All News Articles

Sunday, April 22, 2007
Obama's Refusal of Lobbyists' Money Has its Limits
WASHINGTON - While pledging to turn down donations from lobbyists themselves, Sen. Barack Obama raised more than $1 million in the first three months of his presidential campaign from law firms and companies that have major lobbying operations in the nation's capital.Portraying himself as a new-...
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The New 5-to-4 Supreme Court
AFTER the 5-to-4 decision last week in which the Supreme Court reversed course on abortion, upholding the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, many court watchers were wondering what to expect next.For guidance, law professors and Supreme Court specialists looked to lists of 5-to-4 cases in...
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Congress Set to Defy Bush on Iraq War
WASHINGTON - A fight between the U.S. Congress and President George W. Bush over the Iraq war is set to come to a head this week when Democrats are expected to send him $100 billion to pay for continuing combat while setting timetables for withdrawing troops.Bush has promised to veto any bill...
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Earth Day 2007: Happiness Is a Smaller Eco-Footprint
BROOKLIN, Canada - Today's children will live in a new world of climate change and greatly diminished natural resources, which may give way to a nightmarish reality, or it could give birth to a happier and lighter way of living on the Earth, say environmentalists.The scientific evidence for...
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Saturday, April 21, 2007
In Florida, Warming Gives Earth Day New Urgency
ORLANDO, Fla. - Tomorrow is Earth Day, and it arrives with the kind of urgency not felt since the holiday was created 37 years ago.The first Earth Day in 1970 triggered a grass-roots uproar against rampant pollution that was endangering air, water and wildlife. A worried nation supported swift...
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Illegal Roads Speeding Destruction of the Rainforest
Officially Geroan's chainsaw shop doesn't exist. Nor does the newly opened petrol station next door, or the motorbike workshop or even the Uniao supermarket, a rickety shack where the dusty shelves droop under the weight of dozens of cachaca spirit bottles.This is the Trans-Iriri highway, a...
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Power Bills Soar After Electric Deregulation
BENTON, Ill. --This wasn't supposed to happen with deregulation. Electric bills were supposed to go down. Instead, Ellie Dorchincez can almost see the dollars evaporating every time she turns on the lights or opens the freezer at her small Farm Fresh grocery store.Her electric bill, which used to...
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Cover-Up? After Tillman Death, Army Sealed Off Information
Within hours of Pat Tillman's death, the Army went into information-lockdown mode, cutting off phone and Internet connections at a base in Afghanistan, posting guards on a wounded platoon mate, and ordering a sergeant to burn Tillman's uniform.New Army investigative documents reviewed by The...
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General's Report on Haditha Condemns Marines
WASHINGTON - A U.S. Army general concluded the Marine Corps chain of command in Iraq ignored "obvious" signs of "serious misconduct" in the slayings of two dozen civilians in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.The report by Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell, obtained by the...
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Shareholder Bill Targets Excessive Compensation for Executives
WASHINGTON - The House voted Friday to give shareholders at public corporations a voice in executive pay packages that typically equal 500 times the salaries of workers at those companies.The shareholder vote under the bill would be advisory only. But Democratic backers of this provision said that investors need a say when companies losing money or laying off workers are paying executives eight- and nine-figure salaries and retirement packages.
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Latest US Solution to Iraq's Civil War: A Three-Mile Wall
BAGHDAD -- A wall U.S. troops are building around a Sunni enclave in Baghdad came under increasing criticism on Saturday, with residents calling it "collective punishment" and a local leader saying construction began without the neighborhood council's approval.The U.S. military says the wall in...
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Friday, April 20, 2007
Vermont Senate Calls for Bush, Cheney Impeachment
MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont senators voted Friday to call for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, saying their actions have raised "serious questions of constitutionality."The non-binding resolution was approved 16-9 without debate - all six Republicans in the chamber at...
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Audit Finds Many Faults in Cleveland's '06 Voting
CINCINNATI - An audit of last November's general election in the Cleveland area has found that hundreds of votes were lost, that others were recorded twice and that software used to count the ballots was vulnerable to data problems. In a state that was pivotal to President Bush's election and re-...
