Monday, Mar 19th

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Sexual predators, deviants, running rampant at US embassy in Kabul

An e-mail from one of the guards described parties on days off, during which guards and their supervisors urinated on themselves and others and ate potato chips and drank vodka from the cracks of buttocks.

“You will see that they have a group of sexual predators, deviants, running rampant over there,” one guard, whose name was withheld, said in an e-mail to POGO, adding, “They are showing poor judgment.”


Mobile phone child safety guidelines ‘to be dropped’

Current advice from the Department of Health had said that research showed mobile phone use “affects brain activity”, although it conceded there were “significant gaps in our scientific knowledge”.

But a draft of a new advisory leaflet for parents now makes clear that precautions need not be taken when it comes to children.


Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

On a superficial level, the shift means that most of those representing the United States in the war will be wearing the scruffy cargo pants, polo shirts, baseball caps and other casual accouterments favored by overseas contractors rather than the fatigues and flight suits of the military.

More fundamentally, the contractors who are a majority of the force in what has become the most important American enterprise abroad are subject to lines of authority that are less clear-cut than they are for their military colleagues.


Tribal Leaders Say Karzai’s Team Forged 23,900 Votes

Aides to Mr. Karzai’s brother Ahmed Wali — the leader of the Kandahar provincial council and the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan — detained the governor of Shorabak, Delaga Bariz, and shut down all of the district’s 45 polling sites on election day. The ballot boxes were taken to Shorabak’s district headquarters, where, Mr. Bariz and other tribal leaders said, local police officers stuffed them with thousands of ballots.


TVNL Comment: This is the government our kids are dying for.  Why?  Just asking.

Pinochet purges arrests ordered

A Chilean judge has issued arrest warrants for 129 people for allegedly helping to purge critics of former ruler General Augusto Pinochet.

The suspects - the largest group so far to face arrest warrants - all worked for the secret police agency, Dina. They are accused of taking part in killings and disappearances of dozens of leftists and opposition activists.


Gonzales defends Holder's decision on CIA

Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales on Tuesday defended the decision of his current successor, Eric H. Holder Jr., to investigate alleged prisoner abuse by CIA interrogators over President Obama's desire to look forward.

"As chief prosecutor of the United States, he should make the decision on his own, based on the facts, then inform the White House," said Mr. Gonzales,


TVNL Comment:  A perfect example of CYA strategy.

Mexico's health care lures Americans

It sounds almost too good to be true: a health care plan with no limits, no deductibles, free medicines, tests, X-rays, eyeglasses, even dental work — all for a flat fee of $250 or less a year. To get it, you just have to move to Mexico.

As the United States debates an overhaul of its health care system, thousands of American retirees in Mexico have quietly found a solution of their own, signing up for the health care plan run by the Mexican Social Security Institute.


CIA refuses to release torture documents

The Central Intelligence Agency has refused to turn over documents they were ordered to produce to a civil rights group under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

A federal judge ordered the agency to produce the documents — relating to the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program and secret prisons — by Monday, or provide a justification for withholding them. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.


EU bans old-fashioned light bulbs

A European Union ban on the manufacture and import of 100-watt and frosted incandescent light bulbs, in use since the 19th century, has come into force.

They are being phased out to encourage the switch to more energy-efficient fluorescent or halogen lamps, which use up to 80% less electricity.


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