News for 2009-02-24

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Report Contradicts Gov't Claims of 'Humane' Detention
NEW YORK - A leading human rights organisation charges that contrary to recent U.S. government reports that found prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba being treated humanely, they are in fact "deteriorating at a rapid rate" due to "harsh conditions that continue to this day, despite a few cosmetic...
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Expert: Carbon Dioxide Emissions Could Last Millenniums
WASHINGTON - Until now, most discussion of climate change has been about what scientific evidence shows is likely to happen between now and 2100. However, scientific research shows that the carbon dioxide gas released from burning fossil fuels lasts in the atmosphere much longer than mere decades...
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Vilsack Adviser Predicts Vegetable Garden on White House Lawn by Summer
On the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth earlier this month, the Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and his staff at the department’s Washington headquarters broke out its shovels and “ broke pavement ” on a garden.
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No Quick Fix for Malnutrition and Hunger
ROME - Almost five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition every year in the developing world. Food aid - which mainly contains nutrient-poor carbohydrates - does little to address the absence of a diverse diet that would prevent the condition. Humanitarian relief organisation...
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Who's Minding Your Food? Surprise! It Depends
WASHINGTON - So, a guy walks into a restaurant. Who makes sure his food is safe? It depends on what he eats. A cheese pizza that arrived at the restaurant frozen? The Food and Drug Administration is in charge of inspecting it. A frozen pepperoni pizza? That's the Agriculture Department.
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Treasury Department's Bank Stress Test a Mystery
The Treasury Department has hinged a big part of its plans for the banking industry on a so-called stress test, but has revealed almost nothing about what the test might entail. The government's latest lifeline for major banks, announced Monday, has one main qualification: A bank has to essentially...
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Bill Moyers Journal: Troop Surge in Afghanistan
In this essay, Bill Moyers reflects on the recent commitment by Barack Obama to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan. Bill Moyers Journal airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). For more: http://www.pbs.org/billmoyers
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Climate Change Risk Underestimated: Study
WASHINGTON - The risk posed to mankind and the environment by even small changes in average global temperatures is much higher than believed even a few years ago, a study said Monday. Published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study updated a 2001 assessment by the Inter-...
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Veterans Advocates Riled by Report on Army charity
Veterans advocates are venting anger and frustration toward the biggest charity within the U.S. military after revelations that it has been packing more money into reserves than it has spent on aid during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We have so many soldiers, reservists and National Guard who...
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Administration Draws Fire for Report on Guantánamo
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon official who inspected the Guantánamo Bay prison at the behest of President Obama and declared its conditions humane described himself Monday as a "fresh set of eyes" who had been given free rein to go about his work. But detainees' lawyers and human rights groups...
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Farming Policy: An End to French Hypocrisy?
PARIS - fter 46 years of shovelling farm subsidies to its richer, more polluting farmers, France yesterday took a historic step towards a greener and fairer European agriculture policy. Paris announced that from next year it would confiscate over 20 per cent of the billions of euros of European...
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Climate Change Lays Waste to Spain's Glaciers
The Pyrenees mountains have lost almost 90% of their glacier ice over the past century, according to scientists who warn that global warning means they will disappear completely within a few decades. While glaciers covered 3,300 hectares of land on the mountain range that divides Spain and France...
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Health Spending Takes Rising Share of US Economy
WASHINGTON - Health spending will hit $2.5 trillion this year, devouring 17.6 percent of the economy, as the White House and Congress consider major changes to the healthcare system, U.S. government economists said on Tuesday. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, known as CMS, forecast...
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Doomsday Clock May Finally Stop Ticking
UNITED NATIONS - The Barack Obama administration's apparent resolve to take U.S. foreign policy in a new direction is creating ripples of hope for an enhanced U.N. agenda on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. Observers and diplomats who are due to take part in a major meeting to discuss...
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