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Zwichenzug Holding Zone

Associated Press | Nations Value Immigrant Workers
People in some of the world's leading industrial nations say immigrants mostly take jobs that citizens of their own countries do not want, yet they still say immigrants are a bad overall influence, Associated Press polls found.

In the United States and in the European countries polled - Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain - people were more likely to say they had negative views of the influence of immigrants, according to the AP-Ipsos polls. That comes at a time of high concern over unemployment and jobs and worries about terrorism.

Canadians have a positive view of the influence of immigrants, while the Japanese were divided on the influence of immigration on their country, according to the polls conducted for the AP by Ipsos, an international polling firm.

FOX News Watch: May 22 Edition
BURNS:  As what we're saying now indicates, there's a tremendous amount of controversy in this country today about the media's role in covering the war in Iraq.  And it's reflected in a new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll.  Look at this: where are the problems being created?  More people think that the problems related to Iraq are being created in the news media than in Iraq, in Washington D.C., or in any of those combined.

Cal, is this a typical blame the messenger syndrome or is there something more at work here?

THOMAS:  I think there's part of that.  But I'd like to see a debate on whether we should go back to a form of censorship during the process of war itself.  To be able to show all of those pictures while it's going on -- the embedding during the war coverage was fine, I thought.  But in the aftermath now, with all of these questions being raised, it's a political and election year, I'm not sure that some form of censorship might not be called for.

(via Sisyphus Shrugged)

Associated Press | Van Could Take Photographs While Driving
An odd-looking van sprouts 13 digital cameras that its builder wants to use to photograph 50 million buildings in the country while driving, taking pictures every 15 feet. The van's drive-by snaps would be matched against GPS satellite positioning data and aerial photographs in a database. Police, insurance agents and others then could call up overhead and street-level views simply by entering an address.

Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau | 05/21/2004 | Trucks made to drive without cargo in dangerous areas of Iraq
Twelve current and former truckers who regularly made the 300-mile re-supply run from Camp Cedar in southern Iraq to Camp Anaconda near Baghdad told Knight Ridder that they risked their lives driving empty trucks while their employer, a subsidiary of Halliburton Inc., billed the government for hauling what they derisively called 'sailboat fuel.'

(via Sahelli) - 'Babylon 5' actor dies - May 25, 2004
Richard Biggs, who played Dr. Stephen Franklin on 'Babylon 5' and also had a long run on the soap opera 'Days of Our Lives,' died Saturday. He was 44, according to the actor's Web site.

TerraFly ® changes the way you view your world. Simply enter an address, and our system will put you at the controls of a bird's view aerial imagery to explore your digital earth.

(via Daily Soy)

Asahi Shimbun | U.S. Forces in Japan get top strategy rank
Washington views U.S. troops in Japan as having the most important role in East Asia, even above those stationed in South Korea, government sources here said Thursday. The U.S. government plans to classify its military personnel stationed overseas into four levels depending on strategic importance. The rankings will be used in the process of realigning U.S. troops abroad.

U.S. officials explained the plan in February to South Korean government officials in Seoul, sources said. The U.S. troops in the most important category will be considered "power projection hubs." Troops in Japan will likely fall in this category, according to South Korean government sources. U.S. troops in Guam and Britain will also likely be put into the top category, the sources said.

The U.S. military personnel in South Korea are expected to fall just below that first rank or be placed in the second category, called "main operating bases," the sources said.

indieWIRE BLOGS > "Tarnation" Blog
Tomorrow we take off with Tarnation into the wild French blue yonder for our euro premiere (Director's Fortnight) at the Cannes Film Festival! Wewatched our subtitled 35mmprint today and its BEAUTIFUL! Its gonna blow those French folks to PIECES! Absolute pieces! Jonathan and I are going to carry the print on the plane with us and its heavy as hell but the weight really makes one remember... we ARE film!

(via ambivalent imbroglio)

eXile - Issue #189 - War Nerd - Most Valuable Weapon: the RPG - By Gary Brecher
Which brings us to Iraq, now. The first key to the RPG's effectiveness is availability, and it turns out that the one thing Iraq had more than enough of, in spite of all those sanctions, was RPG launchers and rounds. Saddam's army had an official license from the Russians to produce RPGs in Iraqi factories, and they made so many that, when Saddam went down, there were piles of launchers with plenty of anti-armor and anti-personnel rounds in most Iraqi towns. And after the Iran-Iraq War and Gulf War I, so many Iraqi men had trained on the RPG that there were plenty of gunners and instructors to teach the new generation how to use it.

(via Boing Boing)

Reporters Subpoenaed in CIA Leak (
Tim Russert, host of NBC's 'Meet the Press,' and Time reporter Matthew Cooper were subpoenaed by special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald. NBC said in a statement that it would fight the subpoena, as did a lawyer for Time.

