In my links of the day I try to find the links under the wire, articles all the top blogs miss. I'm not afraid to go to Al Jazeera, Kurd Media or to the Pakistan student movement page to bring the real daily news to you.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Links of the Day 3/8/2008 Take Action Saturday and International Womans Day

Don’t forget to move your clock forward an hour.


Links of the Day after the Action Alerts.


Womens Day Ecards!

Send an eCard and share a cup of coffee, a quiet moment or a laugh with your girlfriends on International Women’s Day, or any day.

It’s not to late to send a card.


We, the Undersigned, endorse the following petition:

Urge Congress to Permanently Protect the Arctic Refuge!

Target: U.S. House of Representatives

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to caribou, snow fox and millions of migratory birds. It is also the most important onshore denning habitat for America's vanishing polar bears.

But this natural treasure is constantly under siege. Time and time again, the oil industry and their allies in Congress have sought to open this special place to harmful new drilling, threatening all of the wildlife that depend on it for survival.

And now President Bush has called for drilling in the Arctic Refuge by 2010 in his new budget proposal!

We need to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge! Urge your Representative to support the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act (H.R. 39) to permanently protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


Call on your senators to support legislation to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell!"

The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law is the only federal statute that requires an employer -- the already over-stretched US military -- to fire people simply for being lesbian, gay, or bisexual. This law is wasteful and wrong, and Congress must repeal it by passing the Military Readiness Enhancement Act.

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1246) was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 28, 2007 and currently has 141 bi-partisan cosponsors. The bill would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and allow lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members to serve openly and honestly. Parallel legislation will soon be introduced in the U.S. Senate.


Get Involved!

Become a Member of or Donate to Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Join our membership and keep up to date on all that's going on in the Ecosystem, and help make a difference. [More information]

Speak Out!
At any given time, there are several issues concerning which agencies are accepting comments and opinions. Check out our Current Alerts page to find out how you can speak your mind. [More information]

Become an E-activist
Join the 16,000+ who are a part of our E-mail Activist Network! By joining, you will be notified of late-breaking issues relating to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and how you can lend your voice to help shape policy. This is a crucial way to stay abreast on what's going on and to make a lasting difference. [More information]

Learn about the growing number of ways you can give of your time for the betterment of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. [More information]

Contact Decision Makers
You don't need to wait for an urgent threat to contact your government officials and agency personnel. Use our reference to track down your officials' contact information. [More information]

Send a Yellowstone e-Card
Share the beauty and wonder of this spectacular region with your friends and family. [More information]



The Senate introduced legislation this morning that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to let the nation's largest media companies swallow up more local and independent news outlets.

Congress has just 60 legislative days to pass this bill. By acting now, you can help make it happen:

Veto the FCC's Big Media Handout

We have Big Media to blame for local news that's steeped in celebrity gossip, corporate hype and sensationalism. If the FCC gets its way, you'll see your local news get even worse.

The FCC's decision further consolidates local media markets, taking away the independence and diversity that comes from local ownership. Simply put, this is a sweetheart deal for a handful of companies that have been breaking media ownership rules for years with impunity.

In December, 200,000 people called on their senators to take action against the FCC. The Senate has responded with a “resolution of disapproval,” a type of congressional veto that would throw out the new rules. Now we need to get another 50,000 citizens on the record supporting the Senate’s action.

Take Action: Tell the Senate to Veto the FCC


Urge Sen. Leahy to Oppose Honaker

Thank you for taking action to help defeat Richard Honaker, a sworn enemy of women’s freedom and privacy, for a lifetime job as a federal judge.

Right now we need you to send a message to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Judiciary Committee, urging him to stand strong against pressure from his Republican colleagues.

Richard Honaker received a fair hearing, and now the Senate should not continue to let Bush pacify his far-right base by rewarding such a long-time anti-choice activist with lifetime employment as a federal judge.



If you missed this hearing on CEO pay you missed the best hearing ever!

Congressional panel rips subprime CEOs' lavish pay

Fri Mar 7, 2008 6:11pm EST

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The fat compensation packages of three U.S. CEOs whose companies are being hammered by the widening mortgage crisis came under harsh criticism on Friday at a congressional hearing on executive pay.

In the last two quarters of 2007 alone, the three executives' firms lost more than $20 billion on investments in subprime and other risky mortgages, said the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Operations Committee.

Yet the three took home fortunes in 2007 -- $120 million for Countrywide Financial Corp CEO Angelo Mozilo; a $161 million retirement package for ex-Merrill Lynch CEO Stanley O'Neal; and $39.5 million in stock, options, bonus and perks for former Citigroup CEO Charles Prince.

"The mortgage crisis is having enormous repercussions. Families are losing their homes ... Thousands are losing their jobs. It seems like everybody is hurting, except for the CEOs who had the most responsibility," said California Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, committee chairman.

In a hearing room packed with bank lobbyists and lawyers, Waxman said, "I have no problem with paying for success. But it looks like when you're a CEO you get paid for failure."

