Wednesday, Mar 21st

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Sex Ed Guide Generates Opposition

A set of proposed international sex education guidelines aimed at reducing H.I.V. infections among young people has provoked criticism from conservative groups that say the program would be too explicit for young children and promote access to legal abortion as a right.

“Only 40 percent of young people aged 15 to 24 have accurate knowledge” of how the disease is transmitted, he said, even though that age group “accounts for 45 percent of all new cases.”



Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites

The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”


Verizon Sponsoring Anti-Climate Rally Backed By Coal Giant Massey Energy

On Labor Day, tens of thousands of people will be gathering for the coal-powered “Friends of America Rally” in Holden, WV. The point of the gathering is to rail against the Waxman-Markey clean energy legislation. It will feature right-wing guests such as Sean Hannity and Ted Nugent (who once ranted about killing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton), and is being pushed by mountaintop-removal mining company Massey Energy.

The sponsors for the rally are mostly regional oil, gas, and coal companies. However, the list also includes the Science and Public Policy Institute — a fringe climate-denial organization — and Verizon Wireless.


Why Not Crippling Sanctions for Israel and the US?

The hypocrisy is extreme. Israel is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and developed its nuclear weapons illegally on the sly, with, as far as we know, US help.

As Israel is an illegal possessor of nuclear weapons and has a fanatical government that is capable of using them, crippling sanctions should be applied to Israel to force it to disarm.

Israel qualifies for crippling sanctions for another reason. It is an apartheid state, as former US President Jimmy Carter demonstrated in his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.


Bush's Third Term - You're Living It

What's striking are the continuities in American foreign and military policy, no matter who is in the White House. The first-term Obama foreign policy now looks increasingly like the second-term Bush foreign policy. Even where change can be spotted, it regularly seems to follow in the same vein.


Erasing Katrina

Four years on, media mostly neglect an ongoing disaster

There are plenty of ongoing stories to be told today. The Institute for Southern Studies report also highlighted some startling statistics: In addition to the estimated 1 million people still displaced by Katrina, rents in the New Orleans area have increased by 40 percent since the hurricane, and an estimated 11,000 people are currently homeless there. The report also reveals striking racial disparities in the impacts: Less than 49 percent of households in the largely African-American and working class Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans are actively receiving mail today (compared to 76 percent city-wide), for example, and black children's enrollment in public and private schools dropped from 49 percent of all students to 43 percent.


We stand toenail deep in water trouble: a future without a future

When we run out of oil, we walk!  When we run out of electricity, we hit the sack early.  When we run out of water, we don’t eat and we cannot survive.

Why would you talk about the U.S. water crisis, but you avoid talking its source?  Why do educated minds in the halls of newspapers everywhere report on environmental problems, but they refuse to connect them to the core reasons?  What collective denial runs through the minds of citizens and leaders alike that allows them to disregard, deny, sidestep and dance around America’s looming and multiple environmental dilemmas?


India leader's helicopter missing

A helicopter carrying a powerful Indian politician has disappeared during a flight over a Maoist rebel stronghold in the south, officials say.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy's helicopter took off from Hyderabad on Wednesday morning.


Disease Mongering: Good for Big Pharma, Bad for You

Even worse is a growing trend to invert this process: to promote diseases to fit existing drugs. In a fascinating New York Review of Books piece, Marcia Angell, M.D., denounced the practice of "disease mongering." As she put it, "The strategy is to convince as many people as possible (along with their doctors, of course) that they have medical conditions that require long-term drug treatment."

A British Medical Journal article said it more succinctly, "A lot of money can be made from healthy people who believe they are sick."


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