Four third-party candidates, who were not invited to the presidential debates between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, have faced eachother in Chicago.
Tuesday's debate was hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, a group promoting a more open electoral process, and moderated by talk show host Larry King.
"It's a two-party system, but not a two-party system by law," King said. Obama and Romney were also invited, but declined to attend.
The participants included former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson, former Virginia congressman Virgil Goode, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, who ran against Romney in Massachusetts in 2002.
When asked about the Pentagon's budget, during the debate, all four candidates agreed that military spending should be cut. Goode was perhaps the most circumspect; the other candidates called for big cuts.
For instance, Johnson said military spending should be cut by 43 per cent.
Goode, who voted to authorise the war in Iraq in 2003, said: "If I'm elected president ... part of the cuts have to be in the Deparmtent of Defence. We cannot do as Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan suggest. I support a strong defence but we need to retrench rather than being the policeman of the world."
In response, Johnson said: "The biggest threat to our national security is the fact that we're bankrupt." He supports a 43 per cent reduction in military spending - 2003 spending levels, he pointed out.
Stein, the Green Party nominee, said: "A foreign policy based on militarism ... is making us less secure, not more secure. We need to cut the budget and bring the troops home."
Since 1988, candidates have only been invited by the Commission on Presidential Debates to participate if polls find they have more than 15 per cent support.
So far, only one candidate has met that criterion, the billionaire Ross Perot, who debated Bill Clinton and George H W Bush in 1992.
...more in AlJazeera - Justice Party - Green Party - Libertarian Party - Constitution Party - and VotePact.org
Ever since a 1971 US Supreme Court ruling, news organisations have been immune from prosecution for publishing classified information no matter how it was obtained.
But since WikiLeaks started releasing embarrassing US govenment cables last month, the Obama administration has attempted to distinguish the whistle-blowing website from traditional media organisations.
Yet with Senator Joe Lieberman suggesting the New York Times should possibly face prosecution for publishing some of the material, questions about prosecuting WikiLeaks started to emerge inside and outside the US - with accusations of censorship from many, including Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, who accused the US of undemocratic behaviour.
So can WikiLeaks or its founder be pursued in American courts? And if it is true that WikiLeaks is a threat to the US, why is the US administration turning a blind eye to the New York Times and other newspapers who are publishing information from WikiLeaks every day?
Joining the programme are Mathew Duss, the national security editor at the Centre for American Progress; Lou Klarevas, a professor at the at New York University's Centre for Global Affairs and a regular writer on legal issues pertaining to national security; and Ian Black, the middle east editor of The Guardian newspaper.
...more in Al Jazeera's Inside Story
...The development comes nearly a month after WikiLeaks released classified military documents about the war in Iraq detailing torture, civilian deaths blamed on US and Iraqi forces.
"I request the District Court of Stockholm to detain Mr Assange in his absence, suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion," Marianne Ny, the Swedish director of prosecutions, said in a statement in English.
"The reason for my request is that we need to interrogate him. So far, we have not been able to meet with him to accomplish the interrogations."
Assange has previously called the allegations against him baseless and said that he had earlier been warned by Australian intelligence that he could face a campaign to discredit him.
Bjoern Hurtig, his lawyer in Sweden, said the prosecutor's petition was "exaggerated" and "out of proportion."
"He of course denies the allegations and opposes being arrested, and we do not think it is proportional to demand his arrest just to interrogate him," Hurtig told the AFP news agency.
In a statement on Thursday, Mark Stephens, another of Assange's legal representatives, said: "Even the substance of the allegations, as revealed to the press through unauthorized disclosures do not constitute what any advanced legal system considers to be rape.
"As various media outlets have reported 'the basis for the rape charge' purely seems to constitute a post-facto dispute over consensual, but unprotected sex days after the event
Despite his right to silence, my client has repeatedly offered to be interviewed, first in Sweden, and then in the UK (including at the Swedish Embassy), either in person or by telephone, videoconferencing or email and he has also offered to make a sworn statement on affidavit.
