byAlma Abell

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Friday, July 22, 2005

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), co-chairwoman of the Out of Iraq Caucus and a member of the International Affairs Committee, along with 26 co-sponsors, proposed yesterday a Resolution of Inquiry in the House of Representatives which, if passed, will require the White House and the State Department to“transmit all information relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq.” The resolution, was submitted in the House of Representatives and referred to the U.S. House Committee on International Relations.

The resolution comes in response to questions that have been raised about the handling of pre-war intelligence by the Bush administration, and the planning and execution of the Iraq war. “We would like to see a member of Congress look into whether or not the president committed impeachable offenses,” said John Bonifaz, a constitutional lawyer. “We’ve been having that discussion with a number of offices.”

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Minority leader, recently met with John Bonifaz and representatives. But Conyers is reluctant to take such a bold step just yet. “My inclination at this time is not to do something like that,” Conyers said, although he noted that he wanted to press for an investigation in other ways, including sending committee investigators to London.

Earlier this month, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said at a forum held by Conyers “If you read the record of the writing of the Constitution, ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ had a very particular meaning at the time of the drafting of the Constitution. It certainly didn’t mean lying about sex, but it might well mean lying to the Congress about a large public purpose such as Iraq.”, referring to Republican’s filing of such a resolution in 1998 in an effort to remove Bill Clinton from office.

Rep. Barbara Lee’s resolution of inquiry is a less-drastic parliamentary maneuver that would ask the administration to provide more information related to the claims in classified British memos that suggest that pre-war intelligence in Iraq was “fixed” in order to justify the invasion. The Resolution of Inquiry is a privileged resolution, which means that if it is not acted on in 14 legislative days after it is introduced, the member of Congress who introduced it is entitled to request that it be brought to the House floor for a vote. The committee may take the matter up right away, and could vote it down before the August recess. If they do not, they will be required to take it up by September 16th.

RESOLUTION

Requesting the President and directing the Secretary of State to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution all information in the possession of the President and the Secretary of State relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to thepolicy of the United States with respect to Iraq.

Resolved, That not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution—

(1) the President is requested to transmit to the House of Representatives all documents, including telephone and electronic mail records, logs, calendars, minutes, and memos, in the possession of the President relating to communications with officials of the United Kingdom from January 1, 2002, to October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq, including any discussions or communications between the President or other Administration officials and officials of the United Kingdom that occurred before the meeting on July 23, 2002, at 10 Downing Street in London, England, between Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom intelligence officer Richard Dearlove, and other national security officials of the Blair Administration; and

(2) the Secretary of State is directed to transmit to the House of Representatives all documents, including telephone and electronic mail records, logs, calendars, minutes, memos, and records of internal discussions, in the possession of the Secretary relating to communications with officials of the United Kingdom from January 1, 2002, to October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq, including any discussions or communications between the Secretary of State or other officials of the Department of State and officials of the United Kingdom that occurred before the meeting on July 23, 2002, at 10 Downing Street in London, England, between Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom intelligence officer Richard Dearlove, and other national security officials of the Blair Administration.

  • Rep. John Conyers
  • Rep. Tammy Baldwin
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay
  • Rep. Danny Davis
  • Rep. William Delahunt
  • Rep. Lane Evans
  • Rep. Sam Farr
  • Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva
  • Rep. Luis Gutierrez
  • Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich
  • Rep. Carolyn C. Kilpatrick
  • Rep. Jim McDermott
  • Rep. Jim Oberstar
  • Rep. Major R. Owens
  • Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.
  • Rep. Don Payne
  • Rep. Charles Rangel
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky
  • Rep. José E. Serrano
  • Rep. Pete Stark
  • Rep. Bennie Thompson
  • Rep. Diane Watson
  • Rep. Robert Wexler
  • Rep. Lynn Woolsey

Saturday, October 22, 2005

New Paltz, New York — More than 350 U.S. students took part in a demonstration Friday outside the SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building where student leaders used a bullhorn from the rooftop to rally the gathering on the concourse below. University police dispersed student leaders from the roof which was followed by more than 100 students storming the Haggerty Administration Building (HAB).

