PARIS, March 18 (AFP) - France was hit by a political shockwave Friday after an opinion poll for the first time suggested that a majority of the public will reject the EU's constitution at a referendum in ten weeks' time.I'm so worried about poor Chirac.
After weeks in which the "no" camp has made steady but unspectacular progress among a minority of voters, the survey in Le Parisien newspaper showed a sudden leap to 51 percent - largely explained by a big increase in opposition to the constitution on the left.
According to the CSA survey, support for the "no" vote grew from 31 percent six months ago to 37 percent in mid-February before spurting ahead just as the country went through a period of mass anti-government strikes and
The figures were disastrous news for President Jacques Chirac, who has put his political weight behind the EU constitution, and showed the difficulties of mobilising support for a document that few members of the public pretend to understand clearly.
They were also a blow to the opposition Socialist party (PS) which is officially campaigning for the constitution but is riven by a deep internal split.
Embarrassingly, the CSA poll showed that a large majority of Socialist supporters - 59 percent - opposes the text.
A rejection of the constitution in the vote on May 29 would have enormous implications, both in France and across the EU.
The document - which is meant to streamline decision-making in the expanding bloc - must be ratified in all 25 member states, and it is hard to see how it could survive in its existing form if turned down in one of the EU's largest and most important countries.
The French former president of the European Commission Jacques Delors warned Thursday that a "no" vote would cause a "political cataclysm" in France. "And in Europe it will open up a very serious crisis which will slow down European construction - at the expense of French interests," he said.
Several factors were being presented Friday as explanations for the surging success of the "no" camp in France - including the unpopularity of Chirac's centre-right government, fears over Turkish entry into the EU, and the focus on a controversial proposal to liberalise EU service industries.
The so-called Bolkestein directive - named after a former Dutch commissioner for the EU's internal market - has dominated the news in France in the last weeks, allowing opponents to portray it as a symbol of Europe's general surrender to big business interests.
Described by former Socialist prime minister Laurent Fabius as a "foretaste of the European constitution," the directive would make it possible for service-providers such as architects or accountants to operate across the 25 members.
But opponents say it would lead to "social dumping" as business and jobs relocate to the low-cost economies of eastern Europe. Spotting the political danger, Chirac has himself condemned the directive - but as an issue it has played strongly into the hands of his opponents.
In Brussels the European commission said it was "concerned" by the rise in support for a "no" vote, but spokeswoman Francoise Le Bail said that "the controversy over the Bolkestein directive and misunderstandings that arise from it were certainly a factor."
Supporters of the constitution argued that the "yes" campaign has yet to get underway - and that once the advantages are properly explained the public will understand the importance of voting yes.
But Chirac is haunted by fears that voters will use the EU referendum as an opportunity to punish his government - at a time when growing unemployment, falling disposable incomes and record profits for top companies have combined to build a mood of popular discontent.
Memories are strong of the 1992 referendum on the Maastricht treaty which was won by just a whisker after the "yes" vote fell sharply in the campaign.
And Chirac also knows that many left-wingers resent having been made to vote for him against far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen in the May second round of the 2002 presidential election, and will jump at the chance to make his life difficult exactly three years later.
New paperback versions of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" have suddenly become bestsellers in Turkey, raising questions about whether the sales reflect growing anti-Semitism and anti-American sentiment in this Muslim country, or if it's just curiosity and a cheap read.
The books were printed without the permission of the Finance Ministry of the German state of Bavaria, which handles the book's copyright. The ministry said Friday that it had asked Germany's federal Foreign Ministry to instruct diplomats in Turkey to investigate possible lawsuits in an attempt to prevent the continued publication of the books.
Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf", or "My Struggle," in the 1920s, filling it with anti-Semitic diatribes and his strategy for world domination.
Tens of thousands of copies of the book have sold in Turkey in recent months since at least two cheap paperback versions were released.
'Mein Kampf' becomes a bestseller in Turkey
An investigation by The Times finds clear evidence that Syria assassinated Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese politician
DAYS before Rafik Hariri’s assassination last month, the Lebanese politician had played host to Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader, at his mansion in west Beirut. Mr Hariri had a warning for his old friend: the Syrians were after them.
