News for 2009-02-18

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
UN Seeks a Green Revolution in Food
UNITED NATIONS - The food crisis that spilled over from last year could take a turn for the worse in the next decade if there are no explicit answers to a rash of growing new problems, including declining agricultural production, a faltering distribution network and a deteriorating environment...
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Israel's Parties Fight for Power
Discussing the recent elections in Israel, Paul Jay speaks to Daniel Levy, co-director of the Middle East Task Force of the New America Foundation. Levy talks about the power struggle between Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni over the formation of a coalition government in the Israeli...
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Vilsack Calls for Stricter Food Labels
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is throwing out food labeling rules proposed by the Agriculture Department just before George W. Bush left office, saying it wants labels for fresh meat and other foods that would show more clearly where an animal or food came from, according to consumer groups...
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Obama Unlikely to Wade Into Oil Sands Debate
WASHINGTON - The issue of Canada's carbon-heavy oil sands may be stickier than ever as Barack Obama readies for his lightning visit to Ottawa tomorrow. But as environmental pressure mounts on the U.S. president to adopt a hard line against Alberta's "dirty oil," sources in Washington expect Obama...
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Hundreds Call for End to Mining Damage
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Fresh from her well-publicized skirmish with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin over aerial hunting of wolves, actress Ashley Judd delivered a broadside attack on the coal industry yesterday in Frankfort. In a spirited speech before several hundred people who oppose strip-mining Appalachian...
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Neighbors Helping Neighbors—to Break Into Vacant Houses
Poverty rights activists broke into at least a dozen vacant Minneapolis buildings this week and helped homeless families move in. "This is the modern underground railroad," said Cheri Honkala, National Organizer for the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, the group organizing the "...
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US States May Axe Executions to Cut Costs
WASHINGTON - In an unexpected twist to the economic crisis, several US states are weighing whether to abolish the death penalty as the execution process proves too great a drain on dwindling resources. Death penalty laws remain on the books of 36 of the 50 US states, and capital punishment is...
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Greenspan Backs Bank Nationalization
The US government may have to nationalise some banks on a temporary basis to fix the financial system and restore the flow of credit, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, has told the Financial Times.
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Obama’s War on Terror May Resemble Bush’s in Some Areas
WASHINGTON - Even as it pulls back from harsh interrogations and other sharply debated aspects of George W. Bush's "war on terrorism," the Obama administration is quietly signaling continued support for other major elements of its predecessor's approach to fighting Al Qaeda. In little-noticed...
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US/Canada Border Increasingly Militarized
WINNIPEG - Famed for prowling the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, a remote-control Predator aircraft took flight over the wheat fields of South Dakota yesterday, the first in a network of surveillance drones that could soon patrol the American border with Canada from Maine to Washington state...
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Susan Sarandon Encourages Civil Disobedience For Capitol Climate Action
In a new video, actress/activist Susan Sarandon is asking the American public to help stop global warming by participating in Capitol Climate Action — the country’s largest show of civil disobedience about global warming in history.
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Civilian Casualties May Surge as Well
WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he is sending two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan, marking the start of what many believe will be an escalation that will ultimately see the U.S. forces there double. There are some 36,000 U.S. troops already in Afghanistan,...
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Wetlands Decline Along East, Gulf Coasts, Report Shows
WASHINGTON - A new U.S. government report Tuesday shows a high rate of decline in wetlands along the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, raising concerns about habitat for migratory birds and sea life as well as for humans, who also need wetlands as buffers from stormy seas.
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Watchdog: Bush FDA Decision Put Patients in Danger
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration put patients' lives at risk by halting enforcement of 30-year-old requirements that medical device makers meet federal laboratory standards prior to testing their products on humans, a watchdog group charges in a new report. The rules at issue cover...
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Secrecy and Denial: Pakistan Lets CIA Use Airbase to Strike Militants
The CIA is secretly using an airbase in southern Pakistan to launch the Predator drones that observe and attack al-Qaeda and Taleban militants on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan, a Times investigation has found. The Pakistani and US governments have repeatedly denied that...
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