Friday, November 16, 2007


Military Officials Barred Red Cross at Guantanamo, NYT Reports

Military functionaries encouraged
denying political detainees at the Guantanamo Bay hold centre access
to monitoring devices from the International Committee of the Red Cross,
the New House Of York Times reported, citing a confidential 2003 manual.

The end of preventing this entree was to ''exploit'' the
disorientation of new reachings at the Republic Of Cuba facility, the manual
said, according to the Times.

The written document said it was all right for long-term detainees to have
no contact with the Red Cross, the newspaper said.

Some legal experts and political detainee advocators said the policy
may have got broken international law, which lets monitoring to
ensure human-centered treatment, the Times said.

To reach the newsman on this story:
James Temple in San Francisco at

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007


US military hails delayed start of building new Korea headquarters farther from border

: U.S. and South Korean functionaries celebrated the long-delayed start of building Tuesday on the American military's new central office on the peninsula, portion of a motion of military units away from the North Korean border.

Despite strong resistance from local occupants over compensation for their land, an understanding with South Korea's authorities earlier this twelvemonth allowed the edifice to begin in Pyeongtaek, about 65 kilometres (40 miles) south of Seoul.

Under current understandings between the two countries, the top U.S. full general on the peninsula presumes bid of South Korean military units in the event of renewed ill wills with the North.

The South have pushed for wartime bid to reflect its sovereignty and development into a world-leading economy, and will take over wartime control of its armed forces units in April 2012 — around the same clip the U.S. military central office will travel from their current Capital Of South Korea base.

The new alkali "will function as a basis in additional development the South Korea-U.S. alliance," South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun said in a message read at the groundbreaking ceremony. Today in Asia - Pacific

About 28,000 U.S. armed forces personnel are now based in South Korea, but the figure will drop to 25,000 by the end of 2008 as their chief function displacements to offering the South Korean military aerial and naval support to discourage any aggression by the North.

The new alkali will be place to 17,000 of the remaining troops, along with attached South Korean military, support staff and households for a sum 43,000 people.

"The United States will go on to prolong and foster this confederation as long as we are welcome and wanted in this land, throughout the 21st century and beyond," U.S. Army Gen. B.B. Bell said at the ceremony, where people pushed buttons to establish fusillades of colored pyrotechnics and 100s of balloons to tag the start of construction.

The U.S. have already begun consolidating its alkalis and moving away from the heavily armed Demilitarized Zone that splits the North and South. There were 109 U.S. armed forces installings in South Korean Peninsula as of 2003, but 59 have got already been closed and programs name for lone 10 to remain.

The two Koreas stay technically at warfare since their somes 1953 cease-fire ended the Korean War. The South have been pushing for a concluding peace understanding followers recent advancement on the North's atomic disarming and the second-ever acme of the two countries' leadership last month.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007


Report: Coalition officers holding talks with Iraqi insurgents

: British People military officers have got met with Iraki insurrectionists as portion of attempts to stop sectarian force in the Center Eastern country, a British full general said in an interview published Sunday.

Maj. Gen. Alice Paul Newton, a senior British Army commanding officer in Iraq, told The Lord'S Day Telegraph that he takes a unit of measurement — along with a senior U.S. State Department functionary — that is contacting insurrectionists and their sympathisers to seek to happen common ground.

"Do we speak to people with blood on their hands? I certainly trust so," Newton was quoted as saying. "There is no point in us talking to people who haven't."

The negotiation between the unit, known as the Military Unit Strategic Battle Cell, and Sunnite and Shi'Ite cabals are portion of political attempts to underpin military additions from the U.S. rush of further military personnel sent in to control force and make statuses for the authorities to run the state effectively.

Officers have got got spoken to participants ranging from Sunnite sheikhs who have supported al-Qaida, to former members of Saddam Hussein's particular military units and Shi'Ite militiamen loyal to the Mahdi Army in meetings often conducted in hotels in neighbour countries, the newspaper said. Today in Europe

The unit of measurement utilizes military intelligence to place which insurrectionists to speak to, but many of the introductions come up through functionaries in the authorities of the Iraki premier minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Meetings are then arranged, either in alliance alkalis or in neighbour countries, with a promise to the insurrectionists that they will not be arrested, the Lord'S Day Telegraph reported.