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Wolfowitz Told: No Changes, Just Go
WASHINGTON - A senior aide has told Paul Wolfowitz to resign as president of the World Bank, unimpressed by the former White House official's promise to change his management style.At a meeting with about 30 vice-presidents of the bank on Wednesday, Dr Wolfowitz had asked for suggestions on how to...
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Rights Group Sues Yahoo Over Arrests in China
SHANGHAI, CHINA - A human rights group sued Yahoo this week, accusing the Internet giant of abetting the torture of pro-democracy writers by releasing data that allowed China's government to identify them.The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, says the company was complicit in the...
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Withering Gonzales Struggles to Salvage Job
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, trying to salvage his job, endured withering questioning on Thursday from Senate Judiciary Committee members who expressed grave doubts about his truthfulness and judgment in the firing of federal prosecutors. In more than five hours of often-...
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Kucinich to Sponsor Impeach Cheney Bill
Sources close to the office of Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) confirm that the progressive Democratic congressman and Democratic presidential aspirant intends to introduce a bill of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 25. The...
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Demoted U.S. Attorney Protested Office Shutdown, Loss of Resources
A U.S. attorney targeted by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff complained to his superiors in Washington about losing investigative resources little more than a month before his demotion.Years before Abramoff was sent to jail, the Department of the Interior ignored an October 2002 letter from...
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Harry Reid Tells Bush: War is 'Lost'
WASHINGTON - Senate majority leader Harry Reid said yesterday that the war in Iraq is ''lost,'' triggering an angry backlash from Republicans who said the top Democrat had turned his back on the troops. The bleak assessment, the sharpest yet from Reid, came as the House voted 215 to 199 to uphold...
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Thursday, April 19, 2007
Doolittle Denies Wrongdoing After FBI Search
Placer County GOP congressman linked to lobbyist Abramoff
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World Needs to Axe Greenhouse Gases by 80 Pct: Report
OSLO - The world will have to axe greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, more deeply than planned, to have an even chance of curbing global warming in line with European Union goals, researchers said on Thursday.Even tough long-term curbs foreseen by the EU or California fall short of...
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Congress Hears from Organic Growers over Farm Bill
Small farmers seek piece of spending that typically goes to big commodities.
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World Bank May Target family Planning
WASHINGTON - Under beleaguered President Paul D. Wolfowitz, the World Bank may be scaling back its long-standing support for family planning, which many countries consider essential to women's health and the fight against AIDS.In an internal e-mail, the bank's team leader for Madagascar indicated...
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Politicians Duck for Cover at Talk of Gun Control
LOS ANGELES - THE response of America's political leaders to the deaths at Virginia Tech was so muted it was no louder than a sob.But the largest mass shooting in US history did force reluctant Democratic leaders in Congress to confront an issue that divides their party and holds considerable...
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Campaign Against Alleged Voter Fraud Fuels Political Tempest
WASHINGTON - For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.The administration intensified its efforts last year...
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Iraq Refugees: The Hidden Face of the War
GENEVA - The United Nations was able, at least for a few hours, to draw public attention away from the bombings and attacks that have become routine in Iraq and direct it towards another, equally painful, aspect of the conflict -- the humanitarian crisis suffered by nearly four million refugees and...
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World Opposed to U.S. as Global Cop
WASHINGTON - The world public rejects the U.S. role as a world leader, but still wants the United States to do its share in multilateral efforts and does not support a U.S. withdrawal from international affairs, says a poll released Wednesday.The survey respondents see the United States as an...
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Supreme Court Backtracks on Abortion Rights
One activist says the Supreme Court's ruling 'swings the door wide open.' A flood of legislation is expected.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Supreme Court Upholds Law Banning Some Abortions
WASHINGTON - A closely divided U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the first nationwide ban on a specific abortion procedure, restricting abortion rights in a ruling on one of the nation's most divisive and politically charged issues.By a 5-4 vote, the high court rejected two challenges to the...
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Libraries React to Patriot Act Abuses
HILLSDALE, N.Y. -The U.S. Department of Justice released an audit last month that revealed poorly trained FBI agents have abused a provision of the anti-terrorism law, the USA Patriot Act, which permits agents to look secretly at personal and public documents without a court warrant. Libraries have...
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Majority Expect U.S. Will 'Lose' War In Iraq
ABC News/Washington Post poll finds 51 percent think U.S. will lose war, 66 percent think Iraq was not worth fight; Dems, Pelosi get higher marks in approval and trust. A bare majority of Americans for the first time believe the United States will lose the war in Iraq, and a new high -- two-thirds...
