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.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Links of the Day 4/8/2008 Halliburton/Cheney Get Richer Off Mexican Oil Contracts


Funny Pictures I wonder what Hillary thinks?


Paper: Clinton campaign chair photographed holding Obama signs

Published: Monday April 7, 2008

Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and now-chairman of Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, has been mysteriously caught in three photographs smiling and holding an Obama for president sign with supporters in Washington state -- according to a blog at the Chicago Tribune.

The Clinton campaign has not contested their authenticity. An email sent to Clinton's spokesman Monday was not returned. McAuliffe is said to be generous in posing for photographs.

The photos were acquired by the Chicago Tribune's Swamp blog.

"What's really interesting, as you can see from these photos, is that McAuliffe posed with supporters of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign and that a beaming McAuliffe helped them hold up their large Obama signs for the camera," Swamp author Frank James wrote Monday morning. "McAuliffe is wearing his Clinton button but it's dwarfed by the Obama sign he's holding.

"We don't want to read too much into these photos," he added. "But it's definitely striking to see the chairman of the Clinton campaign smiling broadly into the camera while holding up a campaign poster for Obama with whom Clinton is currently engaged in a fight to the death."

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Clinton_campaign_chair_photographed_holding_Obama_0407.html



Hey John McCain read my blog! Then you might actually know what the hell is happening in Iraq and I remind you sir, we are making war in Afghanistan too.

It is my opinion one of the causes of the recent violence is because Blackwater got it’s contract renewed in Iraq.



He wants patience?


Top general in Iraq war to urge patience

By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

17 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The four-star general in charge of Iraq wants more time in a war that is now in its sixth year. Democrats say he's got until the November elections.

Gen. David Petraeus planned to testify Tuesday on the war for the first time in seven months. He was expected to tell two Senate committees that last year's influx of 30,000 troops in Iraq had helped calm some of the sectarian violence but that to prevent a backslide in security, troops would likely be needed in large numbers through the end of the year.

Under his proposal, as many as 140,000 troops could be in Iraq when voters head to the polls this fall.

Democrats contend that this approach guarantees an open-ended commitment to a $10-billion-a-month war as the economy at home is faltering. They say the lack of political progress made in Iraq, as well as the recent spike in violence in Basra, indicates the troop buildup has failed.

"We need a strategy that will clearly shift the burden to the Iraqis, that'll begin to take the pressure off our forces, begin to allow us to respond to other challenges in the region and worldwide," said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a member of the Armed Services Committee.

Democrats also acknowledge that they are more or less helpless in trying to force President Bush's hand on the war. While anti-war legislation has been able to pass the House, it repeatedly sinks in the Senate, where Democrats lack the 60 votes needed to overcome procedural hurdles.

They contend, however, that come fall dissatisfied voters will head to the polls and put more Democrats in power, possibly including an anti-war president. In last month's Associated Press-Ipsos poll, only 31 percent said they approve of the job Bush is doing on Iraq.

Indeed, Tuesday's hearings are expected to be about as much as the presidential elections as they are about the state of Iraq. The three major candidates for president are on the committees for which Petraeus is providing testimony.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the No. 1 Republican on the Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., a member of the panel, are expected to use the morning committee hearing to showcase their opposing views on the war. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., will get his chance later that afternoon as member of the Foreign Relations Committee.

For now, Petraeus faces a dramatically different political landscape than last fall when support for the war had been eroding steadily among Republicans. Petraeus' testimony helped shore up GOP defections at the time. And since then, a significant drop in violence has helped stave off legislation ordering troops home.

Recent statistics reviewed by the AP show that while violence in Iraq is still down substantially, there have been spikes in both deaths and attacks since the slow withdrawal of U.S. troops began in December.

The internal strife was underscored by a rise in ethno-sectarian violence between Iraqis in March, the first such monthly increase since last July.

