering quality journalism and true community service," said Wilcox in a press release. "We're proud to have this excellent newspaper join Ottaway and intend to continue that tradition."


US, UK journalists abducted
From correspondents in Gaza City
October 13, 2005
MASKED Palestinian gunmen kidnapped two foreign journalists, an American and a Briton, in the Gaza Strip ovenight in the latest sign of lawlessness in the coastal territory after Israel's pullout last month.
The two, both working for Knight Ridder newspapers, were seized by assailants who stopped their car near the town of Khan Younis and took them away at gunpoint, their Palestinian translator, Ziad Abu Mustafa, said.
Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Tawfiq Abu Khoussa said Palestinian security forces had mounted a search for them.


Distinguished journalist Hewitt dies
October 12, 2005
BRUCE Hewitt, a former senior journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA), died today at the age of 85.
Christchurch-born Hewitt, a former soldier and war correspondent, was for eight years NZPA's chief correspondent in Australia.
He later became NZPA news editor, then a senior editor at AAP.


Palestinian gunmen in Gaza release two foreign journalists
(image placeholder)
Amos Harel and Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondents, and Agencies
(image placeholder)
Palestinian gunmen briefly kidnapped an American reporter and a British photographer in Gaza on Wednesday.
The two men working for Knight Ridder newspapers were seized by assailants who stopped their car near the town of Khan Yunis and took them away at gunpoint.
Seven hours later, Jerusalem-based American correspondent Dion Nissenbaum and British photographer Adam Pletts were freed after Palestinian officials made contact with the kidnappers and security forces mounted a search, officials said.


Scalia turns journalists away from speech
WASHINGTON -- The real Antonin Scalia seems to be back. The Supreme Court justice mugged for cameras and gave unusual interviews in New York, where he led the Columbus Day parade.
Back in Washington, however, journalists were turned away from his speech to life insurance executives and Scalia talked about gossip-seeking reporters during a court argument about free speech rights. A court spokeswoman said the speech should have been open to some reporters.
Scalia, the court's most outspoken and colorful member, is well known for his animosity toward cameras and run-ins with reporters.


Join the drive
Please support our initiative and help us preserve a free press in Lebanon
Your contribution is much appreciated, today.
We are not a branch of government.
We receive no government support or any other subsidy.
It takes the support of all the wonderful organizations, businesses and individuals to keep the high standards of The Daily Star on-line edition. With your support, we can continue to expand our free online services to our communities around the world and offer a comprehensive coverage about our region.
Lebanon has been through difficult times and circumstances these past months. The country and the whole area were shaken, fundamentally, economically, and emotionally. Despite the financial struggle, we are all working towards continuing to secure to you unique news coverage and neutral reporting and analysis on a daily basis. Help us to continue doing that for you.
To know more, click here


Iraqi police seize journalists in Najaf
Wednesday 25 August 2004, 23:57 Makka Time, 20:57 GMT
Iraqi policemen rounded up dozens of journalists at gunpoint in a Najaf hotel and took them to police headquarters before later releasing them.
Firing their guns in the air, the dozen odd policemen, some masked, stormed into the rooms of journalists in the Najaf Sea hotel and forced them into vans and a truck.
An AFP correspondent, who was also forced into a van, said the police pushed and pulled many reporters at gunpoint.


CPJ names awardees
from Brazil, China, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe
Peter Jennings also to be honored in November ceremony
New York, October 17, 2005—The Committee to Protect Journalists will present its 2005 International Press Freedom Awards to three journalists and a media lawyer—from Brazil, China, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe—who have endured beatings, threats, intimidation, and jail because of their work.
The awards will be presented at CPJ's 15th annual awards dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on Tuesday, November 22. Here are the awardees:

  1. Galima Bukharbaeva, former Uzbekistan correspondent for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, risked her life covering the killing of hundreds of protestors by government troops in the city of Andijan in May. Bukharbaeva, now in exile in the United States, faces criminal prosecution for her reporting on the Andijan crisis, police torture, and the repression of Islamic activists.

  2. Beatrice Mtetwa, a media lawyer, is a tireless defender of press freedom in Zimbabwe, where the law is used as a weapon against independent journalists. Despite being arrested and beaten because of her work, she continues at great personal risk to defend journalists. She has won acquittals for several journalists facing criminal charges, including two London journalists arrested during April's tightly controlled presidential election.

  3. Lúcio Flávio Pinto, publisher and editor of the bimonthly paper Jornal Pessoal, has courageously reported on drug trafficking, environmental devastation, and political and corporate corruption in a vast, remote region of Brazil's Amazon. Physically assaulted and threatened with death, he also faces a constant barrage of civil and criminal lawsuits aimed at silencing him.

