News for 2009-oct-19

Thursday, December 31, 2009
US Judge Dismisses All Charges in Blackwater Iraq Killings
WASHINGTON - A federal judge dismissed manslaughter charges Thursday against five Blackwater security guards in the 2007 deaths of Iraqi civilians in a Baghad square, finding that prosecutors wrongly used the men's own statements against them. The September 2007 shootout in Baghdad's Nusoor Square...
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US Plots Retaliatory Strikes Against al-Qaida in Yemen over Plane Bomber
The US is planning retaliatory strikes in Yemen against al-Qaida over its attempt to blow up a transatlantic flight on Christmas Day.
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Canada's House of Commons Shut Down, Opposition Furious
OTTAWA - Furious opposition MPs accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of muzzling the House of Commons after he moved for the second time in a little more than a year to suspend Parliament. Mired in controversy over an alleged cover-up on the torture of Afghan prisoners and eager to increase the...
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Let Gaza Live: US Rally Lights Vigils for Palestine
H undreds of demonstrators have gathered in Washington calling for an end to Israel's blockade on Gaza. It comes after the first anniversary of the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas.
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Single-Payer’s Last Stand?
The Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus in Congress with 82 members--it dwarfs the often-hyped Blue Dog Democrats with its 52 yapping pups. Yet the CPC has struggled to get the respect and attention it has strived for--prior to this Congress, it seemed like the mainstream media wouldn't...
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International Activists Protest Against Gaza Siege
Activists, both from Gaza and abroad, have held demonstrations on either side of an Israeli border crossing to the Palestinian territory, protesting against its continued siege by Israel. Hundreds of protesters gathered around the Erez crossing on Thursday, to denounce the blockade that has caused...
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New Stage of Resistance in Iran
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Niger Delta Farmers Welcome Shell Court Ruling
Shell Nigeria has to appear before a Dutch judge to account for the contamination of agricultural land in Nigeria, according the district court in The Hague. The four Nigerian farmers and Friends of the Earth Netherlands, or Milieudefensie, who instituted the proceedings, say they are pleased with...
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Obama: Digging Out or Digging Deeper?
WASHINGTON - As 2009 draws to a close, the big question here is whether President Barack Obama is succeeding in digging out of the hole - international as well as financial - that he inherited from George W. Bush or digging deeper into it. The answers to that question are both varied and decidedly...
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Threats to Yemen Prove America Hasn't Learned the Lesson of History
We are the Awaleq Born of bitterness We are the sparks of hell He who defies us will be burned This is the tribal chant of the powerful Awaleq tribe of Yemen, in which they bid defiance to the world. Its angry tone conveys the flavour of Yemeni life and it should give pause to those in the US who...
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Hansen: Carbon Offsets Modern Equivalent of Medieval 'Indulgences'
The following is excerpted from James Hansen's " Storms of My Grandchildren ," the climate scientist's new book about what is needed to stop global warming.
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Afghan Panel Says U.S. Strike Killed 8 Schoolboys
KABUL, Afghanistan -- An Afghan presidential delegation looking into reports that up to 10 civilians were accidentally killed by U.S. troops earlier this week said today that it had so far confirmed at least eight deaths -- all schoolboys ages 12 to 17. That contradicts initial findings by the NATO...
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Christmas Presents for Bankers
As 2009 comes to a close, we take a look at the state of the U.S. economy with economist dean Baker and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. “After throwing the economy into the worst downturn since the Great Depression and bringing the whole sector to the edge of collapse, the financial industry has used...
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Israeli War on Gaza: New Year Reopens Wounds of the Old
GAZA CITY - For many survivors of the last Israeli war on Gaza, time has not healed their wounds, physical or emotional. Amal Samouni, 10, still suffers vision problems in her right eye. The shrapnel remaining in her head causes her constant pain and she is unable to concentrate at school. Her...
