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Friday, Oct 31st

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Special Counsel Bloch Resigns Under Pressure

The OSC is supposed to be a haven for federal whistleblowers and disgruntled employees. But the tables turned under Bloch, who previously worked at the Justice Department's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Bloch came under fire shortly after joining the whistleblower unit in 2004. Employees claimed that he engaged in political bias and improperly handled scores of cases.

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Guantanamo guards struggle with hunger striker

Three years ago, the man known as Internment Serial Number 669 stopped eating. Ahmed Zaid Zuhair, a father of 10 children in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, had been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 without charges and decided to join a mass hunger strike in protest. The U.S. military was determined not to let him succeed.

Since then, according to court documents reviewed by The Associated Press, guards have struggled with him repeatedly, at least once using pepper spray, shackles and brute force to drag him to a restraint chair for his twice-daily dose of a liquid nutrition mix force-fed through his nose.

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Iraqi Army Headcount Still Unclear Despite Millions Paid to Private Contractor

Nobody, in fact, is exactly sure how many Iraqis are actually on duty -- partly due to problems with a government contract designed to count the soldiers, according to a recent audit.

As a result, five years into the war, the U.S. still doesn't know how many Iraqis stand ready to defend their country.

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Iraq vets and post-traumatic stress: No easy answers

Hyper-vigilance is one common symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD, an anxiety disorder, can develop after a terrifying or life-threatening event, or a series of events causing extreme stress.

Nearly 20 percent -- or one in five returning war veterans -- reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression. But, only slightly more than half of them sought treatment, the study found. 

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Elections USA: Do They Matter?

The real point of elections is to get enough people voting to legitimize the authority of politicians. Then, they can drag us into wars, bail out bankers in the middle of an economic meltdown, and “earmark” tax dollars to their biggest donors. It happens at every level of government, from City Hall to the White House.

It’s true. Big bucks dictate the agendas of both parties. In 2008, Obama and McCain will set new records for spending —over a half billion dollars. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, champions of banking and investment deregulation, are top donors to Obama and Biden, a darling of credit card sharks. Exxon and Chevron back McCain and Palin, a proselytizer for drilling in the Alaska Wildlife Refuge.

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Why did the NSA classify 'public' report on wiretaps?

When Congress passed a landmark electronic-spying bill last summer, the measure included a key provision that ordered the inspectors general of U.S. intelligence agencies to produce the first-ever public report on President Bush's warrantless-surveillance program.

The report isn't due until next July—long after Bush leaves office.

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Ex-generals: Review Bush's detention authority

Former generals and U.S. Justice Department officials filed briefs Thursday urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Bush administration's authority to indefinitely detain the only suspected enemy combatant held on U.S. soil.

"This unprecedented expansion of executive authority within the borders of the United States is not only at odds with more than 200 years of history, but it is wholly unnecessary," argued former judges and officials, including former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and former FBI Director William Sessions. "The federal government is eminently capable of both protecting our nation's security and safeguarding our proud tradition of civil liberties."

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Darpa Wants to See Inside Your House

The ultimate goal of this Harnessing Infrastructure for Building Reconnaissance (HIBR) project: "reverse the adversaries' advantage of urban familiarity and sanctuary and provide U.S. Forces with complete above- and below-ground awareness."

By the end of the project, Darpa wants a set of technologies that can see into a 10-story building with a two-level basement in a "high-density urban block" -- and produce a kind of digital blueprint of the place.

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Health & Wellness The Biggest Breast Cancer Risk Factor That No One Is Talking About

The scientific study that found "radiation is the only known cause of breast cancer in mice" was conducted at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, home of the Manhattan Project -- the World War II atomic bomb development project which produced the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs -- and where they have been studying the biological/environmental effects of radiation for 68 years. After billions of dollars in research funds, however, they could never identify the cause of breast cancer in women.

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