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World Bank Secret Documents Consumes Argentina Alex Jones Interviews Reporter Greg Palast "We found inside these documents that basically they required nations to sign secret agreements, in which they agreed to sell off their key assets, in which they agreed to take economic steps which are really devastating to the nations involved and if they didn't agree to these steps, there was an average for each nation that signed one-hundred and eleven items that they are required to sign on to" (Greg Palast)
Did Pearl die because Pakistan deceived CIA? Discovering that Pearl had been stabbed to death before President Bush met with Pakistani Gen. Pervez Musharraf in Washington on Feb. 14 is a sad commentary on American power. Exactly where intelligence failed is unclear. Maybe the deceit and distrust that permeate the upper reaches of Islamabad kept the news from Musharraf. Maybe not. What is clear is the high voltage investigation that should have taken place had short-circuited. Coming into focus now is at least the "who" of what happened to Pearl. The kidnapping and killing was the work of a British-born and educated Islamic fanatic, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, 28, son of a wealthy Pakistani clothing manufacturer. (Pittsburg Tribune)
Economic Debacle in Argentina: The IMF Strikes Again In the days just before Christmas, with increasing cutbacks in social programs and an official unemployment rate approaching 20%, Argentinians took to the streets ._ in protest. At the time, Argentina was in the midst of its fourth year of recession. The immediate spark for the unrest was the government's latest economic policies, which restricted the amount of money people could withdraw from their bank accounts. Political demonstrations and the looting of grocery stores quickly spread across the country.
The government declared a state of siege, but police often stood by and watched the looting "with their hands behind their backs." There was little the government could do. Within a day after the demonstrations began, principal economic minister Domingo Cavallo had resigned; a few days later, President Fernando de la Rua stepped down.
In the wake of the resignations, a hastily assembled interim government immediately defaulted on $155 billion of Argentina's foreign debt, the largest debt default in history. The new government also promised a public works jobs program and announced plans to issue a new currency, the argentino, that would circulate alongside the Argentine peso and the U.S. dollar. As economic instability deepened, however, the argentino plan was abandoned. And the new public works program did little to address the fact that per capita income had dropped by 14% since 1998. Unable to win the popular support it needed, the new government quickly dissolved. The current president, Eduardo Duhalde, was sworn in on January 1; he was the fifth president to serve in two weeks. (Dollars and Sense)
The "Deep Mystery" of Melted Steel There is no indication that any of the fires in the World Trade Center buildings were hot enough to melt the steel framework. Jonathan Barnett, professor of fire protection engineering, has repeatedly reminded the public that steel--which has a melting point of 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit--may weaken and bend, but does not melt during an ordinary office fire. Yet metallurgical studies on WTC steel brought back to WPI reveal that a novel phenomenon--called a eutectic reaction--occurred at the surface, causing intergranular melting capable of turning a solid steel girder into Swiss cheese. (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
Enron Style Accounting Hides Real Costs of the Drug War Taking a page from the Enron Accounting Manual, the drug czar is blatantly underreporting some costs while inflating others to make the drug war seem less expensive and punitive. - The ONDCP wouldn't blatantly risk its credibility unless reform was making progress. (Alter Net)
Speed Likely Factor In WTC Collapse Lack Of Black Boxes Hindering Investigation - "It's extremely rare that we don't get the recorders back. I can't recall another domestic case in which we did not recover the recorders," said Ted Lopatkiewicz, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board. (CBS)
EU gets a new arrest warrant but safeguard is blocked AN arrest warrant covering 32 crimes in the European Union was approved by the European Parliament yesterday but it blocked a habeas corpus safeguard stopping abuse of the new system by over-zealous or corrupt magistrates.
Labour and Tory MEPs voted against an amendment by Sir Neil MacCormack, a Scottish nationalist MEP and a law professor, aimed at ensuring that Britons do not languish for months or years in foreign jails but several Euro-MPs defied party whips on a point of principle.
The amendment, supported by 155 Green and Liberal MEPs across the EU, proposed a "European habeas corpus Order" curbing excesses by judicial authorities and compelling them to bring suspects to trial within 110 days or free them.
Sir Neil said the EU had muddied the waters by equating allegations with hard proof. "They seem to think that prosecutors never make mistakes. Well they do. It's most urgent that we have remedies to prevent abuses of power," he said. (London Telegraph)
Official: 15 of 19 Sept. 11 hijackers were Saudi Saudi Arabia acknowledged for the first time that 15 of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers were Saudi citizens, but said Wednesday that the oil-rich kingdom bears no responsibility for their actions.
Previously, Saudi Arabia had said the citizenship of 15 of the 19 hijackers was in doubt despite U.S. insistence they were Saudis. But Interior Minister Prince Nayef told The Associated Press that Saudi leaders were shocked to learn 15 of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.
"The names that we got confirmed that," Nayef said in an interview. "Their families have been notified."
