All News Articles

Saturday, April 7, 2007
Dire Warming Report too Soft, Scientists Say
A new global warming report issued Friday by the United Nations paints a near-apocalyptic vision of Earth's future: hundreds of millions of people short of water, extreme food shortages in Africa, a landscape ravaged by floods and millions of species sentenced to extinction.Despite its harsh vision, the report was quickly criticized by some scientists who said its findings were watered down at the last minute by governments seeking to deflect calls for action.
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Americans Offered 'Aggressive Patrols' in Iranian Airspace
The US offered to take military action on behalf of the 15 British sailors and marines held by Iran, including buzzing Iranian Revolutionary Guard positions with warplanes, the Guardian has learned.In the first few days after the captives were seized and British diplomats were getting no news from Tehran on their whereabouts, Pentagon officials asked their British counterparts: what do you want us to do? They offered a series of military options, a list which remains top secret given the mounting risk of war between the US and Iran.
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Friday, April 6, 2007
Students Peacefully Protest Cheney's BYU Appearance
PROVO, Utah -- The signs were louder than the voices.Three weeks before a commencement speech by Vice President Dick Cheney, more than 100 protesters held a quiet rally Wednesday at Brigham Young University under strict rules set by the school, which is owned by the Mormon church.
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Journalist Hersh blasts Iraq War, Bush Administration
Seymour Hersh wanted to make sure no one confused him with last year's speaker."I have to say a sentence I will never say again in my life," Hersh said at the beginning of his speech Wednesday night. "I am not John Ashcroft." There was little confusing Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, with the former attorney general, last year's speaker for the Public Affairs Distinguished Lecture series at Skyview High School. Hersh made sure about that when he characterized the remainder of the Bush administration as "656 days left in the reign of King George the Second."
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The Family-Friendly Easter Bomb Hunt
Near the White House, Activists Lacing the Fun With a Political Message
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Anti-Globalization Icon Says He's Serious About French Presidential Bid
PARIS - He doesn't think he'll win - but Jose Bove, the anti-globalization hero once jailed for wrecking a McDonald's restaurant, insists he's serious about running for the French presidency.
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Saddam, Documents Indicate no Iraq-Qaeda Cooperation
WASHINGTON - Interrogations of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and documents seized after the 2003 US-led invasion confirmed that his regime had not been cooperating with Al-Qaeda, the Washington Post reported on its website Friday.The report contradicted a strong argument for the invasion made by the administration of President George W. Bush that Baghdad had a working relationship with Al-Qaeda, the Afghanistan-based group led by Osama bin Laden blamed for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
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Health Care Crisis: Number of US Uninsured Soars, Along with Big Pharma Profits
BOSTON - The U.S. is said to offer gold-standard health care, but as the most expensive health system in the world, some here say that only people with a pot of gold can get that care.Drug prices, health insurance, doctor visits and hospital stays are too expensive for many people to afford, while insurance and drug company profits continue to climb. The nation is entering a health care crisis, many leaders and experts say. An estimated 46 million people do not have health insurance because they cannot afford it, and the U.S. has one of the poorest health profiles of the developed world.
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Wolfowitz Accused of Nepotism at World Bank
WASHINGTON - A controversial raise for a World Bank employee who has been romantically involved with the Bank's President Paul Wolfowitz was not the work of the Bank's Ethics Committee, as originally alleged by Wolfowitz's office, according to the watchdog group that leaked the information.Members of the Ethics Committee of the Board, the relevant body that would have approved the raise, which has triggered allegations of nepotism at the Bank's highest levels, say that they knew nothing of the salary hike, according to the Washington-based Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower pr
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Scientists in War of Words Over Global Warming Report
BRUSSELS - Scientists and diplomats are haggling over the fine print of an alarming report that will today warn how global warming will warm seas, melt glaciers and change weather patterns.As delegates from more than 100 countries tried to finalise the document, campaigners called for the strongest possible statement on the impact of climate change to galvanise leaders to slash carbon emissions.
