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Saturday, Oct 25th

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Child labor going largely unchecked

Decades after the enactment of regulations designed to prevent such tragedies, thousands of youths still get hurt on American jobs deemed unsafe for young workers. On a typical day, more than 400 juvenile workers are injured on the job. Once every 10 days, on average, a worker under the age of 18 is killed, federal statistics show. added

Enforcement has waned, despite new evidence that many employers are ignoring child labor laws. U.S. Department of Labor investigations have dropped by nearly half since fiscal year 2000.

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Bush Spy Revelations Anticipated When Obama Is Sworn In

When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20, Americans won't just get a new president; they might finally learn the full extent of George W. Bush's warrantless domestic wiretapping.

Since the New York Times first revealed in 2005 that the NSA was eavesdropping on citizen's overseas phone calls and e-mails, few additional details about the massive "Terrorist Surveillance Program" have emerged. That's because the Bush Administration has stonewalled, misled and denied documents to Congress, and subpoenaed the phone records of the investigative reporters.

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Documents linking Iran to nuclear weapons push may have been fabricated

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has obtained evidence suggesting that documents which have been described as technical studies for a secret Iranian nuclear weapons-related research program may have been fabricated.

The documents in question were acquired by U.S. intelligence in 2004 from a still unknown source -- most of them in the form of electronic files allegedly stolen from a laptop computer belonging to an Iranian researcher. The US has based much of its push for sanctions against Iran on these documents.

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Pentagon board says cuts essential

A senior Pentagon advisory group, in a series of bluntly worded briefings, is warning President-elect Barack Obama that the Defense Department's current budget is "not sustainable," and he must scale back or eliminate some of the military's most prized weapons programs.

The briefings were prepared by the Defense Business Board, an internal management oversight body. It contends that the nation's recent financial crisis makes it imperative that the Pentagon and Congress slash some of the nation's most costly and troubled weapons to ensure they can finance the military's most pressing priorities.

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Obama Planning US Trials for Guantanamo Detainees

President-elect Obama's advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice.

During his campaign, Obama described Guantanamo as a "sad chapter in American history" and has said generally that the U.S. legal system is equipped to handle the detainees. But he has offered few details on what he planned to do once the facility is closed.

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Barak seeks OK to hit residential areas

Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on the government on Sunday to examine ways of approving IDF action against residential areas in Gaza from which rockets are fired at Israel.

Speaking during the weekly cabinet meeting, Barak said many rockets were fired from the vicinity of residential homes and schools, precluding an Israeli response due to fear of harming civilians. 

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Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Identify Bank Loans

he Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.

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A Quiet Windfall For U.S. Banks

The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.

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Secret Order Lets U.S. Raid Al Qaeda in Many Countries

The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials.

These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.

TVNL Comment: Nowhere is "Al Qaeda" defined.

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