Reuters | Export of U.S. Jobs Seen Up - Report
The movement overseas of U.S. white-collar jobs over the next few years is accelerating faster than previously expected, Forrester Research said on Monday, fueling a highly charged election-year issue.
Forrester said it saw little change in its long-term outlook, forecasting that 3.4 million jobs will move overseas not just to India but to China, Russia, the Philippines and Mexico by 2015, up from the 3.3 million it had predicted.

Punishment and Amusement (
He said that he asked Graner, a Pennsylvania prison guard in civilian life, about the photographs. Graner replied: "The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, 'I love to make a grown man piss himself.' "

Asahi Shimbun | Mitsubishi Fuso admits cover-up
The company knew about deadly clutch defects, and again hid the problem. Wilfried Porth, the president of embattled Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp., admitted Thursday that a new cover-up of problems with clutches in large vehicles-which led to one fatal accident-was a criminal act.

Baltimore Sun | DNA analysis of dogs produces surprises
The study's lead author, Leonid Kruglyak at the Hutchinson Center, said he was startled by the genetic variation among breeds - a difference even greater than 'among human populations that evolved on different continents.'

The reason, scientists said, is that dogs are probably the most genetically manipulated mammals on Earth. Recent DNA studies show Canis familiaris diverged from East Asian wolves roughly 15,000 years ago and then trailed humans overland to Europe and across the Bering Strait to North America. As early dog populations became isolated from one another, distinct breeds began to emerge, scientists say.

Bizjournals | Congress may help small biz fight OSHA
A seldom-used federal law allows businesses to recover their legal costs when they prevail against the government, but agencies don't have to pay if they can show their actions were 'substantially justified.'

This provides a broad loophole for agencies that is difficult -- and costly -- for small businesses to overcome, business groups say. They have asked Congress to pass legislation that would force OSHA to pay a small business's legal fees whenever the agency loses a case.

The House Education and Workforce Committee passed the legislation by a 24-20 party-line vote May 5.

(via John Lacny)
Starbucks Workers Move to Unionize
Starbucks workers here have organized a union with the Industrial Workers of the World IU/660 and have submitted union cards today to the NLRB for a certification election.

The workers are poised to become the first Starbucks Baristas union certified in the country. Starbucks Baristas at the 36th and Madison location in Midtown Manhattan have come together in an effort to raise themselves out of poverty as well as to achieve respect and dignity on the job. The workers are calling on Starbucks to obey the law as the election approaches.

Guardian Unlimited | Wildcat fire strikes spread
Those taking part in the unofficial action included 20 officers in three full-time stations in Somerset. A fire service spokesman said: 'Because the action is unofficial it is difficult to know when it will end - it could be today, tomorrow or in a couple of days.'

Indian voters deal setback to Hindu nationalism | Christian Science Monitor
To many observers, however, the lesson of the election was that economic disparities could no longer be trumped by appeals to Hindu unity. In fact, in a sign that Hindu nationalism may be on the wane, voters seemed fatigued with identity politics. The BJP fared poorly in regions most affected by the violent controversies surrounding Hindu nationalists' struggle to unite their brethren around a sense that India is first and foremost a Hindu nation.

LA Times | Riding Shotgun on a Pipeline
U.S.-trained Colombian troops, backed by U.S. intelligence and private contractors, unleashed the offensive to stop rebel attacks on a pipeline that Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. depends on to transport oil. They also had another goal, company officials said: secure an area deep in the heart of rebel territory so Occidental could explore a new field believed to hold 20 million barrels of oil.

By 2020, moon cukes and other crops? | Christian Science Monitor
Mars presents tough challenges for both greenhouses and their plant inhabitants. The Red Planet's temperature extremes - which can range from 50 degrees F. in the day to more than negative 200 degrees F. at night - could crack the shell of a greenhouse, and could make the internal environment too cold to sustain the plants.

The Australian: Unionist faces jail over 'scab' raids [May 12, 2004]
Seven days after the AMWU set up a picket, a boltcutter was used to gain entry to Johnson Tiles, where Johnston was seen holding a camera to 'take photos of the scabs'. His voice was heard by witnesses and others saw his 'red whiskers from his beard poking through' a balaclava.

"Jack of Smarts" by Justin Peters
Every generation gambles, but how they gamble says something about the spirit of the age. Why are yuppies-in-the-making suddenly interested in poker, a game most of us grew up associating with either paneled basements and cheap cigars or Rococo Old West saloons filled with bolo-tied card sharps? The answer may be that the popular image of the game has undergone a subtle recasting--one with a great attraction to ironic youngsters like me who find in the game the same slightly glamorous, slightly seedy, go-getter spirit that characterized the Internet boom. It makes sense that today's college-educated young adults, especially young men, choose poker. Strategy-oriented, individualistic, and embedded in a nice masculine mythology, poker is the perfect game for the revenge-of-the-nerds generation looking to square their intelligence with their inner maleness.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette Online - Union moves to bar gay couples from receiving benefits
A Massachusetts labor union with about 6,000 members has amended its benefits plan to exclude gay married couples from receiving health and pension benefits, a move denounced by some other union leaders. Trustees and administrators of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103 benefits plan issued a clarification of the phrase "dependent spouse" to mean "a person of the opposite sex."
The move to deny same-sex couples the benefits that opposite-sex couples receive is legal, according to a lawyer who specializes in employee benefits. Employers and unions whose benefit plans are covered under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security act can choose whether to extend benefits to same-sex spouses, said Matt Giuliani. - News - Tyson Wins, Union Losing Power in Jefferson
A ruling handed down by a regional office of the Labor Relations Board may spell the end to union representation at the Jefferson Tyson plant. In a 27-page document, the LRB ruling states that all 'replacement workers' hired by Tyson during the strike are 'permanent.' When striking union workers returned to work at Tyson in February they sent a letter to the company demanding that replacement workers be assessed initiation fees and dues. That prompted one replacement worker to lobby the labor relations board to deauthorize the union at Tyson.

