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Mexico Food Protest
treehugger.com

Biofuels Blamed in Global Food Crisis

While environmentalists and opponents of foreign oil may have found common cause in the use of biofuels, a new, confidential World Bank report estimates that the recent increase in plant-based fuel production has actually contributed to a 75 percent rise in global food prices, sparking riots across the world and pushing millions beneath the poverty line.

Posted on Jul 4, 2008 READ MORE


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Obama
Flickr / Jurvetson

Obama Hedges on Withdrawal

Capping off a week of disappointments for his progressive supporters, Barack Obama backed away from the idea of a timely withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, a signature plank in his campaign. “And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground,” explained Obama, “I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.” Update: Obama clarifies.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


FBI Considers Racial Profiling

If new rule changes go through, the FBI will be allowed to open national security investigations without evidence of wrongdoing. Instead, the agency could pursue cases based on profiles of Americans it deems likelier to commit crimes such as terrorism. The policy would be in keeping with the Bush administration’s dragnet, fact-phobic approach to terrorism; the president himself has been critical of profiling.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


hoisted watermelon
flickr.com/frascelly

Watermelon: It’s Not Just for Picnics Anymore

If Bob Dole’s dance card isn’t full these days, he might consider being a pitch man for watermelon as a follow-up to his stint as the, er, face of Viagra. According to a group of scientists from Texas (perhaps unsurprisingly one of the country’s top watermelon-producing states) has discovered that the picnic-friendly fruit contains a substance called citrulline that’s similar to the active ingredient found in the famous little blue pill.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


youtube logo
stan.uio.no

Google Loses YouTube Privacy Battle

A court has ordered Google to hand over the viewing log of every user and every video ever on YouTube. Media giant Viacom is suing Google over copyright violations, and won access to the 12 terabytes of data, but not YouTube’s source code, which it also demanded. Google has asked to anonymize the data.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 1st Class Shane T. McCoy

U.S. Borrowed Interrogation Methods From an Old Enemy

One man’s torture, it seems, is another’s “coercive management technique.” For decades the United States has maintained that American prisoners were tortured by the Chinese during the Korean War. Now it turns out that at least some of the interrogation methods used at Guantanamo Bay were lifted directly from an American study of China’s Korean War era practices.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE



mediamatters.org

Fox Sinks to New Lows

Fox News apparently doesn’t handle bad publicity very well. In response to a New York Times story that suggested the network’s ratings might be slipping, the co-hosts of “Fox & Friends” cried foul, broadcasting photos of Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe. The problem? The “news” channel had doctored the pictures to make the journos appear less attractive.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


How to Steal an Election With the Help of FISA

There’s a lot more to object to in the new FISA bill than just retroactive immunity for the telecoms. It seems that the regulation of surveillance is still hopelessly out of date. How is a court supposed to handle complex algorithms and countless terabytes of data? Truthdig contributor Elliot Cohen warns that the new law could conceivably allow the theft of the 2008 presidential election.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Blackwater guard
Salon.com

Private Contractors in Iraq to Lose Immunity

The folks at Blackwater and other private security outfits in Iraq encountered a dramatic setback Wednesday after an Iraqi minister announced that private guards will no longer be given immunity from U.S military and Iraqi law, ending more than five years of unregulated mercenary violence in the country.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Wal-Mart
cnbc.com

Wal-Mart Employees Are Restless

Wal-Mart may be fined by a Minnesota judge for violating the state’s employment laws. The fines are for ‘‘contractual violations,” a fancy way of saying that Wal-Mart denied rest breaks to workers at least 1.5 million times.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


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