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Monday, Dec 22nd

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U.S. Government: The World's Largest Homeowner

The US government will own every house that is foreclosed on as well as those where people simply decide to walk away.

  • Exactly what will the Government do with those houses?
  • What will the losses be?
  • How much would it cost to prevent foreclosures?
  • What about walk-aways?

Questions like these are why Treasury Secretary Paulson and Chairman Ben Bernanke want you to rush passage of this bill. Both want you to pass Paulson's bill before you have time to think.

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Carbon Is Building Up in Atmosphere Faster Than Predicted

The rise in global carbon dioxide emissions last year outpaced international researchers' most dire projections, according to figures being released today, as human-generated greenhouse gases continued to build up in the atmosphere despite international agreements and national policies aimed at curbing climate change.

In 2007, carbon released from burning fossil fuels and producing cement increased 2.9 percent over that released in 2006, to a total of 8.47 gigatons, or billions of metric tons

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Iraqi Red Crescent Paralyzed by Allegations

The Iraqi Red Crescent, the country's leading humanitarian organization, has been crippled by allegations of embezzlement and mismanagement, including what Iraqi officials call the inappropriate expenditure of more than $1 million on Washington lobbying firms in an unsuccessful effort to win U.S. funding.

The group's former president, Said I. Hakki, an Iraqi American urologist recruited by Bush administration officials to resuscitate Iraq's health-care system, left the country this summer after the issuance of arrest warrants for him and his deputies. He and his aides deny the allegations and call them politically motivated.

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Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009

Founded by Carl Jensen in 1976, Project Censored is a media research program working in cooperation with numerous independent media groups in the US. Project Censored’s principle objective is training of SSU students in media research and First Amendment issues and the advocacy for, and protection of, free press rights in the United States. 

Here are links to the top 25 censored stories that didn't make the news this year:

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Officer: Military Demanded Torture Lessons

The Iraqi prisoner had valuable intelligence, U.S. special forces believed, and they desperately wanted it. They demanded that expert American military trainers teach them the same types of abusive interrogation techniques that North Korea and Vietnamese forces once used against U.S. prisoners of war.

The trainers resisted, according to testimony prepared for a Senate hearing Thursday; the methods were intended to elicit confessions for propaganda use, rather than gather intelligence. They were overruled and ordered to demonstrate on the prisoner in September 2003, early in the war.

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Europe and Japan turn cold shoulder to U.S. plea for bank bailouts

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, also took the opportunity to sharply criticize the United States and Britain for opposing German attempts to put greater regulation, or at least reviews, of the financial sector on the international agenda last year, when she was chairing the Group of 7 industrialized nations.

"Everyone who produces a real product knows what it looks like and what standards it is up to," said Merkel, who was traveling in Austria. "One also needs to know with a financial product what's involved. Otherwise, these sorts of things happen that we then all have to pay for."

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Fox host tells guest mentioning McCain role in Keating Five scandal to 'pipe down'

Appearing Thursday morning on Fox & Friends, radio host Mike Papantonio tried to remind viewers about McCain's intervention with federal regulators on behalf of real estate mogul Charles Keating, who was trying to avoid regulations of a savings and loan he owned during the S&L crisis of the 1980s.

F&F's Steve Doocy told Papantonio to "pipe down," called him "rude" and demanded he "cut it out." A show producer could be overheard saying "cut his mike."

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Hollywood 'paid fortune to smoke'

Tobacco firms paid huge amounts for endorsements from the stars of Hollywood's "Golden Age".

Industry documents released following anti-smoking lawsuits reveal the extent of the relationship between tobacco and movie studios. One firm paid more than $3m in today's money in one year to stars.

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Pakistan probes mystery of US Marines' steel boxes in Marriott

Pakistani authorities are trying to "solve the riddle" of US Marines and their mysterious steel cases that were shifted to the Marriott Hotel four days before it was razed in the worst terrorist attack in the federal capital, a media report on Tuesday said.

According to an official source, the authorities were told that mysterious activity of the US Marines took place around midnight on Sep 16.

"Already, the government has got information that several rooms on the fourth floor of the Marriott were in permanent use of the US authorities. Three of these rooms were said to be inter-connected and contained some intelligence equipment and other material allegedly used for espionage," the newspaper said.

Witnessed by many, including a PPP MNA and his friends, a US embassy truckload of steel boxes was unloaded and shifted inside the Marriott Hotel on Sep 16 midnight only after Mullen had met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and others in Islamabad and had already left the country.

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