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Sunday, Oct 26th

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Environment needs dose of bold reform

The international organisations that look after the global environment need reform, but arguing about the institutional format for the UN's main environmental body is not necessarily going to help resolve the problems.

A major problem with international environmental decision-making is that the various UN bodies are not joined up. Priorities are unclear and there is much overlap and duplication of work.

Another problem has been an explosion of new multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), put in place to deal with the increasing problems that require international cooperation.

There are currently more than 500 of them. 

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In the occupied territories, there's a new weapon: the video camera, detailing the violence meted out to Palestinians

"It's very easy for the Israeli public to believe that Palestinians are lying when it's just their word against the word of a soldier or settler", explained B'Tselem's spokesperson, Sarit Michaeli. The Israeli human rights group has brought several high-profile cases to the public's attention this summer, providing vital video evidence of the scale of the violence meted out by settlers and soldiers alike. In the process the footage has seriously dented efforts to smear Palestinians complaining of assault. According to Michaeli, "[The video evidence] makes it much easier for us to demonstrate the reality on the ground, and to show Israelis what is being done in their names in the occupied territories."

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Female Soldiers More Likely to Be Raped than Killed in Action, Says Rep.

"A woman who signs up to protect her country is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire," said Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), who introduced a bill this summer to increase and encourage the investigation of prosecution of sexual assault and rape cases in the military and is attending today's hearing.

"You serve your country and then destroy your life because the guy in the next bunk or the next foxhole becomes a sexual predator," said Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) of the females who have been sexually assaulted or raped while serving the country. Harman is attending a House subcommittee meeting today that will shed new light on the problem of sexual assault in the military.

TVNL Comment: But they kick homosexuals out of the service.

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Feds to unplug medical subsidy

The Bush administration plans to drop Medicaid coverage for 18,000 low-income parents in Minnesota, a move that has stunned state officials who say they didn't see it coming.

The decision, buried in a 29-page document outlining federal changes affecting the state's subsidized health program, known as MinnesotaCare, has prompted written protests from all 10 members of Minnesota's congressional delegation, along with two emergency bills to head off the cuts, which could total $135 million over three years.

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Suicide Attempts for Vets Jump 500% in Five Years, and Government Ignores It

After five years of war in Iraq, Marine suicides doubled between 2006 and 2007, and Army suicides are at the highest level since records were first kept in 1980. Reported suicide attempts jumped 500 percent between 2002 and 2007

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Hurdles Keep Street Drugs Out of Medicine Chest

The patients at Dr. Michael Mithoefer's clinic in South Carolina all suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Some are the victims of rape and child sexual abuse, others -- veterans returning home from Iraq -- bear the psychic scars of war.

They have tried other therapies before but here, under the watchful eye of Mithoefer and his staff, they're trying something new -- MDMA, better known as ecstasy, a drug that if bought on a street corner would land these patients in jail. 

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US death in Afghanistan makes 2008 deadliest year

Militants attacking a compound in Afghanistan's east killed a U.S. soldier on Thursday, making 2008 the deadliest year yet for American forces in the country that sheltered al-Qaida while the terror group plotted the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Thursday's death brings to 112 the number of troops who have died in Afghanistan this year, surpassing last year's record toll of 111.

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No victory in Iraq, says Petraeus

The outgoing commander of US troops in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, has said that he will never declare victory there.

In a BBC interview, Gen Petraeus said that recent security gains were "not irreversible" and that the US still faced a "long struggle".

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TVNL Comment:  Has anyone defined 'victory' in Iraq?  Is it when we've depleted the country of all its oil, or when there are no more billion dollar contracts to distribute?  Another hundred years?  Probably...

9/11: All In One Chunk

  1. Why didn't jets intercept the airliners since they had numerous warnings of terrorist attacks?
  2. Why did Ashcroft stop flying commercial airlines, citing an unidentified "threat" in July 2001?
  3. Why did FEMA lie about their presence in New York on 9/11?
  4. Why didn't the Secret Service hustle Dubya out of the classroom?
  5. Why did George H.W. Bush meet bin Laden's brother on 9/11?
  6. Why did passengers or crew members on three of the flights all use the term boxcutters?
  7. Where are the flight recorders?
  8. Why were the FISA warrants discontinued?
  9. How did Bush see the first plane crash on live camera?
  10. Why was security meeting scheduled for 9/11 cancelled by WTC management on 9/10?
  11. How did they come up with the "culprits" so quickly?
  12. How did they find the terrorist's cars at the airports so quickly?
  13. Why did Shrub dissolve the Bin Laden Task Force?
  14. Why the strange pattern of debris from Flight 93?
  15. How extensive was the relationship between the Taliban, the ISI and the CIA?
  16. What exactly was the role of Henry Kissinger at UNOCAL?
  17. When was it decided to cancel building a pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan?
  18. Why did the FBI in 1996 close the files to investigate Osama bin Laden's relatives in Washington?
  19. Why did .Bush stop inquiries into terrorist connections of the Bin Laden family in early 2001?
  20. Who made the decision to have John O'Neill stop investigating Al-qeada accounts?
More...Lots More...

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