Sunday, Oct 04th

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YouTube Bans Videos That Incite Violence

The video-sharing service YouTube is banning submissions that involve "inciting others to violence," following criticism from Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) that the site was too open to terrorist groups disseminating militant propaganda.

The company earlier this year removed some of the videos that Lieberman targeted, many of which were marked with the logos of al-Qaeda and affiliated groups. But the company refused to take down most of the videos on the senator's list, saying they did not violate the Web site's guidelines against graphic violence or hate speech.


Nonstick Cookware Chemicals Found in Human Breast Milk

Toxic chemicals used in nonstick coatings and stain-resistant fabrics were found in the breast milk of every woman tested in a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Researchers tested the milk from 45 different nursing mothers for two different varieties of perflourinated compounds (PFCs): perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8. PFOA is used in nonstick coatings such as Teflon, while PFOS is an ingredient in stain-resistant fabric.


Rule Changes Would Give FBI Agents Extensive New Powers

The overhaul touches on several sensitive areas. It would allow, for example, agents to interview people in the United States about foreign intelligence cases without warrants or prior approval of their supervisors. It also would rewrite 1976 guidelines established after Nixon-era abuses that restrict the FBI's authority to intervene in times of civil disorder and to infiltrate opposition groups.


Venezuela's Chavez says US ambassador must leave

President Hugo Chavez ordered the U.S. ambassador to leave Venezuela in 72 hours and said he was immediately withdrawing his ambassador from Washington.

Chavez said Thursday night that U.S. Ambassador Patrick Duddy is no longer welcome, just as his close ally Bolivia expelled the American envoy from La Paz a day earlier.


Israel asks U.S. for arms, air corridor to attack Iran

The security aid package the United States has refused to give Israel for the past few months out of concern that Israel would use it to attack nuclear facilities in Iran included a large number of "bunker-buster" bombs, permission to use an air corridor to Iran, an advanced technological system and refueling planes.


Who was involved in 9/11? Documentary reveals shocking facts

On the anniversary of 9/11, an Italian-produced documentary called ZERO, investigating the tragedy, is opening in Russia. The authors believe that the U.S. official version of events surrounding the attacks can't be true. U.S. networks have rejected the film.


The GOP is working to keep eligible African-Americans from voting in several states.

Now, with the help of a 2008 Supreme Court decision, Crawford vs. Marion County (Indiana) Election Board, white Republicans in some areas will keep eligible blacks from voting by requiring driver's licenses. Not only is this new-fangled discrimination constitutional, it's spreading.

GOP proponents of the move say they are merely trying to reduce voter fraud. But while occasional efforts to stuff ballot boxes through phony absentee voting still surface, the incidence of individual vote fraud—voting when you aren't eligible—is virtually non-existent, as "The Truth About Vote Fraud," a study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, clearly shows. In other words, the problem Republicans claim they want to combat with increased ID requirements doesn't exist. Meanwhile, those ID hurdles facing individuals do nothing to stop the organized insiders who still try to game the system.


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. 


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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