WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders hoped a deal reached Saturday would clear the way for a brain-damaged woman to resume being fed while a federal court reviews the right-to-die battle between her parents and her husband.A cowboy hat full of moonshine to jlfintx for this one :-)
President Bush changed his schedule to return to Washington from his Texas ranch on Sunday to be on hand to sign the legislation.
"Everyone recognizes that time is important here," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said in announcing the president's plans Saturday evening in Texas. "This is about defending life."
I don’t think I am wrong in assuming that most women around the world wear trousers. I personally have never found anything wrong with this form of attire and I know that it is considered decent and formal to don a pair of slacks in lieu of a skirt. We grew up in a denim culture where lounging around in a pair of jeans was symbolic of relaxation. Jeans were weekend clothes, informal, comfortable and practical. They were not worn to work, like many places in the States, but men and women alike sported a pair whilst engaged in casual activities. I know for certain that trousers and jeans are not worn by women in order to try and emulate men. I can’t even think of a single instant when I had been led to believe that any female friend/acquaintance/colleague of mine has turned up in a pair of pants as a form of rebellion or as an attempt at role reversal.
I was standing outside a hospital one day waiting for my driver when I heard someone to the rear of me shouting “Haraam! Haraam! Haraam!" I wondered lackadaisically as to what the commotion was about, but did not condescend to turn around and gape at something that was not a matter of personal concern. Another voice joined in and this duet appeared to be getting closer. In actual fact so close that it seemed for all intents and purposes that the pair was standing right behind me. This time I could not resist and succumbed to the temptation of looking back and being turned to stone in the process, without the slightest idea that I was the one being shouted at.
The elder of the two individuals had a walking stick and began poking the bottom of my abaya with it. I stood astonished at his audacity. “Haraam! Haraam!" he continued to chant venomously and wafted his wand in an imaginary circle around the spot where I stood petrified.
I was so perplexed and offended that I glared at him defiantly and shouted back, “What on earth are you talking about? What ‘Haraam! Haraam!’?"
He took this as an invitation to deliver his sermon.
“You," he said pointing his finger accusingly, “are dressed up as a man!"
“A man?" I marveled aloud.
“Yes! It is haraam for a woman to be wearing trousers. The curse of Allah will be upon you," he spat out as his young companion looked upon me with disgust.
Irrespective of the fact that I knew full well that I should ignore his edict, I felt quite shaken up by the whole incident. No matter how hard I tried to reconcile myself to the absurdity of his illogical ranting, I could not help but feel perturbed by it. It is wholly peculiar that shops here stock a wide variety of what I would deem immodest and distasteful clothing. Some of the apparel I have seen brazenly displayed in shop windows is nothing short of vulgar and crude. I have always been fully covered and choose clothes that reflect inherent values of modesty and decency. And yet it seems that wearing a pair of trousers is more offensive than sporting one of the aforementioned outfits as long as it is perceived as being “feminine"! I arrived at the conclusion that my own conscience was a far better judge of what was and was not acceptable as far as my dress was concerned.
During Ramadan, I frequented the mosque daily and, one evening, was accosted by a fellow worshipper who stood in front of me blocking my exit after the prayer had been concluded.
“May God bless you my dear sister," she began. I knew from her body language that she was about to admonish me for some perceived deficiency in my prayer or the fact that I had not conformed to one of the commonplace directives. I anxiously anticipated being apprised of what stricture exactly it was that I had broken.
“You know that God has created you in the form of a woman," she continued with maternal tenderness, “so it is a shame that you should want to look and behave like a man."
I was once again astounded by her comment.
“What makes you think I am behaving like a man?" I retorted having realized that in this society offense is the best form of defense.
She pointed at my pants and stated the obvious, “Look at what you are wearing! If you behaved like a woman, you would be wearing a dress."
By this time I was thoroughly exasperated, so I decided to apply some logic of my own to counter her argument.
“Well,"I conceded matter of factly, “the day men here stop wearing dresses, I will start!"
"I Starved My Wife To Death" Web Store!Click and read the rest, it's bitterly funny.
On Friday, March 18, 2005 the state of Florida will begin to starve Terri Schiavo to death. Since Michael claims there is no money left for him to inherit we would like to suggest he start his own internet web store! Michael, just think of all your fabulous money making possibilities ... and all you had to do is starve your wife to death while having children with some other hot chick on the side.
