On October 7 the United States’ and NATO’s war in Afghanistan entered its ninth year. The escalating conflict has over the past year become indistinguishable from military operations in neighboring Pakistan where the U.S. and NATO have tripled deadly drone missile attacks and the Pakistani army has launched large-scale offensives that have displaced over 3 million civilians in the Northwest Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, with the province of Baluchistan the next battle zone.
On September 29 the U.S. conducted four drone attacks in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency in twenty four hours and during the past year has fired over 60 missiles into the area causing more than 550 deaths.
MIT Professor Emeritus, linguist, author and lecturer, Noam Chomsky, provides the keynote address for “Crisis and Hope in the Age of Obama”, a special program at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, on Sunday, October 4, 2009. The program also features community organizer and author, Steve Williams, policy analyst and author, Antonia Juhasz, and labor journalist, David Bacon.
A decision has been made by the Ohio Elections Commission regarding complaints filed against David Krikorian by Congresswoman Jean Schmidt earlier this month. Krikorian, a Democrat candidate in next year’s primary, is not happy with the results. Schmidt originally filed nine complaints against Krikorian, stating that he had made false claims during the 2008 election about her taking thousands of dollars in Turkish Political Action Committee money in exchange for denying the Armenian genocide in World War I.
During the course of the proceedings, Schmidt dropped four of the complaints against Krikorian, leaving just five to be contested by the Ohio Elections Commission. During the course of the investigation, the commission heard from numerous witnesses, including a deposition from Jean Schmidt and former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, a well known whistleblower. A video copy of Edmonds’ deposition can be seen at http://www.newsdemocrat.com.
So it’s good news — of a sort — from Guantánamo, as two more prisoners were released on Thursday. The first is Khalid al-Mutairi, a Kuwaiti whose habeas corpus petition was granted by District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly two months ago, after she ruled decisively that “there is nothing in the record beyond speculation” that al-Mutairi had been involved in any way with al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Continue reading →
The Senate Finance Committee is set to vote Tuesday on a health care bill that has gained preeminence over four other health care bills that have emerged from House and Senate committees. The Senate Finance bill does not include a public insurance option to compete with private insurers. Nor does it allow Medicare to use its bargaining power to negotiate lower drug prices.
Under the Finance Committee bill, Americans would be required to buy corporate health insurance or pay an “excise tax” of $1,900. If you don’t pay that tax, the IRS could punish you with a $25,000 fine or up to one year in jail, or both. Read that again.
As he leaves the office of the President of the UN General Assembly, Father Miguel d’Escoto gave Real News Senior Editor Paul Jay a no holds barred interview on the issues plaguing the United Nations. D’Escoto held the democratization of the UN as a key pillar of his Presidency, but along the way he learned of the various obstacles that keep the General Assembly from becoming an effective body within the UN, and the UN from becoming an effective body within the world. He blames the world’s most powerful states for this ineptitude to act, which has resulted in what he calls the failure of the UN to address the two objectives for which it was founded, the avoidance of war and the eradication of poverty.