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Sunday, Apr 20th

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The Christian Right's Got a New Stealth Tactic to Smuggle Creationism into Science Class

A new law in Louisiana allows teachers to bring in "supplemental textbooks" about evolution, the origins of life and global warming to science class.

But despite pleas from scientists, civil liberties activists and educators like Peebles, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed Louisiana Senate Bill 733 into law. The new statute will allow teachers to introduce into the classroom "supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials" about evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.

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Ohio Voting Machines Contained Programming Error That Dropped Votes

A voting system used in 34 states contains a critical programming error that can cause votes to be dropped while being electronically transferred from memory cards to a central tallying point, the manufacturer acknowledges.

The problem was identified after complaints from Ohio elections officials following the March primary there, but the logic error that is the root of the problem has been part of the software for 10 years, said Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold.

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Homeland Security Phones Hacked

A hacker broke into a Homeland Security Department telephone system over the weekend and racked up about $12,000 in calls to the Middle East and Asia.

The hacker made more than 400 calls on a Federal Emergency Management Agency voicemail system in Emmitsburg, Md., on Saturday and Sunday, according to FEMA spokesman Tom Olshanski.

FEMA is part of Homeland Security, which in 2003 put out a warning about this very vulnerability.

TVNL Comment: The DHS is a tragic cruel crime perpetrated on the American people. It is there to scare us and spy on us, not to protect us from some mythical enemies.

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Report Rejects Medicare’s Boast of Cutting Fraud

In calculating the agency’s rate of improper payments, Medicare officials told outside auditors to ignore government policies that would have accurately measured fraud, according to the report. For example, auditors were instructed not to compare invoices submitted by salespeople against doctors’ records, as required by law, to make sure that medical equipment went to actual patients.

As a result, Medicare did not detect that more than one-third of spending for wheelchairs, oxygen supplies and other medical equipment in its 2006 fiscal year was improper, according to the report. Based on data in other Medicare reports, that would be about $2.8 billion in improper spending.

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Bush protesters get $50,000 state settlement

State records show that a $50,000 judgment has been awarded to two retired school teachers who were strip-searched during a 2004 campaign stop by President Bush.

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Hair Samples in Anthrax Case Don't Match

Federal investigators probing the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks recovered samples of human hair from a mailbox in Princeton, N.J., but the strands did not match the lead suspect in the case, according to sources briefed on the probe.

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Watchdog: Bush turning intelligence agencies on Americans

President Bush seems to be slowly turning the nation's massive surveillance apparatus upon its citizens, and some worry that administration assurances to protect civil liberties are nothing but empty promises.

"This kind of concentrated power, exercised in secret, is a lit fuse with our Constitution likely in danger of being burned,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington legislative office.

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