Hindustan Times (Reuters) | Nancy Reagan calls for stem cell research
Speaking to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Mrs. Reagan noted that Alzheimer's had taken her husband Ronald Reagan 'to a distant place where I can no longer reach him and share our 52 years.'

She added after accepting the group's 'Care Giver's Award,' 'Science has presented us with a hope called stem cell research, which may provide our scientists with many answers that for so long have been beyond our grasp. I just don't see how we can turn our backs on this.

'We have lost so much time already. I just really can't bear to lose any more.'

Red Cross Sees Torture-Like Abuse in Iraq
'What we have observed are situations from a human point of view that are degrading in treatment and in some incidents tantamount to torture,' Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of ICRC operations, told journalists.

'Our findings do not allow us to conclude that what we were dealing with...were isolated acts of individual members of coalition forces. What we have described is a pattern and a broad system,' he said.

Rocky Mountain Bullhorn | Indy Beat | Wal-Martyrs
Despite the lousy prognosis, Mansell and a small band of organizers wagered their job security, work relationships and emotional wellbeing in service to the cause. Their reasons vary.

"Healthcare is probably the [main] thing," Mansell explains. "I’m tired of feeling like every week I go without getting in an accident, or getting really ill, like I won the lottery."

The Daily Telegraph | Good ol' girl who enjoyed cruelty
In Fort Ashby, in the isolated Appalachian mountains 260km west of Washington, the poor, barely-educated and almost all-white population talk openly about an active Ku Klux Klan presence. There is little understanding of the issues in Iraq and less of why photographs showing soldiers from the 372nd Military Police Company, mostly from around Fort Ashby, abusing prisoners has caused a furore.

(via Boing Boing
Alas, a Blog
My conclusion: Maybe the 'real' number is that 2% of men commit rape sometime in their life, and 8% of women are raped. Maybe it's more like 8% and 20%. We'll never know for sure. But from the data that's currently available, we can say this: Rape is a scary, serious, widespread national problem. It is not something committed by a freakishly small minority of men (unlike, say, serial killing); it is not something that happens to a small number of women.

Toronto Globe and Mail | Outside police forces patrol divided Kanesatake
Kanesatake has been tense since February, when Chief Gabriel tried to bring in police officers from other communities to buttress his authority. Some members of the community reacted violently, burning the chief's home and driving him out of the area.

Bismarck Tribune | Tribe says donated houses have lead, asbestos
Tribal officials trying to cure a housing crunch worry about health risks and the cost of cleaning up donated Air Force houses laced with asbestos and lead. Since the late 1990s, the Turtle Mountain reservation in Rolette County has received more than 100 homes through a program that redistributes housing from Air Force bases. Most of those houses have lead paint on the walls and asbestos-based glue under the floors -- expensive problems that were not disclosed to tribal officials, said Richard Schroeder, the Turtle Mountain Housing Authority's business manager.

Porn Actors' Struggles Began Long Before HIV
He's a middle-aged black porn actor who had wanted to be a policeman. Known for his conscientiousness, he'd ask costars to refrain from smoking even as they were having unprotected group sex.

She's a white French Canadian stripper with waif-like eyes and a history of depression. Her dream was to open her own escort service. Or become a fashion designer. Or cut a rap CD with Missy Elliott.

Safeway still affected by fallout from strike
The California-based grocer said yesterday that its net income for the three months ended March 27 totaled $43.1 million. That compared with a profit of $162.6 million at the same time last year. A strike against the company's Vons and Pavilion stores wiped out $122 million of Safeway's first-quarter profit, according to management estimates.

The New York Times | Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush
The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes President Bush, executives at both Disney and Miramax said Tuesday. News | Iraqi human rights minister resigns
Iraq's U.S.-appointed human rights minister said Tuesday he had resigned to protest abuses of Iraqi detainees by American guards, and the interior minister demanded that Iraqi officials be allowed to participate in the running of prisons. Abdul-Basat al-Turki said he resigned 'not only because I believe that the use of violence is a violation of human rights but also because these methods in the prisons means that the violations are a common act.'

A state's troubled foray into electronic voting | Christian Science Monitor
The decision by California late last week to withdraw from one of the nation's biggest moves into electronic voting is likely to reverberate across the country as other states consider alternative balloting systems.