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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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Americans receiving jobless benefits hits record

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits has reached an all-time record, the government said Thursday, and more layoffs are spreading throughout the economy.

The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans continuing to claim unemployment insurance for the week ending Jan. 17 was a seasonally adjusted 4.78 million, the highest on records dating back to 1967. That's an increase of 159,000 from the previous week and worse than economists' expectations of 4.65 million.

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GI Suicides in 2008 Highest on Record

The Army is expected to release a report later today revealing the highest number of suicides among troops in nearly three decades, according to CNN.

The network reported this morning that the Army will confirm 128 suicides in 2008, along with 15 suspected suicides currently under investigation among active-duty Soldiers and activated National Guard and Army Reserve troops. The Army also will announce a study of Soldier suicides and links to post-combat stress, CNN says.

Not including the cases now under investigation, the suicide rate among Soldiers is 20.2 per 100,000, according to the Army, which last month said the nation's suicide rate was 19.5 per 100,000. The national statistic is from 2005 but is the most recent, the Army said.

TVNL Comment: Another Bush Legacy.

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Iraq to Deny New License To Blackwater Security Firm

The Iraqi government has informed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that it will not issue a new operating license to Blackwater Worldwide, the embassy's primary security company, which has come under scrutiny for allegedly using excessive force while protecting American diplomats, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Blackwater employees who have not been accused of improper conduct will be allowed to continue working as private security contractors in Iraq if they switch employers, Iraqi officials said Wednesday.

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Israeli army used flechettes against Gaza civilians

Apart from white phosphorus, the Israeli army used a variety of other weapons in densely populated civilian areas of Gaza in the three-week conflict that began on 27 December.

Flechettes are 4cm long metal darts that are sharply pointed at the front, with four fins at the rear. Between 5,000 and 8,000 are packed into 120mm shells which are generally fired from tanks. The shells explode in the air and scatter the flechettes in a conical pattern over an area about 300m wide and 100m long.

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CIA Station Chief in Algeria Accused of Rapes

The CIA's station chief at its sensitive post in Algeria is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly raping at least two Muslim women who claim he laced their drinks with a knock-out drug, U.S. law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

The discovery of more than a dozen videotapes showing the CIA officer engaged in sex acts with other women has led the Justice Department to broaden its investigation to include at least one other Arab country, Egypt, where the CIA officer had been posted earlier in his career, according to law enforcement officials.

TVNL Comment: Who are the real terrorists?

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Study: Bisphenol A, used in plastic, lingers in body

A study being released today finds that bisphenol A, a chemical widely used to make plastic and suspected of causing cancer, stays in the body much longer than previously thought. The findings are significant because the longer the chemical lingers in the body, the greater chance it has of doing harm, scientists say.

Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York also say the chemical may get into the body from sources such as plastic water pipes or dust from carbonless paper and not only from food containers that leach the chemical when heated. 

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School can expel lesbian students, court rules

After a Lutheran school expelled two 16-year-old girls for having "a bond of intimacy" that was "characteristic of a lesbian relationship," the girls sued, contending the school had violated a state anti-discrimination law.

In response to that suit, an appeals court decided this week that the private religious school was not a business and therefore did not have to comply with a state law that prohibits businesses from discriminating. A lawyer for the girls said Tuesday that he would ask the California Supreme Court to overturn the unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal.

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TVNL Comment: What would Jesus say?  Just asking....

Controversial Bestseller Shakes the Foundation of the Israeli State

What if the entire tale of the Jewish Diaspora is historically wrong?

What if the Palestinian Arabs who have lived for decades under the heel of the modern Israeli state are in fact descended from the very same "children of Israel" described in the Old Testament?

And what if most modern Israelis aren't descended from the ancient Israelites at all, but are actually a mix of Europeans, North Africans and others who didn't "return" to the scrap of land we now call Israel and establish a new state following the attempt to exterminate them during World War II, but came in and forcefully displaced people whose ancestors had lived there for millennia?

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US pays $40,000 after 15 Afghans die in raid

U.S. commanders on Tuesday traveled to a poor Afghan village and distributed $40,000 to relatives of 15 people killed in a U.S. raid, including a known militant commander. The Americans also apologized for any civilians killed in the operation.

The issue of civilian deaths is increasingly sensitive in Afghanistan, with President Hamid Karzai accusing the U.S. of killing civilians in three separate cases over the last month. Karzai has repeatedly warned the U.S. and NATO, saying such deaths undermine his government and the international mission.

TVNL Comment: 15 Afghans did not "die" in a raid, they were KILLED, MURDERED, SLAUGHTERED! This is typical establishment reality sanitizing.

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