FoxNews reporting Saddam to be hanged by 10 pm (US E).
"The final meetings have taken places," the official said, adding in Iraqis have requested Saddam be turned over to them. "The process is now in the final stage."
"The final meetings have taken places," the official said, adding in Iraqis have requested Saddam be turned over to them. "The process is now in the final stage."
A hero is a person with great courage and strength who has made some sort of sacrifice; notice I did not say a fictional character with bizarre super powers or overpaid athletes and actors. I mean come on, does it really take courage to win a Super Bowl or an Oscar? I'll admit it does take a tremendous amount of talent to do these things, but not courage.
rest of the article at YahooNews
U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (news, bio, voting record), the incoming chairman of the House of Representatives' tax-writing committee, said he would introduce legislation to reinstate the draft as soon as the new, Democratic-controlled Congress convenes in January.the
"If there any way that you at some point can agree, maybe in issues not related to status like education or health?" asked U.S. Sen. Robert Menéndez at the end of the hearing held by the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
"Without a doubt," answered Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, of the Popular Democratic Party, which obtained the current relationship with the United States 54 years ago.
"The status issue requires a resolution," he said. "In this process, it is necessary to say the whole truth to the Puerto Rican people."
Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño asked Congress to approve a plebiscite that allows Puerto Ricans the opportunity to start a definitive process of statehood for the island.
"We have earned that right," said Fortuño, of the New Progressive Party, which supports statehood. "We deserve the consideration of Congress to our request of a just and legitimate process to exercise our right of self-determination."
Puerto Rican Independence Party President Rubén Berríos said commonwealth is notthe solution for the status of the island, which has been a territory of theUnited States since the war with Spain in 1898.
"Democracy and colonialism are incompatible," he said. "Democracy cannot exist when the basic laws of a country or territory are determined by another country."
This was most on what I could find about Thomas J. Celic, though it wasn't a lot, but it was just enough for me to know and to let all of you know that he was a family man, funny, and athletic. He cared and loved those around him, and made each and everyone of them laugh and smile. He left many good memories that I have read on many memorial sites from those who knew him well that they will never forget. I am honored to do this tribute along with the many great bloggers in making sure that he and all those who died on September 11, 2001 will NEVER be forgotten.
Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate voted to extend the USA Patriot Act until March 10, giving lawmakers more time to negotiate revisions in the anti-terrorism law.
The 95-1 Senate vote follows the approval of the same extension by the House yesterday. The extension now needs the approval of President George W. Bush, who previously signed legislation to extend the law until tomorrow.
``The president thinks it's important to have the Patriot Act in place, and we should not go a single day without it,'' White House spokesman Trent Duffy said.
The Senate, which has focused for the past few weeks on the Supreme Court confirmation of Samuel Alito, has balked at a House-backed plan to revise the law. House provisions giving the Federal Bureau of Investigation more power to wiretap and track terrorist suspects have prompted attacks from some senators who say such authority would threaten individual liberties.
``I hope this will allow us to make the final improvements necessary,'' said Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. Senator Russell Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, was the only lawmaker to vote against the extension today.
BAGHDAD, Iraq Jan 29, 2006 — The troubled Saddam Hussein trial resumed Sunday with a new judge after a dispute over the court was patched over, though worries persisted over complaints that political interference was threatening the tribunal's independence.
The resumption had been delayed for nearly a week when some judges on the five-member panel opposed the appointment of Raouf Abdel-Rahman as the presiding judge.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Saddam Hussein walked out of court on Sunday to protest the proceedings of his trial shortly after his defense team stormed out, a Reuters witness said.
Chaos erupted in the courtroom after the start of the trial of the former Iraqi leader and seven co-accused resumed with a new chief judge.
Saddam's former intelligence chief and co-accused, Barzan al-Tikriti, was ejected from the courtroom. He was led away by court guards after he refused to keep quiet and called the trial "a daughter of a whore."
Shortly after that Saddam and his defense team walked out to protest the proceedings.
"I want to leave," said Saddam to the judge.
"Then leave," said the judge.
The Iraqi leader responded: "It's a tragedy, I led you for 35 years, how can you lead me out of the court."
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday called President Bush's explanations for eavesdropping on domestic telephone calls "strange" and "far-fetched," launching a blistering attack on the White House ahead of the president's State of the Union address.
"Obviously, I support tracking down terrorists. I think that's our obligation. But I think it can be done in a lawful way," the New York Democrat said.
Clinton, a potential 2008 presidential candidate, told reporters she did not yet know whether the administration's warrantless eavesdropping broke any laws. But the senator said she did not buy the White House's main justifications for the tactic.
