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Friday, Jul 29th

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Bush-Era Rule Grants FBI Unprecedented Investigative Powers

Veterans groups and conservatives roared last week when news broke that the FBI was targeting veterans in a broad probe of extremist groups. But little noise was made in December, when the Bush administration quietly granted the FBI wide-ranging authority to investigate individuals or groups, regardless of whether they are suspected of criminal activity.

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Fructose-Sweetened Beverages Linked to Heart Risks

Some research has suggested that consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, used as a sweetener in a wide variety of foods, may increase the risk of obesity and heart disease. Now, a controlled and randomized study has found that drinks sweetened with fructose led to higher blood levels of L.D.L, or "bad" cholesterol, and triglycerides in overweight test subjects, while drinks sweetened with another sugar, glucose, did not.

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AIPAC is Not above The Law

A story in today's Washington Post (April 22, 2009) suggests DOJ may drop its espionage case against AIPAC. I find this incredulous, outrageous, and a blatant application of double standards. The timing of this story after the revelation that Rep. Jane Harman was recorded speaking to an "agent" regarding a quid pro quo interference in this case in exchange for AIPAC’s support to become Chairwoman of the House's Intel Committee is certainly troubling and smells of a deal to prevent further embarrassing revelations. This may explain why Rep. Nancy Pelosi blocked her chairmanship of the committee.

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Heroic US GIs Slaughter Afghan Family Members

"It was the middle of the night this past winter when the door of my house exploded out of its foundation. My family and I were awakened by the sheer noise of the explosion. My pregnant wife, my two daughters, my son and I stepped out of the house into our yard. As we approached the destroyed door of our yard, the intruding US soldiers had already entered the compound and they started firing at us. The bullets hit everyone in my family including my wife and our unborn child, two daughters, my son and I; everyone was killed except one of my daughters and I. After the shooting, the US forces ordered vicious attack dogs to drag the bodies of my family members out of the yard into the ally outside. I was also bitten by the dogs after I shielded my surviving daughter, who was also badly injured by an incoming US round. So, when I covered my daughter with my body from the attacks of these vicious dogs, the US troops ordered these vicious beasts to attack me as well.

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Rice Reviewed, Approved Waterboarding in 2002

Condoleezza Rice, John D. Ashcroft and other top Bush administration officials reviewed and approved as early as the summer of 2002 the CIA's use of harsh interrogation methods on detainees at secret prisons, including waterboarding that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has described as illegal torture, according to a detailed timeline declassified by Holder at the request of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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GM to close plants for 9 weeks

Two people briefed on the plan say General Motors Corp. will close most of its U.S. factories for up to nine weeks this summer because of slumping sales and growing inventories of unsold vehicles.

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Congressional Report Reaffirms Involvement Of High Level Bush Officials In Torture Policies

A landmark congressional report released today sheds new light on the coordination among the Bush White House and other high level government officials in the creation and implementation of torture policies. The report was released by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) after being declassified by the government and is a result of the committee’s two-year long investigation into the Department of Defense’s (DOD) role in the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody.  

“Once again, we are presented with clear-cut evidence that the Bush administration’s highest ranking officials were not only complicit in the use of torture, but were actively engaged in its implementation. It is now time to act on this evidence,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “We can no longer pretend there is any doubt that crimes were committed and the Justice Department should respond accordingly. No one is above the law. An independent prosecutor must be appointed to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation.”

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Dozens of Prisoners Held by CIA Still Missing, Fates Unknown

Last week, we pointed out that one of the newly released Bush-era memos inadvertently confirmed that the CIA held an al-Qaeda suspect [1] named Hassan Ghul in a secret prison and subjected him to what Bush administration lawyers called "enhanced interrogation techniques." The CIA has never acknowledged holding Ghul, and his whereabouts today are secret.

But Ghul is not the only such prisoner who remains missing. At least three dozen others who were held in the CIA's secret prisons overseas appear to be missing as well. Efforts by human rights organizations to track their whereabouts have been unsuccessful, and no foreign governments have acknowledged holding them.

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Ancestor of T rex found in China

Fossils found in China may give clues to the evolution of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Uncovered near the city of Jiayuguan, the fossil finds come from a novel tyrannosaur dubbed Xiongguanlong baimoensis. The fossils date from the middle of the Cretaceous period, and may be a "missing link", tying the familiar big T rex to its much smaller ancestors.

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