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History’s Greatest Heist

History’s Greatest Heist

By Sean McMeekin

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Tag: Not For Profit

Matti Paavonen (CC-BY-SA)

Ukraine Agrees to Hand Over Nuclear Material

Score one for President Barack Obama’s nuclear summit. The White House announced Monday that Ukraine will give up its entire stockpile of highly enriched uranium by 2012 and convert its research reactors to stop producing the stuff.

Posted on Apr 12, 2010 READ MORE

Pope Benedict
Wikimedia Commons / Fabio Pozzebom / ABr

Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens Call for Pope’s Arrest

British authors and atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, whom Terry Eagleton has affectionately referred to as the combined entity known as “Ditchkins,” are joining legal forces to see if Pope Benedict XVI can be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

Posted on Apr 12, 2010 READ MORE

One Marine’s ‘Liberty Walk’ for the Rest of Us

Ernest Logan Bell, a 25-year-old Marine Corps veteran walking 90 miles to make a point, is the new face of the resistance. He is young, at home in the culture of the military, deeply suspicious of the federal government, disgusted by the liberal elite, unable to find work and angry.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

New Airline Business Model

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

He Has Excellent Posture

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

Running Against Washington

Ohio’s U.S. Senate campaign offers an excellent preview of what this fall’s midterm elections will be like: Everyone in the race wants to be an outsider, everyone pledges to break with politics as usual, and everyone is talking about jobs.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

Get Ready for a More Conservative Supreme Court

Here is an unsettling thought for those who waited eight years to have a Democratic president appointing judges: Barack Obama could well end his first term with a more conservative Supreme Court than the one he inherited.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

iPad™ Wins Nobel Peace Prize

“We didn’t want to fall prey to all of the hype surrounding the iPad™,” said Nobel committee chairperson Gustav Traavik, who waited at the Apple store in Oslo for over two hours to buy the device. “But it is sweet.”

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

Gates Defends U.S. Soldiers’ Actions in Infamous Video

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has defended the U.S. soldiers who were made infamous in a video released by the website Wikileaks last week, saying the critiques of those who fired upon and killed a group of reporters and civilians lack context.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons

Kyrgyzstan Reassures U.S. on Use of Base

Only days after a bloody uprising brought a new government to Kyrgyzstan, interim leader Roza Otunbayeva has pledged to the U.S. that her country will honor a deal allowing the U.S. to operate a key military base there.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / U-g-g-B-o-y-(-Photograph-World-Sense-)

$40 Billion for Greece Bailout

The 16 nations that use the euro have just revealed an aid package of up to $40 billion in an effort to stem the Greek financial crisis. Finance ministers see the offer as a “step of clarification” for markets and a boost for the faltering euro.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Ariel Schalit

New Rule Allows West Bank Deportations

A new order from the Israel Defense Forces will enable the government to deport tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank. The military order defines anyone who is in the West Bank illegally as an “infiltrator,” and gives the IDF the ability to deport or arrest Palestinians without other cause.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons

Iran Casts a Vote in Iraq

Shiite-dominated Iran has shifted its stance toward neighboring Iraq, backing Sunni inclusion in a new government in Baghdad and likely putting a damper on current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s attempts to shape the new government.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 100 Dead in Pakistan Raids

Nearly 100 people were killed Saturday when Pakistani military airstrikes rained down on the country’s northwest tribal areas. Pakistani government officials claim the dead were “militants.”

Posted on Apr 10, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons

Obama Calls for Probe of Coal Mine Tragedy

President Barack Obama has demanded an investigation into the deaths of 29 miners after an explosion in a West Virginia coal mine brought new and widespread attention to hazards in the mining industry.

Posted on Apr 10, 2010 READ MORE

Pick a Number Between One and Six

“Between one and six.” That’s the number of nuclear weapons that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton believes North Korea to have, a rare public utterance on the estimated number of such weapons the Hermit Kingdom may possess.

Posted on Apr 10, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Pan-African News Wire File

Sudan Heads to the Polls

Sudan’s three-day election period begins Sunday, a contest that many see as deeply flawed. Several opposition parties have declined to participate and many of the country’s 2.5 million refugees are not registered to vote.