"Their argument that it's rooted in the authority to go after al-Qaida is far-fetched," she said in an apparent reference to a congressional resolution passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. The Bush administration has argued that resolution gave the president authority to order such electronic surveillance as part of efforts to protect the nation from terrorists.
"Their argument that it's rooted in the Constitution inherently is kind of strange because we have FISA and FISA operated very effectively and it wasn't that hard to get their permission," she said. The super-secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established by
Congress to approve eavesdropping warrants, even retroactively, but Bush has argued that the process often takes too long.
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's defense minister hinted Saturday that the Jewish state is preparing for military action to stop Iran's nuclear program, but said international diplomacy must be the first course of action.
"Israel will not be able to accept an Iranian nuclear capability and it must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing," Shaul Mofaz said.
His comments at an academic conference stopped short of overtly threatening a military strike but were likely to add to growing tensions with Iran.
Germany's defense minister said in an interview published Saturday that he is hopeful of a diplomatic solution to the impasse over Iran's nuclear program, but argued that "all options" should remain open.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three top Senate Democrats said on Thursday they will vote against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito because they fear he would not provide an effective check to what they described as President George W. Bush's bid for expanded power.
While Alito appeared headed toward confirmation by the Republican-led Senate, Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts made the case against Bush's 55-year-old conservative candidate.
Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a moderate voice in the U.S. Congress, on Tuesday became the first Senate Democrat to announce his support for conservative Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, who is expected to be confirmed later this month by the full Republican-led Senate.
"I have decided to vote in favor of Judge Samuel Alito," Nelson said in a statement issued by his office.
"I came to this decision after careful consideration of his impeccable judicial credentials, the American Bar Association's strong recommendation and his pledge that he would not bring a political agenda to the court," Nelson said.
.. She will not support filibustering the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., although she will oppose his confirmation.
"I do not see a likelihood of a filibuster," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and often a swing vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I don't see those kinds of egregious things emerging that would justify a filibuster."
Mrs. Feinstein said a filibuster against Judge Alito would be an abuse of the parliamentary tool.
When it comes to filibustering a Supreme Court appointment, you really have to have something out there, whether it's gross moral turpitude or something that comes to the surface," she said yesterday on CBS' "Face the Nation." "This is a man I might disagree with," she said of Judge Alito. "That doesn't mean he shouldn't be on the court."
Senate Democrats yesterday moved to stall the increasingly inevitable confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr., despite a good-faith understanding not to do so.
Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said panel Democrats did not want to vote Tuesday, as per a November agreement with Republicans, citing Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.
"I have been told that a number of our members are going to be home for Martin Luther King events this weekend, will not be back on time on Tuesday, and so they will exercise their rights," Mr. Leahy said yesterday.
Mr. Leahy did not mention any "extraordinary" circumstances that under the agreement he reached with Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, would have allowed a vote schedule change. The deal also calls for a full Senate vote on the nominee Friday.
As the five days of hearings concluded yesterday, Mr. Specter announced he would support Judge Alito and said it was time to move ahead with his nomination. "There's no reason to have a delay," he told reporters after the hearing. "I think everybody knows where the committee members are going to vote, and we ought to move ahead and conduct the business of the Congress, the Senate, the people, and get it done."
UNITED NATIONS Jan 12, 2006 U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Iran's top nuclear negotiator told him Thursday that Tehran was interested in "serious and constructive negotiations" with Britain, France and Germany over its atomic program.
During a 40-minute telephone conversation, he said, Ali Larijani said Iran wanted to resume negotiations with the Europeans, but this time favored a deadline.
"He affirmed to me that they are interested in serious and constructive negotiations but within a timeframe, indicating that the last time they did it for 2 1/2 years and no result," Annan told reporters.
SAN JUAN (EFE) Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) Sen. Maria de Lourdes Santiago on Monday urged the Senate to approve a resolution demanding the withdrawal of Puerto Rican soldiers in Iraq.
"I believe it's time that the Popular Democratic Party and the New Progressive Party set aside their obsession with wanting to portray themselves as Americans. They should put the lives of Puerto Rican soldiers first," Santiago
In an era when America is still too divided by race and riches, Judge "Alioto" has not written one single opinion on the merits in favor of a person of color alleging race discrimination on the job. In fifteen years on the bench, not one.
Democrats said yesterday that they may block the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., depending on the answers the nominee gives at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings, which begin today. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat and a member of the committee, said that if Judge Alito refuses to answer questions on issues that Democrats deem vital, the party will be more likely to block the nomination.
