News for 2009-03-25

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Pentagon Exploring Robot Killers That Can Fire on Their Own
WASHINGTON - The unmanned bombers that frequently cause unintended civilian casualties in Pakistan are a step toward an even more lethal generation of robotic hunters-killers that operate with limited, if any, human control. The Defense Department is financing studies of autonomous, or self-...
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Study: Range of Pharmaceuticals in Fish Across US
Fish caught near wastewater treatment plants serving five major U.S. cities had residues of pharmaceuticals in them, including medicines used to treat high cholesterol, allergies, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder and depression, researchers reported Wednesday. Findings from this first...
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Israel Accused of Indiscriminate Phosphorus Use in Gaza
Israel's military fired white phosphorus over crowded areas of Gaza repeatedly and indiscriminately in its three-week war, killing and injuring civilians and committing war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. In a 71-page report , the rights group said the repeated use of air-burst white...
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Despite Obama’s Vow, Combat Brigades Will Stay in Iraq
WASHINGTON - Despite President Barack Obama's statement at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina Feb. 27 that he had "chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months," a number of Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), which have been the basic U.S. Army combat unit in Iraq for six...
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The American Way of War
Part I: Obama is moving towards traditional Washington view of defense
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Obama Should Save the Banks, Not the Bankers
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Federal Judge Says No to Modified Crops on US Refuge Land
WASHINGTON - In a court case with potential impact in Missouri and across the country, a federal judge in Delaware ruled today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife should not have permitted farming with genetically modified crops on a national wildlife refuge. U.S. District Judge Gregory Sleet wrote...
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US Bill Seeks to Rescue Faltering Newspapers
WASHINGTON - With many U.S. newspapers struggling to survive, a Democratic senator on Tuesday introduced a bill to help them by allowing newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks. "This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or corporate media...
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Most Electronic Voting Isn't Secure, CIA Expert Says
WASHINGTON - The CIA, which has been monitoring foreign countries' use of electronic voting systems, has reported apparent vote-rigging schemes in Venezuela, Macedonia and Ukraine and a raft of concerns about the machines' vulnerability to tampering. Appearing last month before a U.S. Election...
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Urban League Asks Obama to Address Ongoing Inequalities
NEW YORK - President Barack Obama should specifically address disparities in black unemployment, foreclosures, education and health care, the National Urban League says in its annual "State of Black America" report. Despite the progress represented by the election of the first black U.S. president...
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Labor Agency Is Failing Workers, Report Says
The federal agency charged with enforcing minimum wage, overtime and many other labor laws is failing in that role, leaving millions of workers vulnerable, Congressional auditors have found. In a report scheduled to be released Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office found that the agency,...
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US Interior Chief Touts Renewable Energy Zones
WASHINGTON - The Obama Administration is carving out renewable energy zones across the country and offshore, and is preparing to work with critics who object to wind turbines or solar farms near wilderness or tourist areas, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Tuesday. "You have a map that starts...
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'Global War on Terror' Is Given New Name
The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase "global war on terror," a signature rhetorical legacy of its predecessor. In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department's office of security review noted that "this administration prefers to avoid...
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Amnesty International Lambastes US for Treatment of Immigrant Detainees
In a scathing report on the treatment of immigration detainees held in detention centers and more than 300 local facilities such as the Santa Clara County Jail, Amnesty International charges the federal government violates human rights by allowing tens of thousands of people to languish in custody...
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Obama Channeling Bush on State Secrets Claim
Civil liberties advocates are accusing the Obama administration of forsaking campaign rhetoric and adopting the same expansive arguments that his predecessor used to cloak some of the most sensitive intelligence-gathering programs of the Bush White House.
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