Defense officials also warned Monday of another likely spike in attacks this week, as U.S. forces strike back at militia fighters in Sadr City. And officials also said there are indications that al-Qaida is looking for an opportunity to reassert its influence in the Baghdad region.

With the Petraeus testimony approaching, only a subtle shift is expected in the GOP message. In addition to insisting that troops must stay in Iraq to fight the terrorists, which has been the party line for some time, Republicans are expected to talk more about the need for a comprehensive political settlement among Baghdad politicians. They believe that this tracks more closely with the voters' views that the U.S. commitment cannot be indefinite.

Petraeus' plan would allow the five extra brigades ordered to Iraq last year to withdraw by July without ordering their replacement. After that, he and other military officials would wait to see whether Iraq was stable enough to allow additional troops to leave.

His presentation was expected to include statistics reflecting the reduction in violence over the past seven months. It also will note the latest Iraqi-led operation in Basra and could give lawmakers more detail on the level of Iranian involvement in the fighting.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, is expected to testify that there has been modest but positive political progress.

Also this week, possibly on Thursday when Bush addresses the nation on the war, the administration plans to announce that soldiers will spend no longer than 12 months at a time in combat, a decrease of three months in current combat tours.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080408/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_iraq




IRAQ



04/07/08 Reuters: Iran says U.S. requests new talks on Iraq security

Iran said on Monday it had received a request from the United States for a new round of talks on ways to improve security in Iraq and was considering it. Easing a diplomatic freeze lasting almost three decades, Iranian and U.S. officials...




04/07/08 BBC: US veterans have mental health problems: study

US military leaders are reported to be concerned by a survey which shows that soldiers who have been sent to Iraq three or four times suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety, depression or acute stress.




04/07/08 AFP: US defends decision to renew Blackwater deal in Iraq The State Department on Monday cited the need to protect staff in Iraq as justification for renewing a contract with private security firm Blackwater USA without prior Iraqi government approval.



04/07/08 Reuters: Iraq's humanitarian crisis worsens: U.N. official

Iraq's humanitarian crisis has worsened, and decades of conflict and deteriorating basic services are reducing people's ability to cope with the hardships they face, a senior U.N. aid official said on Monday.



04/07/08 AP: Hundreds Flee Fight in Shiite Stronghold

Hundreds of people fled fighting in Baghdad's Shiite militia stronghold Monday as U.S. and Iraqi forces increased pressure on anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who faces an ultimatum to either disband his Mahdi Army or give up politics.



4/07/08 Reuters: Iraq's Sadr to disband Mehdi Army if clerics order

Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is ready to disband his militia if Shi'ite religious leaders demand it, his aides said on Monday, a surprising offer given renewed clashes between his fighters and security forces.



AFGHANISTAN


The forgotten war

US nears 500 dead, 492. While everyone is focused on Iraq we have lost 17 soldiers in Afghanistan, 11 in Iraq to date.




04/05/08 AFP: US to send more troops to Afghanistan in 2009

President George W. Bush told NATO allies that the United States would send more troops to Afghanistan next year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday.



04/05/08 AP: Ousted Afghan lawmaker fights to return

An outspoken female Afghan lawmaker who was kicked out of parliament says she has hired a lawyer and is fighting back. Lawmakers dismissed Malalai Joya from parliament last May after she compared the lawmaking body to a stable full of animals.



Afghans Battle Drug Addiction

Treatment Centers for Women Reflect Increasing Opium Use

By Candace Rondeaux


Washington Post Foreign Service

Sunday, April 6, 2008; Page A19


KABUL -- The first days were so painful that Mina Gul could barely sit upright. Thin and lanky with wide brown eyes, she rubbed the back of her neck ceaselessly with fingers stained reddish black by an opium pipe. She couldn't shake the nausea. The light was almost blinding in the clean, white-walled medical clinic, where she lay crumpled in bed for days.

Before that, opium had been about the only thing keeping Gul afloat. It started four years ago with the headaches. A relative told her to try a bit of opium as a cure. "I tried it once a little -- then the next day more, then more again, and then I was addicted," Gul said.

