News for 2009-12-09

Wednesday, December 9, 2009
US General: Afghan Violence to Rise
The military situation in Afghanistan is "likely to get harder before it gets easier", a top-ranking US general has warned, saying violence in the country will rise in the short-term. General David Petraeus, who executed the US-led Iraq surge in 2007, told Senate Foreign Relations Committee on...
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US Youth Crash Climate-Denier Live Webcast in Copenhagen
COPENHAGEN - Fifty young Americans took over a climate denier conference hosted by a prominent conservative organization this evening in Copenhagen, rushing the stage and telling the live TV audience that a clean energy future is the real road to prosperity in America.
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Hopenhagen? No, Thanks: Naomi Klein on COP15
Naomi Klein, author, activist, and columnist for The Nation, tells The UpTake's Jacob Wheeler what she thinks of Obama's language of hope permeating the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen. In short: The action and funds it would take to make a real difference are not even on the...
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Obama Launches Freedom of Information Initiative
NEW YOR - Advocates for greater freedom of information are expressing approval of the Obama administration's new 'Open Government Directive' - but some are sounding cautionary notes that executive agencies are still hiding behind "national security" to conceal government misconduct.
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Afghanistan’s 'Bravest Woman' Pins Hopes on USA, Not Obama
Malalai Joya has been called "Afghanistan's bravest woman." When the Taliban ruled her country, she braved death, running an underground girls school. When the US military overthrew the Taliban she ran for parliament. But that doesn't mean she's a supporter of the U.S. military, or President Obama'...
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People Speak Tells Extraordinary Works of 'Ordinary People'
For many people, history class was a lesson in keeping one's eyes open. Or as writer Anthony Arnove puts it: "It was rote recitation of facts, military battles, great people elevated in society... It had nothing to do with me and my experience."
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Senate Dems Ditch the Public Option
When President Obama spoke to members of Congress the other day about the need to enact health-care reform he conveniently forgot to mention the public option. Senate Democrats got the message. Their negotiators struck a tentative agreement Tuesday night to eliminate the "public option" -- the...
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US to Pay $3.4bn to Settle Native Americans Land Case
The US government has agreed to pay $3.4bn (£2.1bn) to settle a long-running case over Native American land. The Cobell case, filed in 1996, alleged the government had mismanaged billions of dollars in income from natural resources on Native American land. Under the deal the interior department...
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For the Feds, Some Wall Street Firms Are Too Big — to Punish
WASHINGTON - Forget too big to fail. In the eyes of federal regulators, many Wall Street firms are too big to punish. During the past three years, some of the nation's largest financial firms have been accused by the government of cheating or misleading clients and ripping off tens of thousands of...
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Danish Police Raid Copenhagen Climate Campaigners' Rooms
COPENHAGEN - Danish police last night raided a climate campaigners' accommodation centre in Copenhagen, detaining 200 activists and seizing items which they claimed could be used for acts of civil disobedience. About 200 police arrived at the shelter on Ragnhild Street, in the Nørrebro district of...
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Climate Change: Local Leaders Ahead of the World
The Copenhagen climate conference this week focuses on creating a new global pact as a successor to the Kyoto Accord. But the U.S. never ratified the treaty, and Congress is still lagging behind on passing legislation to deal with global warming.
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G77 says Danish Climate Text 'Threatens Success' of UN Talks
COPENHAGEN - A Danish draft proposal for a political agreement "threatens the success" of UN climate talks in Copenhagen, the head of the G77 group of countries said Tuesday at the summit aimed at sealing a historic deal on cutting carbon emissions. The text, which has not been officially released...
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Mercosur Leaders, Venezuela Reject Honduras election
MONTEVIDEO - Leaders of five key South American countries vowed Tuesday not to recognize last month's presidential election results in Honduras, which they condemned as "illegal." The presidents of the four permanent members of the Mercosur trade bloc -- Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay --...
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No Slowdown of Global Warming, Agency Says
COPENHAGEN - The decade of 2000 to 2009 appears to be the warmest one in the modern record, the World Meteorological Organization reported in a new analysis on Tuesday. The announcement is likely to be viewed as a rejoinder to a renewed challenge from skeptics to the scientific evidence for global...
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