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Saturday, Aug 23rd

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Jury acquits former Marine in killing of Iraqis

A former Marine accused of killing unarmed Iraqi detainees was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter Thursday in a first-of-its-kind federal trial.

The jury took six hours to find Jose Luis Nazario Jr. not guilty of charges that he killed or caused others to kill four unarmed detainees on Nov. 9, 2004, in Fallujah, Iraq, during some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

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New Evidence Contradicts Official Explanation for U.S. Spy Satellite Shoot-Down

Newly released documents show that officials knew a satellite falling towards Earth posed no threat.

When the Pentagon ordered a Navy ship to shoot down a crippled U.S. spy satellite last February, it claimed the operation was necessary to prevent a harmful fuel from being dispersed in the atmosphere. At the time, critics charged that the Bush administration was using the toxic fuel as an excuse to demonstrate missile-defense and antisatellite capabilities.

Now, there is new evidence that the critics were very likely right.

TVNL Comment: Is anyone counting the lies? The Bush administration has lied about everything. I can not think of a single example where they were honest. Not one.

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WHO study backs universal health care

Major inequalities in health and life expectancy persist worldwide, according to an independent World Health Organization commission which on Thursday called for all countries to offer universal health care.

"The health inequities we see in the world are absolutely dramatic in their scale," Michael Marmot, a WHO health researcher, who chaired the commission, told reporters.

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Private contractors hold lots of US intel jobs

More than a quarter of the U.S. intelligence agencies' employees are outside contractors, hired to fill in gaps in the military and civilian work force, according to a survey of the 16 intelligence agencies.

Of that number, 27 percent of the contractors engage in intelligence collection and operations, 19 percent conduct analysis and produce reports, and 22 percent work on information technology. Another 19 percent are in support and management positions, with a small number in research and development and other activities.

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Halliburton subsidiary KBR sued for forcing Nepalese workers to Iraq

One of America's biggest military contractors is being sued by a Nepali labourer and the families of a dozen other employees who say they were taken against their will to work in Iraq. All but one of the Nepalese workers were subsequently kidnapped and murdered.

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Calories come off and lights come on

As Adam Boesel pedals an exercise bike, he sends power to a generator that converts his workout calories into electricity. Across the room in his small eco-friendly gym are half a dozen energy-efficient treadmills. On the roof, solar arrays gather more natural energy.

In Boesel's new gym, people will not only slim their waistlines, they will also shrink their carbon footprint.

Welcome to people-powered exercise for a small planet.

Boesel says the Green Microgym -- which is to open Friday in the eclectic Alberta Arts district of northeast Portland -- is the first fitness center in the country to use solar power as well as human-powered cycling and cardio machines to generate renewable energy.

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Judge fears secret hearings over Guantanamo Bay

A federal judge overseeing cases against dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainees said Wednesday that he fears the public — and the detainees themselves — will be locked out of the courtroom when evidence in the case is scrutinized for the first time.

Hundreds of detainees are awaiting hearings in a Washington federal court in the coming months to determine whether they were properly labeled enemy combatants and imprisoned without being charged.

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Families of Nepalese workers killed in Iraq sue KBR

KBR Inc and its Jordanian contractor are being sued for human trafficking by a Nepalese survivor and the families of 12 other employees who were killed while being transported, allegedly against their will, to work in a U.S. military base in Iraq.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, says military contractor KBR and Daoud & Partners recruited the men in Nepal by promising them jobs at a luxury hotel in Amman, Jordan, but instead sent them to Iraq where all but one were kidnapped and killed.

The 12 victims had their passports confiscated by Daoud representatives, and were kidnapped from an unprotected convoy by Islamic militants and killed in 2004, according to the suit filed in Los Angeles.

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US warning to court in alleged torture case

The US state department yesterday warned that disclosure of secret information in the case of a British resident said to have been tortured before he was sent to Guantánamo Bay would cause "serious and lasting damage" to security relations between the countries.

Stephen Mathias, a legal adviser to the department, also claimed that the "national security of the UK" would be affected by disclosure of the details of the detention and interrogation of Binyam Mohamed, 30, who is accused of conspiring with al-Qaida.

Lawyers for the Ethiopian national have been arguing in the high court that they should have access to details of his interrogation from the time he was detained in 2002 until he was taken to Guantánamo Bay - where he is still held - in 2004. Mohamed claims that he was tortured by, among other methods, having his penis cut with a razor blade.

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