Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. aid since World War II (not counting the huge sums being spent in Iraq). The $3 billion or so per year that Israel receives from the U.S. amounts to about $500 per Israeli. Most of this money is earmarked in the annual Foreign Operations (foreign aid) appropriations bills, with the three major items being military grants (Foreign Military Financing, or FMF), economic grants (Economic Support Funds, or ESF), and “migration and refugee assistance.” (Refugee assistance originally was intended to help Israel absorb Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union, but this was expanded in 1985 to include all refugees resettling in Israel. In fact, Israel doesn’t differentiate between refugees and other immigrants, so this money is used for all immigrants to Israel.)
One of Ireland's most senior clergyman admitted yesterday that an imminent report on the sexual abuse of children by clergy will shock the country and reveal that thousands of children were abused by priests.
In an unprecedented homily for Holy Thursday, Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, warned that the depth of the abuse "will shock us all".
The report from the commission on child sexual abuse will be published in May, and according to Martin it will throw up challenges to the Catholic church in Ireland it has never experienced before.
TVNL Comment: But atheists are evil...right?
Congressional Republicans are trying to convince consumers that the White House and Democratic lawmakers will raise their taxes every time people flick on a light switch.
Republicans' main attack is a claim that climate legislation will cost U.S. households $3,100 a year. They got the number by doing some additional math based on a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, and they're sticking with it, even though John Reilly, an MIT economist and the author of the study, told them that they misinterpreted his work and that their number is wrong.
A Dutch TV jury has found Osama bin Laden not guilty of the Sept. 11 attacks.
In the conclusion Wednesday night to the show "Devil's Advocate" on Dutch public broadcaster Nederland 2, the jury of two men and three women, along with the studio audience, ruled there was no proof bin Laden was the mastermind behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.
srael shrugs off talk of army violations in Gaza even though a UN report confirms a new form of crime against humanity has been committed.
The Israeli army ethics chief, Eli Shermeister, has alleged that there is no evidence that troops fought anything but a fair war during the three-week operations on the besieged Gaza Strip.
"I didn't see in the Gaza operation anything that can teach us or show us that something in the moral attitude of the IDF (military) was ... changed or spoiled," Shermeister said in an interview with AP.
Several weeks ago, I noted that unlike the Right -- which turned itself into a virtual cult of uncritical reverence for George W. Bush especially during the first several years of his administration -- large numbers of Bush critics have been admirably willing to criticize Obama when he embraces the very policies that prompted so much anger and controversy during the Bush years. Last night, Keith Olbermann -- who has undoubtedly been one of the most swooning and often-uncritical admirers of Barack Obama of anyone in the country (behavior for which I rather harshly criticized him in the past) -- devoted the first two segments of his show to emphatically lambasting Obama and Eric Holder's DOJ for the story I wrote about on Monday: namely, the Obama administration's use of the radical Bush/Cheney state secrets doctrine and -- worse still -- a brand new claim of "sovereign immunity" to insist that courts lack the authority to decide whether the Bush administration broke the law in illegally spying on Americans.
At a formal press announcement Monday and in media appearances over the next day, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates unveiled the biggest military budget in world history, in anticipation of an endless series of Iraq and Afghanistan-style wars by American imperialism.
Both the military budget itself and the official who drafted it—Gates held the same position in the last two years of the Bush administration and is the first Pentagon chief to be retained by a new president—underscore the fundamental continuity between Obama and Bush.
In a stunning conversation with a friend, who is a serving member of the Armed Forces, over the weekend, it was revealed that transfers to regiments and other units in the UK on home duties are being undertaken by the MOD based upon whether an individual was prepared to 'open fire' on UK citizens during civil disturbances.
Hold on to your hats, or in this case, your helmets: Scientists have finally pinpointed the so-called edge of space — the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space.
With data from a new instrument developed by scientists at the University of Calgary, scientists confirmed that space begins 73 miles (118 kilometers) above Earth's surface.
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