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Sunday, Nov 23rd

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Why CIA Veterans Are Scared of McCain

Four years ago, the candidate called the CIA a "rogue organization"; now he's advised by a former Chalabi promoter and Agency basher. No wonder the spooks are spooked.

These critics point especially to the McCain campaign's top national security adviser Randy Scheunemann—who ran a front group promoting war with Iraq and the fabrications of controversial Iraqi exile politician Ahmad Chalabi, the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, and who has lobbied for aggressive NATO expansion. Scheunemann's record, they argue, encapsulates everything wrong with the past eight years of Bush leadership on intelligence issues, from a penchant for foreign policy freelancing and secret contacts with unreliable fabricators, to neoconservatives' disdain for the perceived bureaucratic timidity of the CIA and State Department, to their avowed hostility for diplomacy with adversaries. 

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Chalabi aide arrested on suspicion of Baghdad bombings

U.S. forces have arrested a deputy of Ahmad Chalabi, who was once the Bush administration's favorite Iraqi politician, and implicated him in bombings that killed Americans and Iraqis, Chalabi and Iraqi government officials said Thursday.

The U.S. military alleged that the arrested official was working with the "highest echelons" of the Iranian "special groups" criminals, referring to what the U.S. military says are Iranian-backed militias operating in Iraq.

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Court bars meatpacker tests for mad cow

The Agriculture Department is within bounds to bar meatpackers from testing slaughter cattle for mad cow disease, a U.S. Court of Appeals panel said in a 2-1 ruling on Friday.

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A biblical tragedy in Galilee

An arid country, Israel relies on the waters where Jesus sailed to irrigate its farmland and supply its homes. But now the lake is drying up – and only drastic action will save it

The waters of the Sea of Galilee are now at their lowest on record and, officials say, are set to fall even lower

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Newly discovered oil reserves to benefit all Brazilians

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Thursday that the recently discovered pre-salt layer oil fields are a national asset, which will benefit all the Brazilians.

"Brazil is not to be a mega exporter of crude oil," said the president, "instead, we want to build a strong oil industry in Brazil to add value to our oil and export the byproducts."

"We should not forget that everyone in Brazil is to be benefited ...I want to invest a part of the pre-salt layer oil fields' revenue in education," Lula said.

According to Brazil's constitution, the oil reserves belong to the whole nation.

TVNL Comment: You never heard an American speak this way. That is real patriotism, not the fake patriotism that exists here!

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Vidal: US never had democracy

In an exclusive interview with Press Tv correspondent, Vidal said that the United States has never had democracy and the word never was used in the US constitution, Bill of Rights or the Declaration of Independence.

Vidal also said that America has fallen into the hands of a small group of people that only care about global dominance and making money from US tax payers by waging wars.

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US election: Billboards of US soldiers cancelled in host city of Republican convention

A series of portraits of American soldiers set to adorn roadside billboards in Minneapolis, site of next week's Republican convention, was abruptly cancelled by the billboards' owners, which feared they would be deemed disrespectful to the US military.

The shots of troops in between deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan by a New York City artist were to run in five US cities.

But CBS Outdoor abruptly changed course and has refused to post the billboards in Minneapolis, Miami, Florida; and Houston, Texas. A separate company has agreed to display the images on billboards in Atlanta. Curiously for the artists, the images remain up in Denver, site of this week's Democratic national convention. 

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Study outcome won't sway company on eye drug

What does a company do when there's anecdotal evidence that two of its drugs are equally effective in treating a leading cause of blindness in the elderly, one costing patients $60 per treatment and the other $2,000?

In the case of Genentech Inc., nothing.

The company declined to seek federal approval for the cheaper drug, Avastin, to treat the wet form of age-related macular degeneration. Nor would it help finance _ or cooperate with _ a National Eye Institute study comparing the effectiveness and safety of Avastin, a cancer drug, and the more expensive eye drug, Lucentis.

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Lockerbie evidence not disclosed

Scottish police had information that might have changed the outcome of the Lockerbie bombing trial, a BBC TV programme has learned.

The information could have affected the credibility of key evidence, but was not passed to the defence team.

Libyan national Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi is serving life for killing 270 people in the 1988 bombing.

But there have always been doubts expressed about who was behind the bombing and what was their motivation.

He admitted to the programme's producer Guy Smith that the Libyan government had merely accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing in order to get international sanctions lifted.

"Yes, we wrote a letter to the Security Council saying we are responsible for the acts of our employees... but it doesn't mean that we did it in fact.

"I admit that we played with words - we had to.

"What can you do? Without writing that letter we would not be able to get rid of sanctions."

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