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Study links CEOs' pay to layoffs

Study links CEOs' pay to layoffs 12 Sep 2010 It's been a decade of business scandals and volatility. Yet through all of that uncertainty, Corporate America clings to at least two of its core values: Rewarding CEOs with hefty (some may choose the word "bloated," or even "obese") multimillion-dollar pay packages. Cutting massive numbers of jobs during times of economic strain. Is there a link here? The Institute for Policy Studies -- a self-described progressive, multi-issue think tank in Washington -- thinks so.

US poverty on track to post record gain in 2009

US poverty on track to post record gain in 2009 --Anticipated poverty rate increase is from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent 11 Sep 2010 The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch [thanks to Bush/the GOP], with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty. Census figures for 2009 -- the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency -- are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings.

Torture and abuse rife in Iraq jails, Amnesty report says

Torture and abuse rife in Iraq jails, Amnesty report says --Study finds prisoners, many detained by US forces, being held without rights by Iraqi security forces 13 Sep 2010 Up to 30,000 prisoners, including many veterans of the US detention system, are being held without rights in Iraq and are frequently tortured or abused according to a report by Amnesty International. The study has found that the human rights situation remains dire in Iraq, with arbitrary arrests and secret detention common, as well as a lack of accountability throughout the security forces.

Blackwater murder trial set to open

Blackwater murder trial set to open 13 Sep 2010 Two former Blackwater security employees mercenaries facing trial for killing two Afghan civilians in Kabul say they readily admit they opened fire on them in May 2009. In a trial set to begin Tuesday, a jury will have to determine if the former firearms instructors fired in self-defense or in violation of the law, firing intentionally "with extreme disregard for human life," The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported. Christopher Drotleff, 29, of Virginia Beach and Justin Cannon, 28, of Corpus Christi, Texas, are charged with murder in the shooting deaths of two Afghan nationals in the capital of Kabul.

PG&E ordered to inspect gas pipeline system after blast

PG&E ordered to inspect gas pipeline system after blast 13 Sep 2010 California regulators have ordered utility PG&E Corp to inspect its natural gas pipeline system following an explosion that destroyed a neighborhood in a San Francisco suburb last week, killing four people. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) asked PG&E to immediately conduct an integrity assessment of its natural gas pipeline system. The regulators want the utility to survey all natural gas lines, particularly those that carry gas at higher pressure and those in areas of highest population density.

Sarkozy accused of using Watergate-style tricks to muzzle the French press

Sarkozy accused of using Watergate-style tricks to muzzle the French press --'Le Monde' launches legal action against President, claiming he used security services to find insider who leaked information to paper 14 Sep 2010 In a scandal having many parallels with the Watergate affair, President Nicolas Sarkozy was accused by France's most prestigious newspaper yesterday of illegally using the counter-intelligence service to muzzle the press. Le Monde said that the President's office had deployed France's equivalent of MI5 like a "cabinet noir", or dirty-tricks operation, to uncover the source of leaks in the L'Oréal family feud and political financing scandal. The newspaper said that it had started a legal action against "persons unknown" at the Elysée Palace for breaking a century-old French law which guarantees the secrecy of journalistic sources.

Nissan LEAF™: Polar Bear

Nissan LEAF™: Polar Bear Posted by nissanusa 09 Sep 2010 Seeing its arctic home melting away, a lone polar bear sets out on a great journey to thank someone who is trying to help. (Video of Nissan LEAF ad)

Md. judge: Military contractors can be sued

Md. judge: Military contractors can be sued 13 Sep 2010 Military contractors can be sued by soldiers and others who allege they were harmed by improper waste disposal while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus ruled in Maryland last week that Houston-based military contractors Halliburton Co. and KBR are subject to lawsuits alleging the contractors exposed soldiers to toxic emissions and contaminated water when they burned waste in open pits without proper safety controls. Titus is overseeing 43 lawsuits filed in 42 states on the issue.

US prepares to approve $60bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia

US prepares to approve $60bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia --Deal could be biggest in US history as fear of a nuclear Iran overrides concerns about human rights in Saudi Arabia 13 Sep 2010 The US Congress is poised to give its approval to the biggest arms deal in US history when it signs off on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia worth an estimated $60bn (£39bn). The sale, under negotiation since 2007, is aimed mainly at bolstering Saudi defences against Iran... The transfer of advanced technology, mainly planes, is to provide Saudi Arabia with air superiority over Iran.

U.S. trying to track missing weapons issued to Afghan police

U.S. trying to track missing weapons issued to Afghan police --The Department of Defense procured more than 72,400 AK-47s, as well as heavy machine guns and RPG launchers for Afghan police [and insurgents]. 13 Sep 2010 A massive hunt is on for tens of thousands of rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers that the U.S. government procured for the Afghan National Police but are unaccounted for, according to the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. "There have been discrepancies in the number of weapons the Afghans say they have and the number of weapons issued," U.S. Air Force Maj. Lindsay Logsdon, a public affairs officer with NTM-A, said in an e-mail Wednesday.

