Daily Archives: March 7, 2007

Vermont towns seek to impeach Bush

Yahoo News | Mar 7, 2007
 

The new Democratic-controlled Congress has steered clear of the subject, and Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold’s call last year to censure Bush — a step short of an impeachment — found scant support on Capitol Hill, even among fellow Democrats.

More than 30 Vermont towns passed resolutions on Tuesday seeking to impeach  President Bush, while at least 16 towns in the tiny New England state called on Washington to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

Known for picturesque autumn foliage, colonial inns, maple sugar and old-fashion dairy farms, Vermont is in the vanguard of a grass-roots protest movement to impeach Bush over his handling of the unpopular Iraq war.

“We’re putting impeachment on the table,” said James Leas, a Vermont lawyer who helped to draft the resolutions and is tracking the votes. “The people in all these towns are voting to get this process started and bring the troops home now.”

The resolutions passed on Vermont’s annual town meeting day — a colonial era tradition where citizens debate issues of the day big and small — are symbolic and cannot force Congress to impeach Bush, but they “may help instigate further discussions in the legislature,” said state Rep. David Zuckerman.

“The president must be held accountable,” said Zuckerman, a politician from Burlington, Vermont’s largest city.

After casting votes on budgets and other routine items, citizens of 32 towns in Vermont backed a measure calling on the U.S. Congress to file articles of impeachment against Bush for misleading the nation on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and for engaging in illegal wiretapping, among other charges.

Five Vermont towns passed similar resolutions last year.

Residents of Burlington were voting on a separate question calling for a new investigation into the September 11 attacks.

Voters were asked to circle “yes” or “no” to the question: “Shall Vermont’s Congressional Delegation be advised to demand a new, thorough, and truly independent forensic investigation that fully addresses the many questions surrounding the tragic events of September 11, 2001?”

Doug Dunbebin, who gathered signatures to get the issue on the ballot, said questions linger about September 11, when hijacked plane attacks killed nearly 3,000 people at New York’s World Trade Center, at the   Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

A group known as Scholars for 9/11 Truth believes the events of that day were part of a conspiracy engineered by the U.S. government and that it took more than two planes to bring down the Twin Towers in New York.

Over 1000 Journalists Killed in Past Decade

Editor and Publisher | Mar 6, 2007
 

More than 1,000 journalists and their support staff have died in the past decade, with Iraq and Russia topping the list as the deadliest countries for the profession, according to a report.

Most of the dead were men who died in their home countries. Nearly half were shot. Others were blown up, beaten to death, stabbed, tortured or decapitated.

The vast majority of those killed were on staff — 91 percent versus 9 percent freelance, according to a report released Tuesday by the Brussels-based International News Safety Institute.

One in eight of the deaths was prosecuted.

“This report breaks new ground in capturing how dangerous the pursuit of news has become,” said Tom Curley, president of The Associated Press.

“It also confirms how insignificant the efforts have been to achieve justice for journalists who are harmed or persecuted as they work to keep the world informed. We are at a perilous point in journalism: fair and accurate coverage is more necessary than ever but the risks to those who pursue it are greater than ever, too.”

The report came as detectives investigated the suspicious death of a military correspondent for Russia’s top business daily who was killed after falling out of a window.

Ivan Safronov, who worked for Kommersant, died Friday after falling from a fifth-story window in the stairwell of his apartment building in Moscow. Colleagues suspect foul play.

Russia was singled out in the report as a country with a growing list of slain journalists, including Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot dead outside her apartment in October amid her investigation of abuses by Russian troops in Chechnya.

Many lesser known journalists die each day, virtually unnoticed.

“I think we’ve got a great problem in Russia,” said Rodney Pinder, INSI director, at the release of the 80-page report. “We’ve got another journalist who died in mysterious circumstances a couple of days ago, and if we’re suspicious, who can blame us? Thirteen journalists have died in Russia since (President Vladimir) Putin came to power, and there hasn’t been a conviction.”

There were 138 deaths in Iraq in the past decade, while there were 88 in Russia and 72 in Colombia.

Other potentially deadly countries for journalists included Colombia, Philippines, Iran, India, Algeria, Mexico, Pakistan and the former republics of Yugoslavia.

“There is a culture of impunity in many countries,” said Richard Sambrook, global news director for the British Broadcasting Corp.

The death toll for journalists has been steadily rising in recent years.

Last year was the deadliest year for journalists, with 167 deaths compared to the 2005 toll of 147. In 2004, there were 117 deaths. In 2001 — the year of the Sept. 11 attacks — there were 103 deaths; in 1996, 83 deaths.

A large percentage appeared to have died in targeted attacks.

U.S. tourist in his 70s kills mugger with bare hands

NC Times | Feb 23, 2007  

This guy knows how to take out the garbage. He should get a medal for saving the lives of his fellow tourists.

PW

An American tourist who watched as a U.S. military veteran in his 70s used his bare hands to kill an armed assailant in Costa Rica said she thought the attempted robbery was a joke — until the masked attacker held a gun to her head.

“I thought it was a skit. But then he pointed the gun at my head and grabbed me by the throat and I thought I was going to die,” Clova Adams, 54, told The Associated Press by telephone Friday from the Carnival Liberty cruise ship.

The assault occurred during a ship stopover Wednesday in Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital.
 
Adams was with 12 American tourists who hired a driver to explore Costa Rica for a few hours. They were climbing out of the van to visit a Caribbean beach when three men wearing ski masks ran toward them, she said. One held a gun to her head, while the other two pulled out knives.

Suddenly, one of the tourists, a U.S. military veteran trained in self defense, jumped out of the van and put the gunman in a headlock, according to Limon police chief Luis Hernandez.

Hernandez said the American, whom he refused to identify, struggled with the robber, breaking his collarbone and eventually killing him. Police identified the dead man as Warner Segura, 20. The other two assailants fled.

Afterward, the tourists drove Segura to a hospital, where he was declared dead. Sergio Lopez, a Red Cross auxiliary, examined Segura’s body and said he died from asphyxiation.

The U.S. Embassy confirmed the account, but refused to release the name of the American who defended the group, citing his right to privacy.

Costa Rican officials interviewed the Americans, and said they wouldn’t charge the U.S. tourist with any crime because he acted in self defense.

“They were in their right to defend themselves after being held up,” Hernandez said. He said Segura had previous charges against him for assaults.