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Call to End Wolfowitz's Reign Goes Global
WASHINGTON - The calls for embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz to step down have gone global, coming from newspapers, officials, activists and even Internet bloggers from across the world.Wolfowitz, who took over as the 10th president of the World Bank in June 2005, has admitted to...
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Impeachment Activists Grill Legislative Leaders
MONTPELIER, Vt. - They will not take no for an answer.More than 125 Vermonters from 56 communities congregated at the Statehouse Tuesday and sought to pressure legislators from both chambers and of all political persuasions to act on a resolution calling for President Bush's impeachment this...
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Massacre Renews Call for 'Common-Sense' Gun Policy
WASHINGTON - The massacre at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, which left at least 33 dead and 29 injured in the worst school shooting in U.S. history, has led gun control advocates in Congress and elsewhere to call for immediate reforms to current gun control legislation.The...
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Dems Divided over Webb's Proposal Requiring Approval for Attacking Iran
WASHINGTON - Supporters of requiring President Bush to secure congressional approval for any preemptive strike on Iran are regrouping for a new push, presaging a difficult vote for Democratic leaders and presidential hopefuls alike.Democrats hailed the Iraq withdrawal language attached to the...
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Bush Won't Turn Over Emails Until White House 'Reviews' Them
WASHINGTON - President Bush's lawyers told the Republican National Committee on Tuesday not to turn over to Congress any e-mails related to the firings last year of eight U.S. attorneys before showing them to the White House.Democrats and Republican critics of the administration said the move...
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World to US: We Demand 'Climate Justice'
WASHINGTON - Dubbing the battle against climate change a moral test for the United States, global anti-poverty and religious leaders called on U.S. politicians Monday to take drastic and immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimize the country's contributions to global...
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Smog, Heat Waves May Contribute to Big Rise in Illness
Higher temperatures over the coming decades are expected to cause more smoggy days and heat waves, contributing to a greater number of illnesses and deaths in the United States, according to international climate scientists.Severe heat waves -- characterized by stagnant masses of warm air and...
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Unusual Trip to Iraq in '03 for Wolfowitz Companion
WASHINGTON - The Defense Department directed a private contractor in 2003 to hire Shaha Ali Riza, a World Bank employee and the companion of Paul D. Wolfowitz, then the deputy secretary of defense, to spend a month studying issues related to setting up a new government in Iraq, the contractor said...
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Death in the Rainforest: Fragile Creatures give the World a New Climate Warning
A protected rainforest in one of the world's richest biodiversity hotspots has suffered an alarming collapse in amphibians and reptiles, suggesting such havens may fail to slow the creatures' slide towards global extinction.Conservationists working in a lowland forest reserve at La Selva in Costa...
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UN Urges Help for Iraqi Refugees
GENEVA - The UN head has urged Iraq's neighbours not to close their borders to refugees, and states further afield to do more to help tackle the humanitarian crisis.Ban Ki-moon was speaking to a major UN conference in Geneva highlighting the plight of Iraqi refugees, which the UN says most...
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Gonzales Contradicts His Own Testimony
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' assertion that he was not involved in identifying the eight U.S. attorneys who were asked to resign last year is at odds with a recently released internal Department of Justice e-mail, ABC News has learned.That e-mail said that Gonzales supported...
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Bush Allies in Congress Block Bill That Would Require Intelligence Disclosures
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's allies in Congress on Monday blocked a bill that would require the White House to disclose the locations of secret prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency and to reveal the amount spent annually by American intelligence agencies. The vote on the...
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Group Says Worst Crisis in US Faced by Black Men
NEW YORK -- Citing bleak data on incarceration, joblessness, and AIDS, the National Urban League said yesterday that problems facing black men represent America's most serious social crisis and proposed an aggressive campaign to provide them with more opportunities.The 97-year-old black empowerment...
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Monday, April 16, 2007
E-Mail Uproar Gives Dems Ammo vs. Rove
WASHINGTON - The fight over documents has gone to red alert.The White House acknowledges it cannot find four years' worth of e-mails from chief political strategist Karl Rove. The admission has thrust the Democrats' nemesis back into the center of attention and poses a fresh political challenge for...
