Sometimes it's the little things in the big stories that catch your eye. On Monday, the Washington Post ran the first of three pieces adapted from Bob Woodward's new book Obama’s Wars, a vivid account of the way the U.S. high command boxed the Commander-in-Chief into the smallest of Afghan corners.
News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch engaged US lawmakers in a heated debate Thursday on immigration as he defended coverage by his Fox News networks against critics who claim it is overly conservative. "We welcome all views on Fox News. We don't censure, we're not anti-mmigrant on Fox News," he told a House Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration.
Pakistan -- These attacks are, plain and simple, a naked aggression against Pakistan by the Afghanistan-based and NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is to say, America. What else could they be? On Sunday, two of their helicopter gunships intruded into Pakistan and killed over thirty people, claiming they were militants. A Foreign Office spokesman said that Pakistan had protested to NATO/ISAF over the incursion, yet the very next day their gunships trespassed into Pakistani territory again and slaughtered another six people.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An Internet video showing men in Pakistani military uniforms executing six young men in civilian clothes has heightened concerns about unlawful killings by Pakistani soldiers supported by the United States, American officials said.
Barack Obama has begun the fightback against his critics in the U.S. with a hard-hitting interview in Rolling Stone magazine.
The U.S. President singles out Fox News for criticism as he tackles the banking crisis, U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the strength of the Tea Part movement, global warming and his decision to sack General Stanley McChrystal in the wide-ranging article. But it was Rupert Murdoch's television network that came in for the most blistering attack as Obama labelled it 'ultimately destructive for the long-term growth' of the U.S.
Toxic Gaslands: Horizontal Gas Fracture Extraction is Destroying Pennsylvania Farmlands for Generations to Come (Sep. 28, 2010)
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill giving the executive branch the power to impose punitive duties on exports to the US of any country whose currency is labeled “fundamentally undervalued.” The measure was pushed by the Democratic leadership and supported overwhelmingly by Democratic congressmen, with substantial Republican support.
Ansar Al-Asra, a human rights organization, reported Thursday that Israel kidnapped about 500 Palestinian prisoners under age 18 every year and there are still 310 of them in its jails.
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot reports that President Obama begged Prime Minister Netanyahu to extend his settlement freeze in order to save the so-called peace talks. As a quid pro quo, Obama is reported to have promised Netanyahu that (1) Israel could resume settlement construction if the peace negotiations failed to produce results and (2) that the United States would give Israel written assurances of its commitment to Israel’s security (suggesting a formal peace treaty perhaps?). Despite Obama’s desperation, Netanyahu blew Obama off and allowed the so-called freeze to expire.
For the fourth straight year, the majority of Americans say they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 57% who now say this is a record high by one percentage point.
Let us suppose for a moment that an individual enjoying the full confidence and trust of the United States government was given access to the most secret information possessed by the US military, to include how it would react to an attack by an aggressor armed with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Let us further suppose that that individual violated his trust in the most egregious and vile fashion, offering to sell the information to anyone, but eventually settling on a nation ostensibly friendly to the US but not in any way a formal ally. The individual then proceeded to deliver defense secrets literally by the carload, not only information that might plausibly have been construed as relevant to the buyer’s own security, but also strategic defense information that could conceivably have led to the deaths of millions of American citizens.
Tracy Molm sometimes has a hard time paying rent, so it came as a surprise when American security forces banged on her door at 7am one morning, and searched her apartment under suspicions she provided material support to a terrorist organisation. Warrants indicate that investigators believe Molm and at least seven other activists from the Minnesota anti-war committee and other groups provided material support to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), groups the US considers terrorist organisations.
Four soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas died over the week. In all four cases, it appears the soldiers, all decorated veterans from the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, took their own lives, according to Christopher Haug, a Fort Hood spokesman. If confirmed as suicides, it would be on top of 14 other suicides on the base this year. Base officials called a news conference for Wednesday afternoon to discuss the problem of suicides at the huge base in central Texas.
All four members of Project Gulf Impact were in hospital after “CHEMICAL POISONING” (VIDEO). CHSL Radio program cancelled: Kindra Arnesen “very ill with staph”; Joannie Hughes in hospital, doctor “worried about neurotoxins” (VIDEO). 30% of coastal residents surveyed from Louisiana to FL said health “Significantly Affected” by oil disaster — Doctors didn’t realize problem would be “that big” (VIDEO). Things are getting worse, way worse… it’s just shocking — and no one is doing anything (VIDEO)
Brian Dolan, chief strategist at FOREX.com, a unit of online currency trading firm Gain Capital in Bedminster, New Jersey, talks about U.S. calls for China to allow its currency to appreciate. The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation prodding China to raise the value of the yuan, as Democratic lawmakers pressed election-season proposals they said would increase factory employment. Dolan also discusses the outlook for the euro, dollar and yen. He speaks with Susan Li on Bloomberg Television's "First Up." (Source: Bloomberg)
The dollar headed for its biggest monthly loss since 2008 versus the euro as signs the U.S. economy is slowing damped demand for the nation’s assets.