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Obama Quietly Changes U.S. Immigration Policy
SAN FRANCISCO - The Obama administration quietly announced last week that it would overturn one of the harsh immigration enforcement measures enacted by the Bush administration following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
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Glowing Walls Could Kill Off the Light Bulb
Light-emitting wallpaper may begin to replace light bulbs from 2012, according to a government body that supports low-carbon technology. A chemical coating on the walls will illuminate all parts of the room with an even glow, which mimics sunlight and avoids the shadows and glare of conventional...
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Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower Under House Arrest
Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 years in prison after he revealed Israel's secret nuclear program, has been placed under house arrest pending criminal charges for allegedly breaching the terms of his 2004 release, which includes a ban on contacts with foreigners. A police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld...
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Four Anti-Mountaintop Removal Activists Arrested at Home
Iran is not the only place where government agencies are trying to (marginally) disrupt people advocating for change.
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Future of Global Climate Talks Remain Unclear
Climate change and the future of talks on the issue will be one of the biggest political issues facing the world in 2010. At the UN summit in Copenhagen earlier this month, more than a 100 heads of state brokered a watered down deal on cutting carbon emissions, a move one delegate described as a "...
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Freedom March: Activists Reject Egypt's Gaza Offer
Members of an international group gathered in Cairo to protest against the siege of Gaza have rejected an Egyptian offer to allow 100 of them entry into the Palestinian territory. Organizers of the Gaza Freedom March (GFM), which is comprised of 1,300 people from 42 different countries, declined...
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Hoekstra, DeMint Exploit Botched Plane Bombing
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Solar Could Generate 15% of Power by 2020, If US Ends Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Solar power technologies could generate 15 percent of America's power in 10 years, but only if Washington levels the playing field on subsidies, a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) says. That means either rolling back fossil fuel subsidies, as President Obama proposed earlier...
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Kill the Bill or Support Passage? A Discussion on Healthcare Legislation Between Insurance Industry Critics
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The Cash Committee: How Wall Street Wins On The Hill
The question was simple: Should the lending practices of auto dealers be regulated? It was already October and the 42 Democrats and 29 Republicans on the House Committee on Financial Services had spent the better part of the year hashing out the details of a new federal agency dedicated to...
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Majority Of Tea Party Group's Spending Went To GOP Firm That Created It
The political action committee behind the Tea Party Express (TPE) -- which already has been slammed as inauthentic and corporate-controlled by rival factions in the Tea Party movement -- directed almost two thirds of its spending during a recent reporting period back to the Republican consulting...
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Safety Fears for Hmong after Thai Expulsion
BANGKOK - Human rights activists and diplomats voiced fears Tuesday for the fate of thousands of ethnic Hmong asylum seekers, including children, expelled by Thailand to its communist neighbour Laos. The Thai army said it completed the deportation of more than more than 4,000 Hmong on Monday,...
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Senator DeMint Uses Botched Bombing to Attack Organized Labor
WASHINGTON — An attempt to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day would be all-consuming for the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration — if there were one. The post remains vacant because Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has held up President Barack...
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Aborted Bombing Puts Yemen in the Limelight
WASHINGTON - The attempted Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. airliner by a Nigerian allegedly associated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has propelled long-neglected Yemen into the media spotlight here. The attempt, which was foiled by alert passengers who subdued the alleged bomber, 23...
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Escalated Afghan War Brings Escalated Civilian Death
KABUL — Civilian deaths in Afghanistan rose more than 10 percent in the first 10 months of 2009, UN figures showed Tuesday, amid anger over the alleged killing of children in a Western military operation. Figures released to AFP by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) put civilian...
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Egypt Blocks US Activists' March
Egyptian security forces have attempted to prevent dozens of US activists from reaching their embassy in Cairo. Hoping to ask the American ambassador for help in reaching the Gaza Strip, riot police surrounded 41 US citizens and one Egyptian on Tuesday and blocked their progress.
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Terrorists are Not Supermen: Ackerman Takes on Buchanan, Engel on Morning Joe
This was fun. Thanks to MSNBC for the invite, and to the Morning Joe guest hosts for such a long and, I thought, substantive segment. My one regret is that my makeup doesn’t make me look as orange as a Jersey Shore cast member. Also, I thought Richard Engel did a very good job of arguing for a...
