News for 2010-02-26

Friday, February 26, 2010
The Power of Local
The 2009 holiday season was a tough one for retail businesses. In November, their sales increased just 1.8 percent over low 2008 numbers-failing to keep pace with inflation. December was worse, with sales actually falling three tenths of a percent from 2008.
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As Obama Pushes “Clean Coal,” Jeff Biggers Tracks History of Destructive Mining in “Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland”
On the heels of President Obama’s major initiative to develop so-called clean coal technology, the journalist and cultural historian Jeff Biggers explores the myth of clean coal in a new book on the secret history of coal mining in Obama’s home state of Illinois. Jeff Biggers’ family has lived in...
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Healthcare Summit Ends in Deadlock; Single-Payer Advocates Excluded
After nearly seven hours of televised debate, President Obama’s so-called bipartisan healthcare summit ended Thursday without any substantive agreement between Republicans and Democrats. Republican lawmakers remained staunchly opposed to using the federal government to regulate health insurance. We...
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Death Penalty Phasing Out Worldwide
GENEVA - More than 1,000 activists and experts attending this week's Fourth World Congress Against the Death Penalty in this Swiss city are building a network of cooperation to support local organisations campaigning for human rights in countries that retain capital punishment. One-third of the...
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Obama Aides to Meet with Secular Coalition, Atheists on White House Grounds
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has burnished his Christian credentials, courted Jewish support and preached outreach toward Muslims. On Friday, his administration will host a group that fits none of the above: America's nonbelievers. The president isn't expected to make an appearance at the...
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Torture Ruling Passages Critical of MI5 are Restored
Damning court of appeal findings about the "dubious" involvement of security officials in the mistreatment of former Guantánamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed were made public today, thwarting government efforts to keep them secret. In a remarkable sequence of events, appeal court judges considering...
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Coffee Party Activists say Their Civic Brew's a Tastier Choice than Tea Party's
Furious at the tempest over the Tea Party -- the scattershot citizen uprising against big government and wild spending -- Annabel Park did what any American does when she feels her voice has been drowned out: She squeezed her anger into a Facebook status update.
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What Happened to Health Reform?
Donna Smith is a community-based journalist, organizer and legislative advocate for National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association and for the single-payer, Medicare for all reform. Dr Mandy Cohen is Executive Director of Doctors for America and a primary care physician. Prior to...
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The US Chamber of Commerce: A Record of Obstruction on Climate Action
In 1883, New York faced an environmental crisis. Water levels were falling in the state's rivers and canals, impeding travel and shipping. Scientists and editorial writers placed the blame on the logging and burning of the Adirondacks, which prevented the forests from exercising their usual...
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Attack in Kabul: Nowhere 'Immune from Conflict'
KABUL, Afghanistan - At least 18 people, many of them Indian nationals, were killed on Friday in suicide and car bomb attacks on two guesthouses popular with foreigners in the center of Kabul, police officials said. In a telephone interview, a Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the...
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Rains Threaten More Haiti Misery
The first heavy rains have hit Haiti since last month's devastating earthquake struck, swamping makeshift camps that house hundreds of thousands of homeless and raising fears of landslides and disease. The rains late on Thursday came as forecasters warned of a large storm heading in Haiti's...
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US Congress Extends Patriot Act without Privacy Improvements
WASHINGTON - US lawmakers voted to extend key parts of the Patriot Act law enacted after the September 11th attacks without adding privacy safeguards sought by the White House's Democratic allies. The US House of Representatives, following the Senate, voted 315-97 to renew the counter-terrorism...
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Profiting from the Inside? Friedmanism at the Fed
Ongoing Congressional investigations into the AIG bailout have put the incestuous and murky relationship between the Federal Reserve and Wall Street in the spotlight--and put Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Fed chair Ben Bernanke in the hot seat. Calls for Geithner's resignation regularly...
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