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Thursday, July 3, 2008
Senator Backs New Solar Power Initiative
BRATTLEBORO -- An idea to put 10 million solar panels on 10 million buildings in the United States is a good start, said an advocate for the replacement of fossil fuels and nuclear power with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. "It's a brilliant and visionary idea to put solar energy...
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Critics See Vendetta in Al-Arian's Legal Limbo
WASHINGTON - Palestinian activist and former university professor Sami Al-Arian was arraigned Monday in U.S. federal court on two counts of criminal contempt for his refusal to testify in a grand jury investigation of a Northern Virginia Muslim think-tank. The indictment is the latest episode of a...
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Report Faults Care of Detained Immigrants, But Critics Still Desire Broader Scope
WASHINGTON -- An internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general into the deaths of immigrants detained by the government has recommended better access to medical care, stronger oversight and general improvements in detention standards. But investigators in the...
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Afghanistan Moves Back Into The Limelight
WASHINGTON - Six and a half years since the ouster of the Taliban, U.S. media attention is returning to Afghanistan, where more U.S. and NATO troops were killed in June than in any previous month. Indeed, as noted by both the New York Times and the Washington Post Wednesday, June was the second...
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Military Chief Warns Against Striking Iran
WASHINGTON - The words Wednesday from Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were notable for their blunt pragmatism: An Israeli airstrike on Iran would be high-risk and could further destabilize the region, leading to political and economic chaos. On Iran's western border, the U...
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California Judge Rejects Bush's View on Wiretaps
WASHINGTON - A federal judge in California said Wednesday that the wiretapping law established by Congress was the "exclusive" means for the president to eavesdrop on Americans, and he rejected the government's claim that the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief trumped that...
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Civil Liberties Group Criticizes New FBI Profiling Authority
WASHINGTON - Nearly 40 years ago, the FBI was roundly criticized for investigating Americans without evidence they had broken any laws. Now, critics fear the FBI may be gearing up to do it again. Tentative Justice Department guidelines, to be released later this summer, would let agents investigate...
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Wildlife Extinction Rates 'Seriously Underestimated'
Endangered species may become extinct 100 times faster than previously thought, scientists warned today, in a bleak re-assessment of the threat to global biodiversity. Writing in the journal Nature , leading ecologists claim that methods used to predict when species will die out are seriously...
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US Officials Condoned Hunt-Kurd Oil Deal-Documents
U.S. officials condoned Hunt Oil Co efforts to obtain an exploration deal with Iraq's Kurdish regional government, contrary to public statements discouraging it, according to documents cited by a congressional committee. When the agreement was announced in September, it was criticized as...
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US Teacher Is Suspended For Letting Pupils Read Bestseller
An Indiana teacher who used a much lauded bestseller, The Freedom Writers Diary , to try to inspire under-performing high-school students has been suspended from her job without pay for 18 months. The effective book ban by the school authorities in Perry Township has outraged teachers and education...
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McCain Camp Puts Rove Man In Charge
New chief Steve Schmidt, right, a veteran of the Bush campaign, will focus on honing McCain's message. Republicans have complained the campaign lacked clear themes.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Ingrid Betancourt and Three American Hostages Freed by Colombian Military
Ingrid Betancourt, the French-Colombian politician held hostage by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) guerrillas, has been freed in a dramatic rescue operation. Colombian officials said they had rescued Ms Betancourt, as well as three American military contractors and 11 Colombian police...
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Sewage in Water Threatens Gazans
GAZA CITY - Gaza is being forced to pump 77 tonnes of untreated or partially treated sewage out to sea daily due to the Israeli blockade of the coastal territory. The fear is that some of this is creeping back into drinking water. "The health of Gaza's 1.5 million people is at risk," Mahmoud Daher...
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Award-winning Palestinian reporter 'abused' by Israeli Security Officers
The Dutch Foreign Minister, Maxime Verhagen, has officially complained to Israel after accusations by an award-winning Palestinian journalist from Gaza that he was abused during almost four hours of detention at the border with Jordan. Mohammed Omer, 24, says that he was manhandled and strip-...
