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Wednesday, Jul 23rd

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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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US diluted loan rules before crash

The Bush administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some of the same banks that have now failed. It ignored remarkably prescient warnings that foretold the financial meltdown, according to an Associated Press review of regulatory documents.

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Pentagon to Detail Troops to Bolster Domestic Security

The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department's role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.

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Press and "Psy Ops" to merge at NATO Afghan HQ: sources

The U.S. general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan has ordered a merger of the office that releases news with "Psy Ops," which deals with propaganda, a move that goes against the alliance's policy, three officials said.

The move has worried Washington's European NATO allies -- Germany has already threatened to pull out of media operations in Afghanistan -- and the officials said it could undermine the credibility of information released to the public.

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