"I Starved My Wife
To Death" T-Shirt!
So you just starved your wife to death and you want to let everyone know about it... but how? Well our stylish 'I Starved My Wife to Death' t-shirt is just the trick. This heavyweight white tee was produced in a third-world sweatshop and then imprinted with a photo of everyone's hero, Michael Schiavo! So get one today or face a long suffering death at the hands of your spouse!
This week’s fires in a synagogue and a Jewish-owned clothing store here are being called rare acts of anti-Semitic violence in Switzerland.
“This kind of violence against Jewish institutions in Switzerland is new. Nobody remembers a similar act," said Thomas Lyssy, a spokesman for the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities.
Police are investigating both cases of suspected arson. Both fires were set on Sunday night and the leader of the local Jewish community said both were acts of anti-Semitism.
The mayor of the city, Giorgio Giudici, condemned the attacks.
The fire at the synagogue in the resort town near the Italian border caused considerable damage, destroying the library before firefighters put it out.
The store was completely destroyed, Etti Stein told JTA from Los Angeles.
Stein’s sister, Pagit Schreiber, lives in Lugano. Her in-laws own the store.
“She’s very, very upset," Stein said.
Hans Stutz of the Foundation Against Racism and Anti-Semitism told the Swiss Telegraphic Agency that this was the first fire set in a Swiss synagogue in the last 25 years.
But synagogues have been smeared with anti-Semitic slogans and swastikas: in Lausanne in April 2003, in Geneva in February 1998 and in Lugano in 1996. The worst anti-Semitic incident occurred in 2001 in Zurich, when a rabbi was stabbed by an unknown assailant.
Eli Bollag, the chairman of the Jewish community in Lugano and a member of the City Council, said that he was sad and angry over the fires: sad about the stupidity that lies at the origins of the fires and angry at the cowardice of the perpetrators, who chose to attack such a small Jewish community.
Orthodox Jews have lived in Lugano since World War I. At the end of World War II, the city was home to more than 1,000 refugees.
There are now only about two dozen members of Lugano’s Jewish community, and about 500 Jews in the region.
Dutch businessman Frans van A. was aware that the raw materials he exported to Saddam Hussein's regime could be used in the production of chemical weapons, the public prosecutor told Rotterdam Court on Friday.
Prosecutor Fred Teeven also claimed during the pre-trial hearing that file of evidence built up against Van A. indicated that he calmly went ahead with the supply of raw materials even though the Iraqi military had launched a devastating mustard gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja on 16 March 1988.
Van A., 62, has not denied selling chemical components to Iraq, but said he was not aware what they were used for.
He is accused of exporting thousands of tons of raw materials that Iraq used to manufacture chemical weapons between 1984 and 1988. Saddam's dictatorial regime used these weapons in the war against Iran (1980-88) and against the Kurds in northern Iraq.
Dozens of Kurdish activists demonstrated in front of the courthouse on Friday morning during the hearing. They showed gruesome photos of people killed and seriously injured by the gas attack on Halabja, news agency ANP reported. It is estimated at least 5,000 people were killed in the attack.
The Hague Court decided to transfer Thursday's pre-trial hearing to the high-security Rotterdam building due to safety concerns for the suspect, who was officially accused on Friday of complicity in genocide. If convicted, he faces maximum sentences of life imprisonment.
Van A. was first arrested in 1989 in Italy at the request of US authorities. After two months on remand, he was released pending extradition, but fled to Iraq, where he stayed until the US-led invasion in March 2003. He then fled to Syria and subsequently to the Netherlands, where he was re-arrested in December last year.
For as of yet unspecified reasons the US withdrew the request for his extradition, in 2000 and Dutch authorities had no grounds for arresting him until charges of being an accomplice in genocide and war crimes were brought against him, news agency AFP reported.
It is suspected that Van A. was operating as an informant for the Dutch security service AIVD when he was in Iraq. He was reportedly given a safe house by the AIVD upon his return to the Netherlands.
The case against Van A. has sparked controversy behind the scenes amid claims the Interior Ministry tried to prevent his prosecution, news service NOS reported.
Defence lawyer Willem van Schaik also indicated on Friday he would plead that Van A. was acting on behalf of the Dutch State and he claimed that his client had been afforded protection by the Interior Ministry.
Four Kurdish victims are expected to submit a damages claim for EUR 10,000 each against Van A. during his trial.