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Experts Warn Against Military Aid to Mexico
WASHINGTON - A $465-million aid package aimed at countering terrorism and crippling the drug trade in Mexico and Central America was signed into law yesterday by U.S President George W. Bush, but critics warn that the "Merida Initiative," also known as "Plan Mexico," will be ineffective and could...
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Official Says Iran Accepts P5+1 Talks Proposal
WASHINGTON - A senior Iranian official reportedly told members of the Iranian parliament Monday that Iran has agreed to freeze its enrichment programme for six weeks and begin negotiations with the P5+1 group of states as early as next week, according to reports of that decision by the Iranian...
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Wounded Iraqi Forces Say They've Been Abandoned
BAGHDAD - Dawoud Ameen, a former Iraqi soldier, lay in bed, his shattered legs splayed before him, worrying about the rent for his family of five. Ameen's legs were shredded by shrapnel from a roadside bomb in September 2006 and now, like many wounded members of the Iraqi security forces, he is...
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Iraq Nears Agreement With US On Military Pact
Iraq said on Wednesday it was on the verge of agreeing a controversial pact with the United States that will govern US troop levels and ground rules in the nation beyond 2008 when the UN mandate expires. Tough negotiations between Washington and Baghdad on the security deal had yielded recent...
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In Manassas, the Medium Is The Issue
In Manassas's quaint, red-brick Old Town neighborhood, a giant billboard greets visiting tourists and commuters, but it was not put there by the city or Chamber of Commerce. "PWC and Manassas the National Capital of Intolerence," it declares, in hand-painted, none-too-subtle red and blue block...
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Dambusters: The Protest That Turned The Tide of Global Green Opinion
It is 25 years since a band of protesters won their campaign to block the construction of a Tasmanian dam. Their success inspired a generation of environmentalists.
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Poll Backs Greater UN Role in Mideast Peace
WASHINGTON - A majority of global publics say their governments should "not take either side" in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, instead supporting a call for the United Nations to play a greater role in regional peace, according to a new international poll of 18 countries released here Tuesday...
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Gas Guzzlers and 'Ghostburbs'
SUV factories closing, bicycle sales and train use rocketing, commuter belts becoming "ghostburbs" as residents flock to the inner cities . . . welcome to 2008 America, where soaring oil and petrol prices have triggered a sudden revolution in travel behaviour and a seismic upheaval in the...
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Senator: Angry McCain Grabbed Sandinista Official At Talks
GULFPORT, Miss. - John McCain engaged in a physical confrontation in 1987 with a left-wing Sandinista leader during a diplomatic meeting in Nicaragua, according to one of his colleagues, Sen. Thad Cochran, a Mississippi Republican. Notably mild-mannered, Cochran startled many people earlier this...
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40 Years On, NPT In Urgent Need of Overhaul: Experts
VIENNA - The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, which celebrates its 40th birthday this week, may have succeeded in keeping the number countries in possession of nuclear weapons down to a mere handful. But the treaty, drawn up during the Cold War period, is now in urgent need of an overhaul...
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China Inspired Interrogations at Guantánamo
WASHINGTON - The military trainers who came to Guantánamo in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of "coercive management techniques" for possible use on prisoners, including "sleep deprivation," "prolonged constraint," and "exposure." What the trainers...
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Obama Voters Protest His Switch on Telecom Immunity
WASHINGTON - Senator Barack Obama's decision to support legislation granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush administration's program of wiretapping without warrants has led to an intense backlash among some of his most ardent supporters. Thousands of...
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Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Protest Zone Far Cry From Pepsi Center, ACLU Says
New Suit Claims Delegates Won't Hear Activities
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US Court Ruling On Arar Enables Gov't To Send Foreigners To Torture, Says Lawyer
NEW YORK - A United States appeals court decision upholding the dismissal of a lawsuit from Canadian Maher Arar essentially enables the U.S. government to send foreigners to be tortured, a lawyer with a human rights group representing Arar said Monday. "It means that the U.S. can do to anyone what...
