When George W. Bush visits London next week, U.S. officials want to keep protesters out of sight, demanding a rolling "exclusion zone" around the President. "The Stop The War Coalition said yesterday that it had been told by the police that it would not be allowed to demonstrate in Parliament Square and Whitehall next Thursday - a ban it said it was determined to resist," the Independent reports.
The New York Times reports that former general and corporate lobbyist, now presidential candidate Wesley Clark supports "a proposed constitutional
amendment that would make it illegal to desecrate the
American flag by burning or other means, a position that
puts him at odds with many constituencies in the Democratic
Party and several other candidates for the Democratic
Miami police will be "embedding" reporters with police squads during next week's protests against trade negotiations.The Associated Press reports, Police Chief John Timoney said his embedding plan would place journalists on the front lines during the Free Trade Area of the Americas talks taking place in Miami. Police expect tens of thousands of demonstrators. "The news organizations invited to participate in the embedding include The Associated Press, NBC, Reuters, The Miami Herald, CNN, Fox and several TV stations.
Cindy Hunter and her husband, Sam Nickels, opposed Bush's war against Iraq and put a sign on their front porch showing the number of Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers who have been wounded or killed thus far in the war. An anonymous arson responded by setting fire to the sign, endangering their lives and causing an estimated $50,000 in damages to their home.
"Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council today temporarily banned two popular Arab satellite television stations from covering the council's news conferences and entering government ministries because of what it called 'irresponsible activities' that threaten the country's 'democracy and stability' and encourage terrorism," the Washington Post reports. Al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya were slapped with a two-week "penalty" for allegedly violating "media-conduct rules," which were outlined for the first time in today's edict.
"Terrorism doesn't just blow up buildings; it blasts every other issue off the political map," journalist Naomi Klein writes. "The spectre of terrorism - real and exaggerated - has become a shield of impunity, protecting governments around the world from scrutiny for their human rights abuses.
"The Justice Department has urged U.S. attorneys to contact congressional representatives who voted against a key anti-terrorism provision of the USA Patriot Act," the Washington Post's Dan Eggen reports. "An Aug. 14 memorandum from Guy A. Lewis, director of the executive office for United States Attorneys, encourages federal prosecutors 'to call personally or meet with ... congressional representatives' to discuss 'the potentially deleterious effects' of an amendment approved in the House last month that would cut off funding for 'sneak and peek' warrants in terrorism cases.
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft recently launched a national campaign to dismiss growing criticism of the controversial USA Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law passed after the September 11 attacks. Speaking at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, Ashcroft said, "To abandon this tool would disconnect the dots, risk American lives and liberty, and reject Sept. 11th's lessons." The Department of Justice Patriot Act website is LifeandLiberty.gov.
"The Department of Justice is going on the offensive against critics of the USA Patriot Act," PR Week reports. Civil liberties advocates criticize the legislation for removing checks on law enforcement and undermining Constitutional rights, prompting some state and local governments to pass resolutions condemning the act. "Attorney General John Ashcroft and department spokespeople are now aggressively speaking out to the public and the press with an eye toward setting the record straight," PR Week writes.