Aleida in La Paz
An unique corner of Anahuac were ideas and ideals come together. This is also a Zapatista outpost in cyberspace.
Real conservatives, conservatives who believe in the libertarian tenets of the Founding Fathers, believe that we the people must be protected from government. Hence, our Constitution has ten enumerated amendments that do just that: put limits on what the government cannot do to it's citizens.
By DAVID ESPO and JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press WritersFri Sep 29, 7:44 PM ET
Rep. Mark Foley (news, bio, voting record), R-Fla., abruptly resigned from Congress on Friday in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former teenage male page.
"I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent," he said in a statement issued by his office.
His departure sent Republicans scrambling for a replacement candidate less than six weeks before midterm elections in which Democrats are making a strong bid to gain control of the House.
Foley's two-sentence statement gave no reason for Foley's decision to abandon a flourishing career in Congress. But several officials said the resignation had been prompted by the e-mails, and he took his action as fresh details emerged about electronic messages he had sent.
Foley, 52, had been a shoo-in for a new term until the e-mail correspondence surfaced in recent days.
His resignation further complicates the political landscape for Republicans, who are fighting to retain control of Congress. Democrats need to win a net of 15 Republican seats to regain the power they lost in 1994.
Florida Republicans planned to meet as soon as Monday to name a replacement in Foley's district, which President Bush won with 55 percent in 2004 and is now in play for November. Though Florida ballots have already been printed with Foley's name and cannot be changed, any votes for Foley will count toward the party's choice.
Campaign aides had previously acknowledged that the Republican congressman e-mailed the former Capitol page five times, but had said there was nothing inappropriate about the exchange. The page was 16 at the time of the e-mail correspondence.
The page worked for Rep. Rodney Alexander (news, bio, voting record), R-La., who said Friday that when he learned of the e-mail exchanges 10 to 11 months ago, he called the teen's parents. Alexander told the Ruston Daily Leader, "We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem," a reference to the House's Republican leaders.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Friday he had asked the chairman of the House's page board, Rep. John Shimkus (news, bio, voting record), R-Ill., to investigate the page system. "We want to make sure that all our pages are safe and the page system is safe," Hastert said.
He said Foley submitted the letter of resignation to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and submitted a copy to him. A House clerk read Foley's resignation on the House floor.
"He's done the right thing," Hastert said. Asked if the chain of events was disturbing, he said, "None of us are very happy about it."
ABC News reported Friday that Foley also engaged in a series of sexually explicit instant messages with current and former teenage male pages. In one message, ABC said, Foley wrote to one page: "Do I make you a little horny?"
In another message, Foley wrote, "You in your boxers, too? ... Well, strip down and get naked."
Foley, as chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, had introduced legislation in July to protect children from exploitation by adults over the Internet. He also sponsored other legislation designed to protect minors from abuse and neglect.
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By Stephanie Nebehay
Fri Sep 29, 10:31 AM ET
The U.N. torture investigator charged on Friday that a new U.S. law for tough interrogation of terrorism suspects would deprive people of the right to a fair trial before independent courts and could lead to mistreatment.
Manfred Nowak, United Nations special rapporteur on torture, regretted that the bill ignored U.N. rights bodies which have said U.S. interrogation methods and prolonged detentions violate international law.
The Senate gave final approval on Thursday to the bill, a day after its passage by the House of Representatives. President George W. Bush is expected to sign it into law very soon.
"I am afraid that with the new law, the interrogation methods will not really change. Bush has said that harsh interrogation methods will continue and that is my concern," the Austrian law professor told Reuters in a telephone interview.
The U.N. Committee against Torture and the U.N. Human Rights Committee have found the U.S. interrogation methods are unlawful and expressed concern at arbitrary detentions.
"The bill does not take into account substantive criticism from our side ... It is not the signal that I would have expected the U.S. government and Congress would make in order to try to comply with our recommendations," Nowak said.
The bill sets standards for interrogating suspects, but with complex rules that rights groups say could allow techniques that border on torture such as sleep deprivation.
Bush got much of what he wanted in the bill to continue the once-secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of detention and aggressive interrogations of suspects.
