Bush Team Strategy Now Obama's Swine Flu Playbook 01 May 2009
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Fri May 1 22:32:42 EDT 2009
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01 May 2009
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Bush Team Strategy Now Obama's Swine Flu Playbook --Public health experts say the administration is benefiting from the Bush administration's 2005 National Pandemic Strategy. 01 May 2009 The Obama administration has relied on a Bush-era public health strategy aimed at coordinating its response across an array of government agencies in the week since the first reports of a swine flu outbreak emerged, officials say... On April 24, the Homeland Security Council, which comprises that department, the FBI, the Justice Department, the CIA and other agencies, discussed the outbreak for the first time with the president. The Domestic Readiness Group, a broad interagency panel put in place by the Bush regime to respond to national emergencies, also convened that day and has been teleconferencing daily. [More flu items, below.]
US may keep 50-100 Guantanamo inmates detained 01 May 2009 Even after the Guantanamo prison is closed, the United States may decide to keep up to 100 inmates under detention as they cannot be tried but are too dangerous to release, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told lawmakers on Thursday. "The question is what do we do with the 50 to 100 -- probably in that ballpark -- who we cannot release and cannot try," Gates told a Senate hearing. "I think that question is still open," Gates said when asked about President Barack Obama's plans to shut the prison. His comments indicated that some inmates might have to be detained further even after the prison at Guantanamo Bay is closed as ordered by Obama.
New Prison May Have to Be Built, Gates Says --Pentagon wants $50 million to build prison on short notice 01 May 2009 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday that the Pentagon may have to build a new facility to house detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, to hedge against political opposition around the country to the incarceration of the inmates in existing federal or military facilities in the United States. Gates said the Pentagon wants to have $50 million at hand in case it 'has' to build a prison on short notice. In January, President Obama ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within a year.
Report: Two Psychologists Responsible for Devising CIA Torture Methods --Former military officers were paid by the CIA to oversee the waterboarding techniques used against high-profile prisoners 30 Apr 2009 Two psychologists are responsible for designing the CIA's program of waterboarding suspected terrorists and for assuring the government the program was safe, according to an ABC News report. Former military officers Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell had an "important role in developing what became the CIA's torture program," Jameel Jaffer, an attorney with the ACLU, told ABC News... Associates say Jessen and Mitchell were paid up to $1,000 a day by the CIA to oversee the techniques used against high-profile prisoners to extract information in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The CIA's $1,000 a Day Specialists on Waterboarding, Interrogations 30 Apr 2009 As the secrets about the CIA's torture techniques continue to come out, there's new information about the frequency and severity of their use... and a new focus on two private contractors who were apparently directing the brutal sessions that President Obama calls torture. According to current and former government officials, the CIA's secret waterboarding program was designed and assured to be safe [?!?] by two well-paid psychologists now working out of an unmarked office building in Spokane, Washington. Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell, former military officers, together founded Mitchell Jessen and Associates.
U.S. says troops will not face trial over Iraq raid 01 May 2009 U.S. soldiers will not appear in Iraqi courts to answer any charges relating to a raid this week that killed two people in Iraq and triggered condemnation from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the U.S. military has said. The fallout from the operation early on Sunday, which Maliki labeled a "crime," poses the first major test to the U.S.-Iraqi security pact, which allows U.S. troops to stay in Iraq until the end of 2011. The prime minister said they violated it.
3 U.S. Troops Are Killed in Iraq 02 May 2009 Three Americans were killed Thursday in combat in Anbar Province, west of Baghdad, the military said Friday, adding to the high death toll for American forces in Iraq last month. The deaths brought the total number of American forces killed in April to 18 -- double the number in March and the highest since September 2008, when 25 were killed.
Death toll from twin Iraq car bombs rises to 51 30 Apr 2009 The death toll from twin car bomb blasts in a crowded Baghdad market rose to 51 Thursday, police said. The car bombs Wednesday, which also wounded 76 people in the capital's sprawling Sadr City slum, followed a series of other attacks in the past two weeks that have stirred fears of a return to broader 'sectarian' bloodshed in Iraq.
3 Americans, 2 NATO troops killed in Afghanistan 01 May 2009 Three Americans and two other international troops were killed Friday in an attack in eastern Afghanistan, officials said. 'Insurgents' attacked Afghan and international forces Friday with rocket-propelled grenades and guns, NATO forces said in a statement.
