Strengthen U.S. Laws Against Money Laundering.
Attorney General John Ashcroft got it right yesterday when he called
on Congress to strengthen U.S. laws against money laundering. Our
obsolete laws make it all too easy for organized crime operatives,
drug traffickers or corrupt foreign despots to hide their loot in U.S.
Thankfully, Congress can fix some of the worst loopholes by approving
the Money Laundering Abatement Act just introduced by Sens. Carl
Levin, D-Mich, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
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Thumbs down: A State Department report on what caused the deaths of
two Americans -- a woman and her infant child -- in a missionary
plane shot down in Peru last April has confirmed what seemed apparent
at the time: There was a tragic breakdown in communication between a
Peruvian fighter plane and a U.S. drug surveillance plane, and a
failure to follow prescribed procedures and exercise caution before
firing at innocents.
A videotape with audio recording released as part of the report made
clear that the U.S. plane's crew did sense early on that the civilian
plane and its movements did not fit the profile of a drug-trafficking
craft. But the Americans and Peruvians involved did not speak each
other's language well enough to avoid misunderstandings. The Peruvian
pilot, for whatever reason, failed to hold off as urged repeatedly by
the U.S. crew via a Peruvian liaison officer on the U.S. plane.
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American journalist Al Giordano runs Narco News from his laptop in Mexico,
reporting on the drug trade with a decidedly activist slant that aims to
get under the skin of drug traffickers, money launderers, corrupt
governments, and journalists for big news companies he thinks have
overlooked important stories in Latin America.
Among his targets has been Roberto Hernandez Ramirez, the president and
primary shareholder in Banco Nacional de Mexico (known as Banamex),
Mexico's second biggest bank, which was acquired last month by Citigroup
for $12.5 billion.
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In 1978, Al Giordano, now forty-one, was arrested for criminal trespass
while protesting a nuclear power plant in New Hampshire. He was sentenced
to 100 days in jail, but succeeded in causing enough trouble to get kicked
out after twenty. Since then, he's been causing various kinds of trouble as
a political organizer and a reporter and, in general, continues to afflict
the comfortable. Now he's being sued by a multi-billion dollar opponent who
isn't having a whole hell of a lot more luck with him than the New
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Some Primary School Age Children, Like Their Intermediate And High School
Counterparts, Have Access To Cannabis.
Highlands Intermediate principal John Knowles, New Plymouth, said he had
spoken to colleagues in other parts of the country who had had problems
with primary children and cannabis, but he stressed there was no evidence
of such a problem in this town.
It was inevitable that children with parents who smoked cannabis would fall
foul of it, he said.
Three Highlands students have been suspended for selling cannabis to their
schoolmates this week and a further five children suspended for either
possessing or using the drug.
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How Did Al Giordano Land In The Middle Of The Hottest First Amendment Case
After spending years underground, Al Giordano has virtually surfaced.
Giordano, you may remember, spent his salad days in Western Massachusetts,
sniffing out Springfield Mafiosi as a reporter for the Valley Advocate and
turning over rocks throughout the Valley in search of dangerous political
parasites and garden variety public corruption. After four years at the
Advocate, Giordano moved on to the Boston Phoenix to report on politics
from the statehouse, where he covered what he calls the "legal bribery"
that passes for lobbying on Beacon Hill.
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