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.
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.
Authorities at Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest have closed public access to an area where protesters have been blocking loggers from felling trees in an old growth forest reserve partially damaged by fire. Protesters have been trying to prevent a crew from going to work on the Fiddler timber sale in a remote area bordering the Kalmiopsis Wilderness since a federal court injunction was lifted March 7. Eleven people were arrested March 7 and 11 more last week.
An apparent lone nut, Bart Ross, left a suicide note claiming responsibility for the murder of two family members of Chicago federal Judge Joan Lefkow before blowing his own brains out, throwing suspicion off the white supremacist World Church of the Creator (see our last blog post on the case).
On March 1, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that executing convicts who were under 18 when their crime was committed constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. In a commentary for TruthOut, Marjorie Cohn notes that this finally brings the US in line with the civilized world:
A new Homeland Security Department pilot program is placing electronic ankle bracelets—similar to those placed on criminal offenders—on immigrants who are waiting for a resolution on their legal status. Homeland Security says the program is an alternative to internment in detention centers, and is designed to address the problem of undocumented immigrants failing to show up for their hearings. (FSRN, March 3)
On Feb. 28, the husband and mother of Chicago federal judge Joan Lefkow were murdered at their home, in a case likely linked to the wacko ultra-racists called the World Church of the Creator. Lefkow had been receiving threats since hearing a case brought by an Oregon group of the same name attempting to halt the white supremacists from using it.
The Republican Jewish Coalition greeted Howard Dean's election to chair the Democratic National Committee this week with an ad campaign seeking to depict him as a supporter of terrorism.