Baxter Heparin Contaminant Found!

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday, 5th March, they had found evidence that the heparin blood thinning product made by Baxter that has been linked to several deaths and serious reactions in hundreds of patients contains a contaminant that is hard to detect using standard tests.

Speaking at a news conference, FDA Deputy Commissioner Dr Janet Woodcock is reported by the New York Times as saying:

"At this point, we do not know whether the introduction was accidental or whether it was deliberate."

Woodcock said the FDA had not yet established how the compound got into the active ingredient.

According to the FDA, 19 people have died in the last 14 months and 785 are reported to be gravely ill of severe allergic reactions after receiving injections of Baxter's heparin, but investigators have not yet established a direct link between these events and the contaminated heparin.

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Bush: Congress Irrelevant on Iraq

The Bush administration says the 2002 congressional authorization to go to war in Iraq gives it the authority to conduct combat operations in Iraq and negotiate far-reaching agreements with the current Iraqi government without consulting Congress.

The assertion, jointly made Tuesday by U.S. Ambassador David Satterfield and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Mary Beth Long, drew an incredulous reaction from Democrats on a Joint House committee during a hearing on future U.S. commitments to Iraq.

“It's the view of the administration that as long as there’s trouble in Iraq that you have authorization of this Congress to continue there in perpetuity and define trouble as you desire?” asked Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y.

“We have authorization to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq,” Satterfield replied. “The situation in Iraq continues to present a threat to the United States.”

The Bush administration also feels it does not need to seek the authorization of Congress to ratify two pending agreements with Iraq: a “Strategic Framework” that would govern “normalized” relations with the U.S., and a Status of Forces Agreement that would govern the “authorities and protections” of U.S. troops in Iraq past Dec. 31, the expiration of a U.N. resolution that the administration says authorizes their presence.

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Russian Mafia in Bed with Wall Street, CEO says

Every day, thousands of Americans look to invest their money in stocks, and many of them go through brokers and traders to simplify the process.

Unfortunately, according to CEO Patrick Byrne, a majority of those purchasers will be victims of Wall Street's criminal tactics and will help line the pockets of corrupt brokers and lawyers. Byrne, a Utahn who founded, talked to a crowd in the Union on Monday about how New York financial media and law firms have teamed up with big-wig business elites to create massive amounts of profit at the cost of American consumers.

Byrne said when someone purchases a stock, there is a three-day stock settlement period during which a broker or a trader must provide a purchaser with that stock. However, through loopholes in the system, brokers and traders can legally not provide you with that stock almost indefinitely, giving the purchaser an IOU instead, Byrne said.

"It's my thesis that certain people have figured out how they can abuse that loophole, and flood the market...often in connivance with a broker dealer," he said.

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Crimes by Homeland Security Agents Stir Alert!

By Jay Weaver & Alfonso Chardy / Miami Herald

Bribery! Drug trafficking! Migrant smuggling!

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is supposed to stop these types of crimes. Instead, so many of its officers have been charged with committing those crimes themselves that their boss in Washington recently issued an alert about the ''disturbing events'' and the ``increase in the number of employee arrests.''

Thomas S. Winkowski, assistant commissioner of field operations, wrote a memo to more than 20,000 officers nationwide noting that employees must behave professionally at all times -- even when not on the job.

''It is our responsibility to uphold the laws, not break the law,'' Winkowski wrote in the Nov. 16 memo obtained by The Miami Herald.

Winkowski's memo cites employee arrests involving domestic violence, DUI and drug possession. But court records show Customs officers and other Department of Homeland Security employees from South Florida to the Mexican border states have been charged with dozens of far more serious offenses.

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Iran Calls for UN Sanctions Against U.S.

Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili has urged the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on the U.S. for developing nuclear weapons.
“The Security Council must issue sanctions resolution against the U.S. which has a long record in proliferation and use of nuclear weapons,” Jalili told Japan's NHK television aired on Friday.

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator accused the United States of violating international law by using nuclear weapons against Japan, building nuclear arsenals, and proliferating atomic arms.

“According to the Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty which calls for nuclear disarmament, the United States must report to the International Atomic Energy Agency on how it has obeyed international law on nuclear arms,” Jalili stated.