During the 2004–2005 academic year, students lobbied for a $10 million renovation project for their Student Union Building, which has not been renovated since its construction more than 30 years ago.

HAB spokesman Eric Gullickson said that the supplemental appropriation for the project is the largest in the history of the college and that the six-member advisory committee includes three students but that; “the Student Association, which was offered the first seat on this committee, declined the opportunity,” Gullickson said.

Student leaders, including Student Body President R.J. Partington III and Student Senate ChairJustin Holmes, who played a role in organizing this demonstration, testified during the Spring 2005 semester before the New York State Assembly Committee on Higher Education, eventually winning the renovation project. Holmes says that Gullickson’s assertions are; “an out-and-out lie. The SA was never offered such a seat. We were offered 1 seat on a seven seat committee, with the administration selecting the other six members.”

The major arguments for a capital project on the Student Union Building were that it:

  • did not accommodate organizations and organization office needs
  • lacked crucial technology for student mobilization
  • was built for a student population less than half the size of 2005, and
  • was one of the longest standing Student Unions in the SUNY system which had not undergone a renovation

During the Fall 2005 semester the HAB claimed that it would oversee the renovation project, citing the need for a larger lobby and bookstore.

The Kingston Daily Freeman reported:

The crystallizing issue for the demonstration was the upcoming $10 million renovation of the Student Union building. The renovation, scheduled to begin in about two years, will be the first major change to the building since it was built 34 years ago, according to college spokesman Eric Gullickson, who said the supplemental appropriation for the project in the state budget is the largest in the college’s history.

Gullickson also said that a six-member committee had been formed to guide the design process, but student leaders, including Partington, were told that the proposed committee would be seven members, including four non-students and two students who were appointed by the HAB.

“No matter the size and makeup of the HAB’s so-called renovation committee, it has nothing to do with the actual renovation process, which will be administered by a student committee, with input from other parties of course considered,” responded Holmes.

During the Fall 2005 semester, Student Body President R.J. Partington III attempted to negotiate with Administrators, including HAB President Steven G. Poskanzer, over the project.

The HAB refused to concede to student demands.

At this point, the Student Senate passed legislation proclaiming that the project would be overseen by a committee where students constitute a majority, and Partington announced that he “did not recognize and would not sit on” any committee that did not meet the needs of students.

Vice President of Acacdemic Affairs & Governance, Stephanie Adika said, “If the HAB won’t even listen to us about our own building, how are they going to listen to us about all the other problems the students have with SUNY New Paltz.”

US Senate passes new bankruptcy bill

Posted November 9th, 2019 by 34GBdN6A

Saturday, March 12, 2005

In a vote of 74-25 last Thursday, the US Senate passed a measure that would change bankruptcy laws, making it harder for individuals seeking relief from their debt burden to avoid repayment. Almost twenty Democrats joined Republicans, who currently hold a majority of the seats in the US Senate, in passing the bill.

Lobbyists for credit card companies and financial services firms have worked for the bill during the last two administrations. A similar measure passed both the Senate and House during the previous administration, but then President Bill Clinton pocket-vetoed the measure in 2000.

Democrats sought to soften the bill by allowing bankruptcy filers to negotiate directly with lenders for relief, but the amendments were defeated by the Republican-controlled Senate. Proponents of the bill claim the rise of bankruptcy filings to nearly 1.5 million a year shows that abusers of credit use the filings to shield themselves from irresponsible practices.

“There has been an explosion of bankruptcy,” said Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the bill’s sponsor. “We preserve the principle of a fresh start, but we also establish a principle that if you have the ability to repay some of your debt, you are not going to get off scot-free.” However, Massachusetts Democratic Sen., Edward M. Kennedy said, “This legislation makes the bankruptcy courts of the United States the collection agency for the credit-card industry.”