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Iraq Opens Oilfields to International Deals
BAGHDAD - Iraq opened its main oilfields to exploitation by international companies yesterday in a first step towards reintegrating its massive reserves into a market hitting staggering prices. Hussain al-Shahristani, the Oil Minister, said that he was keen to use international finance and...
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Ex-Abu Ghraib Inmates Sue US Firms For Torture
ISTANBUL - Four Iraqis are suing two US firms and their employees for allegedly torturing them at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Bagdad five years ago. Their lawsuit is against private security contractor CACI International and two of its interrogators, Daniel Johnson and Tim Dugan, and the...
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Former Agent Says CIA Ignored Findings on Iran
WASHINGTON - A former CIA operative who says he tried to warn the agency about faulty intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs now says that CIA officials also ignored evidence that Iran had suspended work on a nuclear bomb. The onetime undercover agent, who has been barred by the CIA from using his...
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Diego Garcia: Chagos Islands Return 'Puts US Base at Risk'
Islanders seeking to return to the homes from which they were removed to make way for a US military base nearly 40 years ago have no right to return, the law lords were told yesterday. Allowing the Chagossian islanders to go back to their Indian Ocean homes would be a "precarious and costly"...
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Map Reveals Extent of Deforestation in Tropical Countries
A map of the world's tropical forests has revealed that millions of hectares of trees were cut back to make way for crops in recent years. Created from high-resolution satellite images, the map shows the extent of deforestation in the tropics with unprecedented accuracy. Between 2000 and 2005, at...
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Afghanistan Needs New Humanitarian Effort: UN Aid Chief
A new humanitarian action plan is needed for Afghanistan, where people are being hit by resurgent fighting and a food shortage, the United Nations top official on humanitarian aid said Tuesday. "I think we do need to step up our efforts," said UN relief coordinator John Holmes, who has just...
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UN Investigator Blasts US Justice System
UNITED NATIONS - After a two-week fact-finding tour of U.S. prison and detention facilities, a U.N. human rights investigator has blasted the administration of President George W. Bush for a rash of shortcomings in the country's flawed justice system and continued violations of the rule of law...
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Georgia Judge Yanks Coal Power Permit on Climate Concerns
ATLANTA - A Fulton County Superior Court judge today issued a decision that blocks construction of the first coal-burning power plant proposed in Georgia in more than 20 years. The judge ruled that the new plant must limit its emissions of the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide. This is the first...
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Hawks Belie Iran's 'Existential Threat' to Israel
WASHINGTON - New arguments by analysts close to Israeli thinking in favour of U.S. strikes against Iran cite evidence of Iranian military weakness in relation to the U.S. and Israel and even raise doubts that Iran is rushing to obtain such weapons at all. The new arguments contradict Israel's...
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Monday, June 30, 2008
Bottled Water Industry Faces Growing Opposition
Last week's decision in York County may be part of a national backlash.
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McDowell Alarmed by 'Illegal' US War on Terror
DUBLIN - Former Justice Minister Michael McDowell has criticised aspects of the US-led invasion of Iraq, claiming the Bush administration carefully selected Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to circumvent legal procedures and deny human rights to detainees. The former PD leader, who warned governments not to...
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Project Helps Right Whales Get Right of Way
SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick - The most jarring photo Dr. Chris Taggart has ever seen is that of a dead right whale with a severely broken jaw. It had come to the surface for air and was hit by a passing ship. The impact was so forceful it drove the fractured bone through the top of the mammal's head...
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US Army Blames Leaders Over Post-War Iraq
The US army has told of errors, poor planning and complacency among its own top commanders in a warts-and-all official history of the steep descent into violence that followed the Iraq war. In a 696-page account, army historians fault military and political leaders for focusing excessively on...
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Iraq Fails to Sign Contracts With Global Oil Majors
BAGHDAD - Iraq said on Monday it has failed to sign technical support agreements with global oil majors which were aimed at helping boost the war-torn country's oil production. Iraq is negotiating with Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total, and a consortium of other smaller oil companies, Oil...
