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Iraqi Returning to Find Homes Destroyed, Looted or Occupied

In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees living in Syria have been coming back to Baghdad after a sharp decline in violence in the Iraqi capital. Many of the returnees have been shocked to find their homes destroyed, looted or occupied

Iraq Cutting Food Rations in Half

According to the Trade Ministry, 80 percent of Iraqis benefited from the PDS during Saddam Hussein's rule, and for 60 percent of the population the food basket was their only source of support

West Misses Reasons Behind Sudan Teddy Bear Crisis

by Hana Baba The Sudanese haven't been exposed to the 'teddy bear culture,' where a bear is cuddly and warm. To them, a bear is a ferocious, gluttonous, dumb animal whose name is often used to insult obese people. Naming a toy bear Mohammed, regardless of intent, was offensive. The flame lit, it grew in days to become a red-hot fire, wiping out logic and understanding

NIE Sends Bush into Free Fall

by Alexander Cockburn The one thing a president cannot afford to be is ridiculous. This week, George Bush lurched into that fatal category and into the true twilight of his presidency, festooned with all the traditional discomfitures. Senior aides and close advisers parley with literary agents and find compelling reasons to quit the White House and spend more time with their families. The latest, fatal instrument of Bush's public humiliation is the National Intelligence Estimate proclaiming in its unclassified version that Iran stopped trying to build a nuclear weapon in 2003, thus deliberately, with humiliating clarity, contradicting Bush and Cheney's unending invocation of the Iranian nuclear threat

Mike Huckabee's Ascending Chariot

by Alexander Cockburn Thus far, beyond hee-haws at his Christian fundamentalism, the most liberals can come up with is that he intervened to save his son from very nasty charges of dog-abuse at a Boy Scout camp and that among those whose sentences he commuted was a rapist, Wayne Dumond, who killed at least one woman after his release. Huckabee should survive these charges, as he should the whines of New York Times columnists that he is unversed in foreign affairs. Both Ronald Reagan and George Bush demonstrated conclusively that a passing glance at a stamp album is the only education required

The Desperation Index

by Alexander Cockburn A couple of indices of how down many Americans are feeling about the future: The suicide rate among middle-aged Americans has reached its highest point in at least 25 years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a couple of weeks ago. The second index of desperation is a sudden spike in teen pregnancies, particularly among young black women

Putin Claims Voter Mandate as Others Charge Election Fraud

by Kester Kenn Klomegah Last week two anti-Putin meetings in Moscow and St. Petersburg were broken up by riot police and several opposition leaders arrested, among them world chess champion and presidential candidate Garry Kasparov, who was subsequently jailed for five days. The ruling party appeared to enjoy almost unlimited access to funds, and its election campaign dwarfed attempts of other parties to gain a platform. Central Moscow was dominated by United Russia adverts, with little or no sign of the existence of other parties

The CIA and Torture

by Alexander Cockburn Retired CIA interrogator Kiriakou says that after 45 seconds of contemplation of impending water torture, Zubaydah babbled out al-Qaeda's plans for attack on the Christian West and thus thousands of lives were saved. A somewhat different assessment can be found in Ronald Suskind's recent book, 'The One Percent Doctrine,' based on many interviews with intelligence officials. They told Suskind that the CIA team that captured Zubaydah soon determined he was not a senior al-Qaeda man and furthermore was clinically insane

Bush Gets $70 Billion More for Wars, No Strings Attached

by Jim Lobe Racing to adjourn for the end of the year, Congress approved a $560 billion omnibus 2008 appropriation that includes $70 billion more for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and sizable increases in development, refugee, and disaster assistance

Great Failures of 2007

by Steve Young You might want to seize on the wise words of Elizabeth Roosevelt: Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself

Revealed: Talk Show Host Brain Disorders

by Steve Young The typical human brain houses more than 100 billion neurons, which process and transmit information. The talk show host brain accommodates only one, which carries information originating inside the anal cavity directly to the vocal chord generating not as much a coherent thought as viral gastroenteritis (diarrhea) of the mouth

