News for 2009-02-25

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
New Rule Enacted by Bush Administration Impedes Cases Against Nursing Homes
The Bush administration shut off a source of information last fall about abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities that people suing nursing homes consider crucial to their cases. The change, which affects the $144 billion nursing-home industry, was enacted with no public notice or attention...
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Uncle Sam Bank Not Open for Bank Business, Yet
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK - Just as Wall Street was coming to grips with the notion that bank nationalization might be inevitable, U.S. officials have come out strongly against an idea that strikes at the heart of America's capitalist model. This does not mean the banks will escape Uncle Sam's grip. Many...
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New Report Shows Explosive Growth in Climate Change Lobby
The number of lobbyists seeking to influence federal policy on climate change has grown more than 300 percent in five years, according to a new report by the Center for Public Integrity.
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Afghanistan's Complex Nature of Fighting
The US is fighting against many fragmented groups along Afghanistan's north-eastern border. Many of them fight under the Taliban leadership, but are not themselves Taliban. Whether the US can continue to deal with the Taliban as one entity remains to be seen. Al Jazeera's Hamish McDonald reports.
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Kathleen Merrigan, Developer of Organic Regs, Chosen as No. 2 at the USDA
President Barack Obama has chosen Kathleen Merrigan, a professor who worked on the original organic labeling rules under the Clinton administration, as the No. 2 at the Department of Agriculture. Merrigan, now a professor at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, led...
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Iraqi Police Shoot Dead Four US Soldiers: Ministry
BAGHDAD - Iraqi policemen shot dead four US soldiers and their local interpreter in the main northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, an interior ministry official said. "Four US soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter were killed by two Iraqi policemen who opened fire at them in the Dawasa district of (...
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Guantanamo Abuse Has Worsened Since Obama: Lawyer
LONDON - Abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has worsened sharply since President Barack Obama took office as prison guards "get their kicks in" before the camp is closed, according to a lawyer who represents detainees. Abuses began to pick up in December after Obama was elected, human rights...
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Scientists Find Bigger than Expected Polar Ice Melt
GENEVA - Icecaps around the North and South Poles are melting faster and in a more widespread manner than expected, raising sea levels and fuelling climate change, a major scientific survey showed Wednesday. The International Polar Year survey found that warming in the Antarctic is "much more...
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Many Plans to Curtail Use of Plastic Bags, but Not Much Action
SEATTLE - Last summer, city officials here became the first in the nation to approve a fee on paper and plastic shopping bags in many retail stores. The 20-cent charge was intended to reduce pollution by encouraging reusable bags. But a petition drive financed by the plastic-bag industry delayed...
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UK Gov't Accused of Cover-Up over Iraq War Minutes
LONDON - The government said Tuesday it would veto publication of minutes from ministerial discussions about the legality of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, immediately drawing accusations of a cover-up. Anti-war campaigners believe the minutes may conceal damaging information about how then prime...
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It's Not Universal Health Care, but…
To the casual listener, President Barack Obama's promises on health care Tuesday may have sounded like an unequivocal vow to get all Americans health insurance coverage by the end of 2009. But in reality, that's not exactly what he pledged Tuesday night. Obama stressed the importance of "quality,...
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Climate Change Timetable Slips as Obama Backtracks on 2008 Deadline
Barack Obama has been forced to slow down early legislation to reduce the CO² emissions that cause global warming, a key green objective of his presidency. Officials conceded that Congress is unlikely to pass such legislation by the end of 2009, a delay that could hurt efforts to reach a global...
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