“Today the U.S. does not have a good image in the world. The United States is the only country which has used this inhumane weapon against innocent people… the Japanese people will surely never forget the U.S. crimes.


More F.B.I. Privacy Breaches Reported

The FBI improperly used national security letters in 2006 to obtain personal data on Americans during terror and spy investigations, Director Robert Mueller said Wednesday.

Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the privacy breach by FBI agents and lawyers occurred a year before the bureau enacted sweeping new reforms to prevent future lapses.

Details on the abuses will be outlined in the coming days in a report by the Justice Department's inspector general.

The report is a follow-up to an audit by the inspector general a year ago that found the FBI demanded personal data on people from banks, telephone and Internet providers and credit bureaus without official authorization and in non-emergency circumstances between 2003 and 2005.

Mueller, noting senators' concerns about Americans' civil and privacy rights, said the new report ''will identify issues similar to those in the report issued last March.''

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Army Struggles with Rising Suicide

 All Spec. Travis Virgadamo ever wanted was to be a soldier.

But two years after his father signed papers for him to enlist at age 17, things went terribly wrong. Last August, three months after arriving in Iraq, he walked outside his barracks and killed himself with his rifle.

When the news crackled over the Bonecrusher Troop's radio, 1st Lt. Kyle Graham knew immediately that it was Virgadamo, the troubled soldier who had been on suicide watch since June, when he threatened to kill himself while on patrol.

"I feel like we all had some responsibility to make sure this didn't happen," Graham said shortly after the incident. "It's our responsibility to make sure we take care of our fellow soldiers."

Virgadamo, whose case has been cited on the Senate floor and in congressional hearings, is a symbol of a growing problem facing the military as soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars face repeated and extended deployments.

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Machinations of the Matrix

Written by Andrew Winkler / The Rebel Media Group

The corporate scribblings from Washington to Jerusalem are in overdrive. Vanity Fair has done it again, we are being told. In its April 2008 edition, we read Condi Rice and George W. Bush have secretly plotted to destroy Hamas. [1]

After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever. 

"Duhh!," replies the dissident media scene. "We knew that all along. But nice of Vanity Fair to finally tell the truth. This goes to prove that not all is lost in corporate media." Well… that’s what the Matrix wants us to believe.

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Colombia Is Flashpoint in Chávez’s Feud With U.S.

 In the four days since Colombian forces crossed into Ecuador and killed a guerrilla leader taking refuge there, tensions between Colombia — Washington’s top regional ally — and its leftist neighbors have erupted, highlighting the fact that Colombia and its policies are increasingly viewed here as American proxies.

President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela called Colombia the “Israel of Latin America” saying both countries bombed and invaded neighbors by invoking “a supposed right to defense” that he said was ordered by the United States. He has sent troops to the border and expelled Colombia’s ambassador. His agriculture minister said Tuesday that the frontier with Colombia would be closed to stop commerce.

In turn, Colombia said it would file charges against Mr. Chávez with the International Criminal Court, accusing him of assisting Colombia’s largest rebel group.

Meanwhile, President Bush fiercely defended Colombia, which receives $600 million a year in American aid to fight the leftist rebels and drug trafficking. He used the diplomatic crisis to push Congress to approve a Colombia trade deal that has languished for more than a year because of concerns among senior Democrats over human rights abuses there.

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The Federal Reserve Has Become Irrelevant

By John Hoefle / Executive Intelligence Review

Could they really be that stupid? That is the question which comes to mind watching the recent spate of statements by government officials discussing what they see as the problems facing the economy, and what needs to be done to solve them. Rather than admitting the global financial system has failed, and must be put through bankruptcy, they blather on about whether or not we have entered into a recession, and about the need to protect asset values from the effects of what they prefer to call the "housing crisis."

Take the case of poor Ben Bernanke, who had the misfortune of taking over as chairman of the Federal Reserve just in time for the worst financial crash in six centuries. Bernanke has a reputation for being an expert on the Crash of 1929 and the banking problems which surrounded it, but judging from his public statements, he still believes we are in the midst of a housing crisis.

"Many of the challenges now facing our economy stem from the continuing contraction of the U.S. housing market," Bernanke told the House Committee on Financial Services in his Feb. 27, Semiannual Monetary Report to Congress.

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