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Sunday, Apr 20th

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Iraq, Contracting Corruption

In exchange for a cash kickbacks and a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a U.S. Army reservist gave a contractor "sensitive information" and "fraudulently" awarded a contract to Raman International, a Cypress, Tex.-based firm, the Justice Department said in a statement.

In another fraud case, Spartan Motors and its subsidiary, Spartan Chassis, of Charlotte, Mich., recently agreed to pay the United States $6 million in fines and penalties to resolve allegations that it paid kickbacks to an employee of Force Protection to receive a subcontract to make chassis for armored vehicles for the Army, Justice reported.

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NY Times published fake letter from Paris mayor

The New York Times admitted Monday it published a fake letter purportedly from the mayor of Paris criticizing Caroline Kennedy's bid for a U.S. Senate seat as "appalling" and "not very democratic."

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President Bush pardons Brooklyn home scammer

President Bush pardoned a Brooklyn real estate developer accused of scamming hundreds of poor, minority homebuyers - and whose father donated $28,500 to the Republican Party this year.

Bush pardoned Isaac Toussie, 36, two days before Christmas in a gesture of mercy that outraged ex-customers who said they were duped into buying overpriced, defective homes.

"We're in the middle of a mortgage crisis [and] this is somebody who was alleged to have participated in predatory lending practices," said Peter Seidman, a lawyer who represents 460 people who say they were fleeced.

"To pardon Isaac Toussie is a kick in the teeth to homeowners struggling with mortgages they can't afford."

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Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009

  1. Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation
  2. Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA
  3. InfraGard: The FBI Deputizes Business
  4. ILEA: Is the US Restarting Dirty Wars in Latin America?
  5. Seizing War Protesters’ Assets
  6. The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act
  7. Guest Workers Inc.: Fraud and Human Trafficking
  8. Executive Orders Can Be Changed Secretly
  9. Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Testify
  10. APA Complicit in CIA Torture
  11. El Salvador’s Water Privatization and the Global War on Terror
  12. Bush Profiteers Collect Billions From No Child Left Behind
  13. Tracking Billions of Dollars Lost in Iraq
  14. Mainstreaming Nuclear Waste
  15. Worldwide Slavery
  16. Annual Survey on Trade Union Rights
  17. UN’s Empty Declaration of Indigenous Rights
  18. Cruelty and Death in Juvenile Detention Centers
  19. Indigenous Herders and Small Farmers Fight Livestock Extinction
  20. Marijuana Arrests Set New Record
  21. NATO Considers “First Strike” Nuclear Option
  22. CARE Rejects US Food Aid
  23. FDA Complicit in Pushing Pharmaceutical Drugs
  24. Japan Questions 9/11 and the Global War on Terror
  25. Bush’s Real Problem with Eliot Spitzer
Full stories...

Washington lobbying booms as economy tanks

“Usually, December is a very slow month on all fronts, but this year it has been incredibly busy,” said Steve Elmendorf, a lobbyist and one-time senior adviser to former House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt (Mo.).

“Anytime government gets more active and more involved in your business, you’ll look for more help in Washington,” he said. “When Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House, there’s no question that government will be more active.”

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Scientists create world's thinnest material

Researchers have created the world’s thinnest sheet - a single atom thick - and used it to create the world’s smallest transistor, marking a breakthrough that could spark the development of super-fast computer chips.

This innovation will allow ultra small electronics to take over when the current silicon-based technology runs out of steam, according to Prof Andre Geim and Dr Kostya Novoselov from the University of Manchester.

They reveal details of transistors that are only one atom thick and fewer than 50 atoms wide in the journal, Nature Materials.

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Guantanamo lawyer says Gates may have committed perjury

A declaration the defense secretary made in a Washington, D.C. District Court filing Dec. 12 during the habeas review of Guantánamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed might make some rethink the trustworthy label. Mohamed’s lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, says that unless Gates retracts his statement, he could find himself accused of perjury.

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Cheney’s admissions to the CIA leak prosecutor and FBI

Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a still-highly confidential FBI report, admitted to federal investigators that he rewrote talking points for the press in July 2003 that made it much more likely that the role of then-covert CIA-officer Valerie Plame in sending her husband on a CIA-sponsored mission to Africa would come to light.

Cheney conceded during his interview with federal investigators that in drawing attention to Plame’s role in arranging her husband’s Africa trip reporters might also unmask her role as CIA officer.

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Iraqis hope to sue U.S. troops under new accord

The families of three men who were killed last week during a search of a grain warehouse want to press charges against American soldiers under the terms of a new security agreement between the U.S. and Iraq.

Their charges are a preview of some of the nettlesome questions that are likely to arise as the U.S. yields more authority to Iraq under the terms of the pact, which takes effect Jan. 1.

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