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May 2008

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May 22,2008
BEIJING -- The soaring death toll from southwestern China's devastating earthquake jumped nearly 10,000 to 51,151 Thursday, government officials reported.The official count raised the injury total from the 7.9-magnitude quake to 288,431 with another 29,328 people missing.CNN reported that domestic and international donations to help quake recovery, as of midday Thursday, had reached a reported $3 billion.Meanwhile, China announced it would cut government spending by 5 percent this year so it can set aside $10.14 ... [full story]
1112 times read - No comment posted

May 22,2008
RICHMOND, Va. -- There's little debate at Virginia Commonwealth University over accepting tobacco research money because it's a virtual secret, school officials say. Restrictive language in a 2006 contract with Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest tobacco company, keeps professors from publishing results of their research, or even talking about them, without Phillip Morris' permission, The New York Times said Thursday.School officials at the Richmond, Va., public institution, are barred from commenting on the project.Francis ... [full story]
1257 times read - No comment posted

May 22,2008
WASHINGTON -- Lobbyist Charles Black, a friend and key adviser to U.S. Sen. John McCain, has come under fire for his representing foreign interests, including dictators.U.S. Justice Department Foreign Agents Registration Act records submitted by Black's firm describe lobbying efforts during the 1980s on behalf of brutal Angolan guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi, who was fighting the country's Marxist government, The Washington Post reported Thursday.Black's firm also represented other U.S.-backed leaders with dismal human rights records, ... [full story]
1264 times read - 1 comments posted

May 22,2008
WASHINGTON -- Iraq is becoming one of the United States' largest arms customers, switching from cheaper, less sophisticated Soviet weapons, a U.S. government official says.Iraq's government has committed nearly $3 billion for U.S. weapons and equipment over the past year, Joseph Benkert, deputy assistant secretary of defense for global security affairs, told USA Today.Benkert said the deals for such weapons as the M-4 and M-16 assault rifles as well as the workhorse Humvee vehicle, are ... [full story]
876 times read - No comment posted

May 22,2008
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. -- American Jews, one constituency on which Democrats rely for support, say they're conflicted about Sen. Barack Obama as a potential presidential candidate.Younger members of this key voting bloc support Obama, D-Ill., who won 45 percent of the Jewish vote in primaries, but in recent presidential elections, Jews have moved more to the right, The New York Times reported Thursday.Resistance to Obama seems to be grounded in his commitment to Israel, dozens ... [full story]
1027 times read - No comment posted

May 22,2008
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario -- A Canadian police officer in Mississauga, Ontario, has been found guilty by a tribunal of repeatedly asking young schoolgirls for directions.Constable Roger Yeo, 38, was charged under the Police Services Act in 2005 after an undercover officer who tailed him in Mississauga, west of Toronto, corroborated the complaints of several Grade 7 girls, the Toronto Star reported Thursday.Peel Regional Police Staff Superintendent Roman Boychuk delivered his 44-page decision Wednesday night that found ... [full story]
1011 times read - No comment posted

May 22,2008
NEW YORK -- Probable jail time is seen for U.S. Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y., without a deal on his driving under the influence arrest, lawyers in the case say.Without a deal, Fossella likely would draw five days in jail before the end of the year, lawyers say, and if he steps down upon conviction a special election to replace him would depend on when he does it, The Hill, a Washington publication, reported.Under New York ... [full story]
1085 times read - No comment posted

May 22,2008
FREDERICTON, New Brunswick -- A Canadian man jailed for a day in New Brunswick last week for refusing to pay a fine for skateboarding on the street has been ticketed again.A bylaw in Fredericton bans skateboarding on roads, and Lee Breen, 25, was ticketed earlier this month and fined $100. He refused to pay and was jailed for one day Wednesday and placed under house arrest until Saturday morning.However, Saturday night, he was skateboarding to ... [full story]
1041 times read - No comment posted

May 22,2008
UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. General Assembly in New York elected 15 members to the organization's Human Rights Council, including nations opposed by human rights groups.Sri Lanka, with a record of human rights abuses, lost its bid for re-election to the panel, The Washington Post reported Thursday. However, Pakistan, Bahrain, Gabon and Zambia -- all with alleged poor human rights records -- won three-year terms."Sri Lanka's defeat is a victory for the Human Rights Council," ... [full story]
814 times read - No comment posted

May 22,2008
OTTAWA -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff is stepping down after allegedly influencing the U.S. Democratic Party primary race.Unidentified sources told the Globe and mail and Toronto Star that Ian Brodie will resign as of July 1 and his replacement has already been decided.Brodie figured prominently in a federal inquiry into leaks about the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade agreement with the United States in late February. The inquiry's report ... [full story]
964 times read - No comment posted

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