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Saturday, Apr 21st

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Afghan highway symbol of mission in crisis

Paid for with U.S. dollars, Afghanistan's Highway 1 was supposed to symbolize a path toward a bright future when it was repaved five years ago.

The $300 million project smoothed over the highway's rough potholes and cut in half the 12-hour drive time from the capital, Kabul, to the country's political center, Kandahar. But today, roadside bombs have re-scarred the road, and Taliban militants routinely stage brazen attacks on its travelers.

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Daniel Ellsberg: America has been asleep at the atomic wheel for 64 years

Most Americans ever since have seen the destruction of the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as necessary and effective—as constituting just means, in effect just terrorism, under the supposed circumstances—thus legitimating, in their eyes, the second and third largest single-day massacres in history. (The largest, also by the U.S. Army Air Corps, was the firebombing of Tokyo five months before on the night of March 9, which burned alive or suffocated 80,000 to 120,000 civilians. Most of the very few Americans who are aware of this event at all accept it, too, as appropriate in wartime.

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The West Bank's Deceptive Growth

Too many in the West remain unaware of the impediments to economic development — not to mention political freedom — we Palestinians continue to face.

Some Israeli checkpoints have been dismantled, but any Palestinian businessman will tell you that with over 600 checkpoints and roadblocks still scattered across the West Bank, we remain in a tenuous economic position.

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UN wants new global currency to replace dollar

In a radical report, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has said the system of currencies and capital rules which binds the world economy is not working properly, and was largely responsible for the financial and economic crises.

It added that the present system, under which the dollar acts as the world's reserve currency , should be subject to a wholesale reconsideration.

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When Your Insurer Says You're No Longer Covered

The untimely disappearance of Sally Marrari's medical coverage goes a long way toward explaining why insurance companies are cast as the villain in the health-care reform drama.

"They said I never mentioned I had a back problem," said Marrari, 52, whose coverage with Blue Cross was abruptly canceled in 2006 after a thyroid disorder, fluid in the heart and lupus were diagnosed.

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Orthodox Jewish town planned where Arab construction banned

For years now, residents of the village of Dar al-Hanun in the Wadi Ara region have been trying to obtain legal status for their community. So far, planning committees have always refused, because the village is located in an area whose landscape is so rare and precious that it is slated for conservation.

Tomorrow, however, the National Planning and Building Committee is to discuss a Housing Ministry proposal to expand the jurisdiction of another community located not far from Dar al-Hanun, and which abuts this very same area - the town of Harish. The plan calls for building a large Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) city for approximately 150,000 residents.

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Bush WH Sought to Shield Those Running Secret CIA Prisons

From 2003 to 2006, the Bush administration quietly tried to relax the draft language of a treaty meant to bar and punish "enforced disappearances" so that those overseeing the CIA's secret prison system would not be criminally prosecuted under its provisions, according to former officials and hundreds of pages of documents recently declassified by the State Department.

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Last orders for troops arriving for daily duty with hangovers: No more alcohol!

After a Nato airstrike killed as many as 125 people last week, General Stanley McChrystal was keen to get the situation under control — fast. When he tried to contact his underlings to find out what had happened, however, he found, to his fury, that many of them were either drunk or too hungover to respond.

Complaining in his daily Commander’s Update that too many people had been “partying it up”, General McChrystal, head of International Forces in Afghanistan (Isaf), banned alcohol at his headquarters yesterday, admonishing staff for not having “their heads in the right place” on Friday morning — a few hours after the deadly attack.

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Fallout from nuclear tests leads to health crisis

Like thousands of legal migrants to Hawaii from independent Pacific nations, Henry believes the United States has a responsibility to provide health care to compensate for the radioactive fallout of 67 nuclear weapons tests from 1946 to 1958.

The nuclear testing occurred in the Marshall Islands, carrying the explosive power of 7,200 Hiroshima bombs. The residual radioactivity led to high rates of leukemia and thyroid, lung, stomach, skin and brain cancers.

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