News for 2009-05-26

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
"There's No Way I'm Going to Deploy to Afghanistan"
MARFA, Texas - "It's a matter of what I'm willing to live with," Specialist Victor Agosto of the U.S. Army, who is refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan, explained to IPS. "I'm not willing to participate in this occupation, knowing it is completely wrong." Agosto, who returned from a 13-month...
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Former Interrogator Rebukes Cheney for Torture Speech
Dick Cheney says that torturing detainees has saved American lives. That claim is patently false. Cheney's torture policy was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of American servicemen and women. Matthew Alexander was the senior military interrogator for the task force...
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California Upholds Gay Marriage Ban
The California Supreme Court has upheld Proposition 8 -- the controversial ballot question that banned same-sex marriage. At the same time, the ruling will allow about 18,000 same-sex couples already married, to retain the rights they attained during the brief six-month period that gay marriage was...
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State Dept. Has Few Who Speak Language of Area Where Taliban Operates
WASHINGTON - Complicating the Obama administration's plan to ramp up civilian aid to Pakistan and Afghanistan, the State Department employs just 18 foreign service officers who can speak the language of the region where the Taliban insurgency rages, according to records and interviews. Two of them...
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Pakistanis in Swat 'Face Catastrophe'; Clashes Spread
ISLAMABAD - Hundreds of thousands of Pakistani civilians trapped by an offensive against the Taliban in Swat face catastrophe, a rights group said on Tuesday, as fighting flared in another militant-plagued region. The offensive in the Taliban bastion of Swat, about 120 km (80 miles) northwest of...
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Michael Pollan on The Colbert Report
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Natural Gas Politics
Four years after Vice President Dick Cheney spearheaded a massive energy bill that exempted natural gas drilling from federal clean water laws, Congress is having second thoughts about the environmental dangers posed by the burgeoning industry.
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Shell on Trial: Oil Giant Faces Charges of Human Rights Abuses
Royal Dutch Shell will revisit one of the darkest periods of its history tomorrow as a potentially groundbreaking court case opens in New York. The oil giant stands accused of complicity in the 1995 execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian environmental activist. The world's boardrooms are watching...
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How a Greener City Gets Growing
As a regional "forager" for Whole Foods, Mark Smallwood spends much of his time making sure the green grocer stocks local food, usually from commercial farms. But if he has his way, some products will come from even closer: Baltimore's community gardens.
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Obama Chooses Sotomayor for Supreme Court Nominee
President Obama will nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as his first appointment to the court, officials said Tuesday, and has scheduled an announcement for 10:15 a.m. at the White House. Ms. Sotomayor, 54, will be the first Hispanic to serve...
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Drive for Sanctions Likely in Wake of North Korean Test
WASHINGTON - Sunday's underground nuclear test by North Korea drew strong condemnation here Monday from U.S. President Barack Obama who suggested that Washington will seek strong international sanctions by the U.N. Security Council and possibly impose tough unilateral measures of its own. According...
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Netanyahu: 'If Israel Doesn't Remove Iranian Threat, No One Will'
JERUSALEM - If Israel does not eliminate the Iranian threat, no one will, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday. "Israel is not like other countries," Netanyahu told his Likud faction in a meeting which came one week after his meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House. "We...
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