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Warden on Death Penalty: 'This Is Wrong'
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Murderer Pedro Medina was strapped into "Old Sparky" shortly after midnight on March 25, 1997, at Florida State Prison. Warden Ron McAndrew stood nearby as a guard placed a wet sponge to conduct more than 2,000 volts of electricity onto Medina's shaved head. The executioner...
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High Court's Tilt Hinges on Election's Outcome
WASHINGTON - The final flurry of rulings in the Supreme Court's just-completed term made it clear that the future of the court, and some of its most contentious rulings, rests with voters who will elect a new president in November. The justices managed to narrow their ideological differences at...
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Slow Food Nation Comes to San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO - Pick up your forks and knives, and let the revolution start now. That's the rallying cry of the organizers of Slow Food Nation, an event designed to change the way people eat. Fifty thousand people, including some of the world's leading food authorities, health care experts, farmers...
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US Advised Iraqi Ministry on Oil Deals
A group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and five major Western oil companies to develop some of the largest fields in Iraq, American officials say. The disclosure, coming on the eve of the...
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Amid Policy Disputes, Qaeda Grows in Pakistan
WASHINGTON - Late last year, top Bush administration officials decided to take a step they had long resisted. They drafted a secret plan to make it easer for the Pentagon's Special Operations forces to launch missions into the snow-capped mountains of Pakistan to capture or kill top leaders of Al...
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Pentagon Fights EPA on Pollution Cleanup
WASHINGTON - The Defense Department, the nation's biggest polluter, is resisting orders from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up Fort Meade and two other military bases where the EPA says dumped chemicals pose "imminent and substantial" dangers to public health and the environment. The...
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Sunday, June 29, 2008
Law School Pays the Price in 'Don't Ask' Rule Protest
SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt. - A renewed fight over the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is being watched closely here on the campus of the Vermont Law School, a 600-student institution on the banks of the White River. The Vermont Law School is one of two law schools in the nation that bar military...
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Tiny Voices Defy Child Marriage in Yemen
JIBLA, Yemen - One morning last month, Arwa Abdu Muhammad Ali walked out of her husband's house here and ran to a local hospital, where she complained that he had been beating and sexually abusing her for eight months. That alone would be surprising in Yemen, a deeply conservative Arab society...
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Mexicans Protest Canadian Mining Company
TORONTO - Residents and activists from the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosí travelled to Toronto to tell the shareholders of a Canadian mining company that their investments are at risk because the billion-dollar Cerro San Pedro gold and silver mine is illegal and environmentally unsafe...
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Home-Grown Veg Ruined by Toxic Fertiliser
Gardeners have been warned not to eat home-grown vegetables contaminated by a powerful new herbicide that is destroying gardens and allotments across the UK. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has been inundated with calls from concerned gardeners who have seen potatoes, beans, peas, carrots and...
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Shadow of War Looms as Israel Flexes its Muscle
Israeli fighter jets flew 1,500 kms across the Mediterranean this month, in a dry run for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Tehran has threatened to treat such a raid as a declaration of war. As the Middle East braces itself for a stand-off of epic proportions, how close is the region to that...
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US Issues Health Warning over Mercury Fillings
Amalgam dental fillings - which contain the highly toxic metal mercury - pose a health risk, the world's top medical regulatory agency has conceded. After years of insisting the fillings are safe, the US government's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a health warning about them. It...
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Animal Rights Group Turns its Fire on Celebrity Meat-Eaters
Animal rights protesters have launched a series of angry campaigns against A-list carnivores. They are shifting their focus from celebrities who wear fur to others who encourage the "exploitation" of animals by eating them. In its latest campaign, Peta - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals...
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Preparing the Battlefield
The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran.
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Saturday, June 28, 2008
Israelis Assault Award Winning IPS Journalist
GAZA CITY - Mohammed Omer, the Gaza correspondent of IPS, and joint winner of the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, was strip-searched at gunpoint, assaulted and abused by Israeli security officials at the Allenby border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank on Thursday as he tried to...
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US and EU Seen Near Private Data Deal
NEW YORK - The United States and the European Union are near a deal on letting law enforcement and security agencies obtain private information like credit card transactions and travel histories about people on the other side of the Atlantic, The New York Times reported on Saturday. The newspaper,...
