List of Communist spies leaks on the internet

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Poland – A list of 240,000 names from a Soviet Union-era secret file has been leaked on the internet. The list contains the names of potential collaborators with the Communist government of Poland, and its victims. The list has overtaken “sex” as the hottest search item on the internet in Poland. Piotr Tchorzewski, an employee of Poland’s biggest Internet portal Onet, said:”This thing is huge. We have recorded around 100,000 Internet searches a day for the list, which is 10 times the number looking for ‘sex’.”

Last week the Polish journalist Bronislaw Wildstein obtained the list from the National Remembrance Institute (IPN). The files accessed by Wildstein were protected and few people–primarily historians and journalists–had been authorised to see them.

Wildstein obtained the list legally, and he distributed it to his colleagues. Somehow, the list has been leaked on to the internet. Since then the list has been copied and widely distributed on websites and peer-to-peer networks.

On the Onet site the list is at the top of search items. Visitors are referred to 650,000 links related to it. On Google the search for “Wildstein list” returned 15,800 references on February 6, 2005.

The Prime Minister Marek Belka expressed concern for the safety of active intelligence agents whose names might be on … Read More

One officer killed, three wounded in Miami-Dade County shooting

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A manhunt in southeastern Florida has begun after four Miami-Dade Police Department officers were shot with a high-powered rifle. One of those officers has died. Two others are in serious condition. One has been released from Homestead Hospital.

“Shortly after 11:21 a.m. Thursday, Miami-Dade police officers from the Cutler Ridge district were in a development conducting a burglary surveillance detail. They saw a vehicle driving erratically. They stopped the vehicle and attempted to question the driver. The subject got out of the vehicle and started to shoot at officers,” said Linda O’Brien, the media relations bureau commander. “This man is armed and dangerous.”

The suspect in the shooting is 25-year-old Shawn Sherwin Labeet, of Margate. Labeet has a warrant for his arrest with the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Police had blocked off I-95 ramps to Southwest 10th Street in Deerfield Beach to search a Publix distribution center.

Police began a search for a black 2007 four-door Pontiac Vibe with Florida license tag number W59 EBT. They believed that Labeet was traveling with a woman and two children. The police detained the car in question in a parking lot at an Oakland Park Target. The driver of the vehicle was not the suspect.

Several hundred police officers between Florida Highway Patrol, the Broward County Police Department, and the Miami Dade Police Department are focusing their attention on findi … Read More

Protests mark Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia University

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The Columbia University campus in New York City erupted today in protest over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s debate with Columbia President Lee Bollinger. Ahmadinejad’s presence on one of the United States’ most prestigious universities brought out protesters from many causes to make their opinions known: whether Ahmadinejad should speak or not, the war in Iraq, Israel,George W. Bush, American imperialism’, God and morality, all of which created a powder keg of opinions which made the air feel as if at any moment it would explode into fisticuffs.

Ahmadinejad has been widely criticized for his anti-semitic remarks and as a holocaust denier, as well as Iran’s support for terrorism. He also believes that 9/11 was an “inside job”, involving Israel’s Mossad or American ‘intelligence and security services.’ 9/11 family members have been loudly critical of Ahmadinejad, since last week when he requested a visit to Ground Zero to lay a wreath — what has been widely viewed as a photo op.

The New York tabloid press splashed their covers with antagonizing headlines. The Daily News ran the headline “The evil has landed” and The New York Post labeled Ahmadinejad the “Madman Iran Prez”. Since New York hosts the headquarters of the United Nations, whose charter requires that all member nations have access to the governing body, delegations of governments identified as enemies of the United States –North Korea, Cuba, Iran– live and work in the city. At times, their governments come to address the governing body, as the Iranian President did on Monday.

Ahmadinejad’s presence tore apart the usually close-knit community of students and academics that inhabit Columbia’s enclave in Morningside Heights. “A high-quality academic discussion depends on intellectual honesty,” wrote Columbia Law Dean David M. Schizer, “but, unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad has proven himself, time and again, to be uninterested in whether his words are true. Therefore, my personal opinion is that he should not be invited to speak.” The Columbia Conservative Alumni Association said “the university is extending not a courtesy, but continuing a policy of anti-Israeli and anti-American leftist nihilism under the guise of academic freedom.”

Richard Bulliet, an Iranian expert at Columbia who was instrumental in arranging the visit, defended the notion that it is imperative to listen to one’s enemies. “If there is any likelihood of war between the U.S. and Iran, it is important for Americans to have some access to the direct words of the president of the other country. At least they are getting Ahmadinejad’s views directly from him and not a reporter who has an ax to grind.”