Posted on Apr 10, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons

Poland’s President, Top Leaders Die in Russian Plane Crash

Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and nearly half of the country’s top leadership perished in a Saturday morning plane crash in foggy western Russia.

Posted on Apr 10, 2010 READ MORE

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Justice Stevens, Financial Hearings and Nukes

The announcement of Justice John Paul Stevens’ retirement is bound to set off a political battle of immense proportions. Will it be a test of the merits of the potential candidates or just another political throwdown? And does America’s new nuclear posture justify Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize?

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Luca Bruno

Pope Accused of Letting Past Abuse Case Languish

Yet another sexual abuse case from the past has come back to haunt the Vatican, and this time, Pope Benedict XVI is being scrutinized for decisions he made about the case while in his prior position at the Holy See. On Friday, The Associated Press released ... (continued)

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Knight725

Net Neutrality’s Last Stand

The future of the Internet looked a little bleaker to Net neutrality advocates this week after a federal appeals court decided that the Federal Communications Commission couldn’t stop Internet service provider Comcast from messing with the load times of certain websites ... (continued)

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE

Thai redshirts

Red-Shirted Thai Protesters Seize Control of TV Station

A crowd of demonstrators sporting red shirts clambered over barbed wire and battled with police and military troops before taking over an anti-government TV station in Bangkok on Friday, signaling victory by ... (continued)

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE

Pope Benedict
AP / Gerald Herbert

Vatican: Pope Ready for ‘New Meetings’ With Sexual Abuse Victims

In a Vatican Radio broadcast on Friday, one Rev. Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Holy See, announced that Pope Benedict XVI is ready to hold “new meetings” with victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy members, but at least one victims’ group ... (continued)

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE


‘Colbert Report’: Between a Rock and a Black Face

The Republican National Committee is in quite a pickle following the whole lesbian-bondage-club kerfuffle, which has made some right-wingers question RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s leadership skills and to form a “shadow RNC ... only with a little less shadow,” as Stephen Colbert puts it in this clip.

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE

‘Fault Lines’: Unemployment in the U.S.

Check out this new “Fault Lines” video in which Avi Lewis examines the lives of Americans who are jobless or underemployed—a number approaching 30 million.

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons / Ansgar Walk

Urgency After Copenhagen

The developing world seems to get it: In the first climate change conference since Copenhagen, leaders from the Global South have said the need for a new worldwide climate change agreement is “greater than ever.”

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / the pragmatic

Democrat Stupak Won’t Run Again

Bart Stupak, the Michigan congressman who led the charge against President Obama’s health care bill on the grounds that it might allow tax money to pay for abortions, has decided he will not run for re-election in 2010.

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons

Stevens Will Hang Up His Robe

Liberal Justice John Paul Stevens has announced his retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court. The 89-year-old will step down when the court’s term ends in June or July, giving President Barack Obama the opportunity to make his second appointment to the high court.

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE

book cover

Tony Platt on Rebecca Skloot’s Life of Henrietta Lacks

The strange and disturbing story of racist medical ethics and the “benevolent deception” practiced on a nearly forgotten woman who inadvertently continues to live posthumously.

Posted on Apr 9, 2010 READ MORE

What Are They Smoking in California?

There is record support for marijuana legalization, as more Americans see the drug war for what it really is. But framing the debate in terms of tax revenue is just bad politics.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE

In Defense of Chairman Mike

With attacks pouring in from both the left and the right, won’t someone at least pretend to take Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s side?

