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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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Massive police raids on suspected protestors in Minneapolis

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets.

TVNL Comment: Tell me again how we live in a democracy. Tell me how this is not a police state.

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Police raid RNC protest sites in Twin Cities

Ramsey County authorities conducted raids across Minneapolis and St. Paul Friday and Saturday as a pre-emptive strike against disruptive protests of the Republican National Convention.

Five people were arrested and more than 100 were handcuffed, questioned and released by scores of deputies and police officers, according to police and elected officials familiar with the raids.

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Bush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war

As the nation focuses on Sen. John McCain's choice of running mate, President Bush has quietly moved to expand the reach of presidential power by ensuring that America remains in a state of permanent war.

Buried in a recent proposal by the Administration is a sentence that has received scant attention -- and was buried itself in the very newspaper that exposed it Saturday. It is an affirmation that the United States remains at war with al Qaeda, the Taliban and "associated organizations."

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US election: Billboards of US soldiers cancelled in host city of Republican convention

A series of portraits of American soldiers set to adorn roadside billboards in Minneapolis, site of next week's Republican convention, was abruptly cancelled by the billboards' owners, which feared they would be deemed disrespectful to the US military.

The shots of troops in between deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan by a New York City artist were to run in five US cities.

But CBS Outdoor abruptly changed course and has refused to post the billboards in Minneapolis, Miami, Florida; and Houston, Texas. A separate company has agreed to display the images on billboards in Atlanta. Curiously for the artists, the images remain up in Denver, site of this week's Democratic national convention. 

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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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The Christian Right's Got a New Stealth Tactic to Smuggle Creationism into Science Class

A new law in Louisiana allows teachers to bring in "supplemental textbooks" about evolution, the origins of life and global warming to science class.

But despite pleas from scientists, civil liberties activists and educators like Peebles, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed Louisiana Senate Bill 733 into law. The new statute will allow teachers to introduce into the classroom "supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials" about evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.

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Ohio Voting Machines Contained Programming Error That Dropped Votes

A voting system used in 34 states contains a critical programming error that can cause votes to be dropped while being electronically transferred from memory cards to a central tallying point, the manufacturer acknowledges.

The problem was identified after complaints from Ohio elections officials following the March primary there, but the logic error that is the root of the problem has been part of the software for 10 years, said Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold.

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