U.S. to Drop Spy Case Against Pro-Israel Lobbyists 02 May 2009 The Obama Justice Department moved Friday to drop all charges against two former pro-Israel lobbyists who had been charged under the Espionage Act with improperly disseminating sensitive information. The move by the government came in a motion filed with the federal court in Alexandria, Va. which was to be the site of the trial that was scheduled to begin June 2. Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, who were lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a leading pro-Israel lobby, were charged with violating the World War I-era Espionage Act. The indictment said they violated the law by disseminating to journalists, fellow Aipac employees and Israeli diplomats information they had learned in conversations with senior Bush administration officials.
Israel warns EU to tone down its criticism 30 Apr 2009 Israel warned the European Union on Thursday to tone down its criticism of the new Israeli government or risk forfeiting the bloc's role as broker in Mideast peace efforts. The warning came after EU's commissioner for external relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, this week criticized Israel's refusal to endorse a Palestinian state. She said an upgrade in Israeli-EU relations would depend on Israel's commitment to the "two-state solution."
UAE-US nuclear deal threatened by royal torture video 01 May 2009 A video showing a member of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates torturing an Afghan man has caused the Obama administration to hold off on a civil nuclear deal with the Gulf kingdom.
Nigeria panel begins probe into KBR bribery case 29 Apr 2009 A special committee of top-level Nigerian government officials has begun to interview individuals involved in a $180 million bribery scheme involving former Halliburton Co unit KBR Inc, the head of the anti-corruption police told Reuters. KBR, the former engineering subsidiary of Halliburton, pleaded guilty in February to charges it paid the multi-million dollar bribes to Nigerian officials to secure $6 billion in contracts.
WHO to help fund bird flu vaccine plants in Mexico, other nations 26 Apr 2007 The World Health Organization is donating millions of dollars to help developing countries set up their own influenza vaccine production in preparation for a possible bird flu pandemic. The programme will provide cash for six nations to establish capacity to manufacture influenza vaccine. India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam will each get up to $2.5m from an $18m fund provided by the Government of Japan and the US Department of Health and Human Services.
New flu virus may be a real mongrel: study 01 May 2009 The new virus that has killed as many as 177 people and spread globally is a mongrel that appears to have mixed with another hybrid virus containing swine, bird and human bits, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday. Raul Rabadan and colleagues at Columbia University in New York analyzed the published genetic sequences from the H1N1 virus that has brought the world to the brink of a pandemic.
Swine flu roots traced to Spanish flu 01 May 2009 New Canadian-led research suggests that we might have given pigs the flu in the first place, during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. A group of Canadian and U.S. researchers, writing in the May issue of the Journal of Virology, say experimental testing of how pigs responded to the 1918 Spanish flu supports the theory that the virus was passed on from humans to pigs in 1918, during the Spanish flu pandemic... Canadian Food Agency researcher Hana Weingartl and her colleagues tested the resistance of pigs to both the 1918 pandemic virus and the 1930 swine virus. They performed the tests at a biosafety Level 4 laboratory and animal cubicle at the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg, where Weingartl works.
Experimental Infection of Pigs with the Human 1918 Pandemic Influenza Virus By Hana M. Weingartl, et. al. 18 Feb 2009 --Received 19 Nov 2008/ Accepted 6 Feb 2009 Swine influenza was first recognized as a disease entity during the 1918 "Spanish flu" pandemic. The aim of this work was to determine the virulence of a plasmid-derived human 1918 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus (reconstructed 1918, or 1918/rec, virus) in swine using a plasmid-derived A/swine/Iowa/15/1930 H1N1 virus (1930/rec virus), representing the first isolated influenza virus, as a reference... Presented data support the hypothesis that the 1918 pandemic influenza virus was able to infect and replicate in swine, causing a respiratory disease, and that the virus was likely introduced into the pig population during the 1918 pandemic, resulting in the current lineage of the classical H1N1 swine influenza viruses.
IVW: Strong Immune Response Could Be Behind Swine Flu Deaths 30 Apr 2009 ...Younger adults have a much stronger immune response to invading pathogens than young children and older adults, said Robert Webster, Ph.D., of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, at the conference on Influenza Vaccines for the World. It's this exaggerated response -- called "cytokine storm" or hypercytokinemia -- that may be causing death more frequently in younger adults, he said. The cytokine storm theory is believed to explain the same pattern of deaths during the 1918 flu pandemic that killed tens of millions of people. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice.]