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Leak Prompts Fear Over World Bank Health Policies
A key figure in the World Bank, said to have links to the Roman Catholic sect Opus Dei, was accused yesterday of undermining its commitment to the health of women by ordering the deletion of goals, targets and policies relating to family planning.Juan José Daboub, the bank's managing director,...
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Increasingly, War Tax Resisters Defy IRS in Protest Over Iraq
Bryan Nelson's federal tax return says he owes $3,082. So he mailed his 1040 form to the IRS before tomorrow's filing deadline. But for the second year in a row, the New Brunswick man did not send what he owes.His reason: "I wasn't going to pay for an illegal war in Iraq." Nelson, 26, told the IRS...
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Data-Mining of Students raises Alarms
WASHINGTON -- Some lending companies with access to a national database that contains confidential information on 60 million student borrowers have repeatedly searched it in ways that violate federal rules, raising alarms about abuse of privacy, government and university officials said.The...
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Global Warming Could Spur 21st Century Conflicts
OSLO - Droughts, floods and rising seas linked to global warming could spur conflicts in coming decades, experts said on Monday, the eve of a first U.N. Security Council debate on climate change.And the poor in tropical regions of Africa and Asia are likely to suffer most, perhaps creating tensions...
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Political Winds Shift on Nebraska Prairie
MCCOOK, NEB. - In early February, the war in Iraq came home to this small railroad town on the Nebraska prairie where farms begin to give way to high plains.Seven thousand miles away on a Baghdad street, a bomb exploded beside Army Sgt. Randy J. Matheny's armored vehicle, killing the 20-year-old...
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Hired Guns are Wild Cards in Iraq War
BAGHDAD - On the afternoon of July 8, 2006, four private security guards rolled out of Baghdad's Green Zone in an armored Chevrolet Suburban. The team leader, Jacob Washbourne, rode in the front passenger seat. He seemed in a good mood. His vacation started the next day."I want to kill somebody...
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UK's Benn: No More 'War on Terror' Slogan
LONDON - Hilary Benn, the International Development Secretary, has risked angering George W Bush by claiming that the US President's phrase "War on Terror" strengthens extremist groups. Mr Benn told an audience in New York that the term, coined by the White House after the 9/11 attacks, makes small...
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Angry Dems to Question Defiant Gonzales
WASHINGTON -- When Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales faces angry Senate Democrats tomorrow, he will insist that even though the White House was originally behind the dismissals of eight US attorneys last year, none of the prosecutors was fired for political reasons.In his prepared Senate...
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Step It Up Rallies Take Aim at U.S. Congress
NEW YORK - Environmentalists say they are running out of patience with what they see as the snail's pace of climate change legislation moving through the U.S. Congress.The weekend saw thousands of people taking to the streets, parks and beaches in towns and cities across the United States, amidst...
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FDA Inspecting 'Only a Minuscule' Percentage of Imported Foods
WASHINGTON - Just 1.3 percent of imported fish, vegetables, fruit and other foods are inspected - yet those government inspections regularly reveal food unfit for human consumption.Frozen catfish from China, beans from Belgium, jalapenos from Peru, blackberries from Guatemala, baked goods from...
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Sunday, April 15, 2007
The Long Road to Ruin for the Amazon Forest
NOVO PROGRESSO, Brazil - Taking a bus along the BR-163 is an adventure sport. When it is dry, the ride is an exhilarating slalom between gigantic potholes. When it is wet, the bus gets stuck in the mud and the passengers are expected to pull it out by rope.The 1,100-mile road is the main north-...
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Lenders Sought Edge Against U.S. in Student Loans
In a fierce contest to control the student loan market, the nation's banks and lenders have for years waged a successful campaign to limit a federal program that was intended to make borrowing less costly by having the government provide loans directly to students. The companies have offered money...
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Britain Joins Chorus of Condemnation over Wolfowitz
WASHINGTON - Paul Wolfowitz's job as president of the World Bank was hanging by a thread this weekend after Hilary Benn, the Secretary of State for International Development, joined a concerted effort by European ministers to shame him into resigning. Flying into Washington for the bank's spring...
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Report: Katrina Evacuees 'Remain Poor'
Hopes that evacuees who fled New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina would find a better life elsewhere have been dashed and many remain jobless and poor, new research shows.When thousands were driven out of the flooded city in the summer of 2005, many went to more affluent surrounding areas and there...