Since then, her husband has stopped working and the eldest of her four children is more often on the streets than in school. Gul, 36, is spending most of her time in a hospital bed.

Gul is one of 20 women in residential treatment at the Sanga Amaj center in Afghanistan's capital. The small, two-story clinic near Kabul University is one of 40 drug treatment clinics across Afghanistan run by international aid organizations.

More than six years after U.S.-led forces launched a military campaign here against the ruling Taliban movement, drug addiction is fast becoming a major concern for the government. With opium production reaching an all-time high of 6,000 tons last year, according to the United Nations, domestic addiction rates in this nation of nearly 32 million have also soared. A 2005 U.N. report estimated that Afghanistan was home to about 1 million drug abusers.

Among the country's addicts, about 13 percent are women and 7 percent are children, Afghan government officials say. Most of the women are opium addicts desperate to blunt the trauma of endless war. Many are illiterate mothers with unemployed husbands. Most have little in the way of job skills, and some became addicts while picking opium poppies to earn a living and support their families, said Zalmai Afzali, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Counternarcotics.

"Afghanistan has been ravaged by 30 to 35 years of war. Everything has been destroyed here, so it's not surprising that people turn to drugs," Afzali said.

High rates of addiction have forced aid organizations to step in to fill the vacuum left by a government still struggling with an insurgency, meager resources and endemic

corruption. The number of drug treatment clinics has doubled during the past two years, Afzali said, with an additional 34 mobile treatment clinics for women operating across the country.

Treatment for female addicts is especially difficult, experts here say, because women in rural, conservative parts of the country -- particularly in places such as Helmand province in the south, the world's largest opium-producing region -- are often not allowed out of the house. While drug addicts around the world endure shame, the stigma for Afghan women who seek treatment can sometimes produce violent responses from their families. In a country where the average per-capita income is about $1,000 a year, addiction for women often leads to desperation.

"We had a patient here who wanted to sell one of her kids," said Toorpekay Zazai, a doctor who heads the Sanga Amaj center. "She said she didn't have enough money to buy food or clothes for him. Finally, we managed to get to her relatives in Canada, who were able to help with some money. But there are lots of stories like that from the women here."

About 300 women have successfully completed treatment at Sanga Amaj since the center opened last June, Zazai said. Women treated by the clinic's three doctors usually stay for at least a month.

The first two weeks are spent purging the body of drugs. Gradually, the women begin participating in group therapy and learning skills such as sewing, embroidery and knitting. Successful treatment ends with a celebratory feast at which residents, staff members and former patients share stories of battling addiction.

For every success there is a relapse, doctors at the clinic say. Women often spend weeks getting clean, only to return to households seized by addiction.

"The risk is that when a woman is an addict, she doesn't get treatment, then it will spread to the entire family," Zazai said.

"We have cases where whole families are addicted, so when the woman goes home from treatment, the husband is still addicted and you have to start all over again."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/05/AR2008040502600.html





Kurdistan



Well ,Well, Well now that the PKK has been removed from the EU’s terrorist list what will Turkey and Bush use as an excuse to continue the attack on the Kurdish people?


KNC-NA asking US to remove PKK from the blacklist :

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its political wing, known as KONGRA-GEL, were removed from the European Union's terror list by European Court of Justice on April 02, 2008.

To resist the aggressions of the Turkish military against Kurds, PKK (Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan) resorted to armed struggle in 1984 and has been fighting Turkish troops in its campaign for greater autonomy. With calls from the Kurdish population and many Kurdish and non-Kurdish entities to find a peaceful resolution, PKK has declared many cease fire unilaterally, but the Turkish government has yet to take political steps for a resolution to Kurdish question. Furthermore, Turkish state used violence against Kurdish people to terrorize them; as a result PKK had been put on the list of terrorist organization by the European Union unjustly. The recent verdict of the Luxembourg-based EU Court, the second highest court of the European Union, carries great significance to show that EU still bears and respect its own laws and the Kurdish struggle for freedom is not no be called terrorism.