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Liberal Arts Undervalued by Education Department, Official Says After Quitting
The Education Department is controlled by advisers who have insufficient regard for the liberal arts and instead are intent on judging colleges largely by their ability to provide economically measurable talent for industry, a recently departed top official told The Chronicle. Diane Auer Jones, who...
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Planet Heading Toward Climate 'Tipping Point'
WASHINGTON - Little time remains for brokering a global deal on climate change, and a successful outcome depends on involvement and commitment by both developed and developing countries. This message was driven home yesterday by renowned economist Sir Nicholas Stern, speaking at the Center for...
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Iraqi Officials Outraged by US Raid in Prime Minister's Hometown
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Outraged Iraqi officials demanded an investigation into an early morning U.S. military raid Friday near the birthplace of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, saying the operation violated the terms of the handover of Karbala province to Iraqi security forces. Karbala Gov. Oqeil al...
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US Halts Solar Energy Projects Over Environment Fears
LOS ANGELES - The US government is putting a hold on new solar energy projects on public land for two years so it can study the environmental impact of sun-driven plants. The Bureau of Land Management says the moratorium on solar proposals is needed to determine how a new generation of large-scale...
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Oilsands Vacation Site Tempts Visitors with 'Toxic Lakes'
Greenpeace has launched a tongue-in-cheek website touting the tourism potential of the Alberta oilsands. The site (travellingalberta.com) has an address similar to Alberta's official tourism page (travelalberta.com) and is the conservation group's response to the province's $25-million campaign to...
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Hungry for Answers
It seemed to happen overnight. One minute you were tucking into a T-bone and, if you thought about it at all, you probably figured there was food enough for everyone these days - a glut for the West, enough for the rest. The next minute, angry food riots were breaking out in dozens of countries...
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Canadian Military Silent on Afghan Civilian Deaths: UN Investigator
The Canadian military is being criticized by a UN investigator for a lack of accountability for civilian deaths in Afghanistan, where more than 200 civilians have been killed by international military forces this year, a recent report suggests. The United Nation's special rapporteur on...
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Friday, June 27, 2008
Feds Raid Blackwater's NC Armory In Firearms Probe
Federal agents raided Blackwater Worldwide this week as part of an investigation into whether the private security company sidestepped federal laws prohibiting the private purchase of automatic assault rifles, the company said Thursday. Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said investigators with...
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How Did Bush Policy Lead To A Deal With North Korea? Answer: It Wasn't Bush Policy
WASHINGTON - Meeting in Berlin, Germany in January 2007, in what was portrayed at the time as an accidental encounter, Christopher Hill, the State Department's top Asia hand, and his North Korean counterpart sketched out a deal to resume nuclear negotiations. The North Koreans had proposed the...
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Torture a Big Problem Worldwide, UN Expert Says
Despite a ban on torture, it remains widespread in many countries, the UN's Manfred Nowak recently said in an interview with Deutsche Welle ahead of the UN's International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Nowak, an Austrian human rights lawyer who currently serves as the United Nation's...
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Greenpeace Crashes Coal Meeting Using Phony Front
NEW YORK - Greenpeace posed as a pro-coal organization to become a sponsor of the 2008 McCloskey Coal USA conference, which was surprised but allowed them to deliver a brief anti-coal message, officials said Friday. When The McCloskey Group figured out who the Institute for Energy Solutions really...
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Israeli Settlement Activity Surges Despite Peace Talks
TALMON, West Bank - Blue and yellow signs advertising new homes pepper the narrow West Bank roads that wind up to gated hilltop Jewish settlements."A new stage is on its way," boasts one billboard promoting a dozen homes being built in this small Israeli settlement not far from Ramallah, the de...
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Obama Supports Supreme Court Reversal of Gun Ban
Barack Obama intensified his campaign to appeal to voters on the life-and-death issues of the American heartland yesterday by stepping away from his past support for gun control. In the latest in a series of policy reversals for the Democratic presidential candidate, Obama came out in support of...