"All of these offers have been flatly refused by a prosecutor who is abusing her powers by insisting that he return to Sweden at his own expense to be subjected to another media circus that she will orchestrate."
A warrant was first issued for Assange's arrest on August 20 by another prosecutor, but was later withdrawn.
Ny reopened the rape investigation against Assange on September 1, but did not request his detention and allowed him to leave Sweden. He is reported to be currently staying in Britain.
WikiLeaks has angered the Pentagon with its releases of documents related to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The latest, in October, contained nearly 400,000 classified US files on the Iraq war, which Assange has said showed 15,000 more Iraqi civilian deaths than thought.
...more in Al Jazeera - BBC - The Guardian - The Independent - El Público - El País - El Mundo - France 24 - La Repubblica - Die Zeit
Michelle Obama's Spain Vacation Sparking Criticism:
While first lady Michelle Obama continues sightseeing and shopping in southern Spain with her daughter Sasha and friends as "private" tourists, questions are being raised about the cost to taxpayers and whether a lavish vacation sends the right message during tough economic times in the United States.
Mrs. Obama also has a "public" part of the vacation, but it's hardly heavy lifting and without any formal agenda. On Sunday, Mrs. Obama and 9-year-old Sasha will have lunch with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia at their summer palace on the island of Majorca.
This trip is sparking the first controversy Mrs. Obama has faced since becoming first lady. While Mrs. Obama covers her personal expenses, taxpayers pay for security and support staffers, plus most costs associated with her Air Force plane.
...When the trip was first announced, it was billed as "private mother-daughter trip with longtime family friends." On Wednesday in Politics Daily, I wrote that Mrs. Obama may well take some criticism for the Spain vacation. While first ladies always stay at high-class hotels -- security is a big part of the reason -- a five-star resort on Spain's coast creates a potential perception problem. The U.S. jobless rate is still high -- 9.5 percent on Friday. And while Mrs. Obama and President Obama have tried to encourage tourism in Gulf Coast areas not impacted by the BP oil spill, she is highlighting the beauty of Spain's Mediterranean beaches before the first family travels to Florida's Gulf Coast on Aug. 14 for a weekend stay.
During the Wednesday afternoon briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the "appearance" of Mrs. Obama's trip. "The first lady is on a private trip," Gibbs said. "She is a private citizen and is the mother of a daughter on a private trip. And I think I'd leave it at that."
While the White House has emphasized that Mrs. Obama pays her personal costs, as do her friends who flew to Spain on their own, taxpayers pick up a big chunk of the tab.
...more in The Guardian - Politics Daily - El Mundo
A Christmas miracle : freed Sean Goldman and his brave father finally reunited:
A father and his 9-year-old son at the center of a five-year custody battle on two continents are spending Christmas together at an undisclosed location. Sean Goldman and his dad, David Goldman of Tinton Falls, N.J., landed in Orlando on a private jet chartered by NBC. They reunited earlier in Rio de Janeiro, ending an epic battle that pitted Sean's father against the boy's Brazilian stepfather, who had cared for Sean since his mother died last year. "It's a Christmas miracle," David Goldman told Jeff Rossen of NBC News, who was aboard the plane for the 9-hour flight.
...Sean and his father, David Goldman of Tinton Falls, N.J., touched down on American soil Thursday afternoon, said Mr. Goldman’s American lawyer, Patricia E. Apy. She would not reveal where they landed or where they planned to spend the weekend, citing the family’s request for privacy, but The Associated Press reported that the plane had landed in Florida. The father and son were reunited amid a media scrum at the gate of the United States Consulate in Rio de Janeiro. Sean’s Brazilian relatives, who had fought against returning him to Mr. Goldman, had refused various offers by the consulate to provide a calmer, more private way of transferring him inside the consular compound, Ms. Apy said. Instead, Sean’s Brazilian family chose to deliver him to the door of the compound on foot. About 8:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m. Eastern time), the boy, flanked by his Brazilian stepfather, grandmother and a family lawyer, waded through a throng of reporters, cameramen and bystanders outside the consulate. ...Mr. Goldman’s advisers and American officials criticized the Brazilian family’s decision to allow the scene to unfold this way.
