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Lawmakers, victims' families call to declassify key portion of 9/11 report

9/11 reportFamily members and victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks joined three members of Congress on Wednesday in calling on the Obama administration to declassify portions of a congressional investigation that addresses allegations of possible Saudi government support of the hijackers.

The report, released by a joint panel of the House and Senate intelligence committees in December 2002, contains 28 redacted pages that family members and victims say would shed new light on the hijackings. At the time the report was released, the Bush administration classified the material, but numerous sources reported it dealt with the Saudis.


Psychologist found accused Sept. 11 plotter to be mentally incompetent in 2009

Ramzi BinalshibhA psychologist who examined one of the defendants on trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in connection with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, concluded that the high-value detainee was mentally incompetent, raising questions about his fitness to stand trial, according to individuals familiar with the finding.

For three days in January 2009, Xavier Amador, a professor at Columbia University, interviewed Ramzi Binalshibh, an al-Qaeda operative and protege of alleged Sept. 11 co-conspirator Khalid Sheik Mohammed. He determined that Binalshibh didn’t understand the proceedings against him and suffered from delusions, said one of the individuals who has reviewed the case.


Appeals Court: Saudi Arabia can be named as defendant in suit by 9/11 families

9/11 familiesA New York federal appeals court has restored Saudi Arabia as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by thousands of people affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired a joint congressional inquiry into the attacks, called the ruling a "very significant breakthrough," reported Tuesday.


Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal

WTO treaty- The Obama administration appears to have almost no international support for controversial new trade standards that would grant radical new political powers to corporations, increase the cost of prescription medications and restrict bank regulation, according to two internal memos obtained by The Huffington Post.

The memos, which come from a government involved in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, detail continued disputes in the talks over the deal. The documents reveal broad disagreement over a host of key positions, and general skepticism that an agreement can be reached by year-end. The Obama administration has urged countries to reach a deal by New Year's Day, though there is no technical deadline.


Frustration over 9/11 victims fund grows as ailing responders grapple with slow payout

9/11 first respponders\Thousands of sick 9/11 responders learned Friday that the $2.8 billion fund established to compensate them has made final rulings on 112 claims after two years of work.

“I’m disappointed,” said John Feal, a construction supervisor severely injured on “The Pile,” who lobbied Congress for the 2011 law setting up the Victims Compensation Fund.
It’s moving at a snail’s pace, and we’re talking about human life.”

Nearly 55,000 people registered for the compensation fund by Oct. 3, 2013’s deadline for noncancer illnesses, according to the fund’s annual report issued Friday.


Kidney Damage in First Responders Linked to 9/11

first respondersFor the first time, researchers have linked high levels of inhaled particulate matter by first responders at Ground Zero to kidney damage. Researchers from the WTC-CHEST Program, a subset of the World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center for Excellence at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, presented their new findings at the 2013 American Society of Nephrology meeting on Nov. 9 during National Kidney Week.

After the 9/11 tragedy, first responders at Ground Zero were exposed to varying levels of a dust cloud of air filled with cement dust, smoke, glass fibers, and heavy metals. The WTC-CHEST Program at Mount Sinai has previously linked this particulate matter exposure to lung and heart abnormalities. However, its effects on the kidney health of first responders have never been explored until now.


9/11 first responders must register with Victim Compensation Fund by Oct. 3 deadline

9/11 first respondersSick and injured 9/11 first responders, recovery workers and survivors who aren't already registered with the Victim Compensation Fund are being urged to do so before Oct. 3 — the deadline to file for financial compensation.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand held a press conference Monday at 7 WTC to ask those afflicted by the 9/11 tragedy to register immediately.

"This fund is not open forever. In fact, the clock is ticking and time is running out for victims and survivors to participate," said the senator, a Democrat from upstate New York.


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