The Christmas Yuletide Blame

by Steve Young Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, No pundit was stirring, not one single louse

Poll: 82% of Americans Drinking the Kool-Aid

by Steve Young In a Rasmussen Poll, only 18 percent of voters are reported to be buying the reportŐs conclusion, with 66 percent believing Iran is still building WMD. You say that they must have only polled Fox News viewers? Think again while I splash cold water on the idea that a Democratic administration is a Jan 20, 2009 slam dunk. Only 29 percent of liberal voters believe the report

Iraqi Refugees Live in Constant Fear of Arrest

by Ali al-Fadhily More than two million Iraqis, in a population of about 25 million, have taken refuge in many countries. Only a few have won official status as refugees. Most refugees in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and many other countries stay on as illegal residents, facing threats of deportation and imprisonment

FEMA, HUD, Set to Bulldoze Housing for Katrina Victims

by Abra Pollock This overhaul would eliminate 82 percent of the city's public housing, thereby excluding 3,800 families. This news came as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced last week that it would begin dismantling the trailer parks it set up for those made homeless by the storm in August 2005, many of whom are former residents of public housing

It's Bush vs. the World at Bali Environment Summit

by Marwaan Macan-Markar Washington favors voluntary cuts on emissions, despite the U.S. being a leading emitter of these heat-trapping gases that are expected to wreck havoc across the planet in coming years. All 27 member nations of the European Union, on the other hand, have embraced the binding commitments of the protocol and have introduced plans to cut GhG emissions by 20 percent by 2020

New Jersey Outlaws "State-Endorsed Killing"

by Rajiv Fernando In a poll carried out by Quinnipiac University last week, New Jersey voters opposed 53-39 percent the proposal to eliminate the death penalty in the state, but by an almost identical 52-39 percent, they preferred life without parole rather than the death penalty

Sunni Political Leader Arrested For Suspicion of Car Bomb Factory Link

by Ali al-Fadhily Adnan Al Dulaimi, head of the Sunni political bloc the Accordance Front in the Iraqi Parliament, has been placed under house arrest by Iraqi and U.S. security forces. Iraqi security forces also detained his son --Makki -- and 45 of his guards. They were accused of manufacturing car bombs and killing Sunni militia members in the neighborhood who have been working with the U.S. military

Iran Report Shows Nuclear Program Never Existed

by William O. Beeman In his panic, Bush grasped desperately at the idea that the weapons program may have once existed. However, the report does not offer a scintilla of evidence that the weapons program was ever an established fact. Designating 2003 as the date that Iran 'stopped' its program is telling: this is the year the Bush administration first decided to create a case for attacking Iran based on the purported danger of its nuclear program

Kurds Risk Same Stateless Fate as Palestinians

by Jalal Ghazi The Palestinians and the Kurds have never given up trying to undo historical injustices. Though both of them were able to establish some form of self-rule in parts of their original homelands after years of sacrifice, the price has been steep. Self-rule left them vulnerable to economic sanctions and military retaliation, and highlighted divisions among their major political factions. It is too late for the severely divided Palestinians to turn the clock backward. Their dream of independence has led them to a dead end and made them the weakest they have ever been. The Kurds, however, still have the chance to avoid the Palestinian fate.