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American Dream Ends in Property Market Crash
Even now, the ads on television, radio and the internet continue: "Is your credit bad? Don't worry, we'll provide the loan for the home of your dreams ..." What those commercials should, but do not, add is: go through the small print with a toothcomb. Or else you, too, could be swept up in America's subprime mortgage crisis.Just as in Britain, homeownership is a traditional goal of American society. But as interest rates have climbed and the housing market has slumped, the number of what are politely called "delinquent" loans has soared.
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Thursday, April 5, 2007
Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling: 'My Name Used to Be 200343'
WASHINGTON - A year ago, Donald Vance learned what its like to be falsely accused by the U.S. military of aiding terrorists. He was held without charge for more than three months in a high-security prison in Iraq, and interrogated daily after sleepless nights without legal counsel or even a phone call to his family.On Wednesday, the former private security contractor was honored for his ordeal in Washington and for speaking out against the incident.
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GOP Advocate Targeted in Abramoff Probe
WASHINGTON - The head of a Republican environmental advocacy group has been told officially by federal investigators that she is a target for criminal prosecution in the Jack Abramoff corruption probe.Italia Federici, who co-founded the group with former Interior Secretary Gale Norton and conservative GOP activist Grover Norquist, was told by the Justice Department she faces up to five charges in the influence-peddling scandal that has produced convictions against one lawmaker, two senior Bush administration officials and several congressional aides.
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Canadian Seal Hunt Opens Again Amidst Outcry
VANCOUVER - The Canadian seal hunt began again in earnest this week despite protests in Canada, the United States and Europe.It has become a fashionable cause celebre in recent years amongst British animal rights activists who have bombarded the Canadian embassy in London with questions. The killing quota has been set at 270,000.
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Population: US Funding Cuts Undermine Terror War
UNITED NATIONS - A proposed 25-percent cut in U.S. international assistance for population in the upcoming 2008 budget threatens to undermine the war against terrorism, a Washington-based non-governmental organisation warned Wednesday.Lawrence Smith Jr., president of the Population Institute, points out that intelligence and security experts -- including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) -- "have repeatedly warned that countries at the bottom of the development ladder, with high fertility rates and very large youth populations, are ripe for terrorist recruitment."
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Lessons in Capture, Release of Britons
WASHINGTON - The drama surrounding the release of 15 British sailors and marines after 12 days in Iranian captivity was designed to convey two key messages that the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush would do well to heed, say experts here.First, the Britons' original capture by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard near the entry to the disputed Shatt-al-Arab waterway was meant to demonstrate that, despite its conventional military weakness and diplomatic isolation, Iran retains the ability to strike at western interests when it feels sufficiently provoked.
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Questions Linger About Bushes and BCCI Bank
NEW YORK - Now that the U.S. Congress is investigating the truth of President George W. Bush's statements about the Iraq war, they might look into one of his most startling assertions: that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Critics dismissed that as an invention. They were wrong. There was a link, but not the one Bush was selling. The link between Hussein and Bin Laden was their banker, BCCI. But the link went beyond the dictator and the jihadist -- it passed through Saudi Arabia and stretched all the way to George W. Bush and his father.
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Guantanamo Conditions 'Worsening'
Conditions for detainees at the US military jail at Guantanamo Bay are deteriorating, with the majority held in solitary confinement, a report says.Amnesty International said the often harsh and inhumane conditions at the camp were "pushing people to the edge".
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Arctic Sea Ice is Shrinking in 'Downward Spiral'
Winter sea ice in the Arctic has failed to reform fully for the third year in a row. Scientists said yesterday that the area of ocean covered by Arctic ice at the end of the winter months was lower only in March 2006.
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Get Ready for Debate About Who Lost Iraq
Bush Could Blame Democrats, but Americans See it as his War
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Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Bush Administration Proposes Easing Rules for Labeling Irradiated Foods
WASHINGTON - The government proposed today relaxing its rules on labeling of irradiated foods and suggested it may allow some products zapped with radiation to be called "pasteurized." The Food and Drug Administration said the proposed rule would require companies to label irradiated food only when the radiation treatment causes a material change to the product. Examples includes changes to the taste, texture, smell or shelf life of a food.
