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U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study

U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study 24 Jun 2010 Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday. The United States ranked last when compared to six other countries -- Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Fund report found.

Supreme Court ruling weakens anti-corruption law

Supreme Court ruling weakens anti-corruption law --If there's no bribe or kickback, fraud involving 'honest services' isn't a crime, justices rule. Jeffrey Skilling and former newspaper magnate Conrad Black were wrongfully convicted on that charge, the court says. 24 Jun 2010 A Supreme Court ruling Thursday dealt a severe blow to legislation meant to fight public corruption and also could affect the recent convictions of former Enron chief Jeffrey Skilling and former newspaper magnate Conrad Black. In ruling on "honest-services fraud," the justices said Skilling and Black were wrongly convicted on that charge. All nine justices agreed that such fraud was too vague to constitute a crime unless a bribe or kickback was involved.

U.S. sending aerial drone to Texas border

U.S. sending aerial drone to Texas border 24 Jun 2010 The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will station an aerial drone in Texas as part of its stepped-up surveillance of criminal trafficking along the Mexican border. Federal authorities also have signed an agreement to allow local police from non-border communities to temporarily "deploy" to the border region to assist with security, said Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Pakistan Wants Life in Jail for U.S. Citizens at Terror Trial

Pakistan Wants Life in Jail for U.S. Citizens at Terror Trial 24 Jun 2010  Pakistani prosecutors will push for five Americans charged with terrorism offenses to be sent to jail for life if they are found guilty today. The U.S. citizens, aged 19 to 25 at the time of their arrest, have been on trial since being detained in December on charges they sought terrorist training from Taliban guerrillas in militant strongholds near the border with Afghanistan.

Israel faces new war crime headache

Israel faces new war crime headache 24 Jun 2010 Israeli leaders are facing more legal action from rights activists who are filing new lawsuits in connection with Israel's war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza. Two Belgian lawyers filed an indictment on Wednesday on behalf of more than a dozen Palestinians, calling for some 14 Israeli officials to stand trial for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed during Tel Aviv's December 2008-January 2009 offensive against the Gaza Strip.

Gulf oil spill: Boat captain, despondent over spill, commits suicide

Gulf oil spill: Boat captain, despondent over spill, commits suicide 23 Jun 2010 William Allen Kruse, 55, a charter boat captain recently hired by BP as a vessel of opportunity out of Gulf Shores, Ala., died Wednesday morning before 7:30 a.m. of a gunshot to the head, likely self-inflicted, authorities said. "He had been quite despondent about the oil crisis," said Stan Vinson, coroner for Baldwin County, which includes Gulf Shores.

'Top hat' back in place at runaway BP well after mishap

'Top hat' back in place at runaway BP well after mishap 23 Jun 2010 Workers removed the "top hat" device collecting oil from BP's gushing Deepwater Horizon well Wednesday morning, bringing a halt for much of the day to the primary effort to capture crude escaping into the Gulf of Mexico. The "top hat" was put back in place nearly 10 hours after it was removed, BP announced. BP provided only a scant explanation for the sudden removal of the containment device, which was placed atop the well's dysfunctional blowout preventer on June 3.

Rescue ALL Sea Turtles from Burning Oil

Quick action! Rescue ALL Sea Turtles from Burning Oil (Sea Turtle Restoration Project) 24 Jun 2010 Multiple eye-witness accounts have established that endangered sea turtles are being burned alive in BP's cleanup efforts. Immediate change must occur so that ALL sea turtles are rescued from the Gulf Oil Spill as a top priority by Unified Command. BP boats corral oil every day into "Burn Boxes," restricted areas where surface oil is set on fire. Send the letter (click here) to rescue ALL sea turtles from oil before boom and burn.

Obama administration appeals decision blocking drill ban

Obama administration appeals decision blocking drill ban 23 Jun 2010 The Obama administration on Wednesday appealed a court ruling that blocked its six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling after a judge said it was not adequately justified despite the Gulf of Mexico spill. The administration also asked District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans to put his ruling against the moratorium on hold pending the outcome of the appeal or until the appeals court can consider a stay request.

Gen Stanley McChrystal resignation statement

Gen Stanley McChrystal resignation statement 23 Jun 2010 Gen Stanley McChrystal issued the following statement after President Barack Obama announced his dismissal as the top Nato commander in Afghanistan.