Chauncey Bailey Project: Questions About 2nd Man in Journalist's Killing

by A.C. Thompson, Thomas Peele and Paul T. Rosynsky Since a trio of shotgun blasts killed Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey on Aug. 2, police and prosecutors have charged only one man with the crime: 20-year-old Devaunghndre Broussard, a handyman at Your Black Muslim Bakery, who is expected to be arraigned this morning. But Oakland police records raise questions whether a second man, a 21-year-old former San Francisco resident with an extensive and violent criminal history, may have played a role in the journalist's slaying

U.S. Jewish Community Backs Hillary, Opposes Palestine Compromise

by Jim Lobe If the Jewish community has become more dovish on Iran and Iraq, however, it has also become more skeptical about Israeli-Arab peace efforts and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Israel Joins Neo-Cons in Denouncing Iran NIE Findings

by Trita Parsi

She's Still in This Race

by Joe Conason Surprisingly, the disputes that have lately monopolized so much news coverage and commentary have not dented her national appeal significantly. Although Clinton faces difficulties in Iowa and New Hampshire, the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll shows that she has started to recover the commanding lead that began to diminish in late November, after her poor debate performance

Iran Report Debunks Bush/Cheney Claims of Nuke Threat

Analysis by Gareth Porter Despite the White House spin that the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) supports its policy of increasing pressure on Iran, the estimate not only directly contradicts the Bush administration's line on Iranian intentions regarding nuclear weapons

Musharraf Lifts Martial Law...Sort of

by Beena Sarwar The judges who refused to take oath under Musharraf's Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) may 'have ceased to be judges' according to caretaker Law Minister Afzal Haider since they were neither dismissed nor had relinquished their offices, but many of them refuse to accept this position. For the first time in Pakistan's history, the majority of judges of the Supreme Court and the four provincial High Courts refused to legitimize a PCO. The stance of these 'non-PCO judges' is also unprecedented: they still consider themselves to be the rightful judges.

"Where Has All the Water Gone?"

Interview with author and activist Maude Barlow What we learned back in grade five about the hydrologic cycle being a closed cycle, and water just circulating forever without being able to go anywhere, it appears now not to be true. We don't have access to the surface water that people traditionally used for millennia, because is has been polluted. Humanity is now putting great big bore wells into the earth and taking water from underneath the ground faster than it can be replenished by nature

Not All Comrades Benefit From China's Economy Boom

by Antoaneta Bezlova A highly anticipated year of triumph for China -- which hosts the Olympic Games in August -- now looks increasingly fraught with economic risks. Unlike in the past when communist leaders dreaded that a sluggish economy might bring about social unrest, this time around economic risks come from rapid growth

Chavez Loses Referendum by Narrow Margin

by Humberto Marquez Among the opposition, the most novel development was the appearance of an anti-Chavez student movement, with tens of thousands of university students taking to the streets in numerous demonstrations against the reform in November, after they protested against the government's decision not to renew the broadcasting license of a popular TV station in June

Germany Phasing out Biodiesel Subsidies

by Julio Godoy Until a few months ago, the production of crop-based fuels was the best energy business imaginable in Germany, thanks to growing demand supported by the government. That's no longer the case. As of Jan. 1, the German government will receive nine cents on the dollar per litre of biodiesel. That tax will increase to more than 65 cents on the dollar in 2012

2007 Saw Decline of the Cheney/Rumsfeld Cabal

Analysis by Jim Lobe The realist resurgence can also be traced to the rise of specific individuals, who took the place of their discredited predecessors in posts between the beginning of Bush's second term and the end of 2006 when the most important realist of all -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates -- replaced Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon

Fear, Violence in Pakistan Following Bhutto Assassination

Anticipating a worsening law and order situation, the administration in Karachi has now called out the army, with troops deployed along roads. Across the country, in response to the unrest, college and school examinations have been cancelled, markets shut and public transport has disappeared from roads. In some cases, been unable to leave their homes since the evening of December 27

She's Still in This Race

by Joe Conason Polls indicating that Clinton's troubles in Iowa and New Hampshire have not surfaced so far in the big states, whose primaries will determine the ultimate winner

The Mercy of Mike Huckabee

by Joe Conason When Huckabee became governor, he supported and evidently engineered a parole for Dumond, winning applause from the Republican right -- and indirectly causing the death of a young woman whom the former prisoner later raped and killed in Missouri. Dumond died in prison, under suspicion that he had murdered at least one other woman after his release, and Huckabee has sought to shift the blame for that bad outcome onto others

