Daily Archives: September 23, 2008

Ron Paul Endorses Constitution Party Candidate Chuck Baldwin for President

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A New Alliance – By Dr. Ron Paul
“I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.”

NewsWithViews.com | Sep 23, 2008

by Sarah Foster

After months of refusing to endorse any candidate in November’s presidential election race, Congressman Ron Paul—who ran a hard race for the GOP nomination—announced Monday afternoon in a press statement that he was supporting Constitution Party nominee Rev. Chuck Baldwin.

Baldwin, a minister at Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., and a syndicated columnist, could not be reached for comment, but Frank Fluckiger, the Constitution Party’s Western States Area Chairman, told NewsWithViews.com that he and other party officials had “no idea” that Paul had actually decided to endorse their candidate.

“Of course, we are thrilled. It will be a real boost to our party and membership,” he said. “It was wonderful for Congressman Paul to do this.”

The Baldwin campaign had approached Paul for his endorsement, as had the Libertarian Party and the GOP—with former senator Phil Gramm making the pitch for Paul to endorse Sen. John McCain. But Paul repeatedly refused.

The surprise announcement came less than two weeks after the Texas Republican had hosted a Third-Party Unity Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, under the auspices of Paul’s new project, the Campaign for Liberty. At the event Paul called on voters to reject the two major political parties and vote for one of the third-party candidates with him that day.

Joining him at the podium were Chuck Baldwin, Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney, and Ralph Nader, Independent.

Paul’s intention was to focus voters on the idea that there are other parties out there and other candidates than simply the “big two.” That’s why he hosted the press conference and invited all the third party candidates. All of them.

But one third-party candidate was a no-show: Bob Barr, a former congressman from Georgia, now the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate for the November election.

Not that Barr hadn’t been invited. Not only had he been invited, he had accepted. Then moments before the conference was scheduled to begin he sent word that he would not be attending, saying it would be “a waste of time.” Worse, Barr had scheduled a press conference of his own to begin a couple of hours following Ron Paul’s event.

“I’m not interested in third parties getting the most possible votes,” Barr said at his press conference. “I’m interested in Bob Barr as the nominee for the Libertarian Party getting the most possible votes. Adding insult to injury, he said he’d allow Paul to be his running mate on the LP ticket.

Barr also sent a letter to Paul, explaining why he should not stay neutral but join him in the Libertarian Party fold. The letter has been pulled from the Barr campaign website. Today, Paul replied, declaring at the end of a lengthy essay posted on the Campaign for Liberty site:

“The Libertarian Party Candidate admonished me for ‘remaining neutral’ in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November. It’s true; I have done exactly that due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members. I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman. It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party. Chuck Baldwin has been a friend and was an active supporter in the presidential campaign.

“I continue to wish the Libertarian and Constitution Parties well. The more votes they get, the better. I have attended Libertarian Party conventions frequently over the years. I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election. I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.”

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Chuck Baldwin
Charles “Chuck” Baldwin (born May 3, 1952) is a pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida, and presidential nominee of the Constitution Party.

Nepal’s new Maoist government accused of mounting “Cultural Revolution”


Nepal’s Maoist government has sparked rioting and allegations of launching a “cultural revolution” by withdrawing funding for animal sacrifices at a popular religious festival.

Telegraph | Sep 22, 2008

Nepal: Riots as Maoist governments cut sacrifice subsidy

By Thomas Bell

Last week the finance minister, presenting the national budget, announced that a £100 allowance to buy sacrificial goats and buffalos would be withdrawn.

The animals are decapitated at the culmination of the Indra Jatra festival, when Kathmandu receives the blessing of its “living goddess” – a young girl regarded as an incarnation of the goddess Teleju.

“The Maoist government is trying to stamp out cultural and religious festivals,” said Rajan Maharajan, one of the living goddess’s guardians. “It’s their first step towards a cultural revolution.”

Young men from the conservative Newar community, which dominates central Kathmandu and reveres the living goddess, went on the rampage over the weekend, throwing bricks and clashing with police amid the city’s ancient temples. The police responded with tear gas.

In an attempt to end the chaos the government agreed on Sunday to continue funding the festival, and to pay the medical bills of injured protesters. But it was too late for the conclusion of this year’s Indra Jatra.

For the first time in history, Nepal’s new president was due to receive the living goddess’s blessing in place of the king but the ceremony had to be cancelled amid the continuing protests.

Earlier this year the country’s monarchy – traditionally seen as a guardian of religious traditions – was abolished and a Maoist government installed following national elections. After a decade of civil war the world’s only Hindu Kingdom became a secular republic.

