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Thursday, Oct 02nd

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Families Down to a Meal a Day

While the prices of food and other goods have cooled off from the record highs they hit during Israel's three-week assault, the World Food Programme (WFP) reports that a number of items, many of them basic, remain more expensive for Gaza's residents than they were before Operation Cast Lead.

Sugar, rice, onion, cucumber, tomato, lemon, pepper, chicken, meat, fish and garlic were all more expensive for Gaza's residents in March 2009 than they were in December 2008, the WFP says.

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Pelosi The Enabler

Nancy Pelosi is no Dick Cheney, nor a George W. Bush. She was neither the author of a systematic policy of torture nor has she been, like Cheney and most top Republicans in Congress, an enduring apologist for its practice.

But what she, and anyone else who went along with this evil, as lackadaisically as she now claims, should be confronted with are the serious implications of their passive acquiescence. Why did she not speak up, or if it were a matter of a lack of reliable information, demand an accounting from the executive branch, as befits a leader of the loyal opposition in Congress?

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Gadgets alert over environment impact

Charge your iPod, kill a polar bear? The choice might not be quite that stark, but an energy watchdog is alarmed about the threat to the environment from the soaring electricity needs of gadgets like MP3 players, mobile phones and flat screen TVs.

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Women 'fight off disease better'

Men really do have an excuse for supposedly being wimpy about coughs and colds - their immune systems are not as strong as women's, research suggests.

A Canadian study indicates that the female sex hormone oestrogen gives women's immune systems added bite at fighting off infection.

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Ex-FBI Interrogator Calls Harsh Tactics 'Ineffective'

A former senior FBI agent involved in the interrogation of captured Al-Qaida operative Abu Zubaydah told a Senate panel Wednesday that the use of harsh techniques to extract information was "slow, ineffective and unreliable."

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TVNL Comment: See if this testimony is aired a fraction as often as Dick Cheney's support of torture techniques.

Unfit for Combat

This Monday at 2 PM Baghdad time, a US soldier gunned down five fellow soldiers at a stress-counseling center at a US base in Baghdad. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a news conference at the Pentagon that the shootings occurred in a place where "individuals were seeking help."

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What Is Anti-Semitism?

Is it ever acceptable to compare Israelis to Nazis? When does criticism of Israel become anti-Semitism? And who should make these calls?

Is it anti-Semitic or merely factual to say that Hollywood is controlled largely by Jews? (Remember: Most of the big studio chiefs are Jewish.) Or to note (as some critics of the Iraq war did) that many of the neoconservatives who helped devise the war's intellectual rationale were Jewish -- and possibly harbored a dual loyalty to Israel? Or to point to the existence of a powerful "Israel lobby" that wields substantial influence on Capitol Hill?

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These days, the Washington Post has the look of one of those Southern newspapers in the 1960s standing firm for segregation as the wave of civil rights swept across the region.

The Post editors probably believe they are upholding some twisted journalistic principle, defying the views of most readers in a city that has a large African-American population, voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, and shows little sympathy for the neocons who rode roughshod over so many when George W. Bush was in power.

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FDA: Are Cheerios a drug or a breakfast cereal?

Are Cheerios a drug or a breakfast cereal? That's what General Mills will have to decide, following a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accusing the company of misbranding the health benefits of eating Cheerios.

Cheerios packaging claims that eating Cheerios "can Lower Your Cholesterol 4% in 6 weeks." In order to make that type of claim, the cereal-maker will have to apply for approval as a new drug.

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