Sunday, Oct 23rd

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Many sharks 'facing extinction'

Many species of open ocean shark are under serious threat, according to an assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Red list gives the status of 64 types of shark and ray, over 30% of which are threatened with extinction. The authors, IUCN's Shark Specialist Group, say a main cause is overfishing.


Ex-detainees allege Bagram abuse: VIDEO

Allegations of abuse and neglect at a US detention facility in Afghanistan have been uncovered by the BBC.

A number of former detainees have alleged they were beaten, deprived of sleep and threatened with dogs at the Bagram military base. The BBC spoke to 27 ex-inmates around the country over two months. Just two said they had been treated well.


Documents Back Saudi Link to Extremists

Documents gathered by lawyers for the families of Sept. 11 victims provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family, but the material may never find its way into court because of legal and diplomatic obstacles.

The case has put the Obama administration in the middle of a political and legal dispute, with the Justice Department siding with the Saudis in court last month in seeking to kill further legal action. Adding to the intrigue, classified American intelligence documents related to Saudi finances were leaked anonymously to lawyers for the families. The Justice Department had the lawyers’ copies destroyed and now wants to prevent a judge from even looking at the material.

TVNL Comment: Remember it was law firm of the Bush family friend and business partner, Jame's Baker,  who defended the Saudis is a 9/11 lawsuit by the families of the victims of 9/11.


9/11 FEMA videographer at Ground Zero goes public

As official videographer for the U.S. government, Kurt Sonnenfeld was detailed to Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, where he spent one month filming 29 tapes: “What I saw at certain moments and in certain places … is very disturbing!” He never handed them over to the authorities and has been persecuted ever since. Kurt Sonnenfeld lives in exile in Argentina, where he wrote « El Perseguido » (the persecuted). His recently-published book tells the story of his unending nightmare and drives another nail into the coffin of the government’s account of the 9/11 events. Below is an exclusive interview by Voltairenet.


Israel won't let Gaza boy see his only parent

In protest over the complaint the United States dared to lodge against Israel over the plight of Gaza Strip residents, the Defense Ministry declared there is no humanitarian crisis there, nor did one ever exist.

According to the ministry's criteria for humanitarian cases, our American friends got a little carried away. For example, is the case of a 7-year-old Gazan who lost his mother and wants to rejoin his father, who lives in Hebron, to be considered a humanitarian case by the Defense Ministry? That's not a sure thing.


Instead of Real Financial Reform, Obama’s Plan capitulates to Wall Street

It is supposed to be the Treasury’s role to represent the public interest. Unfortunately, appointing Treasury Secretaries from the ranks of Wall Street management – or giving Wall Street veto power over the nominee – undermines this mission. Elsewhere in what is supposed to be the regulatory system of public-private checks and balances, the simple tactic of underfunding the criminal justice system, the FBI, state and local prosecutors – or actively blocking them, as George Bush did – leaves the economy without adequate protection against financial fraud and predatory credit. Putting the Congressional financial committee heads up for sale to the highest campaign contributors caps the process of transforming economic democracy into oligarchy.


US supreme court refuses to hear appeal by former CIA operative

A lawsuit by former CIA operative Valerie Plame against former Bush administration officials will not be revived by the US supreme court.

Last year a lower court tossed out the lawsuit filed by Plame and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, which accused Dick Cheney and former top Bush officials of leaking Plame's identity to the media in 2003. Wilson and Plame argued the move violated their constitutional rights.

The US court of appeals said the lawsuit didn't meet legal standards for constitutional claims because part of the suit is based on alleged violations of the Privacy Act, a law that does not cover the president or the vice-president's offices.


A Perfect Storm Could Shed Light On Secretive Energy Markets

When Olav Refvik wanted to boost the price of heating oil to make a lucrative energy deal even more lucrative, the Morgan Stanley trader locked up several storage tanks the bank owned near New York Harbor to squeeze supply. Far from being illegal, the maneuver -- which earned him millions and the moniker "King of New York Harbor" -- is business as usual in the "regulated" commodities market.


Lawmakers press Obama on 'don't ask, don't tell'

Seventy-seven House members are urging President Obama to suspend the investigation and discharge of military personnel because of their sexual orientation.

“We urge you to exercise the maximum discretion legally possible in administering don't ask, don't tell until Congress repeals the law,” the lawmakers wrote to Obama on Monday.


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