'US vehicle runs over Iraqi family, 3 die'

'US vehicle runs over Iraqi family, 3 die' 23 Jun 2010 US troops have killed three Iraqi civilians and wounded three others in the northern city of Mosul after their vehicle ran over a family, a report says. The incident occurred Tuesday evening on a highway northwest of the city. All the victims belong to a same family -- the father, mother and a daughter were killed -- Aswat al-Iraq news agency reported Wednesday.

Barton will keep top GOP spot on Energy and Commerce panel

Barton will keep top GOP spot on Energy and Commerce panel 23 Jun 2010 Rep. Joe Barton (R-Whackjob-Texas) will retain his top spot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to GOP lawmakers. Barton, who came under fire after apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward at a hearing last week for the way the government had treated the oil company, will stay on as ranking member of the committee, which oversees oil and gas regulation, among other areas.

Two BP spill response personnel killed

Two BP spill response personnel killed 23 Jun 2010 More than two months after BP's massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, the US Coast Guard says two people related to the spill response have been killed. Adm. Thad Allen, the federal spill response commander, said on Wednesday that one person died in a swimming pool accident and another on a vessel conducting oil skimming, reported The Washington Post.

6 NATO-led troops killed in Afghanistan

6 NATO-led troops killed in Afghanistan 23 Jun 2010 Six NATO-led troops were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said. The British Defense Ministry said a British Marine was killed by small arms fire during a firefight in Helmand province. The Marine was one of three service members killed in southern Afghanistan. Two others died after an improvised explosive device attack.

Bomb-making material seized in Afghanistan

Bomb-making material seized in Afghanistan 23 Jun 2010 Security forces in Afghanistan seized 11 tons of ammonium nitrate, the material used to make improvised explosive devices, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said on Wednesday. The forces, working with NATO-led troops, found the material during a Monday night operation in Kabul. [Yeah, they'll resell that to the 'insurgents' for a bigger profit next week. --LRP]

Petraeus replaces McChrystal

One war criminal replaces another: Petraeus replaces McChrystal 23 Jun 2010 President Barack Obama has picked General David Petraeus to replace Gen. Stanly McChrystal as the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The appointment came after President Obama fired, Gen. McChrystal over criticizing White House officials in an interview with Rolling Stone. General McChrystal mocked a string of top Washington officials, including President Barack Obama. 

German accused of attempted bomb attack on British Ambassador in Yemen

German accused of attempted bomb attack on British Ambassador in Yemen 23 Jun 2010 A German and an Iraqi were among four men accused in a Yemeni court on Wednesday of plotting a suicide bomb attack to kill Tim Torlot, the British Ambassador to Yemen, in the capital Sana'a. Rami Hens, a German citizen whose mother is Yemeni, was on trial over the alleged plot, a court official said. The ambassador was in a convoy travelling to the embassy on an April morning when the bomb was detonated.

CIA gives Blackwater firm new $100 million contract

CIA gives Blackwater firm new $100 million contract By Jeff Stein 23 Jun 2010 The Central Intelligence Agency has hired Xe Services, the private security firm [terrorist group] formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to an industry source. The previously undisclosed CIA contract is worth about $100 million, said the industry source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal, which is classified.

UK troops could stay in Afghanistan for 5 years

UK troops could stay in Afghanistan for 5 years - general 23 Jun 2010 British troops could stay in Afghanistan for up to five more years, the head of the British Army was quoted as saying on Wednesday. General David Richards, who is tipped for possible promotion to overall chief of the British armed forces, told Prospect magazine that the reason Britain had no more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan was that it could "endure that forever" within the army's deployable strength of 75,000.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal relieved of command

Gen. Stanley McChrystal relieved of command --Petraeus named as replacement 23 Jun 2010 President Obama removed Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday, moving quickly to restore the unity of his administration's war effort after the general and his top aides disparaged civilian leaders in biting remarks in an explosive magazine article. Obama named Gen. David H. Petraeus, the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and currently the head of the U.S. Central Command, to replace McChrystal and urged the Senate to confirm him promptly.

BP oil leak setback: 'Top hat' removed, oil flow unhindered

BP oil leak setback: 'Top hat' removed, oil flow unhindered 23 Jun 2010 Workers pulled the "top hat" collecting crude oil from BP's gushing Deepwater Horizon well Wednesday morning in a major setback to efforts to contain the leak. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration's point man BP wh*re on the BP oil leak, told reporters in his daily briefing that the long term impact of the decision was uncertain [?!?] , but video from the leak showed crude gushing unhindered into the water for the first time since the "top hat" device, also referred to as the Lower Marine Riser Package, was set in place June 3.