Mozilo, O'Neal and Prince told Waxman's panel that they earned their compensation. They conceded misjudgments in the subprime debacle, while one Republican lawmaker blasted the hearing as "a sanctimonious search for scapegoats."

Virginia Rep. Tom Davis said, "Punishing individual corporate executives with public floggings like this may be a politically satisfying ritual -- like an island tribe sacrificing a virgin to a grumbling volcano.

"But in the end, it won't answer the questions ... about corporate responsibility and economic stability."



Watch the CEO’s explain how they get rich while robbing shareholders and homeowners and banks.

Wow C-Span has the video link on their front page

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) chairs a House Oversight & Government Reform Cmte. hearing on executive compensation practices. The hearing examines the compensation and retirement packages granted to the CEOs of three corporations involved in the current mortgage crisis. Witnesses included: Mayor Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield, MI) and Nell Minow, Corporate Library, Co-Founder and Editor.


PENDING - 9/11 Commission's Inner Workings


Investigative journalist Philip Shenon explores the history of the 9/11 commission in "The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation." He discusses his book with Michael Duffy.


Iraqis protest in Basra over security

BAGHDAD (AP) — Thousands of people took to the streets Saturday in southern Basra, protesting deteriorating security in a city where Iraqi forces assumed responsibility for safety last December.

It was day of violence as well as political unrest in Iraq: Police in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad reported two separate bombings in which six people were killed.

In Basra, Iraq's second-largest city and the urban center of an oil-rich region, Shiite groups have been wrestling for control of the area.

Residents are becoming increasingly alarmed about security, saying that killings, kidnappings and other crimes have increased significantly since British forces turned over responsibility for the city at the end of last year.

In February, two journalists working for CBS were kidnapped in Basra. One was released but the other, a Briton, is still being held.

A long line of marchers, estimated to be as many as 5,000 people, demonstrated near the Basra police command headquarters Saturday, demanding that the police chief, Maj. Gen. Abdul-Jalil Khalaf, and the commander of joint military-police operation, Lt. Gen. Mohan al-Fireji, resign.

Many carried banners, decrying the killing of women, workers, academics and scientists. Dozens of women were slain in Basra by religious extremists last year because of how they dressed, their mutilated bodies found with notes warning against "violating Islamic teachings."

Saturday's protesters, overwhelmingly men, came from several Shiite political movements, including the biggest Shiite party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and its militia wing, known as the Badr Brigade.



US and Iraq negotiate military ties

The US and Iraq are to start negotiations on a plan for a long-term relationship, as well as an agreement to define a legal basis for a continued military presence in the country, according to US defence officials. Geoff Morrell, the US defence department's press secretary, said the talks would start in Baghdad on Saturday.

Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq, will lead the US negotiating team. He will be assisted by senior officials from the Pentagon, the state department and the National Security Council.

A lengthy negotiating process is expected, with a goal of completing a deal by December, when a UN Security Council resolution currently governing the US presence in Iraq expires.

'No permanent bases'


03/08/08 AP: Hearing Loss Now A Military Epidemic

U.S. soldiers and Marines caught in roadside bombings and firefights in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home in epidemic numbers with permanent hearing loss and ringing in their ears, prompting the military to redouble its efforts to protect...

03/08/08 Reuters: About 100 bodies found in Iraq mass grave

Iraqi security forces found about 100 badly decomposed bodies in a mass grave north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Saturday, one of the largest such finds in the country for months.

03/08/08 dpa: US troops accused of abusing Baghdad embassy employees

An incident involving US troops and Iraqi employees at the German embassy in Baghdad has frayed relations between Berlin and Washington, the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.


Make sure you click on report.

63,000 Jobs Lost in February and Many Workers Giving Up Looking For Jobs

by Tula Connell, Mar 7, 2008

The number of jobs plummeted in February, down by 63,000, the deepest dive in five years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Yet the unemployment rate theoretically improved, from 4.9 percent to 4.8 percent.

The conflicting figures out this morning on the nation’s latest jobs data highlight why some pundits and analysts have for months been insisting the U.S. economy is strong while most of America’s workers know otherwise. Such contradictory results are more apparent than real, however. The decline in unemployment reflects the fact that more people have given up looking for work, rather than more people on the payrolls.

Manufacturing employment continued to decline in February, losing 52,000 jobs, for a total loss over the past 12 months at a stunning 299,000. Construction jobs, hard hit by the bursting of the housing bubble, decreased by 39,000 in February and have fallen by 331,000 since its most recent peak in September 2006. A report out yesterday by the National Urban League highlights how the nation’s weak economy hits African

Americans especially hard. The report found three times as many U.S. blacks as whites live below the poverty line, defined as an income of $20,000 for a family of four. The disparity between the races on unemployment narrowed slightly, but blacks were still twice as likely to be jobless.


Bush vetoes bill outlawing CIA waterboarding

Sat Mar 8, 2008 11:08am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Saturday vetoed legislation passed by Congress that would have banned the CIA from using waterboarding and other controversial interrogation techniques.