The court remanded Van A. in custody on Friday for an extra three months and scheduled in another pre-trial hearing on 10 June. His trial is expected to start in November.
WASHINGTON - Congress leaders announced agreement Saturday on legislation they said would allow a severely brain-damaged woman to resume being fed while a federal court decides the right-to-die battle between her parents and her husband.
"We think we have found a solution" to the Terri Schiavo case, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said at a Capitol Hills news conference. "All sides agree that this is the best way to proceed."
Final approval was expected Sunday when the House planned to meet in a special session, he said. The Senate planned to pass a resolution Saturday evening that would let House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., call the House into session on Sunday.
DeLay said President Bush would sign the bill as soon as it got to him.
The compromise was similar to a Senate bill passed Thursday that would let a federal court has jurisdiction in the Schiavo case. House Republicans had favored broader legislation that applied similar cases that questioned the legality of withholding food or medical treatment from people who are incapacitated.
Schiavo's feeding tube was disconnected Friday afternoon. Schiavo, 41, could linger for one to two weeks if no one intercedes and gets the tube reinserted.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the legislation would move the case to federal court where a judge would determine who has the legal right to decide the question of nutrition and hydration for Schiavo and whether they can be terminated.
Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said the measure was "narrowly targeted," does not set a precedent and would allow Schiavo to resume being fed and hydrated during the legal appeals.
Last Visit Narrative
by Attorney Barbara Weller
When Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed at 1:45 p.m. on March 18, 2005, I was one of the most surprised people on the planet. I had been visiting Terri throughout the morning with her family and her priest. As part of the legal team working throughout the previous days and nights to save Terri from a horrific fate, I was very hopeful. Although the state judicial system had obviously failed Terri by not protecting her life, I knew other forces were still at work. I fully expected the federal courts would step in to reverse this injustice, just as they might for a prisoner unjustly set for execution—although by much more humane means than Terri would be executed. Barring that, I was certain that sometime around noon, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services would come to the Woodside Hospice facility in Pinellas Park and take Terri into protective custody. Or that federal marshals would arrive from Washington D.C, where the Congress was working furiously to try to save Terri, and would stand guard at her door to prevent any medical personnel from entering her room to remove the tube that was providing her nutrition and hydration.
Finally, I was sure if nothing else was working, that at 12:59,just before the hour scheduled for Terri’s gruesome execution to begin, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would at least issue a 60-day reprieve for the legislative bodies to complete the work they were attempting to do to save Terri’s life and to make sure that no other vulnerable adults could be sentenced to starve to death in America. I had done the legal research weeks before and was fully convinced that Gov. Bush had the power, under our co-equal branches of government, to issue a reprieve in the face of a judicial death sentence intended to lead to the starvation and dehydration of an innocent woman when scores of doctors and neurologists were saying she could be helped.
All morning long, as I was in the room with Terri and her family, we were telling her that help was on the way. Terri was in good spirits that morning. The mood in her room was jovial, particularly around noontime, as we knew Congressional attorneys were on the scene and many were working hard to save Terri’s life. For most of that time, I was visiting and talking with Terri along with Terri’s sister Suzanne Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and Terri’s aunt, who was visiting from New York to help provide support for the family. A female Pinellas Park police office was stationed at the door outside Terri’s room.
Terri was sitting up in her lounge chair, dressed and looking alert and well. Her feeding tube had been plugged in around 11 a.m. and we all felt good that she was still being fed. Suzanne and I were talking, joking, and laughing with Terri, telling her she was going to go to Washington D.C. to testify before Congress, which meant that finally Terri’s husband Michael would be required to fix her wheelchair. After that Suzanne could take Terri to the mall shopping and could wheel her outdoors every day to feel the wind and sunshine on her face, something she has not been able to do for more than five years.
At one point, I noticed Terri’s window blinds were pulled down. I went to the window to raise them so Terri could look at the beautiful garden outside her window and see the sun after several days of rain. As sunlight came into the room, Terri’s eyes widened and she was obviously very pleased. At another point, Suzanne and I told Terri she needed to suck in all the food she could because she might not be getting anything for a few days. During that time, Mary Schindler, Terri’s mother, joined us for a bit, and we noticed there were bubbles in Terri’s feeding tube. We joked that we didn’t want her to begin burping, and called the nurses to fix the feeding tube, which they did. Terri’s mother did not come back into the room. This was a very difficult day for Bob and Mary Schindler. I suspect they were less hopeful all along than I was, having lived through Terri’s last two feeding tube removals.
