Firebrand Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Friday threw down the gauntlet: he threatened to resume attacks against U.S. troops if they don't leave Iraq "without retaining bases or signing agreements."
Saturday, Dec 07th
Last update03:45:32 AM GMT
President-elect Barack Obama's pledge to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, faces a major obstacle: Yemen.
Yemeni officials say they're ready to try many of the men and imprison those who are convicted, but they complain that U.S. officials refuse to share evidence with them.
TVNL Comment: Just trust the US and jail hundreds of people without evidence. Democracy at its best.
It is well-known that the two largest American telecom companies AT&T and Verizon collaborated with the US government to allow illegal eavesdropping on their customers. The known uses to which information obtained this way has been put include building the government's massive secret "watch lists," and "no-fly lists" and even, Bamford suggests, to deny Small Business Administration loans to citizens or reject their children's applications to military colleges.
Less than a month ago, Democrats excoriated President Bush and his administration over the conduct of the White House Office of Political Affairs, and a House panel recommended the office be closed or reorganized.
With Democrat Barack Obama preparing for his move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the calls to reform the office, which coordinates the president's initiatives with key factions of his party, have grown silent, and all indications are that a political apparatus will continue to exist in the White House for the foreseeable future.
A dirty brown haze sometimes more than a mile thick is darkening skies not only over vast areas of Asia, but also in the Middle East, southern Africa and the Amazon Basin, changing weather patterns around the world and threatening health and food supplies, the U.N. reported Thursday.
There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.
The illiterate rarely vote, and when they do vote they do so without the ability to make decisions based on textual information.
Lifestyle drugs -- chiefly Viagra -- are costing General Motors $17 million dollars a year and the cost is passed along to car, truck and SUV consumers. The blue pill is covered under GM's labor agreement with United Auto Workers, as well as benefit plans for salaried employees.
GM executives estimate health care adds $1,500 to the price of each vehicle but they do not break out how much of the premium is caused by erectile dysfunction expenses. GM provides health care for 1.1 million employees, retirees and dependents and is the world's largest private purchaser of Viagra.
The report, "Guantanamo and Its Aftermath: U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices and Their Impact on Detainees," based on a two-year study, reveals in graphic detail the cumulative effect of Bush Administration policies on the lives of 62 released detainees. Many of the prisoners were sold into captivity and subjected to brutal treatment in U.S. prison camps in Afghanistan. Once in Guantanamo, prisoners were denied access to civilian courts to challenge the legality of their detention. Almost two-thirds of the former detainees interviewed reported having psychological problems since leaving Guantanamo.
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