Telling the Truth About Iran

by Joe Conason Trying to understand why both Cheney and the president continued to promote false perceptions of Iran is mystifying. Sometimes their behavior raises real concern about their own capacity to perceive reality -- as when the president insisted repeatedly that Saddam Hussein had refused to let UN weapons inspectors into Iraq

EPA Kills California's Stiff Auto Emissions Rules

In rejecting California's request, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said the energy bill signed into law by President Bush today is "a national solution" that is better than a 'confusing patchwork of state rules -- to reduce America's climate footprint from vehicles.' But the Energy Independence and Security Act does not regulate greenhouse gas emissions, although it does mandate a fuel economy standard of 35 miles per gallon in the year 2020. The two policies differ in that the California Clean Cars Program would begin with model year 2009, a decade before the 35 miles per gallon standard in the energy bill kicks in

It Turns Out Ahmadinejad Was the Truthful One

by Robert Scheer The whole episode shows that our democratic system retains at least some essential checks and balances, but it also is depressing to see that, in this instance at least, the fanatical leader of a theocracy seems to have a higher regard for truth than does the president of the world's greatest experiment in representative democracy

Key Org in Immigration Debate Classified as Hate Group

by Mark Potok In the past six years, Federation for American Immigration Reform officials have testified at least 30 times before Congress, and they have been quoted by the mainstream media more than 500 times so far in 2007. Earlier this year, the group played a key role in defeating bipartisan immigration reform legislation in Congress. In short, FAIR is taken seriously as a legitimate commentator. This week the Southern Poverty Law Center classified it as a hate group

Obama's Strategy: No Sudden Moves to Scare White Voters

by Sunil Adam There is no doubt that Obama's appeal for white America has to do with the fact that he represents the kind of black man that liberal whites thought the civil rights movement would develop. Not just 'articulate and bright and clean,'" as Sen. Joe Biden once described Obama in what was alleged to be a stereotypical image of an African American who doesn't talk and act black, but a black man who is educated, ambitious, amiable and married to someone named Michelle rather than Shaneque. In other words, someone who's not unlike an average middle class white man

Chauncey Bailey Project: Bakery Relied on Political, Racial Pressure For Loans

by Cecily Burt and G.W. Schulzn A subsidiary of Your Black Muslim Bakery, whose members have been linked to the shooting death of journalist Chauncey Bailey, received money despite a flawed business plan and a disturbing criminal incident, illustrating the extent politics and pressure played in officials' decision to approve the loan

Today We Mourn, Tomorrow We Think of Politics: Pakistani Bloggers

by Ketaki Gokhale The Pakistani blogsphere is not ready to beatify Benazir Bhutto into the Pakistani Aung San Suu Kyi like many in the West have done. But whether they supported her politics or not, they regard her assassination as a big step backward

Donors Pledge $7.4 billion to the Palestinian Authority

by Abid Aslam International donors pledged billions of dollars Monday to shore up peace prospects amid warnings no amount of money can help if Israel keeps the Palestinian economy in a stranglehold. Rice described Monday's donor meeting as make-or-break for the Palestinians and for the Middle East peace process, revived last month in Annapolis

Religious Right Bringing In 'More Money Than Ever'

by Bill Berkowitz One way to measure the health of the religious right is to track the amount of financial support various top-shelf organizations continue to receive, despite the internal discord. Recently, researchers at Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), a liberal civil rights watchdog group, pointed out that several major organizations are raising 'more money than ever'

Despite "Surge," 2007 Was Worst Year Yet

Analysis by Dahr Jamail Sectarian killings have decreased in recent months, but still continue. Bodies continue to be dumped on the streets of Baghdad daily. One reason for a decrease in the level of violence is that most of Baghdad has essentially been divided along sectarian lines. Entire neighborhoods are now surrounded by concrete blast walls several metres high, with strict security checkpoints. Normal life has all but vanished

