News for 2011-12-27

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
[field_image_caption-raw] Retirement: Ben Nelson's Christmas Gift to America
The Senate might hail itself as the “world’s greatest deliberative body,” but like all democratic institutions, it has had an incredibly mixed history, with moments of genuine achievement—the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for instance—tarnished by moments of cowardice and moral failure, like the Iraq...
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[field_image_caption-raw] Unlimited Presidential Fundraising: The Curse Of Steve Forbes
WASHINGTON - It all started with Steve Forbes. Up until 1996, there were practical restraints on fundraising for a presidential race. In the primaries, the Federal Election Commission provided matching funds to candidates if they stuck to spending limits, both per-state and overall. Any candidate...
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[field_image_caption-raw] Economic Downturn Took a Detour at Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON — When Representative Ed Pastor was first elected to Congress two decades ago, he was comfortably ensconced in the middle class. Mr. Pastor, a Democrat from Arizona, held $100,000 or so in savings accounts in the mid-1990s and had a retirement pension, but like many Americans, he also...
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[field_image_caption-raw] The Unsustainable Political Deficiencies of Environmentalism
RIO DE JANEIRO - The environmental movement won the ideological battle with the growth of awareness on climate change. Environmentalists are no longer seen as "loonies" or granola-eating hippies: the people seen as on the fringe" now are the climate skeptics who deny that global warming is caused...
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[field_image_caption-raw] Iran Threatens to Stop Gulf Oil If Sanctions Widened
TEHRAN - Iran threatened on Tuesday to stop the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz if foreign sanctions were imposed on its crude exports over its nuclear ambitions, a move that could trigger military conflict with economies dependent on Gulf oil. Western tensions with Iran have increased...
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[field_image_caption-raw] Book Examines America's Turn from Science, Warns of Danger for Democracy
WASHINGTON — Americans have trouble dealing with science, and one place that's especially obvious is in presidential campaigns, says Shawn Lawrence Otto, who tried, with limited success, to get the candidates to debate scientific questions in the 2008 presidential election.
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[field_image_caption-raw] As Winter Approaches, Congress Cuts Funds for Home Heating Help
Just days before the holiday season, the Obama administration released more than $800 million to states as part of a program to help low-income people pay their heating bills during the winter months. But the move comes as the program, known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP...
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[field_image_caption-raw] SOPA is the End of Us, say Bloggers
The conservative and liberal blogospheres are unifying behind opposition to Congress’s Stop Online Piracy Act, with right-leaning bloggers aruging their very existence could be wiped out if the anti-piracy bill passes.
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[field_image_caption-raw] 'People's Caucus' Hopes to Give 'Occupy' Nudge to 2012 Election
In the final week before the Iowa Caucases there will be much familiar chatter about the candidates and the dominant political parties, but even amid the non-stop chorus of pundits trying to make sense of a perplexing GOP field and any one candidate's ability to take on Obama next fall, there is...
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[field_image_caption-raw] Secret Paper Reveals EU Broadside Over Plight of Israel's Arabs
A growing gulf between Israel's Jewish and Arab communities is highlighted in a critical EU paper which breaks new ground by suggesting that the international community has a role in ensuring "genuinely equal treatment" for the country's Arab minority.
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[field_image_caption-raw] 'Secret' Environment Canada Presentation Warns of Oilsands' Impact on Habitat
Contamination of a major western Canadian river basin from oilsands operations is a "high-profile concern" for downstream communities and wildlife, says a newly-released "secret" presentation prepared last spring by Environment Canada that highlighted numerous warnings about the industry's growing...
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[field_image_caption-raw] No Time Left to Adapt to Melting Glaciers
UXBRIDGE, Canada - The water supplied by the glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca, vital to a huge region of northwest Peru, is decreasing 20 years sooner than expected, according to a new study. Water flows from the region's melting glaciers have already peaked and are in decline, Michel Baraer, a...
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[title] Robot Wars
Over the past decade, the US military has shifted the way it fights its wars, deploying more unmanned systems in the battlefield than ever before.
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[field_image_caption-raw] Afghan Refugee Strategy A ‘Big Mistake’: UNHCR
KABUL -- The head of the UN refugee program in Afghanistan on Tuesday described its strategy in the war-wracked country since 2002 as the “biggest mistake UNHCR ever made”. Almost a quarter of the population of Afghanistan is made up of refugees returning from Pakistan and Iran. Many find...
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