News for 2009-02-17

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Obama to Send 17,000 More Troops to Afghanistan
WASHINGTON - President Obama will send an additional 17,000 American troops to Afghanistan this spring and summer in the first major military move of his presidency, White House officials said on Tuesday. The increase would come on top of 36,000 American troops already there, making for an increase...
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British Scientists Condemn Using Children in GM Food Trials as Unacceptable
Children have been used as 'lab rats' in GM rice trials that were carried out in breach of ethics rules drawn up in response to the medical crimes of Nazi Germany, it is claimed. Youngsters aged 6-10 were fed so-called Golden Rice, which has been modified to contain enhanced levels of beta carotene...
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Judge Refuses to Toss Charges in Blackwater Case
WASHINGTON - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the manslaughter case against five former Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of spraying innocent Iraqis with machine-gun fire can continue. U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina denied two motions to dismiss the case against the five men...
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EPA to Review Bush Rule on Warming Emissions
The Obama administration on Tuesday agreed to review whether it should regulate carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, portending a major reversal of the Bush administration's policy on global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency granted a petition from environmental groups...
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Who's Keeping Burger King Workers Below the Poverty Line?
What would you do with an extra $18,000 in your pocket? That's the amount of extra cash each and every Burger King employee in America would have received last year if Goldman Sachs (one of the fast-food chain's largest owners) had shared its bailout billions with rank-and-file workers. Instead,...
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Commanders in Iraq Challenge Petraeus on Pullout Risk
WASHINGTON - CENTCOM Commander General David Petraeus and Multinational Force Iraq (MNF-I) Commander General Ray Odierno have submitted assessments of Iraq combat troop withdrawal plans to President Barack Obama based on the premise that his 16-month withdrawal plan would pose significantly greater...
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Huge Oil Slick From Russian Ship Heads for British Coastline
Coastguards in Britain and Ireland were on red alert today after a Russian aircraft carrier spilt an estimated 1,000 tonnes of oil off the southern Irish coast. The spill, which happened as the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier was refuelling at sea, caused a slick that is now more than three...
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Activists Calling for Uprisings for Causes
Marches, rallies and honks for peace are all good strategies — but they're not enough, say local activists who gathered Saturday to discuss tactics for social change. It's time now for something more, a kind of "peaceful uprising," they say.
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Call for End to USDA's Wildlife Killing Agency
RENO, Nev. - Conservationists argue in a new report that U.S. taxpayers should stop subsidizing a $100 million program that kills more than 1 million wild animals annually, a program ranchers and farmers have defended for nearly a century as critical to protecting their livestock from predators.
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Stimulus May Put Some Wind in Clean Energy's Sails
WASHINGTON - Many of the jobs that the economic stimulus would create are generated by the parts of the plan that also are intended to help combat global warming and reduce the nation's dependence on fossil fuels.
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Who Needs Big Government?
The following is a web video produced by Doug Amy, a politics professor at Mount Holyoke College, and founder of the web project Government is Good : An Unapologetic Defense of a Vital Institution.
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Ministers 'Using Fear of Terror'
A former head of MI5 has accused the government of exploiting the fear of terrorism and trying to bring in laws that restrict civil liberties. In an interview in a Spanish newspaper, published in the Daily Telegraph, Dame Stella Rimington, 73, also accuses the US of "tortures". The Home Office said...
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Obama Administration Defending Bush Secrets
WASHINGTON - Despite President Barack Obama's vow to open government more than ever, the Justice Department is defending Bush administration decisions to keep secret many documents about domestic wiretapping, data collection on travelers and U.S. citizens, and interrogation of suspected terrorists...
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Republicans Try to Block Guantánamo Detainees From State Prisons
WASHINGTON - Republicans in at least six states are seeking to block the White House from transferring Guantánamo Bay detainees to their districts, in what critics call an effort to stymie Barack Obama's efforts to close the prison.
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Elderly New Yorkers Angry as Crisis Hits Poorest
NEW YORK - From housebound grandmothers who relay on charity meal deliveries, to ailing retirees who cannot pay rising costs for medications, older Americans feeling the pinch of the financial crisis are getting angry and forming groups with names like "Senior Outrage." In New York, with city and...
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UN: Afghan Civilian Deaths Rose 40 Percent in 2008
KABUL - The number of Afghan civilians killed in armed conflict rose 40 percent last year to a record 2,118 people, the U.N. said in a new report Tuesday. The report said militants were responsible for 55 percent of the deaths, but that U.S., NATO and Afghan forces killed 829 civilians, or 39...
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US Reverses, Seeks Global Treaty on Mercury
NAIROBI, Kenya -- The Obama administration reversed years of U.S. policy Monday by calling for a treaty to cut mercury pollution, which it described as the world's gravest chemical problem. Some 6,000 tons of mercury enter the environment each year, about a third generated by power stations and...
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