"If he continuously, given his previous record, refused to answer questions and hid behind 'I can't answer this because it might come before me,' it would increase the chances of a filibuster," Mr. Schumer said.
Also yesterday, another Judiciary Committee Democrat said she would likely block the nomination if she concludes that Judge Alito would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that declared abortion a constitutional right.
"If I believed he was going to go in there and overthrow Roe ... most likely 'yes,'" said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, when asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether she would filibuster the nomination.
Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said his panel will question Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at hearings early next month on President George W. Bush's decision to authorize a secret eavesdropping program on overseas calls and e-mails.
Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, said he has told Gonzales that senators expect him to testify about the legal rationale used to authorize the spying, as a growing number of lawmakers from both parties express doubts about the president's action.
The Bush administration argues that a congressional resolution passed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks allowed the president to direct the National Security Agency to listen in without court approval on communications between the U.S. and other countries that involved terrorist suspects.
The hearings will focus on ``whether the resolution authorizing the use of force included the authority to eavesdrop without a warrant,'' Specter, 75, said on the CBS program `Face the Nation.''
WASHINGTON – A former intelligence analyst currently working as a civilian contractor will unveil publicly what he believes to be recordings of Saddam Hussein's office meetings discussing his program of developing weapons of mass destruction at an International Intelligence Summit in the nation's capital next month.
The highly confidential audio was overlooked when it was found in awarehouse along with many other untranslated Iraqi intelligence files, according to the contractor. The recordings are very significant because they may contain audio of Saddam's secret intentions regarding weapons of mass destruction, he says.
Prior to 9/11, intelligence experts were convinced that Iraq was involved with weapons of mass destruction. However, no concrete evidence was found in the three years after the beginning of the Iraqi war.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called for the resignation of Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday, one day after the government dropped Las Vegas from a list of cities considered potential high-risk targets eligible for special anti-terrorism grants.
Reid, D-Nev., joins Clark County Sheriff Bill Young in calling for Chertoff to step down as a result of the decision jeopardizing millions in additional federal funding that Nevada currently receives as a result of being considered a potential terrorist target.
"Anyone who can't see that Las Vegas is a high-risk area doesn't deserve to serve in a position like that," Reid said.
"We had more visitors on New Year's Eve than they had in Times Square and we're not a high-risk area? For heaven's sakes."
Las Vegas and 10 other cities previously categorized as "high threat" fell behind 35 areas declared eligible this year for special grants earmarked by the Department of Homeland Security.
Las Vegas received $8 million in 2005 through such high-threat funding to purchase a spectrometer to detect chemical agents, special clothing, chemical response vehicles, handheld computers for emergency personnel to communicate, a bomb robot and a bomb armored vehicle, according to the Clark County Office of Emergency Management.
Chertoff defended the scaled-back approach as one that focuses federal grants on those areas most needing to make preparations, with the 35 locations decided by 3.2 billion calculations aimed at determining regions most susceptible to terrorism.
On Tuesday, Young called Chertoff "impossible" to deal with regarding the needs of a major tourist destination, one that last year played host to nearly 40 million visitors.
As evidence of risk, Young noted documented visits to Las Vegas before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by five of the airplane hijackers, revelations in a Detroit terrorism case that terrorists had plotted to strike Las Vegas, and a 2003 New Year's Eve threat alert under which hotels and airlines were asked by the government to turn over customer lists.
Reid said Chertoff previously proved himself an inappropriate director with his lumbering response to Hurricane Katrina .
Said Reid: "He did a lousy job on Katrina."
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive, life-threatening stroke Wednesday and underwent lengthy surgery to drain blood from his brain after falling ill at his ranch. Powers were transferred to his deputy, Ehud Olmert.
Doctors placed Sharon on a respirator and were trying to save his life only hours before the hard-charging, overweight, 77-year-old Israeli leader had been scheduled to undergo a procedure to seal a hole in his heart that contributed to a mild stroke on Dec. 18.
Sharon's cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding stroke, came at a time of upheaval among Palestinian factions in Gaza and in the midst of both Israeli and Palestinian election campaigns.
Sharon's absence would halt momentum toward further peacemaking with the Palestinians and leave a major vacuum at the head of his new Kadima party, which was expected to head a government after the March 28 vote.
In a written statement, President Bush praised Sharon as "a man of courage and peace," saying he and first lady Laura Bush "share the concerns of the Israeli people ... and we are praying for his recovery."
Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger called on Israelis to read Psalms and pray for Sharon. "We are very, very worried," he said, and prayed for "mercy from Heaven."
