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Raul Castro
the-net.dk

Report: Rights Abuse Is Easing Under Raul

An independent Cuban human rights organization says Cuba has taken fewer and freed more political prisoners under the rule of Raul Castro, compared with his brother, Fidel. But the group says human rights abuses by the government are still a problem, as is the U.S. embargo, which it says imposes unnecessary hardship on the Cuban people.

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 READ MORE


America’s Birthday Grab Bag

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America 7-4-07: Don't let them get mixed up! You won't be able to tell who deserves ridicule and who deserves praise. Happy 231st birthday!
Posted on Jul 5, 2007 READ MORE    


Pardon Fight!

The White House isn’t taking kindly to former President Bill Clinton’s characterization of the Libby commutation as being “consistent with their philosophy; they believe that they should be able to do what they want to do. ...”  Oh, snap!  Bush spokesman Tony Snow fired back with a reference to Clinton’s own pardon record: “I don’t know what Arkansan is for chutzpah, but this is a gigantic case of it.”

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 READ MORE


sarkozy
AP Photo/Sang Tan

Sarkozy Critiqued for le Running Habit

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is being widely criticized for his passion for jogging, which some members of his country’s intelligentsia consider to be un-French, right-wing ... or even a ploy to brainwash his citizens.

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 READ MORE


The Supremely Disappointing Court

Let me wish the Supreme Court justices a fond farewell as they set out on their summer vacation. We can all rest assured now that they won’t do any more damage until the first week in October.

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 READ MORE


Indian nuke
AP Photo / Ajit Kumar, File

A Farewell to Arms Control

Scott Ritter, a former U.N. weapons inspector and the author of “Waging Peace,” mourns the passing of the United Nations agency charged with monitoring Iraq’s WMD program. That agency suffered a political assassination recently to save the Bush administration any lingering embarrassment. With the closure of UNMOVIC, Ritter writes, the world has lost perhaps its last best hope for meaningful arms control and inspection.

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 READ MORE


red mosque
AP Photo / Anjum Naveed

Showdown at Pakistan’s Red Mosque

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has intervened to defuse the explosive standoff at Islamabad’s Red Mosque, which has resulted in at least 19 deaths over the last three days.  The BBC reports that the mosque’s religious leader, Maulana Abdul Aziz, was captured Wednesday after he tried to leave the scene shrouded in a burka.

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 READ MORE


Bush:  If We Withdraw Now, the Terrorists Win

President Bush was referring to U.S. troops when he made a comparison to Revolutionary War fighters who resisted a foreign occupation, but he could just as easily have been referring to the Iraqi insurgents.  He made the remark during a July 4th address to National Guard members and their families.

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 READ MORE


Democrats Rake It In

The Democratic candidates have won the latest round of fundraising in what is expected to be the most expensive election ever. Here’s what the candidates took in, in millions: Obama - $32.5, Clinton - $27, Edwards - $9, Richardson - $7, Giuliani - $15, Romney - $14, and McCain - $11. Going by estimates, Obama had more individual donors than Giuliani, Romney and McCain combined.

Posted on Jul 4, 2007 READ MORE


Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Iraq

According to data from the State and Defense departments, there are more than 180,000 civilian contractors on America’s payroll in Iraq.  That’s about a surge’s worth more than the current troop count, and it doesn’t fully include private security contractors.  The L.A. Times takes an exhaustive look at the “coalition of the billing.”

Posted on Jul 4, 2007 READ MORE


Olbermann

Olbermann Calls on Bush to Resign

In another of his not-to-be-missed special comments, Keith Olbermann takes the president to task over his commutation of “Scooter” Libby’s sentence. The “Countdown” host compares Bush to Richard Nixon, who, he says, at least had the decency to resign once his abuse of power was exposed.

Posted on Jul 4, 2007 READ MORE


BBC Reporter
news.bbc.co.uk

BBC Reporter Freed

Alan Johnston, a correspondent in Gaza for the BBC, has been released to Hamas by his captors after they held him for roughly four months. Hamas said Johnston’s release was a sign that it was restoring order to Gaza, which it recently seized from rival faction Fatah. Johnston says he stayed on top of the news of his captivity by listening to the BBC World Service on the radio.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


Mike Jones
AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

Mike Jones on Ted Haggard and Hypocrisy

The former escort who blew the whistle on Ted Haggard’s homosexuality explains why he felt morally compelled to come forward, what the fallout has been like and what he feels is the real tragedy of the situation.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


The High Cost of Libby’s Silence

Bush probably has ensured that Cheney’s guy won’t spill the beans.  But in doing so the president has thrown dirt on the words of the Declaration of Independence.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


kid boxing

Outsource Your Parenting Duties

This fake news report from The Onion envisions a solution for busy, cost-conscious parents: Just ship your kids overseas and get day care for pennies on the dollar. There’s something unnaturally cute and funny about the mom in this clip preparing her child for shipment.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


fashion show
wulfweard.blog.co.uk

The Battle Over Sex Education

While many schools continue to move toward abstinence-only (aka “keep your fingers crossed”) sex education, some communities are fighting for more candid and honest curricula. A Maryland school district, for example, just won the right to teach middle and high schoolers about homosexuality and the proper use of condoms.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