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10 War Protesters Arrested at Leahy's Office
BURLINGTON, Vermont - Police arrested 10 anti-war demonstrators Tuesday participating in a sit-in at Sen. Patrick Leahy's Burlington office to demand he stop supporting an Iraq troop withdrawal bill they said would extend the Iraq war, not end it."This is an immoral war and an illegal war," said Marmete Hayes, 83, of Burlington as she stood in handcuffs at the entrance to the Courthouse Plaza complex where Leahy's office is located. "It demands strong action on the part of dissenters."
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Castro in New US Biofuel Attack
Cuban leader Fidel Castro has written a second newspaper article within a week, again criticizing US biofuels policy. Writing in the Granma newspaper, Mr Castro said a US drive to back crop use for fuels would raise prices and cause more hunger in developing countries. Mr Castro handed power to his brother Raul in July after undergoing surgery, and has not appeared in public since. Correspondents say his articles in the Communist Party's official paper may be a sign of a return to active politics.
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The Josh Wolf Case: Blogger Freed after Giving Video to Feds
Josh Wolf, the blogger whose record 7 1/2 months in federal prison stirred debate about who qualifies as a journalist and what legal protections journalists should receive, was freed Tuesday after releasing video footage sought by prosecutors about an anarchist protest.
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Biofuel Surge Could Have Severe Downside, Warn Experts
NEW YORK - The Bush administration's plans to increase biofuel imports could add to the suffering of millions of impoverished peasants in Brazil and other developing countries, food rights and environmental groups say."The benefits of biofuels cannot be achieved at the expense of food shortages and environmental degradation," says Celso Marcatto, an activist associated with the U.S.-based anti-poverty organization, ActionAid , in Brazil.
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Loss of Coral May Cause Food Supply Crisis
More than half of the tropical coral reefs in the world where governments collect data on fishing levels are being degraded beyond repair, according to a global survey of reef fisheries.
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Apple Condemned for Consigning Toxic Computers to China
Apple, the celebrated computer company, has been rated worst among major electronics firms for its environmental policies by the pressure group Greenpeace.
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Palm Oil: The Biofuel of the Future Driving an Ecological Disaster Now
KALIMANTAN, Indonesia - The numbers are damning. Within 15 years 98% of the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia will be gone, little more than a footnote in history. With them will disappear some of the world's most important wildlife species, victims of the rapacious destruction of their habitat in what conservationists see as a lost cause.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2007
City to Pay $1 Million to Settle Lawsuit Over 1999 WTO Arrests
The city of Seattle will pay $1 million to World Trade Organization protesters who were arrested in Westlake Park seven years ago and will clear their records, in a settlement announced Monday.The money will pay for plaintiffs' legal fees, with the rest divided among up to about 175 protesters, who will get at least $3,000 each, depending on how many file claims, said their attorney Mike Withey.
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Washington Hurting British Bid to Free Crew
LONDON -- The Iranian prisoner crisis revealed a widening schism between Britain and the United States yesterday as U.S. leaders called for tough action and British officials confirmed that they are trying to free their 15 imprisoned sailors by quietly reaching a compromise with Tehran.British officials believe that Iran is not seeking a prisoner exchange or other further bounty in exchange for the sailors, who have been imprisoned for 10 days, and they are hoping the crisis can be resolved peacefully in the next few days.
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'No More Iraq War,' Kids Cry - Youngsters Lead Peace Parade Through Brooklyn
A cadre of enthusiastic youngsters carrying homemade banners and balloons called for an end to the Iraq war this weekend in a kid-centric "peace parade" stretching from the playgrounds of Carroll Park to the arch at Grand Army Plaza."Money for schools, not for war," the children shouted from their Razor scooters and inline skates as they moved up Union Street.
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EU Carbon Trading Scheme Failing to Curb Emissions from Big Polluters
BRUSSELS - Europe's big polluters pumped more climate-changing gases into the atmosphere in 2006 than during the previous year, according to figures that show the EU's carbon trading system failing to deliver curbs. Critics said the data underlined the gap between the rhetoric of European leaders, who have promised to cut C02 emissions by one-fifth by 2020, and the reality of delivering reductions.
