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December 22, 2014
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Diary of a Bad Year

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This Public Alabama Hospital Sues the Poorest of the Poor

More than a century ago, Alabama enshrined a basic protection in the state’s constitution shielding its poorest citizens from being forced to pay debts they couldn’t afford. But a public hospital in the mostly rural southeast corner of the state has found a way around the law.

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

The Duck That Roared

In the short run, President Obama has demonstrated that the term “lame duck” has its limits.

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE



Army Testimony Suggests Administration Tortured to Gain Justification for Iraq War (Video)

The Bush administration and the CIA tortured al-Qaida suspects because they wanted evidence that linked Saddam Hussein to 9/11 and could be used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Middle East expert Patrick Cockburn writes at The Independent.

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE


Lame Duck

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Regifting

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Kurds Inflict First Major Defeat on Islamic State, Rescue Yezidis of Sinjar

The pan-Arab London daily, Al-Hayat reports that the Iraqi Kurdistan paramilitary, the Peshmerga, have taken Mt. Sinjar from Daesh (what Arabs call Islamic State).

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE


Retired NYPD Detective Criticizes Police Union President’s Antagonistic Remarks

Inflammatory remarks made by Patrick Lynch over the past many weeks of sometimes fatal tension between police officers and private citizens are grounds for dismissal from the force, retired NYPD Detective Graham Weatherspoon says.

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE


Cuba Invasion

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The War to Start All Wars

As we end another year of endless war in Washington, it might be the perfect time to reflect on the War That Started All Wars—or at least the war that started all of Washington’s post-Cold War wars: the invasion of Panama.

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE



Climate’s Impact on Agriculture Could Lead to Calamity

Widespread hunger and poverty are predicted unless strategies are developed to cope with the drop in crop yields climate change will cause.

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE



In 2008 Mumbai Attacks, Piles of Spy Data, but an Uncompleted Puzzle

Indian and British intelligence agencies monitored the online activities of a key plotter but couldn’t connect the dots.

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE



Tunisia: Nationalist Candidate’s Claimed Win in Presidential Poll Contested

The major political parties do fairly sophisticated exit polling in Tunisian elections now, and secular, nationalist warhorse Beji Caid Essebsi claimed a victory of some 52 or 53 percent on Sunday evening.

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE



Banning Dissent in the Name of Civility

A student group has revoked an invitation for me to speak at a university because of my views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its action is part of the routine censorship carried out on campuses against those who will not read from the Israel lobby’s script.

Posted on Dec 21, 2014 READ MORE



Truthdiggers of the Week: Pardiss Kebriaei and the Center for Constitutional Rights

The senior attorney at the celebrated civil liberties group is pushing for the prosecution of U.S. officials who tortured detainees and terrorism suspects—an issue the Senate’s report on the subject was conspicuously silent about.

Posted on Dec 21, 2014 READ MORE



Hopes, Fears and Doubts About Cuba’s Oil Future

One of the most plentiful oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba’s northwest coast, but experts say low prices and better opportunities elsewhere mean a Cuban oil boon is unlikely in the near future—even if U.S. business restrictions are relaxed.

Posted on Dec 21, 2014 READ MORE



Head of Police Union Declares War on Protesters After NYPD Cops ‘Assassinated’

The suspect committed suicide after killing two officers sitting in a patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Posted on Dec 21, 2014 READ MORE


Sony Pictures

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Cheney Xmas Ghost

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Sony

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Unmasked: The CIA’s ‘Unidentified Queen of Torture’

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald and Peter Maass have revealed the identity of a “key apologist” for the CIA’s torture program, an official whom multiple news outlets have described as responsible for “a long string of significant errors and malfeasance” that put her “competence and integrity” in doubt, even by some within the agency.

Posted on Dec 20, 2014 READ MORE


Prisoner Exchange

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Paris’ Radical Plan to Keep the Rich From Completely Gentrifying Central Neighborhoods

The French government has announced a plan to prevent housing displacement and the creation of “ghettos for the rich” in the capital; apparently, watching “The Colbert Report” made some people more conservative; meanwhile, the principles of the 1910 Mexican Revolution are being revived by the protest movement inspired by the Ayotzinapa students’ disappearance. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Dec 20, 2014 READ MORE


‘Left, Right & Center’: The Sony Hack and Cuba

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss Obama’s year-end news conference, during which the president said Sony should have consulted him before canceling the release of “The Interview.” Also, is it a new world for Cuba?

Posted on Dec 20, 2014 READ MORE



Loss of Rainforests Is Double Whammy Threat to Climate

New research spells out the devastating impacts that complete destruction of tropical forests would have on global temperatures, weather patterns and agriculture.

