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Monday, Jul 28th

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How Bradley Manning could have prevented the Deepwater Horizon explosion

Bradley ManningBradley Manning tried to save the eleven men who died – burned alive – on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in 2010. But Barack Obama and the New York Times made sure that wouldn’t happen. Three years ago this month, on the 20th of April, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blew itself to kingdom come.

Soon thereafter, a message came in to our office’s chief of investigations, Ms Badpenny, from a person I dare not name, who was floating somewhere in the Caspian Sea along the coast of Baku, Central Asia.

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Identities of the rich who hide cash offshore

Offshore secretsMillions of internal records have leaked from Britain's offshore financial industry, exposing for the first time the identities of thousands of holders of anonymous wealth from around the world, from presidents to plutocrats, the daughter of a notorious dictator and a British millionaire accused of concealing assets from his ex-wife.

The leak of 2m emails and other documents, mainly from the offshore haven of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), has the potential to cause a seismic shock worldwide to the booming offshore trade, with a former chief economist at McKinsey estimating that wealthy individuals may have as much as $32tn (£21tn) stashed in overseas havens.

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U.N. approves global arms treaty

Inited NationsThe United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to create the first international treaty regulating the global arms trade, a landmark decision that imposes new constraints on the sale of conventional arms to governments and armed groups that commit war crimes, genocide and other mass atrocities.

The U.N. vote was hailed by arms control advocates and scores of governments, including the United States, as a major step in the international effort to enforce basic controls on the $70 billion international arms trade. But it was denounced by Iran, North Korea and Syria, for imposing new restrictions that prevent smaller states from buying and selling weapons to ensure their self-defense.

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First evidence of Neanderthal/human mix

neanderthalAncient skeletal remains found in Italy may be of a human/Neanderthal hybrid, the first such known instance of the species interbreeding, scientists say. If further analysis of the 40,000-30,000-year-old skeleton confirms it, it would be the first direct evidence that humans and Neanderthals interbred, they said.

Researches from the University of Ai-Marseille in France have conducted DNA and imaging studies on jawbone unearthed at a rock-shelter called Riparo di Mezzena in the Monti Lessini region of Italy, from a time when both Neanderthals and modern humans inhabited Europe.

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Statutes of Limitations Are Expiring on Some Bush Crimes

Statues of LImitations on Bush war crimesAmericans have been facing a number of momentous deadlines, including the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the “sequester” of $1 trillion from federal programs. But another critical deadline is fast approaching without attracting much notice.

Statutes of limitations applicable to possible crimes committed by former President George W. Bush and his top aides, with respect to wiretapping of Americans without court approval and to fraud in launching and continuing the Iraq War, may expire in early 2014, less than a year from now.

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Miami archdiocese settles sex-abuse claims by former altar boy

Rafael EscalaWhen the Rev. Rafael Escala served at St. Timothy Catholic Church in West Kendall in the late 1980s, he caught a teenaged altar boy stealing $60 from the collection.

Escala threatened to report the teen to his father and the police. But rather than carry out the threat, the priest sexually abused the 16-year-old boy, according to the victim, who obtained a financial settlement from the Archdiocese of Miami in January.

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‘Dirty War’ Questions for Pope Francis

Pope Francis and the Dirty WarIf one wonders if the U.S. press corps has learned anything in the decade since the Iraq War – i.e. the need to ask tough question and show honest skepticism – it would appear from the early coverage of the election of Pope Francis I that U.S. journalists haven’t changed at all, even at “liberal” outlets like MSNBC.

The first question that a real reporter should ask about an Argentine cleric who lived through the years of grotesque repression, known as the “dirty war,” is what did this person do, did he stand up to the murderers and torturers or did he go with the flow. If the likes of Chris Matthews and other commentators on MSNBC had done a simple Google search, they would have found out enough about Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to slow their bubbling enthusiasm.

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