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Saturday, Jun 25th

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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 msnbc.com's Bill Dedman.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Senate passes AIPAC sponsored Iran Sanctions Act

The sanctions would target oil which Iran's economy is dependent on. The bill would also ban trade with companies that do business with Iran. The President has not stated whether he will sign the bill into law but did warn Iran that it would suffer "growing consequences" if they ignored international obligations. President Obama introduced similar legislation when he was Senator.

TVNL Comment: The overlords have spoken.

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McConnell Raised Big Bucks From Foreign Defense Contractor Probed For Bribery

In the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been quick to denounce a bid by Democrats to stop foreign corporations from pouring money into U.S. elections, claiming current law already bars such spending. As we've reported before, it's not nearly as simple as that -- but McConnell should know: The GOP Senate leader has raked in campaign cash from a subsidiary of a major foreign defense contractor that's currently being investigated by the Justice Department for bribery.

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America is broke, and needs its old friends

The end of the American empire has long been foretold. But it's not hubris or hostile action that brings it low. It's a lack of readies, meaning unpaid, high-interest, foreign-owned debt, and an unaffordable lifestyle. And unlike the postwar period, when a Europe with common interests, a broadly similar political outlook, and shared values passed the security baton to the US, America has no like-minded, amicable successor to turn to as its own power fades. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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Pentagon abandons two-war doctrine

Warning that US military power faced new limits and constraints, he said that weaponry, tactics and enemies had overtaken the "familiar contingencies that dominated US planning after the Cold War".

"We have learned through painful experience that the wars we fight are seldom the wars that we planned," said Mr Gates, as he presented the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defence Review and the 2011 budget plan to the Senate armed services committee.

TVNL Comment: The PNAC dream of total war seems to be fading.

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