The bill impacts a broad spectrum of bankruptcy law, but the most significant impact is on personal bankruptcy filings. Individuals who get behind in repaying credit card debt face high interest charges and stiff late payment fees. By only meeting minimum payment requirements, borrowers remit to the lender over the life of the loan an amount in interest and other fees that can far exceed the value of the principal balance of the loan. This can put consumers who run up high balances on various cards at financial risk of default. Critics of the bill blame these aggressive lending practices as a contributing factor in the rising trend of bankruptcy filings from 1996.

The proposed bill doesn’t only affect debtors with credit card debt.

It also affects debtors who have run up large medical bills.

Patients with a past medical history that disqualifies them from full medical coverage, can easily find themselves facing insurmountable medical bills after just a short stay in the hospital. These individuals will no longer be able to get a fresh start after these personal disasters, and will be forced to live in poverty until they can pay off their medical bills as part of their Chapter 13 filing. (Prior to this bill, they would have been able to file Chapter 7, completely discharging their debt.)

Chapter 7, which accounts for 70% of bankruptcy filings, allows individuals to eliminate most non-secured debts after liquidating assets, with the notable exemption of one’s principle residence in most states. The Senate passed bill would change Chapter 7 eligibility by applying a means-test, where those with a median income higher than the state average would be required to file under Chapter 13 provisions. Under Chapter 13 protection, an individual’s debt is not forgiven; rather it is restructured for payment under more lenient terms.

This was the first major overhaul of federal bankruptcy law in many years.

Under the old bankruptcy law, a personal bankruptcy attorney could not be held financially responsible for his clients mendacity. Under the new bankruptcy law, the bankruptcy attorney is responsible for his client’s lies to the Court about his assets and the bankruptcy attorney and his insurance carrier can be held responsible by the Bankruptcy Court.

The result is that personal bankruptcy attorneys (this does not apply to corporate bankruptcy attorneys) are likely to flee the personal bankruptcy field when the new law takes effect. Their insurance companies will not offer the sort of coverage that they would need to continue to practice.

So when consumers need to file personal bankruptcy under the new law, they will be unlikely to find a bankruptcy attorney to represent them. Consumers will have to file pro se: such consumers will be likely to fail due to the complexity of the law.

The bottom line is that the field of personal bankruptcy law as a practice area of law will cease to exist when the new bankruptcy law takes effect, and consumers will be unable to secure legal counsel and so consumers will lose what legal protections counsel now affords them.

Under the new bankruptcy law about one half million Americans will be forest to pay for at lest 5 years on longer they will be held in servitude as chattel they will be completely subservient to a dominating influence of the company that holds the loan. Their loan will be put on the market for sale for profit. The people will be forced to work harder. People who fail to go to court will have a arrest warrant made out in their name and people who refuseto pay. They will be subject to fines and or jail. About fifty thousand Americans will punished by a fine and or about three thousand Americans every year will go to jail under the new bankruptcy law. For some people this will be a third strike they will be put in jail for life.

The bill has the support of President Bush, and its passage in the House sometime next month seems likely. If enacted into law, lending companies will recover more money on what otherwise would be written off as bad loans. Those persons of median and higher income seeking relief would be required to file under Chapter 13 status and pay up to $100 per month under court imposed conditions. It is expected the proposed changes would cause a sharp increase in filings before the new law could take effect.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Borussia Dortmund have hired Jürgen Klopp as their new Head Coach after Thomas Doll resignation after their worst league position in 20 years. Klopp’s contract will run until the June 30, 2010. Klopp was the Head Coach for FSV Mainz since 2001 before leaving for Dortmund.

“I am delighted to be here. I am honoured”, said Klopp. “Now I want to help bring the club back on track.” Klopp has high expectations of the club, current players and target signings for the summer transfer window and wants to give the matches of Borussia Dortmund a “recognition factor.”

