September 30, 2008

  • ICE Raids Sweep Through California; Largest in State Ever
  • Naomi Klein Weighs In On US Bail-Out from Canada
  • More Financial Woes To Come?
  • Obama, McCain Energy Plans May Be Too Ambitious
  • Burma’s Neighbors Absorbing Cyclone Survivors

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Bush Pressures Congress for Wall Street Bailout

President Bush is on the offensive to push through his 700 billion dollar bailout plan for Wall Street one day after the House of Representatives rejected the measure. Bush warned of “painful and lasting” consequences if lawmakers in the Democrat-dominated Congress failed to agree on the bailout package. The House will continue to debate remedies for the financial crisis when it meets again on Thursday.

Economic Woes Force New York Sun to Cease Publication
The editor-in-chief of the New York Sun has announced that the paper will cease operations as of today. Editor Seth Lipsky told the newspaper’s staff that the decision to close was not taken lightly, but rather (quote) “a logical decision following a hard-headed assessment of our chances of meeting our goal of profitable publication in the near future”. Lipsky also remarked that the fight to keep the paper alive unfortunately coincided with one of the worst months in a century for trying to raise capital. The newspaper had been publishing for 5 days a week for the past 6 and a half years.

Attorney General Assigns Criminal Prosecutor to Case of Fired US Attorneys
The Justice Department has issued a 356 page report on the allegedly partisan firings of nine U.S. attorneys by former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Katharine Jarmul has more from Washington DC.

The report faults Gonzales for his lack of oversight, blames deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty for making incorrect and misleading statements to the public, and charges that White House Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson mishandled his duties from the outset. Investigators say they could not complete their work due to the lack of testimony from former White House officials Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, William Kelley, Monica Goodling, and lawmaker, Senator Pete Dominici. The White House also failed to provide documents requested as part of the investigation. The report has led a government watchdog group to file an ethics complaint against Sen. Christopher Bond. Other lawmakers suspected of involvement in the firings include Sen. Dominici and Rep. Heather Wilson. Attorney General Michael Mukasey has appointed U.S. attorney Nora Dannehy as the investigator from this point forward. Dannehy has been tasked with acquiring the information missing from the current report. She will also have the capacity to bring criminal charges against those suspected of overt political involvement in the firings. Dannehy, who is an acting attorney in Conneticut, specialized in white collar crime and public corruption cases during. Alberto Gonzales’ lawyer, George Terwilliger III, took issue with the continuation of the investigation on the basis of the report, which he says failed to find conclusive evidence of illegal conduct. For FSRN, I’m Katharine Jarmul in Washington DC.

Former CIA Executive Director Admits Role in Corruption Scandal
A former top CIA official has pleaded guilty in a high stakes corruption case that has already sent a former member of Congress to jail. Kyle “Dusty’ Foggo, a former executive director of the CIA, admitted to channeling agency contracts to a longtime friend without revealing his conflict of interest. Foggo struck a plea deal in which he will avoid prosecution for the other 28 counts he originally faced. Foggo was under investigation because of his relationship with former Republican Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham who is currently serving an 8 year sentence for accepting bribes.

New Developments in Lawsuit Alleging Tampering in the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio
Thousands of voters in Ohio are taking advantage of the state’s new early voting opportunity. The state’s voting laws allow Ohioans to register to vote and cast their ballots on the same day. Meanwhile, new developments have emerged from a lawsuit alleging fraud in the 2004 presidential election. Evan Davis has more from Columbus.