We the Kurdish National Congress of North America would like to salute the recent decision of the EU court and congratulate the people of Northern Kurdistan for this achievement. The people in Northern Kurdistan not only convinced their military fighters to avoid violence, but showed the EU that these fighters deserve a chance to participate in the political process. We hope all other democratic nations do everything in their capacity to help PKK avoid further violence and become a participant in the political dialogue to solve the Kurdish question via peaceful means.

As a non-partisan, democratic, and peaceful Kurdish American organization we at KNC-NA expect our government in Washington DC to follow suit and consider removing PKK from the blacklist to further persuade and pressure Kurdish Political organizations and the Turkish government to seek peace and dialogue rather than violence.

Public Relations Committee

Kurdish National Congress of North America

P.O. Box 1663, Lake Forest, CA 92609 USA, Tel/Fax: 1-949-583-1417

P.O. Box 545, Millersville, MD 21108 USKNC - North America 06/04/2008

http://www.kurdmedia.com/article.aspx?id=14716




: Are we angry enough? :

A Kurdish villager once asked one of the

scribes who used to sit by government offices

to write petitions for those who

couldn’t read and write to write him a petition to

a government official explaining his grievances. The scribe wrote

the petition and then read it to him. To his surprise,

the man started to cry, so he asked him, “Why are you

crying?” “Because,” he replied, “ I didn’t

realize I had been treated so unjustly.”

Like the man in this real story, we Kurds--- including those of us who have written dozens of articles on the plight of our people --- don’t really realize how badly we have been treated by those who have partitioned our homeland and committed untold crimes against our people, our language, our culture, our history, and our very existence as individuals and as a people. And the surprising result --- perhaps not so surprising -- of this criminal behavior by the occupiers after decades of abusing us is that they are worse off than ever and feel more insecure than ever. Surely, we have lost a lot due to the denial of our rights as a people, but the occupiers have gained nothing except eternal shame.

But are we Kurds as angry as we should be, considering our unbearable condition and all the suffering we have endured throughout our history at the hands of our neighbors/occupiers? Are we as angry as we should be at our tormentors for standing between us and our freedom, for denying us the rights they have sought and gotten for themselves, for accusing us of offences they themselves are guilty of, and for killing us just because we want to preserve our identity as Kurds instead of adopting theirs?

Did we react as we should have, for instance, when the Iraqi vice-president Tariq Al-Hashimi spoke in Halabja recently and added insult to injury by claiming that the Iraqi officers who planned and executed the Anfal campaign and the gassing of the people of Halabja and elsewhere in Kurdistan were “merely officers following Saddam’s orders” and, therefore, should not be held accountable for their crimes? Should we have afforded him the undeserving honor of a visiting dignitary and listened to his insults in silence, or should we have run him out of town? Should we have allowed him to soil the grounds of Halabja by letting him go there in the first place, knowing his hostile views towards our people? If he weren’t counting on our wimpy reaction, would he have dared to come to the scene of one of the twentieth century’s worst crimes and try to exonerate the criminals right in front of the victims’ families, some of whom still suffer from the after effects of the chemical attack of twenty years ago?

Did we react as we should have when the Arab Parliaments’ Secretary General dared to claim in a statement in Hawler (Arbil), the capital of South Kurdistan, during the Arab Parliaments’ conference in March, that “Kurdistan is an integral and inseparable part of Iraq”? (We know all the implications of such a statement.) Should we have kept silent, as we did, or asked him and his colleagues to pack up and take their conference to Baghdad, where they would have been welcomed with the hospitality they deserved?

Do we react as angrily as we should because Turkey, Syria, and Iran trample on the rights of our brethren and don’t even recognize them as a distinct people entitled to their human and national rights? Do we react as angrily as we should when Kurds get killed for something as simple as celebrating their national New Year, Newroz?

