Scroll down to learn about people, places, things, new music releases, live events, current TV reviews, new movies and movie reviews, interesting things on radio.... All sorts of interesting things that have come our way at Issues since our publication date!04-15-2004
Several terrorist car bombs exploded near a police station in Southern Iraq killing 60 or more people, including school children.
Salem Chalabi To Head Saddam Tribunal
The U.S. has tapped former exiled cleric from Iraq, Salem Chalabi, to head the tribunal that will try Saddam Hussein. Salem Chalabi is considered a controversial choice because he was not living in Iraq under the rule of Hussein.
Battle Interrupts Fallujah Truce - No Weapons Turned In Yet
Insurgents battled with Marines, despite a temporary truce in the city of Fallujah. Town office are trying to negociate an "arms for peace" deal with the insurgents, who will be required to surrender their heavy weapons to U.S. Forces. The Marines are still taking a wait and see stance, but indicate they are ready to start forward with their assult if required.
The Free World Rejects Bin Laden Offer
Osama bin Laden in, what the CIA states is probably a valid, taped message, offerred a cease to hostilities with any nation that ceases all actions against Arab and Islamic Nations and removes all presence from those Nations.
France, Germany, Italy and other countries, some of whom have opposed the actions in Iraq and in other areas, came out totally against this whole concept of "dealing" or "negociating" with any terrorist or terrorist organization.
This sends a major message to terrorists of any kind, anywhere, that the world will not be held hostage or have terms dictated to them, even if they don't like America or what America is doing.
Bush Endorses A Plan That Lets Israel Keep Some Lands
In a move this is historic, as no U.S. President as even endorsed the concept of Israel keeping part of the West Bank taken during the 1967 war, President Bush today endorsed just such a proposal made by Sharon.
Arab and Palestinian spokespeople were not happy with this event, which does call for a withdrawal from many areas (which the government of Israel is going to be reclucatant to approve) but keeps some settlements.
Considerable Sporatic Fighting In Iraq On Easter Sunday
Numerous gun battles, assults, ambushes and the downing of a U.S. Apache helicopter has happened between yesterday and today in Iraq.
President Knew Of bin Laden Threat Prior To 9-11
New agencies reported that President Bush was briefed on Al Qaida activities in the U.S. prior to the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks and today the memo quoted in those stories was released. The memo shows that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida wanted revenge and even quoted the previous World Trade Center bombers as a sort of mentors in their actions.
Aircraft, bombs and an operational already inside the U.S. was quoted in that briefing that occured a month before the 9-11 attacks.
Iraq Radicals Threaten To Kill American Hostage
Iraqi radical rebels are now holding a variety of hostages including those from Japan and Canada, but one faction has released a video tape of an American from Mississippi who worked in Iraq for Halliburton guarding a fuel depot. The man, 43 year old Thomas Hamill, was taken by force in a car and later video taped. Those holding him have stated he will be killed unless actions in the city of Fallujah are halted.
Iraq Government Negociates With Radical Spiritual Leader
Members of the Iraq interim government are attempting to negociate peace with the radical Islamic leader who has a arrest warrant and faces charges from the U.S. authority for the killing of another Islamic leader months ago. The actions in Fallujah, which is man is beleived hold up, are a result of this warrant and the recent attacks and mutilations on American's in Fallujah.
Madrid Bombing Suspects Die In Suicide Explosion
Sarhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, a Tunisian, and Abdennabi Kounjaa, a Moroccan, were among the four killed as they self-detonated explosives at their apartment in Spain just as police were about to enter their building. One police officer, Javier Torrontera, was also killed in the blast
U.S. Supreme Court Hears Testimony on GOD
Justices in the U.S. Supreme Court today heard from the man who is suing to have the phrase "under God" removed from the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. Michael Newdow, a lawyer and doctor, argued his own case at the Supreme Court in which he didn't want his daughter (he is divorced and his wife has primary custody of the girl) to hear or have to repeat the phrase in a public school, siting constitution protection of freedom of religion. Newdow is an athiest.
Babies Lungs May Be Linked To Birthing Process
A study by mice showed that there may be a link between a protein (SP-A) exhaled by the lungs into the amniotic fluid. When this level elevates to about 17 the process of labor seems to trigger. This protein, from the lungs, is also used to fight off infections and fungi and premature delivery may be linked to such infections (that may increase the SP-A levels). During normal periods prior to delivery the SP-A levels are lower, around 14. During periods of infections and just before delivery these levels increase, indicating that the lungs are ready to breath air.
Hamas Founder Killed
Israel sent helicopters with missles to attack and kill Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin. Israel had tried previously to kill Yassin and missed.
President Bush stated that the U.S. had nothing to do with this attack against a man who is a key figure in what the U.S. terms a "terroist" organization.