Attorneys representing the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association filed the lawsuit more than 2 years ago against the then Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, alleging Blackwell engaged n discriminatory practices to sway the 2004 presidential election in favor of the Bush/Cheney ticket. Blackwell also chaired the Ohio committee to re-elect the president while serving as the state’s top official to ensure the integrity of the election. The lawsuit seemed to be going nowhere until a judge lifted a stay earlier this month to allow for the discovery process to resume. The prosecution then served a subpoena to Michael Connell, an IT consultant whose company created a website to display real time election results on election day 2004. The lawsuit alleges that the election data was vulnerable to hacking becuase the website run by Connell was hosted on a Tennessee-based server used by various Republican websites and a private communications network used by the Bush administration. The scenario in which sensitive information is routed through a privately controlled computer network on its way to its intended recipient has been identified as a sophisticated type of hacking called a Middleman attack. Bev Harris of the election integrity watchdog group Black Box Voting has warned that polling information in several other states, including Colorado and Kentucky, is also routed through Republican-controlled and overtly partisan private computer network firms. Connell has refused to provide any of the documents or information sought by the plaintiffs and has submitted a motion to quash the subpoena. Former White House advisor Karl Rove is also named in the suit and attorneys for the plaintiffs are expected to subpoena him as well. For FSRN, this is Evan Davis in Columbus, Ohio.

Report Finds Rampant Health and Safety Violations at Nursing Homes
More than 91 percent of nursing homes in the United States have health and safety violations, according to federal investigators with the Department of Health and Human Services. Inspectors found deficiencies at 94% of the for-profit nursing homes investigated last year, and similar figures for both non-profit and government-run institutions. Some 17 percent of all nursing homes surveyed were cited for “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” violations. Some of the most common complaints include accident hazards and deficiencies in dietary services. Approximately 1.5 million people live in nursing homes across the country.



ICE Raids Sweep Through California; Largest in State Ever

More than 1000 people have been arrested in what federal agents say is the is the largest sweep thus far in california.  According to the U.s. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the raids targeted people who have ignored deportation orders or returned to the united states illegally after being deported.

More than 400 people were arrested in both Los Angeles and San Francisco and 301 in San Diego, representing 34 countries.

According to a press statement released by ICE, the squads responsible for the arrests, known as fugitive operations teams, were developed specifically to focus on immigrants who have ignored final orders of deportation.

Nativo Lopez, president of the Mexican American Political Association and the executive director of Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana, thinks there are other reasons.

Nativo Lopez is president of the Mexican American Political Association and the executive director of Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana.

Naomi Klein Weighs In On US Bail-Out from Canada

First thing this morning, President Bush used his pulpit to urge passage of the Wall Street bail out. The House of Representatives is closed for the Jewish Holiday, Rosh Hashana, but lawmakers are still sorting out how to move past yesterday’s rejected proposal. Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to President Bush that said she would continue to work with him to pass something by the end of the week. Meanwhile, lawmakers opposed are working to insert provisions that could bring them on board.

Commenting on the failure of the bailout was Naomi Klein, speaking lat night in Toronto to an audience of more than 800. Klein is the author of the recently published book, “The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism”. The book documents how disasters and crises are created, perpetuated, and exploited by capitalist rulers to destroy opposition to free market policies. She applied that analysis to the financial crisis now gripping the United States.

Klein says that the bailout plan on the table was not a solution to the crisis; instead, it changed the location of the crisis from Wall Street to Washington, DC and then made it a public crisis.

More Financial Woes To Come?

As Congress continues to negotiate a financial bailout plan for Wall Street, some experts say the worst may be yet to come for those on Main street. Africa Jones reports.

Obama, McCain Energy Plans May Be Too Ambitious

Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have big plans when it comes to energy and the economy. Both say that investment in new energy sources will bring new jobs.  FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell takes a look at their plans and finds that both the candidates are promising something that might not be achievable.

Burma’s Neighbors Absorbing Cyclone Survivors

One year after Burma’s monks rose up against the military, more and more Burmese are fleeing to neighboring countries in search of work. Some make the journey to gain political safety but most are doing it out of economic necessity.

Cyclone Nargis hit Burma at a time when inflation and unemployment were already at their highest levels in years. To make matters worse, salt water now covers many of the rice paddies making this year’s planting season impossible.

Many Survivors have been forced to join the more than one million migrants already in neighboring Thailand.

Rebecca Henschke speaks with some of the new arrivals in the Thai border town of Mae Sot known as ‘Little Burma’.

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