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Federal Appeals Court Sets Limits on Police Use of Tasers
A federal appeals court on Monday issued one of the most comprehensive rulings yet limiting police use of Tasers against low-level offenders who seem to pose little threat and may be mentally ill. In a case out of San Diego County, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals criticized an officer who,...
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Palestinians Condemn Planned Jerusalem Settler Homes
RAMALLAH, West Bank – The Western-backed Palestinian Authority on Monday condemned Israeli plans to build new homes for settlers in east Jerusalem and said they were incompatible with peace efforts. "The Palestinian Authority strongly condemns the new decision to build in east Jerusalem and wonders...
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[field_image_caption-raw] Canada Successfully Destroys Parody Websites
The government of Canada has used strong-arm tactics to shut down two parody websites criticizing Canada's poor environmental policy, taking down 4500 other websites in the process.
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Monday, December 28, 2009
Gaza Aid Convoy to Change Course
Organisers of Viva Palestina aid convoy, which is trying to reach the Gaza Strip, have now agreed to go via Syria en route to Egypt. The agreement came after a Turkish mediator reached a deal with the Egyptian consul in Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba. The convoy will now head to the Syrian port of...
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Joe Lieberman: How About Another War?
WASHINGTON - Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who began openly and aggressively angling for a war with Iraq just weeks after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, is using the thwarted Christmas Day attack on a Northwest Airlines flight as an excuse to open a new...
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US Intelligence Found Iran Nuke Document Was Forged
WASHINGTON - U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a "neutron initiator" for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central...
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Despite Disappointment, Climate Summit Marks High Point for Activist Movement
Media audiences across the world took notice as Copenhagen police arrested hundreds of activists at the peak of the United Nations climate conference that ended last Saturday. The variety of non-violent actions, from candlelight vigils to hunger strikes, as well as the sheer size of the...
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'Afghan Civilians Killed' in US/Nato Military Operations; School Children Among Dead
KABUL – Ten civilians, mostly school children, have been killed during Western military operations in eastern Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai's office said Monday, citing "initial reports". Karzai condemned the killings, which his statement said took place in Kunar province, which borders...
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A Message to World Leaders from Global Youth
Following the failure and collapse of the 2009 Copenhagen UN climate summit, the international youth climate movement has the following message for world leaders: "You're not done yet. And neither are we." (h/t RaceWire)
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Chris Hedges: Gaza - A Call to Act
Chris Hedges spoke at An Emergency Town Hall Meeting at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on January 13, 2008. Sponsored by Revoluton Books in New York City.
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Awaiting Gaza March, Holocaust Survivor Stages Hunger Strike
CAIRO — An 85-year-old Holocaust survivor was among a group of grandmothers who began a hunger strike in Cairo on Monday to protest against Egypt's refusal to allow a Gaza solidarity march to proceed. American activist Hedy Epstein and other grandmothers participating in the Gaza Freedom March...
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House Backers of Public Insurance Option May Yield
WASHINGTON - Some House Democrats who favor a government insurance plan, a central element of health care legislation passed in their chamber, acknowledged Sunday that it might have to be sacrificed as negotiators work out a final agreement with the Senate. Representative James Clyburn of South...
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The Climate Lobby from Soup to Nuts
WASHINGTON - The next round of the battle over climate change policy on Capitol Hill will involve more than the usual suspects. Way more. Watch soup makers face off against steel companies. Witness the folks who pump gas from the ground fight back against those who dig up rock. And watch the...
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Iran Cracks Down on Opponents after Deadly Protests
TEHRAN – Iran's government cracked down on its opponents Monday, websites said, arresting two outspoken critics as well as several aides to main opposition leaders after eight people died in fierce clashes in Tehran. Opposition website Rahesabz said that Ebrahim Yazdi, who served as foreign...
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US Widens Terror War to Yemen
The United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against the Al-Qaeda terror network in Yemen, according to The New York Times newspaper. A year ago, the Central Intelligence Agency sent a number of its top field operatives with counter-terrorism experience to the country, the...