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Al-Jazeera: Freedom Fight Against 'Freedom Champions'
DOHA - The al-Jazeera television network could be emerging as a freedom champion against U.S. pressures on the channel, leading media figures say."I support al-Jazeera because al-Jazeera has done more to propagate democracy in the Middle East region than anybody else, certainly more than the American government has done," media specialist Hugh Miles told IPS. "It's strange to me that people refer to al-Jazeera as a 'terrorist network' because that couldn't be further from the truth."
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U.S.-Korea Trade Deal Disappoints Labor, Rights Activists
SAN FRANCISCO - Trade unionists on both sides of the Pacific expressed disappointment Monday after the United States and South Korea agreed the biggest U.S. trade pact in 15 years with only minutes to go before a deadline."They sacrificed a good agreement for an agreement in time," Jeff Vogt, a global economics specialist for the trade union federation AFL-CIO, told OneWorld, noting the Bush administration's so-called fast track trade negotiating authority expired shortly after the deal was signed.
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Europe Tops US in Stock Market Value
Europe has eclipsed the US in stock market value for the first time since the first world war in another sign of the slipping of the global dominance of American capital markets.Europe's 24 stockmarkets, including Russia and emerging Europe, saw their capitalisation rise to $15,720bn (€11,819bn) at the end of last week, according to Thomson Financial data. That exceeded the $15,640bn market value of the US.
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Baghdad Merchants Astounded at McCain's Claims of Security
They say the market he saw, surrounded by GIs and humvees, wasn't real life
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The Botched US Raid that Led to the Hostage Crisis
A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.
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Poll Finds Bay Area Democrats Like Gore Best
SAN FRANCISCO - Al Gore, though not a candidate in the 2008 presidential race, enjoys the highest favorable ratings among those likely to vote in the Democratic primary in California and is the leading choice of voters in the Bay Area, a new Field Poll shows.The Field Poll released today shows that of announced Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York leads the pack with 41 percent support among those who identified themselves as likely to cast Democratic primary ballots in February. She is followed by Sen.
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Monday, April 2, 2007
Supreme Court Rules Against Bush in Global Warming Case
WASHINGTON - In a defeat for the Bush administration, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a U.S.
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Britons Unwilling to Change Despite Climate Threat
Few people are making significant changes to their lifestyle to counter climate change despite a widespread acceptance of its dangers, according to new research.
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Martin Sheen Cited again for Nuke Site Trespass
MERCURY, Nev. - Martin Sheen was among a group of peace activists cited during an anti-nuclear protest Sunday at the Nevada Test Site, authorities said.Dozens of people took part in the rally sponsored by the Nevada Desert Experience outside the test site, 70 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
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Nader Drops by, Praises Vermont
BRATTLEBORO -- After a two-hour film about his life had finished, the subject of "An Unreasonable Man" was suddenly there, in real life, standing on the stage.
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'US Ready to Strike Iran on Good Friday'
The United States will be ready to launch a missile attack on Iran's nuclear facilities as soon as early this month, perhaps "from 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 6," according to reports in the Russian media on Saturday. According to Russian intelligence sources, the reports said, the US has devised a plan to attack several targets in Iran, and an assault could be carried out by launching missiles from fighter jets and warships stationed in the Persian Gulf.
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Iraqi Returns to Britain after Guantanamo 'Nightmare'
LONDON - Bisher al-Rawi, an Iraqi held at the US base at Guantanamo Bay for nearly five years, said Sunday his "nightmare is finally at an end" in a statement issued after he returned to Britain, where he lives.He also spoke of the "hopelessness" and "extreme isolation" suffered by detainees and asked to be granted time with his family to come to terms with his "horrific experience".
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Taliban Deploy Thousands of Suicide Bombers: Commander
SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan - Thousands of Taliban suicide bombers have been deployed across Afghanistan to attack Western troops and the government, the group's military chief said on Monday.Following last year's violence, the worst since the Taliban's ouster in 2001, this year is regarded as the crunch period both for the Taliban and U.S.-led Western troops.
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Sunday, April 1, 2007
Iraq Military Victory No Longer Possible, says Henry Kissinger
FORMER US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who helped engineer the US withdrawal from Vietnam, said Sunday the problems in Iraq are more complex than in the Vietnam War, and military victory was no longer possible.He also said he sympathised with the troubles facing US President George W. Bush.
