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Friday, Oct 24th

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A Puzzle Over Prisoners as Iraqis Take Control

America’s largest detention facility is here in Iraq’s southern desert, and it sits at the center of one of the most complex debates in the transition from American military rule to full Iraqi sovereignty: what to do with the 5,000 Iraqi prisoners whom the United States military considers a threat to the hard-fought and still fragile calm in Iraq?

Less clear, however, is what will happen to those already in detention — about 17,000 people in all. 

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ES&S Touch-Screen Votes Now Flipping in TX Too! Obama/DNC Attorneys Still AWOL!

With every incident so far reported of touch-screen vote-flipping during early voting in this year's general election --- from county to county in WV and in Nashville TN) --- it's been the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machine that has failed, flipping votes from one candidate to another not chosen by the voter. In most instances, it's been an attempted Democratic vote, flipped to a Republican, or another party.

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Life Expectancy Drops To 69.3 Years In The US

What is the average life expectancy of Americans? For a long time it has been the low seventies for men and upper seventies for women. So it comes as a shock to learn that the average life expectancy for Americans has dropped to 69.3 years, according to the America's Health Rankings report, issued at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting.

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Iraq's prime minister won't sign U.S. troop deal

Fearing political division in the parliament and in his country, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki won't sign the just-completed agreement on the status of U.S. forces in Iraq, a leading lawmaker said Friday.

The new accord's demise would be a major setback for the Bush administration, which has been seeking to establish a legal basis for the extended presence of the 151,000 U.S. troops in this country, and for Iraq, which won notable concessions in the draft accord reached a week ago.

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New Allegations in Mahoney Sex Scandal

Last week, following a series of reports on The Blotter, Mahoney confirmed that he had hired one of his mistresses for his Congressional staff and that he was also carrying on an affair with a Florida county official who sought his help with a federal grant.

But a document obtained by ABC News reveals new allegations of threatening behavior and sexual harassment toward a female staffer, that go far beyond Mahoney's public confession, including claims that he urged one of his mistresses to serve as a "tease" for big donors.

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2 greenhouse gases on the rise worry scientists

Carbon dioxide isn't the only greenhouse gas that worries climate scientists. Airborne levels of two other potent gases — one from ancient plants, the other from flat-panel screen technology — are on the rise, too. And that's got scientists concerned about accelerated global warming.

The gases are methane and nitrogen trifluoride. Both pale in comparison to the global warming effects of carbon dioxide, produced by the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels.

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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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