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Sunday, December 27, 2009
Kucinich: Generals Who Spoke Publicly on Afghan Strategy Should Lose Jobs
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) this week said that U.S. generals who spoke publicly about the nation's Afghan strategy during the president's deliberations should lose their jobs. Kucinich, who is known for his anti-war views, told Russia Today in an interview Wednesday that Congress should be...
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Mousavi Nephew Among Several Dead in Iran Clashes: Reports
TEHRAN - A reformist website said a nephew of Iranian opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi was killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in Tehran on Sunday. Earlier, the opposition Jaras website said four people had been killed in a second day of violence in Tehran during a Shi'ite...
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New Gas Wells Leave More Chemicals in Ground
For more than a decade the energy industry has steadfastly argued before courts, Congress and the public that the federal law protecting drinking water should not be applied to hydraulic fracturing, the industrial process that is essential to extracting the nation’s vast natural gas reserves. In...
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Poet, Anti-Apartheid Activist Dennis Brutus Dies
NEW YORK -- South African poet and former political prisoner Dennis Brutus, who fought apartheid in words and deeds and remained an activist well after the fall of his country's racist system, has died. He was 85. Brutus' publisher, Chicago-based Haymarket Books, said the writer died in his sleep...
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Senate Democrats to W.H.: Drop Cap-and-Trade
Bruised by the health care debate and worried about what 2010 will bring, moderate Senate Democrats are urging the White House to give up now on any effort to pass a cap-and-trade bill next year. “I am communicating that in every way I know how,” says Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), one of at least...
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Gazans Mark Anniversary of War
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are marking one year since the start of Israel's 22-day offensive on the territory, which left hundreds dead and damaged millions of dollars worth of infrastructure. Hamas officials held a ceremony on Sunday outside the destroyed Palestinian Legislative Council...
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2009: End of an Error? Looking Back at the Year That Was
It's the end of 2009. We're still in two wars, Guantanamo is not yet closed, and the jobless numbers are still sky-high. What happened to all the optimism we started the year with? There have been bright spots and not-so-bright spots, nasty political fights and moments of progress.
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Saturday, December 26, 2009
Africa: Drying, Drying, Disappearing…
ROME - Lake Chad was bigger than Israel less than 50 years ago. Today its surface area is les than a tenth of its earlier size, amid forecasts the lake could disappear altogether within 20 years. Climate change and overuse have put one of Africa's mightiest lakes in mortal danger, and the...
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Activist Sows Seeds for Farm Co-Op
The Mo' Green Town proposal by New York City activist Majora Carter just might hit the sweet spot in Detroit urban agriculture. Carter visited Detroit recently to talk up her plan to create a worker-owned urban agriculture cooperative venture. By pooling the efforts of numerous small growers in...
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Civilian, Military Planners Have Different Views on New Approach to Afghanistan
Two days before announcing the deployment of additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, President Obama informed Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal that he was not granting McChrystal's request to double the size of the Afghan army and police. Cost was a factor, as were questions about whether the capacity...
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Generics Chafe Under Big Pharma's Reform Shadow
WASHINGTON - The massive U.S. Senate healthcare reform measure passed on Thursday with support from the multibillion drug industry, but makers of cheaper generic rivals are feeling left out in the cold. Generic drugmakers face several obstacles in the bill backed by Democrats that they worry will...
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FDA Slams Nestle Over Juicy Juice, BOOST Claims
Food giant Nestle got some early lumps of coal from the Food and Drug and Administration. Two letters warn the company its health claims on some beverages are against the law. A box of Juicy Juice. "100% Juice" labels on juice boxes like this one are being questioned by the FDA. (Darren McCollester...
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Israeli Troops Kill 6 in West Bank, Gaza
NABLUS, West Bank - Israeli troops killed six Palestinians on Saturday in two separate operations, including a raid in the West Bank targeting members of president Mahmud Abbas' Fatah movement. The incursion in the northern West Bank town of Nablus saw dozens of Israeli jeeps surround three houses...
