From Connecticut's Shore Publishing group of community newspapers:
New London -- Drawing parallels to Cold War-era paranoia and fear mongering, a regional group is organizing protests of next month's TOPOFF3 drill, which will simulate a chemical attack on New London. Department of Homeland security officials have said the drill, beginning on April 4, will take place mostly at Fort Trumbull State Park, and will not interfere with daily activities in the city. Culled from the memberships of the Southeastern Connecticut Peace and Justice Network and the War Resisters League, the Mock Terror Task Force has been holding informational forums with promises of future protests in front of City Hall during the exercise.
From the Bond Buyer, April 1:
The Bond Market Association will participate in next week's U.S. TOPOFF 3 test, an exercise in which municipal market participants, government agencies, and trade groups will explore how a simulated terror scenario might affect market operations, the association said yesterday.
The Indonesian army and police have killed three people, burned down houses, killed pigs and destroyed crops, in the latest in a series of attacks against tribal villages in the Papuan highlands. One of those killed was a child. The Indonesian army frequently uses the pretext of searching for members of the Free Papua separatist movement to attack and intimidate the highland people. This latest assault focused on a village called Nggweyage. Besides the child, the village leader and an elder were also killed. Survival International has protested to the Indonesian government at this latest atrocity. (Survival International, March 30)
A group of ex-national security officials have sent an open letter calling for weaning America off the oil addiction and asking the Bush administration to spend $1 billion on develeoping more fuel-efficient automobiles.
Retail gasoline prices now averaging above $2 a gallon make US reliance on foreign suppliers a looming national security crisis, a group of 31 former officials wrote.
According to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, torture in occupied Iraq has not been confined to Abu Ghraib jail, where abuse and sexual humiliation of inmates caused worldwide outrage last year.
Disgraced former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori—now hiding from corruption charges in Japan, and officially barred from seeking office until 2010—hopes to run for president again in 2006, and is promoting his campaign with a new soft-drink, Fuji-Cola, a fizzy product he says "will quench the thirst of popular discontent." (BBC, March 22)
A powerful bomb tore through a shopping mall in the Christian area north of Beirut March 23, killing three Asian immigrant workers and bringing Lebanon closer to chaos weeks before general elections. (Reuters, March 23) It is the latest outburst in an escalating climate of violence that has many fearing a new outburst of civil war.
Up to 50 worshippers are dead and twice as many wounded in a bomb blast at a shrine to the 19th century Sufi saint Pir Rakhel Shah at Gandhawa in Pakistan's conflicted province of Baluchistan March 19. The bomb went off as pilgrims at the shirne had lined up for a meal and were being served food. Although the shrine is at a Shi'ite mosque, it is revered by Sunnis as well, complicating a potential sectarian motive.