News

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
MIDEAST: When the Occupation Gets Really Filthy
BETHLEHEM - In the orange glow of another sunset, Awad Abu Swai, 36, stands underneath a towering fig tree, a sample of its fruit in his hand. He peels back the bright green skin to expose crimson jelly and seeds inside. "The Israeli military came inside the valley and cut about 50 apricot and...
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Group Finds China Toy Factory Conditions 'Brutal'
HONG KONG -- A U.S.-based workers' rights group said it found "brutal conditions" and labor violations at eight Chinese plants that make toys for big multinationals, and called on the companies to take steps for better standards. China Labor Watch said in a report issued on Tuesday after several...
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Efforts to Crack Down on Lead Paint Thwarted by China, Bush Administration
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration and China have both undermined efforts to tighten rules designed to ensure that lead paint isn't used in toys, bibs, jewelry and other children's products. Both have fought efforts to better police imported toys from China. Now both are under increased scrutiny...
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Iraq War Resisters to Get Boost from Veterans Group
SAINT LOUIS - Members of a leading Iraq war veterans' organization voted this weekend to launch a campaign encouraging U.S. troops to refuse to fight. The decision was made at the group's annual membership meeting, held this weekend in Saint Louis, Missouri alongside the annual convention of the...
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Israel Deports Sudanese Refugees
JERUSALEM - ISRAEL has begun deporting refugees from the massacres in the Sudanese region of Darfur despite claims that the legacy of the Holocaust imposes a special responsibility on the Jewish state to protect fugitives from genocide. On Saturday, for the first time Israel deported African...
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Senate Acts, Bureaucrats Stall on FOIA Requests
Just days after the Senate unanimously passed the OPEN Government Act, a new report asserts that information grants from federal agencies to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) solicitations remain infrequent and limited. "There's always been a tendency for agencies to look at information as their...
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White House Acts to Limit Health Plan for Children
The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children's Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families. Administration...
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Monday, August 20, 2007
US Lawmakers Get No Respite at Home on Iraq Debate
WASHINGTON - Anti-war groups knew U.S. Rep. Timothy Murphy was going home to Pittsburgh for this month's congressional recess, so they baked him a cake. "Rep. Murphy Welcome Home Bring Them Home," was the Iraq troop withdrawal message written in green icing that greeted the conservative Republican...
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ACLU Report Says Few Cities Have Policies on Video Surveillance
Dozens of California cities have begun using video surveillance to fight crime, but few have enacted policies to regulate their cameras and none has comprehensively studied whether the cameras are effective, the American Civil Liberties Union says in a report being released today. The 19-page...
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US Media Curtail Iraq War Coverage: Study
WASHINGTON - U.S. media reporting of the war in Iraq fell sharply in the second quarter of 2007, largely due to a drop in coverage of the Washington-based policy debate, a study released Monday said. Taken together, the war's three major story lines -- the U.S. policy debate, events in Iraq and...
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Protestors Rage Against North America Summit
OTTAWA - A meeting of US, Canada and Mexico leaders on Monday and Tuesday has attracted "an eclectic group" of demonstrators united in opposition to further integration of North America. Hundreds of anti-globalization protestors, environmentalists, peaceniks, and civil rights groups joined to taunt...
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MIDEAST: US Arms Create New Divisions
CAIRO - Last month, Washington approved massive military-aid packages and arms sales to its Arab allies, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and a number of smaller Gulf States. But while U.S. officials say the deals aim to bolster the "forces of moderation" in the region, some local commentators see the...
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US Foreign Policy Experts Oppose Bush's Surge
WASHINGTON -- More than half of top U.S. foreign policy experts oppose President George W. Bush's troop increase as a strategy for stabilizing Baghdad, saying the plan has harmed U.S. national security, according to a new survey. As Congress and the White House await the September release of a key...
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Psychologists Oppose Torture Yet Vote to Attend Terror Interrogations
After a raucous debate about what role - if any - psychologists should play in U.S. government interrogations of terror suspects, the American Psychological Association voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to reject a measure that would have in effect banned its members from those interrogations. Instead...
