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Monday, Jul 28th

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European Court Ruling Ends Water Fluoridation

Fluoridated water must be treated as a medicine, and cannot be used to prepare foods! That is the decision of the European Court of Justice, in a landmark case dealing with the classification and regulation of 'functional drinks' in member states of the European Community. (HLH Warenvertriebs and Orthica (Joined Cases C-211/03, C-299/03, C-316/03 and C-318/03) 9 June2005)...
 
Implications for international trade in food products...

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Chevron expects to fight Ecuador lawsuit in U.S.

Chevron Corp., which expects to be on the losing end of a long-running environmental lawsuit in Ecuador, is turning its attention to fighting the expected multibillion-dollar verdict in the U.S.

The plaintiffs in the case, residents of Ecuador's oil-producing Amazonian rainforest, are seeking to hold Chevron responsible for environmental contamination they say was caused by Texaco, which operated in Ecuador from 1964 to 1990 and was bought by Chevron in 2001.

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9/11 Case Could Bring Broad Shift on Civil Suits

On its face, the Iqbal decision concerned the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. The court ruled that a Muslim man swept up on immigration charges could not sue two Bush administration officials for what he said was the terrible abuse he suffered in detention.

But something much deeper and broader was going on in the decision, something that may unsettle how civil litigation is conducted in the United States.

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The "Swiftboating" of Human Rights Watch

Last week witnessed a concerted attack against the credibility of the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), seeking to link supposed fundraising activities in Saudi Arabia with that organization's criticism ("bias", according to its detractors) of Israeli practices in the occupied territories, also claiming HRW is soft peddling on Saudi violations.

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Poll: Most Arabs refused property in West Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed this week that Jerusalem is an "open city" that permits all its inhabitants, Jewish and Palestinian, to purchase homes in both its eastern and western parts.

An examination by Haaretz, however, presented a rather different situation on the ground. According to Israel Lands Administration rules, residents of East Jerusalem cannot take ownership of the vast majority of Jerusalem homes.

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U.S. Withheld Data Showing Risks of Distracted Driving

In 2003, researchers at a federal agency proposed a long-term study of 10,000 drivers to assess the safety risk posed by cellphone use behind the wheel.

They sought the study based on evidence that such multitasking was a serious and growing threat on America’s roadways. But such an ambitious study never happened. And the researchers’ agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, decided not to make public hundreds of pages of research and warnings about the use of phones by drivers — in part, officials say, because of concerns about angering Congress.

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High-fructose diets impair memory

Adopting a diet rich in fructose, a form of sugar commonly found in processed foods and beverages, may result in impaired spatial memory.

Previous studies had reported various health problems such as insulin insensitivity, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease following the use fructose, the sweetener commonly found in table sugar, fruit juice concentrates and high fructose corn syrup.

According to a study conducted in Georgia State University, high fructose intake can also impair memory in consumers. It, however, does not influence an individual's ability to learn.

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Gambling with peace: how US bingo dollars are funding Israeli settlements

Each dollar spent on bingo by the mostly Latino residents of Hawaiian Gardens, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, helps fund Jewish settlements on Palestinian land in some of the most sensitive areas of occupied East Jerusalem, particularly the Muslim quarter of the old city, and West Bank towns such as Hebron where the Israeli military has forced Arabs out of their properties in their thousands.

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Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes, dies at 78

Frank McCourt, the author of Angela's Ashes, a prize-winning "epic of woe" about his childhood in Ireland, died in New York yesterday at the age of 78.

He had been gravely ill with meningitis and recently was treated for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. He died in a Manhattan hospice, his brother Malachy McCourt said.

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