Paris Learns Her Lesson

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Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


‘DiCKO’

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Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


Abbas and Olmert
cbc.ca

Israelis Want Peace, but Aren’t Holding Their Breath

A new poll shows that 70 percent of Israelis favor peace with the Palestinians along the lines of a two-state solution, but only 39 percent think peace will be achieved in the near future. Meanwhile, a majority of Israelis favor strengthening ties with Mahmoud Abbas’ (above left) Fatah regime in the West Bank.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


scooter libby
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Independence Day for Libby

No one should be celebrating July 4th more than I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who has been so liberated by certain of the nation’s top officials that he apparently breathes the same rarefied air—somewhere high above the law. 

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


oliver stone
foxnews.com

To Iran, He’s Just Another Devil

Plans by director Oliver Stone (pictured) to make a film focusing on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have met with opposition from the Iranian government, which, according to a spokesperson, considers Stone’s movies to be “part of the ‘Great Satan.’ ”

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


pink pistol

The Pink-Pistoled Lesbian Gang Menace!

Fox pundit Bill O’Reilly, ever on top of hot-button trends in the zeitgeist, took a goodly chunk of time during Monday night’s episode of “The O’Reilly Factor” to discuss a most pressing national issue—and no, it’s not the glaringly important and timely I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby case. 

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


Libby to Be Pardoned?

Cronyism may reach ever greater heights in the “Scooter” Libby case, as it seems that President Bush—after commuting the former Cheney aide’s sentence Monday—may consider pardoning him. 

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


Deadly Shootout at Islamabad’s ‘Red Mosque’

A clash between Pakistani police and students associated with the Lal Masjid (“Red Mosque”) in Islamabad resulted in nine deaths Tuesday, and 140 were reported wounded, according to the BBC.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


crosses
James Harris

It’s the Ecstasy, Stupid

Oakland’s skyrocketing murder rate has experts scratching their heads, but cultural critic Sheerly Avni suggests that one answer lies in plain sight.  Just ask the kids who are likeliest to kill and be killed, and you will learn that a major villain is the “hug drug.”

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


Six Years and Counting

Why is it that since 9/11 the U.S. hasn’t seen terrorist bombing attempts such as the ones that fizzled last week in Britain?  The reason may rest in America’s genius for manufacturing possibility.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


Leadership Vacuum Leaves the Electorate Pissy

The nation is unhappy over Washington’s many flops, and the failure of the immigration bill is the latest result of the voters’ crankiness.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


America’s Approval Rating Takes a Hit

Much of the world still likes our movies, and what used to be called American ingenuity—the scientific and technological genius that cures disease and connected the world through the Internet. But there’s not much else to admire about the United States.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


MSNBC Anchor

MSNBC Anchor Refuses to Cover Paris Hilton

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski strenuously objected to covering Paris Hilton’s legal woes as a lead story, so much so that when her producer (and the teleprompter) refused to budge, she first tried to burn, then tore and shredded the copy. Here she explains her revolt: “I just don’t believe in covering that story, especially not as the lead story in a newscast when you have a day like today.”

Posted on Jul 2, 2007 READ MORE


Croatian rock
nytimes.com

The Next Generation of Fascists

At a rock concert in Zagreb, Croatia, this weekend, a young generation of concert-goers displayed a disturbing nostalgia for fascism. Thousands of fans responded to rock star Marko Perkovic by giving the Nazi salute and shouting slogans from WWII.

Posted on Jul 2, 2007 READ MORE


Harnessing the Sun Leaves Vidal in the Dark

Powering his home with solar energy sounded like an enlightened idea to Gore Vidal, but after several exasperating rounds of “routine” inspections and unexpected blackouts, it seems that even Southern California’s most abundant natural resource can be caught up in red tape.

Posted on Jul 2, 2007 READ MORE


Libby
nytimes.com

Libby Goes Free

Just hours after a federal appeals panel told I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to go directly to jail without passing go, President Bush stepped in to commute his sentence, thus setting the former Cheney aide and star of Plamegate free. Libby will still have to pay a $250,000 fine, so look for him on the lecture circuit.

Posted on Jul 2, 2007 READ MORE


flag burning
AP Photo/Hatem Moussa

A Declaration of Independence From Israel

The former New York Times Mideast bureau chief warns that America’s foreign policy, particularly under the Bush administration, has been subverted by an aggressive and dangerous Israeli agenda that could launch a nightmarish regional war.