France to ban smoking in public places

Posted October 30th, 2019 by 34GBdN6A

Monday, October 9, 2006

France is to ban smoking in all public places in February 2007, the French prime minister, Dominique de Villepin has announced. However cafés, nightclubs and restaurants will not be required to comply until January 2008.

An offence would result in a fine of 75 euros for the person(s) responsible and 150 euros for the premises where the offence occurred.

When announcing the new law in a television interview, he stated his reason as being the “public health”:

“We started on the basis of a simple observation – two figures: 60,000 deaths a year in our country linked directly to tobacco consumption and 5,000 deaths linked to passive smoking. It is an unacceptable reality in our country in terms of public health”

Public places will include stations, museums, government offices and shops, but not streets or private places such as houses or hotel rooms. He also stated that the country would pay for one-third of the costs of anti-smoking treatments:

“That would represent the first month of treatment,” he said.“There are also other solutions, for example the creation of closed, ventilated spaces, where (food and drink) service is not authorised in order to protect employees,” he added.File:Dominique villepin.jpg

A BBC survey made in France, a country notorious for its use of tobacco suggests that 70% of the people support the ban.

The European Union’s most enthusiastic smokers are found in Greece, Cyprus, and Portugal, according to findings published in May this year. When the law activates, France will join Ireland and Italy, which have passed similar measures. Italy, for example, has very strict measures, such as a minimum fine of 150 euros for smoking in public places with additional charges leveled if the offender was near a pregnant woman or a child under 13. Repeat offenders could be fined more than 275 euros, and imprisoned if they continued. In Switzerland, the canton of Ticino is the only canton in the nation to have banned smoking in restaurants. In the The Netherlands, smoking is banned in NS railway stations.

Space Shuttle Discovery lands in Florida

Posted October 30th, 2019 by 34GBdN6A

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The space shuttle Discovery landed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, ending its thirteen-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft’s landing was delayed for two hours due to low-lying clouds and heavy winds.

Discovery had been sent out to the ISS in order to install a new set of solar panels that would increase its power supply.

“Welcome home, Discovery, after a great mission to bring the International Space Station to full power,” said an astronaut, George Zamka, radioing from the mission control center in Houston, Texas.

NASA tested an experimental tile under the Discovery’s left wing during its approach for landing. The tile was almost eight centimetres thick, and had a bump in it, intended to disturb the otherwise smooth airflow over the shuttle’s wing, thus exposing it to high amounts of heat. Engineers installed the tile in order to measure the excess heat that was generated on downstream tiles. A military airplane monitored the heat with an infrared camera. The findings will be used to help determine better designs for future shuttles.

News briefs:June 30, 2006

Posted October 18th, 2019 by 34GBdN6A

The time is 20:00 (UTC) on June 30th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Interior Ministry, Fatah offices in Gaza hit by Israeli airstrikes
    • 1.2 Palestinian PM: Israel aims to topple gov’t
    • 1.3 Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Freitas do Amaral resigns
    • 1.4 French Parliament adopts controversial copyright bill
    • 1.5 Police crackdown on illegal tow operations in Sydney
    • 1.6 Amsterdam to open a “Chocolate Factory”
    • 1.7 Australian shot in Thailand
    • 1.8 Germany master penalties to beat Argentina to semi-final spot
    • 1.9 Ullrich and Sevilla suspended from Tour de France
  • 2 Closing statements

[edit]

Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven

Posted October 18th, 2019 by 34GBdN6A

Monday, November 28, 2011

The death toll from the weekend suspension bridge collapse on the Indonesian island of Borneo has risen from four to eleven. Search and rescue teams continue to look for bodies in the Mahakam River.

The number of wounded is currently 39 injured; reports from locals suggest 33 people remain missing at the scene in East Kalimantan’s Kutai Kartanegara district, where “Kalimantan’s Golden Gate Bridge” linked the towns of Tenggarong and the regional capital, Samarinda. A six-month-old baby is among the dead.

