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redstateupdate.net
 
number 96   03.25.07
Sports
Traffic
source: Inter-Parliamentary
Union
redstat
archive
verbatim
archive
Clarence
Brown Tribute
Page
Women in government at
the ministerial level
selected countries
%           20            40            60  
New
Zealand
Belgium
Kuwait
Mexico
US
A bill that requires women who
are seeking an abortion in the
state to view an ultrasound
image of their fetus before
receiving the procedure
passed through the South
Carolina House last week in a
91-23 vote.  The new law
would require women who seek
abortions to acknowledge in
writing that they have viewed
an ultrasound image of their
fetus.  The patient would pay
the cost of the procedure.  

The state’s senate is expected
to approve the proposal as
well and Republican Gov. Mark
Sanford has expressed his
support for the measure.  

The bill’s author, Rep. F. Greg
Delleney (R-Chester), said the
goal of the law is to “save lives
and protect people from
regret.”  The proposal is also
supported by fundamentalist
religious groups who believe
that women who see an image
of “their child” will decide not
to terminate an unwanted
pregnancy.

Groups opposed to the
legislation feel that the
requirement is designed to
intimidate patients who have
already made a difficult
decision in consultation with
their doctor.  Groups, including
Planned Parenthood, believe
that the legislators should
focus on the prevention of
unwanted pregnancies instead
of passing further restrictions
on what is a legal procedure.  
The state already requires
patients to be given materials
about alternatives to abortion
and "think about" the
information for one hour
before the procedure.           
it's
all true
As many as 150 refugees who were
arrested in Kenya after fleeing
warfare in neighboring Somalia are
believed to have been secretly
rendered by Kenyan authorities at
the direction of US forces and the
CIA to be interrogated in the Somali
capital Mogadishu and the Ethiopian
capital Addis Ababa.  

At least one of the rendered
detainees is an American citizen,
Amir Mohamed Meshar.  Another
American, Daniel Joseph Maldonado,
was flown from Kenya to Houston
where he was charged with
conspiring to use a weapon of mass
destruction.

African human rights groups say that
at least 80 prisoners held by Kenyan
police were transferred by plane in
the middle of the night to secret
detention centers to be interrogated.  
Three charter
planes left Kenya in January and
February for destinations that were
not reported on flight manifests.  One
of the destinations is believed to be
an underground prison at the airport
in Mogadishu. The human rights
groups received copies of the
manifests after appealing to the
courts in Kenya.  

The refugees fled Somalia in
December when the US military
coordinated an attack on guerrillas
affiliated with the Union of Islamic
Courts that controlled much of
Somalia.  The attack included two US
bombing raids on targets inside
Somalia.  The US also provided
training and intelligence support for
troops from Kenya, Ethiopia and
Somalia’s interim government who
carried out the siege.  Groups of
militants in the Islamic Courts are  
believed by US intelligence to be
affiliated with al-Qa’ida.
The prisoners were originally held
by Kenyan authorities who have
told the human rights groups that
they were not involved in the
clandestine flights.   Though the
detainees were refused access to
family members and attorneys
during the time they were in
Kenya, a representative for the
Muslin Human Rights Forum said
that they were interrogated “one
on one” by both FBI agents and
British officials.

Somalia’s foreign minister
admitted that “quite a number” of
detainees are being held a
detention facility in Mogadishu.  
He added that they are, "in every
sense of the word, international
terrorists.”  State Department
officials would not comment on the
flights or the involvement of US
agents.   
it's all true
There is growing evidence that
diseases known to exist only in the
equatorial regions and southern
latitudes are spreading northward as
global temperatures continue to rise.

A Danish fisherman was infected with
a flesh eating disease called Vibrio
vulnificus that is normally found only
in the Gulf of Mexico when he fished
in the Baltic Sea.  Later tests found
that 9 of 10 samples of Baltic Sea
water contained the bacteria.

Last year an outbreak of the virus
bluetounge spread as far north as
Germany, Belgium and the
Netherlands affecting herds of sheep
and cattle on hundreds of farms.  
The outbreak led the Dutch
government to institute a ban on
exports of sheep and cattle that
included livestock sperm and
embryos.
Bluetounge, which is not harmful to
humans, is an insect borne disease
that has been known to exist only in
Africa up until the past few years.  

Scientists fear that diseases that
affect humans, such as dengue
fever, malaria and Rift Valley fever
are also migrating north.

Paul Hunter, professor of health
protection from the University of East
Anglia in the UK told a symposium
last year that there is evidence of
disease migration north into Europe
and North America “as a result of
climate change.”  Hunter said that
overall the "burden of climate change
will fall on the poorest countries,"
because global warming also
increases infection rates in countries
where diseases such as malaria are
already a danger.                  
it's all true
what was widely perceived to be a
victory for the tobacco industry.

