Fair Use Note

WARNING for European visitors: European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent. As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies. You are responsible for confirming this notice actually works for your blog, and that it displays. If you employ other cookies, for example by adding third party features, this notice may not work for you. Learn more about this notice and your responsibilities.

Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

31 Dec - Food, Farming Poison, Misplaced Loyalty

View of Amazon basin forest north of Manaus, B...Image via Wikipedia
PAKISTAN: Soup Kitchens Spring Up to Stave Off Growing Hunger
By Zofeen Ebrahim
Saeed—a small, energetic woman now approaching her 50s—has been running her first ‘tandoor’ centre in Taiser Town’s Khuda Ki Basti-3, located some 30 kilometres from the centre of Karachi, for the past six years. She offers meals comprising a bowl or plate of curry or vegetables—depending on what is on the menu on any given day—and two ‘rotis’ (unleavened wheat bread). All these for the price of three Pakistani rupees (less than one U.S. cent). 
Many of the people in Taiser Town, a fairly new settlement of 95,000 people, were displaced in 2005 when their homes were demolished to make way for the Lyari Expressway in Pakistan’s commercial capital.

Still livid over their displacement, Ashiq Hussain, 55, said he and his neighbors were literally "thrown in the wilderness," where hunger pangs soon gnawed at their poor, starved stomachs. 

"I think she has come as a Godsend," said Hussain of Saeed. "I and my family of 10 would not have been able to survive the spiraling food prices without this subsidised food." Since she opened her first tandoor centre, Saeed has set up two others, the second one in Korangi and a third in Usman Goth, just a few kilometres from Taiser Town. Her maiden branch offers food to 150 displaced families.  Donations and what little she earns from her food centres enable Saeed to serve two meals daily to about 1,600 people. 

CASE STUDY: fighting food multinationals in South America

In the Brazilian town of Santarem, one brave priest is the only thing standing between multi-national grain trader Cargill and the rest of the Amazon

‘In Santarem people started to say, “why is it so much hotter?” I tell people this is not God’s doing; this is happening because of the destruction of the rainforest.’
Father Edilberto Sena arrives at Rural Radio station and takes up his position behind the microphone. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his script for today’s show. One question is scribbled on it for the daily debate: ‘Why is this happening?’

Edilberto is a Roman Catholic priest and a follower of liberation theology - meaning not only does he believe in teaching the word of God, but believes that he has an absolute obligation to fight poverty and bring justice to the poor. So he takes up the microphone each week not to recite afternoon prayers to his 200,000 listeners, but to tell the people of Santarem, Northern Brazil, exactly why they are finding it so hard to grow crops and why the rainforest that once surrounded their city resembles a burnt desert. 

Edilberto isn’t just referring to climate change. The Amazon rainforest is being torn down by agribusinesses which use the land to farm soya and export to European livestock farmers, feeding the growing demand for cheap meat. For ten years Father Edilberto has stood at the heart of Santarem’s campaign against the world’s leader in this trade, Cargill.
Stilt roots of a Rhizophora mangrove tree capt...Image via Wikipedia

‘In Santarem people started to say, “why is it so much hotter?” I tell people this is not God’s doing; this is happening because of the destruction of the rainforest.’
 about 7,330 from www.organicconsumers.org for monsanto

'The World According to Monsanto' - Exposing One of the Most Evil ...

23 Jun 2008 ... 'The World According to Monsanto' - Exposing One of the Most Evil Corporations on Earth Monsanto is a world leader in industrial agriculture ...
www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_13123.cfm - Similar

Monsanto Hid PCB Pollution for Decades
ANNISTON, Ala. -- On the west side of Anniston, the poor side of Anniston, the people grew berries in their gardens, raised hogs in their back yards, caught bass in the murky streams where their children swam and played and were baptized. They didn't know their dirt and yards and bass and kids -- along with the acrid air they breathed -- were all contaminated with toxic chemicals. They didn't know they lived in one of the most polluted patches of America.
Now they know. They also know that for nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known as PCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills. And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents -- many emblazoned with warnings such as "CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy" -- show that for decades, the corporate-giant concealed what it did and what it knew...

