Monday, Aug 03rd

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Benefit and Doubt in Vaccine Additive

Wealthy nations have contracted for much of the expected pandemic vaccine production, leaving little for poorer countries. But while Canada and some European nations will use vaccines containing adjuvants, American officials have decided against it for now. They say that they have enough vaccine and that the safety of the additives has not been proved.


U.S. prosecutors vie for September 11 plotter trials

Federal prosecutors in New York, Washington and Virginia are vying to try the accused plotters of the September 11 attacks if their cases are moved into U.S. civilian courts, the chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo war crimes court said.

The Obama administration said last week it would decide by November 16 whether to try Guantanamo prisoners in a revised version of the much-maligned military tribunals or in regular civilian courts.


TVNL Comment: The farce begins. Why are these prosecutors not going after Dick Cheney?  Just asking....

The placebo problem Big Pharma's desperate to solve

True, many test subjects treated with the medication felt their hopelessness and anxiety lift. But so did nearly the same number who took a placebo, a look-alike pill made of milk sugar or another inert substance given to groups of volunteers in clinical trials to gauge how much more effective the real drug is by comparison. The fact that taking a faux drug can powerfully improve some people's health - the so-called placebo effect - has long been considered an embarrassment to the serious practice of pharmacology.

The fact that an increasing number of medications are unable to beat sugar pills has thrown the industry into crisis. The stakes could hardly be higher.


Why haven't any Wall Street tycoons been sent to the slammer?

More than a year into the gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression, millions of Americans have seen their home values and retirement savings plunge and their jobs evaporate.

What they haven't seen are any Wall Street tycoons forced to swap their multi-million dollar jobs and custom-made suits for dishwashing and prison stripes.


Hazardous Waste and History Mix On D.C. Tour

The manicured lawns and beautiful brick homes that line the streets of Spring Valley look like those in most affluent District neighborhoods.

But the area looked much different during World War I, when the Army was using it as a testing ground for chemical weapons.On Sunday, visitors on a tour of the neighborhood heard how, 90 years after scientists ended their experiments, the remnants of toxic munitions remain.


Maybe Israel just needs to acknowledge Palestinian pain

These 1948 questions are even knottier and more sensitive than the 1967 ones: among them, whether Palestinians can at last come to terms with what was established in that fateful year, namely Israel as a Jewish state, and whether Israelis can at last acknowledge the impact of that event on Palestinians, including the creation of at least 700,000 Palestinian refugees.


Internally Displaced Iraqis Lack Basic Needs

A report by the International Organization for Migration finds most of the 1.6 million Iraqis who were forced to flee their homes in the wake of the 2006 bombing of the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra still lack the most basic needs. IOM surveyed nearly 224,000 internally displaced families in Iraq's 18 governorates.

It has been 3.5 years since the bombing of the mosque triggered one of the worst displacement crises in recent times. Although security in Iraq has improved during this time, apparently the lives of most of these homeless people have not.


CIA expanding presence in Afghanistan

The CIA is deploying teams of spies, analysts and paramilitary operatives to Afghanistan, part of a broad intelligence "surge" that will make its station there among the largest in the agency's history, U.S. officials say.

When complete, the CIA's presence in the country is expected to rival the size of its massive stations in Iraq and Vietnam at the height of those wars. Precise numbers are classified, but one U.S. official said the agency already has nearly 700 employees in Afghanistan.


Firm agrees Ivory Coast waste payouts

An oil trading firm has agreed to pay more than $46m (£28m) compensation to people in Ivory Coast who say they were made ill by dumped waste in 2006.

Trafigura, with offices in London, Amsterdam and Geneva, said 30,000 people will each receive $1,546 (£950). The money is in addition to the nearly $200m that the company paid the Ivorian government in 2007.


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