“He told me that in the next two weeks it was either going to be me or him," Mr Jumblatt told The Times. “Clearly he thought something was going to happen."
Something did. On February 14 Mr Hariri was killed when 600lb of explosives apparently buried in the road outside St George’s Hotel in Beirut blew up beneath his car.
The blast has echoed round the world. Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese have demonstrated in Beirut, the world has united in demanding Syria’s withdrawal from Lebanon and the drive for democracy in the Middle East has been given a huge boost.
Syria has repeatedly protested its innocence and no irrefutable evidence of its involvement has yet emerged. But a reconstruction of events leading to Mr Hariri’s murder, and interviews with at least a dozen Western, Lebanese and even Syrian officials, leave not the slightest doubt that the plot was hatched in Damascus.
The Times has learnt that Mr Hariri had enraged the Syrians by inspiring a UN resolution demanding that Syria stop interfering in Lebanon. US and UN officials repeatedly warned Syria not to harm Mr Hariri in the months before his death.
In mid-January, under pressure from Damascus, the Lebanese Government withdrew his 70-strong security detail, and immediately after his death the scene of the bombing was swept to remove any evidence of Syrian complicity.
“There does seem to be no other scenario," a senior Western diplomat said.
This just out!And in her comments, levi from queens chimes in to explain this further:
According to Fox News, Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy has referred the Terri Schiavo questions to the Full Court!
There is just the barest of chance with the full court. It takes 4 judges to grant cert. I have no idea how anybody will come down under than O'Connor who always votes to expand jurisdiction. I have hopes that Thomas and Scalia will have mercy upon Terri and perhaps Judge Kennedy here.
By levi from queens, at 4:42 PM
For more than 10 years, Michael Schiavo has said that his neurologically impaired wife, Terri Schinder-Schiavo would not want to be kept alive by artificial life support.
On Friday afternoon, less than a hour after probate court judge George W. Greer ignored federal subpoenas and ordered that Michael Schiavo remove the feeding tube from Terri which will cause her death by starvation, Terri Schiavo before multiple witnesses indicated that she wanted to live.
According to attorney Barbara Weller, one of the attorneys representing Terri’s parents, Mary and Bob Schindler Sr., when her parents and attorneys visited Terri at the Woodside Hospice where she resides to tell her they were going to remove her feeding tube, Terri began to cry and tried to say “I want to live"
Attorney Weller said she had a difficult time calming Terri down.
Greer, Schiavo and his attorney, George Felos, have consistently maintained that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state and is not cognizant or alert.
The actions by Terri Friday afternoon clearly indicate that that is not true.
Earlier federal marshals had served Terri and other principals in the case with federal subpoenas to appear before a Congressional committee on March 28 to testify in the case. However, Greer refused to honor the federal subpoenas and ordered that his death order be executed immediately, withdrawing her nutrition and hydration.
Terri, 41, sustained serious brain damage in 1990 under mysterious circumstances. After her husband, Michael received some $2 million in insurance money, after telling a jury under oath that he would take care of Terri “for the rest of my life", he then ordered that she not be provided any therapy or rehabilitative services and petitioned the court for her death.
She left no living will. After receiving the money, Michael Schiavo suddenly remembered that she had stated previously that she would not want to be kept alive by artificial means.
Congress was continuing to work to find a resolution to keep Terri alive. Terri supporters were being asked to surround the hospice in protest of Judge Greer’s ruling to override the federal subpoena and cause her death.
Greer has refused to allow independent counsel to represent Terri and has himself acted in the prohibited dual role of judge and guardian ad litem. Although Florida Statutes require that as guardian he personally visit the ward, Greer has NEVER personally visited Terri Schiavo and has never attempted to ask her himself if she wants to live.
Those who cannot go to Florida are asked to call their U.S. senators.
A neurologist appeared at Terri Schiavo's Pinellas Park hospice center Friday with a TV screen to show video of patients he treated that were in worse condition than Schiavo and got better.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Friday that Congress will not give up its efforts to save the life of Terri Schindler Schiavo.Why can't Democrats be on the right side of anything?
"This is not over. We haven't stopped working on it. We will fight for Terri's life and spend all the time necessary to do that," DeLay (R-Texas) said. "So, to friends, family and millions of people praying around the world this Palm Sunday weekend don't be afraid. Terri Schiavo will not be forsaken.""