It establishes military tribunals that would allow some use of evidence obtained by coercion, but would give defendants access to classified evidence being used to convict them.
RIGHT TO FAIR TRIAL
"These people must have a right to fair trial before an independent court which in principle should be an ordinary court. I am particularly concerned that with the bill, the habeas corpus rights are further reduced," Nowak said.
Habeas corpus refers to a person's right to go before an independent judge who rules on the legality of the detention.
"This is one of the most regressive pieces of legislation in U.S. history," Reed Brody, legal counsel at the New York-based group Human Rights Watch, told Reuters.
A landmark Supreme Court ruling last June struck down Bush's first military commissions to try suspects, leaving the process in limbo. There have been no successful prosecutions since the September 11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in 2001.
The bill expands the definition of "enemy combatants" mostly held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to include those who provide arms, money and other aid to terrorist groups.
"The Bush administration has been given authority to determine who is an enemy combatant and to lock people up on its own say-so indefinitely without trial," Brody said.
"We would have thought that after Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and secret prisons, the administration would have learned mistreatment and torture do not make the country safer against terrorism, but in fact render it more vulnerable," he added.
The International Commission of Jurists said the law put inmates at Guantanamo and elsewhere "back in a legal black hole."
"It is terrible to say the least for the detainees and rule of law in the United States, but also a dangerous precedent because it undermines international human rights law standards," said Gerald Staberock, head of the ICJ's global security program.
I wonder how many Latin American immigrants will be tortured under this new legislation.
Believe it or not.
By NICK WADHAMS, Associated Press Writer
Fri Sep 29, 7:00 PM ET
Israel refused to give a U.N.-appointed investigation access to the officials who may have been responsible for the bombing of an observation post that killed four unarmed peacekeepers at the height of the conflict with Hezbollah, the United Nations said Friday.
Israel said the bombing of the U.N. peacekeeping post along the Israeli-Lebanese border was a mistake that occurred at the "operational level." The U.N. panel investigating the killings was not allowed to interview commanders at that level to determine what happened, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
The statement was delivered shortly after the Board of Inquiry investigating the attack submitted a confidential report with its findings to the U.N. and to the four nations whose observers were killed — Austria, Canada, China and Finland. The report was not sent to Israel.
Dujarric's statement said it concluded that there was nothing else the United Nations could have done "that would have changed the outcome."
The four observers were killed by an Israeli precision-guided bomb that destroyed the bunker where they took shelter after their observation post near the town of Khiam came under heavy fire. U.N. officials in New York and Lebanon had repeatedly warned Israel that the observation post, built 30 years before, was under attack.
Because of Israel's refusal, the inquiry was "unable to determine why the attacks on the U.N. position were not halted despite repeated demarches to the Israeli authorities from U.N. personnel, both in the field and at headquarters," Dujarric said.
Israel has blamed inaccurate maps for its mistake, and said the airplane that dropped the bomb thought it was targeting Hezbollah. Hezbollah was active in the area, with a post about 150 yards away.
Asked to comment on Dujarric's statement, the spokeswoman for Israel's U.N. mission, Anat Friedman, said: "Israel has expressed its regret for the unfortunate event and has investigated the tragic incident."
Friedman refused to comment on the U.N. claim that the investigators had not been allowed to interview some officials.
A U.N. official said Israel never sufficiently explained why it kept bombing the base.
"We do not have a satisfactory answer as to why those attempts failed," said the official, who spoke anonymously because the report was confidential. "The Israelis are fully aware of our position on this incident."
The official said there was nothing in the Board of Inquiry's findings to contradict U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's earlier claim that the attack was "apparently deliberate."
They call their crime an error, and then they blame their error on a map.
Must be an anti-Semitic map.
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Flames rise from the 'Nico Lopez' oil refinery in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006. The fire that erupted at the oil refinery sent plumes of black smoke over Havana area Wednesday night, but no one was reported injured. The fire's cause was unknown. (AP Photo/ Javier Galeano)
I HAVE lived in the US on and off for the past three years and have yet to experience racial profiling, or what people of colour in America know as walking/driving/breathing while black. I spent three weeks in Cuba in 2000, and was subjected to racial profiling five times -- all in one day.