Monsanto Doing 'Rural Cleansing'

11 Jan 2009 ... Monsanto Doing 'Rural Cleansing' TAKE ACTION: Contact your local newspaper in the US or congress people: Investigate Monsanto's antitrust ...

Taxpayers Forced to Fund Monsanto's Poisoning of Third World
Monsanto has also been implicated in the indiscriminate sale and use of RoundUp Ultra in the anti-drug fumigation efforts of Plan Colombia. Of the some $1.3 billion of taxpayers' money earmarked for Plan Colombia, Monsanto has received upwards of $25 million for providing RoundUp Ultra.
"Damaged Banana Crops"
RoundUp Ultra is a highly concentrated version of Monsanto's glyphosate herbicide, with additional surfactants to increases its lethality. Local communities and human rights organizations charge that Ultra is destroying food crops, water sources and protected areas in the Andes, primarily Colombia.
Paradoxically, the use of RoundUp Ultra has actually increased coca cultivation in the Andes. As local farming communities are increasingly impacted by RoundUp Ultra fumigations, many turn to the drug trade as a means of economic survival. Regional NGOs have estimated that almost 200,000 hectares have been fumigated with Ultra under Plan Colombia.

Monsanto's Roundup Pesticide Killing Wheat
Monsanto also produces the most commonly used broadleaf pesticide in the world, glyphosate--or Roundup. In addition to its inherent toxicity as a chemical pesticide, Roundup has now been found to aid the spread of fusarium head blight in wheat. This disease creates a toxin in the infected wheat, making the crop unsuitable for human or animal consumption. Canada's wheat industry is currently being ravaged by this disease. At the same time, the widespread use of Roundup has resulted in the formation of "super weeds" --- unwanted plants that have developed an immunity to these pesticides. Read study linking Monsanto's Roundup to Cancer.

Boycott Kellogg's! Stop Monsanto's GE Sugar

The court has yet to decide whether to block the 2010 planting of GE sugar beets and Monsanto has appealed the alfalfa ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. ...
www.organicconsumers.org/kelloggs.cfm - Similar

Criminal Investigation of Monsanto Corporation

SUBJECT: Criminal Investigation of Monsanto Corporation - Cover-up of Dioxin Contamination in Products - Falsification of Dioxin Health Studies. ...
www.organicconsumers.org/dioxcov.html - Similar

Study Proves Three Monsanto Corn Varieties Pose Health Hazard

11 Dec 2009 ... For more information on Monsanto's unsafe GMO crops, please visit OCA's Millions Against Monsanto Campaign page.

Monsanto's Toxic Legacy

Human exposure to Monsanto`s herbicide glyphosphate (brand name Roundup) ...But Monsanto has made Roundup, its most successful herbicide. Human ...
www.organicconsumers.org/Monsanto/toxlegacy.cfm - Similar

Illegal Variety of Monsanto's Canola in US Food Supply


Monsanto Stumbles into Antitrust Trouble

Monsanto Stumbles into Antitrust Trouble Even as it bombards the airwaves and magazine ad pages to tout its commitment to “sustainable agriculture,” GMO ...

Monsanto's Influence in the George W. Bush Administration

Nearly one-billion dollars were spent on the elections, and Monsanto is aware that... Monsanto's lawyer was appointed to the Supreme Court by George Bush, ...
www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/MonBushAdmin.cfm - Similar

Michael Taylor: Monsanto's Man in the Obama Administration

14 Aug 2009 ... The Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto Corp. from 1998 until 2001, Taylor exemplifies the revolving door between the food industry ...
www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18866.cfm - Similar

Monsanto Sues Midwest Farmers for Saving Soybean Seeds

the brothers bought their first crop of the company's genetically engineered Roundup Ready soybeans. When they did that, they entered into a whole new set ...
www.organicconsumers.org/Monsanto/farmerssued.cfm - Similar

Monsanto Successfully Intimidates Missouri Farmers for 'Crime' of ...

2 Sep 2008 ... Monsanto Successfully Intimidates Missouri Farmers for 'Crime' of Seed Saving Monsanto Co. continued a string of victories over farmers it ...
www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_14458.cfm - Similar

New Study Links Monsanto's Roundup to Cancer

study by eminent oncologists Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Mikael Eriksson of Sweden, has revealed clear links between world's biggest selling herbicide, ...
www.organicconsumers.org/Monsanto/glyphocancer.cfm - Similar

Monsanto's Bt Cotton Failing in the Fields

6 Jun 2003 ... In Southern Telengana, the income from Monsanto's Bt crop was nearly 7 times less than what was obtained from the indigenous non-Bt cotton ...