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Media Watchdog Aims to Expose Flaws of Cable News
JEFF Cohen likes to say he's been to the belly of the beast and lived to talk about it.In fact, the Saugerties resident has written a book about the experience: "Cable News Confidential - My Misadventures in Corporate Media."
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Guantanamo Trial Would Have Done Stalin Proud - Lawyer
THE secret agreement that resulted in David Hicks facing only nine more months in prison may do fatal damage to an already discredited system of dealing with terrorism suspects, legal experts say.The combination of a sentencing deal arranged behind closed doors and the conditions imposed on Hicks, including a year-long gag order and a declaration that he was never tortured, has shown the process to be a political and not legal one, Australian and US observers say.
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Wars of the World: How Global Warming Puts 60 Nations at Risk
As scientists deliver a detailed report on the impact of climate change this week, an 'IoS' investigation shows it will spark a major rise in conflicts
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Climate Report Maps Out 'Highway to Extinction'
WASHINGTON-A key element of the second major report on climate change being released Friday in Belgium is a chart that maps out the effects of global warming, most of them bad, with every degree of temperature rise.There's one bright spot: A minimal heat rise means more food production in northern regions of the world. However, the number of species going extinct rises with the heat, as does the number of people who may starve, or face water shortages, or floods, according to the projections in the draft report obtained by The Associated Press
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Bush Again Pushes 3 Nominees Seen as Pro-Industry
The president could skirt the Senate by using recess appointments
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Ex-Aide Says He's Lost Faith in Bush
AUSTIN, Texas - In 1999, Matthew Dowd became a symbol of George W. Bush's early success at positioning himself as a Republican with Democratic appeal. A top strategist for the Texas Democrats who was disappointed by the Bill Clinton years, Mr. Dowd was impressed by the pledge of Mr. Bush, then governor of Texas, to bring a spirit of cooperation to Washington. He switched parties, joined Mr. Bush's political brain trust and dedicated the next six years to getting him to the Oval Office and keeping him there. In 2004, he was appointed the president's chief campaign strategist.
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Saturday, March 31, 2007
US Rice Industry Opposes Plan to Grow Genetically Modified Rice in US
WASHINGTON - The U.S. rice industry wants the federal government to reject a plan to grow genetically modified rice in the Midwestern state of Kansas, saying the country's growers would suffer "financial devastation" if modified crops contaminate the commercial supply.
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Southern Clout in Congress Hits 50-Year Low
When he was in Congress, Rep. Howard "Judge" Smith routinely frustrated the Washington establishment by leaving town when House leaders tried to push bills he did not like through his Rules Committee.Once in 1957, the Virginia Democrat blocked President Eisenhower's civil rights legislation by saying a barn burned down on his farm and he needed to tend to it.
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New Research Shows Path to Reverse Fish Declines
NEW YORK - For those in the United States and Canada who stand for sustainable modes of production and consumption of natural resources, including seafood, there is good news from the oceans this week.Though fish stocks continue to decline despite years of efforts to overcome the problem, new scientific evidence shows there exists a clear pathway to reversing the course. "Fishery collapses are not inevitable," says Brian Halweil, a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute, one of the leading independent environmental think tanks in the United States.
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Afghan War May Be Lost: Experts
Taliban are back in force, MPS hear. Contradicting military chief's optimism
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Detainee Says He Confessed to Stop US Torture
The terrorism suspect contends he was forced to admit to a role in the Cole bombing. A military law expert isn't surprised.
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Friday, March 30, 2007
Lack of Ice Kills Thousands of Seals but Cull Will Continue
Thousands of harp seal pups are assumed dead in Canada's Gulf of St Lawrence due to the lack of ice floes, which mother seals require to nurse their pups successfully.
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Persons with Disabilities: Objects of "Charity and Pity" No More
UNITED NATIONS Copyright - A new treaty designed to promote and protect the rights of the world's 650 million persons with disabilities opens for signature at the United Nations on Friday.
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Fate of Five Detained Iranians Unknown
WASHINGTON - As the Western media turns its attention to the fate of 15 Britons detained for allegedly trespassing into Iranian waters over the weekend, the status of five Iranian officials captured in a U.S. military raid on a liaison office in northern Iraq on Jan. 11 remains a mystery.