It is time that we Kurds stopped living, thinking, acting, reacting, and speaking in a way that perpetuates the tyrannical rule of the occupier and demeans us as a people. It is high time that we freed ourselves from the ridiculous notion, which some of the defeatists among us have brain-washed us with, that we were dealt an unfair hand by history and fate and there is no escaping it. We must stop behaving like victims and, instead, become masters of our destiny. We must free ourselves from the mindset created by the occupiers that is plaguing us and preventing us from thinking and behaving like a free people. We must take down the prison walls in our mind before we can take them down in the world without.

We must believe in our hearts that we are an occupied nation and occupation is a crime. We must internalize the belief that the term “Iraqi Kurdistan,” or “Turkish Kurdistan,” or “Iranian Kurdistan,” or “Syrian Kurdistan,” is unnatural because it reflects this occupation and must give way to a “Kurdish Kurdistan.” Calling the occupation we are under by its proper name is the first step towards ending it. How is the occupation by Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria any different from the occupation by the colonial powers of the past centuries? If one wasn’t legitimate --- and it wasn’t --- why is the other legitimate? If one was condemned, why is the other not condemned?

We must start thinking and talking like the Arab caller to a National Public Radio program who said “You can’t occupy Arab land!” We, too, must say loudly and clearly and without any timidity “You can’t occupy Kurdish land!” We must start thinking and acting like all the enslaved people who have gained their freedom just in the last fifteen years, from Kosovo to Bosnia to East Timor to the countries of Eastern Europe and the defunct Soviet Union. Since freedom was attainable by them why not by us, too?

KurdishMedia.com - By Dr Rashid Karadaghi

07/04/2008

http://www.kurdmedia.com/article.aspx?id=14717




Mexicans may have been shocked to learn Halliburton received huge contracts but I am not. Funny our media never said a word about what’s in the next article.


Mexico readies for battle on oil privatization


The right-wing government of President Felipe Calderon is about to present a plan which opponents fear will entail the privatization of Mexico’s government-owned petroleum industry. Battles are already developing within and between the major political parties about how to respond to this governmental plan.

Calderon, counting on the support of legislators from his own National Action Party and many from the formerly ruling Revolutionary Institutional Party, has been aggressively promoting a free trade, neo-liberal agenda of privatizing public entities, weakening labor law and attacking civil liberties. He evidently expected to have clear sailing for his idea of privatizing oil production under another name. Some caution would be necessary, because nationalization of foreign oil production in the 1930s by the revered President Lazaro Cardenas is considered a heroic episode in Mexican history, and oil is considered a sacred national patrimony.

First came a propaganda barrage in which it was alleged that government-owned PEMEX was going bust because lack of capital was keeping it from drilling new wells, while the old ones were going to run dry. This, Calderon alleged, proved the need for partnership with foreign private capital. Some oil experts questioned this, claiming that enough government capital was available.

It appears that the shell of the state oil company, PEMEX, would be preserved while one function after another is contracted out to major international monopolies. This way Calderon could claim he is not privatizing PEMEX, just partnering with outside private enterprise to expand and modernize its operations — while in reality privatization goes ahead full blast.

Earlier, Mexicans were shocked to hear that huge contracts to carry out central functions of PEMEX have been contracted out to the U.S. monopoly Halliburton, including drilling of new wells and maintaining pipelines. One reason Mexican public opinion has opposed privatizing PEMEX is the fear that this would be the foot in the door for yet more foreign interference. The entry into Mexican oil business of such a politicized corporation as Halliburton is bound to heighten those fears.

Now comes a new scandal. The left-center candidate in the 2006 presidential elections, former Mexico City regional governor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, revealed that he has copies of a number of contracts with PEMEX that Juan Camilo Mouriño, Mexico’s just-appointed Secretary of the Interior (Gobernacion), had signed with private contracting companies.

