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President Obama Invites Cuba To Build A New Relationship

Yesterday, Barack Obama opened the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago with a historic offer of reconciliation with Cuba.

"I think we can manage the relations between United States and Cuba in a new direction," said the U.S. president.

"United States seeks a new start with Cuba," said Obama. "I know there is a long road ahead to end decades of mistrust, but there are steps we can take toward a new day." "In the last two years I have indicated, and I repeat today, that I'm ready for my administration to get involved with the Government of Cuba in a wide range of issues, from human rights to freedom of expression, democratic reforms, drugs and economic affairs. "

"Let me say clearly," concluded the American president, "I am not interested in talking for talking. But I think we can bring the relationship between United States and Cuba into a new direction."

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Created by Nemo 37 weeks 2 days ago – Made popular 37 weeks 2 days ago
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5

Short '06 Lebanon War Stokes Pentagon Debate

This article published on April 6 in the Washington Post goes back to the debate that divides the Pentagon in Washington: what the outcome of the Lebanon war in 2006?

Since the end of the confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel, the Department of Defense has sent a dozen delegations to the Israeli army to draw all the lessons.

Does the U.S. Army need to prepare itself to conventional fighting or, conversely, to focus more on counter-insurgency?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, with the support of President Obama, seems to be in favour of the second.

This is confirmed by an other article by Greg Jaffe and Shailagh Murray, the next day: Gates Seeks Sharp Turn in spending.

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Created by Keiros 38 weeks 3 days ago – Made popular 38 weeks 3 days ago
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Obama Medical Plan For Vets Spurs Outcry

President Obama's plan to generate extra budget money by forcing veterans to pay for some medical treatments through their private insurance is generating a firestorm among Republicans, Democrats and veterans, who argue that it's unconscionable to pass along the costs of war to those injured serving their country.

The administration for weeks has circulated on Capitol Hill a plan to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in savings by tapping veterans' private insurance for service-related injuries and ailments that for decades the government has been obligated to pay. On Monday, the president and his aides discussed the plan with veterans groups, who said the president told them it would generate $540 million.

It got an angry response.

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Created by Nemo 41 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 41 weeks 4 days ago
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5

Real Capitalists Nationalize

Sorry, zombie banks. The laws of the market dictate that we should own your ass. — By Kevin Drum

The titans of Wall Street may not have done a bang-up job of running the American financial sector over the past few years, but would a bunch of politicians in Washington, DC, do any better? We're probably about to find out—and to understand how we got here, and why it suddenly doesn't seem like such a bad idea, you've got to start at the beginning. The very beginning.

In America, it's the stock market that gets all the headlines. If you're sentient enough to fog a mirror, you know that stocks have dropped by half in the past 18 months. It's been a disaster for 401(k)s and pension funds across the country.

But the fact is that this is a sideshow.

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Created by Nemo 41 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 41 weeks 5 days ago
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Torture: Obama leaves the door open to prosecution

In the midst of a strong political pressure, the U.S. president, Barack Obama, left the door open yesterday to bring to justice those responsible for having designed the legal framework that permitted to practice torture on terror suspects during the administration of George W. Bush.

With two Senate committees preparing reports and requesting the formation of a commission to investigate abuses committed during the Bush Administration, with human rights organizations demanding a voice for victims of torture and with UN reminding that Washington is no stranger to international law, Obama gave way to justice, and said it depended on the legal opinion of the Attorney General to prosecute or not the lawyers who drafted the memos permitting torture.

Once again, three weeks after the last reports on torture were published, the president expressed his support for "those individuals who carried out their work within the four corners of the officially laid down guidelines."

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Created by Keiros 36 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 36 weeks 4 days ago
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4

Full Horror of Gitmo Inmate's Beatings

Former British resident Binyam Mohamed arrives back in Britain tomorrow after his release from Guantanamo Bay. British and US lawyers claim that sustained beatings - which have only recently stopped - have left him with severe psychological and physical problems. Defence correspondent Mark Townsend reports

Binyam Mohamed will return to Britain suffering from a huge range of injuries after being beaten by US guards right up to the point of his departure from Guantánamo Bay, according to the first detailed accounts of his treatment inside the camp.

Mohamed will arrive back tomorrow in the UK, where he was a British resident between 1984 and 2002. During medical examinations last week, doctors discovered injuries and ailments resulting from apparently brutal treatment in detention.

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Created by Asia 44 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 44 weeks 4 days ago
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4

The Hard Cases: A New Kind of Preventive Detention?

Will Obama institute a new kind of preventive detention for terrorist suspects?

The last “enemy combatant” being detained in America is incarcerated at the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina—a tan, low-slung building situated amid acres of grassy swampland.

The prisoner, known internally as EC#2, is an alleged Al Qaeda sleeper agent named Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. He has been held in isolation in the brig for more than five years, although he has never stood trial or been convicted of any crime.

Under rules established by the Bush Administration, suspected terrorists such as Marri were denied the legal protections traditionally afforded by the Constitution. Unless the Obama Administration overhauls the nation’s terrorism policies, Marri—who claims that he is innocent—will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

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Created by Asia 44 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 44 weeks 4 days ago
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4

Financial Crisis: Toxic Plans for Toxic Assets

Exit Paulson, enter Geithner with the latest "no banker left behind plan" - aka whatever Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets. Yet, the reception was underwhelming. The Dow plummeted 382 points while investors took shelter in bonds and gold. AP reported that "the new bank rescue plan landed with a thud on Wall Street" as investors worried that no end to the crisis is in sight. Editorial and op-ed commentaries were near unanimously negative and some especially critical.

At a February 9 congressional briefing, lawmakers greeted Geithner with laughter and sarcasm, but most of it is just politics. Bailout opponent Brad Sherman (D, California) asked for details and a dollar amount, but instead got generalities about what he announced the next day - a plan to:

-- "clean up and strengthen the nation's banks;" in other words, spend hundreds of billions more to recapitalize insolvent ones;

-- create a Public - Private Investment Fund to shift toxic assets from them to the public;

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Created by Kevin 45 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 5 days ago
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The Stimulus Goes Green

The $789 billion recovery package wasn't all enviros hoped for. In some cases, it was more.

The stimulus package passed by Congress is one of the biggest spending bills in US history, and environmentalists are crowing that they got a decent share. Roughly $60 billion of the $789 billion package will be devoted to spending on clean energy, environmental projects, and scientific research. "Overall, this will be by far the biggest investment in new green technologies that we've ever seen from the federal government," says Gene Karpinski, head of the League of Conservation Voters. "And that's good for our economy and for our environment."

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Created by Kevin 45 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 5 days ago
Category: Politics   Tags:
4

The Stimulus Plan: A Detailed List of Spending

The House approved the economic stimulus plan Friday afternoon with a vote of 246 to 183, followed by the Senate with a vote of 60 to 38. Want to know what's in it? You could read the 1,071-page gorilla that passed today. Or you could let us do the work for you. We’ve dissected the beast in two charts – one for spending below, and one for taxes.

The appropriations section of the bill details spending in excess of $311 billion for programs ranging from Pell grants for college students to clean water in central Utah to nearly $100 billion in new transportation and infrastructure projects.

Here’s our earlier chart comparing the differences between the House, Senate, and conference versions of the bills.

To see a certain category of spending provisions, click on one of the following:

  • Accountability
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Created by Kevin 45 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 5 days ago
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