News for 2009-01-31

Saturday, January 31, 2009
Iraqis Vote in Key Test of Nation's Progress
BAGHDAD - Millions of Iraqis voted in provincial elections on Saturday in a crucial test for a nation struggling to emerge from years of sectarian strife and to strengthen its fledgling democracy. Security for the country's first ballot since 2005 was extremely tight with Iraqi police and military...
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Lifting of 'Gag Rule' Helps Restart Much-Needed Health Services in Africa
NAIROBI, Kenya - Nairobi's sprawling Kibera slum is far from America but not from America's battle over abortion. Aid workers and experts say President Barack Obama's decision to allow aid money to flow again to international groups that offer abortion counseling will help restart programs...
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Rising Acidity Is Threatening Food Web of Oceans, Science Panel Says
The oceans have long buffered the effects of climate change by absorbing a substantial portion of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. But this benefit has a catch: as the gas dissolves, it makes seawater more acidic. Now an international panel of marine scientists says this acidity is accelerating...
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Gay Rights Activist Urges Younger Generation to Continue Harvey Milk's Fight for Equality
BERKELEY - Gay rights activist Cleve Jones, who is portrayed in the movie "Milk," spoke at UC Berkeley on Thursday, urging the younger generation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to continue the fight for equality that Jones' friend and mentor, Harvey Milk, began more than 30 years...
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Obama Lets CIA Keep Controversial Renditions Tool
WASHINGTON - The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba. But even while dismantling these discredited programs, President Barack Obama...
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Health Care Groups Paid Daschle $220k
Tom Daschle, tapped to be President Obama's health czar, was paid more than $200,000 by the health-care industry in the past two years, according to documents obtained by Politico. The former Senate majority leader, who gave speeches to firms and groups with a vested-interest in the administration'...
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Rainforest Razed so Cattle Can Graze
Scenes like this, with vast tracts of Amazonian rainforest razed to make way for cattle, are to become more common in Brazil as it continues its drive to expand its beef export industry, according to environmentalists. Green activists say that country's determination to double its share of the...
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World Economic Forum: Davos Under Fire
DAVOS, Switzerland - One of the few indicators on the rise at this time of economic and financial crisis is the level of repudiation expressed about those responsible for the disaster, and about the institutions sponsoring them. This became apparent at this eastern Swiss tourist resort, the venue...
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Oxfam Says New US Strategy Needed in Afghanistan
KABUL - The United States must change its strategy in Afghanistan if it is to avoid a humanitarian crisis, with millions of Afghans struggling to survive and violence at its worst levels since 2001, an aid group said on Saturday. After almost three decades of war, Afghanistan remains one of the...
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