Obama: Preparing for 'worst-case scenario' on flu --New flu strain could return in "more virulent form" 01 May 2009 At the end of his second cabinet meeting, President Obama said today that his administration continues to closely monitor the swine [Fort Detrick] flu outbreak and be prepared for the "worst-case scenario." He also noted that it's possible that the regular seasonal flu will be more serious.
CDC: Flu Outbreak Is Becoming "More Serious" 01 May 2009 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's top flu specialist has privately informed health care officials that the H1N1 virus is becoming a more serious threat, CBSNews.com has learned. "We're now certainly starting to pick up more serious cases," Dr. Joe Bresee, chief of CDC's epidemiology and prevention branch of the influenza division, told health care providers on Thursday.
Hong Kong to Quarantine 300 at Hotel for Week After Flu Confirmed 02 May 2009 Hong Kong's government imposed a controversial full quarantine on approximately 300 guests and staff of a hotel in the territory after a guest was found to have the A/H1N1 flu virus, an extreme measure to control the spread of the disease. The move appears to be the first imposition of an involuntary quarantine in the global effort to beat back the new flu strain.
Woman's Flu Symptoms Divert Plane to Logan 01 May 2009 A flight coming from Germany was diverted to Boston after a woman on the plane complained of flu-like symptoms. United flight 903 from Munich to Washington Dulles International Airport made an emergency stop in Boston after a woman told the flight crew she was feeling ill. According to airport officials, there were 245 passengers onboard the plane and 16 crew members.
First UK flu transfer case confirmed 01 May 2009 The first case of the new deadly flu strain in Britain has been confirmed in a patient who had not recently been to Mexico, a health official said on Friday. The man, from Falkirk in Scotland, is one of 11 people in Britain to have tested positive for the new strain of Influenza A (H1N1) but the first to have contracted the virus without having been to Mexico himself.
Swine Flu Case Confirmed in Connecticut, More Probable 01 May 2009 A Stratford resident has become the first person to test positive for the swine flu in Connecticut, says Gov. M. Jodi Rell's office. This case was one of the first two 'probable' cases. Results from the second sample were "inconclusive" and will undergo more testing... The number of probable cases remains unchanged Friday at six.
Thought police muscle up in Britain Hal G. P. Colebatch 21 April 2009 Britain appears to be evolving into the first modern soft totalitarian state. As a sometime teacher of political science and international law, I do not use the term totalitarian loosely. There are no concentration camps or gulags but there are thought police with unprecedented powers to dictate ways of thinking and sniff out heresy, and there can be harsh punishments for dissent... In the past 10 years I have collected reports of many instances of draconian punishments, including the arrest and criminal prosecution of children, for thought-crimes and offences against political correctness.
9/11 Commission Memo: 'Executive Branch Minders' Intimidation of Witnesses' Posted by HistoryCommons 14 Mar 2009 A memo from the 9/11 Commission's team 2 about the intimidation of witnesses. The memo complains that: Minders "answer[ed] questions directed at witnesses;" Minders acted as "monitors, reporting to their respective agencies on Commission staffs lines of inquiry and witnesses' verbatim responses." The staff thought this "conveys to witnesses that their superiors will review their statements and may engage in retribution;" and Minders "positioned themselves physically and have conducted themselves in a manner that we believe intimidates witnesses from giving full and candid responses to our questions."
Pipe Leak at Nuclear Plant Raises Concerns 02 May 2009 The discovery of water flowing across the floor of a building at the Indian Point 2 nuclear plant in Buchanan, N.Y., traced to a leak in a buried pipe, is stirring concern about the plant’s underground pipes and those of other aging reactors across the country. A one-and-a-half-inch hole caused by corrosion allowed about 100,000 gallons of water to escape from the main system that keeps the reactor cool immediately after any shutdown, according to nuclear experts. The leak was discovered on Feb. 16, according to the plant’s owner, Entergy Nuclear Northeast, a subsidiary of the Entergy Corporation.
U.S. Justice Souter resigns 01 May 2009 U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced on Friday he will resign, and President Barack Obama said he wanted someone with a sharp, independent mind for his first appointment to the nation's highest court. Souter, 69, who has been on the court since 1990, said in a brief letter to the White House that he intended to retire when the justices go on their summer recess at the end of next month.
