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Cheney: Attacks in Iraq Meant to Affect U.S. Elections

With the mid-term elections a week away, Vice President Dick Cheney has claimed that anti-U.S. forces in Iraq have increased their attacks in order to influence the result of the election.

  • Dick Cheney: "Whether it’s al Qaeda or the other elements that are active in Iraq, they are betting on the proposition they can break the will of the American people. They think we won`t have the stomach for the fight long-term… It’s my belief that they’re very sensitive of the fact that we have got an election scheduled. And, you know, they can get on the websites like anybody else. There isn’t anything that’s on the Internet that’s not accessible to them. They’re on it all the time. They’re very sophisticated users of it."

The Vice President offered no evidence to back up his assertion.

Bush on a Dem Victory: “The Terrorists Win and America Loses”

On Monday President Bush said that the terrorists will win if the Democrats succeed in next week’s election. At a campaign rally in Georgia, Bush said "The Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses. That’s what’s at stake in this election."

81 People Die in Iraq

Meanwhile the bloodshed continues in Iraq. At least 81 people died across the country on Monday. The death toll from the massive bombing in Sadr City has increased to 33. Shiite militants called for a general strike in Sadr City which has been under a U.S. siege for almost a week.

150,000 U.S. Troops Now in Iraq

This comes as the United States is increasing the number of troops on the ground. There are now 150,000 troops inside Iraq — the largest number since January.

10,000 Protest In Oaxaca; Zapatistas Back People’s Movement

In Mexico, over 10,000 protesters demonstrated in Oaxaca on Monday calling for the removal of federal police from the city and the resignation of Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz. Over the weekend, Mexican president Vicente Fox sent in thousands of special police into the city but the non-violent resistance movement remains in control of much of Oaxaca. The Zapatistas have called for roadblocks on Wednesday throughout Chiapas to show solidarity with the people of Oaxaca. They also encouraged others to stage roadblocks throughout Mexico and the United States. In addition, the Zapatistas called for a nation-wide shut down on November 20th. Meanwhile Mexico’s Senate and House have urged Ruiz to resign. Javier Gonzalez Garza, Mexican Congress member: "The House of Representatives urges the governor of the State of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, to resign in the interest of re-establishing governability, judicial order and peace in the state."

State Dept: U.S. Won’t Press Mexico Over Death of Brad Will

In Washington the State Department has indicated it is not going to press the Mexican government over the murder of American journalist Brad Will. He was shot dead on Friday by Mexican gunmen tied to the government. He died with his video camera in his hand.

  • State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack: "Well anytime you resort to violence which results in the death of a citizen whether it’s American or any other nationality, it’s a source of concern. But that is really going to be up to the Mexican government — to deal with–how they deal with this I understand originally started out as a series of protests–they turned violent and the Mexican authorities are dealing with them."

McCormack was later asked whether the Bush administration would demand the Mexican government investigate who is responsibility for the murder of Will. McCormack claimed the State Department is not aware that anyone linked to Will’s death has been identified. However the Mexican press has published a photograph taken at the scene showing the armed men. They have been identified as Juan Carlos Soriano, Manuel Aguilar, Abel Santiago Zárate and Pedro Caramona. All four men are connected to the local government. They are reportedly now in custody.

Hundreds Blockade Mexican Consulate in NYC

In New York, hundreds of friends and supporters of the slain journalist Brad Will blockaded the entrance to the Mexican Consulate for over an hour on Monday. 12 people were arrested including a Reuters photographer. Nine of them were held overnight. Brad Will’s former roommate and fellow Indymedia journalist Brandon Jourdan was arrested after he laid down in the street while wearing a shirt covered in red ink — depicting where Brad was shot.

  • Father Frank Morales: "If anything, what Brad’s death is going to do is to force us to step it up. And we’re going to step it up in Brad’s memory, because he may be absent, but he’s present. And you know, I’m angry, and I know a lot of people are angry, and we’re just not going to go for this. If we have to go directly to Oaxaca ourselves, we’ll bring thousands of people down there. We’re gonna take back–we’re gonna make some justice here."

Protests took place in at least 13 other U.S. cities."

Report: U.S. Predator Drone Carried Out Airstrike in Pakistan

In Pakistan a mass funeral was held on Monday for up 80 people that were killed in an airstrike at a religious school near the Afghan border. The Pakistani government has said its own military helicopters carried out the attack but ABC News is reporting the bombing was actually carried out by a U.S. Predator drone. Sources tell ABC that Al Qaeda’s Ayman al Zawahiri was the intended target. Pakistan is denying the ABC report but it has admitted it relied on U.S. intelligence to carry out the bombing.