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Heathrow Protest Reaches its Climax as Peaceful Protest Turns to Clashes with Riot Police
Geoff Lamb had to shout to be heard over the ever-present drone of the police helicopter yesterday afternoon. The 63-year-old former petro-physicist had worked for more than 40 years in the oil industry, but yesterday he was marching next to a banner that read: "It's your great-grandchildren's...
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Sunday, August 19, 2007
Plastic Car Will Be World's Cheapest
THE narrow, pot-holed roads of this boomtown on India's southwestern coast are a sea of humanity on wheels. Here, as in most of India, right of way is accorded by a vehicle's size - motorcycles stop for cars, cars stop for trucks, trucks stop for buses, and buses stop for cows. So, in a country...
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Getting Cold to Spread Global Warming Message
Hundreds of people posed naked on Switzerland's shrinking Aletsch glacier today for US photographer Spencer Tunick as part of a Greenpeace campaign to raise awareness of global warming. Tunick, perched on a ladder and using a megaphone, directed nearly 600 volunteers from all over Europe and...
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Commerce, Treasury Funds Helped Boost GOP Campaigns
WASHINGTON -- Top Commerce and Treasury Departments officials appeared with Republican candidates and doled out millions in federal money in battleground congressional districts and states after receiving White House political briefings detailing GOP election strategy. Political appointees in the...
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Americans are Flocking to a Hi-Tech Creation Museum Where Man and Dinosaurs Frolic Happily Together
Dinosaurs of all kinds abound here, from the stegosaurus silhouettes rearing atop the iron gates as you first reach the parking lot to the numerous and impressively convincing animatronic pterosaurs wagging their giant tails and chewing plastic cud inside. At America's newest public museum...
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US Castoffs Resuming Dirty Career
TURNERS FALLS, Massachusetts -- Some townspeople in this 19th-century mill village on the Connecticut River celebrated when workers began tearing down a shuttered coal-fired power plant this year. First, they dismantled the towering boiler. In June, the smokestack that belched hundreds of thousands...
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Military Commanders Tell Brown to Withdraw from Iraq Without Delay
Senior military commanders have told the Government that Britain can achieve "nothing more" in south-east Iraq, and that the 5,500 British troops still deployed there should move towards withdrawal without further delay. Last month Gordon Brown said after meeting George Bush at Camp David that the...
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Saturday, August 18, 2007
Slain Civil Rights Worker's Mother Dies
NEW YORK - Carolyn Goodman, the mother of one of three civil rights workers killed by the Ku Klux Klan in the "Mississippi Burning" case, died Friday. She was 91. Goodman, who lived to see a Klan leader convicted in her son's death two years ago, died at her Manhattan home, her son Jonathan said...
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Singapore and Iraq - Contrasts in Water Management
STOCKHOLM - As the world faces new threats of water scarcity, triggered by phenomena like global warming and bioenergy demands, Singapore and Iraq have been singled out as two political extremes in water management. Singapore, the tiny city-state of 4.5 million people, has been touted as a...
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US Actions Against Iran Raise War Risk, Many Fear
WASHINGTON - As President Bush escalates the United States' confrontation with Iran across a broad front, U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East are growing worried that the steps will achieve little, but will undercut diplomacy and increase the chances of war. In the latest step, Bush and...
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Padilla Case Offers a New Model of Terrorism Trial
There were two perfectly predictable schools of thought being expressed after the conviction of Jose Padilla on Thursday on terrorism-related charges. Supporters of the Bush administration said the conviction justified the more than three years Mr. Padilla spent in military detention before his...
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Hot Weather Forces Partial Shutdown of TVA Nuclear Plant
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - One reactor at a north Alabama nuclear plant was idle Friday and two others operated at reduced power because of the record-breaking heat wave, an outage that an industry watchdog said could be a sign of trouble for nuclear energy in a warming climate. The Tennessee Valley...
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Peace Camp Stresses Unity in Diversity
MILL CREEK, Wash. - Before Mill Creek resident Tony Mattar attended Seattle's Middle East Peace Camp for Children, he felt removed from his Egyptian-Palestinian heritage. He often saw himself as just another suburban kid. "I didn't have the passion," Mattar said. But now, "I want to get the word...
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Subtle Songs of Protest Hit a High Note
The Dixie Chicks nearly lost their careers after bad-mouthing President Bush on the eve of the war in Iraq, but today there is a surge in protest songs by popular artists. They're not just penned by the people you'd expect to be topical, such as Neil Young or Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine...
