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Vice President Biden on Afghanistan pullout: 2014 is the 'drop dead date'

Vice President Biden on Afghanistan pullout: 2014 is the 'drop dead date' 19 Nov 2010 Just be patient, Joe Biden says. America's longest war will totally be over... in four years. The vice president declared 2014 as the "drop-dead date" for the Afghanistan pullout on Friday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," echoing similar sentiments from the night before on CNN. While it was never clear exactly when the U.S. would completely withdraw, President Obama had no sooner set July 2011 as the target withdrawal date than some of his key advisers publicly questioned how firm a deadline that really was.

Hungry polar bears loiter on Hudson Bay coast waiting for ice

Hungry polar bears loiter on Hudson Bay coast waiting for ice 19 Nov 2010 Hundreds of polar bears were spotted on the west coast of Hudson Bay earlier this week, waiting for ice that is almost a month late forming. But a fierce storm in the region Thursday has temperatures dropping and ice forming, which could be good news for the bears. "It's just howling," Luc Desjardins, of the Canadian Ice Service, says of the storm that could change the fortunes of the hungry bears. Until the storm hit, record-breaking conditions in the western Arctic this fall had kept the ice at bay.

Iraq TV reporter gunned down in home: police

Iraq TV reporter gunned down in home: police 20 Nov 2010 Gunmen killed a young television news reporter in his home in the northern city of Mosul on Sunday, in the latest in a series of deadly attacks on journalists in Iraq, police said. Mazin Mardan, in his mid-20s, was a correspondent for Al-Mosuliyah satellite television channel, covering hard news and carrying out interviews for the city's local station. "Unknown gunmen [aka US death squads] aided the house of Mazin Mardan of Al-Mosuliyah satellite channel in the Al-Sadiq neighbourhood, east Mosul," police Major Mohammed al-Hayali said.

UN Worries Its Troops Caused Cholera in Haiti

UN Worries Its Troops Caused Cholera in Haiti --Top U.N. Representative There Says He Is Taking Allegations Peacekeepers Carried Virus to Haiti from Nepal "Very Seriously" 19 Nov 2010 It began as a rumor that farmers saw waste from a U.N. peacekeeping base flow into a river. Within days of the talk, hundreds downstream had died from cholera. The mounting circumstantial evidence that U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal brought cholera to Haiti was largely dismissed by U.N. officials... But this week, after anti-U.N. riots and inquiries from health experts, the top U.N. representative in Haiti said he is taking the allegations very seriously.

TSA chief says no change in screening policy

TSA chief says no change in screening policy 21 Nov 2010 The head of the Transportation Security Administration on Sunday acknowledged that new full-body scanners and thorough pat-downs can be invasive and uncomfortable, but he said that the need to stay a step ahead of terrorists rules out changes in airport screening procedures. John Pistole told CNN's "State of the Union" that, despite the public uproar over new screening techniques, "we are not changing the policies" that he said were the best ways of keeping the traveling public safe.

Al Qaeda Promises U.S. Death By a 'Thousand Cuts'

Al Qaeda Promises U.S. Death By a 'Thousand Cuts' --Terror Group Boasts That Printer Bomb Cost Only $4200, Meant to Bleed U.S. Economy 21 Nov 2010 Printer bombs planted on two cargo flights last month cost only a few thousand dollars and were intended to affect the American economy, according to a newly published Al Qaeda-affiliated magazine. The attempt was called "Operation Hemorrhage," boasted the magazine, and the entire plot cost al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP the CIA, only $4,200.

Gunmen torch 10 Nato oil tankers in Peshawar

Gunmen torch 10 Nato oil tankers in Peshawar 10 Nov 2010 Unidentified assailants set fire to 10 Nato oil tankers in Peshawar on Saturday, reports said. According to police officials, six assailants attacked a workshop located on the Ring Road and torched 10 Nato oil tankers, completely gutting them. The attackers fled while opening fire. [See: Nato contractors 'bombing own vehicles' in Pakistan 07 Oct 2010.]