Man Charged With Trying to Blow Up Detroit-bound Plane Fires Lawyers, Discusses Possible Plea

Man Charged With Trying to Blow Up Detroit-bound Plane Fires Lawyers, Discusses Possible Plea 13 Sep 2010 A Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up an international flight near Detroit on Christmas fired his lawyers Monday and suggested he wants to plead guilty to some of six charges against him. U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds advised Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab not to get rid of his attorneys, but he insisted. In February, law enforcement officials said he had turned against Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born Yemeni radical who claims to be his teacher, and had helped the U.S. hunt for him. [Of course he has.]

Homeland Security to test iris scanners

Homeland Security to test iris scanners --DHS will test cameras that take photos from 3 or 4 feet away, including one that works on people as they walk by. 13 Sep 2010 The Homeland Security Department plans to test futuristic iris scan technology that stores digital images of people's eyes in a database... The department will run a two-week test in October of commercially sold iris scanners at a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, where they will be used on illegal immigrants, said Arun Vemury, program manager at the department's Science and Technology branch.

Senate Republicans firm on tax cuts for rich

Senate Republicans firm on tax cuts for rich 13 Sep 2010 Senate Republicans have enough votes to block President Barack Obama's plan to extend tax cuts for the middle class while allowing those for the rich to expire, a spokesman for the Senate Republican leader said on Monday. Republicans on Monday scrambled to regroup on the tax issue ahead of November 2 congressional elections after House of Representatives Republican Leader John Boehner appeared to open the door for a possible compromise.

Lieberman Favors Extension of Bush-Era Tax Rates

Lieberman Favors Extension of Bush-Era Tax Rates 14 Sep 2010 With the focus now shifting to the Senate over a potential compromise on the expiring Bush-era income-tax cuts, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who is aligned with the Democrats, said on Monday that he favored maintaining the lower rates for everyone, including the wealthiest Americans, for at least one more year. At least a dozen House DemocRATs and four Senate Democrats, in addition to Mr. Lieberman, have expressed concerns about raising taxes -- even on the richest 2 percent of taxpayers.

Israeli tank kills 91-year old farmer and grandson

Israeli tank kills 91-year old farmer and grandson 13 Sep 2010 Israeli shelling has killed Palestinians working in the fields in a Gaza farm village. The farmers died while working in the fields of Beit Hanoun, in an Israeli barrage which was a counter attack following rocket fire from Gaza. A 91 year old farm caretaker was killed along with a 20 year old worker. The teenage grandson of the farm holder also died of wounds sustained in the incident, which occurred close to the Gaza-Israel border.

3 Afghans Die in Protest Over Koran Burning

3 Afghans Die in Protest Over Koran Burning 13 Sep 2010 Two Afghans died in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan on Sunday when the police fired into a crowd protesting the planned burning of the Koran in Florida, a day after the burning had been called off. The deaths bring to three the number of Afghans killed in demonstrations tied to the threat made by Terry Jones, a Florida pastor, to burn the Koran on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

30,000 prisoners in Iraq without trial: Amnesty

30,000 prisoners in Iraq without trial: Amnesty --The report alleged that prisoners were beaten with electric cables and tortured with electric shocks and drills. 13 Sep 2010 Iraqi authorities are holding some 30,000 people without trial and denying them access to lawyers, leaving them at risk of torture, the leading human rights organisation Amnesty International said Monday in a report. Secret prisons are allegedly being used to house detainees. The report - entitled 'New Order, Same Abuses: Unlawful detentions and torture in Iraq' - also charged that some prisoners had died from maltreatment while in custody. [Operation Iraqi Freedom: Dictatorship, electric shocks, depleted uranium, BP, and Monsanto. Saddam Hussein: Clearly, the better deal.]

MoD probes claim that soldiers are smuggling heroin from Afghanistan

MoD probes claim that soldiers are smuggling heroin from Afghanistan 12 Sep 2010 Soldiers returning from Afghanistan are being subjected to rigorous security checks amid claims that some are involved in heroin trafficking. The Ministry of Defence confirmed last night that military police were investigating a tip-off alleging that soldiers sent to fight the Taliban were buying drugs from Afghan dealers and shipping them back to Britain. The claim is that heroin and other drugs are being smuggled in by a handful of the hundreds of soldiers returning each week to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. [Right, the CIA handles the rest. On the birght side, the heroin-smuggling takes a back seat to the body-part hoarding and the finger trophies. --LRP]

Five killed in central Iraq violence

Five killed in central Iraq violence 12 Sep 2010 Bomb attacks and firefights on Sunday in the restive central Iraqi province of Diyala killed five people, including two soldiers and a policeman, security officials said. One Iraqi soldier and a policeman were killed in a gunfight with insurgents in the agricultural village of Al-Hudaid, according to Major Mohammed al-Karkhi, spokesman for police in Diyala, north of Baghdad. Three insurgents were also killed and 10 people wounded in the shooting, which began Saturday night as armed groups sought to take control of Al-Hudaid, west of the provincial capital Baquba.