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Residents of Fallujah Fear a US 'Genocidal Strategy'
FALLUJAH - Iraqis in the volatile al-Anbar province west of Baghdad are reporting regular killings carried out by U.S. forces that many believe are part of a 'genocidal' strategy. Since the mysterious explosion at the Shia al-Askari shrine in Samara in February last year, more than 100 Iraqis have been killed daily on average, without any forceful action by the Iraqi government and the U.S. military to stop the killings. U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces working with them are also executing people seized during home raids and other operations, residents say.
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Immigrants Stage Week-Long Boycott in Colorado
SAN FRANCISCO - Immigrant rights activists in Colorado have launched a week-long economic boycott, saying they want to show how big an impact immigrants have on the economy."Immigrants have substantial buying power that is often taken for granted," Julien Ross of the Denver-based Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) told OneWorld.
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Anger as UK's Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reach 10-Year High
A six-million-ton question mark was placed over Britain's climate change strategy yesterday with the release of figures showing that UK greenhouse gas emissions, which the Government has pledged to cut radically, are actually soaring. Emissions of the principal greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, from power stations, motor vehicles and homes, amounted to 560.6 million tonnes last year, 6.4 million tons higher than the 2005 figure. The increase of 1.15 per cent means that Britain's emissions are now at the highest level since Labour came to power a decade ago, nearly 3 per cent above 1997.
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Developing Countries are Awash in E-Waste
BANGALORE, India -- Once considered a problem that affects only industrialized nations, e-waste -- pollution from the disposal of unwanted electronic and electrical equipment -- is fast becoming a bane of developing countries.Most e-waste in India is dumped in landfills or incinerated, releasing toxins into the air and soil that can cause cancer, birth deformities and arrested brain development, health experts say. http://www.commondreams.org/archive/wp-content/photos/0330_01.jpg " onclick="pp_image_popup(' http://www.commondreams.org/archive/wp-content/photos/0330_01.jpg ',350,310); retu
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Thursday, March 29, 2007
New Hampshire House Stands Behind Single-Payer Plan
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - The lack of federal action in finding solutions to the multitude of problems that have led to the national health care crisis has frustrated states suffering from the results of that crisis. Nowhere is that more evident than in New Hampshire, where no less than 250 individual pieces of legislation were filed this year in an attempt to address various aspects of the problem.
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Castro Criticizes U.S. Biofuel Policies
HAVANA -- Fidel Castro lashes out against U.S.
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US Income Gap Is Widening Significantly, Data Shows
Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent of Americans - those with incomes that year of more than $348,000 - receiving their largest share of national income since 1928, analysis of newly released tax data shows.The top 10 percent, roughly those earning more than $100,000, also reached a level of income share not seen since before the Depression.
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New Israeli Film Raises Questions about Israel's Use of Military Power
TEL AVIV, Israel - In the opening minutes of Joseph Cedar's new film " Beaufort ," three Israeli soldiers hunker down behind concrete blast walls and talk about what brought them to an isolated mountaintop fortress in Lebanon."If you are here, you are here by mistake," one doomed soldier says to a new arrival sent to defuse a roadside bomb. "I wanted to be here.
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Czech President Vaclav Klaus: 'Environmentalism As Bad As Communism'
BUDAPEST - Czech President Vaclav Klaus has offered fresh warnings that environmentalism and measures to curb climate change are a threat to human freedom.
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Retreating Himalayan Icefields Threatening Drought in Bangladesh
Notorious for its annual floods, Bangladesh may seem the last place in the world to worry about a drying up of the rivers that flow from the Himalayas. But the country is as much at risk from drought as it is from flooding. Already farmers who used to grow rice have turned to farming prawns because the water in their fields has turned so salty nothing will grow there.
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Berkeley Woman's Iraq Quest
Sleeping Bag in Tow, She Hopes to Embed with Army and Blog
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Antiwar Theme Plays Well to Labor Group
Builders Union Cheers Remarks by Democrats
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Climate Change: Coastal Mega-Cities in for a Bumpy Ride
NEW YORK - About 643 million people, or one-tenth of the world's population, who live in low lying coastal areas are at great risk of oceans-related impacts of climate change, according to a global research study to be released next month.The study, by researchers at Columbia University's Center for International Earth Sciences Information Network and the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development , is the first of its kind.
