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Sunday, Oct 22nd

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A McClatchy reporter reflects on what war brought to Iraq

I picked up a daily habit in Iraq. Every morning, before I left the office, I'd savor that moment — the moment before. Maybe it came from all the times that my Iraqi friends told me how they prayed before they walked out their doors because they might never return.

For almost three years, I spent my mornings the same way: I woke up and worried about what the day would bring. It wasn't a question of whether people would die that day, only of when, how and how many.

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Founder of Blackwater-Xe Accused Of Murder, Gun Running To Iraq

A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company's owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."

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Report: Ex-President Clinton Heading to NKorea

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is headed to North Korea to negotiate the freedom of two detained American journalists, news reports said Tuesday, nearly five months after they were seized on the China border.

Clinton is on his way to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, where he will try to win the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said, citing an unidentified high-level source.

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Iraq Censorship Laws Move Ahead

Now those doors may be shut again, at least partially, as the Iraqi government moves to ban sites deemed harmful to the public, to require Internet cafes to register with the authorities and to press publishers to censor books.

The government, which has been proceeding quietly on the new censorship laws, said prohibitions were necessary because material currently available in the country had had the effect of encouraging sectarian violence in the fragile democracy and of warping the minds of the young.

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TVNL Comment:  Our kids died in Operation Iraqi Non-Freedom

Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast

The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.

Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, which is charged with the task of assessing future energy supplies by OECD countries.

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Tenn. senator has affair with intern, resigns

The Tennessee state senator said he was opposed to sex outside marriage, but his private life told a different story: He was having an affair with his 22-year-old intern.

When an extortion plot exposed married Republican Sen. Paul Stanley's illicit relationship, he said he would be "clearing up" misimpressions later. He's now clearing out his office, the latest politician caught in a sex scandal, this one made worse by not coming clean.

"If you can't explain what you've done to your constituents in 30 seconds or less in a way they would accept, then don't do it," said Bruce Oppenheimer, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University. "It's amazing how many elected officials violate that very important conventional wisdom."

TVNL Comment: Isn't it about time policians stop talking about anything related to personal life? Haven't these people shown that they are in no way shape or form qualified to make decisions on how we the people should or could live our personal lives. From marriage to sex, these people never practice what they preach. Yet the people keep supporting them. Amazing.

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U.S. condemns eviction of Arab families from East Jerusalem

The United States and the United Nations sharply condemned the eviction of two Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and their replacement with Jewish families on Sunday.

TVNL Comment: Yet the US does nothing about the human rights attrocities and violations comitted by Israel and they continue to send $billions of your money to support their human rights violations.

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Israel fourth from bottom of peace index

Israel has been placed a dismal 141st out of 144 on a list of the world’s most peaceful countries, beating just Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Countries which ranked higher in the 2009 Global Peace Index included Sudan, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, North Korea, and Iran.

Israel scored poorly for a high level of “organised conflict”, and poor relationships with its neighbours. It was also given a very low score for the perceived level of “respect for human rights.” Israelis were also given low marks for their “perception of distrust in others”.

Israel has always fared poorly in this particular index: it ranked fifth from last in 2008, and just third from last in 2007.

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Catholic bank apologises for shares in the Pill, guns and tobacco

A German Catholic bank has apologised to investors and promised to sell its shares in a contraception producer, a weapons firm and tobacco companies.

Director of the Cologne-based Pax Bank, Winfried Hinzen told the city’s Domradio, “We want to apologise to our customers that this mistake has happened," according to a report in Sunday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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