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Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to Record Low
WASHINGTON - There was less sea ice in the Arctic on Friday than ever before on record, and the melting is continuing, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported. "Today is a historic day," said Mark Serreze, a senior research scientist at the center. "This is the least sea ice we've ever seen...
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Friday, August 17, 2007
Couple Arrested at Bush Rally Settles Lawsuit for $80,000
The federal government has agreed to pay $80,000 to a Texas couple arrested for wearing anti-President Bush T-shirts at a 2004 event with the president in Charleston. Jeff and Nicole Rank went to Bush's Fourth of July speech at the state Capitol wearing homemade T-shirts with a red circle with a...
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US Paid $1 Million to Ship Two 19-Cent Washers
The U.S. Defense Department said on Thursday that a flawed system designed to rush supplies to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan let a small-parts supplier improperly collect $998,798.38 to ship two 19-cent washers. Loopholes in the automated purchasing system have been fixed and the ill-gotten gains...
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US Democrats Slam 'Political Spin' over Iraq Report
WASHINGTON - Anti-war Democrats on Thursday accused President George W. Bush of plotting to lace a potentially pivotal report on his Iraq troop surge strategy with "White House spin." The attack came as senior congressional aides were reported as saying the White House wanted to block public...
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Climate Change: Deniers Jump on NASA Gaff, While Greenland on Verge of Meltdown
TORONTO - Scientists warn that climate change tipping points are imminent, and will lead to potentially catastrophic events like a seven-metre sea level rise. Meanwhile, conservatives in the North American media are focusing on a NASA admission of a climate calculation error. First the error. U.S...
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Russia's Flag-Planting Ignites Calls for US to Join Sea Treaty
COPENHAGEN - As Russia and certain other countries appear keen to explore natural resources in the seabed of the Arctic north, proponents of sustainable development are urging the United States to join global efforts to promote the responsible use of marine life and resources. "As a non-member of...
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US Food Aid is 'Wrecking' Africa, Claims Charity
WASHINGTON - Critics of US food aid subsidies say they help cause obesity among Americans and starvation among Africans. Now Care, one of the world's biggest charities, has announced that it will boycott the controversial policy of selling tons of heavily subsidised US produced food in African...
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Media Critic Solomon Pushes Limits of Fair-Use in New Documentary
The new documentary " War Made Easy " isn't just a searing critique of how administrations over the past 40 years have manipulated the media to build support for war. The 72-minute film is a media provocation itself - a challenge to federal copyright laws. Based on a 2005 book by Bay Area media...
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Thursday, August 16, 2007
Backlash Over Book on Policy for Israel
" The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy " is not even in bookstores, but already anxieties have surfaced about the backlash it is stirring, with several institutions backing away from holding events with the authors. John J. Mearsheimer, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, and...
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An Early Clash Over Iraq Report
Senior congressional aides said yesterday that the White House has proposed limiting the much-anticipated appearance on Capitol Hill next month of Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker to a private congressional briefing, suggesting instead that the Bush administration's progress...
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DOD Stops Plan to Send Christian Video Game to Troops in Iraq
Plans by a Christian group to send an evangelical video game to U.S. troops in Iraq were abruptly halted yesterday by the Department of Defense after ABC News inquired about the program. Operation Start Up (OSU) Tour, an evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among soldiers,...
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US Defends Surveillance to 3 Skeptical Judges
SAN FRANCISCO - Three federal appeals court judges hearing challenges to the National Security Agency's surveillance programs appeared skeptical of and sometimes hostile to the Bush administration's central argument Wednesday: that national security concerns require that the lawsuits be dismissed...
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Mounties, CIA Implicated in Arar Torture Scandal
VANCOUVER - The Canadian government released on Aug. 9 previously redacted information regarding the Maher Arar torture scandal, in response to a Canadian court order. The government had argued that the information should be withheld due to "national security" concerns. The new information directly...
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ACLU: Patriot Act, Free Speech Clash
Congress does not have the power to demand silence from people forced to turn over electronic communications such as Internet records used to investigate terrorism, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer argued Wednesday. During oral arguments in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, ACLU lawyer...
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Iran's Revolutionary Guards Scoff At US Blacklist Plan
TEHRAN - Iran's Revolutionary Guards Thursday dismissed US plans to list the elite force as a terror group in order to strangle its growing economic power, warning that its "iron will" would not be deterred. A US official revealed on Wednesday that President George W. Bush was set to issue an...
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Cancer Panel Attacks US Food Subsidies
WASHINGTON - A new presidential report on cancer takes on not only tobacco companies but the food industry while calling on the federal government to "cease being a purveyor of unhealthy foods" and switch to policies that encourage Americans to eat vegetables and exercise. The report, issued on...
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Death Toll From Iraq Bombings Likely To Be Worst of War
BAGHDAD - Officials said Wednesday that as many as 500 people probably died in a series of coordinated truck bombings that devastated two northern Iraqi villages Tuesday and set a record for mass carnage in war-torn Iraq. Residents and rescue workers in Tal al Azizziyah and Sheikh Khadar, two...
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007
A Nation's Brutal Approach to Punishment
The persistence of the death penalty is only one way in which the United States stands out from the rest of the Western world on crime and punishment. It also has the highest incarceration rate of any country, with more than two million people behind bars. (China, second in the rankings, has an...
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Higher Standards of Living May Be Behind Europe's Height Advantage
Pundits often opine that America's stature is declining on the global stage. It turns out that Americans - literally - are not standing as tall, compared with the rest of the world, as they used to. U.S. adults lost their position as the tallest people on Earth to the Dutch, who average about 2...
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Most California Voters Want to Pull US Troops out of Iraq, Field Poll Shows
SAN FRANCISCO - Californians want Congress to move swiftly to end the Iraq war, with nearly 6 in 10 state voters saying lawmakers should set a deadline to start withdrawing U.S. troops by spring, according to a Field Poll released today. The poll also found new signs that even President Bush's base...
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Bush's Lethal Legacy: More Executions
The Bush administration is preparing to speed up the executions of criminals who are on death row across the United States, in effect, cutting out several layers of appeals in the federal courts so that prisoners can be "fast-tracked" to their deaths. With less than 18 months to go to secure a...
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Scientists Warn Arctic Sea Ice is Melting At Its Fastest Rate Since Records Began
The sea ice of the Arctic will melt further and faster than at any time since records began nearly 30 years ago, according to the latest data collected by a satellite survey of the polar region. Scientists warned yesterday that the sea ice is already approaching the record minimum set in September...
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We've Been Neglected and Let Down Say Combat Troops
The government is failing in its historic duty of care towards frontline troops who put their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan, forces charities and campaigners claim.There is growing anger in the service community that the Military Covenant, which says soldiers should always be able to...
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World Faces New Threats of Water Scarcity
STOCKHOLM - The world is on the verge of "a new and more serious era of water scarcity" than ever before, is the ominous warning coming out of an international water conference here. The physical availability of water is being endangered by a rash of new threats, including climate change, increase...
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US Tags Iran for Casualties from Its Own Attacks
WASHINGTON - When a top U.S. commander in Iraq reported last week that attacks by Shiite militias with links to Iran had risen to 73 percent of all July attacks that had killed or wounded U.S. forces in Baghdad, he claimed it was because of an effort by Iran to oust the United States from Iraq,...
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Fired US Attorneys: Were There Others?
Could the U.S. Attorneys firing scandal be bigger than Americans know? For months, the Bush administration has declined to directly answer a key question posed by Congress: were more top federal prosecutors targeted for dismissal beyond the nine that have been publicly identified? In a new letter...
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US Weighing Terrorist Label for Iran Guards
WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 - The Bush administration is preparing to declare that Iran 's Revolutionary Guard Corps is a foreign terrorist organization, senior administration officials said Tuesday. If imposed, the declaration would signal a more confrontational turn in the administration's approach to...
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007
U.N. Web Site Hacked With Anti-War Post
UNITED NATIONS - Computer hackers posted an anti-war message on the U.N.'s official Web site, claiming that U.S. and Israeli policies in the Middle East were taking innocent lives, the United Nations said. The first attack on a U.N. Web page reserved for statements from U.N. Secretary-General Ban...
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Prices for Key Foods Are Rising Sharply
MIDLAND, Va. - The Labor Department's most recent inflation data showed that U.S. food prices rose by 4.1 percent for the 12 months ending in June, but a deeper look at the numbers reveals that the price of milk, eggs and other essentials in the American diet are actually rising by double digits...
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Resolved: Public Corporations Shall Take Us Seriously
The ring tone on Sister Patricia Daly's cellphone is the "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel's "Messiah," which makes every call sound as if it's coming from God. On the particular May afternoon, however, David Henry, who handles investor relations for the ExxonMobil Corporation, was on the line. Henry...
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Gonzales Could Get Say in States' Executions
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department is putting the final touches on regulations that could give Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales important new sway over death penalty cases in California and other states, including the power to shorten the time that death row inmates have to appeal convictions to...
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Study: Half of Nation's Poor Don't Get Food Stamps
WASHINGTON - Half of the nation's eligible poor aren't getting the food stamps to which they're entitled, a study released Tuesday found. The District of Columbia had the highest participation rate in 2004, at 71.8 percent, while Missouri ranked first among the 50 states in getting food stamps to...
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Wolfowitz 'Tried to Censor World Bank on Climate Change'
LOS ANGELES - The Bush administration has consistently thwarted efforts by the World Bank to include global warming in its calculations when considering whether to approve major investments in industry and infrastructure, according to documents made public through a watchdog yesterday. On one...
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Monday, August 13, 2007
US 'Surge' in Iraq 'Likely to Fail': British Lawmakers
LONDON -- The US "surge" of troops in Iraq is likely to fail, a British parliamentary committee said Monday as it delivered a critical report on London's foreign policy in the Middle East. "It is too early to provide a definitive assessment of the US 'surge' but it does not look likely succeed,"...
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Heathrow Eco-Protesters Steal a March on Police
Planes thundering overhead every 55 seconds, just 400 meters away, a motorway even closer and hundreds of police officers to watch over you as your pitch your tent in an old thistle field. It's not everyone's idea of a good campsite. But for aviation activists setting up an instant eco-village at...
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Code Pink: Hungry for End to War, Activists Set Up Camp
Marghi Dutton is 90 and losing her eyesight, but nothing was going to stop her from trekking to midspan of the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday with the anti-war group Code Pink: Women for Peace . She joined a crowd of about 100 demonstrators dressed in hot pink hats, shirts and scarves and fought the...
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US Tumbles Down the World Ratings List for Life Expectancy
A combination of expensive health insurance and an ever-increasing rate of obesity appear to be behind a startling fall by the US in the world rankings of life expectancy. Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, America has dropped from 11th to 42nd place in 20 years, according to...
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Bush's Political Guru Karl Rove to Resign at End of Month
WASHINGTON -- Top White House adviser Karl Rove, who has often been called George W. Bush's political guru and linked to the most controversial decisions of his presidency, said in an interview published Monday that he will resign at the end of this month. The White House confirmed his impending...
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Sunday, August 12, 2007
US Doles Out Millions For Street Cameras
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security is funneling millions of dollars to local governments nationwide for purchasing high-tech video camera networks, accelerating the rise of a "surveillance society" in which the sense of freedom that stems from being anonymous in public will be lost,...
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Suddenly, the Hunt Is On for Cage-Free Eggs
The toy industry had its Tickle Me Elmo, the automakers the Prius and technology its iPhone. Now, the food world has its latest have-to-have-it product: the cage-free egg. The eggs, from chickens raised in large, open barns instead of stacks of small wire cages, have become the latest addition to...
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Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years
DES MOINES, Aug. 11 - Even as they call for an end to the war and pledge to bring the troops home, the Democratic presidential candidates are setting out positions that could leave the United States engaged in Iraq for years. John Edwards , the former North Carolina senator, would keep troops in...
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People in 41 Nations Are Living Longer Than Americans
WASHINGTON -- Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries. For decades, the United States has been slipping in rankings of life expectancy, as other countries improve healthcare, nutrition and lifestyles. Countries that surpass the United States include...
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At World Bank, Climate Change Isn't Part of The Equation
WASHINGTON -- At the World Bank -- heavily influenced by its largest shareholder, the United States -- the effect of projects on climate change is not even calculated. Bank environment officials pressed to account for emissions in the mid- to late-'90s and again in an unpublished paper in 2002, and...
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Fatigue Cripples US Army In Iraq
Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis Lieutenant Clay Hanna looks sick and white. Like his...
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Saturday, August 11, 2007
American Bar Association Criticizes Bush Terror Policies
SAN FRANCISCO - President Bush's recent order on CIA interrogations of terror suspects should be overturned because it still allows harsh treatment in violation of international treaties, two American Bar Association committees say. The CIA should follow the same rigorous standards adopted by the...
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Police To Use Terror Laws On Heathrow Climate Protesters
Armed police will use anti-terrorism powers to "deal robustly" with climate change protesters at Heathrow next week, as confrontations threaten to bring major delays to the already overstretched airport. Up to 1,800 extra officers will be drafted in to prevent an estimated 1,500 people disrupting...
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Guantánamo Man's Family Release 'Torture' Dossier
A British resident held by the US as an alleged terrorist has claimed his captors repeatedly tortured him, subjecting him to beatings, sexual abuse and threats of execution. Omar Deghayes, 37, is one of five British residents who the United Kingdom government last week asked the US to release from...
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Bush, Congress Could Collide On Iran
WASHINGTON - Taking military action against Iran could put President Bush on a collision course with Congress, leading Democrats and a Republican lawmaker cautioned Friday following Bush's threat of unspecified consequences for alleged Iranian meddling in Iraq. It's been the consensus for months...
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Bush War Adviser Says Draft Worth a Look
WASHINGTON (AP) - Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to a military draft , President Bush's new war adviser said Friday. "I think it makes sense to certainly consider it," Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute...
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Friday, August 10, 2007
The Crisis Under The Ice
Any lingering doubts about how ill-prepared we are to face up to the reality of climate change should have been laid to rest this month when two Russian mini-submarines dove two miles under the Arctic ice to plant a Russian flag made of titanium on the seabed. The government of Vladimir V. Putin...
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Analysts See 'Simply Incredible' Shrinking of Floating Ice in the Arctic
The area of floating ice in the Arctic has shrunk more this summer than in any other summer since satellite tracking began in 1979, and it has reached that record point a month before the annual ice pullback typically peaks, experts said yesterday. The cause is probably a mix of natural...
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Anbar "Turnaround" Undercuts War Rationale
WASHINGTON, Aug 9 (IPS) - In hailing what he has called an "almost breathtaking" turnaround in Anbar Province that has weakened al Qaeda as a triumph for his new military strategy in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus has put a favourable spin on a development which actually challenges the central rationale...
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Cheney Urging Strikes On Iran
WASHINGTON - President Bush charged Thursday that Iran continues to arm and train insurgents who are killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and he threatened action if that continues. At a news conference Thursday, Bush said Iran had been warned of unspecified consequences if it continued its alleged...
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Canadian Military Keeping Tabs on Peace Activists?
VANCOUVER - Steven Staples, a prominent Canadian peace activist, is accusing the Canadian military of subtle surveillance after the military sent an officer to take notes on him at a conference at Dalhousie University in 2006.The story came to light a few weeks ago after freedom of information...
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Thursday, August 9, 2007
States Feel Left Out Of Disaster Planning
A decision by the Bush administration to rewrite in secret the nation's emergency response blueprint has angered state and local emergency officials, who worry that Washington is repeating a series of mistakes that contributed to its bungled response to Hurricane Katrina nearly two years ago. State...
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Study: Outlook Bleaker for Migrants
WASHINGTON - Migrants from Mexico and Central America are finding it harder to get jobs and are living under a dramatically increased sense of siege, according to a study released Wednesday. The study, by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Bendixen polling firm, demonstrates for the first...
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HEALTH-INDIA: Novartis Patents Case Far From Dead
NEW DELHI - Cancer patients in India have reason to be relieved at a high court ruling this week which dismissed a petition by Swiss pharmaceuticals multinational corporation (MNC) Novartis challenging an Indian law which denies patents for minor or trivial improvements to known drugs. At immediate...
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UN Staff Oppose Proposed Iraq Resolution
UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Staff Council, representing 25,000 staff members, unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling on Secretary General Ban Ki-moon not to deploy any additional staff members to Iraq and to remove those currently serving at the duty station in Baghdad. The resolution cites...