Monsanto in Iraq and Afghanistan

2 Sep 2009 ... Monsanto in Iraq and Afghanistan From the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, OCA has been tracking the opportunities for Monsanto...
www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18999.cfm - Similar

By Pratap Chatterjee*
Basir "Steve" Ahmed was returning from a bomb-clearing mission in Khogyani district in northeastern Afghanistan when a suicide bomber blew up an explosive-filled vehicle nearby. The blast flipped the military armoured truck Ahmed was riding in three or four times, and filled it with smoke. The Afghan translator had been accompanying the 927th Engineer Company near the Pakistan border on that October day in 2008 that would forever change his life. A medical evacuation team took the injured men to a U.S. Army hospital at Bagram Base. 

Three days later Ahmed regained consciousness, but was suffering from shrapnel wounds in his scalp and severe burns covering his right hand and leg. A little more than three months after his accident, Ahmed was fired by his employer, Mission Essential Personnel (MEP) of Columbus, Ohio - the largest supplier of translators to the U.S. military in Afghanistan. In a statement released to this reporter, the company said that Ahmed’s "military point of contact (POC) informed MEP that Basir was frequently late and did not show up on several occasions. A few days later, Basir’s POC called MEP’s manager and told her that they were not able to use him and requested a new linguist."

Ahmed says he missed only one day of work and arrived late twice.

Today, he lives in hiding in nearby Jalalabad for fear that his family will be targeted because he had worked with the U.S. military. The 29-year-old has no job and had to wait nine months for disability compensation to pay for medical treatment for the burns that still prevent him from lifting his hand to his mouth to feed himself.

Ahmed is one of dozens of local Afghans who have been abandoned or poorly treated by a complex web of U.S. contractors, their insurance companies, and their military counterparts despite years of service risking life and limb to help the U.S. military in the ongoing war in Afghanistan. 

two-thirds of those killed before the end of last year were murdered because they collaborated with the U.S.

August 12, 2006

Civilian Translators in Iraq Thrust Into Combat Roles

by Pratap Chatterjee
A total of 199 Titan translators have been killed in Iraq and another 491 have been injured, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics – the highest of any company in Iraq.

"Employees of Titan and other corporations have become part of an experiment in government contracting run largely by trial and error."

U.S. translators, many of whom were born in Iraq, were paid as much as 10 times more than the locals for less work.
"We got paid 750 dollars a month to work with the troops and up to 1,000 dollars if we went on missions outside the city, but they were paid 7,000 dollars to stay at the base and translate documents,"

Iraqi translators fear retribution

Private contractors say shift of power puts them, their families at grave risk

Salam Aleikum!

(Peace to You)

More than six years since the March 2003 invasion of their country, Iraqis are in increasingly more desperate straits. The violence and lack of security have forced more than 4.5 million of Iraq’s population of 25 million to flee their homes and towns to other perceived safer areas within Iraq or to other countries, primarily neighboring Syria and Jordan.
Despite this chaotic environment, tens of thousands of brave and patriotic Iraqis have served vital, indispensable services to U.S. military and civilian employers as interpreters/translators, guides, and drivers, and in other capacities. Because of their work with U.S. employers, many of them, and their families, have been threatened with death, and many have been kidnapped or killed.
We feel it is our obligation to help them find safety. Because the U.S. government has been very slow to recognize and adequately fund this huge humanitarian crisis in Iraq, we are trying to do as much as we can through grass-roots efforts and joining with other support networks to help them find safety and navigate the long process toward resettlement in the United States.
Consequently, we have not had the time to keep this website updated. We hope you will look over our site to find resources, ways to help, and more information about Iraq and its brave and steadfast people.
"Every translator knows of at least one other translator who has been tortured and killed," an Iraqi translator, identified only as Jasim, said. "I'm wanted by Al Qaida, Sunni and Shiite militias, and there's a price on my head. And they want me to hand over my address?"