...more in MSNBC - Yahoo News - Sphere - New York Daily News - CNN - New York Times
More information in the web Bring Sean Home
A loving father's battle for his son: Campbell talks to U.S. dad David Goldman about his fight to win custody of his child, who is kept kidnapped in Brazil by a perverse man with powerful connections ...more in Bring Sean Home
At the perverse request of a nationalist party, a Brazilian supreme court judge suspends a judicial federal order to return an American child to his father in the US:
Victory at Last!:
Brazilian Federal Judge Rafael de Souza Pereira Pinto issued an 80 page ruling today ordering the return of Sean Goldman to the United States in 48 hours.
...A federal court in Brazil has ruled that a New Jersey father should get custody of his 8-year-old son, whose mother took him to the South American nation after their divorce and died there, the man's lawyer said Monday. Attorney Patricia Apy, who represents David Goldman, said she was notified of the decision Monday afternoon. The ruling calls for the boy to be turned over to his father on Wednesday, Apy said. The boy's Brazilian mother took him to Brazil in 2004. She remarried and never returned to the United States. She died last year of complications from the birth of another child.
... David left for Brazil this evening (Monday) and will be reunited with Sean on Wednesday June 3rd at 2:00 PM local time at the U.S. Consulate in Rio De Janeiro. We wish to express our sincere appreciation to everyone who has supported David Goldman's +4 year battle for justice. It wasn't just a few people but hundreds of thousands of supporters around the world that made this happen. Tonight the we can say that the power of people working together has no limits, and surely the millions of prayers for David and Sean were heard. ...more in MSNBC and all information in BringSeanHome.org
A Father's Fight for his 8-Year-Old Son shakes Relationship Between U.S. and Brazil:
Nuevos archivos de Nixon y Kissinger revelan que querían evitar la llegada al poder de Salvador Allende:"No podemos permitir que Chile se vaya a las alcantarillas", dijo Kissinger, según material del Archivo Nacional de Seguridad de Estados Unidos. Un 11 de septiembre de 1973 el presidente chileno Salvador Allende fue derrocado por el golpe de Estado militar encabezado por el general del Ejército Augusto Pinochet, pero dos años antes EE UU ya quería despachar al político socialista, según revelan nuevos documentos difundidos en EE UU. En el 35 aniversario del golpe de Estado chileno, los documentos del Archivo Nacional de Seguridad de EE UU esclarecen el contexto de aquellos años. Henry Kissinger, asesor de seguridad nacional de EE UU durante el Gobierno de Richard Nixon, inició su campaña contra Allende a los pocos días de que este asumiera su cargo en 1970. "No podemos permitir que Chile se vaya a las alcantarillas", dijo Kissinger a Jesse Helms, entonces director de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA). "Estoy con usted", le respondió Helms en la conversación telefónica que ocurrió el 12 de septiembre de 1970 pocos días después de que Allende iniciara su Gobierno. Los documentos del Archivo Nacional de Seguridad, un instituto independiente de estudios, también incluyen transcripciones de conversaciones que Kissinger sostuvo con el entonces presidente Richard Nixon y su secretario de Estado, William Rogers. Según ese material, ocho días después de la elección de Allende, Kissinger informó a Nixon de que Rogers había recomendado ver qué se podía hacer en el caso del presidente socialista chileno. Por otra parte, después de que Nixon hablase directamente con Rogers, Kissinger grabó una conversación en la que el secretario de Estado coincidió en que: "debemos, como usted dice, decidir con sangre fría qué hay que hacer y luego hacerlo". ...más en El País
"Con demasiada frecuencia son traicionados los hombres por la palabra libertad.
Porque la libertad se cuenta entre los sentimientos más sublimes, también
la decepción siguiente puede ser sublime."