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Judge Lamentably Dismisses Lawsuit Against Rumsfeld
WASHINGTON -- Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld cannot be tried on allegations of torture in overseas military prisons, a federal judge said Tuesday in a case he described as "lamentable." U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan threw out a lawsuit brought on behalf of nine former prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said Rumsfeld cannot be held personally responsible for actions taken in connection with his government job.
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Code Pink Dogs Clinton on 2008 Trail
An anti-war group, Code Pink, is hounding Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) at almost every stop she makes on the campaign trail, hitting her again yesterday as she joined other candidates in seeking a union endorsement.
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FBI Didn't Mean to Break the Law, Mueller Says
WASHINGTON - The FBI didn't deliberately break the law by improperly obtaining thousands of Americans' phone, e-mail and financial records, Bureau Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
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Guantanamo Illegal Despite Guilty Plea: Critics
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba - A guilty plea by Australian David Hicks to terrorism charges should not be seen as legitimizing U.S. military tribunals taking place at Guantanamo Bay, human rights groups said on Tuesday. Lawyers met to work out details of the plea after Hicks, a farmhand turned al Qaeda trainee, stunned many in the court at the U.S. naval base on Monday night by pleading guilty to a charge of providing material support for terrorism.
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U.S. Base Revives Cold War Feelings
BUDAPEST - The U.S. missile defense system to be deployed in Eastern Europe is becoming a matter for concern in all of Europe. Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France are now worried and demand talks.
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'Food Not Lawns': Organic Gardens vs. Chem-Fed Lawns
SAN DIEGO - Sandalistas are on the march here to create a homegrown organic food movement, encouraging gardeners to tear up their lawns for healthier, more natural alternatives. In doing so, they're advocating the re-greening of the urban landscape for the sake of food security and social justice.
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San Francisco First City to Ban Plastic Shopping Bags
SAN FRANCISCO - Paper or plastic? Not anymore in San Francisco. The city's Board of Supervisors approved groundbreaking legislation Tuesday to outlaw plastic checkout bags at large supermarkets in about six months and large chain pharmacies in about a year.
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Saudi King Slams 'Illegitimate Occupation' of Iraq
Saudi King Abdullah, whose country is a close US ally, on Wednesday slammed the "illegitimate foreign occupation" of Iraq in an opening speech to the annual Arab summit in Riyadh.
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Inhofe Vows to Put Brakes on Gore's 'Live Earth' Concert at the Capitol
WASHINGTON - Fresh from his face-to-face tussle with former Vice President Al Gore, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is vowing to stall Gore's hotly anticipated Capitol concert to draw attention to global warming.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007
NATO's Potty Rules Shut out Afghans
KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — Under a bizarre policy that echoes the days of segregation in the United States, Afghans who work at the NATO base at Kandahar Airfield must use separate toilets marked "local nationals only."Several Afghans told The Globe and Mail the practice is insulting, but they are dependent on NATO for their livelihoods and reluctant to speak out.
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Aides to Bush Told not to Destroy E-Mails
The Republican National Committee and chairman of George W. Bush's 2004 campaign have been ordered to preserve all e-mails related to White House business because they might be relevant to multiple congressional investigations.
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Republican Sees Iraq Pullout Passing then Vetoed
WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush is likely to lose a first-round fight with Democrats over a critical funding bill that sets a date for American troops to withdraw from Iraq, the U.S. Senate's Republican leader said on Monday. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky predicted legislation similar to that already passed by the House of Representatives would eventually get through the Senate, which is more narrowly controlled by Democrats.
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Cheney Speech at BYU Causes Outcry
At BYU -- in the heart of what has been called the reddest county in the nation -- the mere possibility of Vice President Dick Cheney coming to campus is getting some blue blood boiling.
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Gonzales Aide to Invoke the Fifth in Testimony
WASHINGTON - A key aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will invoke the Fifth Amendment rather than answer lawmakers' questions about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, her lawyer said Monday. The decision by Monica Goodling to protect herself against self-incrimination marks the first instance in which a Bush administration appointee involved in the probe has signaled concerns about possible criminal repercussions. Goodling, 33, has taken leave from her job as counsel to the attorney general and as the Justice Department's liaison to the White House.