Tigers could be extinct in 12 years if unprotected

Tigers could be extinct in 12 years if unprotected 21 Nov 2010 Wild tigers could become extinct in 12 years if countries where they still roam fail to take quick action to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching, global wildlife experts told a "tiger summit" Sunday. The World Wildlife Fund and other experts say only about 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, a dramatic plunge from an estimated 100,000 a century ago. James Leape, director general of the World Wildlife Fund, told the meeting in St. Petersburg that if the proper protective measures aren't taken, tigers may disappear by 2022, the next Chinese calendar year of the tiger.

US soldier shot dead in Iraq

US soldier shot dead in Iraq 21 Nov 2010 While the Pentagon claims it has ended all combat operations in Iraq, an American soldier has lost his live in an "enemy" attack in the war torn country. The military said the serviceman died on Sunday after coming under the small arms attack but did not disclose the exact location of the incident, Reuters reported. The Army, however, said that the soldier had died during "advisory operations," AFP reported.

Terrorists posing as refugees in Yemen

Terrorists posing as refugees in Yemen 21 Nov 2010 Militants from war-torn Somalia are using refugee routes into Yemen as a cover for making contact with an al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] group responsible for a series of plots against the West. Yemeni officials have claimed that members of the al-Shabaab terrorist group have been arrested in refugee camps for Somalis. The government fears that refugee camps such as Al-Kharaz, which now houses 18,000 out of an estimated 2-300,000 Somali refugees in Yemen, could become recruiting grounds for radicals.

The 19 Senators Who Voted to Censor the Internet

The 19 Senators Who Voted to Censor the Internet By Mike Masnick 18 Nov 2010 This is hardly a surprise but, this morning (as previously announced), the lame duck Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to move forward with censoring the internet via the COICA bill -- despite a bunch of law professors explaining to them how this law is a clear violation of the First Amendment. What's really amazing is that many of the same Senators have been speaking out against internet censorship in other countries, yet they happily vote to approve it here because it's seen as a way to make many of their largest campaign contributors happy.

Eric Cantona's call for bank protest sparks online campaign

Eric Cantona's call for bank protest sparks online campaign --Thousands of French protesters have taken up the former Man United footballer's call for a mass cash withdrawal 21 Nov 2010 As students and public sector workers across Europe prepare for a winter of protests, they have been offered advice from the archetypal football rebel Eric Cantona... The 44-year-old former footballer recommended a run on the cash reserves of the world's banks during a newspaper interview that was also filmed. The interview has become a YouTube hit and has spawned a new political movement.

IDF soldiers demoted after convicted of Gaza war misconduct

IDF soldiers demoted after convicted of Gaza war misconduct --Two combat soldiers found guilty of forcing 9-year-old Palestinian boy to open bags they thought could contain explosive materials. 21 Nov 2010 The Israel Defense Forces court on Sunday demoted two combat soldiers convicted of inappropriate conduct during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip in 2008. The two Givati Brigade staff sergeants were demoted to the rank of sergeant, as well as receiving suspended sentence terms of three months each. The soldiers were convicted last month of forcing a 9-year-old Palestinian boy to open a number of bags they thought might contain explosive materials during Operation Cast Lead.

Germany Seeks Suspects in Terrorist Plots

Germany Seeks Suspects in Terrorist Plots 21 Nov 2010 German law enforcement officials said on Saturday that they were looking for two suspected terrorists thought to be in or around the capital city in one of several investigations aimed at thwarting what the authorities believe are myriad plans by Islamic radicals to attack the nation. They have information that two men entered Germany six to eight weeks ago from Waziristan, in Pakistan, and were awaiting delivery of detonators, perhaps from Turkey, to carry out an attack, a German security official said. [Check Camp Peary. See: Fake bomb made in the US caused Germany terror alert 19 Nov 2010.]

FBI Investigates White Powder Mailed to 'DWTS'

FBI Investigates White Powder Mailed to 'DWTS' 20 Nov 2010 Emergency responders in Los Angeles were called to the offices of 'Dancing with the Stars' late Friday to investigate a white powder that was reportedly contained in a piece of fan mail addressed to Sarah Palin's daughter, the 20-year-old Alaskan who has remained in competition with 'DWTS' partner Mark Ballos despite poorly judged performances. The FBI told TMZ, "The L.A.P.D., L.A. City and FBI Hazardous Materials officials responded to a report of a threatening letter containing white powder."