–“Informe para la Academia” de Franz Kafka
“No existe tiranía peor que la ejercida a la sombra de las leyes y con apariencias
"...famosamente infame /
su nombre fue desolación en las casas, /
idolátrico amor en el gauchaje /
y horror del tajo en la garganta"
Jorge Luis Borges [sobre el caudillo Juan Manuel de Rosas en el poema "Rosas", "Fervor de Buenos Aires"]
The dwindling number of Christians living in the Middle East has been at the top of the agenda at a conference in the Vatican.
Christians make up only six per cent of the region's population, despite the fact the faith was born there.
Many have fled religious persecution and have settled in the West.
Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab reports from Toronto in Canada, which is a popular destination for Christians fleeing violence in Iraq.
...more in Al Jazeera
The fallout from the US oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has rippled across the border to Canada.
Exploration is under way close to Canada's most eastern province to drill a well that would be more than a kilometre deeper than BP's Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded in April.
But concerns are mounting over whether the Canadian oil exploration should continue.
Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab reports. [01 Aug 10]
...more in Al Jazeera
As the US government assesses the impact of the wiki leaks revelations on military operations in Afghanistan, the posting of the material online has unveiled another previously unknown incident.
The documents suggests that four Canadian soldiers who died in 2006 were actually killed when a US jet dropped a bomb on a building they were occupying.
Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab reports from Toronto.
...more in Al Jazeera and in WikiLeaks.org
Maher Arar is an innocent victim of inaccurate RCMP intelligence reports and deliberate smears by Canadian officials, a commission of inquiry says in a report that also recommends the federal government pay him compensation.
Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen who was deported from the United States to Syria -- where he was tortured as a terrorist suspect -- has suffered "devastating" mental and economic consequences as a result of his ordeal, Mr. Justice Dennis O'Connor says in a report released yesterday.
"I am able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offence or that his activities constitute a threat to the security of Canada," the judge says.
Mr. Arar, 36, said he had tears in his eyes when he first saw those words jumping out from the report.
The judge, he said, "has cleared my name and restored my reputation."
The report says there is no doubt Mr. Arar was tortured in a Syrian military intelligence prison soon after his deportation from the United States in 2002.
Judge O'Connor said he wants to personally thank Mr. Arar for his patience and co-operation during the long inquiry process. "I take my hat off to him."
The 822-page report, which has been censored because of government concerns about national security, also calls for the further independent investigation of the cases of three other Canadian Muslim men -- Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muyyed Nurredin -- who were imprisoned in the Middle East under similar circumstances.
They also say they were tortured.
The RCMP should never share intelligence reports with other countries without written conditions about how that information is used, Judge O'Connor writes.
He also says Canadian government information should never be provided to a foreign country if there is a risk of it being used to torture people.
The report, the result of more than two years of hearings, some of them secret, clears federal officials of any direct involvement in the U.S. government's decision to deport Mr. Arar to the Middle East. Mr. Arar was arrested at Kennedy Airport in New York while travelling on his Canadian passport.
Judge O'Connor blasts the RCMP for providing U.S. authorities with inaccurate intelligence that resulted in Mr. Arar, and his wife Monia Mazigh, being put on a border watch list as dangerous al-Qaeda terrorist suspects.
...more in The Globe and Mail - Democracy Now - The Independent - The Telegraph - Al Jazeera - BBC - France 24 - El País - El Mundo - The New Yorker - CBS News - MSNBC - The Huffington Post - The New York Times - The Washington Post
And in the following webs: blog of Andy Worthington - the blog of Maher Arar - CounterPunch.org - WikiLeaks.org
Read also: Robert Fisk: The Arabs have their gulags too
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This Website is updated daily.
Useful informations, constructive critique and journalists wishing to cooperate are most welcome: info@Habeas-Corpus.net
Cette web est actualisée chaque jour
Des informations utiles, critiques constructives et des journalistes désirant coopérer sont bienvenus: info@Habeas-Corpus.net