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Friday, December 25, 2009
Greenpeace Will Keep Up Pressure on Global Warming
JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Greenpeace will keep up the pressure on leaders it believes let the world down on global warming, the head of the international environmental group said Thursday. Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace's executive director, spoke in an Associated Press interview in Johannesburg on a visit to...
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US Promises Unlimited Financial Assistance to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
The Obama administration pledged Thursday to provide unlimited financial assistance to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an eleventh-hour move that allows the government to exceed the current $400 billion cap on emergency aid without seeking permission from a bailout-weary Congress. The...
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Celebrities Oppose US Government Plan to Move 25,000 Mustangs East
Federal officials claim mustang numbers are growing so rapidly that there could be mass starvation due to a shortage of forage in the drought-plagued region. Having rejected a mass cull, Ken Salazar, the US Interior Secretary, favours a plan to move thousands of wild horses and burros, or feral...
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Thursday, December 24, 2009
Bessie Jones and Pete Seeger: "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and "Children, Go Where I Send Thee"
Bessie Jones and the children from the New York City Downtown Community School on Rainbow Quest with Pete Seeger.
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The Work of Congress
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Lee, Woolsey Push for Public Option
On the eve of a historic health care vote in the Senate, liberal Democrats in the House have launched a full-throated defense of the public option — a sign of battles to come when party leaders try to meld the two bills.
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Declaring War on Yemen? Assassinations, Air Strikes, and Al Qaeda
SANAA, YEMEN -- Yemeni forces killed at least 30 suspected militants in an air strike early Thursday morning on an alleged al-Qaeda hide-out in southeastern Yemen, the second such assault in the past week, according to Yemeni security and government sources. The strike appeared to target the home...
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Senate Health Bill Passes; US Senate Fails
Today’s vote in the Senate to pass their health care reform bill was a big win for many people. It was a big win for the drug companies, the biologics industry, the hospital companies, and the for-profit health insurance corporations. They will all get billions of government dollars piled on to...
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Plants and Animals Race for Survival as Climate Change Creeps Across the Globe
Global warming creeps across the world at a speed of a quarter of a mile each year, according to a new study that highlights the problems that rising temperatures pose to plants and animals. Species that can tolerate only a narrow range of temperatures will need to move as quickly if they are to...
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The Rational Case For 'Kill The Bill'
Over the past week, the media has trained its myopic eye on those in the progressive community who, having seen that the health care reform plan emerging from the legislative process will fall well short of providing all Americans with affordable health care, are urging that the bill be killed. The...
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Is Making People Buy Health Insurance Constitutional?
Is it constitutional for the federal government to force people to buy health insurance from private companies? Conservatives argue it isn't and that the health-care overhaul proposal being pushed through the Senate this week is fundamentally flawed because it contains a mandate that everyone have...
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How Filibusters Are Strangling the Senate
The Senate filibuster has turned what some have called the "greatest deliberative body" into a place where passing the simplest bill takes days or weeks and a major bill like health reform ends up in a month-long slog of round the clock and weekend sessions and a final vote on Christmas Eve. Far...
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Obama Could Solve The Gitmo Closure Problem; Try Suspects In Civilian Court, Or Release
Charlie Savage’s story about difficulties with closing Guantanamo is depressing, especially in describing how the issue has become fodder for political fights in Congress. Rebuffed this month by skeptical lawmakers when it sought finances to buy a prison in rural Illinois, the Obama administration...
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Environmental Activist Jeff "Free" Luers Speaks Out in First Interview After 9.5 Years Behind Bars
In June 2001, Jeff “Free” Luers was sentenced to twenty-three years and eight months in prison. His crime? Setting fire to three vehicles in a car dealership to protest global warming. No one was hurt in the fire. In 2007, the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned Jeff’s sentence and reduced it to ten...
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Poll: Public Opposes Afghanistan War - And Favors Sending More Troops
A new CNN poll finds a curious result: Overlapping majorities of Americans oppose the Afghanistan War and favor President Obama's decision to send more troops there. Respondents were asked: "Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Afghanistan?" Here the answer is that only 43% favor the war, and 55...