Suzanne and I continued to talk and joke with Terri for probably an hour or more. At one point Suzanne called Terri the bionic woman and I heard Terri laugh out loud heartily for the first time since I have been visiting with her. She laughed so hard that for the first time I noticed the dimples in her cheeks.
The most dramatic event of this visit happened at one point when I was sitting on Terri’s bed next to Suzanne. Terri was sitting in her lounge chair and her aunt was standing at the foot of the chair. I stood up and learned over Terri. I took her arms in both of my hands. I said to her, “Terri if you could only say ‘I want to live’ this whole thing could be over today." I begged her to try very hard to say, “I want to live." To my enormous shock and surprise, Terri’s eyes opened wide, she looked me square in the face, and with a look of great concentration, she said, “Ahhhhhhh." Then, seeming to summon up all the strength she had, she virtually screamed, “Waaaaaaaa." She yelled so loudly that Michael Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and the female police officer who were then standing together outside Terri’s door, clearly heard her. At that point, Terri had a look of anguish on her face that I had never seen before and she seemed to be struggling hard, but was unable to complete the sentence. She became very frustrated and began to cry. I was horrified that I was obviously causing Terri so much anguish. Suzanne and I began to stroke Terri’s face and hair to comfort her. I told Terri I was very sorry. It had not been my intention to upset her so much. Suzanne and I assured Terri that her efforts were much appreciated and that she did not need to try to say anything more. I promised Terri I would tell the world that she had tried to say, "I want to live."
Suzanne and I continued to visit and talk with Terri, along with other family members who came and went in the room, until about 2:00 p.m. when we were all told to leave after Judge Greer denied yet another motion for stay and ordered the removal of the feeding tube to proceed. As we left the room, the female police officer outside the door was valiantly attempting to keep from crying.
Just as Terri’s husband Michael has told the world he must keep an alleged promise to kill Terri, a promise remembered a million dollars and nearly a decade after the fact; I must keep my promise to Terri immediately. Time is running out for her. I went out to the banks of cameras outside the hospice facility and told the story immediately. Now I must also tell the story in writing for the world to hear. It may be the last effective thing I can do to try to keep Terri alive so she can get the testing, therapy, and rehabilitative help she so desperately needs before it is too late.
About four in the afternoon, several hours after the feeding tube was removed, I returned to Terri’s room. By that time she was alone except for a male police officer now standing inside the door. When I entered the room and began to speak to her, Terri started to cry and tried to speak to me immediately. It was one of the most helpless feelings I have ever had. Terri was looking very melancholy at that point and I had the sense she was very upset that we had told her things were going to get better, but instead, they were obviously getting worse. I had previously had the same feeling when my own daughter was a baby who was hospitalized and was crying and looking to me to rescue her from her hospital crib, something I could not do. While I was in the room with Terri for the next half hour or so, several other friends came to visit and I did a few press interviews sitting right next to Terri. I again raised her window shade, which had again been pulled down, so Terri could at least see the garden and the sunshine from her lounge chair. I also turned the radio on in her room before I left so that when she was alone, she would at least have some music for comfort.
Just before I left the room, I leaned over Terri and spoke right into her ear. I told her I was very sorry I had not been able to stop the feeding tube from being taken out and I was very sorry I had to leave her alone. But I reminded her that Jesus would stay right by her side even when no one else was there with her. When I mentioned Jesus’ Name, Terri again laughed out loud. She became very agitated and began loudly trying to speak to me again. As Terri continued to laugh and try to speak, I quietly prayed in her ear, kissed her, placed her in Jesus’ care, and left the room.
Terri is alone now. As I write this last visit narrative, it is five in the morning of March 19. Terri has been without food and water for nearly 17 hours. I’m sure she is beginning at least become thirsty, if not hungry. And I am left to wonder how many other people care.
The US Senate will convene in a special session on Saturday evening at 5:00 to consider passage of the Incapacitated Persons Protection Act.
NARN Discussing Schiavo Now
Catch us on our stream now and call in at 651-289-4488...
Senior military source: Terrorists hiding in Abbas HQ
Senior military source: Terrorists hiding in Abbas HQ
Aaron Lerner Date: 11
"Senior wanted [terrorists] are hiding in the Mukata [Ramallah offices of
Chairman Abbas] to this very day and are engaged in arms trade and the
transfer of weapons within the compound itself. They are engaged nonstop in
making contacts with additional "activists" and in preparing the terror
organizations for the day that the calm ends."
