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Wednesday, Oct 01st

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U.S. War Privatization Results in Billions Lost in Fraud, Waste and Abuse--Report

Contractor employees outnumber U.S. troops in the region. While contractors provide vital services, the Commission believes their use has also entailed billions of dollars lost to waste, fraud, and abuse due to inadequate planning, poor contract drafting, limited competition, understaffed oversight functions, and other problems.

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Report Faults Bush Officials Over Utah Land Auction

A new report from the Department of the Interior says that Bush administration officials did not follow longstanding practices when they auctioned off 77 parcels of Utah land for oil and gas drilling while keeping the National Park Service in the dark about potential drilling near park land.

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South African study: Israel practicing apartheid and colonialism

The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) has released a report confirming that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

The HSRC commissioned an international team of scholars and practitioners of international public law from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel and the West Bank to conduct this study. The resulting 300-page report, titled "Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel's practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law," represents 15 months of research and constitutes an exhaustive review of Israel's practices in the OPT according to definitions of colonialism and apartheid provided by international law. The project was suggested originally by the January 2007 report by eminent South African jurist John Dugard, in his capacity as Special Rapporteur to the United Nations Human Rights Council, when he indicated that Israeli practices had assumed characteristics of colonialism and apartheid.

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What Didn't Happen At The Pentagon

If anyone wanted to know my take on the Pentagon, they could find it in "Thinking about 'Conspiracy Theories': 9/11 and JFK", where the reasons why I believe no 757 hit the Pentagon but a smaller plane, such as an A-3 Skywarrior, apparently did. My purpose here is not to defend that hypothesis, however, but to explain how we know what didn't happen at the Pentagon and to refute the unfounded criticisms that Eastman has published here.

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Lobbyists Spend Millions Fighting Over Obama's Universal Health Care Plan

The most lucrative job in Washington these days just might be health care lobbyist -- as prominent interest groups announce plans to pour millions of dollars into fighting over President Obama's efforts to create a universal health care system.

The White House has sought to curtail the role of lobbyists, but the heated public debate over Obama's health plan has made them very much a part of the legislative process.

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Chemical Stops Breasts from Growing Bigger

Study: Dioxin pollution may explain why as many as 6 million women can't breast-feed their babies. Learn how to avoid dioxins in your diet.

The health benefits of breast-feeding are many -- everything from lower obesity rates to lower rates of asthma have been attributed to breast-feeding and other good nutritional habits early in life. For mothers, breast-feeding can actually lower the risk of heart disease, according to one recent study.

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Guantanamo's Hidden History: Shocking Statistics of Starvation

Today is the third anniversary of the deaths in Guantánamo of three prisoners, Ali al-Salami, Mani al-Utaybi and Yasser al-Zahrani. The anniversary comes just two weeks after the second anniversary of the death of Abdul Rahman al-Amri, the fourth prisoner to die in mysterious circumstances, and just eight days after the death of a fifth prisoner, Muhammad Salih. The authorities maintain that the men died by committing suicide, although doubts about this explanation have repeatedly been voiced by former prisoners. However, it is also significant that all five men were long-term hunger strikers.

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Periodic table gets a new element

The ubiquitous periodic table will soon have a new addition - the "super-heavy" element 112.

More than a decade after experiments first produced a single atom of the element, a team of German scientists has been credited with its discovery.

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U.N. environment chief urges global ban on plastic bags

Single-use plastic bags, a staple of American life, have got to go, the United Nations' top environmental official said Monday.

Although recycling bags is on the rise in the United States, an estimated 90 billion thin bags a year, most used to handle produce and groceries, go unrecycled.

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