Juliana, Queen Mother in the Netherlands Dies
Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina ruled the Dutch people from 1948 until 1980 when she stepped down (to rank of Princess) and in favor of her daughter. Queen Juliana helped to rebuild her country after World War II and was very, very popular with the people. Her birthday, April 30th, is a national holiday. She died at 92 from a lung infection.
Spain Votes To Oust Government
The conservative Spanish government that has suppored the U.S. with troops in Iraq was ousted in the general election, bring the Socialists into power. The new government will remove their troops by July of this year.
The socialists were not originally expected to win this big in Spain, but the recent bombings in Madrid cause a public outcry against the Islamic terrorists who may have been behind the recent attack.
Communist China Allows For Private Property
In a somewhat radical reform the Communist Chinese government has amended their consitution to allow and protect "legally obtained" private property. This clears the way for some Chinese to legally own buildings, land and businesses.
The current Communist government has been slowly reforming away from total national ownership and control, allowing more "privatized" holdings.
California Court Halts Gay Marriages
The California Supreme Court has temporarily halted all gay marriages in the state pending a review of the laws to see if such unions are legal.
In New York State the mayor of a small town has been halted from performing further gay marriages for more than a week.
In Massachusetts, where the courts have declared gay marriages legal under existing laws, the state government is considering making an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution that would ban gay marriages, but this action would take some time to complete.
We look at the issue from several points of view in our Issues Department of the current issue (March - April 2004).
Train Blast Kills 192 In Spain
A series of coordinated explosions killed 192 people in Madrid, Spain. Spanish officials state that ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna), who has bombed in the past as a fight for Basque (a region between Spain and France) independence, is responsible. Experts, however, say this does not fit the typical profile for ETA who usually notifies officials in advance and that this could be an al Qaeda sponsored attack against Spain, who is helping the U.S. with forces in Iraq. Since the bombing happened a van with detonators and audio tapes in Arabic were found, leading some to speculate that this may, indeed, be an Islamic extermist terrorist attack.
Gases Suspected in Rainforest Changes
Scientists think excessive carbon dioxide gas is responsible for the growth difference between some trees in the South American rainforests. These gases would come from autos and burning of forest areas.
Taller trees in the rainforest are growing far faster than smaller trees, which could lead to changes in the ecosystem with some of the existing plants and animals dying out prematurely.
Iraq Constitution May Be Signed
The impass that aborted the media laced signing ceremony on Friday may now be over and all parties may sign the iterim constitution for Iraq on Monday, according to officials representing the Shiite faction that delayed the original signing.
Martha Stewart Found Guilty
A jury found Martha Stewart guild of lying to the Government and obstruction of justice in the sale of her ImClone Systems. Had Stewart, a millionaire, not made the sale she would have lost about $50,000. While the sale was considered by some to be "insider trading" because of a tip made to her not made to all investors, she was not charged or found guilty of that offense. Another stockbroker was found guilty of insider trading in that case.
Stewart faces 1 to 20 years in a Federal prison, it is expected she will serve under 4 or 5 years.
Ashoura Attacks Kills Scores of Muslims
Suicide bombers and planted bombs killed over 140 Shiite worshipers in Baghdad and Karbala, plus almost 30 more Shittes were killed in Pakistan in what seems to be a highly coordinated attack on their holiest of days.
In a separate grenade attack one American soliders and killed and another wounded in Iraq.
These attacks are expected to delay the signing of their new interim Consitution until the end of the week.
Lord of the Rings Wins Big-Time
The fantasy film "Lord of the Rings (Part 3) Return of the King" won Best Picture and many other Oscars at the Acadamey Awards Show in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 29th.
Fantasy films have traditionally never won major awards in the past. "The Wizard Of Oz" for example, was nominated but only won for special effects.
The Lord Of The Rings, which consists of three huge books (known in the book trade as 'tomes') plus a huge prequil. They were written in the 1930's by an Oxford schollar based on stories he told to his children at bedtime. The stories deal with inter-racial cooperation, courage, compassion and virtue set against a mythical background called "Inner Earth" in a time long before man walk the surface. Wizards, Warriors, Elves, Hobbits, Beasts and Dragons are among the many players in this tale. These books have been discovered over and over again by high school and college students. There have also been previous attempts to bring the stories to both small and large screens, but usually as animation movies. The classic rock group Led Zeppellin wrote several songs based on the Hobbit tales and even Leonard "Mr. Spok" Nimoy wrote and sang his own ode to Bilbo Baggins on Paramount Records back in 1966 (and he sold the pressing, recording a total of two albums for Paramount which were released as "Star Trek" music offerings, they are now collectors items).
Seam Penn also won an acting award and received a standing ovation as he went to accept the award.