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Monday, Sep 01st

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Suit claims Halliburton, KBR sickened base

A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against contractor KBR and its former parent company, Halliburton, saying the companies exposed everyone at Joint Base Balad in Iraq to unsafe water, food and hazardous fumes from the burn pit there.

“Plaintiff witnessed the open air burn pit in operation at Balad Air Force Base,” the lawsuit states. “On one occasion, he witnessed a wild dog running around base with a human arm in its mouth. The human arm had been dumped on the open air burn pit by KBR.”

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US mulls unusual tactic as Blackwater charges loom

Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in the deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting of Iraqi civilians could face mandatory 30-year prison sentences under an aggressive anti-drug law being considered as the Justice Department readies indictments, people close to the case said.

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CPJ's 2008 prison census: Online and in jail

Reflecting the rising influence of online reporting and commentary, more Internet journalists are jailed worldwide today than journalists working in any other medium. In its annual census of imprisoned journalists, released today, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that 45 percent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. Online journalists represent the largest professional category for the first time in CPJ's prison census.

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Hitler was the perfect boss: Former maid breaks her silence on the 'charming' dictator

And her verdict on her former master: 'He was a charming man, someone who was only ever nice to me, a great boss to work for. You can say what you like, but he was a good man to us.'

Rosa's remembrances of life at the court of the tyrant make gripping reading. She saw leading Nazis come and go. Himmler, the evil party secretary; Bormann, whom she described as a 'dirty pig'; and the club-footed, sexually-obsessed propaganda minister Goebbels.

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Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked to Long-Term Health Issues for Iraq Vets

A new report provides evidence linking traumatic brain injury sustained by troops in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan to a variety of long-term health problems including dementia, aggression, depression and symptoms similar to those seen in Parkinson's disease.

But the Institute of Medicine committee charged with developing the report also pointed to a troubling lack of scientific data on such injuries, which are fairly recent in the history of warfare.

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Why does President Bush keep lying, even now, about Saddam Hussein's 'refusal' to let weapons inspectors in?

"... We worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it."
  —President George W. Bush

TVNL Comment: The real question should be is why does the media allow Bush to lie without pointing it out to the public?

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CNN Cuts Entire Science, Tech Team

CNN, the Cable News Network, announced yesterday that it will cut its entire science, technology, and environment news staff, including Miles O’Brien, its chief technology and environment correspondent, as well as six executive producers.

“We want to integrate environmental, science and technology reporting into the general editorial structure rather than have a stand alone unit,” said CNN spokesperson Barbara Levin. “Now that the bulk of our environmental coverage is being offered through the Planet in Peril franchise, which is produced by the Anderson Cooper 360 program, there is no need for a separate unit.”

TVNL Comment: More blurring of "news" with "editorial", infusing more opinion over facts in their reporting.

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Obama legal team meets with anti-torture generals

A dozen retired generals met with President-elect Barack Obama's top legal advisers Wednesday, pressing their case to overturn some of the Bush administration's terrorism-fighting policies. Obama has criticized practices that he says amount to torturing detainees during interrogations and has promised to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Among those who met with Eric Holder, Obama's pick to be attorney general, and Greg Craig, the incoming White House counsel, were Gen. Charles Krulak, a former Marine Corps commandant, and retired Marine Gen. Joseph Hoar, former chief of the Central Command.

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Nations sign cluster bomb treaty

The first of more than 100 countries have begun signing a treaty to ban current designs of cluster bombs, at a conference in Oslo, Norway. Campaigners are hailing the treaty as a major breakthrough.

But some of the biggest stockpilers, including the US, Russia and China, are not among the signatories.

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TVNL Comment: The strongest military powers in the world, including Israel, refuse to sign.  How is this a 'major breakthrough' rather than a 'major failure'?

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