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US Senate Approves Iraq, Afghanistan War Funding
WASHINGTON - The US Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a much-disputed bill alloting 162 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill gives funding for the conflicts through to mid-2009 after President George W. Bush, who must now sign the bill into law, has left office...
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Key Player In Waterboarding Policy 'Smug' Under Questioning
WASHINGTON - For years, congressional Democrats dreamed of getting a crack at a man they saw as a key player behind the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods against detainees in the war on terrorism -- methods the critics say amount to torture. On Thursday, they finally got...
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Elite US Army Academy Lures Kids With Mud and Duty
WEST POINT, New York - Climbing ropes and crawling in the mud under barbed wire, dozens of American high school kids at an unusual summer camp vied to see who could get most dirty as they tackled an Army obstacle course. And as they ran between obstacles in the woods, the kids shouted Army chants...
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20:20 Vision Aimed at Dismantling Nukes
UNITED NATIONS - When leaders of the world's eight most industrialised nations -- the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia, known as the G8 -- hold their annual summit meeting in Hokkaido next month, they are likely to reject a seemingly backhanded invitation: a...
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Sizeable Minority In US Condone Torture
UNITED NATIONS - The number of Americans who would condone torture, at least when used on terrorists in order to save lives, has risen over the past two years and now stands at over 40 percent, according to a new opinion poll. The poll released by WorldPublicOpinion.org, a project managed by the...
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No Ice At The North Pole: Polar Scientists Reveal Dramatic New Evidence of Climate Change
It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year. The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic - and worrying...
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Thursday, June 26, 2008
Addington Clashes With Democrats As Torture Hearing Starts
David Addington, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, has started a testy duel with Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee. Watch the hearings . Addington, appearing cocky and not in the least intimidated by the congressional inquisitors, denied that he played a key role in drafting an Aug...
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Supreme Court Shoots Down DC Gun Ban
WASHINGTON - A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Constitution protects an individual's right to bear arms, while leaving room for governments to regulate gun ownership. By 5-4, the court struck down the District of Columbia's strict gun ban as an infringement on fundamental...
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White House Tried to Silence EPA Proposal on Car Emissions
White House officials last December sought to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from submitting a proposed rule that would limit greenhouse-gas emissions on the grounds they pose a threat to public welfare, agency sources said yesterday. And upon learning that EPA had hit the "send" button...
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CBS to Appeal Ruling on Marine Interview
SAN DIEGO - CBS News said it plans to appeal a ruling by a military appellate court that ordered a judge to review unaired footage of an interview given by a Marine squad leader charged in the killings of 24 Iraqis.CBS News spokeswoman Sandra Genelius said Wednesday the news network would appeal...
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Power Plant Is Ground Zero in Battle of Energy vs. Environment
ST. PAUL, Minn. - By any standard, it is the biggest environmental controversy in Virginia today - a $1.8 billion power plant, proposed by the state's largest electric company, in the heart of coal country here in mountainous southwest Virginia. The debate, while centered far from Hampton Roads,...
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Netroots Feel Jilted by Obama's FISA Stand
When former Sen. John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race, the progressive Netroots took their affections to Barack Obama, defending him against attack from Hillary Rodham Clinton and others. But with his support of a government surveillance bill that offers retroactive immunity to...
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UN Says Toxic Waste Exports on the Rise
BALI, Indonesia - Poor nations welcome hazardous waste from abroad, such as old computers, rusted ships and banned pesticides, in a shortsighted bid to lift themselves out of poverty, despite the dangers to human health and the environment, a U.N. rights official said Thursday. Okechukwu Ibeanu, a...
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Former UN Weapons Inspector Speaks to High School Students
COLUMBIA - Former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter made a surprise visit to a group of Missouri high school students on Wednesday to discuss the prospect of war with Iran and how to utilize citizenship in a representative democracy. Ritter engaged in a conversation on the geopolitics between the...
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Zimbabwe: What Now?
WASHINGTON - Zimbabwe's civil society groups and the U.S. government agree that the decision by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to withdraw from this Friday's run-off election was the right one, but as talk of potential negotiations and military interventions abound, no one can predict with any...