Terri's gastrostomy (nutrition and hydration tube) was scheduled to be removed under court order at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) Friday. As Cybercast News Service previously reported, the House Government Reform Committee issued subpoenas Friday morning to stop that from happening. Pinellas Circuit Court Chief Judge David Demers temporarily blocked the removal of the tube, but Pinellas-Pasco County Circuit Judge George Greer ordered doctors to go ahead with the removal a short time later.
"That act of barbarism can be and must be prevented," DeLay said.
The Texas Republican blamed three Senate Democrats for the failure to pass the House version of the Incapacitated Persons Protection Act (H.R. 1151) earlier Friday.
"Those senators responsible for blocking our bill yesterday afternoon - Senator (Barbara) Boxer (D-Calif.), Senator (Ron) Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senator (Carl) Levin (D-Mich.) - have put Mrs. Schiavo's life at risk to prove a point; an unprecedented profile of cowardice," DeLay said.
"The American people are not interested in squabbles between Republicans and Democrats and between the House and the Senate," DeLay said. "They care and we care about saving Terri Schiavo's life. The House bill will do that."
Wyden defended his opposition to the legislation on the Senate floor.
"I am troubled at the prospect of setting a precedent that is going to have the Congress, in effect, playing medical czar in case after case," Wyden explained, "because, colleagues, there will be thousands of cases just like this."
But DeLay agreed with more than a dozen medical professionals - both independent and those retained by Terri's family - who believe that Terri is not in a 'Persistent Vegetative State' as declared by Judge Greer.
"Terri Schiavo is alive. She's not, 'just barely alive.' She's not, 'being kept alive.' She is as alive as you and I," DeLay said, "and, as such, we have a moral obligation to protect and defend her from the fate premeditated by the Florida courts."
The House majority leader also urged the Florida state Legislature to again intervene in the case.
"That's where the real answer comes from," DeLay said. Florida lawmakers failed Thursday to agree on new legislation to block the removal of the feeding tube, but DeLay promised that the House would continue to work through the weekend to prevent the court from denying Terri food and fluids.
UPDATE: FROM: CHERYL FORD, NURSE SPOKESPERSON SCHINDLER FOUNDATION
TERRI'S FEEDING TUBE WAS REMOVED.
WORD WAS JUST RECEIVED THAT TERRI'S PARENTS WERE ASKED TO LEAVE TERRI'S ROOM. MICHAEL SCHIAVO WAS PRESENT WHEN THE FEEDING TUBE WAS REMOVED.
JODI'S BROTHER, J. CENTONZE STEPPED OUT OF MICHAEL'S AND JODI'S HOUSE IN CLEARWATER AND TOLD REPORTER THAT TERRI'S FEEDING TUBE HAD BEEN REMOVED. REPORTED BY BAY NEWS NINE LOCAL NEWS!
SCHIAVO SAID HE ALLOWED A PRAYER SERVICE WITHOUT THE FAMILY PRESENT.
TERRI'S PARENTS WERE ASKED TO LEAVE THEIR DAUGHTER'S ROOM AT 1:45 PM ET.
HER LAST INITIAL FEEDING BEGAN AT 11:00 AM ET. SHE HAD SOME NUTRITION PROVIDED BEFORE JUDGE GREER ORDERED HER FEEDING TUBE REMOVED STATED BARBARA WELLER, ATTORNEY FOR THE GIBBS FIRM.
TERRI'S PARENTS ARE VERY UPSET.
NOTE: THERE WAS NO REASON TO PULL HER TUBE AND PUT HER THROUGH PAIN AND DISCOMFORT. THEY COULD HAVE CAPPED HER FEEDING TUBE OFF AND PREVENTED THE PAIN SHE EXPERIENCED FROM HAVING A FEEDING TUNE PULLED FROM HER ABDOMEN.
THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! PEOPLE NEED TO ACT NOW.
THIS IS NO MORE HUMANE THAN WHEN THE FIRST PERSON WAS MARCHED INTO A GAS CHAMBER!
According to Sherri's sources "Terri Schiavo speaks!"