U.S. Abandons Iraqi Translators to Their Fates While Diminutive Denmark Rescues Its Own
By Maura StephensAlterNet. Posted July 27, 2007.
 Denmark (population 5.3 million), will be withdrawing all but a handful of its 470 soldiers now serving under British command in southern Iraq. Last week, the country airlifted about 200 Iraqi interpreters and other employees of its troops and their families to Denmark, where they have been invited to seek asylum. The Danish minister to Iraq, Bo Eric Weber, told Reuters that the rescue operation was precipitated in part by the killing in December of an Iraqi interpreter who had worked with the Danes. The 80 or so employees (the other 120 are their relatives), he told Reuters, "had been working for us for about four years, and those who felt their security in Iraq was threatened have been granted visas to go to Denmark." Those 200 evacuees to Denmark represent nearly double the number of Iraqis admitted to the United States in the past year. There is something wrong with those figures.

In the wake of Argentina's dramatic economic collapse in 2001, Latin America's most prosperous middle class finds itself in a ghost town of abandoned factories and mass unemployment. The Forja auto plant lies dormant until its former employees take action. They're part of a daring new movement of workers who are occupying bankrupt businesses and creating jobs in the ruins of the failed system.
But Freddy, the president of the new worker's co-operative, and Lalo, the political powerhouse from the Movement of Recovered Companies, know that their success is far from secure. Like every workplace occupation, they have to run the gauntlet of courts, cops and politicians who can either give their project legal protection or violently evict them from the factory.

Was Our Universe Created By a Collision With a Parallel Universe? Two of the World's Leading Physicists Present a Radical Theory

String theorists Neil Turok of Cambridge University and Paul Steinhardt, Albert Einstein Professor in Science and Director of the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton believe that the cosmos we see as the Big Bang was actually created by the cyclical trillion-year collision of two universes (which they define as three-dimensional branes plus time) that were attracted toward each other by the leaking of gravity out of one of the universes.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

31 Dec - U.S. 'Foreign Policy' is Aggression

Move Your Money: A New Year's Resolution

since April, the Big Four banks -- JP Morgan/Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo -- all of which took billions in taxpayer money, have cut lending to businesses by $100 billion.
America's Main Street community banks -- the vast majority of which avoided the banquet of greed and corruption that created the toxic economic swamp we are still fighting to get ourselves out of -- are struggling. Many of them have closed down (or been taken over by the FDIC) over the last 12 months. The government policy of protecting the Too Big and Politically Connected to Fail is badly hurting the small banks, which are having a much harder time competing in the financial marketplace. As a result, a system which was already dangerously concentrated at the top has only become more so.
We talked about the outrage of big, bailed-out banks turning around and spending millions of dollars on lobbying to gut or kill financial reform -- including "too big to fail" legislation and regulation of the derivatives that played such a huge part in the meltdown. And as we contrasted that with the efforts of local banks to show that you can both be profitable and have a positive impact on the community, an idea took hold: why don't we take our money out of these big banks and put them into community banks? Our money has been used to make the system worse -- what if we used it to make the system better?
watch Eugene's amazing video, then go to www.moveyourmoney.info 

Wall Street Journal | Opinion Journal

A Cold-Blooded Foreign Policy

In the time of Barack Obama, "engagement" with Iran's theocrats and thugs trumps the cause of Iranian democracy.
( No mention of American assassination/kidnapping squads at work, CIA support for a former president responsible for attacks on Americans in his term to the tune of $400 million for the Twitter Revolution, sanction escalations,bank account freezes,oilfield equipment deprivation, and b.s. about 'suspecting' danger from a nation getting its supplies from Russia with approval of the neighbours and inspections by the IAEA : all established GOP practices. 
Like the guy says : he talks a good fight. All of it makes a mockery of any idea of US support for Non Nuclear Proliferation by penalizing signatories of the NPT...just like Iraq.  )

“The Era of Tolerance is Over”–Iran Warns Over Opposition Protests

Iran’s police chief has warned anti-government protesters to stay off the streets and threatened, “The era of tolerance is over. Anyone attending such rallies will be crushed.” Hundreds of prominent activists have been arrested since Sunday’s mass street protests, and between eight to thirty-seven people have been killed.