Lawmakers included the anti-torture measure in a broader bill authorizing U.S. intelligence activities.

"Because the danger remains, we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists," Bush said in his weekly radio address. He added that the vetoed legislation "would diminish these vital tools."

The House of Representatives approved the legislation in December and the Senate passed it in February despite White House warnings it would be vetoed.

CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress last month that government interrogators used waterboarding on three suspects captured after the September 11 attacks.

The simulated drowning technique has been condemned by many members of Congress, human rights groups and other countries as a form of illegal torture.

The U.S. Army Field Manual prohibits waterboarding and seven other interrogation methods and the bill would have aligned CIA practices with the military's.

In a message to CIA employees on Saturday after Bush's veto, Hayden said the CIA would continue to work strictly within the law but said its needs were different from that of the U.S. Army and that the CIA needed to follow its own procedures.

"There are methods in CIA's program that have been briefed to our oversight committees, are fully consistent with the Geneva Convention and current U.S. law, and are most certainly not torture," Hayden said.






Death or Deportation For Gay Iranian Teen

Gay Teenager Fights For Asylum After Boyfriend is Hanged in Iran

Mar. 8, 2008 Font Size

Two gay Iranians living in Britain say they fear for their lives after their partners were sentenced to death by Iranian authorities and their requests for asylum in Britain were denied.

Advocates for Mehdi Kazemi, 19, and Pegah Emambakhsh, 40, say they will face harsh physical punishment, prison, and possible execution if forced to return Iran.

The two cases have provoked an international public outcry and have increased scrutiny of British policies toward gay and lesbian asylum-seekers.

While studying English and science in the U.K., Kazemi learned that his boyfriend had been executed for sodomy back in Iran. His father told him the boyfriend had confessed to Iranian authorities that Kazemi was his lover.

The authorities, Kazemi found out, had already been to his parents' house with a warrant for his arrest.

"I was very scared," Kazemi wrote in a letter accompanying his request for asylum in Britain and published in full on the website of the Canada-based Iranian Queer Organization. "I wish to inform secretary of state that I did not come to the UK to claim asylum … But in the past few months my situation back home has changed. The Iranian authorities have found out that I am a homosexual and they are looking for me."

He continued, "I can not stop my attraction to men … If I return to Iran I will be arrested and executed like [my boyfriend]. Since this incident … I have been so scared."

A British judge denied Kazemi's request for asylum in 2006 on the grounds that Iran does not systematically persecute homosexuals.

But human rights activists say that is only because the Iranian government does not officially recognize homosexuality.

Speaking at Columbia University in New York in September of 2007, Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed, "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals."

The British Home Office, which deals with cases of deportation, could not be reached in time for comment on this article.

But a spokeswoman for the Office told British newspaper The Independent, "We examine with great care each individual case before removal and we will not remove anyone who we believe is at risk on their return. However, in order to maintain the integrity of our asylum system and prevent unfounded applications it is important that we are able to enforce returns of those who do not need protection."



It’s not too late to get involved.

Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference

Pittsburgh, PA

March 13 - 14

Please Join Us:

On March 13-14, a conference unlike any other will take place in Pittsburgh, PA at the Westin Convention Center and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The event will launch a nationwide dialogue about moving our country rapidly toward leadership in promoting the benefits of a new green economy. Good Jobs, Green Jobs: A National Green Jobs Conference will bring together advocates representing local, state and federal policy makers; labor; business; the environment and public health; economic and workforce development specialists; investors; and scientists and technology experts.

We envision a confluence of big ideas and innovative strategies to help jump-start a nationwide green economic renaissance. Participants will share best practices about how we can revitalize our manufacturing sector, drive green building, promote safer chemicals, and realize the economic benefits of global warming solutions.
With your help and participation, we can work together to share the best thinking about the link between economic opportunities and environmental solutions.

Join us.


Sometimes we all need a awwww feel good story.

This is a story of survival.

Kitten survives trip in shipping crate

Mar 7, 2008 9:34 PM

Scrawny kitten apparently survives trip across Pacific Ocean, North America in shipping crate.

A scrawny, black and white female kitten has apparently survived a trip across the Pacific Ocean and North America inside a shipping crate. Cleveland Animal Protective League Executive Director Sharon Harvey says a Cleveland company that received the crate of spooled steel coil Friday found the kitten inside one the spools.

Harvey says the mother cat and other kittens found in the crate were dead. The crate came to Samsel Supply Co. from Singapore. It was sealed Feb. 4 and shipped three days later.

The approximately 12-week-old kitten has been checked by a veterinarian and has responded well to being fed.


03/08/08 CP: Over 1,000 Afghan women take part in International Women's Day in Kandahar

More than 1,000 Afghan women have gathered in Kandahar to call for peace and equality with women around the world. While war widows sobbed through stories of losing their families to the violence in Afghanistan...




Thousands mark International Women's Day

OK That’s enough I’m off to have lunch with a few friends and celebrate Woman’s Day. Call a friends today and celebrate too.


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Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home

Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home
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