Sunsara Taylor, a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party and a student, had a mixed view. Although in theory Taylor did not have an issue with the Iranian President’s presence on campus, she had a problem with “The event without any intervention or debate from the students…is reinforcing a bad dynamic where people feel they need to choose between Islamic Fundamentalism and U.S. Imperialism. I think it’s fine for him to speak, but I think it’s a responsibility of people in this country not to be bamboozled into going along with a war against a country’s people just because that country’s leader is a rea … Read More

186,000 cases of chikungunya in Réunion

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The epidemic has gotten markedly worse in the past few months, with the worst point being 45,000 new cases in the week from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5. The Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has stated on Wednesday (Mar. 1) that “Nine out of ten patients were struck since the beginning of the year (…). No one could have anticipated the progression of it.”

The virus is also present in the Indian Ocean in Seychelles, in Mauritious and especially in Mayotte, where the line of 2000 cases would have been crossed, according to Xavier Bertrand, minister of French Health. That represents a doubling in 10 days.

According to Philippe Renault, medical epidemiologist of the CIRE (Regional Epidemiological Intervention Center of the Rhône-Alpes)[1], the propagation of the epidemic will show the first signs of stabilization, at a very high level. He urged against drawing hasty conclusions, however. “An infectious disease can reach a plateau, then start again. It is necessary to wait until the decrease is clear on all the in … Read More

Globalization and trade deficit are connected says Greenspan

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“The rise of our deficit and our ability to finance it appears to coincide with a pronounced new phase of globalization that has emerged in the past decade,” the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a speech delivered today to the Banco de México. “This phase is characterized by a major acceleration in U.S. productivity growth and the decline in what economists call home bias, the parochial tendency to invest domestic savings in one’s home country.”

Alan Greenspan

“To date, despite a current account deficit exceeding 6 percent of our gross domestic product, we — or more exactly the economic entities that comprise the U.S. economy — are experiencing few difficulties in attracting the foreign saving required to finance it, as evidenced by the recent upward pressure on the dollar,” he said.

“Of course, deficits that cumulate to ever-increasing net external debt, with its attendant rise in servicing costs, cannot persist indefinitely,” he added. “At some point investors will balk at further financing.”

“A nation’s current account balance thus is essentially a market phenomenon that is not readily subject to rebalance by targeting one or more policy variables such as the exchange rate,” Greenspan said. In the speech Greenspan said interest rate increases nor cuts in the US fiscal deficit would result in large reductions in the current account deficit. These are the three standard ways the government controls the economy.

The deficit last year widened to $665.9 billion from $530.7 billion. It totaled $195.7 billion in the second quarter, or 6.3 percent of gross domestic product.

Greenspan did say he did not think that the dollar would lose its dominant position in the global economy “any time soon” and that economic flexibility would help the United States should the dollar lose i … Read More

National Geographic reporter faces espionage charges in Sudan

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Paul Salopek, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for the Chicago Tribune, was charged with espionage, along with two others in Sudan yesterday. Salopek, 44, has been on a freelance assignment for National Geographic writing a story about the sub-Saharan African region known as the Sahel. The official charges include espionage, passing information illegally, writing “false news” and entering the country without a visa.

The charges come three weeks after he, along with his driver and interpreter, were arrested on August 6th by pro-government forces in Darfur. His driver and interpreter, both Chadian nationals, are both accused of espionage as well. At the moment, he has been granted a defense motion for a continuance, delaying the start of the trial until September 10th. Until then both the editors of the Chicago Tribune and National Geographic are working through diplomatic channels to ensure his release back to the United States.

National Geographic Magazine Editor in Chief Chris Johns was quoted as saying, “Paul Salopek was on assignment for National Geographic magazine to write a comprehensive feature article on the swath of sub-Saharan Africa known as the Sahel. He had no agenda other than to fairly and accurately report on the region. He is a world-recognized journalist of the highest standing, with a deep knowledge and respect for the continent of Africa and its people.”

The situation is being monitored by U.S. politicians including the junior Senator Barack Obama, who is currently visiting Africa. He had this to say about the current situation: “One of our reporters from the Chicago Tribune is currently being detained in the Sudan, allegedly for espionage,” Obama said, speaking about the issue to a wide audience of Kenyan journalists. “This is an issue that myself, the U.S State Department and international journalists organizations are taking very s … Read More