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In Russia, Foreboding About America's War in Afghanistan
MOSCOW - Thirty years ago this week, the Red Army began its invasion of Afghanistan, a move that sank the Soviet Union in a decade of guerrilla war and hastened the collapse of the Cold War empire. Today, as former Soviet soldiers watch American troops trying to pacify the same stretches of Afghan...
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William K. Black on Corporate Darwinism: 'If You Cheat, You Make A Lot of Money.'
"If you cheat, you make a lot of money." So says William K. Black, a former senior deputy chief counsel at the federal Office of Thrift Supervision. Black is an expert on the shady dealings of banks and corporations. David Heath of the Huffington Post interviewed him for this report.
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Climate Change Deniers Without Borders
Writing two weeks ago in Poland's most popular tabloid, the Super Express , an economic analyst named Tomasz Teluk claimed that a potential climate agreement in Copenhagen might double Poles' electricity bills, hobble his coal-dependent country, and even lead to one-world government.
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With Health Care Bill All but Passed, Time for Backroom Deals
WASHINGTON - With Senate passage of health-care legislation now virtually certain, Washington lawmakers and interest groups are scrambling to influence one of Congress' most mysterious but most powerful institutions - the conference committee. The Senate is expected to pass its version of the $871...
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Where Have You Gone Bill Moyers? Bush Institute to Have PBS Show
The George W. Bush Institute -- the "action- oriented think tank" that is part of Bush's Presidential Center -- will co-produce a public television show hosted by its executive director, Ambassador James Glassman, in a rare convergence of public broadcasting and a partisan research organization.
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AIG Executives' Promises to Return Bonuses Have Gone Largely Unfulfilled
When word spread earlier this year that American International Group had paid more than $165 million in retention bonuses at the division that had precipitated the company's downfall, outrage erupted, with employees getting death threats and President Obama urging that every legal avenue be pursued...
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Guantanamo 'Hell on Earth', says Somali Detainee
HARGEISA, Somalia - A Somali just home from eight years in the US jail at Guantanamo Bay told AFP the prison was "hell on Earth", and alleged torture there had scarred some of his fellow inmates. Mohamed Saleban Bare, who arrived in his hometown of Hargeisa on Saturday, said he was innocent of any...
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Nation’s Largest RN Organization Says Healthcare Bill Cedes Too Much to Insurance Industry
The 150,000 member National Nurses United, the nation's largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in the U.S., today criticized the healthcare bill now advancing in the U.S. Senate saying it is deeply flawed and grants too much power to the giant insurers.
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[field_image_caption-raw] Broken Promises Follow Tennessee Coal Ash Disaster
It was one year ago today that a 60-foot-tall dam broke at holding pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston power plant in Roane County, Tenn., dumping more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash onto a nearby community and into the Clinch and Emory rivers.
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Pro-Single-Payer Physicians Call for Defeat of Senate Health Bill
WASHINGTON - A national organization of 17,000 physicians who favor a single-payer health care system called on the U.S. Senate today to defeat the health care legislation presently before it and to immediately consider the adoption of an expanded and improved Medicare-for-All program. While noting...
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Gaza March Puts Spotlight on Civilian Suffering
UNITED NATIONS - More than 50,000 people are expected to take to the streets of Gaza on Dec. 31 for a mass march designed to send a message to the United States, a key supporter of Israel's army, that the situation in Gaza violates international human rights laws. The idea behind the "Gaza Freedom...
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World Has Betrayed Gaza Civilians: Rights Groups
JERUSALEM - The world has "betrayed" civilians in the Gaza Strip by failing to end a blockade of the Hamas-run enclave, 16 rights groups, including Amnesty International and Oxfam, said Tuesday. "The international community has betrayed the people of Gaza by failing to back their words with...
