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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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Freddie Mac, AIG, JPMorgan Helped Stage Republican Convention

Freddie Mac and American International Group Inc., two companies bailed out by the U.S. government as the financial crisis unfolded, each contributed $250,000 for last month's Republican National Convention, Federal Election Commission filings show.

The money went to the local host committee for the convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, which raised $50 million. The committees can accept unlimited amounts from corporations, unions and individuals. While the donors' names were posted on the committee's Web site, the amounts they gave were not released until the FEC reports. The host committee for the Democratic National Convention in Denver has yet to file.

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British bombers killed 500,000 in Dresden. Wrong, it was more like 18,000, say German historians

For more than 60 years Britain's Bomber Command led by Arthur 'Bomber' Harris has been vilified for causing up to 500,000 deaths in the carpet bombing of Dresden during World War II.

But now, after a four-year investigation, a panel of German historians has said that the true number of dead from the Allied air raids in January 1945 was between 18,000 and 25,000.

It suited the Nazi propaganda machine to claim that half-a-million women and children had been incinerated in the firestorm. It helped persuade a struggling population that this was awaited them all unless they fought for Nazism with their last breath.

Then the Communist East Germans perpetuated the myth, mindful that it served their purposes by showing the destructiveness of capitalism and fascism combined.

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Voters contend they were duped into registering as Republicans

Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP-hired contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country.

Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.

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Israel: wedded to war?

Far from learning the lessons of past conflict, the country's military seem ever more willing to resort to brute force.

The general promised "disproportionate" force to destroy entire villages identified as sources of Hizbullah rocket fire, the reasoning being that they are "not civilian villages" but rather "military bases" – the kind of reasoning that can land you in a war crimes tribunal.

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Knock Out: CNBC Confirms Lehman CEO Punched at Gym

“From two very senior sources – one incredibly senior source – that he went to the gym after … Lehman was announced as going under. He was on a treadmill with a heart monitor on. Someone was in the corner, pumping iron and he walked over and he knocked him out cold. And frankly after having watched this, I’d have done the same too.”

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Klein: Bush admin creats crises to 'enrich themselves and their friends'

"Whole societies also go into states of shock when there's a crisis, like when there's a terrorist attack, or a huge natural disaster, or a huge economic crisis," said Klein. "Something happens, people don't know what's going on, and they'll kinda do whatever people in authority want them to do."

Klein continued: "They use shocks to enrich themselves and their friends... People are becoming shock resistant, which is wonderful because they remember the way this administration used the shock of Sept. 11 to build the Homeland Security industry; How Rudy Giuliani went into that industry himself as soon as he left office. They remember how the war in Iraq was used to privatize the government."

TVNL Comment: They did not just use the shock of 9/11...they created it. They wrote about it. It was the "new Pearl Harbor" that they wrote about! But nobody is allowed to say this on any TV network! Not even Comedy Central!

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Jury in cocaine case didn't know accused's past

In 2001, Sean Erez, now 38, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy in Brooklyn, N.Y., after admitting to running an ecstasy distribution network that used young Orthodox Jews to smuggle the "hug drug" out of Amsterdam and into the U.S.

"The recruiters believed that these couriers would not attract the attention of customs inspectors because of their conservative background and their religious dress and appearance," said a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York.

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