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Saturday, Apr 19th

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Military contractor in Iraq holds foreign workers in warehouses

About 1,000 Asian men who were hired by a Kuwaiti subcontractor to the U.S. military have been confined for as long as three months in windowless warehouses near the Baghdad airport without money or a place to work.

Najlaa International Catering Services, a subcontractor to KBR, an engineering, construction and services company, hired the men, who're from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. On Tuesday, they staged a march outside their compound to protest their living conditions.

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Generic Heart Drugs as Good as Brand-Name Counterparts

Brand-name drugs used to treat cardiovascular disease are no better than generics, a new review of available evidence shows.

Yet a number of editorials in medical journals, written by specialists, have urged against substituting the less expensive generics for their designer counterparts.

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UN concerned over treatment of Iraqi detainees

The United Nations expressed concern Tuesday about overcrowding and "grave human rights violations" of detainees in Iraqi custody - in one case, 123 men crammed into a single cell.

The warning comes as the U.S. prepares to turn over control to the Iraqis of thousands of security detainees in its custody under a new security pact that would end the U.S. mission here by 2012.

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TVNL Comment: Heckuva job, UN. Where've you been for the last six and a half years?   

TV, Internet Causing Kids Harm: Report

There's a strong link between media exposure and childhood obesity, smoking and sexual activity, according to U.S. researchers who reviewed 173 studies on media and health conducted over the past three decades.

According to the review, 80 percent of the studies concluded that higher amounts of television and other media exposure were associated with negative health effects in children and adolescents. The strongest association was between media and obesity. Of the 73 studies that examined media/childhood weight, 86 percent showed a significant association between increased media exposure and obesity.

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Dozens hurt as Hebron settlers, Palestinians clash

The clash was the worst outbreak of violence in the dispute over ownership of a four-story building where settlers have defied an Israeli Supreme Court order to vacate. On Monday, hundreds of right-wing Israelis rushed to the house following rumors that eviction was imminent.

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Guantanamo 'a stain on US military'

The tribunals used for putting suspects on trial at Guantanamo Bay are a "stain on America's military", a former military prosecutor has told the BBC in his first interview since resigning.

For Lt Col Darrel Vandeveld, a devout Catholic, the twin responsibilities of religious faith and military duty led to a profound moral crisis. His resignation has led to charges against six inmates being dropped, at least for now, and called into question the possibility of a fair legal process at Guantanamo.

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Cheney, Gonzales indictments dropped

A judge in Raymondville, Texas has dropped indictments against Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Judge Manuel Banales, after surviving a motion to have him removed from the case, threw out eight of the indictments brought by Willacy County District Attorney Juan Guerra, including those against two special prosecutors, two district judges, and a district clerk.

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Bush: 'I was unprepared for war'

Five years after he declared victory in Iraq on the US aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, President George W. Bush says he was "unprepared" for a war in Iraq that has gone on to claim thousands of American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

"I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess," Bush tells ABC's Charlie Gibson in an interview to be broadcast tonight, and said he didn't know if he'd have gone to war if he didn't think there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"That is a do-over that I can't do," Bush said.

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Luxury Shame

Across America's upper strata, rich folk like Hirtenstein are experiencing an unfamiliar emotion: luxury shame. The late Coco Chanel, doyenne of 20th century fashion, long ago said that luxury is "the opposite of vulgarity," not of poverty. But in these recessionary times, it seems vulgar to flaunt one's luxurious lifestyle. And so the wealthy are going blingless and eschewing the spending sprees of the recent Gilded Age, giving new meaning to the phrase "embarrassment of riches." 

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