( Historical perspective :
The Shah's brutal secret police force, Savak, formed under the guidance of CIA (the United States Central Intelligence Agency) in 1957 and personnel trained by Mossad (Israel's secret service), to directly control all facets of political life in Iran. Its main task was to suppress opposition to the Shah's government and keep the people's political and social knowledge as minimal as possible. Savak was notorious throughout Iran for its brutal methods.
The interrogation office was established with no limit of using horrific torture tools and techniques to break the arrested dissenters to talk in a matter of hours.)

Hypnotist to put nation in a trance using Twitter and Facebook

"Within a minute of starting the session those listening to me won't be able to see anything, as they'll be put into a deep trance by my voice.
"Social networking sites are a great way to interact with people and I'm hoping that this will open people's eyes to the power of hypnotism.
"It's all about the power of suggestion, and the affect it can have on the unconscious."

2009 in Perspective: Glenn Greenwald on the Five Wars US Is Fighting in Muslim Countries

Glenn Greenwald discusses US foreign policy, including the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, drone strikes on Pakistan, cruise missile attacks on Yemen, operations in Somalia, the ongoing operation in Iraq, and much more.
The war in Afghanistan was escalated twice in 2009 by President Obama and, with it, the death toll of Afghans and US and NATO forces. US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay remains open, and human rights groups have decried what they call an Obama administration policy of preventive detention.
 We are escalating our military presence and our aggression in numerous parts of the world, Afghanistan being only one of those cases. 
When you count the number of countries, of Muslim countries where we’re actively engaged in some kind of warfare—Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and now Yemen—that’s five different Muslim countries where we are either occupying, invading or bombing. And that’s to say nothing of the conflicts that our primary client state in the Middle East, Israel, has with a whole bunch of other Muslim countries and the other Muslim countries that we’re threatening, such as Iran. So we are expanding the wars and aggression in the Muslim world. 
When we shoot missiles into various sites in Yemen and kill civilians, as we did eight days ago—and there’s no question that—although there’s some question about what exactly our involvement was, because it’s a covert war, there’s no question we were involved heavily and enabled the attack. When we kill civilians or shoot missiles or drop Hellfire missiles into that country, and when we prop up the dictatorial oppressive regime that runs that country, we are unquestionably doing exactly that which al-Qaeda could wish for: we are helping al-Qaeda convert the population and bringing greater and greater sympathy to the cause of Islamic radicalism. 
The problem is, is that by holding ninety people from Yemen in Guantanamo, without charges of any kind, indefinitely, and many of whom are clearly innocent and have done nothing wrong, that, too, exacerbates the anti-American anger and hostility that fuels terrorism. It’s a huge propaganda tool for al-Qaeda, as well. What we actually have been doing over the last nine years—and we don’t ever learn our lesson—is we’re actually expanding the pool of terrorists.
 It’s generally assumed that there is a significant disparity between how we, as Americans or Westerners, perceive of all of these events and how the Muslim world perceives of these events. And that is true. There is a very great disparity. But generally, what we assume is that the reason there’s this great disparity is because we are rational and informed and educated and advanced and, most of all, free, and therefore we know the truth about what’s going on, whereas Muslims live in oppressive and primitive and backwards countries, they are consumed not by rationality but by religious fanaticism, and therefore they have very distorted and partial and propagandized views of the world, and that’s what accounts for this disparity.
Now the reality is exactly the opposite, because all of the things that we were just discussing about the effects of our air strikes in all of these Muslim countries, the fact that we are constantly waging war in an increasing number of their nations, and the fact that we routinely slaughter innocent men, women and children who are the victims of our air strikes, the Muslim—people in the Muslim world in those countries are very well aware of what we do, because the images are reported constantly. They’re informed about what we’re doing. And yet, if you look at American media coverage, it’s virtually never the case that the victims of our actions, of our air strikes and our military assaults, are discussed. Those things are kept from us.

Americans were not informed that we, as a government, imprisoned journalists without charges. W
e are being propagandized by our own media. 

Whether his ( Obama's ) intentions are good, whether he has a purer heart, these things are impossible to know, but they’re really irrelevant. The reality is that the same dynamic continues. 