As an antiterror measure, the US government has deployed mobile X-ray technology to randomly scan cars and trucks. But the measure is riling privacy proponents.
The countdown clock and the last chance for “The Founder’s Legacy” of patriotic Americans willing to lay it all on the line for a new Republic, has hit 0:00. Rebellion is no longer an option, a late night “what if” discussion around a bottle of good wine and snacks. It is now the mandated response of oath keeping citizens and Constitutional defending men and women who have heard Paul Revere in 2010. That “watchman,” who made the most famous call to prepare for rebellion in the history of the world, has come again, through all of us who have been riding across our land for several years and warned of the arrival of this most critical moment.
Amid signs of increasing desperation in the nine-year US war in Afghanistan, Washington has simultaneously launched a major offensive against the country’s second-largest city, Kandahar, and stepped up its attacks in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), escalating the bloodshed on both sides of the border.
Figures released Tuesday by the US Census Bureau reveal sharply worsening conditions for tens of millions of Americans under the impact of the economic crisis and the accumulation of vast wealth by a relative handful. Some of the figures, for particular states and regions, are simply staggering. Michigan residents experienced a 6.2 percent decrease in median income in the course of one year, from 2008 to 2009, while Illinois has suffered a 24 percent increase in poverty in the past decade. More than 36 percent of Detroit’s population officially lives in poverty.
Pre-trial military hearings began September 27 into atrocities committed by US Army soldiers over the past year in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In all, twelve soldiers face 76 charges, including murder, assault, dismembering corpses, filing false reports, drug abuse, and other crimes. Five of the soldiers were arrested in June for targeting civilians at random while out on patrol, killing them, then covering up the crimes by planting weapons on the victims, falsifying paperwork, and lying to superior officers.
Forbes study shows Denmark remains best country to do business in while Ireland takes sixth place from UK. Forbes's annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business has seen the US and UK fall to ninth and tenth place respectively. Denmark is still the best country in the world to do business, according to a Forbes report, but the US has dropped from second to ninth place, while Hong Kong has gone the other way. The UK has fallen from sixth to tenth place, replaced by Ireland, in Forbes's fifth annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business.
The Great Recession may have ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, but U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner isn't buying it. And neither are recently revealed foreclosure and eviction scams at GMAC Mortgage, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other too-big-to-fail financial firms swimming in both American taxpayer cash and the Federal Reserve Bank's divine intervention.
It's up to people outside Washington to build the struggles that will make a difference. "I'VE BEEN out of work since April, but there were a lot of people in line with me who were out longer than that," Larry Smizer told the Chicago Tribune as he stood alongside thousands of workers who lined up at 8 a.m. for a chance at one of the 400 jobs at a Chicago-area Ford plant this summer.
"Sometimes, for a day or two we don't even have bread, nor flour to make bread. There's a store nearby that, when we are truly desperate, lets us take a bag of bread or something simple, on credit. I owe them a lot of money for the food I've brought from them, but I still can't pay them."
The U.S. army attack on three houses in Falluja in the early morning of September 15 requires an explanation from various parties. The U.S. is required to explain the reason it deployed helicopter gunships in attacking a civilian target inside an Iraqi city after the withdrawal of its combat troops. The troops staying behind were supposed to be only engaged in training and offering of advice.
2009 was a year of accelerating economic pain and loss, according to US Census data released today. Although the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) tells us that the "Great Recession" officially ended in December of 2009, the labor force of the US shrank by more than 130,000 from 2008 to 2009. The median family income - a better measure than average income because it reflects the exact middle of income distribution - decreased by $2,254 or 3.5 percent. The median income for all workers in the US fell from $29,868 in 2008 to $28,365 in 2009 - a 5 percent decline.
A rescue worker takes a break from finding survivors following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. (Photo: Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Jim Watson / US Navy)
A new AFL-CIO report shows that more than 13,000 of the truly heroic firefighters, police, and other rescuers who were the first to rush to the scene of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, are still being treated for the serious injuries they received.
