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Friday, Oct 24th

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US 'made things worse'

The United States has turned a blind eye to abuses by its allies in Somalia and worsened the situation there by reducing a complex conflict to a front in its "war on terror", a leading human rights group said.

US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a letter to African Union Commission chairperson Jean Ping that the policies of many governments had been destructive in Somalia.

"US policy on Somalia has been particularly unhelpful, treating Somalia's complex realities as a theatre in the 'war on terror' while turning a blind eye to rampant abuses by the Ethiopian and transitional government forces," HRW said in the letter that was handed to reporters at an AU summit on Sunday.

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Israel Is Nobody's Friend

If civilization can survive the cynical path it's on, future historians will identify three great cons that were played out upon the world during this time; the fractional-reserve central-banking system, the war on terrorism and Israel. All three are equally dangerous to the future of mankind, are presented with equal deception, and emanate from the same source.

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Gideon Levy: Israel's courts are accomplices to war crimes

One silence, of all the shameful silences, has thus far roared especially loud - the silence of the jurists. The 41,000 attorneys in the State of Israel are entrusted with protecting its image as a lawful state, and this large and grand army has once again strayed from its function. There is a deep suspicion throughout the world that Israel carried out a series of war crimes, and the jurists of our country are holding their peace.

Where, for instance, is Aharon Barak when we really need him? Where are his colleagues, the former justices of the Supreme Court, who knew very well how to raise their voices when Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann threatened to harm the apple of their eye, and who now hide in their cowardly silence?

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Proposed legislation in Congress would set up camps for U. S. citizens

A bill proposed by Florida Democrat Alcee Hastings would set up a series of emergency centres on U. S. military installations.  House Resolution 645 provides that no fewer than six such centres will be built and would give emergency aid, housing and relief services for citizens during a time of disaster or national emergency.  

Even though the intend of the bill sounds humanitarian, the provision listed in Section Two, Paragraph B-4 raises the most questions.  The wording reads…to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

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Israeli military refuses water filtration system for Gaza

The French Foreign Ministry said Friday that Israel has refused to allow the French government from bringing the filtration system to Gaza, where people have been without clean water for weeks.

In some parts of Gaza, sewage is flooding streets and homes after the three-week long Israeli assault that ended last week when Israeli officials declared a ceasefire.

The Israeli military has violated the ceasefire seven times since then, including an attack yesterday that wounded a number of primary school students in Khan Younis. Palestinian fighters killed one soldier who was invading southern Gaza in violation of the ceasefire.

Meanwhile, the Israeli imposed closure of the Gaza Strip remains in place, and Palestinians have been unable to even clean the racist graffiti and feces smeared on their walls by the Israeli military, due to the lack of water.

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Obama preserves renditions as counter-terrorism tool

The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.

But even while dismantling these programs, President Obama left intact an equally controversial counter-terrorism tool.

Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.

TVNL Comment: How is that for "change"?

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Pope promotes conservative cleric

Pope Benedict has made a controversial appointment, days after revoking the excommunication of a bishop who is a Holocaust denier.

Fr Wagner is also notorious for his extreme views - he has accused the popular Harry Potter novels of spreading Satanism, and described Hurricane Katrina as God's punishment for the sinners of New Orleans.

He wrote in a parish newsletter that the death and destruction caused by the hurricane in New Orleans was divine retribution for the city's tolerance of homosexuals and permissive sexual attitudes.

TVNL Comment: Another wonderful religious person!

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Late move on drugs by Bush FDA could be dangerous

In the waning days of the Bush administration, the Food and Drug Administration finalized new guidelines to make it easier for drug manufacturers to promote "off-label" prescription drug uses, which can be deadly for patients.

The move came despite criticism from Bush's own Department of Veterans Affairs, which said the change "favors business interests over public safety" and could lead to a "decline in drug safety." It also was crafted despite efforts by state and federal law-enforcement experts to clamp down on off-label drug marketing.

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* Business * Global economy Governments across Europe tremble as angry people take to the streets

France paralysed by a wave of strike action, the boulevards of Paris resembling a debris-strewn battlefield. The Hungarian currency sinks to its lowest level ever against the euro, as the unemployment figure rises. Greek farmers block the road into Bulgaria in protest at low prices for their produce. New figures from the biggest bank in the Baltic show that the three post-Soviet states there face the biggest recessions in Europe.

Europe's time of troubles is gathering depth and scale. Governments are trembling. Revolt is in the air.

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