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Thursday, May 26th

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Ending death penalty could save US millions: study

In just one death penalty trial "the state may pay one million dollars more than for a non-death penalty trial. But only one in every three capital trials may result in a death sentence, so the true cost of that death sentence is three million dollars," the study's author said.

"Further down the road, only one in ten of the death sentences handed down may result in an execution. Hence, the cost to the state to reach that one execution is 30 million dollars," Dieter added in the report entitled "Smart on Crime."

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Benito Mussolini Was Once a British Agent

The late Samuel Hoare, in charge of British agents in Rome at that time, revealed in his memoirs 55 years go that Mussolini was a paid agent. Martland found more details in Hoare's papers, including that Mussolini also sent Italian army veterans to beat up peace protesters in Milan, a dry run for his fascist blackshirt units.

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The Myth of America: This is not your grandfather’s Columbus

To mark Columbus Day In 2004, the Medieval and Renaissance Center in UCLA published the final volume of a compendium of Columbus-era documents. Its general editor, Geoffrey Symcox, leaves little room for ambivalence when he says, “This is not your grandfather’s Columbus….

While giving the brilliant mariner his due, the collection portrays Columbus as an unrelenting social climber and self-promoter who stopped at nothing - not even exploitation, slavery, or twisting biblical scripture - to advance his ambitions…. Many of the unflattering documents have been known for the last century or more, but nobody paid much attention to them until recently.

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Banned at Guantanamo library: Noam Chomsky (no surprise)

Professor Noam Chomsky may be among America's most enduring anti-war activists. But the leftist intellectual's anthology of post 9/11 commentary is taboo at Guantanamo's prison camp library, which offers books and videos on Harry Potter, World Cup soccer and Islam.

U.S. military censors recently rejected a Pentagon lawyer's donation of an Arabic-language copy of the political activist and linguistic professor's 2007 anthology "Interventions" for the library, which has more than 16,000 items.

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed to have Jewish past

A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots. A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.

The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth.

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Gay penguins book is most banned

Authors, artists and musicians are due to gather at a library in San Francisco to protest against the banning of books in schools and libraries in the US. The event, part of the 27th annual Banned Books Week, has been organised by the American Library Association.

Since 2001 bans on 3,736 books and other materials have been requested. In recent years, And Tango Makes Three - based on a true story and centring on gay penguins in New York's Central Park Zoo - has had the most ban requests.

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Ex-bishop in N.S. facing child porn charges

A recently retired Roman Catholic bishop from Nova Scotia has been charged with possessing and importing child pornography.

Raymond Lahey, 69, who stunned his diocese by resigning suddenly as the bishop of Antigonish on Saturday, was charged Sept. 25 by the Ottawa police after images "of concern" were found on his laptop computer.

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