Posted on Dec 20, 2014 READ MORE


Gun Violence

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Distance

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Here Are 5 Countries Where Solar Power Is Making a Revolution

Ironically, developing countries of the global south who don’t have enough electricity can leapfrog conventional power and go straight to solar and wind.

Posted on Dec 20, 2014 READ MORE



How Nonprofit Hospitals Are Seizing Patients’ Wages

One Missouri hospital has sued thousands of uninsured patients who couldn’t pay for their care, then grabbed a hefty portion of their paychecks to cover the bills. “We will be paying them off until we die,” one debtor said.

Posted on Dec 20, 2014 READ MORE



Top 7 Ways Assassination Fails the U.S. as Policy

Wikileaks has released a government assessment of drone strikes aimed at assassinating top leaders.

Posted on Dec 20, 2014 READ MORE


Dennis Kucinich: There Isn’t Much Difference Between the Clintons and the Bushes

The former congressman explains how three members spirited a Russia sanctions bill through the House, and why the 2016 presidential race could present a false choice.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE


Dennis Kucinich: There Isn’t Much Difference Between the Clintons and the Bushes

The former congressman explains how three members spirited a Russia sanctions bill through the House, and why the 2016 presidential race could present a false choice.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts

A new biography reclaims the playwright of “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night” as a self-conscious, committed artist who strove to break through the limits of production and consistently voice his lifelong contempt for American materialism, imperialism, racism and puritanism.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



The Visual Explorer / Shutterstock.com

On Cuba, Republicans Know Only Failure

Listen carefully to the Republican leaders and presidential hopefuls roaring with outrage over President Barack Obama’s courageous decision to normalize relations with Cuba; listen very carefully, because no matter how long or how closely you listen to them, there is one thing you will surely never hear.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

The Treasury Secretary’s Misperceptions About Wealth

By Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s reckoning, being a millionaire does not constitute living high above the ranks of ordinary people.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Attila JANDI / Shutterstock.com

A Win for the Cuban People

President Obama’s historic opening to Cuba is long overdue—and has a chance of hastening the Castro dictatorship’s demise.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE


The Grand Finale of ‘The Colbert Report’ Is a Sight to Behold

After nine years, 1,447 episodes and several well-deserved Emmy Awards, America’s favorite faux news pundit signed off one last time with a promise that “We’ll Meet Again.”

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Obama Authorizes Sanctions Against Venezuelan Socialists

The American president has signed legislation that freezes assets and revokes travel visas belonging to Venezuelan officials who stand accused of violating the human rights of opponents of the South American nation’s socialist government.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Vladimir Putin Invites Kim Jong Un to Moscow

Amid U.S. and European sanctions that are driving Russia into the arms of its Asian neighbors, President Vladimir Putin has invited the North Korean leader to Moscow next year to mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



The Senate Drone Report of 2019

Three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress, the 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long fought-over, much-delayed, heavily redacted report on the secret CIA drone wars was finally released. Committee chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) took to the Senate floor, and said…

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Polar Bears Feel the Heat as Icy Habitat Shrinks

As climate change increasingly affects the Arctic, some polar bear populations are suffering because rising temperatures are reducing the sea ice vital for their survival.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Pentagon: 3 Major ISIS Leaders Killed in Iraq

American forces have killed three high-ranking Islamic State leaders in Iraq in recent weeks, according to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE



Nebraska and Oklahoma Sue Colorado in Pot Dispute

Nearly a year after Colorado blazed a trail in the movement to legalize recreational marijuana use in the U.S., two neighboring states are totally harshing the stoner mecca’s mellow.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE


Talking Relics

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Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE



An Eye in the Sky Is Coming to America’s East Coast

In a few days, the U.S. Army will position in the skies over Maryland two billion-dollar blimps capable of monitoring activity in an area the size of Texas.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE



Black Women’s Lives Matter: Film Reveals Little-Known Story of the Grim Sleeper

As an invigorated movement emerges against police killings of black men, a timely new documentary examines American law enforcement’s negligence in the grisly killings of black women for over two and a half decades.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE



‘Human Experimentation Was a Core Feature of the CIA Torture Program’

If journalists and officials began talking about the tests that CIA psychologists conducted on suspected terrorists at U.S. black sites, would Americans demand the prosecution of those responsible?

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE


The Interview

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Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE



Go West, Young Han

The new Yiwu-Madrid railway across Eurasia is the first building block on China’s “New Silk Road,” conceivably the project of the new century and undoubtedly the greatest trade story in the world for the next decade.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE



Weather Extremes Rise as Planet Gets Hotter and Colder

Scientists predict that lethal heat waves in Europe, and ice storms and big freezes across the globe, could become regular events if greenhouse gas emissions are not controlled.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE


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