News for 2009-10-08

Thursday, October 8, 2009
Maine Insurance Fight
CommonDreams.org board member Elizabeth Beane fights against Anthem BlueCross BlueShield's unfair rate increases.
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G8 States Could Face Class Actions on Climate Change
Antonio Oposa was speaking yesterday after a self-styled Asian Peoples' Climate Court in Bangkok predictably found the G8 guilty of "planetary malpractice" in violation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Organised by the Tcktcktck campaign, which has a team of young T-...
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Era of Cheap, Easy Oil is Over, Warns Study
The exact date of "peak oil" - when the amount of oil being pumped out of the ground every day reaches its highest point before beginning an inexorable decline - has been hotly debated for decades. Environmentalists have tended to warn oil could run out at any moment, while oil companies insist...
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Five Questions About the Wall Street Bailouts
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Bank Buster: Elizabeth Warren is Wall Street's Worst Nightmare
By her own reckoning, Elizabeth Warren had two transformative experiences on the way to becoming official Washington's most unconventional expert on the financial industry. Let's start with the second. It was 2003, and Warren, an earnest-sounding and ever enthusiastic Harvard law professor who...
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When Wall St. Calls, Geithner Answers
Even during his most frenzied days, when Congress is demanding answers or the president himself is calling, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner makes time to talk to a select group of powerful Wall Street bankers. They are a small cadre of businessmen who have known and worked with Geithner for...
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In Reversal of Bush Policy, EPA Launches New Study of Atrazine’s Health Effects
The Environmental Protection Agency today reversed its stance on the potential hazards of atrazine, one of the most commonly-used herbicides in the country, saying it will re-examine how the chemical affects human health.
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Liberals See Health Care Hero in Freshman Florida Lawmaker
WASHINGTON - Could a little-known freshman Democrat from a conservative-leaning Florida district be just what the doctor ordered for liberals wary of what they view as a timid president too ready to compromise on overhauling health care. A little more than a week ago, few Americans had heard of Rep...
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US Envoy Returns to Mideast Amid Little Hope
JERUSALEM - US Middle East envoy George Mitchell began a fresh trip to the region on Thursday aiming to push Israelis and Palestinians to agree to restart peace talks, but with few expecting a breakthrough. The former senator was to meet Israel's president and foreign and defence ministers on...
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Ex-Staffers Winning Defense Panel Pork, Study Finds
In the coming year's military spending bill, members of a House panel continue to steer lucrative defense contracts to companies represented by their former staffers, who in turn steer generous campaign donations to those lawmakers, a new analysis has found.
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Maine Same-Sex Marriage Measure: Prop. 8 Rerun
Maine is the latest battleground for same-sex marriage, with voters deciding next month whether to approve a measure overturning their state Legislature's decision in May to legalize such marriages. The campaign for the measure, known as Question 1, looks like a rerun of last year's Proposition 8...
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Democrats Disgruntled as Obama Fails to Deliver
WASHINGTON - Since before taking office, U.S. President Barack Obama has been no stranger to being in the crosshairs of Republican pundits who have accused him of everything from bring a "secret communist" to a tax-and-spend liberal who would oversee huge expansions in the federal government. But a...
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Thousands Stand in Line for Help Paying Bills in Detroit
Thousands of people swarmed Cobo Hall in chaos this morning trying to get applications for housing and utility payment assistance from the city of Detroit. People fainted, others fought as the Detroit Police Gang Unit tried to keep people in line --- some since last night --- and in check. "It's a...
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Heads or tails, Obama loses
WASHINGTON - On the eighth anniversary of the launch of United States military operations in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama spent a good part of Wednesday deliberating with his top advisers on what is likely to be one of the most momentous decisions of his tenure: the future of US involvement...
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Left Claims 218 Votes in Sight
Liberal told House Democrats that they have nearly enough votes to pass their preferred version of health insurance reform. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told a closed-door caucus meeting that the group's "whip count" showed it had 208 of the 218...
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Rich Nations Need to Ante-Up in Climate Talks: UN
BANGKOK - Poorer countries are helping shape a broader pact to fight climate change but their efforts are being stymied by rich nations' lack of commitment on finance and tougher emissions cuts, the U.N. said on Thursday. Funding to help poorer nations is a make-or-break issue in negotiations to...
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Lawmakers Agree to Holding Guantanamo Inmates in US
WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders agreed for the first time that Guantanamo detainees could be sent to US soil for trial, boosting President Barack Obama's bid to close the prison. In two different draft bills, key Democratic lawmakers added clauses that would authorize detainees at the US naval...
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“Return of the Warlords”: Afghan Elections Marred by Fraud, Warlord Dominance
Eight years after US and NATO forces toppled the Taliban, Afghanistan held its second major elections since 2001. But far from being a symbol of democracy, the August 20th elections have been marred by accusations of fraud and concerns over President Hamid Karzai's reliance on the support of...
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