Reports: IAF Landed at Saudi Base, US Troops near Iran Border

Reports: IAF Landed at Saudi Base, US Troops near Iran Border 23 Jun 2010 The Israeli Air Force recently unloaded military equipment at a Saudi Arabia base, a semi-official Iranian news agency claimed Wednesday, while a large American force has massed in Azerbaijan, which is on the northwest border of Iran. Both reports follow by less than a week the Pentagon’s confirmation that an unusually large American fleet sailed through the Suez Canal Saturday. Several reports stated that an Israeli ship joined the armada.

Canadian killed in Afghanistan after IED explodes

Canadian killed in Afghanistan after IED explodes 21 Jun 2010 (Sperwan Gar, Afghanistan) ...The word "comms lockdown" can only mean one thing to a Canadian soldier on the frontline: Another countryman is dead. Minutes later, the field phone again rang once. ...A Canadian was KIA near Balpeen, a combat operations post battling intense insurgent attacks, about 15 kilometres east of here. The ban on all communications would last late into the night, giving time for the sun to rise over Canada, and the military to tell Sergeant James MacNeil’s next of kin that he was gone, the 148th Canadian soldier to die in the Afghan war.

Vitter Aide Resigns After ABC News Disclosures About Past

Vitter Aide Resigns After ABC News Disclosures About Past --Knife Attack on ex-Girlfriend, Drunk Driving, Open Arrest Warrant Detailed in ABC News Report 23 Jun 2010 A trusted aide to Louisiana Sen. David Vitter resigned Wednesday morning after ABC News reported that he had been arrested for attacking his ex-girlfriend with a knife, and had an open warrant for his arrest in Baton Rouge on a drunk driving charge. The aide, Brent Furer, worked on the Republican senator's last campaign, and has spent the last five years posted in his Washington office to handle, among other things, women's issues. An ABC News investigation out this morning revealed that Furer had repeated brushes with the law dating back to the 1990s.

NORAD plans exercise flights over D.C., three states

NORAD plans exercise flights over D.C., three states 22 Jun 2010 The North American Aerospace Defense Command is conducting exercise flights over Washington, Baltimore, Richmond, and northern West Virginia to test its response to air threats. NORAD will conduct multiple exercise flights Tuesday in the early afternoon. The exercise will include fighter aircraft and general aviation aircraft contracted by the Department of Defense.

Bombs Kill 2 American Troops in Afghanistan

Bombs Kill 2 American Troops in Afghanistan 23 Jun 2010 Two American service members died following bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, the military said Wednesday. June is on track to becoming one of the deadliest months for U.S. and international forces in the nearly nine-year Afghan war. Including the latest deaths, 69 international forces have been killed so far this month, 43 of them American.

U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Monsanto's Biotech Alfalfa

U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Monsanto's Biotech Alfalfa 22 Jun 2010 In the first Supreme Court ruling on genetically engineered crops, the high [wh*re] court Monday reversed a nationwide ban on the planting of Monsanto Inc.'s genetically modified alfalfa. The seeds are engineered to tolerate the company's Roundup Ready herbicide. In a 7-1 ruling, the justices overturned a lower court injunction that has prohibited farmers from planting Roundup Ready alfalfa for three years.

15 US-led troops killed in 2 days

15 US-led troops killed in 2 days 23 Jun 2010 At least 15 US-led troops have been killed in Afghanistan in two days amid a surge in Taliban attacks against the foreign forces in the war-torn country. NATO said in a statement on Wednesday that at least five foreign troops had lost their lives in separate incidents in Afghanistan.

McChrystal's Fate in Limbo as He Prepares to Meet Obama

McChrystal's Fate in Limbo as He Prepares to Meet Obama 23 Jun 2010 President Obama plans to decide the fate of his top commander in Afghanistan Wednesday after a firestorm over remarks the general and members of his staff made that were contemptuous of senior administration officials. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal has prepared a letter of resignation, though President Obama had not made up his mind whether to accept it when they meet Wednesday morning. "I think it's clear that the article in which he and his team appeared showed poor judgment," Mr. Obama said after a cabinet meeting Tuesday. "But I also want to make sure I talk to him directly before I make final judgment."

White House to Appeal Ruling Against Drilling Ban

White House to Appeal Ruling Against Drilling Ban 22 Jun 2010 The White House said Tuesday it will immediately appeal a federal judge's ruling against the Obama administration's moratorium on new deepwater drilling. A New Orleans judge on Tuesday blocked the six-month ban imposed in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, saying the Interior Department had failed to provide adequate reasons for it.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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