Friday, April 17, 2009

News of Interest 4/17/2009

You are being lied to about pirates

Who imagined that in 2009, the world’s governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy - backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the U.S. to China - is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth.

But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labeling as “one of the great menaces of our times” have an extraordinary story to tell - and some justice on their side.

-San Francisco Bay View

Dozens of U.S. citizens deported

Pedro Guzman has been an American citizen all his life. Yet in 2007, the 31-year-old Los Angeles native - in jail for a misdemeanor, mentally ill and never able to read or write - signed a waiver agreeing to leave the country without a hearing and was deported to Mexico as an illegal immigrant.

For almost three months, Guzman slept in the streets, bathed in filthy rivers and ate out of trash cans while his mother scoured the city of Tijuana, its hospitals and morgues, clutching his photo in her hand. He was finally found trying to cross the border at Calexico, 100 miles away.

-Associated Press

Get the Feeling You're Being Watched? If You're Driving, You Just Might Be

The village of Schaumburg, Ill., installed a camera at Woodfield Mall last November to film cars that were running red lights, then used the footage to issue citations. Results were astonishing. The town issued $1 million in fines in just three months.

But drivers caught by the unforgiving enforcement -- which mainly snared those who didn't come to a full stop before turning right on red -- exploded in anger. Many vowed to stop shopping at the mall unless the camera was turned off. The village stopped monitoring right turns at the intersection in January.

-Wall Street Journal

Paris liberation made 'whites only'

Papers unearthed by the BBC reveal that British and American commanders ensured that the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944 was seen as a "whites only" victory.

Many who fought Nazi Germany during World War II did so to defeat the vicious racism that left millions of Jews dead.

Yet the BBC's Document programme has seen evidence that black colonial soldiers - who made up around two-thirds of Free French forces - were deliberately removed from the unit that led the Allied advance into the French capital.

-BBC News

Obama to seek $83.4 billion for Iraq, Afghan wars

President Barack Obama is seeking $83.4 billion for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, pressing for a war supplemental spending bill like the ones he repeatedly voted against when he was senator and George W. Bush was president.

Obama's request would push the costs of the two wars to almost $1 trillion since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, according to the Congressional Research Service. The additional money would cover operations into the fall.
-Associated Press

No comments: