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Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Anita Roddick's Will Reveals She Donated Entire £51m Fortune To Charity
Dame Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop who died last year, left nothing to friends and relatives in her will as she had already given it all to charities. Details of her estate, which were published yesterday, revealed that she had donated her £51 million fortune to good causes before her...
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$1 Billion Pledged for Women's Issues
NEW YORK - A new coalition of U.S.-based rights groups says it plans to spend over $1 billion on projects to help women fight poverty in many parts of the world. "This is something that has not happened before," said Ritu Sharma Fox, president of Women Thrive Worldwide, an independent rights...
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Chemical In Plastic May Harm Human Hrowth
A controversial, estrogen-like chemical in plastic could be harming the development of children's brains and reproductive organs, a federal health agency concluded in a report released Tuesday. The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, concluded that there was "...
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Army 'Rewards' Outspoken Antiwar Soldier
SAN FRANCISCO - One of the leading voices of dissent inside the U.S. Army has been promoted. Sergeant Ronn Cantu -- who signed a petition to Congress demanding the U.S. withdraw from Iraq and gave interviews to the news shows '60 Minutes' and 'Democracy Now!', as well as IPS detailing his...
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New Jewish Lobby Seeks to Redefine "Pro-Israel"
WASHINGTON - A new group of prominent U.S. Jews who believe that the so-called "Israel Lobby" has been dominated for too long by neo-conservatives and other Likud-oriented hawks has launched a new organisation to help fund political candidates who favour a two-state solution to the Israeli-...
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Diplomats Could Be Forced Into Iraq Posts
WASHINGTON - The State Department is warning its diplomats they may be forced to serve in Iraq next year and says it will soon start identifying prime candidates for jobs at the Baghdad embassy and outlying provinces, according to a cable obtained yesterday by the Associated Press. A similar call-...
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Utah Nuclear Waste Company Ramps Up Campaign Contributions
SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah disposal company seeking federal permission to import more than 20,000 tons of nuclear waste from Italy has raised its campaign contributions to lawmakers by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions Inc. is aggressively donating to members of...
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Canada First to Label 'Bisphenol A' As Officially Dangerous
Health Canada is calling bisphenol A a dangerous substance, making it the first regulatory body in the world to reach such a determination and taking the initial step toward measures to control exposures to it. Although the government won't announce specific bans or restrictions, the designation as...
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System Enslaves Tomato Pickers, Senate Committee Told
WASHINGTON - Slavery exists in the tomato fields of Florida, a U.S. Senate committee was told Tuesday. "Today's form of slavery does not bear the overt nature of pre-Civil War society, but it is nonetheless heinous and reprehensible," Collier County Sheriff's Detective Charlie Frost told Democratic...
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Change In Farming Can Feed World - Report
Sixty countries backed by the World Bank and most UN bodies yesterday called for radical changes in world farming to avert increasing regional food shortages, escalating prices and growing environmental problems. But in a move that has led to the US, UK, Australia and Canada not yet endorsing the...
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Official Says Fraud Loophole Was A 'Mistake'
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration inadvertently exempted foreign contracts in Iraq from fraud oversight, a top administration official said Tuesday, resulting in a loophole that Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said could have protected private firms that steal taxpayer money. The admission follows...
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War Protesters Use Tax Day To Send Message
BANGOR, Maine - Opponents of the Iraq war spent Tuesday, the deadline for filing income tax returns, working to educate Mainers about the costs of war. More than half of each federal income tax dollar paid by Maine taxpayers now goes toward past and current military expenses, according to Larry...
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Global Hot Spots of Hunger Set to Explode
UNITED NATIONS - As food prices continue to escalate worldwide, some of the poorest nations in the developing world are in danger of social and political upheavals. The unrest, which is likely to spread to nearly 40 countries, has been triggered largely by a sharp increase in the prices of staple...
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Tough New Sanctions On Iran Could Backfire, Experts Warn
WASHINGTON - In the more than five years since the George W. Bush administration's misdirected adventurism in Iraq, the fundamental balance of power in the Middle East has shifted. Iran's mullahs, once fearful of meeting the same fate as the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, have become the main...
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Controversy Mires Choice For Goldman Prize
San Francisco - The award Monday of the Goldman Environmental Prize to a pair of Ecuadoran activists fighting Chevron Corp. to clean up oil contamination in the Amazon rain forest brought a raging controversy over an international ecological disaster home to San Francisco. The two men, lawyer Pablo...
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US Congress to Address Poor Country Debts
NEW YORK - The U.S. House of Representatives is likely to endorse a legislative proposal this week calling for the cancellation of debts owed by some of the world's poorest countries. The rights advocacy groups that have lobbied hard for the passage of the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and...
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Rights Groups Applaud Trade Deal's Tabling
SAN FRANCISCO - Long-time critics of corporate-friendly free trade agreements are applauding House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for effectively putting the brakes on a deal with the South American nation of Colombia. "By reasserting congressional authority over trade by removing...
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Iran Says US Aids Rebels at Its Borders
BAGHDAD - A series of conflicts with insurgent groups along Iran's borders may be impelling Tehran to back its own allies in Iraq in what it regards as a proxy war with the U.S., according to security experts and officials in the U.S., Iran and Iraq. Dozens of Iranian officials, members of the...
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Attitudes Toward U.S. Worsen in Arab World
WASHINGTON - Despite renewed U.S. efforts to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement this year, popular views of the United States in the Arab world have actually worsened since 2006, according to a major new survey of public opinion in six Arab states. Nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of...
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Area C Strikes Fear Into The Heart of Palestinians As Homes Are Destroyed
In the end it came down to a single-page letter, written in Hebrew and Arabic and hand-delivered by an Israeli army officer who knocked at the front door. The letter spelt the imminent destruction of the whitewashed three-storey home and small, tree-lined garden that Bassam Suleiman spent so long...
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Israel's Senior Politicians and Security Service Snub Carter Visit
Jimmy Carter faced a cold reception in Israel yesterday where senior political leaders avoided meeting him and the Israeli secret service declined to help the American agents guarding him. The former US president was at the start of a Middle East tour, in which he is expected to meet on Friday the...
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ACLU Asks Harvard's Police Why Gaza Rally Was Photographed
The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has denounced Harvard University for photographing protesters at a political rally last month near Harvard Square during which university police arrested two people. Officials at the ACLU also want Harvard to explain why an undercover officer was...
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New Hampshire Rep Has Made Impeaching Bush, Cheney Her Mission
CONCORD - Rep. Betty Hall, D-Brookline, had plenty of company Monday in urging the state legislature to impeach President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. There was Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers revealing the government's decision making behind the...
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Monday, April 14, 2008
Phoenix Mayor Asks FBI To Check Sheriff Over Immigration Detentions
PHOENIX, AZ - The mayor wants the FBI to investigate whether the local county sheriff has violated any civil rights laws with his recent high-profile crackdowns on illegal immigrants. The "saturation patrols" have drawn protests from civil rights and immigrant-rights advocates, but they have drawn...
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Japan Kills 551 Antarctic Whales, Short of Target
TOKYO - Japan's Antarctic whaling catch fell far short of its target this season, hampered by a series of skirmishes with anti-whaling protesters, the Fisheries Agency said on Monday. The fleet caught only 551 minke whales, compared with the planned catch of 850. No fin whales were caught at all,...
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Bangladesh Faces Climate Change Refugee Nightmare
DHAKA - Abdul Majid has been forced to move 22 times in as many years, a victim of the annual floods that ravage Bangladesh. There are millions like Majid, 65, in Bangladesh and in the future there could be many millions more if scientists' predictions of rising seas and more intense droughts and...
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Five Years On, Fallujah in Tatters
FALLUJAH - Fallujah remains a crippled city more than two years after the November 2004 U.S.-led assault.Unemployment, and lack of medical care and safe drinking water in the city 60 km west of Baghdad remain a continuous problem. Freedom of movement is still curtailed. The city suffered two...
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After Protests, Haitian Leader Announces Rice Subsidies
MEXICO CITY - Responding to violent street protests against rising food prices that ground Haiti to a halt over the last week, President René Préval announced subsidies on Saturday that he said would cut the cost of rice by more than 15 percent. But the emergency move was not enough to stop...
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Iraq Security Forces Fire 1,300 Deserters
BAGHDAD -- Iraqi officials said Sunday that they had fired about 1,300 soldiers and police officers who refused to fight Shiite Muslim militias during the recent government crackdown, desertions that raise questions about the likely performance of Iraqi forces as U.S. troop levels decrease. The...
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Democrats Want Probe Into McCain Decision
Democratic Party officials want a federal judge to order an investigation into whether Senator John McCain violated election laws by withdrawing from public financing. A lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission, to be filed today in US District Court in Washington, questions the agency's...
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Safe from War, but Barely Surviving
In US, former Iraq, Afghan translators struggle to make ends meet
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Co-Payments for Expensive Drugs Soar
Health insurance companies are rapidly adopting a new pricing system for very expensive drugs, asking patients to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for prescriptions for medications that may save their lives or slow the progress of serious diseases. With the new pricing system, insurers...
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Fewer Large Corporations Audited by IRS
WASHINGTON -- The tax audit rates of the largest companies are less than half what they were 20 years ago while more small and mid-size businesses are coming under scrutiny, according to an organization that monitors the Internal Revenue Service. The Syracuse University-based Transactional Records...
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US and Iran Holding 'Secret' Talks on Nuclear Programme
Iran and the United States have been engaged in secret "back channel" discussions for the past five years on Iran's nuclear programme and the broader relationship between the two sworn enemies, The Independent can reveal. One of the participants, former senior US diplomat Thomas Pickering,...
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Global Warming Has a New Battleground: Coal Plants
WASHINGTON -- Every time a new coal-fired power plant is proposed anywhere in the United States, a lawyer from the Sierra Club or an allied environmental group is assigned to stop it, by any bureaucratic or legal means necessary. They might frame the battle as a matter of zoning or water use, but...
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Iran - The New Motivation for US War in Iraq
CRAWFORD - The US rationale for war in Iraq has morphed from ousting strongman Saddam Hussein, to countering Al-Qaeda militants to its latest incarnation -- facing down what officials in President George W. Bush's administration call the Iranian "threat". "Iraq is the convergence point for two of...
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Sunday, April 13, 2008
Bloodiest Week This Year For US Troops Ends With Bombing
BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb killed an American soldier in Baghdad yesterday, capping the bloodiest week for US troops in Iraq this year. Clashes persisted in Shi'ite areas, even as the biggest Shi'ite militia sought to rein in its fighters. At least 13 Shi'ite militants were killed in the latest...
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EU To Propose Ban On Imports of Seal Products
BRDO, Slovenia - The EU's environment chief Stavros Dimas will propose to ban imports of all seal products resulting from culls where animals suffer, he told Reuters, setting up a possible trade conflict with Canada. Belgium and the Netherlands last year banned imports of seal products on their own...
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Scientists Ask EU to Drop Biofuel Targets
BRUSSELS - Scientists tasked with advising the European Union's policy-makers have called for a target on promoting the greater use of biofuels to be dropped. As part of a battery of measures officially aimed at addressing climate change, the EU's governments agreed in 2006 that 10 percent of the...
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Canadian Police Seize Anti-Hunt Ship
Canadian officials boarded and seized the ship of a conservation group documenting the annual seal hunt Saturday, accusing its activists of interfering with the hunt. It was the latest clash between conservationists trying to end a hunt that they view as cruel and Canadian authorities who defend it...
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Carter Defends Plan To Meet Hamas Despite Israel Criticism
Former US president Jimmy Carter on Sunday defended his plan to meet with Hamas leaders during an upcoming trip to the Middle East, amid criticism from Washington and Israel. Carter, who reportedly plans to meet exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Syria, said he viewed Hamas's inclusion in peace...
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Refugees Fight Forced Return To Iraq War Zones
The United Nations last night accused the government of holding a 'sword of Damocles' over the heads of Iraqi refugees in Britain after it emerged that the Home Office had won a landmark test case giving it the power to return refugees to war-torn parts of their home country, including Basra and...
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Dalai Lama draws 65,000 in Seattle
SEATTLE - In a speech focused on fostering compassion in children, the Dalai Lama urged those gathered in a pro football stadium Saturday to support not only nuclear disarmament, but an "inner disarmament." Speaking to an estimated 65,000 people in the packed stadium, Tibet's exiled spiritual and...
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Saturday, April 12, 2008
United States Blamed For Assassination of Sadr Aide
NAJAF, Iraq - Followers of the renegade cleric Muqtada al Sadr chanted anti-American slogans and vowed revenge for the assassination Friday of Sadr's top aide in Najaf, where outrage over the killing threatens to spiral into the second deadly uprising in southern Iraq in a month. Riyadh al Nouri,...
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Family Planning Gets Mere Sliver of Aid Pie
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations warns that a sharp decline in international funding for reproductive health is threatening global efforts to reduce poverty, improve health and empower women worldwide. "This is especially evident in the case of funding for family planning where absolute dollar...
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The Other Global Crisis: Rush to Biofuels is Driving Up Price of Food
The world's most powerful finance ministers and central bankers are meeting in Washington tomorrow; but as they preoccupy themselves with the global credit crunch, another crisis, far more grave, is facing the world's poorest people. A dramatic rise in the worldwide cost of food is provoking riots throughout the Third World where millions more of the world's most vulnerable people are facing starvation as food shortages grow and cereal prices soar. It threatens to become the biggest crisis of the 21st century.
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Bush Aware of Advisers' Interrogation Talks
President Says He Knew His Senior Advisers Discussed Tough Interrogation Methods
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From One Dictator to the Next In Iraq
BAGHDAD - Many Iraqis have come to believe that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is just as much a dictator as Saddam Hussein was. "Al-Maliki is a dictator who must be removed by all means," 35-year-old Abdul-Riza Hussein, a Mehdi Army member from Sadr City in Baghdad told IPS. "He is a worse...
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Administration Set to Use New Spy Program in US
The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation's most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea's legal authority. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department will activate his...
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Federal Panel Fails To Prevent Vicious Testing of Animals
Each year, American doctors inject more than 3 million doses of Botox to temporarily smooth their patients' wrinkles and frown lines. But before each batch is shipped, the manufacturer puts it through one of the oldest and most controversial animal tests available. To check the potency of its...
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Friday, April 11, 2008
Scientists: Warmer Seas, Over-Fishing Spell Disaster for Oceans
HANOI - The future food security of millions of people is at risk because over-fishing, climate change and pollution are inflicting massive damage on the world's oceans, marine scientists warned this week. The two-thirds of the planet covered by seas provide one fifth of the world's protein -- but...
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The Miracle in Madagascar — a Blueprint for Saving Species
A study aimed at preventing the continued destruction of wildlife in Madagascar is being heralded as a scientific triumph that could act as a blueprint to save many other species from mass extinction. Scientists believe they now have a viable road map that could be used anywhere in the world to...
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U.S. Fails to Move on Iraq Sexual Assault Complaints
WASHINGTON - While working in Iraq as a "morale coordinator" for a U.S. government contractor, a Tampa woman says, she was raped by a drunken colleague who secured a key to her apartment from an unlocked storage box. That was in December 2005, and her attorney said he's unaware of any criminal...
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Third Guantanamo Detainee to Boycott Trial
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA -- A Sudanese prisoner with long ties to Osama bin Laden told the war-crimes tribunal here Thursday that the Sept. 11 attacks dealt heavy blows to U.S. security and exposed the "hypocrisy" behind American claims that it stands for equality and justice. Appearing at his...
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Lobbyists Spend Record Sums to Influence Washington
WASHINGTON - The old jab about the United States having the best democracy money can buy took on new meaning Thursday. For every day Congress was in session last year, lobbyists spent an average of 17 million dollars currying favour with legislators and federal officials, the nonpartisan Centre for...
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World Bank "Playing Both Sides of Climate Crisis"
NEW YORK - A new study released by an independent policy think tank casts further doubts on the World Bank's ability to stay neutral in the global politics of climate change. "It is making money off of causing the climate crisis and then turning around and claiming to solve it," charged Janet...
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Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups
A private security company organized and managed by former Secret Service officers spied on Greenpeace and other environmental organizations from the late 1990s through at least 2000, pilfering documents from trash bins, attempting to plant undercover operatives within groups, casing offices,...
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Serious Abuses No Bar to U.S. Military Aid
NEW YORK - Washington is providing military aid to six of the countries cited in the U.S. State Department's latest series of human rights reports for recruiting and using child soldiers. They are Afghanistan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Uganda. A new study by the...
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Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower Vanunu Seeks Asylum in Norway
OSLO - Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu has asked for asylum in Norway for a second time, Norwegian officials said on Friday, but they held out no hope that he would be accepted. Vanunu, whom Israeli authorities have barred from leaving Israel, sent his application directly to...
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OAS Chief to US Congress: No Venezuela-Terrorist Link
WASHINGTON - There is no evidence linking Venezuela to terrorist groups, the head of the Organization of American States told US lawmakers looking into last month's Colombia-Ecuador border crisis. "You mean does Venezuela support terrorist groups? I don't think so," OAS chief Jose Miguel Insulza...
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Iraq Calm on the Surface, Simmering Beneath
WASHINGTON - With the head of the occupying forces in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker delivering a progress report to Congress this week, Iraq has been thrust back into the U.S. public consciousness, along with all the political divisions the issue engenders...
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Cheney, Others OK'd Harsh Interrogations
Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned. The officials also took care to insulate President...
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Thursday, April 10, 2008
Iraqi Refugees Find Sweden's Doors Closing
SODERTALJE, Sweden - Behind the wheel of his old Ford Escort, Oshin Merzoian puttered happily along snowy streets. Back home in Baghdad, he said, he always drove at crazy speeds to avoid killers and kidnappers. But here in "Little Baghdad," as this city that has accepted roughly as many Iraqi...
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Too Cool For School: Britain's Most Eco-Friendly Building
The loos flush using rainwater, roofs are covered with sedum plants, the building is heated using the playground and the desks are made from drainpipes. In the "living" classroom, wearing jerseys bearing the school's part-flower, part-windmill logo, a group of nine to 11-year-olds demonstrate their...
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CDC Foresees Health Risks Because of Climate Change
A top government health official said Wednesday that climate change is expected to have a significant impact on health in the next few decades, with certain regions of the country - and the elderly and children - most vulnerable to increased problems. Howard Frumkin, a senior official of the...
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Afghans Hold Secret Trials for Men That US Detained
KABUL, Afghanistan - Dozens of Afghan men who were previously held by the United States at Bagram Air Base and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are now being tried here in secretive Afghan criminal proceedings based mainly on allegations forwarded by the American military. The prisoners are being convicted...
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New Roadblocks Delay Tribunals at Guantánamo
GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba - When military officials announced war crimes charges against six detainees for the Sept. 11 attacks two months ago, the move was part of an effort to accelerate the Bush administration's sluggish military commission system, which has yet to hold a single trial. But the...
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AP Photographer Granted Iraqi Amnesty; Still Being Held
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi judicial committee has dismissed terrorism-related allegations against Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein and ordered him released nearly two years after he was detained by the U.S. military. Hussein, 36, remained in custody Wednesday at Camp Cropper, a U.S. detention...
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Logging Boreal Forest Could Detonate Massive 'Carbon Bomb,' Says Report
OTTAWA - Canada's boreal forest is a ticking "carbon bomb" and its continued logging could trigger a massive release of greenhouse gases, says a new report. A Greenpeace study released Thursday says cutting down trees in the boreal forest is exacerbating climate change by releasing stores of...
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Starving Haitians Riot As Food Prices Soar
Demonstrators have tried to storm the presidential palace in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, as protests over hunger and rising food prices spread across the developing world. Demanding the resignation of President René Préval, the protesters attempted to break through the palace gates...
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Five Years After Fall of Baghdad, All-Day Curfew Is Imposed
The fifth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad and the toppling of the statute of Saddam Hussein - a symbol of US victory and might - was marked yesterday by death and destruction across the country and an admission from the White House that projected troop withdrawals would have to be delayed. The...
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Iraqi Detainees Languish Uncharged In Crowded Jails
CAMP CONSTITUTION, Iraq - Barefoot in his yellow jumpsuit, the young detainee's eyes welled up as he described in a shaking voice how he landed in an Iraqi army detention facility on the outskirts of Baghdad. He was visiting his mother in the hospital when Iraqi soldiers raided the hospital and...
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McCain Won't Rule Out Pre-Emptive War
Republican Sen. John McCain refused Wednesday to rule out a pre-emptive war against another country, although he said one would be very unlikely. The likely Republican presidential nominee was asked Wednesday at a town-hall style meeting if he would reject "the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war," a...
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Food Price Rises Threaten Global Security - UN
Rising food prices could spark worldwide unrest and threaten political stability, the UN's top humanitarian official warned yesterday after two days of rioting in Egypt over the doubling of prices of basic foods in a year and protests in other parts of the world. Sir John Holmes, undersecretary...
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Saudi Prisoner Slams Then Leaves Guantanamo Hearing
In a hearing plagued by translation problems on Wednesday, a Saudi Arabian prisoner first criticized and then boycotted the U.S. war crimes court where he is accused of plotting with al Qaeda to blow up ships in the Middle East. With the aid of Arabic-English translators, defendant Ahmed Mohammed...
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Vets Press McCain to Back Greater Benefits
SAN FRANCISCO - A leading political action committee founded by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has launched a new internet video and petition demanding Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain throw his support behind a new G.I. Bill to provide improved education benefits for soldiers...
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As Prices Rise, Farmers Spurn Conservation
Out on the farm, the ducks and pheasants are losing ground. Thousands of farmers are taking their fields out of the government's biggest conservation program, which pays them not to cultivate. They are spurning guaranteed annual payments for a chance to cash in on the boom in wheat, soybeans, corn...
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Memo Proves Detention Is Illegal, Attorneys Say
An accused "enemy combatant" told an appellate court yesterday that a controversial Justice Department memorandum exploring the legal boundaries of military interrogations proves that his detention was illegal. Attorneys for Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a Qatari national the government calls an al-...
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US President Gets An Earful From Afghan Governors
WASHINGTON - Eight Afghan governors met Tuesday with US President George W. Bush to tell him a few unpleasant truths about the plight of their country as coalition forces fight terrorists and the Taliban. While grateful for the overthrow of the Taliban regime and the changes taking place since 2001...
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Venezuela Outlaws Trawl Fishing
CARACAS - Trawl fishing is on its way out in Venezuela, amid demonstrations by artisanal fisherfolk who support the new law as amended by President Hugo Chavez. "Trawling is killing off fish species. In our case, we fish with hooks, catch a pargo (sea bream), try again, catch a mero (grouper), and...
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Drilling Proposed For Whale Habitat
The Bush administration has proposed allowing oil and gas drilling in an area of the Bering Sea considered important for the recovery of the world's most endangered whale. The proposal opening up 5.6 million acres off the Alaska coast to energy development was published Tuesday in the Federal...
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Irish Anti-War Activist Refused Entry Into The United States
An anti-war activist, who was acquitted of causing damage to a US military jet at Shannon Airport in 2003, has been deported from the United States. 27 year old Damien Moran, an English teacher and former seminarian originally from Co Offaly, was refused entry to the US by Homeland Security agents...
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Palestine's War of Words
Since Hamas took over control of the Gaza Strip the political schism between the main Palestinian parties has had clear geographical boundaries. The Listening Post's Salah Kadr looks at the equally fierce propaganda battle taking place on the airwaves and presses of the media. When Hamas forces...
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Former Bush Administration Lawyer Asked to Testify Before Congress
The Bush administration lawyer who provided a legal basis for the brutal interrogation tactics used by the US military and CIA was called to account today by congressional Democrats. John Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California, was asked to appear before the judiciary committee in...
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In Justice Shift, Corporate Deals Replace Trials
WASHINGTON - In 2005, federal authorities concluded that a Monsanto consultant had visited the home of an Indonesian official and, with the approval of a senior company executive, handed over an envelope stuffed with hundred-dollar bills. The money was meant as a bribe to win looser environmental...
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Protesters Drawn To Olympic Flame In San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO -- - It was supposed to be on a "Journey of Harmony," but the Olympic torch celebrating the Beijing Summer Games slinked into the city before dawn Tuesday, dogged by controversy both here and abroad. As activists and police readied for a chaotic torch relay expected to produce mass...
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Tuesday, April 8, 2008
At Justice, New Pressure To Release Documents
At his confirmation hearing last October, attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey assured senators that "there isn't going to be any stonewalling" over congressional requests on his watch. Key lawmakers are now calling on the Justice Department to live up to that promise. The release last week...
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Scientific Models Show Dire Effects From Nuclear War (Even A 'Small' One)
With India and Pakistan both holding arsenals of nuclear weapons, and the two nations locked in seemingly endless hostility over disputed Kashmir, a team of U.S. experts warns that even a limited nuclear war between them could cause a near-global threat to the Earth's atmosphere and the human life...
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Government Sued After Approving 4 Pesticides
Environmental and farmworker advocates have sued the Bush administration for allowing the continued use of four pesticides, saying the government brushed aside its own findings that the chemicals are dangerous to workers, children and wildlife. The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in San...
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Challenges Arise to Border Fence Project
Securing the nation's borders is so important, Congress says, that Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, must have the power to ignore any laws that stand in the way of building a border fence. Any laws at all. Last week, Mr. Chertoff issued waivers suspending more than 30 laws he said...
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Iranian Public Sees Reduced US Threat
WASHINGTON - While still distrustful of U.S. intentions, the Iranian public believes that the threat posed by Washington has diminished over the past year and favours increased exchanges between the two countries, including direct talks on stabilising Iraq and other issues, according to a major new...
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Oil PeakTheorist Warns of Chaos, War
WASHINGTON -- Matt Simmons sounds the alarm like the Cassandra of the oil industry, warning that crude production has peaked and that looming energy shortages could derail global growth and even spark armed conflict. As a prominent "peak oil" theorist, the veteran oil industry financier paints a...
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UN Peace Missions Falter in Africa
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations remains virtually crippled as two proposed peacekeeping missions -- one in Darfur and the other in Somalia -- are making little or no progress. Since 2004, the Security Council has adopted seven resolutions related to Darfur, where the ongoing conflict has...
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Secret US Plan For Military Future In Iraq
A confidential draft agreement covering the future of US forces in Iraq, passed to the Guardian, shows that provision is being made for an open-ended military presence in the country. The draft strategic framework agreement between the US and Iraqi governments, dated March 7 and marked "secret" and...
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UN Expert On Israel/Palestine Stands By Nazi Comparison
The next UN investigator into Israeli conduct in the occupied territories has stood by comments comparing Israeli actions in Gaza to those of the Nazis. Speaking to the BBC, Professor Richard Falk said he believed that up to now Israel had been successful in avoiding the criticism that it was due...
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US Lawmakers Invested in Iraq, Afghanistan Wars
WASHINGTON - U.S. lawmakers have a financial interest in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a review of their accounts has revealed. Members of Congress invested nearly 196 million dollars of their own money in companies that receive hundreds of millions of dollars a day from Pentagon...
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CIA Rendered 14 Prisoners to Jordan: Report
The CIA secretly transported at least 14 war on terror detainees to Jordan between 2001 and 2004, making it the top "rendition" destination at that time, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. "While a handful of countries received persons rendered by the United States during this period, no other...
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Monday, April 7, 2008
Blackwater Contract Renewal Not Approved by Iraq: Maliki
BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said the the US State Department had renewed the contract of private security company Blackwater USA without the approval of the Baghdad government. Blackwater is the most controversial of several private security firms tasked with protecting high-...
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Foreclosures Come To McMansion Country
LEESBURG, Virginia - Million-dollar fixer-upper for sale: five bedrooms, four baths, three-car garage, cavernous living room. Big holes above fireplace where flat-screen TV used to hang.The U.S. housing crisis has come to McMansion country. Just as the foreclosure crisis has hollowed out poorer...
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Food Riots Fear After Rice Price Hits A High
A global rice shortage that has seen prices of one of the world's most important staple foods increase by 50 per cent in the past two weeks alone is triggering an international crisis, with countries banning export and threatening serious punishment for hoarders. With rice stocks at their lowest...
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