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Maine Activists Win First Victory As Nestle Water Deal Vote Is Delayed
KENNEBUNK - Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Wells Water District trustees delayed action Wednesday on a proposal to sell water to Poland Spring after protesters gathered at district offices to show their displeasure. The four trustees voted unanimously to postpone the decision until July 30 to allow...
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Top US Military Officer Heads To Israel With Iran On The Agenda
WASHINGTON - US military chief Admiral Michael Mullen was expected in Israel this week for discussions including Iran, the Pentagon said Wednesday, amid speculation Israel is seeking Washington's tacit approval to strike Tehran's nuclear program. The press office of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff...
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A Blueprint for Withdrawal
WASHINGTON - Proponents of a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq routinely brush off criticisms that their ideas are "irresponsible". But until today, the charge that withdrawal cannot be accomplished responsibly -- and just how that would be done -- has never been coherently answered. With the...
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Broad Coalition Backs Universal Broadband
WASHINGTON - A broad coalition of Internet business leaders, online gurus, community organizers and advocates across the political spectrum launched a campaign Tuesday with the lofty goal of universal high-speed Internet service. Better broadband access and quality can be a boring and technical...
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Biofuels Pushing 30 Million Into Poverty - Oxfam
BRUSSELS - Biofuels are responsible for 30 percent of the increase in global food prices, pushing 30 million people worldwide into poverty, aid agency Oxfam said in a report on Wednesday. The use of biofuels is soaring as developed countries try to reduce their dependence on imported oil and cut...
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Feingold to Filibuster Warrantless Wiretapping Bill
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., will take steps this week to filibuster a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform proposal that provides retroactive immunity to telecommunications corporations that violate the privacy rights of customers by sharing information with illegal spying programs...
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Obama Tilts Toward Center, Irking Some Activists
Barack Obama's support of an overhaul of domestic-spying laws last week was the latest in a string of statements suggesting the Democratic presidential candidate is tacking toward the center to compete with John McCain. On foreign policy, national security, tax issues and even local politics, Sen...
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Supreme Court Slashes Punitive Award in Exxon Valdez Oil Spill by 80%
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Wednesday dashed the hopes of more than 32,000 fishermen and Alaska Natives who've been waiting for nearly 20 years to hear whether Exxon Mobil Corp. must pay billions in punitive damages for its role in the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In a victory for...
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Private Jets Targeted as Symbols of Inequality
WASHINGTON - Crusaders against inequality are accusing the private jet set of flying high at the expense of the environment, the national air traffic system, and lower-class taxpayers. "The private jet is one of the most powerful symbols of extreme inequality," research and advocacy groups...
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US Mayors Agree to Phase Out Bottled Water
The US Conference of Mayors on Monday passed a resolution calling for a phasing out of bottled water by municipalities and promoting the importance of public water supplies. The vote comes amid increasing environmental concerns about the use of bottled water because of its use of plastic and energy...
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Fear of US-Sunni Ties Undercut Iraq Security Talks
WASHINGTON- The threat by the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki earlier this month to reject the U.S.-Iraq status of forces and strategic framework agreements was prompted in part by U.S. demands for access to bases that were unacceptable to a highly nationalistic Iraqi population...
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Before Judge, Spirited Clash on Subpoenas for Bush Aides
WASHINGTON - Lawyers for the Bush administration and Congress clashed on Monday before a federal judge over whether White House officials could refuse to comply with subpoenas from the House Judiciary Committee. The judge, who represents the third branch of government, noted the judiciary's burden...
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Earth Near Tipping Point, Climatologist Warns
WASHINGTON-James Hansen returned to Capitol Hill a hero yesterday, but certainly not a conquering hero. The soft-spoken scientist, hailed as the "whistle-blower for the planet,'' tried to quiet a standing ovation from environmentalists here with a typically blunt admonition. "It is not a time to...
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A Fitting Memorial: The George W. Bush Sewage Plant
Satire at the ballot box to 'honor' Bush
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