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Saturday, July 26, 2003

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VENCEREMOS BRIGADE CHALLENGES TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
The eighty members of the 34th Contingent of the Venceremos Brigade arrived at Havana's Jose Marti Airport tonight on a Cubana Airlines flight from Toronto.The Brigade has never asked for, or accepted, a license for travel to Cuba. The Brigade challenges the right of the U.S. government to restrict travel to Cuba and calls for an end to the travel ban and to the economic blockade. At 8:30 AM on August 4th, the Brigade will return on foot across the International Peace Bridge in from Ft. Erie, Ontario, Canada to Buffalo, New York, to announce its return from Cuba. The Brigade will be joined by supporters on both sides of the international border.
(Cuba News Digest)

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REVERSE TELEPHONE NUMBER LOOKUP
Google has implemented a new feature where you can type someone's telephone number into the search bar. Type in the number, dashes included, Mapquest will actually put a star on the address. Also included are any webpages that include that number.

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ELVIS SLEPT HERE, GATORS THERE
Moble Bay featured in today's New York Times Travel section.
 

Friday, July 25, 2003

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GOODBYE, NOT FAREWELL
By JORGE I. DOMINGUEZ
The battle between succession and transition is the key to Cuba's politics. In late 2002, Cuba held local and national elections. Last March, the National Assembly elected the Council of State, which will serve for five years. The assembly and the council will formally choose Cuba's next president. Also in March, six prominent activists announced a hunger strike, and the opposition lobbied the European Union to reject Cuba's application for preferential trade treatment and assistance. The crackdown on the opposition followed.
(NYT Op-Ed))

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A PRISONER BECOMES A WARDEN
By GUSTAVO ARCOS BERGNES
After the failed July 26, 1953, attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba, where the troops of the dictator Fulgencio Batista were stationed, Fidel Castro and some 100 other surviving assailants (myself among them) were tried for sedition and sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. Fidel Castro's sentence was 15 years, although he was given amnesty, along with the rest of us, after 21 months. He was never again jailed. He came to power in the 1959 revolution and has since become He Who Sends Others to Jail.
(NYT Op-Ed)
 

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

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CONSERVATIVE THINK TANK WARNS AGAINST EMPIRE
You know things have gotten really weird when one of the premier conservative think tanks puts out a warning against empire. (Citing, Manifesto Warns of Dangers Associated With an Empire (Murray, Wall Street Journal, 7/15/03).
(Uncommon Thought, unearthed by Cuba News Digest)

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CLOSEST ENCOUNTER WITH MARS
This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars, an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. Never again in our lifetime will the Red Planet be so spectacular. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the last 5,000 years but it may be as long as 60,000 years. The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification Mars will look as large as the full moon to he naked eye.
Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August Mars will rise in the east at 10 p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m. But by the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30 a.m. That's pretty convenient when it comes to seeing something that no human has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.
No one alive today will ever see this again.
(Unearthed by Connie Acevedo)

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MISSISSIPPI SHIPMENT OF CATTLE HEADS TO CUBA
Nearly 140 head of cattle left the Mississippi State Port at Gulfport Tuesday in the first large cattle shipment to Cuba since the embargo began.
(Sun-Herald, unearthed by Cuba News Digest)
 

Monday, July 21, 2003

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JUSTICE DEPT VIOLATIONS CITED
A report (click here for full report) by internal investigators at the Justice Department has identified dozens of recent cases in which department employees have been accused of serious civil rights and civil liberties violations involving enforcement of the sweeping federal antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act.
(NYT)
 

Thursday, July 17, 2003

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FUNDING FOR SNOOPING PROGRAM CUT
"Without fanfare, senators debating defense spending for next year have proposed eliminating all money for the Pentagon's development of a vast computerized terrorism surveillance program that has raised privacy concerns," reports the Associated Press. "In the past, Congress has limited the Defense Department's ability to implement the system now known as Terrorism Information Awareness while allowing research to proceed, but the new provision goes further to ban funding outright."
(CATO)

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ADIOS CELIA�
She left Cuba in 1960 for Mexico and the U.S., where, with Tito Puente and other artists of the time, she injected the Afro-Cuban beat into our soul and elevated the infectious sound of salsa, music that propelled us to the dance floor.
(El Diario/LA PRENSA OnLine )
 

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

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ADIOS COMPAY!
Compay Segundo, the salty Cuban singer and guitarist who rose to global fame in his 90's as the eldest of the elder musical statesmen featured on the album and film 'Buena Vista Social Club,' died on Sunday at his home in Havana, an official at his record company in Spain said. He was 95.
(NYT)
 

Saturday, July 12, 2003

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FEDS CONTINUE BATTLE AGAINST POT GURU
Still licking their wounds, federal prosecutors have fired another shot at freed grass guru Ed Rosenthal, appealing the light sentence that let the convicted medical pot grower walk away a free man last month.
"The U.S. Attorney('s ofice) got its marching orders from Washington, as a matter of course," he said. "(Attorney General John) Ashcroft is very idealistic on the subject of marijuana and medical marijuana and wants the U.S. Attorney to emphasize the fact that they don't like it."
(SF Examiner, unearthed by Paul Whitehurst)

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ALABAMA DUI LAWS CALLED RICKETY
In 1997, the Legislature amended Alabama's DUI law to make a fourth DUI conviction a felony. But technical flaws quickly became evident, prompting numerous appeals court challenges as judges and lawyers tried to grope through how various questions should be handled. And a big new problem, saying that out-of-state convictions don't count toward the stiffer penalties, was opened by the Alabama Supreme Court this spring "
(Mobile Register, unearthed by W. Anderson Ward)

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VOTE CANADIAN
Canada's government will sell marijuana and seeds to sick people and their suppliers to fulfill a court order for it to provide medical cannabis by Wednesday.
(KC Star, unearthed by Paul Whitehurst)

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STAND OFF
This is the transcription of the ACTUAL radio conversation between the British and the Irish off the coast of Kerry, October 1998.
Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-98.

IRISH: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
BRITISH: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collision.
IRISH: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
BRITISH: This is the Captain of a British Navy Ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.
IRISH: Negative. I say again, you will have to divert YOUR course.
BRITISH: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER HMS BRITANNIA! THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE BRITISH ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH. I SAY AGAIN, THAT IS 15 DEGREES NORTH OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.
IRISH: We are a lighthouse ................ Your Call.

(Source, except as indicated above, unknpwn. Unearthed by Joel Sogol)

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