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Global Warming Called Security Threat
WASHINGTON - For the second time in a month, private consultants to the government are warning that human-driven warming of the climate poses risks to the national security of the United States.A report, scheduled to be published on Monday but distributed to some reporters yesterday, said issues...
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Russian Police Beat Opposition Protestors
MOSCOW - Russian police clubbed and detained opposition protestors Sunday after a peaceful demonstration against President Vladimir Putin, the second in two days resulting in mass arrests.About 100 people were detained, according to preliminary figures from city police, following the protest by The...
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Silenced: Progressive Sites Censored
MALIBU, Calif. - Last fall 30th Congressional District Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) came to Malibu to address concerns of residents prior to the midterm elections November 7, 2006. At that time, Waxman warned residents questioning him about Net Neutrality that changes were underway."Sometimes...
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Saturday, April 14, 2007
New Execution Chamber Infuriates Lawmakers
Facility at San Quentin Was Built quietly
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E-Mails Contradict Testimony in US Attorneys Scandal
WASHINGTON - A U.S. attorney in Wisconsin who prosecuted a state Democratic official on corruption charges during last year's heated governor's race was once targeted for firing by the Department of Justice, but given a reprieve for reasons that remain unclear. A federal appeals court last week...
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Top Wolfowitz Postings Went to Iraq War Backers
WASHINGTON - Of the top five outside international appointments made by embattled World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz during his nearly two-year tenure, three were senior political appointees of right-wing governments that provided strong backing for U.S. policy in Iraq.The latest appointment came...
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Activists Stepping up Fight Against Warming With Rallies, Lobbying
SAN FRANCISCO - The movement to combat global warming kicks off its grassroots activist season today with a series of events that highlight the dynamism -- and growing pains -- within the ranks of green advocates.Across the Bay Area and in about 1,350 demonstrations in all 50 states, people will...
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Friday, April 13, 2007
Schwarzenegger's 'Green' Credentials Questioned
SACRAMENTO - He is gaining a reputation as the green governor who is marshaling California in the fight against global warming. But Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the last people in the Capitol to join the battle, and has earned so-so grades from environmental activists.Schwarzenegger seems to be...
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Egypt Rejects Torture Criticism
CAIRO - Egypt has rejected a report by human rights group Amnesty International that accused it of the systematic torture of prisoners.The foreign ministry said Cairo was offended by the report which was inaccurate and unfair. The report said torture was pervasive in police stations and prisons. It...
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Muslim Scholar Banned from U.S., but Speaking from Afar
Banned from U.S. soil three years ago, a prominent Muslim scholar accused of aiding terrorist activity spoke to a crowd via satellite this week in Gaston Hall on several major issues concerning relations between the Islamic world and the West.Projected live on a large screen, Tariq Ramadan - a...
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Protest Grows over Blackwater U.S.A Training Camp
POTRERO, Calif. - With its isolation and rustic ambience, this sparsely populated hamlet in eastern San Diego County offers the privacy and quiet its residents crave."It's perfect: nobody here but us rural souls," Will Lee said as he headed to the Potrero General Store. But Lee's solitude and sense...
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Peace Activist Cindy Sheehan Speaks Out in Indiana
SOUTH BEND -- A day after the Pentagon announced soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will serve longer tours of duty, peace activist Cindy Sheehan urged Americans to make personal sacrifices to help end the war."You need to reach deep down inside yourself and figure out what more you can do," Sheehan...
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Drug Giants Accused of Ignoring Fake Medicines that Kill Millions
The world's major drug companies have been accused of turning a blind eye to the multibillion-dollar trade in fake medicine that has resulted in an explosion of child malaria deaths in developing countries. Governments have not tackled the problem and pharmaceutical companies are burying the issue...
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World Bank Staff Seek Wolfowitz's Ouster
WASHINGTON - The World Bank's Staff Association, which represents 10,000 employees, asked Bank President Paul Wolfowitz to step down Thursday amid charges that he gave his girlfriend, a Bank employee, improper pay raises and attempted to cover it up.The association made the call during an informal...
