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Sunday, Apr 20th

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New pact pares legal immunity for GIs, Iraqi aides say

American troops could face trial before Iraqi courts for major crimes committed off base and when not on missions, according to a draft security pact that has been put together after months of tortuous negotiations, Iraqi officials familiar with the document said Wednesday.

The draft also calls for U.S. troops to leave Iraqi cities by the end of June and withdraw from the country entirely by Dec. 31, 2011, unless the Baghdad government asks some of them to stay for training or security support.

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Bush Rule Changes Could Block Product-Safety Suits

Bush administration officials, in their last weeks in office, are pushing to rewrite a wide array of federal rules with changes or additions that could block product-safety lawsuits by consumers and states.

The administration has written language aimed at pre-empting product-liability litigation into 50 rules governing everything from motorcycle brakes to pain medicine. The latest changes cap a multiyear effort that could be one of the administration's lasting legacies, depending in part on how the underlying principle of pre-emption fares in a case the Supreme Court will hear next month.

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Vigilant Shield and Jokers Gone Wild

Operation Vigilant Shield, running from Nov 12-18, 2008, is much too big to ignore, as it will link multiple concurrent exercises including USSTRATCOM Global Lightning 09, Bulwark Defender 09, Canada Command Determined Dragon, California National Guard Vigilant Guard, and State of California Golden Guardian. Unfortunately, according to USNORTHCOM, specific information about Vigilant Shield scenarios will not be available for weeks, permitting less time to analyze the situation.

Once an urban area has been designated an exercise target, that designation increases its odds of actually experiencing a future false flag attack. It takes considerable resources to corrupt an area, and false flag insiders like to get a return on investment. Since Houston, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, and Phoenix have already been “prepared” in prior exercises, they remain especially vulnerable. In addition, Vigilant Shield will probably add new areas in northern California to the potential target list.

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Buckley Is Out at National Review After Obama Endorsement

The son of conservative icon William F. Buckley has parted ways with the magazine his father founded for committing a heretical act by National Review magazine standards: endorsing Barack Obama.

In a column today entitled “Sorry, Dad, I was Sacked”on www.TheDailyBeast.com, Christopher Buckley, a well-known author who also who wrote the back page column for National Review magazine, writes that the uproar over his endorsement last week of Obama over Republican John McCain prompted so much backlash that he offered his resignation—and the magazine accepted.

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Bottled water has contaminants too, study finds

Tests on leading brands of bottled water turned up a variety of contaminants often found in tap water, according to a study released Wednesday by an environmental advocacy group.

The study's lab tests on 10 brands of bottled water detected 38 chemicals including bacteria, caffeine, the pain reliever acetaminophen, fertilizer, solvents, plastic-making chemicals and the radioactive element strontium. Though some probably came from tap water that some companies use for their bottled water, other contaminants probably leached from plastic bottles, the researchers said.

"In some cases, it appears bottled water is no less polluted than tap water and, at 1,900 times the cost, consumers should expect better," said Jane Houlihan, an environmental engineer who co-authored the study.

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Bush Declares Exceptions to Sections of Two Bills He Signed Into Law

Mr. Bush signed the two measures into law. But he then issued a so-called signing statement in which he instructed the executive branch to view parts of each as unconstitutional constraints on presidential power.

In the authorization bill, Mr. Bush challenged four sections. One forbid the money from being used “to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq”; another required negotiations for an agreement by which Iraq would share some of the costs of the American military operations there.

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Ecuadoreans easily approved a new socialist-leaning charter Sunday.

The overwhelming approval by Ecuadoreans of a new Constitution that gives leftist President Rafael Correa a tighter grip on the economy puts the country firmly on a socialist track similar to Hugo Chávez's Venezuela.

Ecuador's new Constitution grants all citizens the right to water and universal healthcare, pensions, and free state-run education through the university level. 

TVNL Comment: Imangine...giving citizens the right to water and universal healthcare, pensions, and free education are loathed by the right in this nation. It just shows their inhumanity and how the only thing that drives them is greed.

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Republicans Jump Ship

The official list of Republicans and conservatives jumping ship, pointing fingers, or otherwise abandoning the McCain campaign

40 entries and growing...'

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Memos tell wildlife officials to ignore global-warming impact

New legal memos by top Bush administration officials say that the Endangered Species Act can't be used to protect animals and their habitats from climate change by regulating specific sources of greenhouse gas emissions, the cause of global warming.

The assessment, outlined in memos sent earlier this month and leaked Tuesday, provides the official legal justification for limiting protections under the Endangered Species Act.

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