Chavez Wins Release of Hostages in Colombia

by Humberto Marquez The day after Christmas was a time of agonizing waiting for the families of hostages held by Colombia's FARC guerrillas, who promised to release three of the captives within the next few days. A bold international operation presented by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to ensure the safe release of Colombian politicians Consuelo Gonzalez and Clara Rojas, and the latter's young son Emmanuel, was accepted by the Colombian government

China's Tiger Farms Become Big Business

by V. Santhakumar Stories of tigers now are on the front page: While a Siberian tiger attacked and killed a man in San Francisco and wounded two others, in China a grim discovery of rare Siberian tiger cubs in a freezer and another adult tiger found beheaded and skinned at the Three Gorges Forest and Wildlife Park made the news. What's not on the front page, however, is how tiger farming has become big business in China

Burma's Generals Snubs UN Call for Reform

by Marwaan Macan-Markar The junta's unequivocal stance was confirmed during a rare press conference held by the country's information minister, Brig. Gen. Kyaw Hsan, when he told reporters that the doors of the Southeast Asian nation were not open to influence from outside. He also confirmed what many analysts had long suspected in the recent months: the military rulers of Burma are in no mood to welcome the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, currently in her 12th year under house arrest, to discussions on the drafting of the new constitution

White House Fought NIE Because it Debunked Neo-Con Claims

by Gareth Porter The charge that Iran had a secret weapons program was originally devised to build international support for sanctions -- and even potential use of force -- against Iran at a time when Iran was not enriching uranium. But in 2006, the hawks added the allegation of a secret Iranian uranium enrichment program paralleling the publicly acknowledged program to bolster the argument that Iran must not be allowed to have any enrichment, even if carefully limited to far below a weapon-related level and intrusively monitored

Neo-Cons Charge NIE on Iran is Conspiracy Against Them

by Khody Akhavi Neo-conservatives and former Bush officials have launched a ferocious counterattack on the NIE, and more pointedly at its authors -- the intelligence officers whose presumable goal is to undermine the Bush policy agenda

$500 Million in Sri Lanka Tsunami Aid "Missing"

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) said its investigations had revealed a gap between the amounts disbursed by foreign aid agencies and what has been spent on relief and recovery projects since the 2004 tsunami

Gaza's Civil Servants Paid Not to Work

by Mohammed Omer In enforcing the salary rules laid down by the U.S. and Israel, the Fatah government in Ramallah has created a severe crisis for public employees in Gaza, forcing them to choose between feeding their own families and serving or saving the lives of others

Bush Told Truth About Abandoned Iran Nuke Program in Early 2007

by Gareth Porter White House officials have now admitted that Bush was told that the intelligence assessment on a covert Iranian nuclear program might change last August, but they have avoided answering the question of when the president was first informed about the new intelligence that led to that revised assessment. That evasion is necessary, it now appears, to conceal the fact that Bush likely knew about that intelligence as early as February or March 2007

Mitt Transit Gloria Mundi

by Michael Winship Romney barely mentioned the nature of Mormonism, saying, simply, 'I believe in my Mormon faith and endeavor to live by it.' The speech did little toward reassuring the public that it would never be an issue for him as president. And, disturbingly, when addressing the crucial separation of church and state, he weaved around like Luke Skywalker trying to punch out the Death Star, demonstrating vestiges of the flipfloppery that have dogged him throughout this campaign

Mexico Slightly Opens the Door to GM Maize

by Diego Cevallos Mexico's first experimental trials of genetically modified maize will take place next year, a government official has announced. The news has put environmental and campesino (small farmer) organizations, still hoping that this will not happen, on the alert

Democrats Can't Count on Latino Support

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Immigration is only one issue, and with the election 11 months away, there's no guarantee that it will be the dominant issue when the race heats up next year. Polls have shown that Latino voters by big margins will likely vote for Hillary Clinton, and that they are lukewarm at best to top Democrats Barack Obama and John Edwards. In the Pew survey, only 15 percent of Latino Democrats would back Obama -- at this point