Senate Refuses to Let Judges Fix Mortgages in Bankruptcy --In recent weeks, major banks and bank trade associations worked closely with Senate Republicans to stop the measure. 01 May 2009 The Senate handed a victory to the banking industry on Thursday, defeating a Democratic proposal that would have given homeowners in financial trouble greater flexibility to renegotiate the terms of their mortgages. The mortgage provision garnered only 45 votes in the Senate, falling well short of the 60 votes necessary to break a threatened filibuster to a measure sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) that would give bankruptcy judges greater flexibility to modify mortgages. Twelve Democrats joined all the Republicans in voting against it.
Dropping like flies: Regulators close Utah-based America West Bank 01 May 2009 State and federal regulators late Friday closed America West Bank, of Layton, Utah. It was the third financial institution closed Friday and the 32nd failure of the year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a statement that Cache Valley Bank of Logan, Utah, will assumed all of America West's deposits. As of December 31, 2008, America West Bank had total assets of approximately $299.4 million and total deposits of $284.1 million. Cache Valley Bank paid a discount of $352,000 to acquire all of the deposits of the failed bank.
FDIC Closes N.J.-Based Citizens Community Bank; 31st Failure of 2009 01 May 2009 Citizens Community Bank of Ridgewood, N.J. was closed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance on Friday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said, making it the 31st bank failure of 2009 and the 56th since the beginning of the financial crisis. The FDIC was named receiver and all deposit accounts have been transferred to North Jersey Community Bank and will be available immediately.
FDIC closes Ga.-based Silverton Bank, NA; 30th failure of 2009, 6th in Georgia 01 May 2009 Silverton Bank, N.A., of Atlanta was closed Friday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, making it the 30th bank failure of the year and the 55th since the beginning of the recession Bush Depression. FDIC said it created a bridge bank, Silverton Bridge Bank, N.A., to take over operations.
UK wages collapse at fastest rate in 60 years 29 Apr 2009 Weekly wages fell at the fastest rate in 60 years in February as City bonuses were slashed and workers agreed to reduced hours in the wake of recession, the latest official figures show. The Office for National Statistics said average weekly earnings fell 5.8pc compared with the same month last year, to £459.10.
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Previous lead stories: Travelers screened at Mexico-U.S. border for flu --'Yesterday, we stopped a woman from Brownsville with all the symptoms of swine flu and we handed her over to U.S. health authorities.' 30 Apr 2009 Mexican doctors in surgical masks screened travelers crossing the border by foot into the United States on Thursday for signs of a new deadly flu strain that has killed up to 176 people. The doctors and federal health workers were checking for signs of fever or coughing among those crossing border bridges into Texas and California. U.S. Customs agents were also on alert for flu symptoms.
DHS Sets Guidelines For Possible Swine Flu Quarantines --Federal quarantine authority is limited to diseases listed in presidential executive orders; President [sic] Bush added "novel" forms of influenza with the potential to create pandemics in Executive Order 13375. 28 Apr 2009 DHS Assistant Secretary Bridger McGaw circulated the swine flu memo, which was obtained by CBSNews.com, on Monday night. It says: "The Department of Justice has established legal federal authorities pertaining to the implementation of a quarantine and enforcement. Under approval from HHS, the Surgeon General has the authority to issue quarantines." Anyone violating a quarantine order can be punished by a $250,000 fine and a one-year prison term. A Defense Department planning document summarizing the military's contingency plan says the Pentagon is prepared to assist in "quarantining groups of people in order to minimize the spread of disease during an influenza pandemic" and aiding in "efforts to restore and maintain order."
Mass. Senate approves pandemic flu bill with quarantine powers --New Senate version allows public health commissioner to close or evacuate buildings, enter private property for investigations, and quarantine individuals --Measure requires registry for volunteers to be activated in emergency 28 Apr 2009 The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously passed a pandemic flu preparation bill that has languished in the Legislature before the recent swine flu outbreak. The 36-0 vote today sends the measure to the House. The new Senate version would allow the public health commissioner -- in a public health emergency -- to close or evacuate buildings, enter private property for investigations, and quarantine individuals. The measure also requires a registry for volunteers that would be activated in an emergency and establishes fines of up to $1,000 for not complying with local public health orders.
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CLG Managing Editor: Lori Price. Copyright © 2009, Citizens For Legitimate Government ® All rights reserved.
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