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Six Nations Hold U.N. Huddle About Iran

On Thursday, President Barack Obama made his case for a fourth round of sanctions
against Iran to send a strong message to Tehran about its nuclear program, but some other global powers aren’t on board with that plan just yet—namely, China and Russia.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE


Punk Icon Malcolm McLaren Dies at 64

He had a major hand in the Sex Pistols’ success, serving as the seminal punk band’s manager, but Malcolm McLaren, who died of mesothelioma Thursday at 64, had a few other tricks up his sleeve at his prime.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE

Live Chat: Robert Scheer on Nuclear Weapons

If you missed Robert Scheer discussing his column, nuclear weapons and President Obama with readers or you just want to relive the excitement, you can read a full transcript right here.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons / Steele C.G. Britton, U.S. Air Force

Kyrgyz President Defiant as Transitional Gov’t Forms

Although he fled the capital city of Bishkek on Wednesday, Kyrgyzstan’s President Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced Thursday from an unknown locale that he wasn’t stepping down, despite the apparent takeover of the Krgyz government by opposition politicians, according to The New York Times.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE


Obama Hails New Start for U.S. and Russia

President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, met in Prague on Thursday to sign the New START Treaty, effectively replacing the now-expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991. Obama said the new measure was ... (continued)

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE

Rio mudslide
AP / Felipe Dana

New Mudslide in Rio Area Buries Up to 200

As many as 200 people were buried in another landslide resulting from heavy rainfall, this time in a shantytown near Rio de Janiero, Brazil, late Wednesday. Rescue crews were digging for survivors Thursday, but the outlook was grim, according to The Associated Press.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE


Jon Stewart’s Not Buying What the Vatican’s Selling

As allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy members continue to challenge the church, the Vatican, according to a visibly agitated Jon Stewart, has failed to respond appropriately, instead adopting a victim stance with the Western media as its persecutor. Quick—cue the kitten footage!

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE

AP / David J. Phillip

An Icon Without a Clue

Tiger Woods is finally getting on with his life, not that Tiger’s life can ever be what it was when he was the unquestioned, untainted, most famous, most admired, richest, greatest athlete of all time. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what he was raised to aspire to.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE

Hamid Karzai
DoD / Cherie Cullen

Report: Karzai Set Taliban Leader Free

A professional kidnapper and Taliban commander was released from an Afghan prison 10 years early and may have won a hush-hush pardon from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the BBC reports. Karzai’s people say the president “could not recall the matter.”

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE

Rebuilding an American Legacy

The collapse of American infrastructure is a shamefully old story by now, featuring scary statistics that must be updated regularly as the situation worsens.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE

Will We Forget the Miners Again?

There is a dispiriting and, yes, heartbreaking sameness about how we respond to mining disasters.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE

In and Out

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 READ MORE    

Magic Mushrooms

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 READ MORE    

Wikimedia Commons / Pumbaa, Greg Robson (CC-BY-SA)

Your Periodic Table Is Missing an Element

Call it Element 117, for now. An international team of scientists was able to generate six atoms of the stuff for a few millionths of a second—long enough to add one new element to the periodic table.

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 READ MORE

George W. Bush
White House / Paul Morse

Americans Still Blame Bush for the Economy

The Harris Poll asked a couple of thousand Americans who, if they had to pick just one, was most to blame for the economic clusterfudge, and they chose George W. Bush, followed by Wall Street. Only 4 percent picked Fed Chair Ben Bernanke.

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 READ MORE

AP Video via USA Today

Tennis Champ Navratilova Says She Has Breast Cancer

Tennis star Martina Navratilova has added her name to the list of women battling breast cancer in the public eye. On Wednesday, Navratilova announced that she has the disease on “Good Morning America.” Luckily, it’s of the noninvasive and highly treatable variety.

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 READ MORE


Karzai’s Rep Says Afghan President Never Threatened to Join Taliban

So, about that whole joining-the-Taliban quip that Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai supposedly made last weekend? Didn’t happen, according to Karzai spokesman Waheed Omar, who had apparently shifted into backpedaling mode on Wednesday.

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 READ MORE

Kyrzyg uprising

Kyrgyzstan in State of Emergency as Protesters Storm the Capital (Update)

Kyrgyzstan was thrown into turmoil Wednesday after clashes between protesters and police killed at least 17 people, according to The New York Times, and caused Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee the capital of Bishkek.

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 READ MORE


U.S. Targets American Imam al-Awlaki

Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is a U.S. citizen, but he’s also wanted—dead or alive—by the U.S. government. The CIA has been given the go-ahead to target al-Awlaki, who’s now in Yemen, and to capture or kill him for allegedly threatening his home country.

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 READ MORE

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