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Saturday, Nov 01st

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Best-Selling Cholesterol Drugs Found Ineffective

Three million people worldwide are taking the new, heavily advertised anti-cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin, despite a lack of clinical evidence that they reduce cardiovascular disease or heart attacks, or help patients live longer. Vytorin and Zetia brought in $5.2 billion last year for Merck and Schering-Plough, placing them among the best-selling drugs in the world. The Food and Drug Administration approves many drugs based on whether they perform a specific action, like lowering cholesterol, without requiring long-term trials on whether they extend life or lower disease risks. Other FDA-approved drugs have been found to be ineffective or even dangerous.

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Another Alternative Energy Inventor Killed?

A man by the name of Stefan Nystrom invented a way to generate energy from ocean waves that he claims would cost 5% of what coal energy does.

In his last call, he asked me to make his technology public. So, here below is a description of his technology. Would people please pass it on and would as many people, in a tribute to a man who has probably been killed by mercenaries hired by the oil industry, and make sure that prototypes are developed.

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Concerns Linger Over Safety Of Chemical Used in Baby Bottles

Government experts on Wednesday released a final report on the safety of a chemical used in plastic baby bottles, saying they have "some concern" the chemical is linked to health and developmental problems.

The chemical, bisphenol-A, or BPA, makes plastic hard and shatterproof, and is used in hundreds of consumer products from plastic baby bottles to CDs.

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Blair's sister in law stranded in Gaza

The sister in law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says she is among four foreign activists blocked from leaving the Gaza Strip by Israel and Egypt.

Lauren Booth says she has been trying to leave Gaza since Friday. But she says she has been turned away at Israeli and Egyptian
border crossings.

Booth was among 46 international protesters who sailed into Gaza on August 23 in defiance of an Israeli blockade.

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Major ice-shelf loss for Canada

The ice shelves in Canada's High Arctic have lost a colossal area this year, scientists report.

The floating tongues of ice attached to Ellesmere Island, which have lasted for thousands of years, have seen almost a quarter of their cover break away

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A Disappointing Finish for Americans at Education Olympics

The United States won the most medals of any country at the summer Olympic Games in Beijing, but it turned in a dismal performance at the Education Olympics. Americans took home only one medal from those games, for an embarrassing 20th-place finish, ahead of only Germany, Hungary, and Iceland. The top medal winners across all 58 education events were Finland (35 medals), Hong Kong (33 medals), and Singapore (16 medals).

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Pre-Emptive Strikes Against Protest at RNC

In the months leading up to the Republican National Convention, the FBI-led Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force actively recruited people to infiltrate vegan groups and other leftist organizations and report back about their activities. On May 21, the Minneapolis City Pages ran a recruiting story called "Moles Wanted." Law enforcement sought to pre-empt lawful protest against the policies of the Bush administration during the convention.

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Those who are tasked to police this democracy are blinded by confetti

The real problem with the Bush years is not so much what he did but that America's political class enabled him to do it

Under George Bush the US has tortured, disenfranchised, lied, spied and, on more than one occasion, flouted its own constitution. Those who would not go along were fired or demoted. Those rulings it could not garner support for it simply classified or hid. Those inquiries it could not prevent it thwarted. When Major General Antonio Taguba tried to pursue his investigation of Abu Ghraib up the chain of command he was stopped. "I was legally prevented from further investigation into higher authority," he told the New Yorker.

Its violation of international law is ultimately a matter for the international community. But its violation of American laws is a matter for the American public. However, it is now clear that the political consequences of these transgressions will range from negligible to non-existent. The Bush administration should be led away in handcuffs - either indicted or impeached. Instead it is about to leave the scene of the crime in broad daylight while those tasked to police this democracy - notably politicians and the press - blind themselves with confetti. 

Such are the lasting consequences of Bush's crooked tenure. Casting him as inept and unethical is not difficult. He is the most unpopular president for six decades. Some have been loathed more - but none by so many for so long. But understanding how he managed to do it demands a wider lens.

For he could not do it alone. The US is not an elected dictatorship. The president is supposed to stand at the helm of a system of checks and balances. The reason there was no balance was because there were no checks. The real problem with the Bush years is not so much that he did what he did, but that he managed to gain the consent of America's political class in enabling him to do it. His political estrangement is not because he tried, only because he failed. 

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Prescription Drugs More Deadly Than Cocaine, Heroin, Amphetamines

The bottom line: the rate of deaths in Florida caused by prescription drugs is over three times as high as the rate of deaths caused by all illicit drugs combined.

The study shows 2,328 Floridians died of opiate, or painkiller, overdoses while another 743 lost their lives from over-consuming benzodiazepines, which include the drugs Valium and Xanax. On the other hand, about a third less number of people, 989, died of overdoses from illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine ("speed").

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