Augusto Pinochet Put Under House Arrest

In Chile, a federal judge has placed the former dictator Augusto Pinochet under house arrest. This comes three days after torture and kidnapping charges were filed against him.

Iran Says Israel is Preventing a Nuke-Free Middle East

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned the United Nations not to impose sanctions over its disputed nuclear program. He said Iran would respond with a "appropriate and firm response" to any U.N. sanctions. Iran’s deputy UN ambassador, Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi, criticized the international community for its stance on Israel and its secret nuclear weapons program.

  • Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi: "The Israeli regime is allowed to acquire a large stockpile of nuclear weapons in the volatile Middle East region and defy the will of all regional states and the international community to turn the Middle East into a zone free from nuclear weapons. Emboldened by few powers irresponsible approach, the Israeli regime has also become so audacious to lead a masquerade of lies and deception against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program."

UN Official: New U.S. Military Commissions Act Violates Int’l Treaties

A top United Nations expert on human rights says the new U.S. Military Commissions Act violates international treaties protecting detainees. The official, Martin Scheinin, said one of the most serious aspects of the law is the power of the president to declare anyone, including U.S. citizens, without charge as an ’unlawful enemy combatant." Scheinin also deplored the denial of the habeas corpus rights of foreigners–including legal, permanent U.S. residents–to challenge the legality of their detention. He said this is in contradiction with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty the U.S. ratified in 1992.

British Gov’t Warns of Disastrous Consequences of Global Warming

In Britain, Tony Blair’s government has launched a new initiative to fight global warming. The British government issued a major report on Monday that said global warming would have a cataclysmic effect on the global economy.

  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair: "The scientific evidence of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions is overwhelming. It is not in doubt that if the science is right the consequences for our planet are literally disastrous and this disaster is not set to happen in some science fiction future many years ahead, but in our lifetime."

British Chancellor Gordon Brown outlined the government’s plan of action

  • Gordon Brown: "Our proposal is to provide a new European wide emissions target of 30 percent by 2020 and at least 60 percent by 2050 providing greater long term certainty for business as we extend the framework for four more decades. Our proposal is also to expand it to cover more sectors and more emissions, to take it beyond Carbon Dioxide to other greenhouse gasses and then to extend it from Europe across the world."

Tony Blair said the consequences of inaction are literally disastrous for the planet but he said other nations must step up.

  • Tony Blair: "We have got to ensure that there is a framework that America will come into and China and India because the reality of this is unless you get those three actors in this framework it isn’t going to succeed."

Meanwhile a new report from the United Nations has found that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the industrialized world is growing again, despite the Kyoto Protocol.

Maine TV Stations Stops Covering Global Warming

In media news, journalists at two TV stations in Maine have been ordered not to cover stories related to global warming. The policy affects both the ABC and Fox affiliates in Bangor Maine. Michael Palmer, the general manager of the stations said in a memo when "Bar Harbor is underwater, then we can do global warming stories… Until then no more." Palmer said that he placed global warming stories in the same category as 'the killer African bee scare' from the 1970s or, the Y2K scare.

Israeli Cabinet Approves Far-Right Member

The Israeli cabinet approved by a large majority Monday the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman to become deputy prime minister and strategic threats minister. Lieberman is a far-right wing politician who has called for Arabs living in Israel to be transferred to the Palestinian territories. Ahmed Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Knesset, criticized the move.

  • Ahmed Tibi: "We are talking about a black day for the Israeli democracy. Lieberman–fascist number one of the Israeli society of Israel, the parallel of (French far right-wing leader) Jean-Marie Le Pen and (Austrian right-wing leader) Jorg Heider is being upgraded to the degree of deputy prime minister. It’s a message sent by Mr. Olmert to the Arab minority, to the region, about his direction, about his feelings towards the Arab citizens of the state of Israel. Lieberman is calling for deportation of the Arab minority and for assassination of the Arab members of the Knesset. He is the wrong appointment in the wrong day by the right government to do exactly this fascist action."

Report: U.S. Training Fatah Guards in West Bank

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting the Bush administration has undertaken efforts to arm and train the Presidential Guard of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in order to prepare it for a potential violent confrontation with Hamas. Palestinian sources say that the training started in August, under the guidance of an American military instructor. The training is occurring at a compound in Jericho where reporters were recently barred access.

Bolivia Reaches Agreement With Foreign Energy Companies

And in Bolivia, President Evo Morales has a secured a major victory after foreign energy companies agreed to stay in the country and share a larger share of their profits with the state. Morales campaigned for president on a platform of partially nationalizing Bolivia’s energy resources.

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