Few Afghans know reason for war, new study shows

Few Afghans know reason for war, new study shows 19 Nov 2010 Afghans in two crucial southern provinces are almost completely unaware of the September 11 attacks on the United States and don't know they precipitated the foreign intervention now in its 10th year, a new report showed on Friday. NATO leaders gathered in Lisbon for a summit on Friday where the transition from foreign forces -- now at about 150,000 -- to Afghan security responsibility will be at the top of the agenda, with leaders to discuss a 2014 target date set by Kabul.

AP: Raising retirement age hurts poor

AP: Raising retirement age hurts poor 18 Nov 2010 Government auditors say raising the retirement age for Social Security would hurt low-income workers and minorities, and mean more disability claims by older people who are unable to work. The projected spike in disability claims could end up hurting Social Security's finances. That's because disability benefits are typically higher than early retirement payments. The report by the Government Accountability Office provides fodder for advocates who are fighting a proposal by leaders of President Barack Obama's deficit [aka Cat Food] commission to increase the retirement age.

GOP Push to Shutter TSA Will Bring Blackwater Groping Goons

GOP Push to Shutter TSA Will Bring Blackwater Groping Goons --The Right rampages against airport pat-downs while supporting military tribunals, secret 'National Security Courts,' testimony admitted under torture, the USA 'PATRIOT' Act, and Bush/Obama's illegal NSA wiretapping. By Lori Price, http://www.legitgov.org/ 21 Nov 2010 In the same week the US rightwing clamored for an invocation of civil rights, the same bloggers, pundits and office-holders were defending --nay, demanding -- military tribunals to replace civilian courts and insisting that testimony in such kangaroo courts military tribunals should be admitted under torture. This hypocritical outrage harkens to the summer of 2009, with armed Tea Party protesters yelping 'hands of my Medicare' while simultaneously decrying Obama's push for 'socialized medicine.'

Thousands march in London against Afghanistan war

Thousands march in London against Afghanistan war 20 Nov 2010 Anti-war demonstrators have taken to the streets of London calling for an end to the Afghanistan conflict. Thousands of protesters, led by military families, marched from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. Organisers of the Afghanistan Time to Go rally say the crowd was 10,000-strong at Trafalgar Square. The rally was organised by the Stop the War Coalition, CND and British Muslim Initiative.

Federal Judge: CIA Must Disclose Data on Human Experiments

Federal Judge: CIA Must Disclose Data on Human Experiments 17 Nov 2010 A federal magistrate judge in San Francisco ordered the CIA to produce specific records and testimony about the human experiments the government allegedly conducted on thousands of soldiers from 1950 through 1975. Three veterans groups and six individual veterans sued the CIA and other government agencies, claiming they used about 7,800 soldiers as human guinea pigs to research biological, chemical and psychological weapons. The experiments, many of which took place at Edgewood Arsenal and Fort Detrick in Maryland, allegedly exposed test subjects to chemicals, drugs and electronic implants.

Palm Beach Sheriff's Office Prepared to Detain TSA Security Defiers

Palm Beach Sheriff's Office Prepared to Detain TSA Security Defiers --Deputies Could Be Called Upon for Those Who Resist Body Scanners, Pat Downs 19 Nov 2010 (FL) Deputies may detain Palm Beach International Airport travelers who refuse to submit to a full-body scanner or a pat down, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday... If a person gets in line and refuses to go through the body scanner or submit to a pat down, he or she could be detained. A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office said deputies won't necessarily arrest those individuals. Instead, each call would be conducted on a case by case basis to determine if a search is warranted.

Three Banks Fail; Year's Total at 149

Three Banks Fail; Year's Total at 149 20 Nov 2010 U.S. regulators announced the failure of three more banks Friday amid continuing economic weakness across the country, bringing the total number for the year to 149, nine more than in all of 2009. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday said banks based in Carrabelle, Fla., Bala Cynwyd, Pa., and Burlington, Wis., failed.

Two Afghan bomb blasts claim 3 lives

Two Afghan bomb blasts claim 3 lives 20 Nov 2010 Two bomb explosions in eastern Afghanistan have left at least three civilians dead and more than 28 others injured, Afghan security officials say. A bomb hidden in a motorcycle exploded on Saturday in Mihtarlam city, the capital of Laghman province, the acting provincial governor Murtaza Qalandarzai told Press TV on the phone.

