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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

News of Interest for 9/12/06

US life expectancy: the eight Americas
'There were dramatic differences in life expectancies: in 2001, urban black male babies could expect to live for just 68.7 years, whereas for Asian females the figure was 86.7. Such differences across the “eight Americas” have not narrowed over the past two decades (see graphic).'
'The most sinister thing about the conspiracists is how they abet the consolidation of the very police state they claim to oppose. Arguing that Bush and his spies should have been omniscient enough to stop the attacks, they decry how the attacks are being used to expand the government's powers—blissfully unaware of how they give their own adversaries propaganda on a silver platter. With their implicit demands for an omniscient government, they (presumably unwittingly) play into the hands of those who seek a perfectly "secure" world in which privacy and personal liberty have been perfectly eliminated.'
Mission Impossible
"As often on such missions, the inevitable happened. In their pursuit of fleeing combatants, the soldiers of the 1st Battalion made mistakes. In the most horrible case, they shot a young girl. The screaming mother charged at the troops, wild with grief, brandishing the severed leg of her daughter. The girl bled to death before the soldiers' eyes. Such incidents created new enemies for the occupation forces."
US intel report: Iraq's Anbar province 'politically lost'
"In a report that some have said is the most negative yet filed by a senior military officer in Iraq, the chief of intelligence for the US Marine Corps in Iraq concluded that the possibilities of the US and Iraqi governments securing the troubled western Iraqi province of Anbar are remote."
"Last week, Dupont, the chemical giant, slashed employee pension benefits by two-thirds. Furthermore, new Dupont workers won’t get a guaranteed pension at all — and no health care after retirement. It’s part of Dupont’s new “Die Young” program, I hear. Dupont is not in financial straits. Rather, the slash attack on its workers’ pensions was aimed at adding a crucial three cents a share to company earnings, from $3.11 per share to $3.14."
Iran closes down 2 opposition newspapers
"It was a fresh show of determination by Iran's ruling clerical establishment to silence dissent over its handling of nuclear talks with the West and deny reformers a chance to air their views ahead of elections scheduled for Dec. 15."
Hezbollah: 90 percent of arsenal intact
'Regarding the size of Hezbollah's arsenal, Qassem said that "early in the war, we declared that we had the capability to resist the Israeli army for months, and perhaps that is a clue to the amount of weapons we have available. I will not go into figures because that is a military secret, but it is possible that we still hold 90 percent of our weapons in our depots."'
Al-Zawahri urges Iraq's Kurds to rise up
'“I appeal to my brothers in Islam, the Kurds, to renounce these calls which support America and Israel, and to write an honourable page in the contemporary history of Islam,” al Zawahri said in footage that appeared to be new.'
Chinese township riots over teacher’s death
'The protests reflect widespread perceptions that China’s legal system is tainted by communist officials’ abuse of power and susceptible to influence by the country’s newly moneyed classes.'
How hi-tech Hezbollah called the shots
"Hezbollah's ability to repel the Israel Defense Forces during the recent conflict was largely due to its use of intelligence techniques gleaned from allies Iran and Syria that allowed it to monitor encoded Israeli communications relating to battlefield actions, according to Israeli officials, whose claims have been independently corroborated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "
Clash fears for Mexico celebrations
"PRESIDENT Vicente Fox is determined to lead Mexico's independence celebrations on Friday, setting up a possible clash with leftist political foes who have taken over the capital's main square."


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