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Film on "Radical Islam" Tied to Pro-Israel Groups
WASHINGTON - A controversial documentary on the threat of radical Islam, promoted by the two most-watched U.S. cable news networks, was marketed and supported in part by self-described "pro-Israel" groups, according to an IPS investigation.
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Global Warming Study Warns of Vanishing Climates
By the end of the century up to two fifths of the land surface of the Earth will have a hotter climate unlike anything that currently exists, according to a study that predicts the effects of global warming on local and regional climates.
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Monday, March 26, 2007
French Scientists Rebut U.S., Muslim Creationism
With creationism now coming in Christian and Muslim versions, scientists, teachers and theologians in France are debating ways to counteract what they see as growing religious attacks on science. Bible-based criticism of evolution, once limited to Protestant fundamentalists in the United States, has become an issue in France now that Pope Benedict and some leading Catholic theologians have criticized the neo-Darwinist view of creation.
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Three Fired U.S. Attorneys Balked At Seeking Death Penalty
Prosecutors in California, Michigan and Arizona Share a Reluctance to Pursue The Ultimate Punishment.
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Fighting For Air: Frontline of War on Global Warming
Progress Comes at a High Price For China and India, But There Are Grounds For Hope
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Greens Hail Landmark Victory In Fight To Save Amazon Rainforests
One of the world's largest agribusiness giants was forced to close a soy export terminal in Brazil's Amazon region this weekend, marking a major victory for environmentalists who have argued for years that the plant was built illegally and became a significant cause of rainforest depletion. Brazilian police and environmental officers swooped on the Cargill terminal in Santarem, a deep-water port in the lower Amazon about 850 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. They said they met no resistance as they set about closing operations.
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Senate GOP Says No to Al Gore-Global Warming Concert at Capitol
You probably didn't notice it (since readers of The Crypt have actual lives), but late Friday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tried to get Senate Republicans to allow former Vice President Al Gore to stage a global warming concert on Capitol grounds. But Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected to Reid's request, and the resolution authorizing the concert, for now, remains stuck in the Rules and Administration Committee.
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City Asks Court Not to Unseal Police Spy Files
Lawyers for the city, responding to a request to unseal records of police surveillance leading up to the 2004 Republican convention in New York, say that the documents should remain secret because the news media will "fixate upon and sensationalize them," hurting the city's ability to defend itself in lawsuits over mass arrests. In papers filed in federal court last week, the city's lawyers also say that the documents could be "misinterpreted" because they were not intended for the public.
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Sunday, March 25, 2007
We Failed, Says Pro-War Iraqi
Kanan Makiya, an Iraqi exile under Saddam and a key intellectual inspiration for the US policy of 'regime change' in Iraq, has admitted he failed to foresee the consequences for his country of the invasion four years ago.
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Cheney: Early Iraq Pullout Won't Be Allowed
US Vice President Dick Cheney has assured political allies that an early withdrawal of US forces from Iraq would not be allowed, despite efforts by Congress to impose a deadline on US combat operations there.
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Actor Penn, Rep. Lee Appear at Town Hall Meeting on Iraq War
Hundreds gather in Oakland to discuss how to get U.S. troops home OAKLAND -- Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn was the star attraction at a town hall meeting today in Oakland, where hundreds of people gathered to denounce the war in Iraq and call for an immediate withdrawal of American troops.
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And They Call It Peace: Inside Iraq, Four Years On
In a personal diary to mark the fourth anniversary of the war, our award-winning correspondent Patrick Cockburn journeys through a country riven with violence and chaos Sunday 18 March. Khanaqin
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NYC City Police Spied Broadly Before GOP Convention
For at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Convention, teams of undercover New York City police officers traveled to cities across the country, Canada and Europe to conduct covert observations of people who planned to protest at the convention, according to police records and interviews. From Albuquerque to Montreal, San Francisco to Miami, undercover New York police officers attended meetings of political groups, posing as sympathizers or fellow activists, the records show.
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