Osama bin Laden — the chief suspect in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks the killed more than 3,000 people — was Saudi born but stripped of his citizenship in 1994. (USA Today)
They Want Their ID Chips Now But one thing may soon make the Jacobses stand out: They could become the first family in the world to be implanted with microchips that contain their personal information (Wired)
Bush asks Daschle to limit Sept. 11 probes He asked that only the House and Senate intelligence committees look into the potential breakdowns among federal agencies that could have allowed the terrorist attacks to occur, rather than a broader inquiry that some lawmakers have proposed, the sources said. Tuesday's discussion followed a rare call to Daschle from Vice President Dick Cheney last Friday to make the same request. "The vice president expressed the concern that a review of what happened on September 11 would take resources and personnel away from the effort in the war on terrorism," Daschle told reporters. But, Daschle said, he has not agreed to limit the investigation. (CNN)
Baosteel Will Recycle World Trade Center Debris A shipment of scrap steel from New York's collapsed World Trade Center will arrive in Shanghai tomorrow, according to media reports. The steel was bought by Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp. and several other domestic mills, which are always eager to buy scrap metal. Baosteel Group, the nation's largest steel firm, has purchased 50,000 tons of the scrap steel from "Ground Zero," the ruins of the September 11 terrorist attack, at no more than US$120 each ton, according to yesterday's Beijing Youth Daily. (China.org.cn)
'Spider-goats' start work on wonder web A HERD of goats containing spider genes is about to be milked for the ingredients of spider silk to mass-produce one of nature's most sought-after materials.
Scientists have for the first time spun synthetic spider silk fibres with properties approaching the real thing, paving the way for their use in artificial tendons, medical sutures, biodegradable fishing lines, soft body armour and a host of other applications. (London Telegraph)
Explosive New Book Published in France Alleges that U.S. Was in Negotiations to Do a Deal with Taliban BUTLER: The most explosive charge, Paula, is that the Bush administration -- the present one, just shortly after assuming office slowed down FBI investigations of al Qaeda and terrorism in Afghanistan in order to do a deal with the Taliban on oil -- an oil pipeline across Afghanistan. ZAHN: And this book points out that the FBI's deputy director, John O'Neill, actually resigned because he felt the U.S. administration was obstructing ... the prosecution of terrorism. (CNN)
Did Terrorist Pilots Train at U.S. Military Schools? "Some of the FBI suspects had names similar to those used by foreign alumni of U.S. military courses," said the Air Force in a statement. "However, discrepancies in their biographical data, such as birth dates 20 years off, indicate we are probably not talking about the same people." "Probably not talking about the same people" does not quite strike the right note of decisive certitude that we would expect when discussing the identities of the people who have just been responsible for the deaths of 6000 more-or-less vaporized Americans. But Air Force spokesmen are apparently more persuasive in person than when reading a press release over the telephone, because Newsweek, the Washington Post and Knight Ridder all dropped the story. Nothing has been reported about this since. Nada. Niente.
Ford TH!NK The Ford TH!NK was a line of electric vehicles produced by the TH!NK Mobility, then an enterprise of Ford Motor Company. The short-lived line included four models: the TH!NK Neighbor and the TH!NK City, small electric automobiles, and the TH!NK Bike Traveler and the TH!NK Bike Fun, electric-powered motorized bicycle. The TH!NK line suffered from recalls and poor sales and was cancelled in 2002. Ford sold its stock, and the resulting company, Think Global, continues to produce electric cars in Norway. (Wikipedia)
Oil Fields Are Refilling... Naturally -- Sometimes Rapidly There Are More Oil Seeps Than All The Tankers On Earth - Deep underwater, and deeper underground, scientists see surprising hints that gas and oil deposits can be replenished, filling up again, sometimes rapidly. Although it sounds too good to be true, increasing evidence from the Gulf of Mexico suggests that some old oil fields are being refilled by petroleum surging up from deep below, scientists report. That may mean that current estimates of oil and gas abundance are far too low. Recent measurements in a major oil field show "that the fluids were changing over time; that very light oil and gas were being injected from below, even as the producing [oil pumping] was going on," said chemical oceanographer Mahlon "Chuck" Kennicutt. "They are refilling as we speak. But whether this is a worldwide phenomenon, we don't know." - "For example, Ian MacDonald at Texas A&M has published some remarkable satellite photographs of oil slicks which go for miles in the Gulf of Mexico in areas where no oil production is occurring." Before this research in oil basins began, she added, "changes in reservoired oils were not suspected, so no reliable data exists on how widespread the phenomenon might be in the Gulf Coast or elsewhere." (Newsday)
The Ties That Blind Big Oil Goes Hunting for Electric Cars in California. If It Wins, We All Lose - "The AAMA is conducting a search for a qualified contractor to manage a statewide grassroots and educational campaign in California to create a climate in which the state's mandate requiring automakers to produce a fixed percentage of electric vehicles beginning in 1998 can be repealed," (The Environmental Magazine)
When Osama Bin Laden Was Tim Osman The two men headed to the Hilton Hotel in Sherman Oaks, California in the late Spring of 1986 were on their way to meet representatives of the mujahadeen, the Afghan fighters resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. (James Orlin Grabbe)
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