Cars, motorbikes, and buses all fell into the Mahakam River when the bridge came down during repairs. Another car was left overturned and balanced upon wreckage over the water. State-owned builders PT Hutama Karya completed the bridge about a decade ago in the image of California’s Golden Gate Bridge. A cable on the 720-metre structure is thought to have failed as workers dealt with it; six of the repair crew were reported missing yesterday. It had been the longest suspension bridge in Borneo.

Eyewitnesses described heavy traffic at the time of the collapse, and one survivor said he left his truck to investigate a traffic jam. Some people were left trapped by debris as the bridge came down. “It happened so fast, only about 30 seconds,” according to National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugoroho.

National search and rescue head Daryatmo said yesterday cranes will attempt to move debris today, with new reports saying echo-sounding equipment will be used to check it is safe to begin lifting. It is believed the bodies of more victims will be found trapped in vehicles beneath the water, which is 35-40 metres deep. Visibility is poor, and one official explained authorities are still unsure how many vehicles are on the riverbed.

“The above-water search is continuing, but underwater operations have not been carried out because we’re worried that the bridge’s pylons are unstable and could collapse any time,” said Nugoroho today. He explained that bodies had washed onto the riverbanks overnight and were recovered today.

The president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has sent three ministers to the site to investigate the accident, while Bambang Widaryatmo, head of East Kalimantan’s police, promised “parties found to be negligent will be prosecuted”. The government has promised a replacement ferry service. The river is closed to boats as rescue operations continue, and a 22-strong team has been dispatched from the national police, comprising six forensics experts, five disaster victim identification specialists, and eleven investigators. They are there to augment the East Kalimantan Police. Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih yesterday visited survivors in Parikesit Hospital and promised them medical treatment at government expense.

Some people swam ashore after falling, with the aftermath filled with screams. Survivor Syakrani, 24, yesterday asserted “The authorities should have closed the bridge if it was under repair.” His words were followed by a Jakarta Globe editorial declaring the accident “unacceptable”.

The Globe went on to comment upon suggestions corruption may have played a role; “It is too early to point fingers and look to place blame, but if shoddy materials were used in the building of the bridge, those responsible must answer to the public.” Another suggestion is coal barges striking the bridge may have weakened it. Local coal company Harum Energy lost five percent of its share value today amid fears the river blockage will hamper their ability to ship coal.

Samarinda’s seen a population and construction boom lately. A few years have seen the population triple and the construction of a large mosque, and a sports stadium; an airport and port are set to follow. However, the Corruption Eradication Commission warns 70% of the corruption it investigates concerns government contracts and up to 40% of money earmarked for infrastructure ends up stolen.

Building collapses, leaving four dead in Hong Kong

Posted October 10th, 2019 by 34GBdN6A

Monday, February 1, 2010

A decades-old building collapsed along Ma Tau Wai Road in Hong Kong at about 1:30pm on Friday, local time. That building was located at 45J, Ma Tau Wai Road in Hung Hom. A shop on its ground floor was undergoing renovations when the building collapsed. The street was full of dust afterwards. Firefighters arrived at the scene to search survivors and they asked residents in the buildings nearby to evacuate the area. Those buildings included 45G and 45H.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang called for an investigation into the cause of the building collapse. He aimed at preventing similar incidents. The government required all old buildings with similar structures to undergo inspection, according to Secretary for Development Carrie Lam.

The government has confirmed that four people were dead in the incident. Rescue efforts ended on Saturday morning when the government confirmed that no one was missing. Lam visited the scene on Saturday afternoon and sought advice from the police and Buildings Department. The police has started its investigation into the incident. Secretary for Labour & Welfare Matthew Cheung said that the government would do its best to meet the victims’ needs.

The collapsed building was more than 50 years old. The government had inspected its five-storey structure before the incident and had ordered repairs. After the tragedy, the government announced that it would inspect buildings older than 50 years in one month. The government has restricted access to buildings at 45G and 45H as they were in danger.