U.S. wants to widen area in Pakistan where it can operate drones

U.S. wants to widen area in Pakistan where it can operate drones 19 Nov 2010 The United States has renewed pressure on Pakistan to expand the areas where CIA drones can operate inside the country... Pakistan has rejected the request, officials said. Instead, the country has agreed to more modest measures, including an expanded CIA presence in Quetta, where the agency and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate have established teams seeking to locate and capture senior members of the Taliban.

Thirteen arrested in California student protest

Thirteen arrested in California student protest By Rafael Azul 19 Nov 2010 A University of California police officer drew his gun at protesting students in San Francisco on Wednesday. The students were peacefully trying to enter a UC Regents public meeting to protest tuition hikes and the assault on pensions for UC employees. A local TV news video clearly shows the UCSF officer back up, drop his baton and pull out a gun against the unarmed student protesters. Not only students, but members of the public as well were denied entry to the meeting. Police also used pepper spray on the demonstrators in the confrontation, which also resulted in the arrest of 13 students.

Congressman didn't tell fellow Dems of his Guantanamo role

Congressman didn't tell fellow Dems of his Guantanamo role 18 Nov 2010 It's one of the Pentagon's most sensitive and carefully guarded secrets: Who interrogated the prisoners at Guantánamo? So it came as a surprise last month when a Pennsylvania congressman seeking reelection campaigned as the only member of the U.S. Congress to have interrogated a Guantánamo detainee. It didn't work. Rep. Chris Carney, a Blue Dog DemocRAT, lost his mainly Republican district to a former federal prosecutor. But the revelation raised eyebrows in Washington, where Carney served on the Homeland Security Committee, as well as questions about the Pentagon's effort to keep the identities of the people who have conducted Guantánamo interrogations secret.

U.S. deploying heavily armored battle tanks to destroy Afghan homes

Obomba's 'Shock & Awe' U.S. deploying heavily armored battle tanks to destroy Afghan homes 19 Nov 2010 The U.S. military is sending a contingent of heavily armored battle tanks to Afghanistan for the first time in the nine-year war, defense officials said... The deployment of a company of M1 Abrams tanks, which will be fielded by the Marines in the country's southwest, will allow ground forces to target 'insurgents' from a greater distance - and with more of a lethal punch - than is possible from any other U.S. military vehicle. The 68-ton tanks are propelled by a jet engine and equipped with a 120mm main gun that can destroy a house more than a mile away. ['Shock & Awe comment by MDR.]

Airports consider congressman's call to ditch TSA

Airports consider congressman's call to ditch TSA 18 Nov 2010 In a climate of Internet campaigns to shun airport pat-downs and veteran pilots suing over their treatment by government screeners, some airports are considering another way to show dissatisfaction: Ditching TSA agents altogether. Federal law allows airports to opt for screeners from the private sector instead. The push is being led by a powerful Florida congressman, who's a longtime critic of the Transportation Security Administration and counts among his campaign contributors some of the companies who might take the TSA's place. In the past 13 years, Rep. John Mica of Florida (R-nutjob) has received almost $81,000 in campaign donations from political action committees and executives connected to some of the private contractors already at 16 U.S. airports.

TSA Says Pilots Will Be Exempt From Invasive Pat-Downs, Scanners

TSA Says Pilots Will Be Exempt From Invasive Pat-Downs, Scanners --Lawmakers from Both Sides say the TSA has Gone Too Far With New Airport Security Measures 19 Nov 2010 U.S. airline pilots learned today that they'll be exempt from the invasive x-ray screening and pat-downs that have sparked a revolt across the country. In a statement, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced new procedures that it says will streamline airport security. Pilots in uniform on airline business will be allowed to pass through airport security by showing two photo IDs. The identification will be cross-checked against a flight crew database.

Web Censorship Bill Sails Through Senate Committee

Web Censorship Bill Sails Through Senate Committee By Sam Gustin 19 Nov 2010 On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill that would give the Attorney General the right to shut down websites with a court order if copyright infringement is deemed "central to the activity" of the site -- regardless if the website has actually committed a crime. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) is among the most draconian laws ever considered to combat digital piracy, and contains what some have called the "nuclear option," which would essentially allow the Attorney General to turn suspected websites "off."

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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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