Mobile phone use ‘raises children’s risk of brain cancer fivefold’

Alarming new research from Sweden on the effects of radiation raises fears that today’s youngsters face an epidemic of the disease in later life

Independent | Sep 21, 2008

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

The Swedish research was reported this month at the first international conference on mobile phones and health

Children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use mobile phones, startling new research indicates.

The study, experts say, raises fears that today’s young people may suffer an “epidemic” of the disease in later life. At least nine out of 10 British 16-year-olds have their own handset, as do more than 40 per cent of primary schoolchildren.

Yet investigating dangers to the young has been omitted from a massive £3.1m British investigation of the risks of cancer from using mobile phones, launched this year, even though the official Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme – which is conducting it – admits that the issue is of the “highest priority”.

Despite recommendations of an official report that the use of mobiles by children should be “minimised”, the Government has done almost nothing to discourage it.

Last week the European Parliament voted by 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to bring in stricter limits for exposure to radiation from mobile and cordless phones, Wi-fi and other devices, partly because children are especially vulnerable to them. They are more at risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and because – since their heads are smaller and their skulls are thinner – the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains.

The Swedish research was reported this month at the first international conference on mobile phones and health.

It sprung from a further analysis of data from one of the biggest studies carried out into the risk that the radiation causes cancer, headed by Professor Lennart Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden. Professor Hardell told the conference – held at the Royal Society by the Radiation Research Trust – that “people who started mobile phone use before the age of 20″ had more than five-fold increase in glioma”, a cancer of the glial cells that support the central nervous system. The extra risk to young people of contracting the disease from using the cordless phone found in many homes was almost as great, at more than four times higher.

Those who started using mobiles young, he added, were also five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, benign but often disabling tumours of the auditory nerve, which usually cause deafness.

By contrast, people who were in their twenties before using handsets were only 50 per cent more likely to contract gliomas and just twice as likely to get acoustic neuromas.

Professor Hardell told the IoS: “This is a warning sign. It is very worrying. We should be taking precautions.” He believes that children under 12 should not use mobiles except in emergencies and that teenagers should use hands-free devices or headsets and concentrate on texting. At 20 the danger diminishes because then the brain is fully developed. Indeed, he admits, the hazard to children and teenagers may be greater even than his results suggest, because the results of his study do not show the effects of their using the phones for many years. Most cancers take decades to develop, longer than mobile phones have been on the market.

The research has shown that adults who have used the handsets for more than 10 years are much more likely to get gliomas and acoustic neuromas, but he said that there was not enough data to show how such relatively long-term use would increase the risk for those who had started young.

He wants more research to be done, but the risks to children will not be studied in the MTHR study, which will follow 90,000 people in Britain. Professor David Coggon, the chairman of the programmes management committee, said they had not been included because other research was being done on young people by a study at Sweden’s Kariolinska Institute.

He said: “It looks frightening to see a five-fold increase in cancer among people who started use in childhood,” but he said he “would be extremely surprised” if the risk was shown to be so high once all the evidence was in.

But David Carpenter, dean of the School of Public Health at the State University of NewYork – who also attended the conference – said: “Children are spending significant time on mobile phones. We may be facing a public health crisis in an epidemic of brain cancers as a result of mobile phone use.”

In 2000 and 2005, two official inquiries under Sir William Stewart, a former government chief scientist, recommended the use of mobile phones by children should be “discouraged” and “minimised”.

But almost nothing has been done, and their use by the young has more than doubled since the turn of the millennium.

De Menezes was cleared of suspicion 20 minutes before being killed by police

Jean Charles de Menezes was ruled out as a suspected suicide bomber just 20 minutes before he was shot dead by police, an inquest into his death has heard.

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Telegraph | Sep 22, 2008

De Menezes inquest: Police ruled him out as suspect 20 mins before death

By Gordon Rayner and Richard Edwards

The innocent Brazilian was killed on a Tube train at Stockwell Underground station on July 22, 2005 after being mistaken for one of the four terrorists who had tried to blow themselves up on London’s transport system the previous day.

Two firearms officers who shot him in the head a total of seven times at point blank range have said they were “convinced” Mr de Menezes was about to detonate a suicide bomb and that “an instant killing was the only option” otherwise “everyone in the carriage was going to die”.

Yet an officer in the Metropolitan Police control room directing the surveillance teams who followed Mr de Menezes made a note which said: “Not identical male as above discounted. Surveillance to withdraw to original positions.”

The question of why the tragic case of mistaken identity occurred is central to the inquest, which opened with an outline of the chaos and confusion among police surveillance and firearms officers who were trying to track down July 21 bomber Hussain Osman.

