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Archive for June 24th, 2007

From ABC News:

The CIA ran secret prisons in Europe, including in Poland, said the head of a European investigation who was to present new findings Friday on what he has called a “spider’s web” of human rights abuses during the war on terror.

“We have proof, on the basis of information collected, of the existence of illegal prisons in countries closely collaborating with the United States, such as Poland,” the French daily Le Figaro quoted Swiss senator Dick Marty as saying.

Marty, leading an inquiry on behalf of the Council of Europe, has spoken to former CIA agents to corroborate his earlier accusations against Poland and Romania, where he suggested CIA planes landed to drop off detainees, a person familiar with the investigation said.

Marty was to release his latest findings Friday. In Romania, a senator who headed a panel investigating the allegations on behalf of the Romanian parliament rejected Marty’s conclusions.

“The report is totally unfounded,” Norica Nicolai said on news television Realitatea TV. “There are very serious allegations and I would not have expected a European lawmaker to make such serious accusations without evidence.”

President Traian Basescu’s former security adviser Sergiu Medar also denied allegations Romania’s military intelligence department was involved in the CIA prison scandal.

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Tesla all-electric automobileFrom ABC News:

It goes zero to 60 in about four seconds. Its top speed is 130 miles per hour. And it doesn’t use an ounce of gasoline.

It’s the Tesla Roadster, a new car that’s fueled entirely by electricity and could be hitting the lot just in time. Today the Energy Department reported that the average gallon of regular gasoline is now $3.10 — a new nominal record price for the United States.

The Tesla Roadster is named after Nicola Tesla, the largely forgotten genius inventor of alternating current electricity, and it’s the brainchild of Martin Eberhard, who said he designed it because he cares about the environment and because he wanted one for himself.

“It’s time for us to do something about our dependence on foreign oil,” Eberhard said. “It’s time for us to do something about global warming. But I wasn’t ready to go drive around some goofy little car. … Think of how electric cars look. All the ones you’ve ever thought of.”

There haven’t been many electric cars. Early automobiles ran on electricity, as did General Motor’s ill-fated and quickly abandoned EV1, which debuted in the 1990s and died soon thereafter. Eberhard said there’s “nothing beautiful” about the Prius, perhaps the best-known hybrid car. “It doesn’t do anything for me,” he said. “Think of it this way. A world of 100 percent hybrids is still 100 percent addicted to oil.”

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woman being deported for votingFrom ABC News:

All of her life, Zoila Meyer believed she was an American. She even won election to the City Council of Adelanto.

But now she is facing a threat of deportation for illegally voting, because she never became a citizen after being brought to this country from Cuba when she was 1 year old.

“To be honest with you, I’m scared. How can they just pluck me out of my family, my kids?” the 40-year-old mother of four said in a telephone interview Friday.

“If they can do this to me, they can do it to anybody,” she said.

After Meyer was elected to the council in Adelanto in 2004, someone told officials that she was born in Cuba, prompting an investigation.

Eventually, “the police came to me and said, ‘Zoila, you’re not a citizen. You’re a legal resident but you’re not a citizen,'” said Meyer, who now lives in the San Bernardino County desert town of Apple Valley, near Adelanto.

She resigned after 10 weeks in office in Adelanto, a town of about 23,000.

Meyer, whose story was first reported in the Victorville Daily Press, applied to become a naturalized citizen and continued with her life: raising her children and attending two local colleges to earn degrees toward her goal of working in the justice system as a forensic nurse.

However, because she was not a citizen, Meyer faced a felony charge of illegally voting in the 2004 election.

In April 2006, she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of fraudulent voting and was placed on probation, fined and ordered to pay restitution.

What Meyer didn’t realize is that fraudulently voting is a deportable offense.

On June 18, Meyer said, immigration officials showed up at her home and told her to appear at their San Bernardino office.

Her husband drove her to the office on Tuesday, “and they handcuffed me,” Meyer said. “They put me in jail and they frisked me and processed me.”

“I said ‘You’re doing this because I voted?”‘

The case is unusual but immigration officials were just doing their job when they arrested Meyer, said Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Read the rest of the ABC News story here.

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