Monday, Mar 19th

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CIA sacked Baghdad station chief after deaths of 2 detainees

The CIA removed its station chief in Iraq and reorganized its operations there in late 2003 following "potentially very serious leadership lapses" that included the deaths of detainees in the U.S. custody, according to a newly released document and former senior officials.

The memorandum and other partially declassified documents shed a rare light on the abuse and death of detainees in CIA custody, a subject the agency has long sought to shield from public view.


Tobacco to kill 6 million people next year: report

Tobacco use will kill 6 million people next year from cancer, heart disease, emphysema and a range of other ills, the American Cancer Society said in a report issued on Tuesday.

The society's new Tobacco Atlas estimates that tobacco use costs the global economy $500 billion a year in direct medical expenses, lost productivity and environmental harm.


CIA Documents Provide Little Cover for Cheney Claims

Those documents were obtained today by The Washington Independent and are available here.  Strikingly, they provide little evidence for Cheney’s claims that the “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA provided valuable information. In fact, throughout both documents, many passages — though several are incomplete and circumstantial, actually suggest the opposite of Cheney’s contention: that non-abusive techniques actually helped elicit some of the most important information the documents cite in defending the value of the CIA’s interrogations.


How settlements in the West Bank are creating a new reality, brick by brick

Today it is a city of more than 30,000 people, with red-roofed apartment blocks, shopping malls, a public swimming pool and ancient olive trees sitting on neat roundabouts.

The rise of Ma'ale Adumim captures the success of Israel's vast settlement project and the extent of the challenge posed to any future Palestinian state by the settlements and the often overlooked infrastructure of Israel's occupation.


FDA probes weight-loss pill alli over liver damage reports

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of liver damage in patients taking alli, the only nonprescription weight loss drug approved by the agency.

Regulators said Monday they have received more than 30 reports of liver damage in patients taking alli and Xenical, the prescription version of the drug. The reports, submitted between 1999 and October 2008, included 27 hospitalized patients, and six who suffered liver failure.


Group that backed Prop. 8 focuses on reinstating Iowa's gay-marriage ban

Opponents of same-sex marriage launched a campaign today to re-ban gay marriage in Iowa.

The National Organization for Marriage, which was active in getting Proposition 8 approved by voters in California, sent out an appeal for donations to run advertisements on behalf of political candidates who oppose same-sex marriage.


Highlights of the newly declassified CIA documents

On Monday, the Obama administration released newly declassified 2004 CIA documents detailing the Bush administration's policy of capturing suspected terrorists and interrogating them in overseas prisons. Some highlights:

- CIA operatives used "unauthorized, improvised, inhumane and undocumented detention and interrogation techniques" that went even farther than the already permissive Justice Department legal opinions allowed.


New meth formula avoids anti-drug laws

This is the new formula for methamphetamine: a two-liter soda bottle, a few handfuls of cold pills and some noxious chemicals. Shake the bottle and the volatile reaction produces one of the world's most addictive drugs.

The "shake-and-bake" approach has become popular because it requires a relatively small number of pills of the decongestant pseudoephedrine - an amount easily obtained under even the toughest anti-meth laws that have been adopted across the nation to restrict large purchases of some cold medication.


Journalists' recent work examined before embeds

As more journalists seek permission to accompany U.S. forces engaged in escalating military operations in Afghanistan, many of them could be screened by a controversial Washington-based public relations firm contracted by the Pentagon to determine whether their past coverage has portrayed the U.S. military in a positive light.


TVNL Comment: Rendon Group sold us the lies that led to war against Iraq.  Their work was pickde up by the White House Iraq Group that took us over the top.

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