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Attitudes on Gays in Military Shifting
When Bill Clinton proposed dropping the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, Army Gen. Colin L. Powell, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was vehement in his opposition. "The presence of homosexuals in the force would be detrimental to good order and discipline for...
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US Political Climate Ripe for Grassroots Groups
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kansas -- Jennifer Roe considers herself a typical American mom -- juggling a part-time writing job with the needs of two young daughters, volunteer work at a children's museum and her church. Indeed, the "Proud to be a Liberal" button on the visor of her minivan is one of the few...
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PACs and Lobbyists Aided Obama's Rise
Using campaign appearances, e-mails to supporters, and Iowa TV ads, Illinois Senator Barack Obama has repeatedly reminded voters that his presidential campaign does not accept contributions from lobbyists or political action committees, casting his decision as a noble departure from the ways of...
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Nonwhites Becoming More of a Majority
WASHINGTON -- Whites are now in the minority in nearly 1 in 10 US counties. And that increased diversity, fueled by immigration and higher birth rates among blacks and Hispanics, is straining race relations and sparking a backlash against immigrants in many communities. "There's some culture shock...
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British Criticize US Air Attacks in Afghan Region
SANGIN, Afghanistan - A senior British commander in southern Afghanistan said in recent weeks that he had asked that American Special Forces leave his area of operations because the high level of civilian casualties they had caused was making it difficult to win over local people. Other British...
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Wild Weather a Taste of Things to Come
A MONSOON dropped 35 centimetres of rain in one day across many parts of South Asia this month. Germany had its wettest May on record, and April was the driest there in a century. Temperatures reached 45 degrees in Bulgaria last month and 32 degrees in Moscow in late May, shattering long-time...
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US Bombs Shiite Gang as Baghdad Pilgrimage Begins
BAGHDAD - American jets and helicopters bombed Baghdad's largest Shiite slum on Wednesday, in a deadly strike targeting Iranian-backed militia, as thousands of pilgrims thronged the streets of the city. The US military said 30 "terrorists" were killed in the overnight strike on Sadr City, but...
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Humans Drive Rare Dolphin to Extinction
THE Yangtze River dolphin, until recently one of the most endangered species on the planet, has been declared officially extinct after an intensive survey of its natural habitat. The freshwater marine mammal, which could weigh up to a quarter of a tonne, is the first large vertebrate forced to...
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Poll: Iraqis Oppose Oil Privatization
SAN FRANCISCO - A new public opinion poll has found nearly two thirds of Iraqis oppose plans to open the country's oilfields to foreign companies. The poll found a majority of every Iraqi ethnic and religious group believe their oil should remain nationalized. Some 66 percent of Shi'ites and 62...
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Trappings of Modern Life Bring an Early Death to Valley of the Immortals
VILCABAMBA, Ecuador - For centuries Vilcabamba was a South American idyll. The valley boasted a lush and tranquil setting in remotest Ecuador, a year-round balmy climate, pristine mountain water, abundant fruits and grains. The inhabitants lived long and healthy lives. So long and so healthy that...
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1.4 Million Iraqis Push Syria to Edge
DAMASCUS, Syria - The flood of more than 1.4 million Iraqi refugees, with as many as 10,000 pouring over the border each week, is pushing Syria to the edge, most observers say. "The situation is starting to scare a lot of people," said Samir Taqqi, a political analyst at the Orient Center for...
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Pakistan Leader Says Talk of US Strikes Hurts Terror Fight
KARACHI, Pakistan - President General Pervez Musharraf said yesterday that suggestions the United States might carry out unilateral attacks against Al Qaeda fighters on Pakistani soil were counterproductive. The Pakistani leader's comments, his first public expression of displeasure on the subject...
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In Case of Apocalypse Later, a Plan to Ensure America's Regreening
NEW YORK - The botanists forged through a thicket and crossed a rocky ravine bed. Their quarry, Polygonatum pubescens, was proving elusive. But they would not rest. They had promised a shipment of its seed to their partners in a bunker across the ocean. Just beyond a derelict chain-link fence, a...
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Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Iraq Power System 'Near Collapse'
BAGHDAD -- Iraq's national power grid is on the brink of collapse, the country's electricity ministry has warned. Water supplies to Baghdad have also been cut off for days at a time, with summertime pressures on key systems said to be more intense than ever. The ministry blamed poor maintenance,...
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