Xinjiang adopts regional law to enhance ethnic unity

Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has adopted a law to enhance unity among different ethnic groups, the first regional law of its kind in China.
The law on education for ethnic unity in Xinjiang was adopted on Tuesday at a regional legislature's session and would take effect on February 1, 2010, said an official with the Xinjiang Regional People's Congress, the local lawmaking body, Thursday.
The law spells out that it is an obligation for all citizens to work towards national unity and against secession, and defines the principles, ways and content of ethnic unity education with regards to all people in Xinjiang, said Eligen Imibakhi, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Xinjiang Regional People's Congress.


The End Of TheConservatives.Com: Wash Times Cancels Site

  1. ABC's Inaccurate Gitmo-Abdulmutallab Story Got Major Pickup
  2. GOP Rep Has No Explanation For GOP Hypocrisy
  3. REVEALED: See Going Rogue Event 'Banned List' Drawn Up By Todd Palin
  4. Ka-Ching! GOP Goes For Big Flight 253 Payday
  5. Polls Show No Political Backlash Against Obama After Flight 253 -- Even A Possible Improvement
  6. Media Instructions Including 'Banned List' For Palin Book Event, 12/22/09
  7. The End Of TheConservatives.Com: Wash Times Cancels Site
  8. The Case for Mind Control?
  9. NRSC: 'When A Foreigner Tries To Blow Up An Airliner,' It's Terrorism
  10. Conservative House Dems Coming Around On Health Care Reform?

Harsh lessons we may need to learn again

By Joseph E. Stiglitz (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-12-31 07:51
 Already heavily burdened taxpayers saw their money - intended to help banks lend so that the economy could be revived - go to pay outsized bonuses and dividends. Dividends are supposed to be a share of profits; here it was simply a share of government largesse.
The justification was that bailing out the banks, however messily, would enable a resumption of lending. That has not happened. All that happened was that average taxpayers gave money to the very institutions that had been gouging them for years - through predatory lending, usurious credit-card interest rates, and non-transparent fees.
The bailout exposed deep hypocrisy all around. Those who had preached fiscal restraint when it came to small welfare programs for the poor now clamored for the world's largest welfare program. Those who had argued for free market's virtue of "transparency" ended up creating financial systems so opaque that banks could not make sense of their own balance sheets. And then the government, too, was induced to engage in decreasingly transparent forms of bailout to cover up its largesse to the banks. Those who had argued for "accountability" and "responsibility" now sought debt forgiveness for the financial sector.

Soy destroying the Amazon rainforest

How to satisfy the continually expanding demand for soybeans without clearing so much of the Amazon rainforest that it dries out and becomes vulnerable to fire.
The Amazon is being cleared both by soybean growers and by ranchers, who are expanding Brazil’s national herd of beef cattle. Oftentimes, soybean growers buy land from cattlemen, who have cleared the land and grazed it for a few years, pushing them ever deeper into the Amazon rainforest.
The Amazon rainforest sustains one of the richest concentrations of plant and animal biological diversity in the world. It also recycles rainfall from the coastal regions to the continental interior, ensuring an adequate water supply for Brazil’s inland agriculture. And it is an enormous storehouse of carbon.
Although the deforestation is occurring within Brazil, it is the worldwide growth in demand for meat, milk, and eggs that is driving it.

Indian super-compact car market overtakes Japan
 India will top Japan for the first time in sales of super-compact cars. It overtook Japan as the world's number one producer of basic cars in 2007.Nearly half of all cars sold in India - like Maruti Suzuki's Swift, GM's Spark and Hyundai's Santro - fall into the basic category. These are cars so small they're almost nonexistent in the US market.

Plot exposes fissure in U.S. intelligence community

Last week's failed plot to bomb a U.S. passenger jet has exposed lingering fissures within the U.S. intelligence community, which had information from interviews and clandestine intercepts but did not put the pieces together, officials said.

The policies, Feinstein said, should be changed so the U.S. government can watchlist and deny visas to anyone who is "reasonably believed to be affiliated with, part of, or acting on behalf of a terrorist organization."

A sweeping 2004 intelligence overhaul left gaps in authorities and responsibilities.

( You wouldn't expect them to say it was scaremongering to provide cover for attacks on Yemenis fighting for independence...and they didn't. And the Feinstein initiative gives a two-fer to give more authority to already mismanaged and overworked departments. That should suck up more effort to accomplish...more harassing of the travelling public. There's that 'free' Police State thing again. )