Before becoming president, Calderon was Secretary of the Interior, with jurisdiction over PEMEX for the previous president, Vicente Fox, while Mouriño was Calderon’s chief aide. Yet evidently Mouriño not only continued to own stock in family companies doing business with the Mexican government — a huge conflict of interest in itself — but was so much a part of these corporations that he was handling their government outsourcing contracts while simultaneously occupying a government position directly involved with the same contracts.

In most other countries such mind-boggling conflict of interest would have led to immediate resignation and perhaps prosecution, but Calderon is defending Mouriño.

Meanwhile, opposition to the privatization plans in Congress is coming from the left-center Revolutionary Democratic Party, the PRD, and two smaller allied parties. But at this moment a battle royale is going on within the PRD over elections to leadership.

The PRD was founded in 1989 by diverse political currents, including many former activists of the Communist Party of Mexico (PCM) and also defectors, “stage left,” from the then-ruling Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI). With such a heterogeneous origin, it is not surprising that the PRD has had many internal conflicts from the start.

A left-right split manifested itself strongly in the March 16 internal PRD leadership elections, for which a definitive result has not been announced.

One candidate for party president, former PRD General Secretary Jesus Ortega, is supported by the more centrist “New Left” (Nueva Izquierda) faction. The other, Alejandro Encinas, who briefly succeeded Lopez Obrador as Mexico City regional governor, has the support of the “United Left” (Izquierda Unida), which takes positions further to the left and is closer to Lopez Obrador himself. Many “United Left” activists worry that the “New Left” faction will be willing to make deals with the Calderon administration on issues like the PEMEX nationalization. There is even a possibility the PRD might split.

Whether Calderon’s plans to hand over Mexico’s crucial energy industry to foreign capital is defeated or not now depends on the unity and mobilization of popular opposition both in and out of Congress.

http://www.pww.org/article/articleview/12812/1/417




IOC president 'concerned' over Tibet, torch relay violence


Posted : Mon, 07 Apr 2008 10:31:09 GMT

Author : DPA


Beijing - International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge on Monday said he was concerned about unrest in China's Tibetan areas and violence by supporters of Tibetan independence during the torch relay for the 2008 Olympics. "I'm very concerned with the international situation and what's happening in Tibet," Rogge said at the opening of a meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Beijing.

"The torch relay has been targeted. The International Olympic Committee has expressed its serious concern and calls for a rapid, peaceful resolution in Tibet," Rogge said.

Rogge said violent protests were "not compatible with the values of the torch relay or the Olympic games".

He called for unity in the Olympic movement and said there was "no momentum for a generalized boycott" of the Beijing games.

"We need the unity of the Olympic movement to help us overcome the difficulties. Our major responsibility is for offering good games to the athletes who deserve them," Rogge said.

Chinese state media on Monday criticized Tibetan independence protesters for attempting to "sabotage" the London leg of the torch relay.

The protesters' disruption of the London relay on Sunday was an "obvious act of defying the Olympic spirit", the official Xinhua news agency quoted a spokesman from the Beijing Olympic organizers, BOCOG, as saying.

One man tried to snatch the Olympic torch and another tried to put out the flame as protests against China marred the relay on Sunday.

More than 30 people were arrested as police scuffled with activists protesting against China's crackdown in Tibet and other human rights issues.

Demonstrators are also protesting against China's heavy handling of dozens of pro-independence rallies and unrest in Tibetan areas since March 10, when protests began to mark the 49th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

The protests escalated into rioting on March 14 in Lhasa, the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, and have continued in many areas since then.

The Chinese government has said 19 people were killed in the violence in Lhasa but the Tibetan government-in-exile said about 140 people have been killed, most of them Tibetans shot by Chinese police.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/197189,ioc-president-concerned-over-tibet-torch-relay-violence.html




China vows to take torch to Tibet despite "sabotage" threat


Beijing - Leaders of China's Tibet Autonmous Region have vowed to go ahead with the Olympic torch relay through the region despite what he described as the threat of 'sabotage activities' by supporters of the exiled Dalai Lama, state media said on Sunday.