Hamden Muslim family's home vandalized

Hamden Muslim family's home vandalized 12 Sep 2010 A prominent member of the Muslim community in Southern Connecticut says his home was vandalized over the weekend. Dr. Abdul-Majid Karim Hasan and his wife have lived on Dest Street for over 20 years. They were stunned to see the graffiti on their house Saturday morning. "They didn't write much, but they did write something and what they wrote was not very nice words," Dr. Hasan said.

Suspected bomber arrested

Suspected bomber arrested --Motive, identity of suspected bomber remain unknown 10 Sep 2010 Police in Copenhagen have arrested a man in connection with what appears to be a botched bombing. The man was apprehended shortly after a minor explosion at about 1:30pm in the bathroom of Hotel Jørgensen, located near Nørreport Station, the capital’s busiest commuter railway hub. Police arrested the man, reportedly carrying identification from two foreign countries, in nearby H.C. Ørsted Park with a bag attached to his waist.

Scientists Find Thick Layer of Oil On Seafloor

Scientists Find Thick Layer of Oil On Seafloor --Professor: Layers of oily material -- in some places more than 2 inches thick -- covering bottom of seafloor 10 Sep 2010 Scientists on a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico are finding a substantial layer of oily sediment stretching for dozens of miles in all directions. Their discovery suggests that a lot of oil from the Deepwater Horizon didn't simply evaporate or dissipate into the water -- it has settled to the seafloor.

Belgians begin explosion investigation

Belgians begin explosion investigation --Danish police continue to remain mum about bomber’s identity, possible target 12 Sep 2010 Belgian officials have opened an investigation into the identity of the man arrested in Copenhagen on Friday in connection with a minor explosion, reports public broadcaster DR. The man, who has refused to give his identity, was reportedly carrying papers from two foreign countries. Danish police have not stated the names of the countries, but according to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, the suspect was carrying a passport from that country with a false name.

Untangling the Bizarre CIA Links to the Ground Zero Mosque

Untangling the Bizarre CIA Links to the Ground Zero Mosque By Mark Ames 10 Sep 2010  ...[L]inks between the group behind the controversial mosque, the CIA and U.S. military establishment have gone unacknowledged... From 2006 to 2008, R. Leslie Deak worked as a "business consultant" to this super-secretive security contractor with ties to the CIA and counterterrorism forces, and in those same three years he also donated nearly $100,000 in seed money to the foundation now advocating the construction of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. [The CIA *should* rebuild Ground Zero -- they created it.]

'Military dictatorship part of US tradition'

'Military dictatorship part of US tradition' 12 Sep 2010 Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has denounced anti-Iran remarks made by the US secretary of state, saying "military dictatorship" is a part of the American tradition. Last week Hillary Clinton said "Iran is morphing into a military dictatorship with a ... sort of religious-ideological veneer," and the US tries to support opposition forces in the country "in a way that does not undermine or endanger them." "Military dictatorship is the essential trait of traditional thought in the US... they not only violate the international laws by military attacks on other countries... but also disregard international organizations and institutions in their attempt to achieve their ominous objectives," Mottaki said on Sunday. [*Exactly.*]

NATO eyes missile system in Europe

NATO eyes missile system in Europe 12 Sep 2010 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has proposed to develop a US-backed missile system around the Europe with Russia's cooperation. Rasmussen said that it would be necessary to ensure Russia's cooperation in the 200-million-euro ($253 million) project, because "we would have a NATO system alongside a Russian system," the Telegraph reported.

Twelve U.S. soldiers face trial after Afghan civilians 'were killed for sport and their fingers collected as trophies'

Twelve U.S. soldiers face trial after Afghan civilians 'were killed for sport and their fingers collected as trophies' 10 Sep 2010 A dozen US soldiers are facing trail accused of being part of a 'kill team' that allegedly killed Afghan civilians in an arbitrary fashion - and they even collected their victims' fingers as trophies of war. Five soldiers have been charged with the killing three Afghan men 'for sport'. And seven more are accused of covering up the murders. In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to come out of the Afghan war, the deaths are alleged to have been carried out by members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan.

Soldier's father: Army was warned of murder plot

Soldier's father: Army was warned of murder plot 10 Sep 2010 The father of a U.S. soldier serving in Afghanistan says he tried nearly a half dozen times to pass an urgent message from his son to the Army: Troops in his unit had murdered an Afghan civilian, planned more killings and threatened him to keep quiet about it. By the time officials arrested suspects months later, two more Afghans were dead. And much to Christopher Winfield's horror, his son Adam was among the five Fort Lewis-based soldiers charged in the killings.

US Air Force enlists predatory birds

US Air Force enlists predatory birds 11 Sep 2010 Jet and Peach are 2 Harris hawks with a straightforward mission: to scare local birds away from runways at Manas International Airport outside of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Employed by the US Air Force, the operator of the Manas Transit Center, the hawks are a key component in the BASH (Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard) program, designed to stop birds from colliding with aircraft on takeoff or landing.

5 killed in US drone strike in Pakistan

5 killed in US drone strike in Pakistan 12 Sep 2010 At least five people have been killed in a fresh US drone strike in Pakistan's northwestern tribal regions, Pakistani officials say. The drone targeted a house owned by a local tribesman, Mohammad Khalid, in Newey Adda, a village in North Waziristan tribal district, the officials said.

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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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