"They are organisations that the authorities of Republic Of Iraq believes can be reconciled under certain conditions," Newton was quoted as saying.

Before switching sides or laying down their weapons, the Sunnite groupings often demand security guarantees, fearing they will be oppressed by the Shiite-dominated government, the study said.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007


Meet Abu Abed: the US's new ally against al-Qaida

On a recent Friday morning time in West Baghdad, 20 of Hajji Abu Abed's work force were shifting their feet nervously in the dust-covered pace outside his house as they waited for their leader to emerge.

The men, immature and well armed with Kalashnikovs, handguns and manus grenades, were wearing the favoured frock for militiamen in Republic Of Iraq these days: greenish disguise ranger uniforms decorated with spots of United States regular army kit - a pouch on one man, webbing on another, a cap here, dark glasses there, a few flak catcher jackets between them. Some dullard the insignia of Iraki regular army officers.

Around noon, a combatant came running from the big house across the street and shouted: "The Hajji is coming!"

A pick-up truck came speeding into the yard, followed by respective barroom autos packed with fighters. In the dorsum of the pick-up, somes adult male with a bandana swung a large machine gun on its mounting. The great Fe gate opened and Hajji Abu Abed emerged - a squat, chubby chap with close-cropped hair and a thin goatee and moustache. Half his human face was covered with big wraparound sunglasses, a handgun was tucked into his belt and a short machine gun dangled in his hand. Three guards ran in presence of him and jumped into a new Toyota saloon. With Sirens wailing and work force brandishing their guns in the air, the convoy drove the 50 meters from Hajji Abu Abed's house to his headquarters.

Abu Abed, a member of the insurrectionist Islamic Army, have recently go the commanding officer of the US-sponsored "Ameriya Knights". He is one of the new breed of Sunnite warlords who are being paid by the United States to struggle al-Qaida in Iraq. The Americans name their new allies Concerned Citizens.

It is a scheme that have worked well for the Americans, on paper at least. This week, the United States armed forces claimed it had forced the extremist grouping al-Qaida inch Mesopotamia out of Bagdad altogether, and cut the figure of homicides in the metropolis by 80%. Major General Chief Joseph Fil, commanding officer of United States military units in Baghdad, said: "The Iraki people have got decided that they've had it up to here with violence."

Critics of the program state they are simply creating powerful new strongmen who run their ain prison houses and armies, and who eventually will turn on each other.

A senior Sunnite sheikh, whose folk is joining the new confederation with the Americans against al-Qaida, told me in Capital Of Lebanon that it was a simple equation for him. "It's just a manner to acquire arms, and to be a legalised security military unit to be able to stand up against Shiah reserves and to forestall the Iraki regular army and police force from entering their areas," he said.

"The Americans lost hope with an Iraki authorities that is both sectarian and dominated by militias, so they are paying for locals to struggle al-Qaida. It will make a series of warlords.

"It's wish person who brought true true true cats to struggle rats, establish himself with too many cats and brought domestic dogs to struggle the cats. Now they necessitate elephants."

A former intelligence military officer and a pious Sunni, Hajji Abu Abed have the aura of a Mafia don. And for Abu Abed, like a don, connexions are everything. His business office is decorated with images of him hugging United States officers, including the senior commanding officer in Iraq, General Saint David Petraeus, and a Captain Cosper.

On Abu Abed's desk stand ups a glass box containing a achromatic suede horse cavalry chapeau and a missive proclaiming him an honorary United States cavalryman. In a Ag framework is a image of him with a female translator in military uniform.

As the Hajji settled into his office, a long line of work force formed at the door. From a little bag tucked into his belt he dispensed smatterings of Iraki Yemeni dinars to his following as they filed through. He is the lone figure of authorization many of them have got seen for respective years.

One old adult male asked him for an electricity generator; another, carrying a big file, asked him about a United States building contract that he was promised. Two immature male children were seated next to him. One had brought him a leather ammo belt, and the other handed him the keys to a new pick-up truck Abu Abed had ordered.


The Americans pay him $400 (£200) a calendar month for each combatant he provides, he said, and he had 600 registered. His work force are awful by his courage, his piousness and his psychoneurotic rages.

