The struggling companies whose freewheeling business practices have contributed to the country's economic woes are getting a lucrative return on at least one of their investments. Beneficiaries of the $700 billion bailout package in the finance and automotive industries have spent a total of $114.2 million on lobbying in the past year and contributions toward the 2008 election, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has found. The companies' political activities have, in part, yielded them $305.2 billion from the federal government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), an extraordinary return of 267,208 percent.
The video is one of dozens brought to viewers around the world by Maj. Alayne Conway, the top public affairs officer for the 3rd Infantry Division. When her unit was in Iraq, her office sent out four to six videos a day to media outlets around the world, as well as posting them on YouTube.
"You want to make sure you edit it in the right way," Conway said. "You have to go through the steps. ... Is this something that is going to make Joe Six-Pack look up from his TV dinner or his fast-food meal and look up at the TV and say, 'Wow, the American troops are kicking butt in Iraq?'"
Experts have struggled since the 2001 attacks to find standards to define post-Sept. 11 illness and the time it would take to develop. The city's medical examiner recently added to the official victims' list a man who died in October of cancer and lung disease, citing his exposure to the dust cloud that enveloped the city when the 110-story towers collapsed.
Mount Sinai's program has treated more than 26,000 people who were at the site or worked there in the days after Sept. 11, but the study's authors noted that participants asked to be enrolled in the program and may be more symptomatic than others who were exposed but didn't enroll.
TVNL Comment: Count me as one of the people suffering from post 9/11 lung problems. Jesse Richard, Editor - TvNewsLIES.org.
A Lebanese ship carrying aid for Gaza was stopped by the Israeli navy and is being escorted into port, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak says.
Earlier, officials in Lebanon said Israeli gunboats had fired on the ship before soldiers boarded it, although Israel denied this.
The Palestinian doctor became a symbol of the Gaza offensive after he captivated Israeli TV viewers with a sobbing live report on the death of his three daughters in Israeli shelling.
On Wednesday, Israel's military said its troops were fired on from nearby and called the mistaken identification of people in his house as combatants "reasonable."
Why a Defense Contractor's Seemingly Mundane Decision Has Iraqi Interpreters Fearing for Their Lives
Local interpreters at U.S. bases throughout Iraq are threatening to resign if their American contractor, Global Linguistic Solutions insists on turning over their personal information to Iraqi authorities.
On Dec. 23, GLS informed local interpreters that the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), due to go into effect on Jan. 1, required them to withhold 20 percent of the pay of local interpreters for taxes and social security. They also insisted that the interpreters provide detailed personal information on themselves and their family members that would be turned over to the Ministry of Finance.
Binyam Mohamed, a British resident held at the American base, has launched a legal challenge in the High Court in London for documents detailing his treatment to be made public.
However, two judges ruling on the case said that David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, had advised that releasing the documents could lead to America withdrawing intelligence co-operation.
Harry Markopolos, a former investment manager who warned U.S. regulators about Bernard Madoff, criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission and said on Wednesday that Madoff had help in running his alleged $50 billion fraud.
Markopolos told Congress that the SEC staff was neither willing nor able to uncover what Madoff, accused of having run the world's biggest Ponzi scheme, was really doing. He also said that he knows the names of a dozen other so-called feeder funds that helped Madoff raise money from pension funds and wealthy investors and that he would turn these over to regulators this week.
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