More than a fifth of the world's plant species faces the threat of extinction, a trend with potentially catastrophic effects for life on Earth, according to research released on Wednesday. But a separate study cautioned that extinction of mammals had been overestimated and suggested some mammal species thought to have been wiped out may yet be rediscovered.
Senate blocks bill to punish firms that export jobs overseas The Senate on Tuesday blocked tax legislation that would have punished U.S. firms that export jobs. But the political symbolism of trying to save American jobs, not passing a bill, was the Democrats' closing argument on the economy in the waning weeks of the congressional elections.
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, warned Tuesday of the "blight" of new laws being introduced across the globe allowing people to be cut off from the Internet. "There's been a rash of laws trying to give governments and Internet service providers (ISPs) the right and the duty to disconnect people," he told a conference on web science at the Royal Society in London.
As consensus grows regarding the futility of US national security policy, concerns arise over Barack Obama's strategy. In possibly the most dramatic mea culpa in Presidential history, Bill Clinton, newly appointed as UN Special Envoy for Haiti, admitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the US policy of compelling poor developing countries to buy US agricultural products at subsidised prices, which destroyed local agricultural sectors, was a disaster.
After squandering his first year in office catering to Wall Street, Obama suddenly attempted to shift course. It took a rebellion by Massachusetts’s voters in January 2010 to get him to pay full attention to the failures of his economic program. In the bluest of blue states, the voters who had given Obama a 26 percent plurality in the presidential election the year before spurned his personal entreaty to send another Democrat to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy. The message was understood by Obama, who the very next day fundamentally altered his administration’s response to the economic meltdown. Or so it seemed for the moment.
The recession seems to be socking Americans in the heart as well as the wallet: Marriages have hit an all-time low while pleas for food stamps have reached a record high and the gap between rich and poor has grown to its widest ever. The long recession technically ended in mid-2009, economists say, but U.S. Census data released Tuesday show the painful, lingering effects. The annual survey covers all of last year, when unemployment skyrocketed to 10 percent, and the jobless rate is still a stubbornly high 9.6 percent.
Friday’s raids hit three U employees and a former student. The two sides of Washington Avenue South in front of the Minneapolis FBI headquarters were in stark contrast Monday evening. On one sidewalk stood a group of about 200 chanting protestors denouncing a string of FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas, including three against University of Minnesota employees and one against a former student.
Some bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico love eating oil as much as they like infecting humans. … One of the more pressing questions involves Vibrio… vulnificus… this year there is a likely possibility, scientists say, that Vibrio growth could be further spurred, directly or indirectly, in response to the oil and the organic flotsam it has left behind.
The unrelenting diplomatic and geopolitical standoff between Iran and the United States is often blamed on the Iranian government for its “confrontational” foreign policies, or its “unwillingness” to enter into a dialogue with the United States. Little known, however, is the fact that during the past decade or so, Iran has offered a number of times to negotiate with the United States without ever getting a positive response from the U.S.
Corporal Jeremy Morlock told investigators his sergeant randomly picked out Afghan civilians to be killed. (ABC) Video: US soldiers accused over Afghanistan 'kill team' (ABC News) Video: US soldiers face charges over killings (7pm TV News NSW) Related Story: US army opens hearing into Afghan killings In what is being described as one of the worst crime cases out of Afghanistan, five US soldiers have been accused of the premeditated murder of three randomly selected civilians. The five soldiers, who were stationed in the country's south, are accused of forming their own "kill team". Prosecutors say the soldiers kept body parts of their victims and three of the accused men have confessed.
A report examining the state of human rights of people of African descent in the United States was presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council today. The U.N. Working Group on the Rights of People of African Descent reported that, while the U.S. government has taken some steps to promote the rights of people of African descent, much more needs to be done to bring the U.S. into compliance with international treaty obligations.
U.S. chief executive officers' view of the economy darkened in the third quarter, with top executives saying they were less willing to hire new workers as they fear sales growth will slow. The change in mood reported in a Business Roundtable survey on Tuesday bodes poorly for the tepid U.S. economic recovery, which as been held back by stubbornly high unemployment. The news was not entirely grim, though -- more CEOs expect to boost their capital spending over the next six months, a trend that reflects both strong corporate balance sheets and a desire to lift productivity.
Suicide rates for middle-aged people are edging up — particularly for white men without college degrees — and a combination of poor health and a poor economy may be driving it, U.S. researchers said on Monday. Middle-aged people usually have a relatively low risk for suicide as they seek to support their families, but baby boomers are bucking this trend, sociologists Julie Phillips of Rutgers University in New Jersey and Ellen Idler of Emory University in Atlanta found.
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