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Topics - Freak

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Politics and Law-Related News / ILL = corruption, why am I hear?
« on: October 26, 2005, 03:13:54 PM »
CHICAGO - The federal investigation into the state's hiring practices under Gov. Rod Blagojevich has widened with a subpoena seeking personnel records from the transportation department, an agency spokesman said Wednesday.

Two other subpoenas issued earlier this month seek records from the governor's office and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The subpoenas seek personnel records from March 2002 nine months before Blagojevich took office to the present.

The Illinois Department of Transportation plans to fully comply with the request, agency spokesman Matt Vanover said.

Blagojevich has denied any wrongdoing.

The governor's father-in-law, Chicago Alderman male private part Mell, made accusations against him related to trading jobs for campaign contributions, but he later retracted them. Deputy Gov. Bradley Tusk said Tuesday that the federal activity was "understandable" given Mell's initial accusations.

Blagojevich refused to answer questions about the investigation before speaking to a joint session of the General Assembly on his proposal to expand state health insurance coverage for children. His aides expressed frustration that the investigation was overshadowing his efforts.

"If we could take one day to focus on an actual substantive problem and a solution to deal with it, instead of just constantly talking about scandal, I think that would be a productive thing to do," Tusk said.

Blagojevich's staff also has acknowledged receiving a federal subpoena seeking records related to Bamani Obadele, a Department of Children and Family Services official who resigned in August amid allegations that more than $60,000 in child welfare funds were found in a bank account he controlled.

Obadele, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, was given a job by Blagojevich after helping the Democrat get elected in 2002.

Politics and Law-Related News / Kerry
« on: October 26, 2005, 03:12:30 PM »
WASHINGTON - Sen.  John Kerry says President Bush should bring home 20,000 troops from  Iraq over the Christmas holidays if the December parliamentary elections there are successful.

Defeated by Bush last year and a potential candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, Kerry called for a "reasonable time frame" for pulling back troops rather than a full-scale withdrawal advocated by some Democrats. He said it could be completed in 12 to 15 months.

"It will be hard for this administration, but it is essential to acknowledge that the insurgency will not be defeated unless our troop levels are drawn down ... starting immediately after successful elections in December," Kerry said in a speech Wednesday at Georgetown University.

The presence of 159,000 U.S. troops in Iraq is deterring peace efforts, said Kerry, a member of the     Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"To undermine the insurgency, we must instead simultaneously pursue both a political settlement and the withdrawal of American combat forces linked to specific, responsible benchmarks," he said. "At the first benchmark, the completion of December elections, we can start the process of reducing our forces by 20,000 troops over the course of the holidays."

Kerry, who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq, has been a strong critic of Bush's handling of the war, accusing the president of misleading the public into going to war.

Politics and Law-Related News / Bombings.
« on: October 26, 2005, 03:10:31 PM »
By ARON HELLER, Associated Press Writer


HADERA, Israel - A 20-year-old Palestinian blacksmith blew himself up at a falafel stand in an open-air market Wednesday, killing five Israelis and wounding more than 30 in the deadliest attack in the country in more than three months.
The bombing stifled faint peace hopes following     Israel's pullout from the     Gaza Strip. The blast also embarrassed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who only hours earlier had scolded militant groups for repeatedly violating a truce.

The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, saying the attack was to avenge the killing of its     West Bank leader by Israeli forces this week.

The bomber struck while the market in the central town of Hadera was bustling a day after being closed for the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.

After the attack, the bloodied body of a man in his 50's lay on the ground among scattered fruits and mangled metal shards. Rescue workers covered other bodies with blankets, walking on pools of blood and shattered glass. A section of the falafel stand's metal roof hung from a eucalyptus tree high above the market.

Jack Weinberg, a Brooklyn-born psychologist in Hadera, arrived at the scene shortly after the blast and saw the wreckage of a car. "If this could happen to a car which is made of metal, I was afraid of what it could do to a person," he said.

Then Weinberg saw a dismembered body with its face still intact. "It was the most frightening thing," he said.

The attack came hours after     Iran's state-run media reported comments from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and saying a new wave of Palestinian attacks would destroy the Jewish state.

Recalling Iran's history of support for Islamic Jihad, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev criticized both Ahmadinejad's statement and another from Mahmoud Zahar, a leader of the Hamas militant group in Gaza who threatened fresh violence against Israel.