When the Federal Marshal appeared at the hospice to serve subpoenas, they were accompanied by local police. In serving Terri, she was asked twice, "Do you want to live?" Twice, she responded, "Yes".
Ironically, the policemen outside the hospice reported that she had said, "No". Is there a coverup? Does she speak? There is more to follow.
Sherri called me while intransit to Florida on I-75, begging me to put this up, now.
Right Wing Nut Job
Tube is out: Michaels common law wife says he is very distraught - poor Michael
Jodie Centonze, according to Bay News 9, informed the media that Terri's tube has been removed. Centonze is Michael Schiavo's fiancé. The Schindler family was forced to leave when this took place.
According to Michael's fiancé, he is very distraught.
Terri told what is happening: Terri cried
Federal representatives served subpoenas on the Hospice house earlier today, citing intent to have Terri Schiavo appear before Congress on March 28, 2005. Judge Greer has ordered that the subpoenas wouldn't be entertained and that Terri's feeding tube would be IMMEDIATELY removed.
It is unclear if this has happened yet or not.
Attorney Barbara Weller was with Terri earlier today. She told the media that, during her visit with Terri, she explained to her what was happening. According to Weller, Terri began to cry and could not be quieted. She tried to coach Terri to say "Let me live" but she simply was having too much difficulty.
Congress is reported by local news to still hold be holding hearings on this matter. It is unclear at this stage who will win this tug of war - the United States or a probate judge from Clearwater. All that is known is that an innocent life is in the balance.
If you can be at Hospice, now is the time.
One of the lowest points in Greer's career as a judge came in 1998, when he denied an injunction for a wife seeking protection from her husband. He note d that the woman had not liste d any acts of violence by the man.That wasn't low enough for him, though, he had to go lower. Allowing a woman to be killed through inaction wasn't enough; he now wants to actively order one killed.
Days later, the husband stabbed her to death.
Greer said he followed the law, and the woman's co-workers protested outside the courthouse.
"As a judge, there's always the fear that you're going to miss something and somebody is going to get hurt," Greer said. "It happens in all cases. When you make those kind of decisions, there's very little you can do to be 100 percent certain because you never have 100 percent of the facts."
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) - The presiding judge in the case of Terri Schiavo ruled Friday that the feeding tube keeping the brain-damaged woman alive can be removed despite efforts by congressional Republicans to have her appear at congressional hearings.Thimbleful of cognac to Dances with Typos.
Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer refused a request from U.S. House attorneys to delay the removal, which he had previously ordered to take place at 1 p.m. EST. Greer determined that it should go forward about an hour after another judge issued a temporary delay blocking the tube's removal.
There was no immediate word on when the tube might be removed.
UPDATE: URGENT--11:45AM ET TERRI SCHINDLER-SCHIAVO
Press Release, MARCH 18, 2005, 11:45 AM
THE HOSPICE HAS JUST NOW BEEN SERVED WITH FEDERAL SUBPOENAS ASKING THEM TO NOT REMOVE FOOD AND FLUIDS FROM TERRI SCHINDLER - SCHIAVO.
A LETTER FROM CONGRESS HAS ALSO BEEN ISSUED TO BOTH MICHAEL AND TERRI FOR THEM BOTH TO APPEAR ON MARCH 28, 2005 AT 10:00 AM FOR AN INVESTIGATION TO TAKE PLACE INTO NON-AMBULATORY CARE.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO CALL YOUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSMAN AND TELL THEM TO PASS THE INCAPACITATED BILL FOR TERRI.
IT IS IMPERATIVE NOT TO LET THE HEAT OFF OF YOUR SENATORS. THEY MUST BE CALLED EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR IF POSSIBLE. TERRI IS NOT OUT OF DANGER YET. WE MUST NOT LET UP ON THE SENATORS UNTIL THIS BILL HAS BEEN PASSED. THIS WILL BE THE ONLY WAY WE CAN PROTECT TERRI.
Where's the ACLU? Where's the ACLU?Why, the ACLU? They're right here, Glen! They've finally sprung into action to protect the true victim in this case, Michael Schiavo.
Where's the goddamn worthless-ass American So-Called Civil Liberties Union?
"It is a contempt of Congress to prevent or discourage someone from following the subpoena that's been issued," David Gibbs, the attorney for her parents, said. "What the U.S. Congress is saying is, `We want to see Terri Schiavo.'"
