News for 2009-12-01

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
As Obama Sends More Troops, Giant Shadow Army Of Contractors Set To Grow In Afghanistan
With President Obama addressing the nation tonight about a new escalation in Afghanistan, a perennially underexamined topic is once again receiving short shrift: the huge force of contractors, which as of June outnumbered the size of the U.S. troop presence itself, is likely to swell.
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[field_image_caption-raw] The Campaign Cash Behind the Afghanistan Escalation
President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech to the nation tonight from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in which he's expected to announce he's sending up to 35,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
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Tree Plantations Are Not Forests, Women Activists Say
BUENOS AIRES - Touted as "harvested forests," single-crop tree plantations are fast encroaching on the native forests and grasslands of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, affecting the environment and the lives of local communities, rural women say. According to critics, corporations are logging...
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Democrats Campaign Against Obama's Afghan Plan
Even before President Obama formally announces his plan to surge more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Afghanistan, Democrats who want to win elections are campaigning against it. The next big election for Democrats is the Massachusetts primary organized to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the...
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Greens vs. Greens as Copenhagen Climate Summit Nears
NEW YORK - A phalanx of NYPD officers on foot and aboard several police vans surrounded the marchers as they walked up Sixth Avenue in the cold rain on Monday, at times pushing people off of the street and back on to the sidewalk. A group of roughly 30 climate activists, joined by award-winning...
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The Story of Cap & Trade: Why You Can't Solve A Problem with The Thinking That Created It
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Oil Companies Look to the Future in Iraq
BAGHDAD - More than six and a half years after the United States-led invasion here that many believed was about oil , the major oil companies are finally gaining access to Iraq 's petroleum reserves. But they are doing so at far less advantageous terms than they once envisioned.
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Europeans Could Save Planet for $3 a Day: Study
BRUSSELS - Europeans could help cut climate warming emissions to much safer levels for just 2 euros ($3) each per day, but they would also have to cut back on driving and meat eating, a report said Tuesday.
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Bhopal Water Still Toxic 25 Years After Deadly Gas Leak, Study Finds
Groundwater found near the site of the world's worst chemical industrial accident in Bhopal is still toxic and poisoning residents a quarter of a century after a gas leak there killed thousands, two studies have revealed. Delhi's Centre for Science and the Environment said that water found two...
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Movement to Ban Divorce Grows in California
Til death do us part? The vow would really hold true in California if a Sacramento Web designer gets his way. In a movement that seems ripped from the pages of Comedy Channel writers, John Marcotte wants to put a measure on the ballot next year to ban divorce in California. The effort is meant to...
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Iraq Inquiry: Blair Told Bush He Was Willing to Join, 11 Months Before War
Tony Blair made it clear to George Bush at a meeting in Texas 11 months before the Iraq invasion that he would be prepared to join the US in toppling Saddam Hussein, the inquiry into the war was told today. The prime minister repeatedly told the US president that British policy was to back United...
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Obama's Exceedingly Familiar Justifications for Escalation
In order to prepare Americans for Obama's Afghanistan escalation speech tonight at West Point (at least he's not wearing a fighter pilot costume), White House officials have been dispatched to speak to the media (anonymously, of course) to preview all of the new and exciting aspects of the...
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Obama to Unveil Escalation Plan
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Aetna Prepares for Loss of 600,000 Members as it Raises 2010 Prices
Back when it was the largest private health plan in the country, Aetna downsized its membership by millions but boosted profits during an overhaul of its business several years ago. Now it looks to be making a similar -- but smaller -- move with a planned price increase for many of its customers in...
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Victory Declared in Controversial Poll That was Already a Win-Win for Honduras's Wealthy Elite
Within hours of the polls closing the celebrations began. Cavalcades of honking cars raced up and down Boulevard Morazan. The Hotel Maya filled with cheering people in blue T-shirts. The media fell into paroxysms of delight. A wealthy rancher named Porfirio Lobo had just won Honduras 's...
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In Afghan Debate, Few Antiwar Op-Eds
The Obama administration, having increased the number of troops in Afghanistan by 21,000 in March, is engaged in a contentious internal discussion about whether to send an additional 40,000 more. There is growing anger over Afghan civilian deaths, and July and August were the deadliest months for U...
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Major Cities at Risk from Rising Sea Level Threat
Sea levels will rise by twice as much as previously predicted as a result of global warming, an important international study has concluded. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) calculated that if temperatures continued to increase at the present rate, by 2100 the sea level would...
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Discrimination Under Fire on World AIDS Day
PRETORIA - Calls for an end to discrimination against sufferers rang out on World AIDS Day on Tuesday as South Africa, the country worst affected by the pandemic, rolled out a new battleplan to beat the virus. With more than 33 million people round the world carrying the virus, China said the...
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