The unexpected collapse of the suit
against the tobacco companies in
June 2005 dismayed legal observers
and public health advocates, buoying
tobacco stocks. The government
unilaterally announced that it would
reduce the penalty sought against
the industry from $130 billion to $10
billion. One expert witness withdrew
from the case amid allegations that
several witnesses had been asked to
change their testimony. Prosecutors
abruptly dropped their
recommendation that some tobacco
executives be removed from their
posts for participating in fraud.
According to Eubanks, the
changes to the prosecutors’
strategy were directed by then-
Associate Attorney General
Robert McCallum and then-
Assistant Attorney General Peter
Keisler, White House appointees
closely allied with Attorney
General Alberto Gonzales. “The
political people were pushing the
buttons and ordering us to say
what we said,” Eubanks told the
Washington Post, “and because
of that, we failed to zealously
represent the interests of the
American public.”  In December
2005, shortly after the conclusion
of the trial,  Eubanks resigned as
a prosecutor after  22 years at the
Justice Department.          
it's all true
verbatim                                                                          number 18.6
"Look, I am a 'if they break the
law, arrest them' person."  
Guatemala City  Guatemala   03.12.07
The Congressional Research
Service has officially prohibited
publication of its reports and
documents without specific
approval from agency
management. The new policy was
announced last week in an
internal memorandum from CRS
Director Daniel Mullohan to all
staff. The guidelines will impact
foundations, research institutes,
journalists, authors, and federal
agencies that have traditionally
been able to access most CRS
materials.

The CRS, a department of the
Library of Congress, provides
research and data management
services for members of Congress
and their staff. Although CRS
reports are not made directly
available to the public, much of
the Service’s massive output can
be accessed through a variety of
organizations that have
developed informal reciprocal
data sharing arrangements with
the agency. In the future,
according to Mullohan’s directive,
“to avoid inconsistencies and to
increase accountability, CRS
policy requires prior approval at
the division level before products
can be disseminated to non-
congressionals.”      
it's all true
A week before the start of the 2007
Major League Baseball season, team
owners and their representative,
Commissioner Bud Selig, are facing
inconvenient new developments on
several fronts in the ongoing
scandals involving the use of steroids
and other performance-enhancing
drugs by baseball players.
Prosecutors in New York state
recently announced that their
investigation into an alleged scheme
to distribute steroids and human
growth hormone to professional
athletes had implicated Los Angeles
Angels’ outfielder Gary Matthews, Jr.
and Jerry Hairston of the Texas
Rangers. Former Senate Majority
Leader George Mitchell’s probe into
the steroid scandals is expected to
eventually interview a number of
current and former players and
coaches, perhaps this summer. And
then there is the question of how the
sport will officially recognize Barry
Bonds’ pursuit of the career home
run record currently held by Hank
Aaron.

Bonds needs just 22 home runs to
surpass Aaron’s mark, and despite
nagging injuries and reduced
productivity the San Francisco Giants
star will probably get there this year,
if he plays a full season. Bonds still
faces possible indictment in the
BALCO investigation being
conducted by federal prosecutors
in California, and may be penalized
for allegedly testing positive for illegal
amphetamines last season.
Developments in these cases, or a
refusal by Bonds to cooperate with
the Mitchell investigation, might
provide Selig with an excuse to
suspend Bonds before his quest for
the record becomes an
uncomfortable media event for MLB.

Sources familiar with the Mitchell
probe say that the panel has
encountered some resistance from
certain major league teams and
officials. In January, Mitchell
addressed the quarterly owners’
meeting in Phoenix, urging clubs to
work with his panel, and warning that
Congress would intervene if it were
perceived that the teams were not
cooperative. “Major League Baseball
has a cloud over its head,” Mitchell
told the owners, “and that cloud will
not just go away.”

Albany County District Attorney David
Soares has already indicted twenty
people in his investigation into
Internet pharmacies that illegally
distributed drugs to professional
athletes, including MLB and NFL
players. Soares said last week that
he will disclose the identities of the
players involved to their leagues in
exchange for their assistance in the
investigation, and that some
customers have agreed to
cooperate.       
it's all true
Political Pressure Caused Tobacco Prosecutors to
Choke
Somalian Conflict Sees Intelligence Agencies in Familiar
Renditions
Pols Propose
Image Intimidation
Border Walls Can't Stop Migrating Viruses
Record-Setting Performances
Unbelievable
Research Reports
Remain Under Wraps
A former senior federal prosecutor
who led a high profile trial against the
country’s largest tobacco companies
has revealed that political appointees
within the Justice Department
interfered with her handling of the
case in an effort to protect the
defendants.

Sharon Eubanks alleges that her
supervisors insisted that she seek a
reduced settlement with more lenient
penalties for tobacco executives;
demanding that expert witnesses’
testimony be changed, and requiring
her to present a closing argument
that they had written for her. The
changes to the government’s case,
which were made in the final days of
the trial, resulted in
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