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Friday, Apr 18th

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We All Failed Gary Webb: A Special Report

Since Gary Webb’s suicide four years ago, I have written annual retrospectives about the late journalist’s important contribution to the historical record -- he forced devastating admissions from the CIA about drug trafficking by the Nicaraguan contra rebels under the protection of the Reagan administration in the 1980s.

Webb’s death in 2004 had its roots in his fateful decision eight years earlier to write a three-part series for the San Jose Mercury News that challenged a potent conventional wisdom shared by the elite U.S. news organizations – that one of the most shocking scandals of the 1980s just couldn’t possibly be true.

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Duke Energy to Rent Rooftops

Putting solar panels on the roof can cost a homeowner tens of thousands of dollars up front. That’s a lot of cash in a tight market, even if the goal is clean, renewable energy.

A few utilities are trying another tack: renting the rooftops of homeowners or businesses, and handling the installation and maintenance of the solar panels themselves.

Duke Energy, a major utility serving the Carolinas and parts of the Midwest, aims to rent roof or land space from 425 sites in North Carolina. Final permission from the regulator is forthcoming, but Duke hopes that they will all start producing solar power by 2010.

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Before handouts, big firms bankrolled conventions

Financial giants now being bailed out by the government spent millions underwriting the Democratic and Republican conventions last summer, just weeks before coming to Washington begging for multibillion-dollar handouts.

The big donors included AIG, Ford Motor Co., Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Freddie Mac.

In all, major corporations, labor unions and individual millionaires dumped $118 million into the nominating conventions for Barack Obama and John McCain, according to reports from the Campaign Finance Institute and the Center for Responsive Politics. The private groups compiled the numbers from filings required under federal law.

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Capitalist Fools

Behind the debate over remaking U.S. financial policy will be a debate over who’s to blame. It’s crucial to get the history right, writes a Nobel-laureate economist, identifying five key mistakes—under Reagan, Clinton, and Bush II—and one national delusion.

What were the critical decisions that led to the crisis? Mistakes were made at every fork in the road—we had what engineers call a “system failure,” when not a single decision but a cascade of decisions produce a tragic result. Let’s look at five key moments.

TVNL Comment: This article omits the biggest scam at the heart of all of our economic problems...the creation of the Federal Reserve. Private, for profit bankers were given charge of our money system. In essence they made money itself a for profit business. You can not earn money...you have to BUY their money!

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ISI's VIDEO: Hamid Gul"Mumbai an Inside Job"1/3

New Law Prevents U.S. Tax Dollars From Funding Use of Child Soldiers Abroad

Congress passed a bill that restricts U.S. funding that fuels one of the world's most brutal forms of child exploitation.

Currently, an estimated quarter of a million children serve as soldiers for government forces, paramilitaries and rebel groups around the world. In the past year, American tax dollars funded military assistance to six governments who use children to fight in their armed forces. The Child Soldier Prevention Act, which Congress passed today as part of a larger human trafficking bill, threatens to cut several types of U.S. military assistance to countries that continue to enlist or force children into their ranks.
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EPA Drops Rules Easing Controls on Power Plants

Six weeks before leaving office, the Bush administration is giving up on an effort to ease restrictions on pollution from coal-burning power plants, a key plank of its original energy agenda and one that put the president at odds with environmentalists his entire eight years in the White House.

President George W. Bush had hoped to make both changes to air pollution regulations final before leaving office on Jan. 20. In the midst of a coal-fired power plant construction boom, the rules would have made it easier for energy companies to expand existing facilities and to erect new power plants in areas of the country that meet air quality standards.

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The 1962 Vatican Document on Clergy Sexual Abuse

The 1962 Vatican document detailing the official position and way to deal with sexual abuse by the clergy. It is a policy of secrecy and cover-up.

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