The coroner, Sir Michael Wright QC, told the jury that Mr de Menezes lived in a block of flats in Scotia Road, Tulse Hill, south London, which had been linked to Osman via a gym membership card found with the unexploded bomb he had left on a Tube train at Shepherd’s Bush station.

Sir Michael said that in the half an hour between him leaving the flat at 9.33am and the moment he entered Stockwell station, “no member of the surveillance team had positively identified him as Osman”.

He highlighted the note made at 9.46am in a log being kept for the tactical adviser to Commander Cressida Dick, the Gold Commander in charge of the operation, which said Mr de Menezes had been “discounted”, and told the jury: “It is not clear from whom this information emanated, but it does indicate, you may think, the lack of certainty in any of the identifications.”

All of the entries in the police log described Mr de Menezes as “unidentified”, he added, but in the control room at Scotland Yard “there does appear to have been a perception that he had been positively identified as Osman”.

One firearms officer, codenamed Ralph, had recalled being told “it was definitely our man”.

Mr de Menezes was shot dead at 10.06am by the two firearms officers as a surveillance officer held him down in a seat with his arms pinned to his side.

The two officers who fired the fatal shots, known as Charlie 2 and Charlie 12, will give their first public account of their actions when they appear in the witness box later in the 12-week hearing.

They are among 48 witnesses who have been granted the right to anonymity by the coroner because many of them are still actively serving as firearms or surveillance officers.

The jury has the power to decide whether he was lawfully or unlawfully killed and the outcome could decide the future of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, who would be under intense pressure to resign if the jury decides his officers acted beyond the law.

Mr de Menezes’s family are convinced the full truth about his death is still to be told, but the coroner told the jury their job was to discover the truth, not to apportion blame to any named individual.

He said: “This is a fact-finding exercise, it is not a forum to determine culpability or compensation, still less to dispense punishment.”

The shooting prompted two investigations by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and a criminal trial of the Metropolitan Police on health and safety offences, but no individuals have ever been held responsible.

Mr de Menezes’s cousins Alex Pereira, Allesandro Pereira and Patricia da Silva Armani, who have campaigned tirelessly on his behalf since his death, were among those attending the inquest in the Sir John Major room at the Oval cricket ground, less than a mile from Stockwell Underground station.

John le Carré: Britons have been ‘stripped’ of civil liberties

John le Carré. The writer has been an outspoken critic of Labour’s erosion of civil liberties Photo: GETTY

Britons have been “stripped” of their civil liberties amid an “atmosphere of panic” over the threat from terrorism, according to the novelist John le Carré.

Telegraph | Sep 23, 2008

By Nicole Martin and Christopher Hope

In a rare public intervention, the spy author criticised ministers for voting to extend the time limit that terror suspects can be held without charge to 42 days.

His comments come only weeks ahead of a key vote in the House of Lords that could see peers throw out the Government’s controversial 42-day proposals.

The writer, who admitted he has a reputation as “an angry old man”, said he was furious that the Government had been allowed to get away with a sustained attack on civil liberties.

“Partly, I’m angry that there is so little anger around me at what is being done to our society, supposedly in order to protect it,” said the 76-year-old in an interview in Waterstone’s magazine.

“We have been taken to war under false pretences, and stripped of our civil rights in an atmosphere of panic. Our lawyers don’t take to the streets as they have done in Pakistan.

“Our MPs allow themselves to be deluded by their own spin doctors, and end up believing their own propaganda.”

He added: “We haul our Foreign Secretary back from a mission to the Middle East so he can vote for 42 days’ detention.

“People call me an angry old man. Screw them. You don’t have to be old to be angry about that. We’ve sacrificed our sovereignty to a so-called ‘special relationship’ which has nothing special about it except to ourselves.”

The writer has been an outspoken critic of Labour’s erosion of civil liberties.
He was one of several figures from the arts and academia who wrote to Gordon Brown in March to protest at the 42-day detention limit.

The open letter, which was also signed by author Iain Banks and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, warned that “relations could suffer if the Muslim community appears to be … targeted for prolonged pre-charge detention”.

Campaigners and opposition MPs are suggesting that the terror vote in the House of Lords on October 13 will be tight.

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the civil rights group Liberty, said: “Mr le Carré is not a lone voice.

“Forty-two days has become totemic of the biggest assault on all our hard won rights and freedoms. It is a shame that it takes a writer of fiction to give the Government a reality check.”

Le Carré said his book, A Most Wanted Man, explores the struggle to find a balance between individual rights and state security and “how far Germany will go in imitating our mistakes.”

The novel, published today, tells the story of a half-Chechen, half-Russian Muslim refugee who is living in Hamburg and being tracked by a series of special agents, who suspect that he may be plotting a terrorist attack.