Repub Candidates Hope Latino Voters Can Overlook Demonization

by Elena Shore Unlike their Democratic competitors in the Univision debate three months ago, the Republican candidates were vying for the votes of a community that now has little support for the GOP. Each candidate made a pitch to Latino voters at some point in the debate -- but unlike debates in the English-language media, it was a pitch not for the candidate but for the Republican Party

Religious Right Lining up Behind Huckabee

by Bill Berkowitz While Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani secured an unexpected endorsement from Rev. Pat Robertson (stirring up a hornet's nest in the Religious Right), Huckabee -- who is closest politically and ideologically to the Religious Right -- has received a series of endorsements from such lesser known but nevertheless significant Christian right leaders as Janet Folger, president of Faith2Action, Rick Scarborough, founder and president of Vision America, the Rev. Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association

Bush Tries Diplomacy With Syria

by Khody Akhavi The U.S. has been trying to lure Syria back in the Arab fold, presumably willing to end Damascus's international isolation and woo it away from reliance on another regional adversary: Iran. Syria is Iran's closest Arab ally

"Perfect Storm" Building for Loss of Amazon

by Stephen Leahy A two-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures could flip the Amazon forest from being the Earth's vital air conditioner to a flamethrower that cooks the planet, warns a new report

No Fair Demanding CO2 Limits on India, China, Says NGO

by T. V. Padma Painting China and India as the villains of climate change, while letting rich industrialized countries get away with rising emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming, is patently unfair says the Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment. 'There is a stock of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, built over centuries, as these countries developed,' she observed. greenhouse gas of one U.S. citizen equals that of 107 Bangladeshis, 134 Bhutanese, 269 Nepalese and 19 Indians

Oil-Producing Gulf Nations Also Major CO2 Producers

by Meena Janardhan Besides being petroleum exporters, the Middle Eastern countries have been under fire for carbon emissions from large-scale use of fossil fuels. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran figure among the world's top 50 CO2 emitters

Little to Show From Bali Summit

by Janet Redman Following two weeks of climate talks in Bali that brought together nearly 190 countries and more than 10,000 delegates, observers and activists, it looks like there's very little to show for negotiations that were less about urgent climate action than business as usual. Ultimately, Bali turned into a game of cat and mouse with the U.S. trying to water down the plan and everyone else trying to get the U.S. on board

Was it a Mistake for Bali Summit to Compromise With U.S?

by Walden Bello Would it have been better to have simply let the United States walk out, allowing the rest of the world to forge a strong agreement containing deep mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions on the part of the developed countries? With a new U.S. president and a new policy on climate change expected at the beginning of 2009, the United States would have rejoined a process that would already be moving along with strong binding targets. As it is now, having been part of the Bali consensus, Bush administration negotiators will be able to continue their obstructionist tactics to further water down global action throughout the negotiations in 2008

Climate Change Emerges as Activist Cause at Bali Summit

by Marwaan Macan-Markar The presence of Walden Bello at the Bali Conference emerging significance as a milestone in the world of activism. For the 62-year-old Filipino had, till this month, stayed clear from the debates raging about a warming planet due to greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions, the major cause of climate change. Bello's central interests in almost 35 years of activism lay in combating dictatorships, opposing the economic policies of the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, and protesting against United States -led military campaigns in Asia and the Middle East

Bali Summit Ends With Deal to do Something, Someday

by Stephen Leahy There is no mention of the 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Canada, the U.S. and Japan had steadfastly opposed any specific reduction targets for industrialized countries. This was bitterly opposed by the European Union and many developing nations. For the sake of reaching an agreement, they eventually compromised and there are no specific emissions targets in the final agreement. It does acknowledge that 'deep cuts in global emissions will be required to achieve the ultimate objective' of avoiding dangerous climate change

Bali Summit Tell U.S: If You Can't Lead, Get Out of the Way

by Marwaan Macan-Markar It was left to India, China, South Africa and Brazil to stand up for the developing world and steer the United States towards the consensus

Little Support for Biofuels at Bali Summit

by Marwaan Macan-Markar 'We are concerned about the pressure biofuel production is placing on the world's food reserves. If you produce biofuel with food crops like corn, you won't have it to meet food demand,' Jeff McNeely, chief scientist of IUCN said in an interview. 'The grain reserves of the world today are the lowest they have been in the last 10 to 15 years.'

