In an about face, the United Nations on Wednesday lavishly praised drug decriminalization in its annual report on the state of global drug policy. In previous years, the UN drug czar had expressed skepticism about Portugal's decriminalization, which removed criminal penalties in 2001 for personal drug possession and emphasized treatment over incarceration. The UN had suggested the policy was in violation of international drug treaties and would encourage "drug tourism."
"They confuse their customers and dump the sick, all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors," former Cigna senior executive Wendell Potter said during a hearing on health insurance today before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Potter, who has more than 20 years of experience working in public relations for insurance companies Cigna and Humana, said companies routinely drop seriously ill policyholders so they can meet "Wall Street's relentless profit expectations."
Iran's leading opposition figurehead, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, launched a lengthy broadside against the Iranian leadership and state-owned media in comments published today on his website as authorities arrested 70 university professors who had met with him.
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.
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 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 lawyersâ 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,Â who defended the Saudis is a 9/11 lawsuit by the families of the victims of 9/11.
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: âWhat I saw at certain moments and in certain places âŠ is very disturbing!â He never handed them over to the authorities and has been persecuted ever since. Kurt Sonnenfeld lives in exile in Argentina, where he wrote Â« El Perseguido Â» (the persecuted). His recently-published book tells the story of his unending nightmare and drives another nail into the coffin of the governmentâs account of the 9/11 events. Below is an exclusive interview by Voltairenet.
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.
It is supposed to be the Treasuryâs role to represent the public interest. Unfortunately, appointing Treasury Secretaries from the ranks of Wall Street management â or giving Wall Street veto power over the nominee â 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 â or actively blocking them, as George Bush did â 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.
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