Posted on Jul 2, 2007 READ MORE


Moyers

Bill Moyers Lets Loose on Rupert Murdoch

Media icon Bill Moyers objects not just to Rupert Murdoch’s politics but to the damage he says the mogul has done to the ailing Fourth Estate. And in this critique, the venerable journalist doesn’t hold back: “If Rupert Murdoch were the angel Gabriel, you still wouldn’t want him owning the sun, the moon and the stars. ... But Rupert Murdoch is no saint. He is to propriety what the Marquis de Sade was to chastity.”

Posted on Jul 1, 2007 READ MORE


Putin and Bush
news.bbc.co.uk

Gone Fishin’: Bush and Putin Try to Patch Things Up

President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin once gazed into each other’s eyes and each found a friend, but developments with a proposed missile defense shield, Iran and Kosovo have strained the relationship. So the two have scheduled some male-bonding time at the Bush family resort in Kennebunkport, Maine, where they’ll try to relieve some of their tension by fishing.

Posted on Jul 1, 2007 READ MORE


David Iglesias
dailylobo.com

More Dirt on the GOP’s ‘Voter Fraud’ Campaign

Ousted U.S. Attorney David Iglesias says he believes he was fired, in part, for failing to meet the obsessive demands of a nonprofit organization with ties to the Republican Party that allegedly sought to limit the voting rights of minorities.  Is there a more heinous political practice than the disenfranchisement of minority voters after so long a struggle?

Posted on Jul 1, 2007 READ MORE


Car on fire
news.bbc.co.uk

Second Terror Plot in Two Days for UK

Two men have been detained for allegedly attempting to drive a flaming Jeep Cherokee into the main terminal at Glasgow Airport. Only a day before, two cars were found in London packed with explosives and nails. Britain’s national terrorism threat level remains “critical,” the highest possible.

Posted on Jun 30, 2007 READ MORE


Reid
zablanc.blogspot.com

Democrats Get the Message

The Democrats in Congress know Americans are frustrated with their failure to change Iraq policy and have devised a new strategy to try to convince voters to keep them in the majority. The plan includes weekly war votes to put the hawks on the defensive, along with more aggressive legislation that would set a binding withdrawal deadline, raise troop readiness standards and close Guantanamo.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


Cheney costume
AP Photo/Louis Lanzano

Truthdiggers of the Week:  Barton Gellman and Jo Becker

Truthdig tips its hat this week to Washington Post reporters Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, whose four-part exposé on Vice President Dick Cheney leaves little room for doubting his sinister influence on President Bush.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


Trashing Precedent

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Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


Cheney’s Promotion

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Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


border
foxnews.com

U.S. Accidentally Seized Part of Mexico

It turns out that 1.5 miles of a seven-year-old border fence between the U.S. and Mexico was accidentally built between one and six feet into Mexican territory. Mexico wants it moved as soon as possible, which could cost the U.S. more than $3 million.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


Moore and Maher

Moore and Maher on ‘SiCKO’

Back on May 25th, Michael Moore joined “Real Time” host Bill Maher to chat about his latest, “SiCKO,” which Maher called “amazing” and “your best yet.” In case you missed it or you just can’t get enough of the all-American documentarian on this “SiCKO” Friday, check it out.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


Gore

Three Questions for Al Gore

Popular Mechanics probes the former vice president about his newly green home, his new concert series and the future of ethanol.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


British Police Search for Bomber Clues

Now that England’s streets and sidewalks have been outfitted with an elaborate closed-circuit TV system, British police are using footage from London’s Haymarket district in trying to track down the party behind Friday’s attempted car bombings.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


How Can Blair Possibly Be Given This Job?

Tony Blair has moved out of 10 Downing Street and is moving on to a position as Britain’s Middle East envoy—which strikes reporter Robert Fisk as astonishing news, since, as he puts it in this article from Britain’s The Independent, Blair “is a politician who has failed in everything he has ever tried to do in the Middle East.”

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


Ray of Hope for Gitmo Detainees

After almost six years since suspected enemy combatants started serving time without being able to challenge their detainment at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, the U.S. Supreme Court has changed its stance, giving prisoners—and their lawyers—some hope that their cases may eventually be heard.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


sicko
movies.yahoo.com

Movie Review:  Michael Moore’s “SiCKO”

After all the usual controversy that swirls around any film by director and rabble-rouser Michael Moore, and after all those stories about Moore taking 9/11 workers to Cuba for treatment, “SiCKO” is finally in theaters.  Eunice Wong delivers her diagnosis for Truthdig.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


sicko
movies.yahoo.com

Movie Review:  Michael Moore’s “SiCKO”

After all the usual controversy that swirls around any film by director and rabble-rouser Michael Moore, and after all those stories about Moore taking 9/11 workers to Cuba for treatment, “SiCKO” is finally in theaters.  Eunice Wong delivers her diagnosis for Truthdig.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


Unmaking History

It’s time for those of us who are old enough to remember when the U.S. Supreme Court was a major force for racial integration and justice to stop living in the past. We need to realize that, for the foreseeable future, any progress our increasingly diverse country makes toward fairness and equality will come in spite of the nation’s highest court, not because of it.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


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