Like many other insurrectionist groups, the Muslim Army had an uneasy confederation with al-Qaida. On one manus they needed fiscal support; on the other, al-Qaida became a burden, bringing upon the Sunnis the wrath of Shiah reserves and decease squads who started an organised political campaign of sectarian cleaning against the Sunnis in revenge against al-Qaida's mass violent death of Shia.

"We lost our area," Abu Abed said. "It became a conflict zone between al-Qaeda and the Shiah militias."

So when a outstanding Iraki Sunnite politician who had lived in the United States returned to Republic Of Iraq last twelvemonth and started direct negotiation between the Muslim Army commanding officers from his folk and the Americans, Abu Abed was prepared to listen. "A twelvemonth ago we reached the determination that we needed to struggle al-Qaida," he said. "I knew I couldn't struggle them confront to confront - they had more than work force and weapons. So I started assemblage intelligence on their commanders. I knew them all very well."

The turning point came last year, when al-Qaida declared the constitution of the Muslim State of Republic Of Iraq and attempted to enforce itself on other insurrectionist groups. In one case in West Baghdad, they demanded 25% of all the booty from other insurrectionist groups' operations. The Muslim Army refused to pay and direct confrontations ensued.

"The organic structures piled up in the streets," Abu Abed said. "Most of the people had to go forth the country and flee."

The Hajji and his work force used the same techniques they mastered as insurrectionists against their former allies. Sitting on a large couch in his office, he recounted the events. "When we decided to assail we started with assassinations. We killed six [al-Qaida] commanding officers in the first hebdomad of fighting," he said. "We would drive in unmarked cars, shoot a commanding officer dead and then flee. At first, no 1 knew who was killing them."

Soon an unfastened warfare started. Of the 100s who pledged to struggle al-Qaida, lone 13 actually stuck with Abu Abed. These days, almost all his following claim to have got been one of the 13. "When the Americans intervened, we went out with them on missions, leading them to the Qaida fighters," he said.

He pulled his handgun out and showed it to me. It was a Glock, supplied by the United States to Iraki security forces. "This belonged to the commanding officer of al-Qaida here," he said. "They called him the White Person Lion. I killed him and got his gun."

Our conversation was interrupted by the reaching of a large adult male named Bakr with a bandoleer of slugs over his chest. He squatted next to Abu Abed, laid his large BKC machine gun down and spoke to him conspiratorially, covering his oral cavity with his manus like a schoolgirl.

Bakr was Abu Abed's caput of intelligence. "I was told that person from al-Qaida is in the area," Bakr said. "We will travel out, develop some intelligence and then bust the house."

The lone vehicles in the streets belonged to our screaming convoy. A few stores were unfastened and people walked past carrying plastic shopping bags. All around us were the hints of battle: volcanic craters in the route from improvised bombs, frontages pockmarked with slug holes, a heap of debris that had once been a building.

Ameriya is a closed zone, surrounded by high concrete walls. Only walkers are allowed through the two Iraki regular army checkpoints out of the suburb. The "knights" are the lone authorization inside.

When we arrived at the house where the alleged al-Qaida commanding officer was hiding, Bakr was already in action. He was dragging a plump adult male into a car, grabbing his cervix with one manus and his BKC machine gun with the other.

The horrified adult male begged them not to take him. "By Allah, I didn't state Qaida is better than you, you are our brothers, just allow me go!" A gunslinger kicked the adult male and pushed him into a car.

The suspect's brother, still in his pyjamas, pleaded, and women in nighties stood in the street wailing and begging the gunmen to let go of him.

The gunmen pointed their guns at the people and pushed them back. A immature combatant carrying an old British sub-machine gun fired a explosion into the air.

Abu Abed walked into the scuffle. The detained adult male was not the target. Person had overheard him saying Abu Abed's work force were "worse than al-Qaida" after Bakr's work force raided the house.

Furious at the insult, Abu Abed aimed his gun at the brother. "Al-Qaida is better than us, huh? Did you bury when the organic structures were piled in the streets?"

Some neighbors intervened, and the adult male was released. His blood brother grabbed him by the arm and pushed him inside.

Abu Abed, shaking his caput and waving his gun, walked back to his car, murmuring "Al-Qaida, better than us..."