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Leading Climate Scientist James Hansen on Why He’s Pleased the Copenhagen Summit Failed, 'Cap and Fade,' Climategate and More
We speak with the nation’s leading climate scientist, James Hansen. He wasn’t at the Copenhagen climate summit and explains why he thinks it’s ultimately better for the planet that the talks collapsed. We also speak with with Dr. Hansen about his new book, “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth of...
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Murder of Gay Rights Activist Shows Another Honduras Crisis
Walter Tróchez spent a lot time at Honduras police stations and morgues: he was the HIV-positive gay activist who got the call every time a transgender sex worker was murdered on the streets of Honduras. His phone rang often. Human rights advocates say up to 18 gay and transgender men have been...
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US Warns Japan over Relocation of Futenma Airbase
The US yesterday told Japan the planned relocation of a US marine airbase and thousands of troops based on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa was not up for negotiation in a further sign of growing tensions over the future of the US military footprint in east Asia. Reports said the US...
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Union Sues LA School District over Charter Plan
LOS ANGELES-A teachers union has sued the Los Angeles Unified School District over a plan to allow a new campus to be run as a charter school. The lawsuit was filed Monday by United Teachers Los Angeles on behalf of a group of instructors at the chronically overcrowded Garfield High School. The...
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Israeli Repression Wave Targets Activists
In recent months, since the public push for The Goldstone Report, Israeli authorities have intensified their repression of activists on both sides of the segregation wall. Though Israel tries Palestinians and Israelis under separate legal systems, with the former being prosecuted in a military...
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Obama: Public Option Too 'Symbolic'
President Obama told American Urban Radio Networks's April Ryan Monday that he stayed up to watch the Senate's early-morning vote on a health care bill and said he's confident Congress can work out the "five percent" difference between the House and Senate bills. "I was up because I wanted to make...
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Yasuni Park Trust Fund Will Keep Ecuador's Oil Underground
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Ecuador's initiative to protect the climate and the rainforest of Yasuni National Park by leaving its largest oil reserve in the ground will be supported by a new multi-donor trust fund to offset lost oil revenue, Ecuadorian and United Nations officials announced last week in...
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States' Jobless Funds are Being Drained in Recession
The recession's jobless toll is draining unemployment-compensation funds so fast that according to federal projections, 40 state programs will go broke within two years and need $90 billion in loans to keep issuing the benefit checks. The shortfalls are putting pressure on governments to either...
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Pork Greased Reform's Passage
The multimillion-dollar deals cut with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and others to win the 60 votes needed for the historic health care reform bill gave President Barack Obama the margin he needed to fulfill a central campaign promise — but may also have upped the ante for future presidential horse...
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Monday, December 21, 2009
Senate Health Care Bill Built on Obama’s Broken Promises
Ezra Klein is trying to make the absurd claim that this Senate bill closely resembles Obama's campaign promises on health care reform : The health-care bill that looks likely to clear the Senate this week is not very close to the health-care bill most liberals want. But it is very close to the...
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Blocking of Aid Worsened 2009 Humanitarian Crises, Group Says
The withholding of government aid to trapped civilians in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Sudan contributed to the worst humanitarian emergencies of 2009, a medical group said today. Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) also pointed to a fall in funding for the treatment of diseases such as sleeping sickness and...
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EPA, USDA Push Farmers to Use Coal Waste on Fields
INDIANAPOLIS - The federal government is encouraging farmers to spread a chalky waste from coal-fired power plants on their fields to loosen and fertilize soil even as it considers regulating coal wastes for the first time. The material is produced by power plant "scrubbers" that remove acid rain...
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Media As Establishment
Joe Lieberman hijacked news coverage for a while this week, but it was Howard Dean's defense of real health care reform that inspired White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to a snarling personal response. Ben Bernanke was anointed Time's Person of the Year despite a hold on his renomination and...
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The Nelson 'Compromise': What It Will Cost Women
The weeks-long soap opera of finding 60 votes for the Senate health reform bill came to an end yesterday when Democrats "compromised" with Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) on language regarding abortion coverage. After catering first to Senator Joe Lieberman, (Ind-CT), by removing both the public option...
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