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Wednesday, Aug 20th

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Security fears 'erode free press'

Security worries can erode freedoms even in democratic nations and undermine press freedom, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says. The warning comes as the group publishes its annual 173-nation index of press freedom around the world.

RSF cited poor rankings by the US and Israel, and called for US political leaders to improve its situation

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Agencies Counted Big Firms As Small

U.S. government agencies made at least $5 billion in mistakes in their recent reports of contracts awarded to small businesses, with many claiming credit for awards to companies that long ago outgrew the designation or never qualified in the first place, a Washington Post analysis shows.

The Post examined a sampling of the $89 billion in contracts the agencies classified as small-business awards, which help them satisfy a congressional mandate to award nearly a fourth of all government work to small firms.

In the data The Post analyzed, federal agencies counted Lockheed Martin and its subsidiaries as "small" on 207 contracts worth $143 million. Dell Computer, a Fortune 500 company, was listed as a small business on $89 million in contracts.

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Tokyo demands action on climate change

Tokyo's outspoken governor berated national leaders on Wednesday for their "foolish" failure to halt global warming as the world's biggest cities met to plan action on the climate.

Mayors or senior officials from 36 of the world's largest cities were gathering for two days of talks in Tokyo on how to fight global warming in the latest meeting of the so-called C40 climate initiative.

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, in an opening address, lashed out at Russia and the United States for disputing rights to the North Pole, noting that the polar ice cap was melting at a record pace.

"Such is the ego of human beings. It's such a foolish tale," Ishihara said.

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Is Chinese Pulse Diagnosis the Key to Preventive Medicine?

Hammer has played the leading role in introducing pulse diagnosis, which has thousands of years of history in China, to the West. Modernized to incorporate the ills of the post-industrial age, contemporary Chinese pulse diagnosis (CCPD) enables practitioners to identify an extraordinary range of states -- mental, spiritual, emotional and physical -- simply by feeling a person's pulse. A typical session costs $50 to $100.

Pulse diagnosis can also find trouble before symptoms arise. So Hammer and other CCPD practitioners -- who only number in the hundreds in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand -- say that along with modern medical technology, acupuncture, herbs, exercise and a good diet, it's a crucial part of effective preventive medicine

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The monster that eats the world!

"If the people allow private banks to control their currency the banks and corporations will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." - Thomas Jefferson

Discuss...

From London, a rebuke to U.S. approach on terrorism

Two senior British counterterrorism officials have in recent days criticized the United States for what they described as its overly militaristic approach to fighting terrorism and warned of a further erosion of civil liberties.

One of the officials, Dame Stella Rimington, a former head of the country's domestic intelligence agency, said that she hoped the next American president "would stop using the phrase 'war on terror."' She also said there had been a "huge overreaction" to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

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ACLU Demands Information On Military Deployment Within U.S. Borders

The American Civil Liberties Union today demanded information from the government about reports that an active military unit has been deployed inside the U.S. to help with "civil unrest" and "crowd control" – matters traditionally handled by civilian authorities. This deployment jeopardizes the longstanding separation between civilian and military government, and the public has a right to know where and why the unit has been deployed, according to an ACLU Freedom of Information request filed today.

"The military's deployment within U.S. borders raises critical questions that must be answered," said Jonathan Hafetz, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. "What is the unit's mission? What functions will it perform? And why was it necessary to deploy the unit rather than rely on civilian agencies and personnel and the National Guard?

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Concerns about deployment of military on U.S. soil growing -- while mainstream media buries its head in the sand: Naomi Wolf

The following is the spin of military spokespeople in response to questions about the deployment of the First Brigade on US soil for the first time in over 200 years.  

The Army Times initially reported that the First Brigade would handle domestic crowd control and subduing 'unruly individuals' and that they had 'lethal and nonlethal technologies' to do so. Then it issued a correction declaring that the 'nonlethal' package was not for domestic crowd control. Then after a hue and cry was raised by many citizens, Northern Command (NorthCom) offered a wholesale revision of their mission – and the mainstream media is eating it up. Here is an excerpt from the articled linked to in the previous sentence:

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U.S. drops charges against 5 detainees

The Pentagon said Tuesday it has dropped war-crimes charges against five Guantanamo Bay detainees after the former prosecutor in their cases complained that the military was withholding evidence helpful to the defense.

None of the men will be freed
, and the military said it could reinstate charges later.

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