West Virginia Mine Blast Kills 12, Only One Survivor
Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Twelve miners died following an explosion at a West Virginia mine Jan. 2, with only one man surviving, the company said today. The news emerged just hours after reports suggested that 12 of the men had survived.
At a press conference carried live by international broadcasters, International Coal Group Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Ben Hatfield said that an earlier message from the rescue team to a command centre suggesting that there had been multiple survivors had been a ``miscommunication.''
``What happened was a miscommunication from the rescue team, a miscommunication between that point and the command centre,'' said Hatfield.
The dead men appeared to have been killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, said Hatfield.
The relatives of the dead men, whose hopes were raised by the earlier reports of many survivors, had reason to be angry, said Hatfield. ``These families are grief stricken and frankly angry. They certainly have some basis for their frustration, having been put through this emotional roller coaster,'' said Hatfield.
The bodies of the dead men have yet to be brought to the surface but that process is under way, Hatfield said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rep. John Murtha, a key Democratic voice who favors pulling U.S. troops from Iraq, said in remarks airing on Monday that he would not join the U.S. military today.
A decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Murtha told ABC News' "Nightline" program that Iraq "absolutely" was a wrong war for President George W. Bush to have launched.
"Would you join (the military) today?," he was asked in an interview taped on Friday.
"No," replied Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party's leading spokesmen on military issues.
"And I think you're saying the average guy out there who's considering recruitment is justified in saying 'I don't want to serve'," the interviewer continued.
"Exactly right," said Murtha, who drew White House ire in November after becoming the first ranking Democrat to push for a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as it could be done safely.
At the time, White House spokesman Scott McClellan equated Murtha's position with surrendering to terrorists.
Since then, Bush has decried the "defeatism" of some of his political rivals. In an unusually direct appeal, he urged Americans on December 18 not to give in to despair over Iraq, insisting that "we are winning" despite a tougher-than-expected fight.
Murtha did not respond directly when asked whether a lack of combat experience might have affected the decision-making of Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their former top deputies.
"Let me tell you, war is a nasty business. It sears the soul," he said, choking up. "And it made a difference. The shadow of those killings stay with you the rest of your life."
Asked for comment, a Defense Department spokesman, Lt. Col. John Skinner, said: "We have an all-volunteer military. People are free to choose whether they serve or not."
"Our freedom of speech in this country allows all of us the opportunity to voice an opinion. It's one of our great strengths as a nation," he added in an e-mailed reply.
The White House had no immediate comment.
The Bush administration has come up with an answer to the perennial question of what to do about the political status of Puerto Rico: Let Puerto Ricans decide. Congress will have a lot to say about that, of course, but the White House deserves credit for daring to venture into this political thicket and come up with an idea that points to the future.
On. Dec. 22, the President's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status, after years of hearings and study, issued a long-awaited report intended to arouse congressional action on Puerto Rico. The main recommendation is that Congress should tackle the status issue this year and allow Puerto Rico's voters to decide whether they wish to retain the current 'commonwealth'' status or move to either independence or statehood.
The report is an effort to cut through the vexing knots that have kept Puerto Rico's political status in a tangle for decades. Clearly, many Puerto Ricans are comfortable with the status quo. Yet a series of Puerto Rico-initiated plebiscites in recent years has failed to produce a consensus while revealing significant pro-statehood sentiment. Because the island's status is considered ''indefinite'' -- as opposed to the ''permanent'' options of statehood or independence -- a periodic plebiscite is deemed necessary to measure public opinion.
Endorsing the call for a plebiscite does not mean turning a blind eye to the political machinations behind the move. The report proposes two rounds of voting, in which the first plebiscite would be a simple up-or-down vote on the current status. Commonwealth supporters, led by Gov. AnÃbal Acevedo VilÃ¡ of the Popular Democratic Party, see this as a trap in which supporters of the current status would be pitted unfairly against the combined vote of the independentistas and those who favor statehood.
Statehood supporters believe they would prevail in a subsequent round that gives voters a choice between independence or becoming the 51st state. Perhaps designing the plebiscite in some other way would be more fair to all factions, but it is hard to argue with the notion of a vote for self-determination that Congress would promise to abide by.
Commonwealth leaders believe the majority of Puerto Rico's four million people are content with the status quo. If they're right, they should not fear a fair and properly worded plebiscite, but they should prepare for a strong challenge. Congress can choose to drag its feet or ignore the report altogether, but either choice would be wrong. The best way to settle the status issue is a fairly designed referendum that allows the people of Puerto Rico to decide their own future.