He stopped in mid-stride and turned to bear down with his work force back into the house. They pushed the gate unfastened and ran inside fire their arms in the air. In the dark kitchen, they grabbed the adult male again, pushed him to the flooring and kicked him. The women were screaming and crying. One of them pulled away her headscarf and wailed, holding on to the man's ripped shirt as Abu Abed and the gunmen dragged him out, kicking and slapping him. Other combatants fired their Kalashnikovs in the air. The adult male was shoved into a car, as was his brother.

Abu Abed, screaming and pointing his gun, charged at the crowd. "Qaida is better than me? I will demo you!"

He held his gun high and quoted al-Hajjaj, somes 7th-century ruler of Iraq, in a hoarse voice: "Oh, people of Iraq, I had come up to you with two swords, 1 is for clemency which I have got left back in the desert, and this one" - he pointed his gun at the crowd -"is the blade of oppression, which I kept in my hand."

The convoy drove off, Sirens blaring, combatants hanging out of the auto windows.

After we had settled again in his office, Abu Abed told me of his expansive dreams. "Ameriya is just the beginning. After we complete with al-Qaida here, we will turn toward our chief enemy, the Shiah militias. I will liberate Jihad [a Sunnite country next to Ameriya taken over by the Mahdi army] then Saidiya and the whole of West Baghdad."


Hours later the Ameriya Knights were on the streets again. There were rumors that Iraq's Sunnite vice-president, Tariq al-Hashemi, was visiting Ameriya for the first clip in two years. As we approached the masjid where he was believed to be praying, the street was blocked by his guards.

"Open the route for the Ameriya Knights," yelled one of Abu Abed's men.

"I can't, I don't have got orders," replied a gunman. "Do you cognize who I am? I am the commanding officer of Ameriya," Abu Abed screamed at the vice-president's commanding officer of guards. "Who are you? Did you make bold to demo your human faces here before I kicked al-Qaida out? Even the Americans with their army tanks couldn't come up before I liberated Ameriya." Bakr pointed his gun at the entourage. Guns were cocked on all sides.

"Abu Abed, we all cognize who you are, but this is the vice-president of Iraq."

"This is Ameriya, not Iraq! Here I rule, I am the commander, I can do certain that you won't demo your human faces here!"

"We are all Sunnite brothers. The Shiah reserves will be happy to see us fighting; we have got the same enemy," said the man.

"You are trying to claim my victory. I will demo you!" Abu Abed pushed the military officer and went back to his car.

That night, Abu Abed decided to assail another grouping of Ameriya Knights under his general command. He suspected their commander, Abu Omar, was allied with the vice-president's Muslim party, which have got been trying to command the Sunnite area.

"I have to demo them there is one commander. If the Americans don't like it, I will retreat my men," he told me. "Let's see if they can struggle al-Qaida alone." By sunset, his work force were gathered in presence of the house again. He distributed other guns and he carried an other scattergun with his machine gun.

All the manner to Abu Omar's headquarters he was humming an Muslim poetry in a beautiful voice. "Oh prophet, how beautiful your visible light is, oh oracle of God."

Abu Omar's gunmen, thinking Abu Abed was there for an inspection, took away the spirals of razor wire and opened the gates. Then Abu Abed's Knights charged for the 3rd clip that day, this clip accompanied by gunfire. Bullets whizzed in their baffled manner and reddish tracers flashed against the dark bluish sky.

Abu Omar's work force were rounded up. Some were set in pick-up trucks, others were squeezed in auto boots. By the visible light of headlamps, Abu Abed's work force looted weapons, ammo boxes and radios.

One terrified kid was brought for questioning. "Where are Abu Omar's sniper rifles?" Abu Abed asked him.

"I don't know," replied the boy.

"Look, this caput of yours, I will cut it off and set it on your thorax if you don't state where the guns are by tomorrow." He tried to set his scattergun in the boy's oral cavity but his work force restrained him.


Back at Abu Abed's HQ, the work force were set into cells. Work Force in US-supplied blueness uniforms were being jailed by work force in US-supplied greenness uniforms.

An American officer, Captain Cosper, visited Abu Abed that night. He sat in the business office trying to do sense of what was going on. "They [the Concerned Citizens] are not allowed to detain people or behavior raids," he told me.

