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Sunday, Jul 24th

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ISRAELI LINK TO PENSION SCANDAL

The explosive probe of New York state's pension fund is going international -- with investigators looking into whether payments by an Israeli company were kicked back to a firm tied to indicted political guru Hank Morris, The Post has learned.

The indictment charged that DAV-Wetherly was a source of laundered payments to Morris for steering it pension-fund business, the source said. Morris was Hevesi's longtime friend and top political adviser.

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Israel's secret plan for West Bank expansion

Israel has taken a step towards expanding the largest settlement in the West Bank, a move Palestinians warn will leave their future state unviable and further isolate its future capital, East Jerusalem.

The Israeli Peace Now group, which monitors settlement growth, said it had obtained plans drawn up by experts that the interior ministry had commissioned which call for expanding the sprawling Maale Adumim settlement near Jerusalem southward by 1200 hectares, placing what is now the separate smaller settlement of Kedar within Maale Adumim's boundaries.

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Chernobyl - The Horrific Legacy

On April 26, 1986, Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station reactor number 4 exploded at 1:24 a.m. "Tons of radioactive dust was" unleashed "into the air transported by winds, [and] it contaminated both hemispheres of our planet, settling wherever it rained. The emissions of radioactivity lasted [short-term] for 10 days."(1)
 
On April 29, "fatal levels of radioactivity were recorded in Poland, Austria, Romania, Finland, and Sweden."(2) The day after (April 30), it hit Switzerland and Italy. By May 2, it reached France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Great Britain, and Greece. The next day, Israel, Kuwait, and Turkey were contaminated. Then, over the next few days, "radioactive substances" were recorded in Japan (May 3), China (May 4), India (May 5), and the US and Canada (May 6).

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Irish reject e-voting, go back to paper

File this in the "exporting democracy" category, or not: a recent report from Europe serves as a reminder that serious problems with e-voting aren't just an American malady, although it's much easier to move back to paper ballots if your country is fairly small.

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Looking Back at Abu Ghraib 5 Years Later

In the next few days, we have been told that we will see thousands of new pictures of prisoner abuse, this time released by the Pentagon in response to an ACLU legal filing. This disclosure is sad -- and sadly overdue.

These are illustrations of pathological elements of Bush administration policy that should have been made public years ago.

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How Ali Soufan, an FBI agent, got Abu Zubaydah to talk without torture.

The arguments at the CIA safe house were loud and intense in the spring of 2002. Inside, a high-value terror suspect, Abu Zubaydah, was handcuffed to a gurney. He had been wounded during his capture in Pakistan and still had bullet fragments in his stomach, leg and groin. Agency operatives were aiming to crack him with rough and unorthodox interrogation tactics—including stripping him nude, turning down the temperature and bombarding him with loud music. But one impassioned young FBI agent wanted nothing to do with it. He tried to stop them.

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VIDEO: Shepard Smith: 'WE DON'T F#&KING TORTURE!!!'

Shepard Smith's days at Fox "News" may have to be numbered at this point. Even the filthy Judith Miller, for Chrissakes, is joining him in being appalled by the torture memos.

But later, Smith completely blows his stack on Fox's online-only show The Strategy Room, pounding on the table and SHOUTING: "We are America! I don't give a rat's ass if it helps! We are America! We do not f#&king torture!!!":

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The Banality of Bush White House Evil

Five years after the Abu Ghraib revelations, we must acknowledge that our government methodically authorized torture and lied about it. But we also must contemplate the possibility that it did so not just out of a sincere, if criminally misguided, desire to “protect” us but also to promote an unnecessary and catastrophic war.

Instead of saving us from “another 9/11,” torture was a tool in the campaign to falsify and exploit 9/11 so that fearful Americans would be bamboozled into a mission that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. The lying about Iraq remains the original sin from which flows much of the Bush White House’s illegality.

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Police caught on tape trying to recruit Plane Stupid protester as spy

Undercover police are running a network of hundreds of informants inside protest organisations who secretly feed them intelligence in return for cash, according to evidence handed to the Guardian.

They claim to have infiltrated a number of environmental groups and said they are receiving information about leaders, tactics and plans of future demonstrations.

TVNL Comment: Who the hell do the police work for? Who's side are they on?

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