Friday, April 16, 2010

Truthout 4/16

SEC Charges Goldman Sachs With Fraud
Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers: "The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman Sachs & Co. and one of its executives with fraud today in a risky offshore deal backed by subprime mortgages that cost investors more than $1 billion."
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NSA Whistleblower Indicted for Leaking Classified Information to Reporter
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "A former senior National Security Agency (NSA) official was indicted Thursday on charges he leaked classified information to and served as a source for a reporter who wrote a series of critical articles about the agency's work."
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Preventing Another Wall Street Bailout Requires Capping the Size of Its Big Banks
Robert Reich, "The best way for Senate Dems and the White House to respond to the Republican charge that the Dem plan for financial reform doesn't go far enough to prevent another bailout is to call their bluff - and simultaneously do what's necessary to avoid another bailout: Cap the size of big banks, as the UK is close to doing for its big banks."
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Conyers Calls For Firing of FBI Officials
Grace Huang, Truthout: "House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Michigan) has called for the FBI to fire agency officials who violated privacy laws and wrongfully obtained the telephone records of individuals by citing terrorism threats that didn't exist."
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After Peak Oil, Are We Heading Toward Social Collapse?
Emily Spence, Truthout: "Recently, Glen Sweetnam, director of the International, Economic and Greenhouse Gas division of the Energy Information Administration at the Department of Energy (DOE), announced that worldwide oil availability had reached a 'plateau.' However, his statement was not made known through a major US mainstream media outlet. Instead, it was covered in France's Le Monde."
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No Place to Fight a War
Eugene Robinson: "The Korengal Valley in eastern Afghanistan was a transit route and occasional haven for insurgents, so US commanders decided to drive out the enemy and turn the local villagers into allies. That was in 2005. By this week, after five years of intense combat that cost 42 American lives, US troops had fought their way halfway down the steep-sided, heavily forested valley - which is just six miles long."
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Arizona Passes Restrictive Immigration Bill
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout: "A bill approved Tuesday by Arizona lawmakers may be one of the most restrictive pieces of state-level immigration enforcement legislation in the country, making it illegal to be in the state without proper documentation and expanding the power of local police officials to enforce immigration law."
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Frontline Fronts for Corporations, Not the Public
Margaret Flowers, Truthout: "It was with a sense of deja vu that I watched the latest Frontline documentary about health care. 'Obama's Deal' endeavored to reveal the significant influence of health industry dollars on our political process. However, as in Frontline's 'Sick Around America,' the producers did a disservice by their failure to educate the public about the bigger picture of the health care situation in this nation and the range of possible solutions."
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An Administration on Its Heels: Inviting Torture to Appease the Right Wing
Shahid Buttar, Truthout: "On Friday, the administration conceded yet another political defeat by withdrawing the nomination of Dawn Johnsen, Obama's first nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel - the government agency made infamous by the likes of John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and other lawyers who authorized torture under the Bush administration."
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Tennessee Cleanup Sends Coal Ash, Anxiety to Alabama Site
Renee Schoof, McClatchy Newspapers: "When the mound of wet coal ash began to rise in the landfill across the road from her pretty yellow house with the peonies and roses in the front yard, Ruby Holmes felt overpowered by a horrible smell."
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Senators Call For Changes to Troubled Afghan Police Training Program
Ryan Knutson, ProPublica: "State and Defense department officials took a tongue-lashing today, trying to explain to a Senate subcommittee how the government has poured $6 billion since 2002 into building an effective Afghan police force with disastrous results."
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A Swiss Bank, a President and the Permanent Government
Russ Baker, WhoWhatWhy: "Last August, the presidential press corps followed Barack Obama and his family to Martha's Vineyard for their brief vacation. The coverage focused on summery fare - a visit to an ice cream parlor, the books the president had brought along. Nearly everyone mentioned his few rounds of golf, including his swing, and the enthusiasm of onlookers. What caught my eye, though, was the makeup of his foursome. The president was joined by an old friend from Chicago; a young aide, and Robert Wolf, chairman and CEO, UBS Group Americas."
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Emerging Powers Eager to Get Down to Business
Sananda Sahoo, Inter Press Service: "The numbers tell an upbeat story about efforts to empower and protect women in Afghanistan: The country now has around 5.7 million children in school, of whom 35 percent are girls. There are 8,000 schools, including several hundred just for girls. Under the Taliban's rule, there were none. Women now have access to health care and hold a full 25 percent of the nation's parliament."
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