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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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EBay to ban sales of ivory goods

EBay has announced a worldwide ban on the sale of ivory products on its auction websites from next year.

An eBay spokesman said the move was the best way to help African and Asian elephants. The endangered animals are often hunted for their ivory tusks.

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High-Priced Chemotherapy Treatments Bankrupting Families for a Few Months of Low-Quality "Life"

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) will soon encourage doctors to discuss the financial costs of chemotherapy as one of the side effects that patients should consider in deciding which treatment to proceed with, or whether to use treatment at all.

The price of cancer drugs is rising at a rate of 15 percent per year, in particular as new and expensive biotechnology drugs hit the market. Some of these drugs may cost $100,000 or more for a course of treatment.

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Bush Decides to Keep Guantánamo Open

Despite his stated desire to close the American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, President Bush has decided not to do so, and never considered proposals drafted in the State Department and the Pentagon that outlined options for transferring the detainees elsewhere, according to senior administration officials.

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Expanded GI Bill Too Late for Some

The new GI Bill passed by Congress over the summer, which dramatically expands veterans benefits, was lauded as a sign that the country was looking after this generation of warriors. But don't extol its virtues to Grey Adkins, who served two tours with the Navy off the coast of Iraq, is $10,000 in debt and won't see a dime of the new benefits.

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EPA has been overstating penalties against polluters, congressional investigators say

Accounting practices at the Environmental Protection Agency have helped mask how much the Bush administration has slashed penalties against polluters, according to congressional investigators.

A Government Accountability Office report to be released Tuesday says the agency has overstated its enforcement of environmental violations to the public and to Congress by including fines that may never be paid when it tallies penalties.

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U.S. gives Iraq $13 million to fix looted museum

The U.S. government has announced a $13 million grant mainly to help refurbish Iraq's National Museum which was looted in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, U.S. officials said Monday.

U.S. forces came under widespread criticism in the immediate aftermath of the invasion for failing to prevent the looting of priceless relics from the museum, even while troops were dispatched to secure other sites such as the Oil Ministry.

More than 15,000 artefacts went missing from the museum during the looting, about 6,000 of which have been returned.

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