World Bank Pushing to add Forests to Carbon Credit Funds

by Abid Aslam The scheme would add deforestation to the global carbon trading market, estimated at $30 billion and growing. Over the past decade, the bank and other financial institutions have worked to advance the market for carbon emissions, a principal source of global warming

The Key Bali Issue: Who Should Pay the Carbon Bill?

by Stephen Leahy Canada and Japan are advocating that all countries emitting large amounts of CO2 now and in the future should cut their emissions equally. That means China and India, which have only recently begun to industrialize, will have the same reduction targets as the U.S., Canada and the rest of the developed world, ignoring the fact they have benefited from 100-plus years of industrialization and dumping CO2 in the atmosphere. Effectively, Canada thinks rich countries should get a free pass on their past emissions

Nations Already Facing Problem of "Climate Refugees"

by Eric Lemus There are 25 million 'climate refugees'in the world who are not recognized by an international law that only protects those who are fleeing war or political, religious or ethnic persecution, according to Bodil Ceballos, parliamentarian from Sweden's Green Party

Small Pacific Islands say Survival Depends on Bali Outcome

by Shailendra Singh Pacific Island countries feel particularly helpless. While they are the lowest emitters of greenhouse gas, they are amongst the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to their small size, coastal populations, high dependence on natural resources and low-lying nature

Scientists Warn Global Warming Action Needed Now

by Imelda Abano The worst possible outcome, warns Hans Verolme, climate change director with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) would include the negotiations coming up with yet another 'vague statement acknowledging the problem, but offering no concrete plan'

"It is Time to Make Peace With the Planet," Gore Says at Nobel Ceremony

Peace Prize winner Al Gore said December 10 that there still is time to forestall the most disastrous impacts of climate change, but only if the world community unites and acts immediately

U.S. Backing of 'Sunni Awakening' Forces Furthers Divide With Shiite

by Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail Following disputes between the tribal groups assembled into Awakening forces and the Iraqi government, the creation of these forces has become also a political issue. U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who heads a Shia political bloc, has adamantly opposed the U.S.-military policy of backing tribal groups and former resistance fighters

Baghdad's Funeral Industry Booming

Back in Saddam Hussein's time, coffin maker Abdul-Wahab Khalil Mohammed used to sell one or two coffins a day at $5-10 each. Now he produces an average of 15 to 20 coffins a day and charges $50-75 for each one

"Bad" Women Raped and Killed as Strict Islamic Rule Enforced in S Iraq

by Ali al-Fadhily Women are being killed by militia groups in southern Iraq for not conforming to strict Islamic ways, the police say. And, increased threats from militia groups is driving many women away from their homes

Photo Revives Anger at Red Guard Terror

by Xujun Eberlein Almost overnight, the girl became known as Song Yaowu and famous throughout China. Young and proud, little did she know how history is prone to turning fame into infamy. Soon, her new name evolved into a symbol of Red Guard violence, and for a reason

Musharraf, Pakistan's Military, Benefit Most From Bhutto's Murder

by Thalif Deen Daniel Markey, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a U.S.-based think-tank, says that although he thought it highly unlikely that Musharraf was behind the killing, many people in Pakistan are holding him accountable

Israel Risks Turning Into South Africa, Olmert Warns

Analysis by Peter Hirschberg Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has issued a dire warning to his people. Failure to reach a negotiated two-state settlement with the Palestinians, he has declared, will mean the end of the State of Israel

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