In a nearby room, two blindfolded work force were being questioned by Abu Abed's men. An American soldier set his caput inside, watched for a few secs and left. "They won't make anything to them while we're here," he said.

When Capt Cosper had gone, the work force were beaten up and taken to the cell. Later, 1 of Abu Abed's work force drove up and shouted: "I brought another one." His human face was shining with happiness.

"Where is he?" asked a captain.

"In the boot," replied the gunman. "I establish him standing in the street behind Abu Omar's building."

"Are you sure you didn't capture Mudhar? I asked him to guard the back."

"No, no, I am certain he is one of them," said the fighter. The captain pulled out a shaking adult male from the boot like a prestidigitator pulling out a rabbit. "Ah Mudhar, I am sorry," said the captain. "I told you he is one of us."

The combatant kissed Mudhar twice and said he was bad but Mudhar should seek not to look so leery in future.

Mudhar, still shaky, looked at him. Then, confused and angry, walked away.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007


E.U. Offers Serbia a Deal Towards Eventual Membership

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, Nov. Seven — With a deadline for dialogues over the moot state of Kosovo just a calendar month away, the gave pro-Western forces in a encouragement today, initialing with Srbija a trade that could take to Srbija joining the 27-nation group.

The deal, which must now be agreed upon by European Union member states, qualifies that Srbija must first collar and bend over four warfare law-breakings surmises indicted in the Hague. But a prima human rights grouping quickly accused the European Union of caving in on old age of demands that Beograd bend over the suspects before any trades were made.

The four suspects still at big include the wartime commanding officer of the Bosnian Serbian Army, , and the political leader of the Serbs, . Both are accused of masterminding the worst atrociousness of the war, in which Bosnian Serbian military units killed more than than 8,000 Moslem work force and male children at Srebrenica.

The Serbian deputy sheriff premier minister, Bozidar Djelic, and the European commissioner for enlargement, Oli Rehn, initialed the accord. "This understanding is creating concrete benefits for the Serbian people and statuses for uniting not only states, but also people in a very true European spirit," Mr. Rehn said at a news conference in Bruxelles broadcast by the European Union.

Srbija was the last state in the western Balkan Mountains to travel toward such as a deal. Some of its neighbours now are stopping point to European Union membership.

The initialing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement could beef up the manus of pro-Western politicians and assorted nongovernmental groupings that impulse close neckties with Europe as they battle with the authorities of Prime Curate . Mr. Kostunica impeaches the Occident of planning to interrupt up Srbija by championship programs to allow Kosovo independence.

The United Nations have put a Dec. Ten deadline for negotiation to be completed between Srbija and the leadership of Kosovo's ethnical Albanian majority, after which the state is expected to declare independence.

Mr. Rehn stressed that the agreement initialed today could not take to rank unless the remaining warfare law-breakings surmises were arrested and sent to the international court for the former Federal Republic Of Yugoslavia in the Hague. But in the The Netherlands and Kingdom Of Belgium and among human rights campaigners, there were concerns that Europe had compromised in its demand that Srbija had to manus over the warfare law-breaking suspects from the 1992-95 warfare in Bosnia And Herzegovina before any additional agreements could be made.

"There are growing voices within the E.U. that Mladic is passé," said Param-Preet Singh, a lawyer with , in a telephone set interview from New York. "The issue facing the E.U. is whether it will abandon the victims of Srebrenica — the first race murder on European dirt since the Second World War — and its ain rules in the human face of other of import political challenges."

However a prima human rights recommend in Srbija welcomed the measure even while doubting that Mr. Kostunica would ever manus over the warfare criminals.

"Civil society and human rights organisations and the Democratic political party are afraid of Serbia's growth neckties with Russia," said Natasha Kandic, the manager of the Human-Centered Law Center, an organisation that have consistently campaigned for Srbija to manus over warfare law-breaking suspects to the Hague. "Now it is of import to consolidate their relation with the European Union."

Speaking in a telephone set interview from Belgrade, she said that ultimately, the European Union's gamble was improbable to rock the patriots in government. "I don't anticipate Srbija will collar Mladic, because for this authorities and premier minister," she said, "protecting Mladic is more than of import than Europe."