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Key Democrat Accuses Officials of Lying About E-Mails
WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee accused the Bush administration Thursday of trying to bury potentially damaging Republican Party e-mails about eight fired U.S. attorneys and compared the situation to Watergate."They say they have not been preserved. I don't believe that...
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Thursday, April 12, 2007
Deaths in Uganda Forest Protest
At least three people have died in Uganda during violence at a protest against plans to allocate forest land to a sugar company, police say.A suspected looter was shot by guards, a passer-by was hit by a stray bullet and an Asian man was stoned to death, while police have fired live bullets. There...
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White House Pulls Nomination to Top EPA Air Post
WASHINGTON - The White House on Wednesday withdrew its choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency's air pollution office after he ran afoul of key U.S. lawmakers.William Wehrum, nominated to head the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, was the architect of rules to regulate harmful power...
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Top U.S. Sushi Company Linked to Whaling
BROOKLIN, Canada - An investigation has revealed that the U.S. supplier of sushi to more than 6,000 restaurants is associated with a Japanese company that sells millions of tins of whale meat.Despite a global ban on killing whales, Japan's Kyokuyo, a multinational seafood conglomerate, sells...
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Israel Seen as Fighting Peace
CAIRO - Israel's rejection of the Arab peace initiative, which was reiterated at last month's Arab Summit, drew emphatic criticism from Egyptian commentators. Although Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert later called for peace talks with "moderate" Arab heads of state, most local political observers...
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US Compensation Payments to Iraqi Civilians Made Public
The US army memo about the killing of an Iraqi woman in a taxi at a checkpoint in Iraq is terse and matter-of-fact.The incident occurred in the eastern Iraqi town of Baquba in February last year, when a taxi carrying a woman and her two children went through the checkpoint. US troops opened fire,...
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Warming Could Spark N. American Water Scramble: U.N.
NEW YORK - Climate change could diminish North American water supplies and trigger disputes between the United States and Canada over water reserves already stressed by industry and agriculture, U.N. experts said on Wednesday.More heat waves like those that killed more than 100 people in the United...
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Wolfowitz Stamped Lover's Pay
Hong Kong - World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz personally ordered the hefty pay rise given to his girlfriend at the bank, the Financial Times website reported on Thursday.It cited two people who had seen a memo from Wolfowitz to the head of human resources spelling out the terms of the nearly $200...
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Some White House E-Mails on Fired Attorneys May be Lost
WASHINGTON - Some White House staff wrote e-mail messages about official business on Republican Party accounts, and some may have been wrongly deleted, the administration said on Wednesday in an embarrassing disclosure tied to the probe into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.The White House said...
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Retired Generals: Bush is 'Breaking the Army'
WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush's ongoing "surge" of some 35,000 troops to add to the 140,000 already deployed in Iraq is highlighting growing concern, particularly among the military brass, that the U.S. army is overstretched and fast becoming "broken".An increasing number of senior retired officers, some of whom had previously expressed optimism that the active-duty force of some 500,000 soldiers could handle U.S. commitments in the "global war on terror", now say the current situation today reminds them of 1980, when the service's top officer, Gen.
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Kurt Vonnegut, Novelist Who Caught the Imagination of His Age, Is Dead at 84
NEW YORK - Kurt Vonnegut, whose dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like "Slaughterhouse-Five," "Cat's Cradle" and "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a generation, died last night in Manhattan.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007
US-British War on Terror Backfires: Think Tank
The US-led and British-backed war on terror is only fuelling more violence by focusing on military solutions rather than on root causes, a think tank warned Wednesday."The 'war on terror' is failing and actually increasing the likelihood of more terrorist attacks," the Oxford Research Group said in its study, titled "Beyond Terror: The Truth About The Real Threats To Our World."
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Bush Wants a War Czar, but Can't Find Any Takers
WASHINGTON - The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, State Department and other agencies, but has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job.At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position, according to people close to the situation.
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Panel: US Faces Change As Climate Warms
UNITED NATIONS - Chicago and Los Angeles will likely face increasing heat waves. Severe storm surges could hit New York and Boston. And cities that rely on melting snow for water may run into serious shortages.These are some of the findings about North America in a report by hundreds of scientists that try to explain how global warming is changing life on Earth. The scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a summary of their findings on global warming last Friday and outlined details of the report focusing on various regions on Tuesday.