Senior Israeli military source quoted by Makor Rishon reporter Erez Tadmor
Makor Rishon (newspaper) 11 March 2005
ALGIERS, Algeria - King Abdullah II of Jordan has proposed a new peace strategy that drops traditional Arab demands that Israel give up all land seized in the 1967 war and offers the Jewish state normalized relations with Arab countries, according to a text of the proposal seen Friday by The Associated Press.
The proposal did not appear to have enough support to be adopted at an Arab League summit starting Monday in the Algerian capital. But even placing such a far-reaching change in strategy on the agenda would have been unthinkable in past league gatherings, suggesting new thinking in the peace process with Israel.
The Jordanian proposal does not mention specific U.N. resolutions and usual Arab demands for an Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 borders and for the right of return of refugees, according to a text of about a dozen lines seen by the AP.
The omission suggests Abdullah, whose country signed a peace deal with Israel in 1994, wants the Arabs to accept geographical changes Israel has made in the territories and to start normalization even before a full peace is reached.
The text of Abdullah's proposal calls on Arab states to declare their "preparedness to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and establish normal relations between the Arab countries and Israel through just, comprehensive and lasting peace."
The proposal calls for any settlement to be based on "international resolutions, the principal of land for peace and the (1991) Madrid peace conference."
Arab leaders have always demanded full peace with Israel — meaning a return of all occupied lands — in return for normalization.
The Jordanian proposal is meant to amend a Saudi peace initiative adopted at the 2002 Arab summit held in Beirut.
The Saudi initiative offered Israel peace with all Arab nations on condition that Israel returns all land seized in the six-day war of 1967 in line with the Arab interpretation of U.N. resolution 242. The initiative also calls for the creation of a Palestinian state and a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue.
Resolution 242, passed after the 1967 war, calls on Israel to withdraw "from territories occupied in the recent conflict" but does not say explicitly that the pullback should be from all such territories. However, Arabs view the resolution as just that — calling for Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Syria's Golan Heights.
Arab League officials said the Jordanian proposal had little support among Arab nations. Syria has always staunchly opposed any normalization.
Palestinian delegates to the summit's preparatory discussions said the Jordanian proposal "was not acceptable" because it ignores the "fundamental basis for a just and comprehensive settlement."
When asked about the proposal by journalists, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa ruled out any change to the Saudi-proposed initiative, which he described as "the Arab term of reference" for peace with Israel.
"What is on the summit agenda is to revive the Arab peace initiative on the international level to represent the joint Arab position, especially with regard to Israel's withdrawal to the 1967 borders," he said Thursday. "It is not expected to come down from this ceiling."
Jordanian officials have refused to comment or give details on the proposal by Abdullah, who met this week in Washington with President Bush.
Arab diplomats told The Associated Press that Jordan's envoy to the Arab League, Omar al-Rifaei, officially presented Abdullah's proposal for discussion on Wednesday. Al-Rifaei refused to comment.
Algerian envoy Abdel Gader Hajar said Abdullah's proposal is on the summit's agenda for further discussion.
HARARE, Zimbabwe - A woman testified that she paid a popular local musician to fly four mermaids from London to Harare to help her recover a stolen car and cash.They're fearsome invisible enchantresses, but they have to take the plane like everybody else.
Businesswoman Magrate Mapfumo said she paid $5,000 to fly the invisible mermaids to Harare on the advice of musician Edna Chizema, who is on trial for theft by false pretenses, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported Thursday.
Zimbabwe's Shona people believe mermaids are fearsome enchantresses capable of wreaking vengeance on wrongdoers.
Mapfumo testified that she sought Chizema's advice after her car and millions of Zimbabwean dollars (thousands of U.S. dollars) were stolen.
Mapfumo said she also paid for the mermaids to be housed at Harare's plush tourist resort, the Jameson Hotel, and supplied with mobile phones and electrical generators to cope with the Zimbabwean capital's numerous power cuts, the paper said.
"I asked about the names of the mermaids and I was told they were called Emma, Charmaine, Sharvine, Bella and a fifth one who was said to be an Arab mermaid," the Herald quoted Mapfumo as telling the court.
"All the time, she (Chizema) told me I could not see the mermaids as only spirit mediums could do so."