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Thursday, Jul 30th

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The Groundwork Has Already Been Laid for Martial Law

During his two terms in office, George W. Bush stepped outside the boundaries of the Constitution and assembled an amazing toolbox of powers that greatly increased the authority of the Executive branch and the reach of the federal government.

Bush expanded presidential power to, among other things, allow government agents to secretly open the private mail of American citizens; authorize government agents to secretly, and illegally, listen in on the phone calls of American citizens and read our e-mails; assume control of the federal government following a "catastrophic event"; and declare martial law.

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Columbia Journalism School professor: ‘F*ck new media.’

New York Magazine notes that at Columbia University, one of the nation’s top journalism schools, many professors are advocating a “more significant shift” to new media instruction, with one suggesting that students learn about live-blogging. But they’re up against professors like Ari Goldman, who believe new media is completely irrelevant. In fact, on the first day of his class, “Research and Writing 1,” Goldman told students, “F*ck new media“:

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Raped and killed for being a lesbian: South Africa ignores 'corrective' attacks

The partially clothed body of Eudy Simelane, former star of South Africa's acclaimed Banyana Banyana national female football squad, was found in a creek in a park in Kwa Thema, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Simelane had been gang-raped and brutally beaten before being stabbed 25 times in the face, chest and legs. As well as being one of South Africa's best-known female footballers, Simelane was a voracious equality rights campaigner and one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian in Kwa Thema.

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Group finds carcinogens in bath products

Many children's bath products contain chemicals that may cause cancer and skin allergies, according to a report released Thursday by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Twenty-three of 28 products tested contained formaldehyde, the report says. Formaldehyde — considered a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, — is released as preservatives break down over time in a container

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Final Gaza toll shows 960 civilians killed

Israel's 22-day offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip killed 1,434 people, including 960 civilians, 239 police officers and 235 fighters, a Palestinian human rights group said on Thursday.

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Ban Bush From Canada, Says Lawyer

As George W. Bush’s St. Patrick’s Day visit to Alberta draws near, the federal government is facing pressure from activists and human rights lawyers to bar the former U.S. president from the country or prosecute him for war crimes and crimes against humanity once he steps on Canadian soil.

Lemieux is hopeful that Bush will eventually be prosecuted. “Do I think that it’s going to happen very soon? No,” she says. “But I think that it’s very important that we keep the pressure up…. We have to make it clear that there’s accountability.”

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Amazon could shrink by 85% due to climate change, scientists say

Global warming will wreck attempts to save the Amazon rainforest, according to a devastating new study which predicts that one-third of its trees will be killed by even modest temperature rises.

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Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes 'executive assassination ring'

At a “Great Conversations” event at the University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an “executive assassination ring.”

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People convicted in the Abramoff lobbying scandal

Among the lawmakers, lobbyists, Bush administration officials, congressional staffers and businessmen caught up in the Jack Abramoff public corruption probe:

Abramoff was sentenced in September 2008 to four years in prison on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion. Since pleading guilty in 2006, the once-powerful lobbyist has cooperated with the federal investigation of influence-peddling in Washington. He is nearly two years into a six-year prison sentence in a criminal case out of Florida, where he pleaded guilty in January 2006 to charges of conspiracy, honest services fraud and tax evasion in the purchase of gambling cruise boats.

Seventeen more convictions no one hears about....

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