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Chevron hires twelve public relations firms to discredit indigenous Indians in Ecuador

In response to an environmental lawsuit filed against the oil giant, Chevron has fortified its defenses with at least twelve different public relations firms whose purpose is to debunk the claims made against the company by indigenous people living in the Amazon forests of Ecuador. According to them, Chevron dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste in the Amazon between 1964 and 1990, causing damages assessed at more than $27 billion.


John Yoo Renews Claim That President's Authority to Torture Depends on What Is "Necessary"

Challenged for his 2005 statement that whether the president could lawfully torture a person's child depends on "why the President thinks he needs to do that," undaunted, John Yoo repeated his claim that it would depend on whether the president finds it "necessary."

Yoo spoke in Los Angeles Thursday at a program sponsored by the Federalist Society and the Libertarian Law Council..


Mich. Pastors File Suit Against Expanded Hate Crimes Law

Four Christians filed a federal lawsuit challenging the recently enacted Hate Crimes Prevention Act, arguing that it seeks to criminalize deeply held religious beliefs that are in opposition to homosexuality.

The new law, the lawsuit contends, "is an effort to eradicate religious beliefs opposing the homosexual agenda from the marketplace of ideas by demonizing, vilifying, and criminalizing such beliefs as a matter of federal law and policy."


TVNL Comment: What would Jesus say?  Just asking....

Interagency teams can now question terror suspects

Interagency interrogation teams have started to question key terrorism suspects under a classified charter approved last week, but authorities have been slower to resolve pressing issues that emerged since Christmas -- including how to draw the line between gathering intelligence and building a legal case, according to federal officials and experts following the process.

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, announced to fanfare by White House officials last summer, was not formally authorized until Jan. 28, under a previously unreported 14-page memo signed by the president's national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones.


Palin e-mails reveal a powerful 'first dude'

E-mails obtained from the state of Alaska under public records law show that Todd Palin was deeply involved in state business while his wife was governor.

Copies of about 1,200 e-mails -- some sent on private accounts -- show that he was "involved in a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received background checks on a corporate CEO, added his approval or disapproval to state board appointments, and passed financial information marked 'confidential' from his oil company employer to a state attorney," writes's Bill Dedman.


The government has your baby's DNA

Many parents don't realize their baby's DNA is being stored in a government lab, but sometimes when they find out, as the Browns did, they take action. Parents in Texas, and Minnesota have filed lawsuits, and these parents' concerns are sparking a new debate about whether it's appropriate for a baby's genetic blueprint to be in the government's possession.


How corporations secretly move millions to fund political ads

The Supreme Court’s seismic January ruling that corporations are free to spend unlimited amounts of their profits to advertise for or against candidates may have been the latest shakeup of campaign finance – but gaping holes already allow corporations to spend enormous sums without leaving a paper trail, a Raw Story investigation has found.


US says it may kill Americans abroad

In a striking admission from the Obama Administration's top intelligence officer, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair announced Wednesday that the United States may target its own citizens abroad for death if it believes they are associated with terrorist groups.


Swiss court awards Haiti funds to Baby Doc Duvalier

At least $4.6m (£2.9m) in Swiss bank accounts must be returned to the family of Haiti's former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, a Swiss court has ruled. The exile, known as Baby Doc, allegedly looted millions.

A lower court had previously awarded charities the money - but that decision was overturned on 12 January and the ruling released on 3 February.


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