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Galapagos Islands 'Facing Crisis'
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has declared the Galapagos Islands, home to dozens of endangered species, at risk and a national priority for action.The islands, Ecuador's top tourist draw, were suffering an environmental and social crisis, he said.
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Democrat Candidates Boycott 'Fair and Balanced' Fox News
WASHINGTON - The Fox News Channel - a network that claims to be "fair and balanced" - has been snubbed by the leading Democratic presidential hopefuls who have refused to participate in a series of political debates it is organising.Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have made clear they will not take part in a debate, co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Last week, John Edwards, another senior Democratic hopeful, said he would not take part.
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Obama's Silence on Imus Alarms Some Blacks
WASHINGTON -- With the Rev. Al Sharpton leading calls Monday for radio host Don Imus to be fired over racially insensitive remarks, Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign avoided the controversy throughout the day.
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Over 1,000 Climate Rallies Planned This Weekend
New York - A nationwide grassroots campaign aiming to force the U.S. Congress to take drastic action on climate change is now in full swing.Come Saturday, activists in all major towns and cities across the United States will be taking to the streets to mark "the National Day of Action on Climate Change." During the day-long rallies and sit-ins on April 14, demonstrators will call for Congress to pass a law requiring an 80-percent cut in carbon emissions by 2050.
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Heroes or Cowards? Neocons Weigh In on Sailors
WASHINGTON - Name, rank, serial number and sign on the dotted line. No sooner had Britain's 15 "kidnapped" sailors and marines returned from their harrowing "hostage" experience at the hands of Iran than some were lining up to sell their stories to the British press. And no sooner had they been accused of "acting like reality TV stars" than they became a punching bag for U.S.
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Russia Threatening New Cold War Over Missile Defense
Kremlin Accuses US of Deception on East European Interceptor Bases
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Vast Forests With Trees Each Worth £4,000 SoldFor a Few Bags of Sugar
Congo Village Chiefs Not Told Value of ConcessionsWorld Bank Blamed Over Deals Causing 'Catastrophe'
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
How Trees Might Not Be Green in Carbon Offsetting Debate
It may have become the penance of choice for the environmentally conscious individual, but planting trees to offset carbon emissions could contribute to global warming if they are planted outside the tropics, scientists believe.They argue that most forests do not have any overall effect on global temperature but, by the end of the century, forests in the mid and high latitudes could make their parts of the world more than 3C warmer than would have occurred if the trees did not exist.
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Bush Administration Gets Muzzle Award
RICHMOND, Va. - The Bush administration and the Defense Department are among the winners of the 2007 Jefferson Muzzle awards, given Tuesday by a free-speech group to those it considers the most egregious First Amendment violators in the past year.The Bush administration appears on the list, compiled by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, for its efforts to discourage, modify and sometimes censor government scientists' reports and studies to be more in line with the administration's political policies, notably on global warming, the center said.
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Billionaire Offer to Clean Bhopal derided as Front for Chemical Firm
NEW DEHLI - One of India's richest men has been lobbying for the Indian government to drop a court case against an American multinational to pay for the clean up costs of the world's worst chemical accident, according to letters obtained by campaigners.The documents, acquired under India's right to information law, show industrialist Ratan Tata writing to ask whether the Indian government could "withdraw [an] application" to make Dow Chemicals pay $22m [£12m] as an initial deposit against "environmental remediation costs".
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New Questions Emerge About Wolfowitz's Influence
WASHINGTON - The nepotism controversy besetting World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and his long-time partner and colleague Shaha Riza heightened Monday with new revelations that Riza may have had a history of flouting Bank rules while financially benefiting from jobs associated with Wolfowitz's former post at the Pentagon.In his first public statements on the matter, Wolfowitz said he took full responsibility for decisions taken regarding Riza, but denied any wrongdoing.
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Elliott Abrams and Déjà Vu All Over Again
WASHINGTON - It has an all too familiar ring to it.A crisis area -- in this case, the Middle East -- finds itself in desperate need of a peace process capable of tamping down the forces of violence and destabilisation which the United States itself has played a central role in unleashing.
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Grasping the Geopolitics of Warming
WASHINGTON - The Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, the Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation should pool data and offer a comprehensive review of the national security threat posed by global warming, say U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Hagel.Last week, Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, introduced bipartisan legislation that would require a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to assess the security threats posed by global climate change.
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