"The family is prayerfully excited about their daughter going before the United States Congress for the whole world to see how alive she is."
He said that despite her brain damage, she would be able to travel. A statement from the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., on Friday said the purpose of the hearing was to review health care policies and practices relevant to the care of non-ambulatory people.
Frist's statement noted that it is a federal crime to harm or obstruct a person called to testify before Congress.
Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Florida office, said his group's attorneys were working with Michael Schiavo's attorneys to determine if the subpoenas would block the scheduled removal of the tube.
"This is clearly an effort to circumvent a lawful court order by a state judge," Simon said. "I am not sure how a subpoena, which is ordinarily done to produce records or somebody to testify, can essentially have the effect of an injunction overriding the orders of a court."
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - A state judge Friday temporarily blocked the removal of the feeding tube that keeps severely brain-damaged Terri Schiavo alive as legal wrangling continued over efforts by congressional Republicans to have her testify in Washington.
Pinellas Circuit Court Judge David Demers ordered that the feeding tube remain in place past a 1 p.m. EST deadline while fellow Judge George Greer, who is presiding over the Schiavo case, deals with conflicting legal issues.
You know how much I dig Jewish chicks. I haven't been one to view any woman as a sexual prize since I was both much younger and more foolish. It is not the body of woman that makes her warm. It's her heart.
My personal problem has been the sheer lack of proximity I've had with Jewish people in general. Nevertheless, I've admired Jewish women from afar for years. When I was in Palestine-Israel a few months ago, I had the opportunity to be closer to Jewish women than I ever have in my life.
Ironically, it was at the checkpoints. Those ladies with whom I am most curious to speak are those who intimidate me most in the interpersonal sense. Furthermore, my personal fears seem to be manifested in the concrete behind which they were seated as they inspected my papers and waved me along. Once in a while, they would ask me where my visa was located in my passport or to reveal the contents of a parcel. That was usually the extent of our conversation.
I often thought to say,"Thanks, beautiful," when one handed me back my passport just to remove a small piece of this barrier in my own mind. To this day, I have yet to speak with a Jewish woman face-to-face on a personal level.
The Library of Congress (LC) and National Library and Archives of the Islamic Republic of Iran may have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, but that doesn’t mean other Americans are welcome at library ceremonies. Scholar Jeremy J. Stone, who had helped broker the invitation of Librarian of Congress James Billington to Iran last December, was invited by the Iranian government to a ceremony at the National Library, but was turned away last month at the Tehran airport. Also barred was the only other American with an invitation to the ceremony, Leonard Kniffel, editor of American Libraries, the official publication of the American Library Association. According to the New York Times, Stone speculated that there may have been a backlash within factions of the Iranian government against Billington’s visit.
The last update on the LFP is not a backpedaling move . I am not deying nor retracting anything I posted.
Neither I am spreading any hoax or rumours for any intentional reason. We received these info from a “reliable" source there. We posted it.
I suggest to give it a little bid of time so we can receive more info and verify few things.
If the shooting didn’t started yet or Joshua Landis was invited at a dinner party with the Military Attache there without a bulletproof vest doesn’t mean that the situation is “normal" within the Syrian Regime.
There are things happening they are not aware and the Baath Regime is not going to tell a US journalist nor brief the Embassy and the CIA station there what is going on within .
We are expected to receive additional information soon, we will publish it .
We believe our “sources" are good and never betrayed us before…
and the situation is not “normal there, maybe the traffic, yes.
There are things in the making, far from any “imaginary" senarios.
With all due respect,
Comment by Nagi Najjar — 3/17/2005 @ 5:49 pm
**Exclusive Fri Mar 18 2005 00:50:07 ET** The Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee, Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) has requested Terri Schiavo to testify before his congressional committee, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. In so doing it triggers legal or statutory protections for the witness, among those protections is that nothing can be done to cause harm or death to this individual.A thimbleful of cognac to Final Historian for the heads up!
Members of Congress went to the U.S. Attorney in DC to ask for a temporary restraining order to be issued by a judge, which protects Terri Schiavo from having her life support, including her feeding and hydration tubes, removed... Developing...