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Cenomed BioSciences Co-Awarded Chemical Defense Grant by JSTO-CBD/DTRA to Evaluate the Use of Novel Compounds to Enhance the Effectiveness of Currently Used Nerve Agent Treatments

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cenomed BioSciences, LLC, a majority-owned accessory of Abraxis
BioScience, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABBI), today announced that in coaction
with co-investigators Major Saint David Thomas Augustus Watson (Air Military Unit Research Laboratory,
Wright-Patterson Air Military Unit Base) and Dr. Jesse James Lucot (Associate
Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Willard Huntington Wright State University), it
have received a three-year research and development grant from the
Defense Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological
Defense (JSTO-CBD)/Threat Decrease Agency (DTRA). The grant will fund
presymptomatic surveys of selected chemical chemical compounds from Cenomed’s
library of novel chemical defence compounds with the intent of
evaluating curative drug combinations as treatment followers nervus
agent exposure. Research accent will be placed on drug combinations
that heighten currently approved treatments. Cenomed’s
chemical compounds are being developed as a pre- and post-exposure therapy for
military and civilian victims of a chemical nervus agent attack. Financial footing of the understanding were not disclosed.

“This JSTO-CBD/DTRA grant constructs on Cenomed’s
former successful research and will further back up Cenomed’s
in progress three-year combined research and development understanding
(CRADA) with the United States Army Checkup Research Institute of
Chemical Defense (USAMRICD),” said Saint David R.
Helton, President, chief executive officer and CSO of Cenomed BioSciences, LLC.

Under the grant, Cenomed bes after to synthesise chemical chemical compounds and behavior
presymptomatic safety surveys and will provide the compounds to the Air
Military Unit Research Lab and Willard Huntington Wright State University for rating of
effectivity followers chemical warfare agent exposure.

In May 2007, Cenomed partnered with Abraxis life science for the
development of novel therapeutics for usage in chemical defence and for
the treatment of nervous system upsets with a focusing on psychiatrical
and neurological diseases. Cenomed goes on to research strategical
partnership chances within the pharmaceutical sector for the
development of novel chemical compounds discovered by the company.

About the Defense Menace Decrease Agency

The Defense Menace Decrease Agency (DTRA) was founded in 1998 to
incorporate and focusing the capablenesses of the Department of Defense that
computer address the arms of mass devastation (WMD) threat. The missionary post of the
DTRA is to safeguard United States and its allies from WMD (chemical,
biological, radiological, nuclear, and high output explosives) by
providing capablenesses to reduce, eliminate, and counter the threat, and
extenuate its effects. Under DTRA, Department of Defense resources,
expertness and capablenesses are combined to guarantee the United States
stays ready and able to turn to the present and future WMD threat. Please mention to USAMRICD's web land site at: .

About the Defense Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical
and Biological Defense

The missionary post of the Chemical and Biological Defense Program is to guarantee
that the U.S. armed forces have the capableness to run effectively and
decisively in the human face of biological or chemical warfare menaces at place
or abroad. Numerous rapidly-changing factors continually act upon the
programme and its management, including planning for war-fighting support
to asymmetrical threats, the evolving geopolitical environment, U.S.
engagement in the Chemical Weapons Convention, the menace of planetary
proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, and Department of Defense resources
available. Improved defensive attitude capablenesses are indispensable in order to
minimise the impact of such as weapons. U.S. military units necessitate aggressive,
realistic preparation and the high-grade equipment available that lets them
to avoid contamination, if possible, and to protect, decontaminate and
prolong operations. Further information about the Department of Defense CBD Program (and
related to programs) is available at the Department of Defense Counter proliferation and
Chemical Biological Defense Homepage at .
WPAFB 07-0176 Unclassified.

About Cenomed BioSciences, LLC

Cenomed BioSciences, LLC, a joint venture between Abraxis BioScience,
Inc. (NASDAQ:ABBI) and Cenomed, Inc., is a pharmaceutical company
focused on the development of advanced new drug therapies for chemical
defence and for the treatment of nervous system upsets such as as
schizophrenia, mild cognitive damage and memory/attention
damages associated with aging, attending shortage hyperactivity
upset and pain. Cenomed life science is a majority-owned accessory of
Abraxis BioScience, Inc. Thomas More information on Cenomed BioSciences is
available at .

