TV News LIES

Sunday, Sep 23rd

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U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan are committing atrocities, lying, and getting away with it

"Tied up, gagged and killed" was how NATO described the “gruesome discovery” of three women’s bodies during a night raid in eastern Afghanistan in which several alleged militants were shot dead on Feb. 12.
Hours later they revised the number of women “bound and gagged” to two and announced an enquiry. For more than a month they said nothing more on the matter.

The implication was clear: The dead militants were probably also guilty of the cold-blooded slaughter of helpless women prisoners. NATO said their intelligence had “confirmed militant activity”. As if to reinforce the point, coalition spokesman Brigadier General Eric Tremblay, a Canadian, talked in that second press release of “criminals and terrorists who do not care about the life of civilians”. Only that’s not what happened, at all.

The militants weren’t militants, they were loyal government officials.  The women, according to dozens of interviews with witnesses at the scene, were killed by the raiders. Two of them were pregnant, one was engaged to be married.

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President signs health bill into law

A broadly smiling President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed a historic $938 billion health care overhaul that guarantees coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans and will touch nearly every citizen's life, presiding over the biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s and capping a divisive, yearlong debate that could define the November elections.

Celebrating "a new season in America" - the biggest accomplishment of his White House and one denied to a line of presidents before him - Obama made the massive bill law with an East Room signing ceremony. He was joined by jubilant House and Senate Democrats as well as lesser-known people whose health care struggles have touched the president.

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Whaling: the great betrayal

The moratorium on commercial whaling, one of the environmental movement's greatest achievements, looks likely to be swept away this summer by a new international deal being negotiated behind closed doors.

The new arrangement would legitimise the whaling activities of the three countries which have continued to hunt whales in defiance of the ban – Japan, Norway and Iceland – and would allow commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary set up by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1994.

Conservationists regard it as catastrophic, but fear there is a very real chance of its being accepted at the next IWC meeting in Morocco in June, not least because it is being strongly supported by the US – previously one of whaling's most determined opponents.

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Judge orders detainee abused at Guantanamo to be freed

A federal judge on Monday ordered the Pentagon to release a long-held Mauritanian captive held at Guantanamo Bay who was once considered such a high-value detainee that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld designated him for "special interrogation techniques."

U.S. District Judge James Robertson's ruling was classified, so there was no immediate explanation for why he granted the habeas corpus petition of Mohamedou Slahi, 39. A notation in court files said an unclassified version of the ruling would be made available, but didn't say when.

Slahi is the 34th Guantanamo detainee ordered freed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that detainees could challenge their incarceration in federal court, but his name was already well known because of investigations into detainee abuse.

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Expert questions 'success' with al-Qaida

A defense analyst is warning against overconfidence that joint U.S.-Pakistan efforts against al-Qaida in the Afghan-Pakistan border region have been successful.

"There needs to be caution against over-optimism in relation to President Obama's strategy to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida and their allies," Tim Pippard, consultant to IHS Jane's Strategic Advisory Services, said Monday, "especially in light of continued attempts by affiliate groups and individuals to target the U.S. homeland."

"We shouldn't necessarily view al-Qaida only in the context of its ability to organize and execute attacks," Pippard said. "Assessment must also take into account the group's ability to operate as a strategic visionary and agenda-setter for the broader pan-Islamic movement."

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ACORN disbanding because of money woes, scandal

The once mighty community activist group ACORN announced Monday it is folding amid falling revenues - six months after video footage emerged showing some of its workers giving tax tips to conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute.

"It's really declining revenue in the face of a series of attacks from partisan operatives and right-wing activists that have taken away our ability to raise the resources we need," ACORN spokesman Kevin Whelan said.

Several of its largest affiliates, including ACORN New York and ACORN California, broke away this year and changed their names in a bid to ditch the tarnished image of their parent organization and restore revenue that ran dry in the wake of the video scandal.

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World Water Day: Dirty water kills more people than violence, says UN

Dirty water is killing more people than wars and other violence, the United Nations announced on World Water Day. Almost all dirty water produced in homes, businesses, farms, and factories in developing countries is washed into rivers and seas without being decontaminated.

And up to 60 percent of supplies that have been purified to the point that they are potable are lost through leaky pipes and ill-maintained sewage networks, according to a report released today. Saving half of these lost supplies could give clean water to 90 million people without the need for costly new infrastructure, says the UN.

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U.S. may expand use of its prison in Afghanistan

The White House is considering whether to detain international terrorism suspects at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, senior U.S. officials said, an option that would lead to another prison with the same purpose as Guantanamo Bay, which it has promised to close.

The idea, which would require approval by President Obama, already has drawn resistance from within the government. Army Gen. Stanley A. McCrystal, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and other senior officials strongly oppose it, fearing that expansion of the U.S. detention facility at Bagram air base could make the job of stabilizing the country even tougher.

That the option of detaining suspects captured outside Afghanistan at Bagram is being contemplated reflects a recognition by the Obama administration that it has few other places to hold and interrogate foreign prisoners without giving them access to the U.S. court system, the officials said.

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U-2 Spy Plane Evades the Day of Retirement

The U-2 spy plane, the high-flying aircraft that was often at the heart of cold war suspense, is enjoying an encore.  Four years ago, the Pentagon was ready to start retiring the plane, which took its first test flight in 1955. But Congress blocked that, saying the plane was still useful.

And so it is. Because of updates in the use of its powerful sensors, it has become the most sought-after spy craft in a very different war in Afghanistan. As it shifts from hunting for nuclear missiles to detecting roadside bombs, it is outshining even the unmanned drones in gathering a rich array of intelligence used to fight the Taliban.

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TVNL Comment: And we're waging an undeclared war against the Taliban because...?  Just asking...

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