  4. Shi Tao has been a freelance journalist for Internet publications and an editor for Dangdai Shang Bao, a Chinese business newspaper. His essays on political reform, published on news Web sites outside of China, drew the ire of authorities. Now serving a 10-year prison sentence for "leaking state secrets abroad," Shi's plight highlights China's intense effort to control information on the Internet.
CPJ will also honor the late ABC News anchor Peter Jennings with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for a lifetime of distinguished achievement. Jennings learned of the award just weeks before his death in August. During 41 years as correspondent and anchor, Jennings reported on nearly every historical milestone from every corner of the world, earning a reputation for independence and excellence.


Defending Press Freedom
(Sign in is for free)
Oct 17, 2005
New York Times reporter Judith Miller, recently released after a 12-week stint in jail for refusing to reveal a source, will address the 2005 Society of Professional Journalists Convention & National Journalism Conference, which was scheduled to open Sunday and continues through Tuesday in Las Vegas.


Govt interference spells crisis for media
It is crucial for the future of democracy in Thailand that journalists report faithfully and fearlessly on the Thaksin administration, or the freedom of the press may be seriously curtailed, as in Malaysia and Singapore.
Is Thailand's media in crisis? The short answer is yes, definitely. I have personally spent the last six months researching the media freedom situation here, and based on numerous interviews with editors, journalists and press association members, the trend towards less press freedom and more government restriction is unmistakable. Thaksin Shinawatra's government has launched what many media members describe as a well-coordinated assault against their ability to freely gather and present the news.


They grasp what U.S. forgets
I’ve recently traveled to Iraq and China, where many journalists are paying a very high price for trying to inform their publics.
These are societies with no experience of a free press. Yet I met many Iraqi and Chinese reporters who intuitively grasp the Jeffersonian notion that freedom requires an informed public and a press that serves as a check on official power.
How ironic that, in the United States, the very idea of the Fourth Estate as a guard against abuse of power is under attack.


No surveillance of journalists, Palace says
Malacañang yesterday categorically denied reports that it has ordered the surveillance of certain media practitioners critical of the Arroyo administration who purportedly will be arrested and will be jailed once a state of national emergency is declared.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita issued the denial to belie reports that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was upon orders by Malacañang to monitor editors and reporters from newspapers considered to be critical of the government.
"I never thought of it. The opposition may just be floating it to wedge animosity between the media and authorities. I don’t know (that there is) such plan whether media critical of the administration are being gagged," he said in a telephone interview.
Newspaper reports claimed that the NBI has an "initial list" of newspaper editors and reporters who were being monitored because they were purportedly highly critical of President Arroyo and her administration.


N.Y. Times Breaks Silence on Jailed Writer
The paper examines its handling of Judith Miller's role in the Valerie Plame case.
By James Rainey, Times Staff Writer
The New York Times' long campaign in defense of reporter Judith Miller provoked substantial dissension within the newspaper and left it flat-footed as it tried to cover unfolding allegations that top aides in the Bush administration might have illegally exposed the identity of a CIA operative, the newspaper reported in today's editions.
The self-analysis by the Times makes it clear that — although Miller has previously been celebrated by the Times top management for going to jail to avoid naming a source — her reporting and decision not to cooperate with a federal grand jury were viewed skeptically by many of her colleagues.


Grasping the meaning, principles of journalism
I recently traveled to Iraq and China, where many journalists are paying a very high price for trying to inform their audiences.
These are societies with no experience of a free press. Yet I met many Iraqi and Chinese reporters who intuitively grasp the Jeffersonian notion that freedom requires an informed public and a press that serves as a check on official power.
How ironic that, in the United States, the very idea of the Fourth Estate as a guard against abuse of power is under attack.
This irony becomes even more pronounced when one observes the risks many journalists from Iraq, China, and other developing countries take to uncover their stories.


Top judge discourages jailing, but defends use of criminal code
Oct 14, 2005
Indonesia’s judges should not jail journalists found guilty of criminal libel or defamation, but should fine them instead, under a directive from the country’s chief justice.
The Jakarta Post reported on October 6 that Supreme Court Chief Justice Bagir Manan had given the directive to judges across the country. He added that punishment in press cases “must not in any way interfere with media activities.”
However, Bagir rejected the idea – supported by many Indonesian journalists – that the country should embrace international standards by using press laws instead of the criminal code.
“Media that use their freedom wantonly must be considered a threat to the press and growing democracy in general,” Bagir said in a statement quoted by the Post. “For us in Indonesia, criminal charges in media disputes are still necessary.”


continued …