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Sunday, November 04, 2007


Even Cut 50 Percent, Earmarks Clog a Military Bill

WASHINGTON, Nov. Three — Even though members of United States Congress cut back their porc gun barrel disbursement this year, House lawmakers still tacked on to the military appropriations measure $1.8 billion to pay 580 private companies for undertakings the Pentagon did not request. Multimedia

Twenty-one members were responsible for about $1 billion in earmarks, or funding for pet projects, according to information lawmakers were required to let on for the first clip this year. Each asked for more than than $20 million for concerns mostly in their districts, ranging from major military contractors to small known start-ups.

The listing is topped by the veteran soldier allow champs Representative , a Keystone State Democrat who is the president of the powerful defence appropriations subcommittee, and Representative C. W. Bill Young of Florida, the top Republican on the panel, who asked for $166 million and $117 million respectively. It also includes $92 million in petitions from , Republican of California, a commission member who is under federal probe for his neckties to a lobbying house whose clients often benefited from his earmarks.

The House speaker, , requested $32 million in earmarks, while , the bulk leader, asked for $26 million for undertakings in the $459.6 billion defence bill, the biggest of the appropriations measurements that spell through Congress.

As promised when they took control of United States United States Congress in January, House Democratic leadership cut in one-half from last twelvemonth the value of earmarks in the bill, as they did in the other 11 federal agency disbursement measures. But some lawmakers complained that the leading failed to turn to what it had called a "culture of corruption" in which members seek earmarks to profit corporate donors. Earmarks have got been a recurring issue in recent Congressional scandals, most recently the 2005 strong belief of Representative , Republican of California, for accepting payoffs from defence contractors.

"Pork hasn't gone away at all," said Representative Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, an allow critic who mentions the "circular fund-raising" surrounding many of them. "It would be fantastic if this was a partisan issue, with Republicans on the right side, but it is really not. Many of these companies utilize money appropriated through earmarks to turn around and anteroom for more than money. Some of them are just there to have earmarks."

Congressional earmarks are for programmes that are not competitively command , and the Shrub disposal have complained that they waste material taxpayer dollars and skew precedences from military needs, like the warfares in Republic Of Iraq and Islamic State Of Afghanistan and the planetary warfare on terror.

Thomas E. Mann, a Congressional scholarly person and senior chap at the , though, sees the costs of earmarks as less of a job than their possible for abuse.

"The financial radioactive dust of earmarks is trivial," he said. But they can take to "conflicts of interest, the irrational and unconstructive allotment of resources, or their usage by Congressional leadership as carrots and sticks to purchase ballots for bigger measurements that clearly deficiency bulk support on the merits."

The House version of the military measure includes 1,337 earmarks totaling $3 billion, the most Congressional earmarks in any of the disbursement measures passed this year. A conference commission is now reconciling House and Senate versions. The Senate added $5 billion in earmarks, but it is hard to find the patrons because it have no revelation rules.

About one-half of the House armed forces earmarks travel to universities, military alkalis and other populace institutions; the other one-half to concerns and nonprofits. For the first time, members submitted written petitions for each undertaking and statements attesting that they had no personal fiscal involvements in them. Previously, earmarks often were inserted anonymously. The New House Of York Times analysis of earmarks used information compiled by the Washington-based watchdog grouping Taxpayers for Park Sense along with political campaign part and lobbying records.

Democrats see allow reform a success, since they have got got significantly reduced their cost and brought "disclosure so components can see what their members have asked for," said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi. "That's one of the things we wanted to change, to convey more than openness." But the House Republican Conference postulates that Democrats still utilize earmarks as a close slush monetary fund to honor contributors.

Mr. Murtha have drawn much attending this year, first as he bitterly opposed the statute law requiring revelation of earmarks, then continued his wont of submitting tons of requests, most benefiting his hometown of Johnstown, Pa. (He asked for 47 earmarks.) Two Republicans said he threatened to barricade them from getting any earmarks when they questioned one of his requests. "You're not going to acquire any, now or forever," he warned Representative Microphone Rogers, a Wolverine State Republican who eventually received a written apology from the Keystone State congressman.

The Republican Conference chairman, Adam H. Putman of Florida, said Mr. Murtha's behaviour have been "like watching a atavist in time." 1

Barclay Walsh contributed reporting.

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