Zhang Qingli, head of the regional branch of China's ruling Communist Party, told a meeting to plan the torch relay on Saturday that 'grave challenges remain ahead, as the Dalai clique is plotting new sabotage activities,' the official Xinhua news agency said.

Zhang urged 'all relevant departments to spare no efforts in preparing for the torch relay to ward off any possible mishap,' the agency said.

He said social order in Lhasa and other parts of Tibet was 'back to normal' after independence protests and rioting in mid-March.

US-based Radio Free Asia on Saturday said new violence had erupted in the south-western province of Sichuan and left up to 15 people dead after police opened fire on Tibetan protesters on Thursday night.

The broadcaster listed 11 Tibetans identified by local sources as having died during a clash in the Kardze, or Garze, area of Sichuan.

Xinhua quoted a local official as saying police had fired 'warning shots' to stop a violent protest but had exercised restraint in quelling a 'riot' outside government offices.

The agency said one official was seriously injured in the violence but reported no deaths or injuries to protesters.

Radio Free Asia said the police fired at a crowd of several hundred monks and lay Tibetans who were demanding the release of two detained monks from Kardze's Tongkor monastery.

Dozens of people were injured and many were unaccounted for after the clash, it said.

The Chinese government on Saturday said it had launched a campaign for all party members and officials to 'play an active role in maintaining social stability with more loyalty' and spread the message in rural areas, businesses, schools and other organizations.

A party circular urged local governments to 'learn from last month's riot in Lhasa,' the capital of the Autonomous Region, and 'increase anti-secession education among party members and officials at the grassroot level,' the agency said.

The clash in Kardze was the latest of dozens of pro-independence demonstrations and unrest in Tibetan areas since March 10, when protests began to mark the 49th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

The protests escalated into rioting on March 14 in Lhasa.

The Chinese government has said 19 people were killed in the violence in Lhasa but the Tibetan government-in-exile said about 140 people have been killed, most of them Tibetans shot by Chinese police.

http://news.monstersandcritics.com/asiapacific/news/article_1398582.php/China_vows_to_take_torch_to_Tibet_despite_&quotsabotage%22_threat



8 killed in new violence in Tibet, activists say




Tibet deaths list totally fake, says China




China confirms Tibetan bird flu outbreak




Check and see if your beach or the beach area your thinking about for a vacation is poisonous to you and your family. Great interactive link here.


Microbes putting more beachgoers at risk, group finds


Article link http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environment/2007-08-07-beaches-water_N.htm


DATABASE: Water quality at 3,500 popular U.S. beaches


PUBLIC HEALTH: Testing always comes too late


The NRDC report, to be released Tuesday, analyzed data collected by state and local government officials and compiled by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.


Beaches threatened: Beachgoers at risk due to bacteria, group says



Thinking about buying a trailer for travel and camping? Think again.

Toxic fume fears extend beyond Katrina trailers

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environment/2008-04-07-toxictrailers_N.htm



Bird flu: solid evidence of human transmission





Police braced for new Tibet protests

Several hundred police officers will form a 'security blanket' around the Olympic torch when it passes San Francisco




Project Vote Smart may boot McCain


US 'plans secret open-ended military role in Iraq'


Israel threatens Iran with destruction


Rove 'could testify' in Siegelman case


Israel's largest-ever emergency drill starts today, Olmert says does not cover attack on Syria


Domestic spy satellite plan triggers House furor


US Oil Giant Chevron owes Ecuador billions for pollution


Australia will become a republic, says Rudd


Worst drought on record has slashed Australia's wheat exports


Japan's foreign reserves hit record $1 trillion


India to meet Pakistan, Iran over gas pipeline project later this month


Brazilian residents feel neglected in dengue fight, death toll at 67, 55,000 infected





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Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home

Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home
If Not Now When?