News for 2010-06-16

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Do Armed Contractors Belong in War Zones?
WASHINGTON - Should private contractors like Blackwater be allowed to continue to provide armed security for convoys, diplomatic and other personnel, and military bases and other facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq? A bipartisan U.S. Congressional commission will spend two days cross-examining 14...
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[field_image_caption-raw] WikiLeaks to Release Video of Deadly US Afghan Attack
The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks says it plans to release a secret military video of one of the deadliest US air strikes in Afghanistan in which scores of children are believed to have been killed.
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Massive Spill Forces Fossil Fuels Rethinking
Is it possible to energize our civilization without fear? Fear of oil spills and oil wars, fear of nuclear meltdowns and nuclear waste, fear of global warming and polluted air and water?
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School District Faces 'Nuclear Option' as Chicago Threatens Teacher Layoffs and 35-Student Classrooms
CHICAGO - Chicago School Board members Tuesday tackled their worst fiscal crisis since Mayor Daley's 1995 school takeover by granting school officials the power to raise class sizes to up to 35 students for the next two years. If Schools CEO Ron Huberman acts on that new power, he's sure to anger...
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A 'Nightmare Well' Now Everyone's Nightmare
WASHINGTON - Six days before the Deepwater Horizon explosion that broke the wellhead still gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a BP drilling engineer called it a "nightmare well." On April 14, drilling engineer Brian Morel e-mailed a colleague about the BP's options for securing the well with...
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Deficit Fear-Mongering Gets Results in US Senate as Unemployed Pay the Price
President Obama's urgent plea for more spending on the economy ran into the political buzz saw of the Senate on Tuesday, where Democratic leaders began chopping apart an aid package for unemployed workers and state governments in an effort to lessen its impact on the deficit.
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Dems Face Backlash over NRA Deal
House Democrats are facing a backlash from some liberal and government reform advocacy groups over an exemption for the National Rifle Association (NRA) that was added to a campaign finance bill. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the Sierra Club said Tuesday they will now oppose...
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[field_image_caption-raw] The Gulf and Our Oily Campaign-Finance System
As the BP oil spill continues to flood the Gulf of Mexico, I find myself asking if such an environmental catastrophe might constitute the sort of “creative destruction” that right-wing market fundamentalists love to cite when they defend “free markets” and capitalism.
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Prop. 8 Backers Target 18,000 Same-Sex Marriages
SAN FRANCISCO - As the trial over California's prohibition on same-sex marriage enters its final stage today, the ban's sponsors are urging the judge to go a step further and revoke state recognition of the marriages of 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who wed before voters passed Proposition 8. Such...
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Food Prices to Rise by Up to 40% Over Next Decade, UN Report Warns
Food prices are set to rise as much as 40% over the coming decade amid growing demand from emerging markets and for biofuel production, according to a United Nations report today which warns of rising hunger and food insecurity. Farm commodity prices have fallen from their record peaks of two years...
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Respect My Authoritah
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Obama Talks Tough On Oil Spill
President Obama did not quite go all Winston Churchill on BP. He did not say "we will fight them on the beaches..." That would have been a bit too much. But he did declare, in one of the most critical speeches of his presidency , that: "We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long...
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Marine Jailed for War Crimes Freed
WASHINGTON - A US marine convicted of war crimes in Iraq has been released from prison pending an appellate court's review of his case. Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins was sentenced to 11 years in prison for killing an Iraqi civilian in the town of Hamdania in 2006.
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