News for 2009-11-24

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Insurance Industry Antitrust Fight Headed to Conference Committee
The insurance industry successfully fought off a Senate threat to revoke its antitrust exemption as part of health care reform, but the issue lives to fight one more battle in the conference committee negotiations that will take place between the two chambers. The issue surfaced in mid-October,...
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Tar Sands Blow
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Afghan Army Turnover Rate Threatens US War Plans
WASHINGTON - One in every four combat soldiers quit the Afghan National Army (ANA) during the year ending in September, published data by the U.S. Defense Department and the Inspector General for Reconstruction in Afghanistan reveals. That high rate of turnover in the ANA, driven by extremely high...
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Obama Administration Urged to Join Mine Ban Treaty
WASHINGTON - U.S. acceptance of a treaty banning landmines is "long, long overdue" and President Barack Obama should use a 10-year review this weekend to announce plans to join the accord, anti-landmines campaigners said on Monday. The treaty, which went into force on March 1, 1999, bans the use,...
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Which Side Are You On? Organizing Labor in America
Unemployment is up, Wall Street is reporting record profits, the health care debate is dragging on, and Americans are angry. There's no doubt about the anger, anyway. But it hasn't translated thus far into any increased agitation for labor. Workers are getting squeezed from all sides-more work,...
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Critics Dismiss Honduran Election -- Even Before First Vote Has Been Cast
TEGUCIGALPA -- While unemployment and crime are high and schools are at a standstill, Hondurans' focus when they go to the polls Sunday will be on settling a crippling political crisis that has consumed the Central American country since June. Whoever wins the presidency inherits a political mess...
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Health Bill Revives Abortion Groups
WASHINGTON - Lobbying over abortion was turning into a sleepy business. But the health care debate has brought a new boom, and both sides are exploiting it with fund-raising appeals. "The reaction has been phenomenal, like a match dropped on dry kindling," said Cecile Richards, president of the...
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Cabot Oil and Gas Faces Lawsuit in Marcellus Shale Drilling
Of all the towns that have been subjected to drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania since the opening up of the Marcellus Shale, none have suffered more than Dimock. In just over a year several drinking water wells have been contaminated (one of which exploded on New Years Day, ripping through an...
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Lou Dobbs Mulls White House Bid
Former CNN host Lou Dobbs fueled already rampant speculation about his political future Monday, sending the clearest signals yet that he's mulling a bid for president - and leaving third-party political operatives salivating over the possibility of a celebrity recruit for the 2012 campaign.
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Activists Target 'World of Coca-Cola'
ATLANTA, Georgia - Activists from the U.S. and Colombia are targeting the World of Coca-Cola museum, located near its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, accusing the company of "union busting", paying its workers "poverty wages", and engaging in environmentally destructive practices.
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On Trial: System That Locks Children up for Life Without Hope of Freedom
NEW YORK - Of all the issues being considered by the Supreme Court this winter, none is more emotionally charged than life sentences for teenagers. The justices must decide whether sending minors to prison without any possibility of parole is a "cruel and unusual punishment" prohibited by the...
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Iraq War Inquiry Opens in UK
A public inquiry into the UK's role in the Iraq war has opened in London, with former civil servants first to appear in hearings that will climax with Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, taking the stand. One-time senior officials from the foreign and defence ministries will outline...
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Mankind Using Earth's Resources at Alarming Rate
WASHINGTON - Humanity would need five Earths to produce the resources needed if everyone lived as profligately as Americans, according to a report issued Tuesday. As it is, humanity each year uses resources equivalent to nearly one-and-a-half Earths to meet its needs, said the report by Global...
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[title] Bishop Bans Kennedy from Communion
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Oil Sands Threaten Our Survival, Al Gore Warns
Extracting oil from Alberta's tar sands jeopardizes the survival of our species, says Al Gore. "Gas from the tar sands gives a Prius the same carbon footprint as a Hummer," the former U.S. vice-president told the Star in an interview prior to a Toronto speaking engagement scheduled for Tuesday...
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Déjà Vu: Obama Plans to Send 34,000 More Troops to Afghanistan
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama met Monday evening with his national security team to finalize a plan to dispatch some 34,000 additional U.S. troops over the next year to what he's called "a war of necessity" in Afghanistan, U.S. officials told McClatchy. Obama is expected to announce his long-...
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