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Activists Sentenced To Prison For Protesting The Inhumane School Of The Americas
"A U.S. magistrate on Wednesday sentenced peace activists to up to six months in prison for trespassing at Fort Benning last fall to demand the closing of an Army school that trains Latin American soldiers. The 26 defendants, ranging from a 19-year-old college student to an 88-year-old Catholic nun, were among 3,400 protesters who marched into the military post Nov. 19 to protest the School of the Americas. The protesters say graduates of the school have been linked to murder, torture and other human rights abuses." Indeed, the School trained and provided torture manuals to US backed forces -- such as the Contras, the Honduran death squads and alumnus Manuel
Noriega. Said Roy Bourgeois, a founder of the group that protests the School, "This genteel Southern judge smiles and then comes the dagger. It baffles me how he can sleep at night when an 88-year-old nun is going to prison ... when assassins and soldiers who have tortured and raped get pardons. A grave injustice has been done."
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A Retreat on Tax Havens
The Bush administration's decision to back away from a three-year effort to crack down on tax havens undermines what had been a successful international campaign.
"From Antigua in the Caribbean to Nauru in the South Pacific, offshore tax havens leach billions of dollars every year in tax revenues from countries around the world. Unfortunately, the Bush administration is backing away from a three-year effort by the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to crack down on tax havens. The administration's decision to withdraw American support for essential elements of the effort undermines what had been a successful international campaign...Treasury
Secretary Paul O'Neill has bowed to a lobbying campaign by anti-tax activists who have wrongly claimed that the O.E.C.D. wants to impose some sort of global regime of high taxes. But the practices the O.E.C.D. opposes are not competitive tax policies designed to benefit businesses in the countries where they apply. On the contrary, the
most notorious tax havens do not even extend their minimal tax rates to their own citizens or domestic enterprises." So writes the New York Times editors.

GAO Reveals Fed. Regulatory Commission's Coverup of the California Energy Rip Off
The Federal Regulatory Commission's effort to coverup the intentional manipulation of CA power supplies by the energy industry in order to reap huge profits has been exposed by the General Accounting Office. When the GAO reviewed the FRC's "study" of the CA crisis, released in Feb., it discovered that the agency presented only physical reasons for outages (i.e., the turbines aren't on!), and did not look any further. This is tantamount to a detective stating in a homicide report, "Yep, looks like this guy's been stabbed," without reference to a search for a murderer or murder weapon. The "intensive" FRC investigation appears to have consisted largely of phone calls and guided tours of power plants by industry officials. This is like our homicide detectives relying on advice from the chief suspect! In any case, industry experts say that it is "practically impossible" to determine whether blackouts were justified just by looking at the superficial evidence.

Disappearing Vistas
Big Bend National Park is a remote slice of paradise, nestled along the Texas-Mexico border. Its 800,000 acres are full of wildlife, but the park is best known for its unobstructed panoramic views. But clear days are now few and far between. Visibility at the park, once more than 200 miles at it's best, has dropped to nine miles at its worst. The situation is so severe that Big Bend has just been named one of the ten most endangered parks in the nation. In Texas, then [Governor] Bush refused to close a loophole that exempts older plants from complying with newer, tougher EPA standards. Instead, he pushed through a voluntary clean-up program. Of 768 plants less, than 4 percent have even considered complying. "It's kind of like asking all the pigs in the barnyard to get in line for a bath. There's a lot of squealing going on, but not a lot of cleaning," said David Simon of the National Parks Conservation Association.
Click Here for CBS News Special Report

Retreating from the Tobacco Suit
THE BUSH administration continues to back away from previous government
efforts to reduce tobacco consumption without adopting any serious
proposals in their place. The result thus far at least has been an
acquiescent policy in which an industry -- and big campaign contributor --
that had been thrown on the defensive has been given time to recover. An
aggressive effort by the Clinton administration to combat an established
threat to public health has been replaced by not much apparent effort at
all. Washington Post

Judicial Watch Proves It Is Rightwing Attack Dog, Not 'Justice Watchdog'
Judicial Watch went after Bill Clinton and everyone he had ever so much as sent a Xmas card to, hammering away in the name of 'justice' for months and months. Now, just since January, Karl Rove and Bush operatives have blatantly committed white collar crimes deserving jail time. The refusal of Cheney to reveal the task force names is a FEDERAL offense, while his and Shrub's past business dealings (Halliburton, et al.) make Whitewater look like a small town crap game. Tom Delay was caught red-handed several times in highly unethical fund-raising scams, including a scheme to fleece doctors. The White House has called for a settlement of a major tobacco suit while accepting money THE SAME week from the industry. Do we hear of Judicial Watch anywhere on the scene of these crimes? Of course not! They are now too busy trying to drum up yet another case against the Clintons. We say, why doesn't someone investigate Judicial Watch... we bet that's where the richest dirt vein can be found.

Republican Election Worker in Cleveland Faces 7.5 Years in Prison for Changing Gore Votes to Bush
"Five elderly Clevelanders last fall entrusted their votes to an election worker whose job was to assist them in marking their ballots. Unbeknownst to them, their votes for Al Gore were marked as votes for George Bush, according to the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office. Now the man accused of not recording their votes according to their wishes is under indictment. John V. Jackson, who was a temporary worker at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, was indicted yesterday on felony charges that he tampered with ballots in last fall's General Election." Jackson could get 18 months in prison for each count - 7.5 years total. In that case, Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris should get about 1 MILLION years for all of the ballot tampering under their watch!

The Spineless Bench of Puppets AKA The Supreme Court Deals a Blow to Nurses and Healthcare Nationwide
American nurses are fighting mad at the Supreme Court's Felonious Five. About 10 days ago, the Supremes handed down a ruling that nurses who help direct less-skilled employees do not have the right to belong to a union. "RNs are dedicated professionals who have earned the right to unionize if they see fit," said Gerald W. McEntee, pres. of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The decisions, says McEntee "will turn off more and more" nurses from entering the field - right at a time when the nursing shortage threatens to become critical. In addition, said the four dissenting judges, the Felonious 5's ridiculously broad definition of the term "supervisor" threatens the right of other professional employees to organize. Now the court is helping create a new health care crisis and ensuring Bush's Corporate States of America will have a growing population of skilled workers they can push around and manipulate to their advantage.