"Today, Israelis heard two extremists speak openly about destroying the Jewish state. One was the new president of Iran, and the other was the leader of Hamas, Mahmoud Zahar. And it appears the problem with these extremists is that they followed through on their violent declarations with violent actions," Regev told The Associated Press.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan condemned the bombing and called on the Palestinian leadership to crack down on militants.

"The     Palestinian Authority needs to do more to end the violence and prevent terrorist attacks from being carried out," he said. "The terrorist attacks that take place only undermine the leadership of President Abbas and undermine his principle of one authority, one law, one gun."

Abbas, in a speech before parliament, lashed out at the militants, saying they had no right to violate a February cease-fire. "No one has the right to respond here and there, unilaterally," he said.

Later, Abbas condemned the suicide attack, saying: "It harms Palestinian interests and could widen the cycle of violence, chaos, extremism and bloodshed."

"It is not permitted for anyone to take the law into their hands," he added.

In a phone call to the AP, Islamic Jihad said the bombing was to avenge the killing of Luay Saadi, leader of the group's military wing in the West Bank. Saadi died in a shootout with Israeli soldiers Monday.

In Gaza on Wednesday evening, dozens of masked Islamic Jihad militants held a news conference at which they celebrated the attack in Hadera as a "great victory as a message to our beloved Palestinian people and Islamic and Arab nations."

Wednesday also marked the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Islamic Jihad chief Fathi Shekaki in Malta a killing widely attributed to Israel.

Islamic Jihad signed on to an informal truce with Israel in February, but made the pledge meaningless by reserving the right to retaliate for any perceived Israeli violations. The four last suicide bombings in Israel were carried out by Islamic Jihad. These blasts killed 15 Israelis and wounded dozens.

In response, Israeli forces have stepped up their hunt for Islamic Jihad militants in the West Bank.

Islamic Jihad has been trying to distinguish itself from Hamas, its main political rival, which since the cease-fire agreement has refrained from suicide attacks in Israel. Leading Islamic Jihad members said privately their group keeps carrying out attacks because it wants to sharpen its image as less willing to compromise than Hamas, which is increasingly transforming itself into a political party.

Hamas is competing in parliament elections in January and is more in tune with Palestinian public opinion. Palestinians would likely blame militants for new hardships caused by Israeli retaliation for attacks, and Hamas does not want to turn public opinion against it.

Islamic Jihad is boycotting the balloting. The group has also received money from Iran, funneled to its West Bank cells by Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

Wednesday's suicide bomber was identified as a 20-year-old from the West Bank town of Qabatiyeh. His name, Hassan Abu Zeid, was announced over a bullhorn in Qabatiyeh, residents said. Israeli police said the man had been standing in line at the falafel stand before blowing himself up.

His parents were evacuating their home, fearing an Israeli response. His mother, Raqaiah, wailed, "Where are you, my dear son?" Relatives said he worked as a blacksmith with his father and disappeared after morning prayers Wednesday.

Six people, including the bomber, were killed in the blast, rescue service officials said. More than 30 people were wounded, nine of them seriously, they said.

The most recent suicide bombing in Israel, on Aug. 28 in Beersheba, killed only the bomber. Before that, a July 12 suicide blast in Netanya killed five Israelis.

Israel's withdrawal from Gaza last month has raised hopes for a return to Mideast peacemaking after five years of bloodshed. However, the sides have failed to capitalize on the pullout's momentum.

Israeli officials blamaed Abbas' government for failing to control extremists. "The Palestinian Authority talks but doesn't do anything," Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra told Israel Radio

Human rights topic, I'm interested.

General Off-Topic Board / Torture, Define, is if ever justified?
« on: October 17, 2005, 02:34:21 PM »
So does torture only consist of physical acts or can it be emotional or mental? Is some torture justified? If so how much? If not, why?

Politics and Law-Related News / French hostages
« on: August 30, 2004, 02:48:58 PM »
So did France really make the right decision in not helping us in Iraq?  I see how thankful the Islamic Army is.

Incoming 1Ls / New or Used books?
« on: August 04, 2004, 12:05:55 PM »
I can buy my civ pro book for $18.85 used or pay $92 for new.  However the used one has "writing in the text" is that going to really hurt me?

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